Album Review: Axel Rudi Pell – Lost XXIII (Steamhammer/SPV)

Only genuine thoroughbred musicians with substantial creative talent succeed in staying at the top of their game as long as Axel Rudi Pell has. For more than thirty years, the guitarist and songwriter from Bochum, Germany, has released new albums at regular intervals with his ARP band. On the 15th of April 2022, Pell’s latest studio offering Lost XXIII – his 21st to date – will be available as a digipak, CD, double vinyl album, strictly limited box set and for digital download, as usual on Steamhammer/SPV.

Capable of creating melodic hard rock hits in his sleep, Axel Rudi Pell is a name synonymous with epic head-bangers. Along aside a strong supporting cast of musicians, Pell enters 2022 sounding as fresh as ever with Lost XXVII.

An epic intro (Lost XXIII Prequel) leads to Survive, a sharp hit of heavy rock that has screaming riffs, enormous vocals, and a body-shaking drumbeat. The rock vibes are strong and it’s easy to just enjoy.

No Compromise has groove, old-school groove and just the right amount of melody to offset the thumping rhythm. Down on the Streets ups the tempo to create something heart-racing and energetic. Before the middle of the album is reached with the gigantic Gone with the Wind. Here Pell and company go big, so very big. A powerful hit of melodic balladry that slowly but surely builds to an epic showcase of guitar soloing.

An energy injection is needed after that and while Freight Train doesn’t quite get that right, its riffs more than make up for it. It’s Follow the Beast that properly gets the blood pumping though as the band deliver a fiery and fist-pumping listen. Followed then by the album’s proper ballad, piano playing and all, Fly with Me.

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There’s one more high-powered blast of old-school hard rock with The Rise of Ankhoor, a guitar showcase and completely instrumental. Before the album wraps up with another epic, the title track. Here, Rudi Pell deliver a hefty and slow-moving slab of extravagance as only they seem capable of.

If you’ve always enjoyed what Axel Rudi Pell does, you won’t find much to complain about here. Is it always the most interesting listen? No, but it is every bit the larger-than-life listen you could hope for.

Axel Rudi Pell – Lost XXIII Full Track Listing:

1. Lost XXIII Prequel (Intro)
2. Survive
3. No Compromise
4. Down on the Streets
5. Gone with the Wind
6. Freight Train
7. Follow the Beast
8. Fly with Me
9. The Rise of Ankhoor
10. Lost XXIII


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Axel Rudi Pell - Lost XXIII (Steamhammer/SPV)
  • The Final Score - 7/10
User Review
8.84/10 (7 votes)