Axel Rudi Pell - 'Into The Storm'
Johnny Gioeli - Lead and Backing Vocals
Axel Rudi Pell - Lead, Rhythm and Acoustic Guitars
Ferdy Doernberg - Keyboards
Volker Krawczak - Bass
Bobby Rondinelli - Drums
1) "The Inquisitorial Procedure" - Instrumental
2) "Tower Of Lies" - This track opens with a classic eighties Heavy Metal rhythm guitar riff. Underneath the first note of the second measure there is a cymbal crash and bass note. There is a drum fill connecting the second and third measures of the intro. For the musical verse, it sounded like Axel used the same basic rhythm arrangement as the intro. The only difference was he tweaked a few of the notes to give the rhythm a little bit of a different sound. There was a drum fill connecting the musical verse with the musical chorus. The musical chorus consisted of a rhythm arrangement change. The vocal lines of the chorus lets Johnny not only express his vocal strength but also his vocal ability. There is a small snare drum fill connecting the first musical chorus with the second verse. There is a blistering lead guitar solo connecting the second and third choruses.
3) "Long Way To Go" -The intro to this track opens with a rhythm guitar riff. In many ways this riff was very reminiscent in sound to the riffs Paul Stanley was playing during in between Kiss's 1979 'Dynasty' and 1981 'The Elder' years. After the first measure Bobby locks the time in by playing quarter-notes. Bobby plays a drum fill to connect the second and third measures of the intro. After the drum fill the drum line and keyboard arrangement kicks in. There is a short tom-tom fill connecting the musical intro with the musical verse. The musical verse consisted of a keyboard arrangement and bass line. Over the keyboard arrangement, Axel plays a very simple fill-in guitar riff. The way the musical verse was arranged lets Volker's bass line be the main instrumentation. Instead of changing the main rhythm for the pre-chorus the guys kept the rhythm the same only adding a very simple rhythm guitar riff. The highlight of the chorus had to be Johnny's huge vocals. After the second chorus, there was a lead guitar solo.
4) "Burning Chains" - This track opens with Axel playing a heavily influenced seventies Deep Purple with Richie Blackmore rhythm guitar riff. After the opening riff the rest of the band kick-in. The arrangements the band are playing for the main body of the intro also have a Deep Purple sound. There was a rhythm guitar change for the musical verse. For the musical verse, Axel mainly plays a fill-in rhythm thus allowing Johnny's vocals to carry the song. The drum line consisted of several tom-tom fills. The only thing separating the musical verse with the musical chorus was a pick slide. There was a rhythm guitar change for the musical chorus. There was a very intense lead guitar solo connecting the second chorus with the third chorus. There was a minor lead guitar solo underneath the vocals of the fourth chorus.
5) "When Truth Hurts" - This ballad opens with a piano arrangement. The intro is just one measure long. There is an echo effect attached to Johnny's vocals. It sounded like Johnny double tracked the fifth, seventh & eighth lyric lines. After the eighth lyric line there was a tom-tom fill to kick-in the entire band. This song shows the vocal power Gioeli has! After the kick-in there was a lead guitar solo. The solo is actually two solos back to back. The first guitar solo was done with a distorted guitar effect, while the second was done using a clean guitar effect. After the second chorus there is a third solo section. These solo sections really show how much of an underrated lead guitarist Axel is.
6) "Changing Times" - This was just a straightforward nothing-flashy Heavy Metal sounding song. The highlight of the song had to be Axel's lead guitar solo!
7) "Touching Heaven" - Underneath the guitar and keyboard arrangement of this intro there were several drum fills. There was a drastic musical arrangement change for the musical verse. The musical verse consisted of a re-verbed electric guitar rhythm over the top of a pipe organ. The song goes from a mid-tempo rocker to a ballad. The fourth, fifth and seventh lyric line of the musical verse were double-tracked. After the seventh lyric line the pipe organ trails off leading to a complete rhythm arrangement change with Axel playing an electric guitar riff. The musical arrangement underneath Johnny's lyric lines had a very solid groove. There was a rhythm arrangement change for the musical chorus. After the second chorus there was a rhythm guitar change. This rhythm guitar change lead to the lead guitar solo. Axel's solo was amazing!
8) "High Above" - There are four musical rests in between the rhythm guitar riff that opens this intro. For the second measure Axel continues to play the same guitar rhythm that opened the intro. Because of the musical rests of the rhythm guitar you really can hear the bass line. Axel used the same rhythm guitar arrangement for the musical verse as the one he used for the intro. This allowed the bass and drum line to be the main instrumentation letting the listener to focus on the lyric lines. There was a small rhythm change for the musical chorus. There was a minor lead guitar solo connecting the first chorus with the second verse. After the second chorus there was a major lead guitar solo section. After the fourth chorus there was a second minor solo that ran underneath the lyrics of the coda.
9) "Hey, Hey, My, My (Into The Black)" - Originally written and recorded by Rock And Roll Hall of Fame Alum Neil Young. The song is on Neil Young's successful L.P. 'Rust Never Sleeps' and released as a single on August 27, 1979. This was an amazing cover!!!
10) "Into The Storm" - This track opens with Ferdy holding a note on the keyboard. A couple of notes into this and you can hear a pipe organ fading in. As these progresses over the top someone begins to play what sounds like a Zurna Shawm Mizmar flute arrangement. This flute arrangement gives the song a huge Middle Eastern sound. The main musical intro consisted of Axel playing a huge Middle Eastern rhythm guitar arrangement. There is a pick slide connecting the intro with the musical verse. The last two lyric lines of the verse were double-tracked. There was a tom-tom fill connecting the musical verse with the musical chorus. There was a small keyboard arrangement in between the lyric lines of the chorus. After the first chorus there was a huge pick slide that lead to Axel playing the same guitar arrangement as the keyboard arrangement of the chorus. There was a minor lead guitar solo connecting the second chorus with the third verse. Underneath the lead guitar solo Axel played an acoustic guitar rhythm. For the third verse Axel completely changed the arrangement by dropping the electric guitar for an acoustic guitar. Axel played a minor solo over the top of the acoustic guitar and underneath Johnny's vocals. This lead to the major guitar solo section. After the lead guitar solo there was an arrangement change. The coda consisted of the special effects of a thunder storm.
The release of 'Into The Storm' released through Steamhammer/SPV is Axel's sixteenth studio release and marks his twenty-fifth year as a solo artist. Alex once again enlists the help of former Accomplice and Hardline vocalist Johnny Gioeli. With the exception of Bobby Rondinelli (Rainbow, Blue Öyster Cult and The Lizards) this is the same line-up Axel has used since the 1998 'Oceans of Time' release. Because the guys are now so familiar with each other is just one of the reasons the songs sound as good as they do. The other is Axel's great songwriting ability. This was an amazing CD that really expresses Axel's playing and Johnny's vocal ability, If you are a fan of Rudi Pell's or a fan of solid melodic heavy metal then this CD is for you!