A virtuosic German guitar player, Axel Rudi Pell first gained prominence in the early to mid-'80s as the lead guitarist for the band Steeler before embarking on a successful, decades-long solo career.
Beginning with 1989's Wild Obsession, Pell established himself as one of European power metal and melodic hard rock's most versatile and dynamic players, issuing dozens of well-received studio LPs (Between the Walls, 1994; Shadow Zone, 2002; The Crest, 2010) and concert albums (Knights Live, 2002; XXX Anniversary Live, 2019), all of which were released on German independent label SPV.
A native of Bochum, Pell co-founded the German heavy metal group Steeler in 1981 alongside vocalist Peter Burts, guitarist Tom Eder, bassist Volker Krawczak, and drummer Jan Yildiral. Taking their moniker from a track off of Judas Priest's British Steel LP, the band issued four studio albums and saw modest success before calling it quits after the release of 1988's Undercover Animal.
Striking out on his own the following year with vocalist Charlie Huhn (Ted Nugent, Gary Moore) and Steeler bassist Volker Krawczak in tow -- Krawczak has been the sole constant member of Pell's solo band -- Pell released his debut solo LP Wild Obsession, commencing a long and prolific relationship with SPV. He scored his first German chart entry in 1994 with the release of his fourth solo effort, Between the Walls, which featured vocalist Jeff Scott Soto (Yngwie Malmsteen, Talisman), one of a handful of singers he would work with over the years. The late '90s marked the beginning of a long working relationship with Hardline vocalist Johnny Gioeli, who would appear on all of Pell's subsequent outings, from 1998's Oceans of Time to later highlights like Mystica (2008), Circle of the Oath (2012), and Knight's Call (2018), as well as numerous concert albums and compilations. ~ James Christopher Monger, Rovi