Monday, July 30, 2012

ROBIN GEORGE - Dangerous Music [remaster + bonus] (2012)

ROBIN GEORGE - Dangerous Music [remaster + bonus] (2012)


Although he has only achieved cult status in the United States at this point in time, Great Britain's ROBIN GEORGE is legendary in his home country.
Even though he's probably best known as a backing guitarist for a variety of well-known British superstars, George is very much a songwriter and musician in his own right.
And now, 27 years after it's original release his debut album "Dangerous Music" is once again being made available to the public.

The big problem with this album re-issues was the terrible sound. The Sanctuary/Castle (2000) is almost intolerable.
Luckily in 2010 Angel Air records published a good version including previously unreleased tracks, but in limited quantities, and has become pretty scarce and hard to find.

Now is being available again (at least in a digital form) for our listening pleasure.
"Dangerous Music" is a very slick commercial album combining radio rock, AOR and Melodic Rock.
But George was one of those artists who was able to balance commercial appeal with artistic integrity, and thus his music was very appealing to both communities.
The album features plenty of Robin's tasty guitar work (of course) but it also presents many songs that, in a perfect world, would have been major hits.

"Heartline" opens this remastered edition. This is simply an amazing track. It's catchy as hell and contains one of the best guitar solos in memory. The song is a classic. There is something of a hit-single about it, plucky keyboards and great background vocals courtesy of Mr. Chris Thompson and Pete Green.
"Spy" is rock&pop with a hit refrain that sticks like superglue. Robin's guitar still rocks no matter the amount of pop refrains that has been applied.
In the sharp AOR keyboard-laden "Shout" George utilises an arsenal of fine Synth Guitars, in a song where rhythm rules.

Robin has always mixed his contemporaries with his personal older influences; "Hit List" does not sound like a track from the eighties, it's more a late seventies hard rocker with a glossy production.
The compulsory ballad takes a while, but "Don't Turn Away" encourages slow dancing with full body contact without being overly sentimental. It feels sincere all in all.
We have other luminaires contributing in this recording; master Pino Palladino, Phil Lynott (Thin Lizzy) and Phil Soussan (Ozzy, Billy Idol) share bass duties.
Kex Gorham (ex- Magnum) and Dave Holland (ex- Judas Priest) share the drumming, while Mark Stanway (Magnum) plays some keyboards.

This remaster features the tracks that appeared on the original vinyl release plus a bunch of cool bonus tracks previously unreleased. If you have the horrendous 2000 CD you should check the sound quality of this new remaster (and also get the bonuses).

"Dangerous Music" is an excellent album that unfortunately got lost in the blur of the '80s most likely because the original record company (Bronze) folded soon after the initial release.
This reissue will hopefully make more people aware of this talented fellow's early recorded work.
Top pick.

You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox

01 - Heartline

02 - Spy

03 - No News Is Good News

04 - French Kisses

05 - Stolen From My Heart

06 - Shout

07 - Showdown

08 - Hit List

09 - Shoot In Sight

10 - Don't Turn Away

11 - Space Kadett (b-side) [bonus track]

Live at Tommy Vance Show;

12 - Heartline [bonus track prev. unreleased]

13 - Spy [bonus track prev. unreleased]

14 - No News Is Good News [bonus track prev. unreleased]

Previously unreleased digitally;

15 - Heartline (Dangerous Mix)

16 - Don't Turn Away (Dangerous Mix)

Robin George: Vocals, All Guitars, Guitar & Bass Synth, Fairlight, Effects
Pino Paladino: Bass, Fretless Bass
Phil Soussan: Bass
Phil Lynott: Bass
Mark Stanway: Synthesizer
Pete Green: Synthesizer
Adrian Lee: Keyboards, Synthesizer, Bass Synth
Dave Holland: Drums
Kex Gorham: Drums
Kex Gorin: Percussion
Chris Thompson, Pete Green, Robin: Backing Vocals



CLOUDSCAPE - New Era (2012)

CLOUDSCAPE - New Era (2012)


CLOUDSCAPE is a band from Sweden formed in 2001 and after 3 albums and some member shifts, the group hit the studio again for their fourth release “New Era”.

Known for their elaborated Progressive Metal, this time the guys have added some melodic metal and even melodic hard rock touches to their music.

Cloudscape managed to put down a solid sound despite the different genre influences delivering an album that contains a variety of songs making them all catchy in their own way.

New vocalist Mike Andersson does use his clear voice in different ways providing rich textures to each track, while guitars, drums and bass lines are thick, but flexible as well.

What really sets this band from the rest of the Prog Metal crowd are the very clever arrangements which gives to the songs another dimension.

Perhaps starting the disc with "Silver Ending" wasn't the best choice, as in my opinion is the only weak track here. Not bad, just a plain metalized fare not showing what this band is capable of.

Then suddenly the pieces of their interesting musical puzzle began to come together in "Share Your Energy" followed irresistibly by "Kingdom Of Sand", both packing melody, class arrangement and confidence in what they were creating. Melodic riffs (with some oriental twist in the latter) playful drumming and some dramatic piano enrich the sound around the colorful vocals. There are welcomed brief moments of studio trickery as well.

By song number four called "Pull The Brake" the anthemic quality and punching rhythm section continue the good work.

"Seen It All Before" starts with some atmosphere before bringing out the guitar riff and a subtle, yet melodic keyboard refrain and then things get a little heavier before the barking vocals of Mike reach out. The song's pace changes at around the four minute for good effect.

After the frantic paced "Your Desire" with its insistent and furious riffage, arrives an epic called "Voyager 9". Not to be taken lightly as it clocks in at over eight and a half minutes. Mixing up spacious moments within the soundscape with some crunching heavy riffs in others, this track blend shades of light and dark with an ear for balance.

The innovative and melodic "Before Your Eyes" features some microphone trickery as Mike sings cool melodious lines before the wail of the guitar announces a change of pace.

Following on from the remnants of that song we go into some compressed sounding guitar before it's unleashed into another potent riff. "Violet Eve" has crash landed, a marching uptempo blast rocker.

"Into The Unknown" has a clear Euro melodic hard rock vibe with a clean sound and a cathy chorus, while ending track "Heroes" is some kind of midtempo prog metal tune with a solid melody and some epic imprinted over it.

In “New Era” Cloudscape blends their distinctive Prog Metal style and other sub-genres with success for the most part.

Guess I do find it very hard to place their sound, but when it comes down to it, it doesn't matter anyway, since it's the music that counts and their music count for something.

It's dynamic and varied, based on clever arrangements escaping from the typical cliches of the genre, and all members accomplish a good quality performance on what at times is impressive musicianship.

The first half of the CD is heavier and darker, while the second is much more melodic, even sometimes melodic hard rock oriented, confirming that Cloudscape - as the album title indicates - has something new to come up with.

“New Era” delivers twelve songs plenty of interesting twists and turns to keep you engaged, specially on the more melodious tracks.

01 - Silver Ending

02 - Share Your Energy

03 - Kingdom Of Sand

04 - Pull The Brake

05 - Seen It All Before

06 - Your Desire

07 - Voyager 9

08 - Simplicity…Huh…

09 - Before Your Eyes

10 - Violet Eye

11 - Into The Unknown

12 - Heroes

Mike Andersson : Lead & Backing Vocals

Patrik Svärd : Guitars

Stefan Rosqvist : Guitars, Keyboards

Håkan Nyander : Bass, Backing Vocals

Fredrik Joakimsson : Drums & Percussion



THE ORDER - 1986 (2012)

THE ORDER - 1986 (2012)


Hailing from Switzerland, THE ORDER have already three albums in their history book.
With the title of their just released fourth album the band gives you a clear idea of what their music is all about; "1986". If you didn't catch it yet, take a look at the CD cover...
The Order plays classic Eighties American Melodic Hard Rock with enthusiasm and no excuses. "1986" is a time travel back into the great '80s featuring straigh forward melodies and focus is on strong vocals and kickin' up-tempo tracks.
Gianni Pontillo is the frontman and singer and his voice got the right rasp and tone for the genre. Bruno Spring on guitar is riffing and hooking with a potent valvular sound, while the rhythm section is solid and smashing, specially hard hitting drummer Mauro Casciero.
All members have been playing in various bands since the nineties and they glue truly well.

The great intro track "Power Of Love" is pointing the direction for the rest of the album. The true love to rock music from the '80s is overwhelming for these guys and the strong melodies with a tight production is really a blessing to listen to here.
The well balanced songs are juicy, bloody, fat and spicy barbecued pieces of hard rock meat to put on the hot grill this summer.
"Long Live Rock 'n' Roll" is a catchy tune to play air guitar to and with the easy to learn chorus makes up a song that I like. Not cheesy at all... just rocks hard.
In the Van Halen inspired track "Generation White Line" Gianni really sounds in a voice tune just like former Van Halen singer Mr. Sammy Hagar.
They go pretty heavy on "Lonely Nights" reminding me Riot, while follower "Fire It Up" is extremely melodic sporting a massive and catchy chorus.
Even a ballad can be found here in "A Kiss Under The Rain", solidly structured and performed. It's that kind of metal ballad that has real power, in the vein of Baton Rouge. Killer tune.

"1986" resurrects Classic Eighties Hard Rock with style, power and quality.
If you like good straight forward, energetic hard rock music as used to be in golden decade, with great sharp guitars and vocals in top class then I am sure The Order is band you will curse yourself that you missed out on earlier.
These guys are truly professional, their musicianship excellent and they know how to write a killer song, trust me. Production is excellent for this kind of music, tight & sharp, and polished at the same time.
The Order is still quite unknown, but with this mega strong album in their back these Swiss gentlemen do really deserve to make it to the bigger scenes and public.

01 - The Power Of Love

02 - Long Live Rock'n'Roll

03 - Generation White Line

04 - Lonely Nights

05 - Fire It Up

06 - A Kiss Under The Rain

07 - Damn Hot Chick

08 - Heartbreaking Rebel Blood

09 - Why Dreaming Hollywood

10 - Stop Lying In The Name Of Love

Gianni Pontillo - Vocals
Bruno Spring - Guitars
Andrej Abplanalp - Bass
Mauro Casciero - Drums, Percussion



Friday, July 27, 2012

JIMI JAMISON - Live at Firefest [CD] (2012)

JIMI JAMISON - Live at Firefest [CD] (2012)


Heard by over a billion people a week as the voice of the classic theme tune 'I'm Always Here' from the global smash hit show Baywatch, gracing the soundtracks of iconic films like The Karate Kid or Rocky IV, and as part of Melodic Rock AOR icons Survivor, Jimi Jamison is one of the best and most respected singers of the genre.
Incredibly, despite all this success, he had never played the UK until the organisers of the annual Firefest show in Nottingham decided to put right.

Jimi did not disappoint - not content playing a blistering set spanning his hit-strewn career, he also chose to steal the show with a performance that many regard as the greatest ever witnessed during Firefest's seven year history. Backed by an energetic Swedish band comprised of young rockers H.E.A.T., Eclipse drummer Magnus Ulfstedt and guitar hero Tommy Denander, the full concert was captured on DVD and released last year.

Now this amazing performance is finally available on CD!
Get your copy pronto at the brand new Firefest website, as this is an extremely limited edition, it will be a collectors item soon.
A Must.

You've seen it first here, at 0day

01 - Caught In The Game

02 - It's The Singer Not The Song

03 - High On You

04 - Is This Love

05 - Didn't Know It Was Love

06 - I See You In Everyone

07 - A Dream Too Far

08 - Crossroads Moment

09 - Rebel Son

10 - Burning Heart

11 - I'm Always Here

12 - Eye Of The Tiger

Jimi Jamison - Vocals
Tommy Denander - Guitars
Jimmy Jay (H.E.A.T) - Bass
Jona Tee (H.E.A.T) - Keyboards
Magnus Ulfstedt (Eclipse) - Drums



NEWMAN - Another Step Closer [Live at Firefest] (2012)

NEWMAN - Another Step Closer [Live at Firefest] (2012)


Recorded at Firefest Festival, "Another Step Closer" captures Steve Newman and his band of merry men on 'one of those nights' when the planets align, there is a full moon, a full house, and a band kicking 1000 plus asses amassed in the 'Rock City' Nottingham, UK.

More than ably assisted by Dave Bartlett (Bass), Nic Lipscombe (Drums), Paul Boyle (Keyboards) and new guitarist Shaun Bessant who rips out solo after solo and pose after pose, Newman have finally come of age as a bona fide live outfit rather than the studio project that some were beginning to label them.

Just listen to the crowd reaction to long time Newman faves "One Step Closer", "Heaven Knows" or "Every Moment".

Plus, we have as bonuses three tracks recently recorded at radio ARfm studio; "Endless", "On Any Other Sunday" and a Medley including "Edge Of The World / If It's Love / That Kind Of Girl / One Step Closer"

This is a hot concert released on CD by the Firefest label strictly limited to 500 copies worldwide.

Get yours fast.

You've seen it first here, at zerodayrockz

01 - Hero To Zero

02 - Endless

03 - Every Moment

04 - Primitive Soul

05 - Stay With Me

06 - Tumble Down

07 - If It's Love

08 - Coming Home Tonight

09 - Heaven Knows

10 - One Step Closer

11 - Endless [ARFM studios 2012] (bonus track)

12 - Medley ; Edge Of The World / If It's Love / That Kind Of Girl / One Step Closer [ARFM studios 2012] (bonus track)

13 - On Any Other Sunday [ARFM studios 2012] (bonus track)

Steve Newman - Vocals, Guitar

Dave Bartlett - Bass

Nic Lipscombe - Drums

Paul Boyle - Keyboards

Shaun Bessant - Guitars



GREEK FIRE - If This Is The End (2012)

GREEK FIRE - If This Is The End (2012)


“GREEK FIRE is a mission to capture the attention of a rock deprived generation. A mission to re-vitalize the spirit of rock music in all of it’s purity and greatness. A mission to create uplifting, soaring music for those who need it now more than ever.”

The band from St. Louis describe themselves this way. In May 2009, Phil Sneed (aka Moon), Ryan Phillips, Johnny Venus and Mark Joseph Roth start performing as Greek Fire.

Antitype without being pretentious, Greek Fire has developed a style that blends many influences, a genre-crossing music really original and vital.

Over a blasting rhythm section, they have an insane lead guitarist with gnarly riffage ability, and a frontman that is charismatic, poetic, and has a voice that can cut through a brick wall and knock you into another time zone.

On their debut album some songs are truly energetic, while others have a slow, calming, melodic feel. We have rockin' riffs over catchy radio worthy songs but still maintaining honesty and artistry, ignoring musical barricades or preconceptions.

It isn't easy classify Greek Fire's style, but precisely therein lies its charm.

They can rock hard as on the thumping opener "Doesn't Matter Anyway" delivering a wall of sound, and turn melodic and rhythmic on "Make Me Believe".

In some places this band could remind you the fire and freshness of U2's debut 'Boy'. I mean, when U2 used to be an edgy band and the intention was to rock the world.

Then, in a song like "Put Your Hands on Me" they go for a really heavy path with a monster reverberation in the sound akin late seventies bands but magically sounding modern and original.

But they surprise you all the time, as next track "Dreaming In Deja Vu" is an insanely catchy tune with some winks to European Melodic Rock featuring a fantastic guitar solo.

At this point maybe you're wondering if this album wouldn't be an indigestible mixed salad... not at all, it's original, attractive and leaves you wanting more.

Greek Fire is one of the most interesting and original bands I heard recently, no matter the genre. In fact, they break genre-boundaries.

There's just something captivating about frontman Moon's voice that I can't seem to put a label on. It's catchy, but not in an annoying pop-rock way. It's heartfelt, but not in an overly sappy way. It's just... natural.

And that natural, insanely enthralling voice meshes perfectly with the musical skills of Ryan Phillips on the guitars and the solid rhythm section by Mark Joseph Roth and Johnny Venus (drums). So many bands can get lost in the shuffle because they sound so similar, but Greek Fire is not one of those bands. They are immediately identifiable, which makes them even more memorable.

Greek Fire released the album independently as they wanted the entire control of their art. There was a limited run of physical CD's last year on the band's merch table at their concerts, but no more.

Now, after touring Japan, Greek Fire received the shocking news that drummer Johnny Venus was diagnosed with leukemia, and decided to record a new song dedicated to him; "If This Is The End (The Sound Of Belief)".

Support this band, they are truly good. If correctly managed, they can do great things.


01 - Doesn't Matter Anyway

02 - Break Me Down

03 - Make Me Believe

04 - Put Your Hands On Me

05 - Dreaming In Deja Vu

06 - Under The Stars

07 - Down In Mexico

08 - Just The Beginning

09 - If This Is The End (The Sound Of Belief)

Vocals: Phil 'Moon' Sneed

Guitar: Ryan Phillips

Bass: Mark Joseph Roth

Drums: Johnny Venus

Drums: John Pessoni



MARTIN PAGE - A Temper Of Peace (2012)

MARTIN PAGE - A Temper Of Peace (2012)

Not the 'cuts' version floating around


Englishman MARTIN PAGE is a renowned hit songwriter with chart-toppers such as Heart’s 'These Dreams' and Starship’s 'We Built This City' under his belt to name a couple.

In 1994, Page received recognition as a singer and musician with his lovable solo debut 'In the House of Stone and Light', much regarded in AOR / Westcoast circles. His 2nd 'In the Temple of the Muse' (2008) somehow was a disappointment, too much introspective and personal.

Now he's back with a third installment, "A Temper Of Peace", which marks a return to the good sounds. The new album offers a richly sensual listening experience and a soulful performance.

Page has engineered, produced and played all the instruments for the first time through these 14 tracks that never turn boring at all, alternating between rhythmic tunes and calmer ballads.

This is skillful mature music with a profound lyrical content, beautifully crafted and meticulously produced.

"A Temper Of Peace" will delight Westcoast and smooth AOR aficionados. It has a feel similar to Mr. Mister works with the elegance of his debut album.

The instrumental accompaniment to his spirited vocal performance is builded on a highly melodic foundation of ultra-refined keyboards, expertly dosed guitars and smooth drumming / percussion.

Page also reminds me Larry Tagg and Marc Jordan in his vocal phrasing, proving that one does not need to raise one's voice in order to be heard.

Those connoisseurs who are looking for musical grace and emotional depth (as opposed to a great many decibels and superficial entertainment) will have a hard time finding a better album this year.


01 - Halo

02 - The Washing of the Heart

03 - Think of Me (When You Dance)

04 - Soulprint

05 - Ruby Rae

06 - I'll Grow Old With You

07 - When the Harvest Is In

08 - Hungry Ghost

09 - Titch

10 - What Did I Do to Deserve You

11 - Healing Waters

12 - I Can't Get There Without You

13 - Sweet Killeney Hill

14 - You Can Let Go

Martin Page: All instruments



JOHN PARR - The Mission (2012)

JOHN PARR - The Mission (2012)

* fixed July 25

UK '80s aorster JOHN PARR seems focused lately in the American market.

His new album "The Mission" is a tribute to the men and women in the Military, released in close conjunction with the Armed Forces related organizations.

As heard in the last year CD, Parr's style and sound now is oriented to a more American sound combining rockers with ballads.

"The Mission" is genuine Parr. There’s no distortion or alteration in his signature songwriting, and his voice is as solid as in the eighties and nineties works.

Parr has created each song to tell a story and each story relates to the overall theme of the album, which is life centered around military service. Although on paper this looks boring, each track stands by its own.

This is a rock album, guitar fueled and energetic, sometimes acoustic and relaxed.

We have Americanized rockers such as the melodic opener "Big Bad Silverado", the more edgy "Enlisted Man" or "Military Man".

The acoustic tracks are cool, being "Fightin' Girl", the ballad "The Boy I Left Behind" and the beautiful "At The Cathedral" the best.

We have Classic Parr as well (the best songs in my opinion) in the AOR catchiness of "Come Out Fightin´", the piano ballad "Soldiers Wife", the awesome mid-tempo "A Few Good Men" and the emotional charged "Bound By The Thread Of The Flag".

In the other hand, the training-like "Boots On The Ground" sounds silly to me, and the acoustical "M4 Practice" is pretty boring. But this is a 14-track album, just skip those and you have a solid twelve song CD.

"The Mission" is a fun and rocking album, strong for the most part.

Perhaps the 'concept' theme is not everyone's cup of tea, but the songs work as a whole. And we have a good bunch of 'classic Parr' new tunes, and that's worth the purchase.

Well recorded and produced, "The Mission" is released through John Parr's own label, and it's only available on physical CD via his website.

01 - Big Bad Silverado

02 - Enlisted Man

03 - The Boy I Left Behind

04 - Come Out Fightin'

05 - Soldiers Wife

06 - Boots On The Ground

07 - Military Man

08 - A Few Good Men

09 - Fightin' Girl

10 - At The Cathedral

11 - Open Sky (Fly Boys Fly)

12 - M4 Practice

13 - Bound By The Thread Of The Flag

14 - Comin' Home



So80s presents BILLY IDOL - Curated by Blank & Jones (2012)

So80s presents BILLY IDOL - Curated by Blank & Jones (2012)


BILLY IDOL '80s albums were a truly representation of that decade sounds, combining synthesized and sequenced rhythms with flashy guitar work into a rock&pop song-package.

Although a bit cheesy at times, you can't deny the catchiness of Billy's stuff and the quality in Steve Steven's six-string playing, one of my favorite rock guitarist ever.

Extended and alternate mixes were popular during the eigthies, and Billy was one of most the prolific artists in that matter.

The good thing about these versions is that they weren't always designed as dancefloor alternates, most of these really rock. Producer Keith Forsey and the other knob experts involved recorded and remixed these multi-track tapes with as much force as possible, and Stevens's robot noises pierce the metronomic pulse.

The Blank & Jones is a team specialized in '80s music, and together with Idol's original label are publishing in Germany a CD series called "So80s presents".

While this may seem like a simple re-release of 'Vital Idol' or another greatest hits release, this is a comprehensive collection of Billy's extended mixes and long versions pretty hard to find, some of them previously unavailable on CD.

Instead of the 'Mother of Mercy' mix of "To Be A Lover" (which was on the original re-release of Vital Idol), the alternate 12" mix called the "Rock 'n' Roll Mix" is included.

The most known remix of "Catch My Fall" is the 'rub a dub dub', here we get the "Special Remix" which is simply a slight remix of the album version without all the heavy pulsing synth bass. This one is more rocking indeed, only prev. released as vinyl b-side.

The 'Meltdown Mix' of "Don't Need A Gun" included here is more rare than the longer 'beyond meltdown mix' which can be found on various eighties compilations.

These two tracks, as it says in the liner notes, are so rare that were transfered from a vinyl 12'' LP, as the original masters are impossible to find in the label's archive. Of course, both sounds pristine with the Blank & Jones treatment.

The rare 'Hung Like A Pony Mix' mix of "Mony Mony" is included instead of the more popular 'downtown mix'.

"Hot In The City" is slightly different than the 'Vital Idol' version in that it fades out instead of coming to a cold end, and therefore runs about 10 seconds longer.

Adding to the collection - to make it even more interesting - there are vinyl album length versions of "Eyes Without A Face", "Rebel Yell", "L.A. Woman" and "Sweet Sixteen", which in the CD pressings of the respective albums are presented in edited form.

Plus, instead of the album version of "Cradle Of Love", we get the "Cradle Of Dub" (which has vocals, but the background music was changed).

As you see this is a CD plenty of rarities, and if you're a collector or simply an '80s rock&pop culture fan, you will love it.

1.  Dancing With Myself (Uptown Mix) 5:59

2.  Rebel Yell (LP Version) 4:48

3.  To Be A Lover (Rock 'N' Roll Mix) 7:13

4.  Eyes Without A Face (LP Version) 4:58

5.  Hot In The City (Extended Version) 5:20

6.  Catch My Fall (Special Remix) 3:43

7.  White Wedding - Parts 1 & 2 (Shot Gun Mix) 8:26

8.  Flesh For Fantasy (Below The Belt Mix) 7:06

9.  Don't Need A Gun (Meltdown Mix) 7:05

10.  Mony Mony (Hung Like A Pony Mix) 7:02

11.  L.A. Woman (LP Version) 5:31

12.  Cradle Of Dub (Extended Mix) 6:28

13.  Sweet Sixteen (LP Version) 4:15

Billy Idol - vocals

Steve Stevens - guitars

Phil Soussan, Steve Webster, Kenny Aaronson - bass

Judi Dozier - keyboards

Thommy Price - drums, percussion



STATE OF SALAZAR - Lost My Way (2012)

STATE OF SALAZAR - Lost My Way (2012)


Swedish combo STATE OF SALAZAR was founded in Malmö two years ago by singer Marcus Nygren with many local friend session musicians.
The goal is spread their music to the masses, a music inspired by the the biggest melodious acts of the '80s.
Indeed, State Of Salazar's just released debut "Lost My Way" comprises all the elements that made the Arena Melodic Rock genre famous.
I hear a clear Pride Of Lions influence on tracks such as "Lost My Way (With You)", some rocking Chicago in "When Heroes Fall" and TOTO in the rhythmic "The Blind Man".
For the ballads, "Confession" has a very classic craft, and "Lie To Me" - where Marcus duets with Scandinavian female singer ‎Anne Lätt Nyboe - reminds you those lovable eighties soundtracks.
"I Believe In You" is a great Scandi Melodic Rock tune with lots of keyboards and very good chorus / harmonic vocals. Also love the way Marcus Nygren emphasizes his leads, the guy has the pipes for sure.
As last track we have the Survivor-like (circa 1986) uptempo AOR of "Adrian", a lovable tune dedicated to Adrianna 'Adrian' Balboa, the character who plays Rocky's spouse in the legendary movie.

State Of Salazar plays the kind of melodic, Arena Rock / AOR we love: the '80s style. "Lost My Way" is an indie recording made with passion and love for the classic era of the genre.
The hooks, the melodies, the choruses are here, delivered with energy by these accomplished musicians. A special note goes to singer Marcus Nygren who owns a tuneful register in the vein of Toby Hitchcock (Pride Of Lions).
I only hope these guys continue working for a next CD, as considering the quality material exposed here, in the hands of a renowned producer and with a big budget they could be the next stars in the Melodic Rock AOR field.
Highly Recommended.

You've seen it first here, at zerodayrockz

01 - When Heroes Fall

02 - The Blind Man

03 - Confession

04 - Lost My Way With You

05 - I Believe In You

06 - Lie To Me (feat. Anne Latt Nyboe)

07 - Adrian

Marcus Nygren - Vocals
Johan Thuresson - Gitars
Stefan Mårtenson - Keyboards
Johannes Hansson - Bass
Kristian Brun - Drums



IAN GILLAN & TONY IOMMI - Who Cares 2CD (2012)

IAN GILLAN & TONY IOMMI - Who Cares 2CD (2012


Deep Purple's IAN GILLAN and Black Sabbath's TONY IOMMI took everybody by surprise in 2011 by releasing a the 2-track single under the WHOCARES moniker.

For the occasion, the two rock legends called a few friends and were soon joined by Jon Lord (Deep Purple) on keyboards, Jason Newsted (ex Metallica) on bass and Nicko McBrain (ex Iron Maiden) behind the drum kit.

Not only jamming together for the sheer fun of things, this new project has united for a cause — rebuilding and helping the music school in Gyumari, Armenia. The single was a joyful and inspired moment.

Gillan & Iommi have now decided to make "WhoCares" an album for their devoted fans. Classic songs, a lot of rarities and unreleased material in two CDs of fantastic rare music.

Among the tracks are the two original WhoCares songs; Deep Purple's unreleased studio jam "Dick Pimple" and a song from Repo Depo (a band Ian Gillan formed before the Deep Purple reunion which never released any material)

We also find two previously unreleased songs from Tony Iommi featuring Glenn Hughes; obscure collaborations, B-sides lost on seven-inch vinyl and exclusive live versions recorded on radio.

The sound quality is outstanding, specially considering that these are mostly unreleased material or have not received previously a digital treatment.

"WhoCares 2CD" is much more than a compilation or a cash-in anthology, this is a real collector's item and a must have for every Ian Gillan, Tony Iommi, Purple, Sabbath - in short; Rock music fan.

CD 1 :

01. WhoCares - Out Of My Mind (first time on an album) Featuring Jon Lord, Linde Lindström (HIM), Jason Newsted (Metallica), Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden)

02. Black Sabbath - Zero The Hero

03. Ian Gillan feat. Iommi, Ian Paice & Roger Glover - Trashed

04. M. Rakintzis feat. Ian Gillan - Get Away (first release on a Gillan album, only released in Greece before)

05. Tony Iommi feat. Glenn Hughes - Slip Away (Rare Track first time on CD)

06. Gillan - Don’t Hold Me Back

07. Ian Gillan - She Thinks It’s A Crime (Limited 7" vinyl B-Side, First Time on CD)

08. Repo Depo feat. Ian Gillan - Easy Come, Easy Go (previously unreleased)

09. Deep Purple feat. Ronnie J. Dio - Smoke On The Water" (live with the Royal Philarmonic Orchestra)

CD 2 :

01. WhoCares - Holy Water (first time on an album) Featuring Jon Lord, Linde Lindström (HIM), Jason Newsted (Metallica), Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden)

02. Black Sabbath - Anno Mundi

03. Tony Iommi feat. Glenn Hughes - Let it Down Easy (Rare Track first time on CD)

04. Ian Gillan - Hole in My Vest (7" vinyl single B-side, first time on CD)

05. Gillan & Glover feat. Dr. John - Can’t Believe You Wanna Leave Me

06. Ian Gillan & The Javelins - Can I Get A Witness (old recording)

07. Garth Rockett & The Moonshiners aka IG - No Laughing in Heaven (Rare Track)

08. Ian Gillan - When A Blind Man Cries (Live at Absolute Radio, previously unreleased)

09. Deep Purple - Dick Pimple (Previously Unreleased Studio Jam)



PRAYING MANTIS - Time Tells No Lies [Rock Candy] (2012)

PRAYING MANTIS - Time Tells No Lies [Rock Candy] (2012)


Formed by brothers Tino and Chris Troy, PRAYING MANTIS developed a reputation for delivering thinking man’s metal.
Indeed, they had the musical chops to rival and, at times, outshine the competition by utilising twin lead guitar, ambitious arrangements and multilayered harmonies; their songs were melodic yet intricately arranged and packed a powerful punch.

"Time Tells No Lies", produced by Time Friese Green (Touch), engineered by Mike Shipley (Def Leppard) and housed in a stunning Rodney Matthews designed sleeve, was originally issued in 1980, and attracted highbrow praise positioning them as a band to definitely watch out for.
Sure, in the end they didn’t quite reach the peak of popularity attained by Maiden or Leppard, but their presence on the scene was not without significance and "Time Tells No Lies" remains a gleaming testament to their talent.
“Cheated” is a hard rocker that opens the album with a bang while “All Day and All of the Night,” a remake of the Kinks classic, keeps the energy going.
The more progressive songs ala “Running for Tomorrow” and “Lovers to the Grave” show what made this band special.

Rock Candy records is releasing the album for the first time officially on CD in Europe with their usual 24-bit remastering from original source tapes, five bonus tracks, 3,500 word essay about the making of the album, band involvement and additional photos spread out over a 16 page full colour booklet.

It’s great to see this much ignored tome (way ahead of their time) by Praying Mantis get to bask in the limelight once again, in my opinion, one of the precursor bands of the Melodic Hard Rock genre.

01 - Cheated

02 - All Day And All Of The Night

03 - Running For Tomorrow

04 - Rich City Kids

05 - Lovers To The Grave

06 - Panic In The Streets

07 - Beads Of Ebony

08 - Flirting With Suicide

09 - Children Of The Earth

10 - Praying Mantis (bonus track)

11 - High Roller (bonus track)

12 - Thirty Pieces Of Silver (bonus track)

13 - Flirting With Suicide [Live] (bonus track)

14 - Panic In The Streets [Live] (bonus track)

Tino Troy - guitar, vocals

Steve Carroll - guitar, vocals

Chris Troy - bass, vocals

Dave Potts - drums



Wednesday, July 18, 2012

RIVERSEA - Out Of An Ancient World (2012)

RIVERSEA - Out Of An Ancient World (2012)

thanx to Progmeister


"Out Of An Ancient World" is the debut album from RIVERSEA, a joint project between Nine Stones Close bandmates Brendan Eyre and Marc Atkinson.

Joined by a team of seasoned musicians from the Prog sphere (including excellent Sad Cafe guitarist Ashley Mulford) they have crafted an album with a (mostly Prog) music that has to be some of the most beautiful you have heard in a long time.

Marc's velvety vocals and Brendan's amazing compositions are without doubt the key to the albums success. The atmosphere created on many of the songs is the result of allowing space, depth and breadth in the soundstage.

This is not an album for lovers of their prog replete with keyboard and guitar excursions and twenty five minute operettas. Instead Riversea have created something rich in sophistication which will appeal to both traditional Prog fans and lovers of more traditional forms of rock.

Production is first class and the opening gambit “In The Beginning” sets the scene for what is a musical journey packed to the gunnels with emotion, excitement and finesse. Brendan Eyre’s powerful and rock steady keyboards drift into Marc Atkinson’s lilting voice before thundering into a powerful statement aided and abated by Nine Stones Close axe-man Adrian Jones.

Indeed Riversea seem to have a guitarist for every occasion, “The Song” enlists the skills of Mark Rowen who lends a sweet yet treated inflection into this hope filled piece. The track is brought to a crescendo by the amazing vocal talents of Olivia Sparnenn who finishes things off rather nicely.

On “Is That What God Wants?” I find it amazing how Marc’s voice trips from the sweet lilting balladeer to the all-out rock singer in the space of a few bars reminding me very much of Chris Thompson. This really is an amazing piece of music which is a credit to the keyboard abilities of Brendan Eyre and the writing talents of his band mate. To finish of such a tsunami of a song Adam Dawson nailed the concluding guitar solo to the wall. Absolutely breathtaking tune.

“Halo” is yet another song that forces the listener to reflect. From the beautiful tranquillity of the opening and closing piano through the massive orchestration to Bryan Josh’s wicked comfortably numb guitar lick this is yet another diamond in a crown of aural jewels.

However, if it’s a bit of good honest prog with its associated drama then look no further than “The Fallen”. This really is a balls to the wall rejection of complacency with an injection of true grit. The Mellotron and strong guitar are brutally beaten into submission by Alex Cromarty’s deft of hand with the drum sticks.

Scale is something that Riversea seem to major on and a perfect example of this is “Eden”. A massive and apocalyptic message is delivered in a civilised way and yet again Marc’s finely penned words really prompt the listener into deep thought and although very bleak paints a huge picture.

To lighten things up a little with some heft and imagination is gritty “Still Home”. Adrian Jones guitar adds just the right amount of bite and darkness to Brendan Eyre’s crisp keyboard textures. A short reprise of this song later in the album featuring Tony Patterson (John Hackett band/re-Genesis) and the eerie backing vocals really makes this a ghost-like tale.

One of my favorites songs should be “Falling Stars”. It lures the listening into thinking it is going to be a lilting ballad with soft and almost pleading vocals accompanied by piano until fifty seconds in it turns a bit more sinister. For those of you with large speakers I would suggest you proceed with caution. There are some very deep frequencies on this track, so much so it may actually fragment kidney stones. Adrian Jones’s nightmare guitar and a mean synth solo make this a compelling listen.

Allowing the dust to settle for a while the fore mentioned ballad happens along in the rather beautiful “Wiser”. Ashley Mulford (Sad Cafe, Mandala Band) adds impetus to this lilting and sad song. Ashley’s passionate blues licks are simply stunning and Brendan Eyre’s organ playing reminded me of Camel.

To conclude the album is of course the all-important title track and it is no disappointment. The now tried and tested formula of tranquil beginnings to the songs and finishing grand, utilises fully every weapon available in Riversea’s arsenal. Mark Rowen yet again blinding the listener with another great guitar contribution this time joined by Mostly Autumn’s Liam Davison.

This CD is pearl, beautifully hand-crafted by the talents of Riversea's core force Brendan Eyre and Marc Atkinson.

Though credit must be given to its many contributors, it is the quality of the writing and composition that puts “Out Of An Ancient World” head and shoulders above some of the present wave of self-purporting progressive artistes.

There is something for most people on this album, whether you are a traditional Prog lover or just enjoy quality rock.

Buy with confidence but don't leave it too late though because I have a feeling this album will sell out pretty quick once it gets some air play, as only is available at Riversea's website.


01 - In the Beginning

02 - The Song

03 - If That What God Wants

04 - Halo

05 - The Fallen

06 - Eden

07 - Still Home

08 - Falling Stars

09 - Wiser

10 - Freeze The Frame

11 - Still Home (Reprise)

12 - Out of an Ancient World

Marc Atkinson - vocals, acoustic guitar

Brendan Eyre - piano, synths

Alex Cromarty (The Heather Findlay Band) - drums

Dave Clements - bass

Tony Patterson (Regenesis, So Gabriel) - flute

Bryan Josh, Liam Davison (Mostly Autumn) - guitars

Paul Cusick, Adrian Jones (Nine Stones Close) - guitars

Mark Rowen (ex Breathing Space) - guitars

Adam Dawson (Stolen Earth) - guitars

Ashley Mulford (Sad Cafe, Mandalaband) - guitars

Olivia Sparnenn, Janine Atkinson, Benn and Louise Dawson - backing vocals



GINO VANNELLI - Still Hurts To Be In Love (2012)

GINO VANELLI - Still Hurts To Be In Love (2012)


One of the most talented musicians in the last fourteen years, GINO VANNELLI is nothing short of a genius.
He has played with the greats and cemented an impressive solo career covering many styles, all with class and finesse. Most of his work has given Vannelli a place in the hearts of all Westcoast / AOR / AC fans.

On this “Still Hurts To Be In Love” Gino has re-recorded 13 songs from his long career. You get stuff all the way from his early days in the mid-'70s and onwards.
This is an excellent re-arrangement of his favorite songs; Gino doing what he does best. I truly enjoy many of Mr. V's later work, but here is something about the songs of his youth; the passion of his youth.
He's returned to these compositions with a new respect and the wisdom of a man who has honed the instrument of his voice. Props to his talented musicians and back-up artists, but as always Gino and his vocal passion are the star of the show.

I did not think "Brother To Brother" or "I Just Wanna Stop" could be done any better, but I was wrong, they are beyond wonderful here.
"Crazy Life" is better than the re-recorded version on 'Live in Montreal' and not nearly long enough. I just wanted him to sing it on and on and on. It is a spectacular lead-in to the '80s classic "Black Cars".
Talking about "Black Cars", you'll be surprised by this new version, in fact, seems a completely new song. I just love, love, love, this arrangement. The musicianship is terrific and Gino's vocal talents are front and center.
On the other hand, "Wild Horses" (another true classic) is quite faithful to the original with the addition of some vintage keyboards and horns.
All tracks are just marvelous, but the last one "Put The Weight On My Shoulders" is breathtaking. It is a vocal masterpiece, dripping with emotion without any pretense or fabrication. Pure genius.

“Still Hurts To Be In Love” is not another cash-in album of re-recorded old hits. This is an absolute delight.
Recorded at his 59, Gino Vannelli must be one of the best singers around. His voice has never been better, and the musicians are equally great. Production is awesome, deep, organic and clear like a polished diamond.
If you are new to Gino, make this your first CD. If you are already a fan and you think you already have these songs, think again. These are new arrangements and the performances are incredible.
Westcoast / AOR / Classic Rock fans, you were advised: This is Very Gooood.

01 - People Gotta Move
02 - Wild Horses
03 - Hurts To Be In Love
04 - Brother To Brother
05 - I Just Wanna Stop
06 - Crazy Life
07 - Black Cars
08 - Living Inside Myself
09 - Venus Envy
10 - Wheels Of Life
11 - Just A Motion Away
12 - The Surest Things Can Change
13 - Put The Weight On My Shoulders

Gino Vannelli: Vocals, Keyboards
Allen Hinds: Guitars
Sandin Wilson: Bass
Greg Goebel, Randy Porter: Keyboards
Tim Wilcox, Patrick Lamb, Paul Mazzio: Horns
Reinhardt Melz: Drums
Sean Homes, Ed Conard, Leisa Heart: Background Vocals



MOTLEY CRUE - Sex (2012)

MOTLEY CRUE - Sex (2012)

the real iTunes version


Earlier in the year, MÖTLEY CRÜE entered drummer Tommy Lee's studio called The Atrium in Calabasas, California to begin recording a new song, "Sex", that will be released to coincide with the band's upcoming summer co-headlining tour with Kiss.

Written when the band was together during their residency in Las Vegas last February, "Sex" is the first studio track from the Crue since their June 2008 release of 'Saints Of Los Angeles'.

The single sound to something off 'Too Fast for Love', Mötley Crüe's seminal 1981 debut album. "Sex" has a retro Crüe kind of vibe in the riff, there's some cool analog synths as well, but the beat is really funky and modern.

So I guess you can say that it has a retro yet modern sound.

Sex (3:40)

Vince Neil - Vocals

Nikki Sixx - Bass, Synths

Mick Mars - Guitars

Tommy Lee - Drums



DIO - Sacred Heart [Deluxe Edition 2CD] (2012)

DIO - Sacred Heart [Deluxe Edition 2CD] (2012)


"Sacred Heart", the third DIO album as solo artist released in 1985, was a massive seller spawning a couple of hit singles.

In this recording Ronnie James opted for a slicker, commercial production with the keyboards more prominent and the AOR flavour turned up a few notches.

Although I love the first two albums, due the aforementioned orientation "Sacred Heart" is my favorite of the trilogy.

As part of the reissue of Dio's entire catalog, "Sacred Heart" is presented in a "Deluxe Edition" fully remastered and with an extra CD.

On the 2nd disc you get a bumper pack of bonus tracks featuring the excellent studio track "Hide In The Rainbow" which was featured in the soundtrack to the film 'Iron Eagle'. There are the usual live B-sides to the singles, with "We Rock", "The Last In Line" and "Like The Beat Of A Heart".

But what I really enjoy here is the inclussion of the entire mini-LP "Intermission", one of my favorite live discs of the '80s.

Recorded at The Sports Arena in San Diego, Dec. 6, 1985, features guitarist Vivian Campbell just prior to his departure, on a selection of tracks from the first three Dio albums, with Rainbow's 'Long Live Rock'n'Roll' and 'Man On The Silver Mountain' as part of a medley.

There's also the studio track "Time To Burn" included to introduce Campbell's replacement Craig Goldy, who finished the 'Sacred Heart' tour with the band.

"Sacred Heart - Deluxe Edition" is a must have not only for DIO / Sabbath fans, also for any '80s self-respecting rocker.

Great sound, great package including all original artwork, and great price.

CD 1:

01 - King of Rock and Roll

02 - Sacred Heart

03 - Another Lie

04 - Rock 'N' Roll Children

05 - Hungry for Heaven

06 - Like the Beat of a Heart

07 - Just Another Day

08 - Fallen Angels

09 - Shoot Shoot

CD 2:

01 - Hide In The Rainbow (The DIO EP - Iron Eagle OST)

02 - We Rock (Live B-Side Rock N Roll Children Single)

03 - Last in Line (B-Side Rock N Roll Children Single)

04 - Like the Beat of a Heart (B-Side Hungry For Heaven Single)

Intermission (Live At The Sports Arena in San Diego, Dec. 6, 1985);

05 - King of Rock and Roll

06 - Rainbow in the Dark

07 - Sacred Heart

08 - Time to Burn (studio track feat. Craig Goldy)

09 - R'N'R Children / Long Live R'N'R / Man on the Silver Mountain

10 - We Rock



CLAUDE WEISBERG - Here I Am (2012)

CLAUDE WEISBERG - Here I Am (2012)

* fixed

CLAUDE WEISBERG was born in Genoa, Italy in 1966. In his young years he performed as sessionist for many local artists until 1995 when filled the lead vocal slot in Wings Of Destiny.

After that, Claude sung in the progressive rock group Glamis, but left in '99 to start his solo career with a project called 'Different World', a recording showing the love for his favourite music and artists as Toto, Marillion and David Foster.

After a 12-year hiatus playing for other acts and composing own music, Weisberg entered in the studio to record songs for his new EP "Here I am".

Recorded and mixed at Sherwood Forest by Andrea Vassalini, the EP contains four songs in perfect style between TOTO, Gino Vannelli, Richard Page and many other AOR acts.

The list of the stellar musicians arranging and performing here is truly impressive; Herman Furin (Work Of Art), Charlie Giardina (Flamedown), Henrik Linder (Dirty Loops), AOR gurus Robbie Buchanan & Taylor Mesple, Jean Michel Byron (ex- Toto) and the mighty Michael Thompson on guitars among many others.

Check the video-track posted below to taste the quality AOR delivered here.

There's plans for a full length CD soon, meanwhile, AOR / Westcoast lovers, enjoy this fine slice of superbly crafted music.

Highly Recommended.

You've seen it first here, at zerodayrockz

01 - Here I Am

02 - You're The Sun

03 - Men Without Souls

04 - Angels

Claude Weisberg: Vocals

Michael Thompson: Lead & Rhythm Guitars

Robbie Buchanan: Electric Piano

Jean Michel Byron (ex- Toto): Vocals

Henrik Linder (Dirty Loops): Bass

Charlie Giardina (Flamedown): Bass, Vocals

Herman Furin (Work Of Art): Drums

Taylor Mesple: Vocals

Adriano Arena: Guitar

Luca Canepa: Guitar

Maurizio Antognoli (Aelian): Keyboards, Vocals

Magnus Midelf (Wiseguys Sweden): Guitar, Vocals

Marco Carbone (A-Live AOR): Vocals

Robert Ingebretsen: Keyboards



DAVID READMAN - David Readman (2012)

DAVID READMAN - David Readman (2012)


At this point seems unnecessary to tell you who is DAVID READMAN.

Singer and driving force for Pink Cream 69, not only has been part as well of such acts as Place Vendome, Voodoo Circle or Adagio, the man has also become one of the most requested producers in the Melodic Hard Rock genre.

In 2007 Readman unleashed his first solo album on Frontiers Rec., and now has decided to re-release it by himself including two previously unreleased tracks as bonuses.

Readman got help of an impressive list of musicians, including PC 69 bandmates Dennis Ward handling production and guitarist Uwe Reitenauer. Joining them are Paul Logue (Eden's Curse, Cry Havoc), Eric Ragno (Talon, Takara) plus members of Silent Force, Elegy, Vanden Plas and Melodic Rock guru Tommy Denander.

This is a powerful Melodic Hard Rock album with several AOR touches, plenty of catchy hooks and melodies. Opener "Without You" gives you a clear idea of what to expect here: killer riffs and monster choruses in the best European tradition.

All the following tracks are good and intense, being my favorites the awesome "Evil Combination", the late '80s Whitesnake influenced "Wild In The City" (Readman vocals sound as Coverdale many times on this recording), the AORish "Don't Let It Slip Away" and the great ballad "Love In Vain".

David has added to this reissue two tracks; the original versions of "Evil Combination" and "No Peace For The Wicked", both pretty different in arrangements and sound, much closer in style to Pink Cream 69.

David Readman has crafted here an album tailor made for all the fans of classy Melodic Hard Rock.

Fourteen mighty melodious and still very hard rockin' songs with top class songwriting, catchy choruses and flashy guitar work.

Everything is superbly put together with a killer vocal delivery and stellar musicianship by all the personnel involved. Production is huge, with a crystal clear sound as you'd expect from Dennis Ward.

Easily Recommended.

01 - Without You

02 - Evil Combination

03 - Take These Tears

04 - Don't Let It Slip Away

05 - No Peace For The Wicked

06 - Long Way To Heaven

07 - Wild In The City

08 - Gentle Touch

09 - Prisoner Of Shame

10 - New Messiah

11 - Over The Ocean

12 - Love In Vain

13 - Evil Combination (2007 Original version) [bonus]

14 - No Peace For The Wicked (2007 Original version) [bonus]

David Readman: Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards

Paul Logue: Bass

Dirk Bruinenberg: Drums

Chris Schmidt Drums

Eric Ragno: Keyboards

Günter Werno: Keyboards

Alex Beyrodt: Guitars

Gerald Sänger: Guitars

Uwe Reitenauer: Guitars

Tommy Denander: Guitars



FAITH CIRCUS - Faith Circus Re-Mixed (2012)

FAITH CIRCUS - Faith Circus Re-Mixed (2012)


FAITH CIRCUS is a Norwegian Melodic Hard Rock act who released their very good debut in 2008 through Kivel Records.

The label did little to promote the album which criminally passed unnoticed for the public. Besides, the band was not happy with the mix & mastering. Then they negotiated the contract and set them free.

Faith Circus decided to release by themselves their version of "Faith Circus", not only re-mixed and re-packaged, but also including two new tracks as bonuses, one of them a duet with the amazing Robin Beck!

You'd expect a band as polished as Faith Circus and playing this kind of Melodic Hard Rock to come from Sweden, but instead, Faith Circus is a Norwegian band that draws on the influences from classic Euro acts but also big names from America.

Being a Norwegian band has its perks, because two of the guest musicians on the release are none other than Morty Black and Tony Harnell, both of Norway's greatest rock band TNT. Drummer Steinar Krokstad from the should-be legendary Stage Dolls also guests on the CD, along with a few others.

I own the original 2008 release, and this re-mix and new tracklist truly launches this terrific collection of songs to a new level.

Now, one of the best songs of the CD is placed as opener; "Temporary High" is a true ass kicker rocker that rolls with an American vibe. Lyrically, the song is strong as well, with sentiments like, "Do you want my love, or some temporary high?"

Next, we have another winner. "Back On Love" starts with the chorus sung a capella. While seemingly a straight ahead rocker, you'll hear keyboard fills and Def Leppard-like guitar leads interspersed throughout the track, making it more complicated than a cursory listen will detail. After the guitar solo, singer Marc Ferrano displays his warm and solid singing style, and in many ways, he sounds like Jamie Rowe, which is a massive compliment. While probably the best song on the CD, some of the others come pretty damn close …

After these two uptempo tracks, Faith Circus proves they can flow into the mellower vein with ease, as you'll hear on "Half The Man." Not quite a ballad, but more of a mid-tempo AOR rocker, this is a song about loss and dealing with being bereft after your love leaves. As noted before, the adjective 'polished' is a great way to define Faith Circus, and you'll hear it here.

Next, "Alive & Kickin´" ups the tempo again with a great rhythm, followed by the extremely melodious "Without Me" which reminds you their countryman Stage Dolls. This is the kind of tunes that sticks in your head after a couple of listens.

"Hold On" is a jumpin', sort of quirky composition, beginning with a bass line from Lasse Koester, with guest keyboardist Dag Stokke (TNT, Vagabond) adding streams of melody to the overall feel. Guitarist Marius Morch doesn't show off but plays within the parameters of the song, his solo superbly melodic and fluid. Singer Ferrano seems to be the focal point of the band with his masculine yet flexible vocals stealing the spotlight most of the time, as happens on this brilliant track.

The band decides to wax poetic and philosophical on "Pushing Up Daisies". Thematically, it's about living in the now and not taking yourself so seriously.

Or, as they put it, "And all the bullshit that might seem so important now, won't compare to pushing up daisies. I'm talking about the beauty of simplicity." So take advice from Faith Circus and get rid of the convoluted aspects and the complexities of your life … or just groove to this song, a driving melodic hard rocker.

The CD is reaching its end with "Wasted Rainbow", which starts with noises of children playing and soft keyboards. The song is again contemplative and experiments with musical nuances and flow. You may be reminded of Winger on this track, another band that put musicianship before looks. A really good one.

The first of the new tracks is "Heroes", an Americanized anthem filled with layers of harmonic vocals everywhere, and musically it has a killer groove.

"For Your Eyes Only" is a little gem of a song. This is a cover of the 1981 classic tune featured in a James Bond movie. This version has been arranged in a Melodic Rock semi-ballad style, performed in duet with the always outstanding Robin Beck. You will be thrilled by the quality of this track, one of the highlights without a doubt.

Surely "Faith Circus" has slipped under the radar of most Melodic Hard Rock fans in its original release back in 2008.

Don't miss it now, this is a superb album full of amazing melodies and hooks. This re-mix now makes justice to these terrific songs delivered with pure passion for the genre.

The band presented the CD the last Christmas eve, and now is available in hard copies and as digital download.

Highly Recommended.

You've seen it first here, at zerodayrockz

01 - Temporary High (Re-Mix)

02 - Back On Love (Re-Mix)

03 - Tried 'n True (Re-Mix)

04 - Half The Man (Re-Mix)

05 - Alive & Kickin' (Re-Mix)

06 - Without Me (Re-Mix)

07 - Can You Feel It (Re-Mix)

08 - Rain On You (Re-Mix)

09 - Hold On (Re-Mix)

10 - Pushing Up Daisies (Re-Mix)

11 - Wasted Rainbow (Re-Mix)

12 - Heroes (New track)

13 - For Your Eyes Only [duet with Robin Beck] (New track)

Marc Farrano - vocals

Marius Morch - guitars

Lasse Koester - bass

Baard Nordvik - drums

Additional musicians;

Morty Black (TNT, Jorn Lande) - bass

Steinar Krokstad (Stage Dolls, Vagabond) - drums

Dag Stokke (TNT, Vagabond) - keyboards

Tore Moren (Jorn Lande, Rain) - guitar

Steinar Hagen (Return) - guitar

Tony Harnell (TNT, Westworld) - background vocals

Robin Beck - vocal duet



THE GLORIA STORY - Out Of The Shade EP (2012)

THE GLORIA STORY - Out Of The Shade EP (2012)


After a busy 2011 for the band, only a year has past since the Sweds THE GLORIA STORY released their stupendous debut 'Shades Of White', and they strike again with an EP album just to keep us warm.

“Out Of The Shade” includes three new tracks plus a remix of the bands first platinum hit single "Oh! No".

The Gloria Story debut became an instant hit in Scandinavia, with raving reviews worldwide.

This new EP reveals a more straight old school approach than the polished and glossy heard previously. Producer Anders 'Boba Fett' Lindström (Hellacopters) has provided a more hot and in your face sound this time.

The opening track "Adore" and follower "Tennis Is Nice" manifests quite well what the band is about, namely humor and glamour analog '70s classic hard rock.

Really fun is "Tennis Is Nice" intro featuring a sample of John McEnroe's angry voice recorded during The Stockholm Tennis Open in the seventies, screaming "Answer my question! The question, jerk!"

Third track is a new, dirtier version of the successful single "Oh! No" from the debut CD. This is a feel good and catchy tune, now even more rocking.

And for the end we have a real surprise. "Lacie Heart" is a very delicate creature which consists entirely of vocals and keyboards, and it is indeed something extraordinary for this band.

The sound is reverberated and retro, with upfront vocals and some kind of vintage organ / synths creating a fantastic atmosphere. This track alone worth the EP.

"Out Of The Shade EP" was released on CD only in Sweden, but now you can catch a digital version worldwide.

For starters, The Gloria Story is mainly focusing on the analogue '70s classic sounds but it also efficiently looks one eye at today's radio-huntin' rock standards.

What we have here is a celebration of the positive energy and vibe that the seventies brought to (Hard) Rock music. Take some of the first mark of Kiss, add the poetic colors of Thin Lizzy, don't forget to pour a little bit of T-Rex, Ramones or Blue Oyster Cult and you easily get what The Gloria Story really stand for.

Their music has a clear personality and the attitude of the band is 100% fitting the songs’ needs. It's impressive how some bands can offer you something that's already been played millions of times before and still portray it in their own signature.

This is the kind of EP's that puts a big smile on your face, as it's a short, effective and an extremely fun rockin' moment.


You've seen it first here, at zerodayrockz

THE GLORIA STORY - Out Of The Shade EP (2012) back cover

Joan “Kid” Sallrot - Lead Guitar, Lead & Backing Vocals

Filip Rapp - Lead & Backing Vocals, Guitar, Percussion

Carl Ahlander - Guitar

Joakim Stahl, Fredrik Axelsson - Bass

Henrik Siberg - Drums & Percussion



BAD MEMORIES - Forced To Be A Stranger (2012)

BAD MEMORIES - Forced To Be A Stranger (2012)


Hailing from Pisa, Italy, the quintet BAD MEMORIES has been active since 2006, and after a few line-up adjustments they land with their first full length CD "Forced To Be A Stranger", released by American label Perris.
Bad Memories is clearly inspired by late '80s rockin' AOR from both sides of the Atlantic ocean. I heard a previous demo from the band where alongside original material they covered Robert Tepper and Toto songs.

So this gives you an idea of the musical direction in "Forced To Be A Stranger".
After the nice orchestrated "Intro", "Tears Of Anger" starts with synths and guitars in fuller sound, developing an intense riff and a catchy refrain.
"Never Too Hard" is British oriented ala Strangeways, same with the rocking "Shadow In This Life" which features a very good guitars / keys interplay.

In my opinion, the most complete track on the CD is "Our Love Is Dead", where the chorus is really cool complemented by fine ivory.
An album in this style needs ballads, and this department is well rounded with the Euro sounding "Memories" and the semi-acoustic "Crossroads".
The semi-midtempo American influenced title track "Forced to Be a Stranger" has some bluesy scent, while "Shooting Star" wraps the album in a good late '80s AOR vein, even though the guitar solo is quite weak.

"Forced To Be A Stranger" comprises all the ingredients of our beloved late eighties rocking AOR / melodic rock watering several influences from America and Europe.
The result is satisfactory for the most part, the guys have studied & learned the golden book of the genre. These songs are well written and arranged, plenty of keyboards, proper guitars and good vocals (with a bit of accent).
What Bad Memories needs to improve is the spark, the brilliance needed in this genre to make explode the tune in the right moment.Correctly produced by Olaf Thorsen (Labyrinth, Vision Divine) and with the good mix of Alex Lucatti (Vision Divine), "Forced To Be A Stranger" is an enjoyable recording from a band to keep an eye on in the future.

01 - Intro

02 - Tears Of Anger

03 - Never Too Hard

04 - Memories

05 - Reach The High

06 - Crossroads

07 - Our Love Is Dead

08 - Forced to Be a Stranger

09 - Shadow in This Life

10 - Signs Of Time

11 - Shooting Star

Francesco Cavalieri - vocals

Enrico Dal Canto - guitars

Andrea Rivello - bass

Federico Meranda - keyboards

Angelo Carmignani - drums



LIBERTY N' JUSTICE - Hell Is Coming To Breakfast (2012)

VANGOUGH - Kingdom Of Ruin (2011)


Justin Murr and his current partners Vic Rivera and JK Northrup have been hard at work for the past couple of years on the next LIBERTY N' JUSTICE album 'The Cigar Chronicles', an ambitious, two-disc project of both new songs and cover tunes.
However, that process has taken much longer than initially planned, and Murr wasn't happy with leaving his fans without new L N' J music for that long.

So many new tracks of the recent recording sessions plus a couple of alternate mixes (including an acoustic version of "Sin" featuring the late Jani Lane) are being released as "Hell Is Coming To Breakfast".
One thing people will likely notice is that the songs here are a bit more aggressive in nature than a lot of Liberty N' Justice previous material, and the production has a bit of a modern feel in several spots.
The songs still hold a melodic quality that fits well with the sound and style of the vocalists that have been chosen for this release, but there is no denying there is an edge not present on the 'Chasing A Cure' album, for example.
This sonic edge does not carry over into the lyrics or the vibe, as these really show off a fun, goofy side of Liberty N' Justice that many people may not have heard before.
With such great track titles as "Nakatomi Plaze" (Die Hard fans rejoice), "Whack A Mole" and "Stretch Armstrong" it should be apparent that L N' J is mining some new territory here, or at least taking a new approach to their delivery.

The album's title track starts things off in the right direction, with a powerful vocal performance by Seann Nichols, formerly known as Sheldon Tarsha of Adler's Appetite. JK Northrup of King Kobra/XYZ handles the guitars here, as he does on several tracks on this album, and there is a nice solo that should keep fans of the melodic L N' J style very happy.
Follow-up "Mad Hatter" continues in this melodic direction with Donnie Vie's unmistakeable vocals shining on top of Northrup's smooth scales.
On "Whack A Mole" we hear the aforementioned aggressivity and much modern sound, but the tune is really catchy and the chorus extremely infectious.
"Thankful Heart" steers things sharply back into the more melodic, more typical Liberty N' Justice sound. Phillip Bardowell shines as usual in the vocal department, adorned with nice keyboards and fine guitars handled by Anthony Gravley. This is a cover of a forgotten Petra track, so expect religious lyrics but with a great message.

"Nakatomi Plaza" may win Best Song Title of the Year awards, and "Stretch Armstrong" isn't far behind. Titles aside, these are two smoking songs, again featuring a slightly more modern sound that really show the power of this record. "Nakatomi" has a definitely a hard rockin' approach with fun lyrics referencing Die Hard movies.
"Stretch Armstrong" continues the more modern, yet still melodic craft and features some killer axe-work from Keri Kelli.

"Get Down" returns to more familiar L N' J territory as far as style goes, and Tony Mills (TNT / Shy) pulls off one of the best vocal performances of the disc. Mark Allen Lanoue of Chasing Karma lays down some really nice lead guitar tracks for this song, with Anthony Gravley handling the rhythm and bass guitars. This is a cover of an Audio Adrenaline song, but I have to say this version is melodic and catchy.
On "Your Memory Just Won't Do", despite the fact that CJ Snare is credited on the track, the Firehouse singer does not handle all the vocal duty here; it's shared with David Cagle, who has worked in L N' J before. An acoustic track featuring guitars by Alex Grossi of Quiet Riot fame.
Ex- Great White Jack Russell is featured on a reworked alternate mix of "Monkey Dance", which originally appeared a few years ago on the Independence Day album.

Another re-worked ald song is "What Do You Believe", which has different chorus and rhythm and the very good vocals of Mike Ledesma from Far Cry. In all reality, it is almost like two different songs with the lyrical and vocalist changes, and both tracks stands up well here.
Closing track is an acoustic version of "Sin" with the late Jani Lane. Anyone who has heard the electric version of this song knows how well it is written. However, when the electricity and distortion is stripped away, and Jani Lane's vocals are given the full, haunting range of emotion that he poured into this track, it truly becomes something both breathtakingly beautiful and achingly sad to listen to at the same time.

Overall, "Hell Is Coming To Breakfast" may be a tad bit disjointed due to the various styles that are employed here, but that is part of its charm.
The songs are good and well crafted, from melodious tunes to edgy rockers including calmer ballads. We have fine performances by all the artists involved and production is good, even in the couple demo versions.
A gift to the melodic hard rock fans who have been patiently waiting for new Liberty N' Justice material until the 'Cigar Chronicles' comes out.
Good Stuff.

01. Hell Is Coming To Breakfast
Seann Nichols (Adler's Appetite/Tarsha), JK Northrup (King Kobra/XYZ)

02. Madhatter
Donnie Vie (Enuff Z'Nuff), JK Northrup (King Kobra/XYZ), Chris Dickens (Mission Of One), Tommy Denander

03. Whack A Mole
Johnny Lima, JK Northrup (King Kobra/XYZ), Jerry Johnson (Saint), Richard Lynch (Saint)

04. Thankful Heart
Phillip Bardowell (Magdallan/Unruly Child), Lynn Louise Lowrey (Vixen/Testify), Anthony Gravely

05. Nakatomi Plaza
JK Northrup (King Kobra/XYZ), Greg Bishop (X-Sinner), Scott Weisenborn (Testify)

06. Stretch Armstrong
Louis St. August (Mass), JK Northrup (King Kobra/XYZ), Keri Kelli (Alice Cooper/Ratt/LA Guns)

07. Get Down
Tony Mills (TNT / Shy), Mark Allen Lanoue (Chasing Karma/Biloxi), Anthony Gravley

08. Your Memory Just Won't Do
CJ Snare (Firehouse), Alex Grossi (Quiet Riot), David Cagle

09. Thy Will Be Done [demo version]
Jamie Rowe (Guardian/Crunch)

10. What Do You Believe?
Mike Ledesma (Far Cry), Vic Rivera (Crunch)

11. Monkey Dance [Alternate Mix]
Jack Russell (Great White)

12. Sin (Acoustic Version)
Jani Lane (Warrant)

Tony Mills (TNT / SHY)
Seann Nicols (Adler's Appetite/ Tarsha)
JK Northrup (King Kobra / XYZ)
Donnie Vie (Enuff Z'Nuff)
Chris Dickens (Mission Of One)
Tommy Denander
Jerry Johnson, Richard Lynch (Saint)
Philip Bardowell (Magdalen / Unruly Child)
Lynn Louise Lowrey (Vixen / Testify)
Greg Bishop (X-Sinner)
Scott Wisenborn (Testify)
Mark Allen Lanoue (Chasing Karma / Biloxi)
Johnny Lima
Louis St August (Mass)
Keri Kelli (Alice Cooper)
Justin Murr: Guitar, Keyboards, Drums



ROADMASTER - Sweet Music [Rock Candy remaster] (2012)

ROADMASTER - Sweet Music [Rock Candy remaster] (2012)


ROADMASTER was unquestionably one of the pillars in the Pomp AOR movement.

The band released five albums - all really good - but their second "Sweet Music" has regarded as arguably the high point of their career.

Certainly, "Sweet Music" is amongst the top Pomp Rock albums of all time, rubbing shoulders with the likes of similar work by Styx, Starcastle, Kansas and Trillion; the epitome of melodic AOR, with a touch of progressive rock thrown in for good measure.

Formed in the comparatively laid back environs of Indianapolis and featuring Steven McNally’s totally unique vocals, Rick Benick’s blazing guitar work and Michael Read’s dazzling keyboard flourishes, "Sweet Music" pushes the Pomp boundaries to the outer limits of the solar system.

We have ten majestic songs here, no fillers, all truly lovable, but if I had to mention favorites; title track "Sweet Music" is one of the finest Pomp tunes ever, and the synth / keyboard-driven festival of "Higher Higher" is to die for.

For many years "Sweet Music" remained officially unreleased on CD, and several bootleg editions floating around.

Finally, the Rock Candy remaster does justice to this much sought after album, with a superb 24-bit remastering from original source tapes.

Highly Recommended.

01 - It Doesn't Mean A Thing

02 - I Must Be Dreaming

03 - Ya Move Me

04 - Been Gone Too Long

05 - I'll Be Lovin' You

06 - The Swan Song

07 - You Come See Me

08 - Higher, Higher

09 - Circle Of Love

10 - Sweet Music

Stephan McNally - vocals

Rick Benick - guitars

Michael Read - keyboards, synthesizers

Toby Myers - bass

Bobby Johns - drums



NUBIAN ROSE - Mountain (2012)

NUBIAN ROSE - Mountain (2012)


In short, NUBIAN ROSE should be the next Swedish sensation.
This awesome new Scandi band has released their debut "Mountain" and surely it will turn heads everywhere.

Actually, Nubian Rose revolves around singer Sofia Lilja as a vehicle for his stardom, but it's fair to say the music in this CD sounds played by a real band, and a damn fine one.
Sofia Lilja is a renowned vocal coach in North Europe, mosty recently recognized for training Swedish TV4-show Idol artists. But this girl is more than a teacher, owner of an incredible register and an overwhelming personality.

And which genre Sofia has chosen for her self-place in the spotlight?
Pure, meaty, awe-inspiring '80s Female Fronted Melodic Hard Rock. I mean pure in all aspects; songwriting, attitude and sonics.
This girl has the pipes and the technique of a young Jackie Bodimead, Kristina Nichols, Gudrun Laos or Lee Aaron, and the fire of a wild rocker.

"Mountain" is the dream come true for thousands of real Female Fronted Hard Rock fans eager for a band and album like this since the early nineties.
One of the most remarkable attributes of this band is the bite, the attack on every song without losing the melodic sense. This is true polished and melodious Hard Rock with a girl at the mic.
Songs full of energy, catchiness, foot-tapping choruses... the twin guitar work is always varied and scintillating, plenty of staccato slashing, all over a smashing rhythm section and clever keyboards when needed.

But the star are Sofia Lilja's vocals. Seriously, this woman is the most brilliant female singer I heard in years. Her vocal range, articulation and general permormance blows out of the water already good singers recently appeared such as Issa, Amanda Sommerville or Elizabeth Lzzy Hale.

A track-by-track is needless this time my fellow readers, all have their own charm evoking late eighties / early nineties magic.
Just to mention the guest stars, the excellent cover of Lita Ford / Ozzy classic "Close My Eyes Forever" is performed in duet with Mats Levén, one of the finest vocals in the hard rock world and former singer of Yngwie Malmsteen’s band, Therion and Swedish Erotica.
And we have former Europe guitarist Kee Marcello who can be heard on the killer hard rocker "Living For Tomorrow".

Nubian Rose's "Mountain" is A Must Have for every Female Fronted Melodic Hard Rock fan, an album with the smell of a future classic.
"Mountain" only was released in Sweden on a digipak CD, not available as digital download. Trust me, worth every penny ordering it as import.

You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox

01 - Ever See Your Face

02 - Mountain

03 - Living For Tomorrow

04 - How Am I

05 - Get Ready

06 - Your Love

07 - Once Bitten

08 - Reckless

09 - Close My Eyes Forever (Lita & Ozzy cover)

10 - Sisters

Sofia Lilja – Vocals
Christer Akerlund – Guitar
Thomas Lindgren – Guitar
Henric Uhrbom – Bass
David Algesten – Drums
Fredrik Akerlund – Keyboards

Kee Marcello – Guitar on 3
Mats Levén – Vocals on 9



SAGA - 20/20 (2012)

SAGA - 20/20 (2012)


In the very beginning 2011 it was officially announced that Michael Sadler had returned as the lead vocalist of SAGA and that there were plans for the recording of a brand-new studio album the same year.

It took much more time, and although this February drummer Brian Doerner (ex Helix) left the band, the good news is that the new album, called “20/20”, is now finally ready for release.

'The Human Condition', the only Saga studio album which featured Rob Moratti on vocals was a very good disc, but it's obvious that Saga wasn't the same band as before.

In light of their silver anniversary, with “20/20” we have classic, original Saga back again and in top-notch form I'd say.

The album title refers to the CD being Saga's 20th, but in addition it's also a good luck wish to keyboardist Jim Gilmour who had to undergo an eye operation during the latest European tour (and 20/20 stands for the perfect eyesight).

Counting 10 brand new tracks, that typical Saga sound and feel is here again from start to finish. All fans of the band will leap for joy with the end result.

Although the whole album is a pleasure listening to, I would mention the ultra-catchy "Anywhere You Wanna Go" and the wonderful ballad "Lost For Words" as the highlights.

Michael Sadler on his return to the band: “One thing that we agreed on, was that if and when I ever were to return, it would have to feel like it was exactly the right thing to do and exactly the right time to do it!”.

“20/20” marks the return of classic Saga with their original core force.

Ian Crichton's razor-sharp guitar riffs, Jim Gilmour's complex keyboard arrangements and Michael Sadler's brilliant voice have always been the signatures of their sound, and "20/20" has it all in abundance.

They are playing to their own strengths and deliver one of their better albums ever. Not in the same league as their first four recordings, but they will forever be unbeatable playing this brand of melodic rock / prog / hard.

The album comes as a standard CD and as a special digipak edition containing a bonus DVD featuring footage of the recording sessions.

Following the new release, the band will tour in Canada, the US, Europe and South America. Don't miss them live, the place where this band really excels.

Meanwhile, enjoy this really good album.

Welcome back Michael.

01 - Six Feet Under

02 - Anywhere You Wanna Go

03 - Ellery

04 - Spin It Again

05 - Another Day Out Of Sight

06 - One Of These Days

07 - Ball And Chain

08 - Lost For Words

09 - Show And Tell

10 - Till The Well Runs Dry

Michael Sadler: vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards

Ian Crichton: guitars

Jim Gilmour: keyboards, vocals, clarinet, harmonica

Jim Crichton: bass, keyboards

Brian Doerner: drums, backing vocals

Mike Thorne: drums



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