Formed by the permanent backing band for Ken Hensley (Uriah Heep), WONDERWORLD are back with their second effort simply titled “II” to be released tomorrow.
The power trio consisting of Italian shouter Roberto Tiranti (Labyrinth) and Norwegians Ken Ingwersen (Street Legal) / Tom Fossheim (Live Fire) surprised two years ago with their self-titled debut plenty of hard rocking melodies, and now after more than 18 months on the road return with a another slice of classic stuff.
The new opus kicks-off with the bluesy straight forward hard rocker "Forever Is A Lie". This is a great track all the way that includes Tiranti's deep and emotional vocals, Ken Ingwersen's brilliant guitar licks and great classy arrangements. Ken's guitar really smokes here (and all over the album).
But wait... the following tracks are even better.
Over "Remember My Words" the band put more groove in a Burning Rain / Doug Aldrich vein, while in "It's Not Over Yet" we are dealing with a terrific ballad plenty of magic with a superb Tiranti vocal performance. A highlight.
With some elements recalling the great first Hardline, "Elements" rocks with an early '90s Melodic Hard Rock vibe and that kind of substance we all love. Another highlight.
The classy moments don't stop here; check out also the amazing "Echo Of My Thoughts" (the suave guitar work is excellent), "Evil In Disguise" brings to mind Hurricane and all their punch, then the epic slow-burner "Memories" delivers deep tones in a Whitesnake / Badlands style.
All really, really superb stuff.
If the first album was an outstanding debut, wait to listen "Wonderworld II". Simply a stunning record from start to finish, no weak tracks in sight.
An album full of great and inspired guitar work, amazing vocal performances thanks to the very talented Roberto Tiranti, great arrangements and, most of all, terrific classic Hard Rock tracks that touch your soul. They don't make records like this anymore.
Fans of Winery Dogs, Whitesnake, Badlands, Ray Gillen, Hurricane and even Mr. Big need to check this record NOW.
01 - Forever Is A Lie
02 - Remember My Words
03 - Elements
04 - It´s Not Over Yet
05 - Echo Of My Thoughts
06 - Evil In Disguise
07 - Return To Life
08 - Memories
09 - In The End
10 - Down The Line
Roberto Tiranti - Vocals, Bass
Ken Ingwersen - Guitars, Backing Vocals
Tom Arne Fossheim - Drums
Monday, February 29, 2016
Without a doubt, Swedes ECLIPSE are one of the most spectacular Melodic Hard Rock acts appeared in the last twenty-five years. Frontiers Music Srl is pleased to announce the release of an expanded, Deluxe Edition of Eclipse’s hit album “Armageddonize” in conjunction with the band’s appearance at Melodifestivalen in Sweden
“Armageddonize (Deluxe Edition)” will has been released yesterday only in Sweden, March 15th in the rest of Europe and April 18th in North America.
The new and expanded edition in 2CD glossy digipak (first pressing only) includes the brand new song “Runaways”, composed by Eclipse exclusively for their Melodifestivalen appearance at the Gavlerinken Arena in Gävle, Sweden two days ago.
Besides the new song "Runaways", the album also includes a bonus CD featuring the first Eclipse record ever, the two tracks "Come Hell Or High Water" & "Into The Fire" only appeared as B-sides on the 'Bleed and Scream' CD single for Sweden Rock Magazine, plus 3 acoustic versions only been released in Japan to date.
“Armageddonize (Deluxe Edition)” is a must, a mandatory addition to any Melodic Hard Rock collection.
1. I Don't Wanna Say I'm Sorry
2. Stand On Your Feet
3. Runaways (New Track 2016)*
4. The Storm
5. Blood Enemies
6. Wide Open
7. Live Like I'm Dying
9. Love Bites
10. Caught Up In The Rush
11. One Life - My Life
12. All Died Young
* Melodifestivalen song / bonus track 2016
1. I Don't Wanna Say I'm Sorry (Live)
2. Stand On Your Feet (Live)
3. Wake Me Up (Live)
4. The Storm (Live)
5. Battlegrounds (Live)
6. Breakdown (Live)
7. Wide Open (Live)
8. Blood Enemies (Live)
9. Ain't Dead Yet (Live)
10. Bleed & Scream (Live)
11. Breaking My Heart Again (Live)
12. Come Hell Or High Water §
13. Into The Fire §
14. The Storm (Acoustic)**
15. I Don't Wanna Say I'm Sorry (Acoustic)**
16. Battlegrounds (Acoustic)**
§ B-sides Sweden only
** Japan only
Erik Mårtensson – vocals, guitars
Magnus Henriksson – guitars
Magnus Ulfstedt – bass
Philip Crusner – drums
We already presented last year on the blog the first EP by CATALANO, the new band created by former De La Cruz frontman Roxxi Catalano. Today February 29 sees the release of the group's first full length CD "Dark Skies".
Australians De La Cruz first and only album Street Level was released in 2013 by Frontiers Music receiving very good reviews and acceptance by hard rock fans around the globe. However, guitarist Casey Jones already left De La Cruz around the release date of the record, then the bass player.
So Roxxi Catalano decided the end of De La Cruz in 2014, and started his own band under his name.
Catalano, the band, has a lot in common with De La Cruz yet the sound in "Dark Skies" is more hard hitting and gritty sleazy hard rock in the first half of the album, while the 'Side B' is truly melodic hard rock akin Def Leppard.
The disc opens with the full speeded 'Metal Dreams' which honors its title, however in my opinion is not the strongest track of the bunch.
Follower 'All We Need' is more sleazy and it's ok, but things really started to get really good with the groovy 'Fall Awake', driven by a killer guitar swirl and a kicking Lynch Mob-like feel.
The Winger (heavier side) influenced "War Machine" is even better with that late '80s vibe and sharp vocals, then, as you could imagine, next song entitled "Rxckin' Barbie Doll" is much more glammy, '80s Sunset Strip oriented. The potent melodic guitar riff and the way of singing reminds me Stephen Pearcy's post Ratt solo works. Great one.
With track 6 starts the more melodic (but rockin') part of the CD. 'Heaven's on the Run' is darker but its midtempo waves turn this song one of the best on the album, with a pure Melodic Hard Rock main melody and chorus.
Also I liked a lot 'Twisted', an early Nineties sounding Def Leppard track plenty of very well arranged layers of harmonies and some clean guitars in the mix, and next 'Stormchild', is quite similar to Danger Danger with Paul Laine as frontman.
'Dangerous Thing' starts slowly but it is not a ballad but a groovy melodic rocker with smooth vocals during the verses accompanied by clean guitars providing a cool atmosphere. Great solo here as well.
The album ends with title track 'Dark Skies', something that, again, Danger Danger could have created, or present day Firehouse. It's a solid composition with a bit more adventurous arrangements and sonic delivery.
As you see, Catalano's "Dark Skies" features two 'sides': the first tracks are heavier and gritty with a sleazy touch, while the second it's much more Melodic Hard Rock with a glammy, late '80s feel.
A solid, consistent debut with good songs and tight musicianship, and while production could be better (a proper producer can do miracles with these guys as all are skilled with their instruments), overall "Dark Skies" rocks fine, with melody and punch.
01 - Metal Dreams
02 - All We Need
03 - Fall Awake
04 - War Machine
05 - Rxckin' Barbie Doll
06 - Heaven's on the Run
07 - Twisted
08 - Stormchild
09 - Dangerous Thing
10 - Dark Skies
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After two self-released promising albums, Swedes CAPTAIN BLACK BEARD finally got signed by prestigious US label Perris Records and are releasing their new CD "It's A Mouthful".
Captain Black Beard is truly shocking band name if ever there was one. One that quite frankly deserves an equally shocking band. In that case, this one have got the wrong name because Captain Black Beard play energetic, high tempo, quality Melodic Hard Rock that is way better than their name would maybe suggest.
Hailing from Stockholm, Sweden yet sounding every inch as an '80s American band, this four piece have crafted a confident 12 tracks of Melodic Rock that the likes of Dangerous Toys and Danger Danger would be more than proud of.
Perhaps due to Sakaria Björklund's vocals really similar to Ted Poley but also for their hooky guitar lines and catchy choruses, "It's A Mouthful" sounds alot as Danger Danger's first album.
And that's great in my book.
The band has been toured extensively and supporting major acts such as Joe Lynn Turner, Robin Beck and House Of Lords, and you can tell they have grown as musicians listening their solid arrangements and focused songwriting.
Damn, there's almost not a weak song here, just check the instantly appealing
'Divided Feelings', the anthemic 'Take Me To The City', the groovy 'Far Gone', or the extremely melodic midtempo 'All I Need'.
'Mouthful Of Love' rocks harder with luxury backing vocals and punchy guitar work, 'Falling' is a really well elaborated melodic hard piece, and the semi-ballad ballad 'Coast To Coast' is adorned with sweet acoustics.
When you see a band has been signed to Perris Records, you know they must be something good. Captain Black Beard are really, really good, and "It's A Mouthful" easily could be their ticket to Melodic Hard Rock major leagues.
Great songs, written well and played well... sounds easy, isn't it? But when you hear something that just seems 'complete' you realise how many bands are out there that are nowhere near the finished article.
If you've absolutely any interest in melodic rock, I'd urge you to check these guys right now.
Apart from the band's name, I'd suggest this is a winner.
01 - Divided Feelings
02 - Take Me To The City
03 - She's The One
04 - Tearin' Me Apart
05 - Far Gone
06 - All I Need
07 - Mouthful Of Love
08 - When It's Love
09 - Something She Said
10 - Coast To Coast
11 - South Beach
12 - Falling
Sakaria Björklund – vocals, guitar
Vinnie Stromberg - drums
Robert Majd – bass, backing vocals
Christian Ek – guitars, backing vocals
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Sunday, February 28, 2016
Another essential album from the Universal Music Japan 2016 reissue of nine rock masterpieces from GARY MOORE featuring cardboard sleeve cover artwork, the high-fidelity SHM-CD format and the latest remastered sound plus bonus tracks, is without a doubt the rocking "Victims of the Future".
Continuing Gary Moore's path in the hard rock genre started as solo artist a couple years before (after his excellent work with Thin Lizzy) "Victims of the Future" was a collection of straight-out rocking anthems such as "Teenage Idol" and "Hold on to Love", a mournful love ballad ("Empty Rooms"), a killer cover of The Yardbirds' "Shapes of Things", and two darker songs with some social and political commentary: the title track and the heavy "Murder in the Skies", a protest against the Soviet Union's shooting down of Korean Air Flight 007.
The bonus tracks included in this remastered reissue are great as well:
"Devil In Her Heart" is a heavy number worthy of standing alongside "Murder in the Skies" plenty of fire and full-blooded guitar work, "Blinder" is a great instrumental showcasing emotional inspiration, and "Empty Rooms 1984 Remix" is the AORish version of Gary's more popular song from the mid-80s.
Helped by excellent guest musicians such as Bob Daisley (Ozzy Osbourne), Neil Murray (Whitesnake), Ian Paice (Deep Purple), ex-UFO keyboardist Neil Carter, and the expert production of Jeff Glixman (Magnum, Saxon), Gary Moore created here a punchy, rocking album that still remains as an '80s hard rock / metal staple.
His playing here was as incendiary as it would ever get, and many of the songs on "Victims of the Future" are Gary Moore classics. No doubt about it.
You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox
Universal Music Japan ~ 【SHM-CD】 UICY-77621
ヴィクティムズ・オブ・ザ・フューチャー | ゲイリー・ムーア
01 - Victims Of The Future
02 - Teenage Idol
03 - Shapes Of Things
04 - Empty Rooms
05 - Murder In The Skies
06 - All I Want
07 - Hold On To Love
08 - The Law Of The Jungle
09 - Devil In Her Heart
10 - Blinder
11 - Empty Rooms ('84 Remix)
Gary Moore - guitars, vocals
Neil Murray, Mo Foster, Bob Daisley - bass
Ian Paice - drums
Neil Carter - keyboards, vocals
Bobby Chouinard - additional drums
Noddy Holder - backing vocals on "Shapes of Things"
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Continuing with the Universal Music Japan 2016 reissue of nine rock masterpieces from GARY MOORE featuring cardboard sleeve cover artwork, the high-fidelity SHM-CD format and the latest remastered sound plus bonus tracks, now it's time for the killer "We Want Moore!"
"We Want Moore!" is Gary Moore’s first official live album to be available worldwide (Rockin’ Every Night was initially only available in Japan) and is not only a superb live album but also one of the strongest he has ever recorded. This record is a jaw-dropping affair for anyone who believes that Eddie Van Halen is the ultimate guitar-shredding experience.
Drawing mainly from Moore's previous two studio albums, every cut gets a shot in the arm from his extended soloing, most notably the Yardbird's cover "Shapes of Things" at almost nine minutes.
Recorded in places as distant as Tokyo, Glasgow and Detroit, the performances also benefit from the impressive vocal tag team between Moore and keyboard player and rhythm guitarist Neil Carter.
It is clear from the off that Moore is keen to show off his heavier side with opener 'Murder In The Skies', which was one of the standout tracks from his brilliant studio record Victims Of The Future and remains one of the faster tracks he has ever written.
'Cold Hearted', 'Don’t Take Me For A Loser', 'End Of The World', 'Victims Of The Future', and in fact all the songs performed live here are for many, better than the studio versions.
"We Want Moore!" is an astonishingly good live album, the kind that can leave you with a big smile on your face as well as leaving you awestruck by the band’s (and in this case particularly the guitarist’s) technical ability.
It is possibly Gary Moore’s best and most consistent heavy / hard rock album, and is the best place to start if you’re looking to get into Eighties era Gary Moore.
One of the best live albums of the '80s from a truly remarkable guitarist.
Universal Music Japan ~ 【SHM-CD】 UICY-77622
ウォント・ムーア! / ゲイリー・ムーア / ウィ
01 - Murder In The Skies
02 - Shapes Of Things
03 - Victims Of The Future
04 - Cold Hearted
05 - End Of The World
06 - Back On The Streets
07 - So Far Away
08 - Empty Rooms
09 - Don't Take Me For A Loser
10 - Rockin' And Rollin'
11 - Parisienne Walkways (Live) [bonus track]
Gary Moore - lead vocals, lead guitar
Neil Carter - keyboards, rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Craig Gruber - bass, backing vocals
Ian Paice - drums (4-8, 10, 11), percussion
Bobby Chouinard - drums (1-3, 9)
Jimmy Nail - backing vocals (10)
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On February 27, 2016, Frontiers Music turns 20 years old, and are celebrating their anniversary with a compilation featuring some of their most important artists entitled "FRONTIERS MUSIC 20th Anniversary Compilation Vol. 1"
On February 27, 1996, located in Southern Italy, probably better known for pizza rather than rock n' roll music, Frontiers Records initiated its activities.
That business was called 'Frontiers', after the timeless 1983 Journey album, and the dream was to work with the musical heroes of the beloved Melodic Hard Rock / AOR genre so forgotten during that obscure decade for melodious rock music.
Frontiers Records became a limited liability company in 1998 and released its first album commercially across Europe from the band TEN, 'Never Say Goodbye', in April of the same year.
In all this time, a lot of things happened, with the label becoming the leader in Melodic Rock first and later on, a premiere name in Hard Rock and Metal as well.
Some of the remarkable Frontiers' 'milestones' reached during the past years include: TEN's album 'Spellbound' was the first to be certified on a national sales chart (#100 in Germany in 1999); The Poodles are the first (and so far the only) band who brought the label to top of the album charts (#1 in Sweden with their record 'Performocracy' in 2011).
In 2010, Frontiers executed a strategic distribution agreement in North America with Caroline/Universal and in March 2011, Frontiers debuted on the U.S. Billboard charts with the awesome Whitesnake album 'Forevermore'.
In 2014, the label launched the first Frontiers Rock Festival, a multi-day concert event featuring label artists exclusively. This year will be the third edition and it has become one of the leading live events for Melodic and Hard Rock acts.
In 20 years, Frontiers Music released more than 700 albums, with chart entries all over the world.
It's therefore time to celebrate the first 20 Years with this "FRONTIERS MUSIC 20th Anniversary Compilation Vol. 1", including great tracks from top acts such as Whitesnake, Eclipse, Lynch Mob, Stryper, etc.
A must for the iPod!
01. Revolution Saints - Back on My Trail
02. Stryper - Pride
03. Last in Line - Devil in Me
04. Michael Kiske - City of Heroes
05. Inglorious - Breakaway
06. Whitesnake - Burn
07. Lynch Mob - Jelly Roll
08. Resurrection Kings - Livin' out Loud
09. Joel Hoekstra’s 13 - Say Goodbye to the Sun
10. Eclipse - I Don't Wanna Say I'm Sorry
11. Sweet & Lynch - September
12. Jorn Lande - Swing of Death
13. Impellitteri - We Own the Night
14. Operation: Mindcrime - Re-Inventing the Future
15. Magnus Karlsson’s Free Fall - Never Look Away
16. Voodoo Hill - All That Remains
17. Vanden Plas - Vision 13teen * Stone Roses Edge
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Saturday, February 27, 2016
New reissue label Preservation Records is doing a great job remastering lost gems from the '80s Norwegian AOR scene. They started with a superb Lava album (featured here on the blog) and now it's time for WESTPOINT and their album "Face To The Sea", originally released in 1983.
First time on CD and digitally remastered from original master tapes, this is a true delight for West Coast AOR lovers with a Scandinavian feel.
Recorded in late 1982 / early 1983 "Face To The Sea" is another prime example of first class West Coast AOR stuff from Norway and can be easily compared to the likes of Pages, Airplay and Michael McDonald.
The story of Westpoint goes way back into the late Seventies when vocalist Øyvind Lied got infected by the classic US West Coast / FM Radio sound. After starting as a instrumental outfit they recorded their first song with Norwegian lyrics.
An A & R executive from CBS Norway was so impressed that he signed the band straight away, but with the order to change their lyrics into English for worldwide appeal.
Dynamic cuts like 'Joanie' (a little hit single in Scandinavia back in a day), the title track (with some early Toto on it), the elegant 'Number One' recalling Richard Page, or the sumptuous 'Give Me A Chance' in the vein of Airplay, are mixed with breezy ballads such as the delicate 'Fire' and the pure LA session West Coast AOR of 'My Dream'.
A true collector's item, Westpoint's "Face To The Sea" is a must for West Coast AOR fans; first time ever on CD, digitally remastered and strictly limited to 500 copies.
Grab yours now!
01. Face To The Sea
04. My Dream
05. Number One
06. A Love Like This
07. Give Me A Chance
08. Ordinary Man
09. Come On And Sing
Vocals – Leif Digernes, Øyvind Lied
Guitars – Erland Hansen
Keyboards – Øyvind Lied
Bass – Martin Foldal
Percussion – George Keller
Drums – Jarle Måløy
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Truly talented Swedish singer / songwriter CHRIS ANTBLAD returns with the second album in his series "Age Of Concord", this new subtitled "On The Radio".
We already enjoyed last year the first record from this series covering Antblad's inexhaustible ability to write different styles of music, but this "Age Of Concord: On The Radio" is very special... as title says, there's '80s inspired radio-rock / AOR songs beautifully crafted & performed.
After his superb record with AORsters Spin Gallery ten yeas ago, Chris Antblad has been high in demand writing music for other artists.
Lately Chris decided to record himself the best of these compositions, and the ones included into "Age Of Concord: On The Radio" are pure AOR oriented more in line with the material he has penned for Joe Lynn Turner or super-group Rated X.
We have here ten sweet tunes following the proud tradition of high-quality Swedish melodic rock music such as 'Every Second With You', the AOR bliss of 'Not Enough To Last', or 'Learned To Love Me' (similar in style to Spin Gallery).
There's a groovy melodic rocker in 'Love's Growing Cold', a Bryan Adams-like title track, 'If You Would' with some Mitch Malloy on it, and a great ballad 'What’s The Deal'.
"Age Of Concord: On The Radio" is a really enjoyable melodic collection of songs with an AOR spirit much in the vein of sweetest '80s tunes which used to rule the radio airwaves.
Chris is a superb songwriter and his emotional vocals - which reminds me a bit of Bryan Adams but in this musical context much more AOR in the Scandinavian style - makes this record a wonderful listen for all fans of the genre.
01 - Every Second With You
02 - Not Enough To Last
03 - On The Radio
04 - Learned To Love Me
05 - Looking For A Reason
06 - Ode To The Mute Panther
07 - If You Would
08 - I'll Open Up My Heart
09 - Love's Growing Cold
10 - What's The Deal
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Northern Irish rock musician and guitarist ERIC BELL, best known as a founding member and the original guitarist of legendary group Thin Lizzy has just released a new studio album, "Exile", including the track 'Song For Gary', a soulful dedication to his former bandmate, the great Gary Moore.
When you've co-founded one of the most relevant bands in Rock history, written one of the best-loved guitar riffs of all time and had the British Prime Minister claim he listens to your songs when he 'needs a lift' (which, let's face it, must be quite often), it would be easy to put your feet up, sit back and bask in the glory of a successful career in music.
Or you could just keep on working like Bell, who is releasing his first studio album in more than six years.
The word legend is one which is often, and even more frequently inappropriately, bandied about. But, it is a description which definitely does apply to one man: this guitar player from the humble back streets of East Belfast whose name is cemented in the mythos of the Irish, and subsequently the international, rock scene.
And that is Mr Eric Bell. One of the founding members of Thin Lizzy. In fact, perhaps the driving force behind the formation of that iconic act.
It has been almost 50 years from those heady days of smoky Dublin bars, and Bell’s subsequent departure from the band just as they found themselves on the cusp of stardom. The intervening decades have not necessarily been kind to Bell, who often found himself forced to eek out an existence based on the legacy of the band he founded rather than as a highly talented musician in his own right.
An existence which found himself an exile in his own land: a situation which inspired,
this latest album - hence its title.
Like his fellow Belfast native, the late Gary Moore, Bell has returned to the blues in the latter half of his career, and "Exile" is an album which is very much steeped in Northern Ireland’s own distinctive twist on the artform, combining the blues itself with elements of traditional folk, acoustic and the show-band era in which musicians such as Bell and Moore, as well as contemporaries such as Lynottt, Rory Gallagher and even old grumpy himself, Van Morrison, forged and moulded their sounds.
It’s an album drawn from the deepest heartwell of personal experience, drawing on same in a way which is not only both introspective and retrospective but also grateful that its creator finds himself in the position of being able to continue to express himself in the only way he knows.
‘Deep In Your Heart’ sets the mellow tone, with it’s slow slide syncopation, while ‘Don’t Love Me No More’ has a funky vibe which accentuates the underlying heartbreak of the song’s melody.
Then arrives ‘Gotta Say Bye Bye’, which truly evokes Lizzy’s bluesier roots, with its beautifully punctuated chorus and subtle vibrato and understated background solo. This song along worth this disc... the emotion, authenticity coming from Bell's Stratocaster sound send chills to your spine. This is how electric guitar should be played... from the heart.
‘Vote For me’ sees Bell deliver some typical Irish sarcasm, with its ironic yet damning lyric and complementary acidic yet genteel riff. The title track is a laconic lament, drawing on the Irish sense of wanderlust and exploration but the innate regret of doing so and the longing for the comfort of the home soil, coupled with the sense of loss when you do just that: the prodigal son returning to find himself an outsider in his own place.
‘Rip It Up’ heralds the album’s briefly faster interlude, and is good old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roller of the kind that used to get the guys and gals meeting in the middle of the dancehall floor back in those showband days which Bell evokes so well, especially in his cheeky vocal and rambunctious guitar workout, while ‘Concrete Jungle’ is a funky little bruiser.
‘Thank God’ harks back to the time of his departure from Thin Lizzy, expressing a gratitude that he jumped off the rock ‘n’ roll rollercoaster when he did.
Closer ‘Song For Gary’ is another highlight. It winds the clock even further back: it’s a melancholic, morose, almost totally spoken word homage, recalling the first time that he met Moore, when the latter was just 11 years of age, yet understatedly elegiac and mournfully celebratory of his fellow Belfastian’s sublime talent. The guitar solo is out of this world, in a true Gary Moore style.
"Exile" is a superb Rock album, a 'true' Rock album. It is a record which expresses regret and longing, thankfulness and forgiveness. It is beautiful in every respect: its lyricism, its atmosphere, its musicality.
It’s an album delivered straight from the heart of a musician and songwriter who has experienced every aspect of every emotion which he expresses. It’s an album best listened to late at night, with the lights turned down very low, a glass of fine wine in one hand and the person you love nestling in the crook of your other arm. Go do it.
01 - Deep In Your Heart
03 - Don't Love Me No More
03 - Gotta Say Bye Bye
04 - Vote For Me
05 - Exile
06 - Little Boy Running
07 - Rip It Up
08 - Concrete Jungle
09 - Thank God
10 - Song For Gary
BUY IT !
Friday, February 26, 2016
February 26 seems to be a day of great releases, as all-star Swedish / English Hard Rock project TAINTED NATION is presenting today their second record with the title "On The Outside".
Formed by talented heads of the scene, that is; Lions Heart guitarist Ian Nash, great drummer Mark Cross (Outloud, Firewind), The Poodles bass player Pontus Egberg and Eden's Curse drummer Pete Newdeck - whom in this case is at charge of lead vocals, the 5-piece have just have created another kick-ass rocking record full of bite.
The band's debut was a damn fine slice of hard rock stuff with some metallic 'touches' and it made an impression to the Euro hard rock / metal fans. Somewhere between Pretty Maids, Sixx A.M. and a modern day Ozzy but with an extra dose of melody, Tainted Nation is a band that has the right attitude and the songs to become a major act in the circuit.
Pete Newdeck is doin' a terrific job regarding the vocals and sometimes you get the impression that you are hearing '80s Ozzy!!! The guitar duo of Peters and Nash delivers some excellent guitar work and the rhythm section is tight as a rock.
To be honest, I didn't find any weak moment here or something average. This 13-track album is highly enjoyable from start to finish and the sure thing is that Tainted Nation overcome themselves with this second release.
If I had to pick some songs from "On The Outside", these would be the extremely melodic and groovy title track (Nick Workman of Vega appears as backing vocalist), the pumping "Defiance", the clever, catchy and commercial "Karma" (akin Swedes Eclipse), my personal favorite "About A Boy" and the punchy "Welcome to War".
Also, I find extremely interesting closer "Back To Earth", a semi-ballad with clean guitars, and the modern, updated cover version of Billy Squier’s classic "“The Stroke".
Tainted Nation have surpased themselves with "On The Outside" and achieved to release a brilliant and catchy hard rockin' album plenty of muscle and tons of melody that will be appreciated by each and every single fan of this timeless music.
01 - Live And Die
02 - Defiance
03 - Fight
04 - Barriers
05 - On The Outside
06 - The Stroke
07 - Ordinary Life
08 - Karma
09 - Going To Hell
10 - About A Boy
11 - Pulling Me Under
12 - Welcome To War
13 - Back To Earth
Pete Newdeck (vocals)
Ian Nash (guitars)
Joel Peters (guitars)
Mark Cross (drums)
Pontus Egberg (bass)
Nick Workman (backing vocals)
BUY IT !
“Dead Man’s Voice” is the second album from THE NEW ROSES, but their first for a major label (Napalm Records, to be released today February 26), and such is the level of confidence here, that you wouldn’t bet against them making a massive breakthrough.
“Dead Man’s Voice” rocks right from the start. If it weren’t for the fact that this album is made by four Germans from Wiesbaden in 2016, you would think you’ve made a jump back in time and find yourself right in America in the '80s. Their classic Rock ‘n Roll / Hard Rock sound is obviously influenced by legends like Guns N' Roses, Aerosmith or Cheap Trick.
Hailing this classic sound can be dangerous. The chances of ending up like a cheap rip off or joke around with the almost forgotten spirit are high.
Fortunately this isn’t the case with The New Roses. “Dead Man’s Voice” feels very well thought of, it has all necessary swagger, the riffs rock in the right way and production is clear and punchy.
Quite honestly there’s some songs here that match the huge whiskey soaked groove they are drenched in. “Heads Or Tails” kicks things off with the air of a runaway train, “Partner In Crime” comes on like Aerosmith circa Nine Lives and the bluesy thriller of a title track is like Poison covering Molly Hatchet.
Largely this type of album always lived and died by its hook and it’s chorus, and here The New Roses are top of whatever class you want to put them in. “Hurt Me Once (Love Me Twice)” would be the best song The Black Crowes have written in 15 years and you’d have to go back to Cinderella in the late 1980s for anything quite as catchy as “Try (And You’ll Know Why)”.
It is, however something else that really takes the honours and “Thirsty” proudly puts its middle finger in the air, and shows many established acts how this kind of music gets done.
“From Guns And Shovels” is a slow building and perhaps the heavier moment on the CD, on the other hand the ballad comes with the organic “What If It Was You”, which has the chops to get mobile phone lights up in any arena.
And arenas are clearly where this album is aiming, and who knows, it might get there. Truly deserves it.
01. Heads or Tails
03. Partner in Crime
04. Dead Man’s Voice
05. I Believe
06. Ride with Me
07. Hurt Me Once (Love Me Twice)
08. Not from This World
09. What If It Was You
10. Try (And You Know Why)
11. From Guns & Shovels
Limited Edition BONUS TRACKS:
12. The Secret
13. Whiskey Nightmare
14. It’s a Long Way
15. Leave Me Alone
Timmy Rough - vocals, guitars
Norman Bites - guitars
Hardy - bass, backing vocals
Urban Berz - drums
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Featuring 2 ex-Pretty Maids members, Denmark’s NOW OR NEVER is a solid example of how melodic metal and hard n' heavy rock should be played, with power and total conviction. The band returns today with their sophomore effort simply titled "II", packed with many interesting and catchy vocal harmonies, guitar riffs and hard-hitting rhythms more refined than ever.
Consisting of Ricky Marx and Kenn Jackson (both ex-Pretty Maids), Jo Amore (ex-Nightmare) and Ranzo (ex-Sultan), Now Or Never rocks from every corner of "II".
The singing is certainly some of the best vocals I’ve heard within the last ten years for a heavy rock / melodic metal group, and their music has a big groove to it, like on the headbanging “King For A Day”, which is one of their more emotionally driven cuts here.
The album open proceedings with a spoken snippet from the film 'Cape Fear' that leads into the absolutely sumptuous “The Voice Inside”. The drums explode into life and the guitars ebb and flow.
“Sonic Ecstasy” will see you saluting the band as the vibrant and intense opening to this track ignites your life force, listen to the lyrics and immerse yourself in Now Or Never ceaseless passion for delivering Hard Rocking, head banging 'proper' music. A highlight for me.
“I Shall Remain” is another track with some cool grooves, more in the classic Euro metal vein, but with a simplified melodic approach to it something any fan of metal related stuff can appreciate. It has 'anthem' written all over, with the deep bass riffs from Ken Jackson and scorching guitar licks courtesy of Ricky Marx, it’s a sure fire winner.
“I'll be Waiting” get your lighters (mobile phones now) out and join the band in this slower piece, a song that’s ideal for a live setting, it's a dramatic, heart felt and gripping tune. “The Answer” opens with some powerhouse drumming that then leads to Amores' strong vocals where he grabs the bull by its horns and unleashes his distinctive tones.
“Revolution” is an intelligent and thought provoking piece especially in today’s political climate, making you think while rocking your socks off.
“Save Me" is one of my favorites with its passionately sung vocals and its mesmerizing guitar rhythms; clocks in at just over seven minutes, its slow melodic opening builds into something that touches your psyche, it’s a monolithic piece with some stunning riffs that really put Now Or Never Angel on top of the game.
Penultimate track “Feel Alive” is a thumping song that indeed does make you feel alive with more hair raising licks from Marx, then “Til The End of Time” ends the album in the form of a soothing ballad, one that Melodic Hard Rock lovers will enjoy aplenty.
Now Or Never proves with “II” they are one of the best melodic metal / hard 'n rock bands out today. The solid as rock songwriting, the monster musicianship and the overall tight yet melodic sound puts this band in the premier league.
This is music you can definitely bang your head hard to and not feel anything but the sheer rush of the excitement hitting your senses.
Two thumbs up.
01 - The Voice Inside
02 - Sonic Ecstasy
03 - King for a Day
04 - I Shall Remain
05 - I'll Be Waiting
06 - The Answer
07 - Revolution
08 - Save Me
09 - Feel Alive
10 - 'Til the End of Time
Jo Amore (ex Nightmare) - Vocals
Ricky Marx (ex Pretty Maids) - Guitars
Kenn Jackson (ex Pretty Maids) - Bass
Ranzo (ex Sultan) - Drums
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Comprising high profile musicians such as vocalist Damian Wilson of Threshold, keyboardist Adam Wakeman of Snakecharmer / Ozzy‘s band (and son of the Yes legend) and Lee Pomeroy of note for his bass work with almost everyone ever (including Steve Hackett), HEADSPACE greatly surprised us with a superb debut four years ago. "All That You Fear Is Gone" is their brand new musical creation released today February 26, 2016 by InsideOut Music.
"All That You Fear Is Gone" delivers melodic progressive rock notably softer than its predecessor, although it still has plenty of bite. Clocking in at well over an hour, the album could have been a staggering task to sit through, but the band’s expert sense of construction and pacing kept me spellbound.
Many tracks flow seamlessly from one to the next while others end in an intentional pause, signalling a shift in mood or tone. The massive amount of content and variation is impressive.
Lightning fast guitar riffs accompanied by bottomed out rhythms effortlessly switch to acoustic pieces, and the keys bounce from psychedelic synths to the ivories of a grand piano without a hitch. The tone is a kaleidoscope of hope, fear, joy, despair, safety, danger, and many more all wrapped in Wilson’s powerful and disciplined voice cut with mystifying lyricism.
On this new album, Headspace continue to explore a special ground, throwing in elements of progressive metal of course, but focusing on open and imaginative melodic arrangements and instrumentation. Wakeman continues to excel in using a plethora of well-planned sounds within each song. Within the heavier section of the opening track, “Road to Supremacy” you can hear nearly half a dozen shifts in the keyboards, as the music around them remains more relatively constant. Pete Rinaldi’s electric guitar only occasionally sees anything that approaches a traditional riff, most often staying as loose and moving as the rest of the music.
Even a song like “Semaphore”, which tricks you into thinking it’s going to be a straight ahead rocker from start to finish, takes a sharp left turn back into traditional Headspace territory half way through.
“Your Life Will Change”, the lead single from the album, does a fantastic job at bridging the gap between the last album and what to expect on the new one, that is a more melodic approach. “Polluted Alcohol” and the title track continue to show what the band can do when stripped back.
On the other hand, “The Science Within Us” shows the band can still do a fantastic 10+ minute piece. And yet, across the board, everything seems dialed one small step back.
"All That You Fear Is Gone" is an excellent album and easily justifies the four-year incubation period. The ideas that Headspace established in their first record have been enlarged on in a meaningful way. The album gives an idea of the broad range that the band is capable of.
On "All That You Fear Is Gone" Headspace continues demonstrating they still have such a unique identity and special delivery that any music fan should immediately take note. They have merged here the heavier elements of debut with a new haunting melodic approach expanding their horizon to a wider audience.
It should come as no surprise what a man named Wakeman can do with a keyboard, but you can’t teach imagination and creativity as easily, and Adam brings both in spades. Add to that the fact that for his myriad of projects over the years, this is the one that best utilizes Damian Wilson’s voice, and you have a one-two punch that should make Headspace a band to watch for years to come.
Do not hesitate to just go and check it out as soon as you can.
01 - Road to Supremacy
02 - Your Life Will Change
03 - Polluted Alcohol
04 - Kill You with Kindness
05 - The Element
06 - The Science Within Us
07 - Semaphore
08 - The Death Bell
09 - The Day You Return
10 - All That You Fear Is Gone
11 - Borders and Days
12 - Secular Soul
Damian Wilson / vocals
Pete Rinaldi / guitars, backing vocals
Adam Wakeman / keyboards, piano, backing vocals
Lee Pomeroy / bass, chapman stick, bass pedals
Adam Falkner / drums
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Founded by multi-instrumentalist Nick Van Dyk, REDEMPTION has been developing a very interesting classic prog-metal blend for many years. After a long hiatus, the band, which includes great vocalist Ray Alder (Fates Warning) returns with the new CD "The Art Of Loss", featuring contributions by the likes of Marty Friedman, Chris Poland (ex-Megadeth), John Bush (Armored Saint) and many others.
Redemption delivers classic prog metal, elaborated yet melodic and quite accessible compositions laced with mood shifts and lots of tonal changes. "The Art Of Loss" goes for the instrumental wizardry of Dream Theater and alike topped off by mesmerizing vocal melodies.
Spangly guitar lines, solos of shredding, and clusters of keyboards all operate nicely with cuts here and there running crescendos.
Among the most compelling moments there's “Hope Dies Last”, a 10-minute epic that stood out to me on the first listen, featuring Van Dyk’s keyboard wizardry in its fullest form.
There are quite a few tempo shifts on some of the tracks, and among this sonic landscape, “That Golden Light” is a straightforward, mid-tempo affair.
“Thirty Silver” is your prog metal mosh-friendly number with handy shred work by Van Dyk, while “Damaged” features the guitar virtuosity of Marty Friedman as a healthy contributor.
“Slouching Towards Bethlehem” excels with a King X-ish groove with Ray Alder delivering an exemplary performance recalling his finest Fates Warning works.
Another track that is worthy of a special mention is the 22-minute juggernaut, “At Days End”, that has so much going on that it’s almost as if you’ve taken a trip back to the '80s. It’s got some pop influences, heavily layered keyboard work, and some nifty orchestration.
"The Art Of Loss" is pure prog metal inspired in the classic style / sounds of the genre, pretty much in its '80s / '90s waves. Redemption could sound crunchy at times, but most of the material is really melodic and crystal clear as a polished diamond.
The best comparison could be early Dream Theater, but also influences from bands like Kansas and Yes can permeate into the writing fabric of Redemption to give birth to a solid album. Production (handled by the great Tommy Hansen) as the playing & musicianship, is extremely polished.
Highly enjoyable record.
01 - The Art of Loss
02 - Slouching Towards Bethlehem
03 - Damaged
04 - Hope Dies Last
05 - That Golden Light
06 - Thirty Silver
07 - The Center of the Fire
08 - Love Reign O'er Me
09 - At Day's End
Ray Alder (Fates Warning) - vocals
Nicolas van Dyk - guitars, keyboards, synths
Bernie Versailles - guitars
Sean Andrews - bass
Chris Quirarte - drums
Marty Friedman - guitar
Chris Poland (ex Megadeth) - guitar
Chris Broderick (ex Megadeth) - guitar
Simone Mularoni (DGM - guitar)
John Bush (Armored Saint) - vocals
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L.A. fun glam metal quartet STEEL PANTHER are releasing today "Live From Lexxi's Mom's Garage", the band's first full-length film featuring a live ten-song acoustic concert in a CD/DVD combo. The CD includes 3 extra tracks, plus a new song 2016.
"Live From Lexxi's Mom's Garage" was taped in Los Angeles last October in front of a live audience of scantily clad woman (and one old creepy fat guy who somehow got a ticket) inside the uncharacteristically large and professionally lit garage of Ms. Foxx, who coincidentally also happens to be the mother of bass player Lexxi Foxx.
The set features Steel Panther performing acoustic versions of their most popular songs such as "Party Like Tomorrow Is The End Of The World" and "Community Property" as well as one new song titled "That's When You Came In". Several female violin players who are 'very easy on the eyes' says Stix, are featured and lay through the various hits with the band.
"Live From Lexxi's Mom's Garage" it's all about fun. Steel Panther plays all their songs acoustically, with real drums and semi-acoustic basses.
Metal songs like “Death To All But Metal” and “Party Like Tomorrow Is The End Of The World” were rearranged to fit the unplugged format. Now they work well without amplifier and purely acoustic.
The band's ballads are the best, because as it happens many times, these type of songs born with an acoustic guitar in the songwriting process. “Fat Girl (Thar She Blows)”, “If You Really, Really Love Me“, “Bukkake Tears” or “The Burden of Being Wonderful” sound great.
The new song featured on this album, titled “That’s When You Came In”, is a winner. A real No.1 hit ballad if released in 1987.
It has been said many times; Steel Panther may be bunch of jokesters, but hell, they are darn fine musicians.
"Live From Lexxi's Mom's Garage" is not a joke at all, the band feels having (and delivering) a very good time, and sounds extremely professional as usual. Make no mistake, this is as good as Tesla, Kiss, etc famous live acoustic albums.
01 - Show Intro/Say Yeah!
02 - Party Like Tomorrow Is the End of the World
03 - Fat Girl (Thar She Blows)
04 - If You Really, Really Love Me
05 - Gloryhole
06 - Bukkake Tears
07 - The Burden of Being Wonderful
08 - Weenie Ride
09 - That's When You Came In (New Song 2016)
10 - Michael Don't Know
11 - Community Property
12 - Grindy And Sexy
13 - Death to All But Metal
Michael Starr (vocals)
Lexxi Foxx (bass)
Stix Zadinia (drums)
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European label Esoteric Antenna is releasing today the new album by TONY PATTERSON, "Equations of Meaning", his fifth solo release. Tony is a solo artist/musician from the North East of England, best known as the singer with the UK Genesis tribute act ReGenesis, he has also recorded four previous solo albums as well as working for TV and short film.
Tony Patterson plays various instruments as well, but on "Equations of Meaning" is helped by various talented colleagues such as Nick Magnus (Steve Hackett Band), Andy Gray providing a guitar solo, Brendan Eyre (Riversea) on keyboards and more.
The music in "Equations of Meaning" is soft progressive rock, melodic and plenty of textures, with some atmospheric passages.
It's inspired by the great names of the genre, but the overall sound and production is very modern.
The disc begins with the elegant 'Ghosts', a delightful piece of music that leaves you in mind of elysian fields with the gentle acoustic guitar and ethereal keyboards. A really pensive guitar note then takes up the reins, thoughtful, intent and precise as it dances across your mind.
Nick Magnus adds his programming skills to 'The Magdalene Fields', a track that opens with a really delicate introduction before Tony’s gentle vocal takes centre stage. A song that seems to meander along, there is no fast lane in operation here, time is taken to relax and the ghostly aura puts you in a state of grace. The heavenly chorus is quite sublime in its subtle delivery.
'Each Day a Colour (A Dreamer’s Dream)' sees Magnus take on occasional keyboard duties alongside Patterson and is another graceful, exquisite track. There is a soothing and reassuring tone to Tony’s voice that gives it a really hypnotic air.
'The Angel and The Dreamer' it's divided in 3 parts i) Vision / ii) Journey / iii) Reprise, being the most prog piece of the album, yet very light in The Alan Parsons Project vein. It's a mysterious composition plenty of intriguing moments.
'Sycophant' it's like a homage to James Bond, I’m sure John Barry would give a knowing nod as the introduction begins. It really is classy as the strings begin before it heads off in a more funky direction with the edgy keyboards.
Tony’s long time writing partner and friend Brendan Eyre co-wrote the piano based instrumental 'As The Lights Go Out' and it is a little gem of a song. Brendan’s piano has an unseen depth to it that grabs your heart and soul and pulls you in, it is so beautiful it almost brings tears of joy, tinged with a small hint of nostalgic sadness.
Closer 'The Kindest Eyes' is one of the highlights. Tony’s voice is dreamy here, with Nick Magnus once again providing the inventive synth programming and the superb guitar fills. There's a highly emotive guitar solo delivered by the outrageously talented Adrian Jones just lift it to another level.
To get the utmost from "Equations of Meaning" you must listen to it from start to finish, preferably with headphones on, in a darkened room and with your choice of relaxing beverage.
It's a relaxing record of melodic prog with some Steven Wilson, Alan Parsons, Floyd etc. on it, but Tony Patterson craft his atmospheres in a much more accessible mould and with an own personality.
01 - Ghosts
02 - The Magdalene Fields
03 - Each Day a Colour
04 - Cast Away
05 - The Angel & The Dreamer
06 - Beneath a Perfect Sky
07 - Sycophant
08 - And When the Sky Was Opened
09 - Pilgrim
10 - As the Lights Go Out
11 - The Kindest Eyes
Tony Patterson: vocals, keyboards, guitars, orchestrations, piano, programming
Brendan Eyre (Nine Stones Close, Riversea): piano (10)
Nick Magnus (Steve Hackett): keyboards and programming
Andy Gray: guitar solo (7)
Adrian Jones (Nine Stones Close): slide guitar and guitar solo (11)
Doug Melbourne: mopho synth solo (5)
Siobhan Magnus: vocals (5)
Fred Arlington: horn and sax (9), sax (2), horn (5)
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