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AOR HEAVEN ::: N E W S L E T T E R ::: 22/09/2017

 

Howdy melodic rockers,

Plenty of goodies coming your way and it’s still unbelievable how many great releases are still in the pipeline within the next couple of weeks.

UPS was just at our door and delivered a nice package from down under containing the amazing new Boulevard album plus the Scherer/Batten CD. In the meantime the last remaining copies of the Lava CDs “Alibi” and “Polarity” has been delivered as well – just very limited quantities of both, you better hurry up if you want to secure a copy at a reasonable price !

And there is more to come due next week  from the likes of GUN, UFO and NOCTURNAL RITES while the new DAN REED solo album “Confessions” is already in stock.

 

Last but not least – this week our new Swedish signing WILDNESS has delivered the master and boy, I’m truly shocked as this a killer album in classic Scandi melodic style like a hybrid of TREAT and PRETTY MAIDS “Red, Hot & Heavy” album. The album is set for release due November the 23rd, watch this space for the first soundbytes due soon !

 

 

Listen to our upcoming October  releases from CODE RED and MIDNITE CITY at www.metalheaven.net !

 

Have  a great week

Georg & Monika

 

 

AOR HEAVEN RELEASES!

MARTINA EDOFF - We Will Align

A: 11 € B: 13 €

Champions (Edit)

Turn Our Pages (Edit)

We Will Align (Edit)

MARTINA EDOFF more and more turns out to be the leading female melodic rock queen and not only because of the former first ladies of rock LEE AARON or LITA FORD are doing slightly different stuff these days. “We Will Align“, album number three of the Swedish singer, is full of strong songwriting and amazing performance. A charismatic powerful voice and songs written by Jona Tee (H.E.A.T.) who also produced the album, and none other than Billy Sheehan (MR. BIG) plus a really good and sophisticated sound let this gem shine. You find anthems like “Turn The Pages“ or “Lay Down Your Arms“ and beautiful ballads (“Face The Mirror“) as well as several possible live killers (“Alive“ or “Set You Free“) which fit the live situation perfectly. By all means, the singer is in really good shape.

MARTIN STARK

 

watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdqkybnGN4U

 

NEWMAN - Aerial

A: 11 € B: 13 €

Can't Stop Loving You (Edit)

Don't Wake The Lion (Edit)

Life To Remember (Edit)

NEWMAN are busy as usual putting together their eleventh album (!) after their formation in 1997. Almost two years after the more progressive effort „Elegance Machine“, the rather compact and cohesive „Aerial“ marks a return to classic AOR. The British outfit around mastermind Steve Newman (v/g) go back to their very qualities. And that is typical British AOR/melodic rock with versatile guitars and strong melodies as well as a slice of both hard rock and the late eighties pop rock. The mighty „Nothing Left“ could easily be an unreleased JOURNEY song. Towards the end of the record the emotional and highly melodic „Still Bleeding“ turns out to be a true gem as well as the catchy title song „High Tonight (Aerial)“. Mastered by Harry Hess (HAREM SCAREM).

MARTIN STARK

watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xW0o16R8zc

 

EXPECTED NEW RELEASES!

DAN REED - Confessions (digi pack)

A: 13 € B: 15,5 €

After the comeback album with The Dan Reed Network last year, DAN REED is going solo again with his latest album "Confessions". A true 'solo' album as it sees Dan Reed performing all instruments and vocals alongside programming the beats and synth parts. Musically, it is not far from Dan's previous 3 solo albums, perhaphs slightly more atmospheric / synth based yeas as always, beautifully crafted and arranged with sublime melodies. The music has a gentle flow and glorious delight in life. The pace is sedate, but it leaves an indelible impression. Reed’s vocal method of telling a story through minimal modulation lifts songs like 'Smile', 'Distant Star' and 'Cave In'. To sum it up - he oozes a supple class !

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGHURODz5JI

GUN - Favourite Pleasures

A: 12,5 € B: 15 €

Scottish rock band GUN who are celebrating 30yrs in the industry. They first crashed on to the music scene in 1987 then releasing there debut album “Taking on the World ” in 1989, followed by classic albums such as fan fave ” Gallus”(1992) then „Swagger“ (1994) many more albums were released over the years as well as many band member changes, let’s fast forward to the present. With ‘Favourite Pleasures’, Gun have gone and done it again: produced a rich and diverse album. It has a rawness that suggests most of it was recorded, if not jammed out, in the studio. It is the sound of 5 musicians indulging in their favourite pleasure, and that is producing rock ‘n’ roll…and this album no doubt will live up to its title for many fans.

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZxedJcTaFg

BOULEVARD IV - Luminescence

A: 12,5 € B: 15 €

Believe it or not, but Canadian AOR gods BOULEVARD are back almost 27 years since their brilliant second album "Into The Street" (1990) and what a cracker it is - simply marvellous from start to finish ! After their tremendous gig at Firefest 2014 and the release of the DVD "Live From Gastown" the Canucks feat. ace singer Mark Holden are proving, that's it's still possible to transporting the magic and the spirit of their early classics into the year 2017. The band stays true to their passion charged rhythms, textured melodic landscapes, and powerful lyrics in this this beautifully crafted body of work that will take the listener down the Boulevard of what is possible. An AOR masterpiece for sure - make sure to buy this gem pronto !

Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bN-LoxmK8CU

SCHERER/BATTEN - Battlezone

A: 12,5 € B: 15 €

Jennifer Batten used to play guitar with MICHAEL JACKSON (remember “Dirty Diana“?). „Battlezone“ is a guitar-driven album with emotional and touching vocals. Lots of drama and eighties flavored sounds. Sometimes sounding a bit like SURVIVOR („What Do You Really Think“), sometimes rather GIANT (“The Sound Of Your Voice“) but with plenty of individual class. Apparently nothing but a match made in heaven. A magnificent record.

MARTIN STARK

Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0UDpIiuHJg

UFO - The Salentino Cuts

A: 12,5 € B: 15 €

British rock legends UFO offer up their first ever covers album paying homage to a dozen of their personal favorites! “The Salentino Cuts” includes several unexpected choices such as Mad Seasons's “River Of Deceit,” John Mellencamp's “Paper In Fire,” and Bill Withers' “Ain't No Sunshine” alongside more traditional but nonetheless thrilling versions such as The Yardbirds' “Heartful Of Soul,” ZZ Top's “Just Got Paid”, Montrose’s „Rock Candy“ and lots more! It’s a common thing with cover albums that some tracks work so much better than others, yes there are some strange choices but you’ll get that with any such album. It does sound like they had a lot of fun doing it.

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qh3TMB8vFTk

NOCTURNAL RITES - Phoenix +1 (ltd. edition digi pack)

A: 14,5 € B: 17,5 €

They have been away for quite some time but now the Swedish outfit delivers again. „Phoenix“ contains lots of melodic metal gems like “Heart Black As Coal“, “The Poisonous Seed“ or “Nothing Can Break Me“. And there’s also a lot of fine midtempo tunes to be found (e.g. “Before We Waste Away“). This time the material comes with a slightly more modern production without denying their roots, of course. Welcome back, guys!

MARTIN STARK

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esXmQdd81ZA

LAVA - Alibi

A: 13,5 € B: 16 €

We didn’t had to wait another 14 years for a new album from the Norwegian super pro’s, just 2 years has gone by since their critically acclaimed comeback “Polarity”, which contained a superb mixture of west coast and AOR. Their new effort “Alibi” sees a slight change of direction, cause the AOR influences are nearly gone and has been replaced by a pure slick and smooth west coast sound. Stand out tracks like “Closet” and “Wendy’s Painting Pictures” smells the pure L.A. west coast flair of Airplay and what about the killer track “Cover Me” in the classic Toto mould (Steve Lukather & co would be proud to write such a great track these days!). West coast lovers will totally dig this superb west coast release.

Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yX1k7GHbVA

LAVA - Polarity

A: 13,5 € B: 16 €

Nearly 14 years after their Norwegian #2 album “Rhythm Of Love” the legendary west coasters returned with a vengeance. Led by ace players Rolf Graf and Sven Dag Hauge (best known for his production with the classic Fate album “Matter Of Attitude”) “Polarity” will please every west coast AOR related fan with a range from the pure AOR of “Aquilo Blow” or “Fly Like An Arrow” (pure genius – like Stage Dolls on heat) over a great reworked version of the Thowsen mega classic “Black Rain” (with help from Chris Thompson)  up to Earth, Wind & Fire influenced sophisticated funky tracks like the first single “Shine A Little Light (with the incredible Randy Crawford handling the lead vocals). Truly great stuff !

Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTSwQIIXAUE

 

NEW RELEASES IN STOCK!

STAN BUSH - Change The World

A: 12,5 € B: 15 €

Stan Bush is without any doubt one of the most respectful musicians of the melodic rock world. With an over 33-years career on his back, Stan Bush has offered some really impressive albums of pure melodic rock/AOR bliss. With his new album Stan offers, once again, his well-known beautiful melodies, memorable hooks and choruses and, of course, his superb vocal lines. Tracks like „Change The World“, „Born To Win‘, „Live Your Dream“ or „The Other Side Of Love“ are classy melodic rockers oft he highest order. The only weak spot is the thing that Stan has re-recorded the mega classic „The Touch“ once again (the original version is unbeatable) and the same goes for „Never Surrender“ („Kickboxer“) and „Warrior“.

Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=daniXLf90uM

THE DARREN PHILLIPS PROJECT - Vol.1 (digi pack)

A: 12,5 € B: 15 €

The Darren Phillips Project is a new sensational all-star project that, besides the mastermind Darren Phillips, it, also, includes a bunch of some high-skilled, extremely talented and well-known musicians such as Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69), Enzo Almanzi (White Widdow), Robbie LaBlanc (Find Me / Blanc Faces), Philip Lindstrand (Find Me / Jim Jidhed), Michael Palace (Palace, Kryptonite) and Erik Heinke (Miss Behaviour) among others!!! As you can all assume by the musicians that were included in this project, the sound here is moving between melodic rock, AOR and some edgier hard rock stuff! Yes, you are guessing right, The Darren Phillips Project is an album that can't be missed by any fan of the melodic scene in general.

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgRcK0ao33k

H.E.A.T. - Into The Great Unknown

A: 13 € B: 15,5 €

Round five for Sweden's biggest melodic rock hope and it's a bit prophetic of what to expect from their newest step. And, yes you are guessing right; the boys this time pulled out a few new tricks from their sleeve and enriched their sound with some more modern formulas. Of course, the well-known elements of the band's previous records are here (hooks, choruses, melodies), but the boys of H.E.A.T. decided not to take the safe path but to experiment a bit. Half of the album is similar in style to their previous releases, but the remaining tracks are spiced with some poppish elements like Reckless Love at their latest album or Def Leppard ("Shit City"). If you loved HEAT before then this is the next stride forward in their evolution.

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUHA6T0Cl-Q

DEBBIE RAY - Slave To The System

A: 12,5 € B: 15 €

Modern but highly melodic but constantly pounding hard rock. Mostly uptempo and partly pop-like but always with a rough attitude. Swedish band DEBBIE RAY once again knows how to combine elements of DEAD BY APRIL, HARDCORE SUPERSTAR or BACKYARD BABIES on their sophomore album “Slave To The System“. Definitely a band to be recognized with a distinctive flavor. The Gothenburg-based band is able to provide great ballads or mid tempo tracks (“Made To Cry“), too.

MARTIN STARK

Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lwi1p1sefs

COLDSPELL - A New World Arise

A: 12,5 € B: 15 €

Swedish melodic metal with a little progressive touch. The band of guitar player Michael Larsson (R.A.W.) delivers solid to pretty good melodic metal stuff that lacks nothing but a little bit of uniqueness. Album number four gives you what you want if you are into that kind of music. Nothing to complain here when it comes to songwriting, production or arrangements. For fans of BLOODBOUND or SONATA ARCTICA.

MMARTIN STARK

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFwlwF1O2GU

BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION - BCCIV

A: 13 € B: 15,5 €

There was no fourth album of BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION possible for a long time but finally Glenn Hughes (b/v), Joe Bonamassa (g), Derek Sherinian (keys) and Jason Bonham (d) are back for good. It’s only this very combination of talent that’s able to create that certain magic. Lots of potential new live classics are all over the place here. “Last Song For My Resting Place“, sung by Bonamassa, sticks out a bit with its folk touch. Once again produced by Kevin Shirley (e.g. DREAM THEATER).

MARTIN STARK

watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNFmtxlLU4w

 

SPECIAL OFFERS !!

FATE - If Not For The Devil +1

A: 6 € B: 7,5 €

While FATE’s last album “Ghosts From The Past” sounded unexpectedly heavy, the new record marks kind of return to the roots and albums like “Cruisin’ For A Bruisin’” and “Scratch N Sniff”. In my opinion this style fits much better with the band. Jacob Hansen (PRETTY MAIDS a. o.) has mixed the band a dynamic sound that is just perfect for songs like the fast-paced opener “Reaping”, the highly melodic “Bridges Are Burning” or the classic “Feel Like Making Love”. “If Not For The Devil” is one of the strongest albums by FATE and recommended to any Melodic Rock fan!

watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enQgAtVCOBM

RIO - Borderland

A: 6 € B: 7,5 €

A very classy pairing of UK musicians going under the hammer as Rio. It's just as well we picked up on them as an AOR act, as they could quite easily have been mistaken for a new romantic type band a la Duran Duran. The music thankfully is not as dry or as rarified as the desert air, but is North American styled FM radio rock, sounding anything but British. Standout tracks like „I Don’t Wanna Be The Fool“, „Straight To The Heart“, „Tommy Can’t Help It“ (very close to Journey’s „Send Her My Love“) or the I-Ten flavoured „Close To You“ are all prime examples of top notch 80s AOR tracks of the highest order.

listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58Fbzq7_Spo&index=3&list=PLtN4dmtHgNq6XiQ-o4JMP6SN-Iq-AU84b

SCOTT, JEF - Ten Stories (digitally remastered)

A: 7 € B: 8,5 €

JEF SCOTT, guitarist and vocalist, had fronted various L.A. area bands during the 80's, most notably his own Jef Scott Group. At the beginning of the '90s he was the leader of the band THE MEN, which released an album on a major label and spot a minor hit single. Jef Scott wrote plenty of songs during the early 80s together with Tony Kaye (Yes) until he could score a deal with Epic Records. “Ten Stories” got released in 1986 and it seems that there were only promotional copies pressed, cause all available vinyl copies had a promo sticker. What a pity, cause this was a really good radio friendly AOR album in the vein of Jimmy Davis meets Tom DeLuca with great guest musicians like Jay Schellen and Bryan Hitt.

listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6VRDaZOOJw

SURGIN' - When Midnight Comes

A: 6 € B: 7,5 €

“When Midnight Comes” was released only a few months after the Bon Jovi debut and most of the songs were written by Jon Bon Jovi and Jack Ponti, which was the main guy behind SURGIN. It must have been quite frustrating for Jack Ponti and his bunch while “When Midnight Comes” was minimum on par with the Bon Jovi debut – tracks like In The Heat Of The Night”, “Turn On The Radio”, “When Midnight Comes” or “Heartbeat Away” are classics cuts of the highest order and it’s a pity that this first class band went under after such a phenomenal album.

listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tk86FtoG3Ss

 

COMING NEXT !!
 

CODE RED - 10/20
MIDNITE CITY - 10/20
AUTOGRAPH - 10/06
HEAVEN & EARTH - 10/06
PHANTOM 5 - 10/10
REVOLUTION SAINTS - 10/10
 
     
 

AOR - Metal Heaven :: Georg Siegl :: Landshuter Str. 11 :: 84051 Altheim :: GERMANY

phone: ++49-8703-8517 :: fax: ++49-8703-8568 :: e-mail: georg.siegl@aorheaven.com

www.metalheaven.net :: www.aorheaven.com