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AOR HEAVEN ::: N E W S L E T T E R ::: 20/01/2017

 

Howdy melodic rockers,

Things should get busies next with the first bunch of Frontiers releases in 2017 incl. Pride Of Lions, The Murder Of My Sweet, Jack Russell’s Great White and Stephen Pearcy plus the new releases from Last Autumn’s Dream and Firewind.

On the re-issues front we have stocked some fine Japanese titles from George Benson and Far Cry.

Last but not least tickets for the H.e.a.t. festival are now online at a price of 99 Euros. Bands confirmed so far are: DARE, HARDLINE, BROTHER FIRETRIBE, DANTE FOX, ART NATION, CRYSTAL BALL, SHAMELESS / TUFF. The next bunch of acts will get announced by end of next week, so stay tuned.

 

 

Please check www.metalheaven.net for soundbytes from our upcoming February 2017 releases from AGE OF REFLECTION & SUPERNOVA PLASMAJETS !

 

Have  a great week

Georg & Monika

 

 

 

AOR HEAVEN RELEASES!

JIM JIDHED - Push On Through

A: 11 € B: 13 €

Glorious (Edit)

If We Call It Love (Edit)

One Breathe (Edit)

ALIEN-fronter JIM JIDHED teamed up with fellow Swede Daniel Flores (THE MURDER OF MY SWEET, FIND Me) who produced the album and played drums. The album comes as a quick surprise because "Tankar I Winternatten", sung in Swedish, came out not that long ago. At times the new one is slightly heavier but with great melodies from beginning to end. A flawless vocal performance and mature songwriting skills make "Push On Through" at least as good as "Full Circle" (2003), Jidhed's best solo effort so far. Michael Palace (PALACE) and Philip Lindstrand on guitar as well as Ken Sandin (ALIEN) on bass provide excellent playing. A great melodic rock album from one of the best voices out there!

MARTIN STARK

 

SWEET MARY JANE - Winter In Paradise

A: 11 € B: 13 €

Fire In Your Eyes (Edit)

Madeleine (Edit)

No Retreat No Surrender (Edit)

SWEET MARY JANE, a band fronted by Tomas Berggren (ex RAZAMANAZ) delivers pure AOR/Melodic Rock that takes you by storm. The opening track "Fire In Your Eyes" is a great choice. Bombastic and highly melodic stuff which will more than please fans of LAST AUTUMN'S DREAM, MISS BEHAVIOR or TREAT. But the Swedish outfit can play straight forward hard rock, too as the rocking "Madelaine" impressively shows, as well as the ability to showcase more quiet and almost pop-like tunes ("Angel Of Mine"). Furthermore, "Surrender" and "Don't Be Too Late" foremost prove that "Winter In Paradise" doesn't lose power towards the end at all. Produced by Lars Criss (LION'S SHARE). A band to definitely keep an eye on!

MARTIN STARK

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDuefYZ-Qpk

 

EXPECTED NEW RELEASES!

PRIDE OF LIONS - Fearless

A: 13 € B: 15,5 €

Following a longer break, the lions are back with new material. Other than the last effort "Immortal" (2009), "Fearless" contains more simple but highly effective hooklines that are mostly reminiscent of the legendary 2003 debut "Pride of Lions" which almost shape the genre these days. Toby Hitchcock delivers vocally and the songwriting qualities of Jim Peterik (ex SURVIVOR) is out of discussion. Being that strong the Americans can hardly be outplayed by anyone in the scene.

MARTIN STARK

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

STEPHEN PEARCY - Smash

A: 13 € B: 15,5 €

The fourth solo effort of in and out RATT-singer will certainly please fans of the legendary American band. Fine, timeless hard rock built around the characteristic voice Pearcy's. There's a surprising variety: "Smash" has got heavy rockers ("Dead Roses" or "Want Too Much"), emotional tunes ("What Do Ya Think") and mighty groovers ("I Know I'm Crazy"). By far the best solo album of STEPHEN PEARCY!

MARTIN STARK

Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddM3CP4ouvI

JACK RUSSELL’S GREAT WHITE - He Saw It Coming

A: 13 € B: 15,5 €

Debut album of JACK RUSSELL'S version of GREAT WHITE that is touring since 2011. Mostly bluesy songs that pretty well cross the bridge between the classic sound of the original band and new horizons but without being too spectacular. Highlights like the cool "She Moves Me" or the ballad-like "Anything For You" stand out. An organic sound and meaningful lyrics throughout the record complete the picture.

MARTIN STARK

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uaWTKVqam1k

LAST AUTUMN’S DREAM - In Disguise

A: 13 € B: 15,5 €

Swedish band LAST AUTUMN'S DREAM, the brainchild of Mikael Erlandsson, has had lots of cover versions of their respective influences on their thirteen albums so far. So a pure tribute album makes totally sense. Songs by STREETS, KISS, LOVERBOY or even ABBA are respectfully revisited but not without adding a bit of an own flavour. The pleasant voice of Erlandsson alone is worth listening. Thumbs up! 

MARTIN STARK

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

THE MURDER OF MY SWEET - Echoes Of The Aftermath

A: 13 € B: 15,5 €

Drummer and producer Daniel Flores and his wife, singer ANGELICA go back to their roots on their fifth album with THE MURDER OF MY SWEET. Less complex melodies and arrangements but as much magic as on the well-received predecessor "Beth Out Of Hell" (2015). A clever blend of gothic rock and melodic metal elements is what makes the Swedish band one hell of an act and has way more to offer than the fantastic voice of ANGELICA.

MARTIN STARK

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCLiCifcuI8

FIREWIND - Immortals (ltd. edition media book)

A: 15,5 € B: 18,5 €

Greek melodic power metal band FIREWIND lead by guitarist Gus G (OZZY OSBOURNE) is back. In 2017, they still do what they can do best and that is to combine amazing melodies with extraordinary guitars. The new vocalist Henning Basse (ex METALLIUM) seems to fit in perfectly. The eighth album of the multi-national outfit is their first ever concept album. It deals with ancient Greece.

MARTIN STARK

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

GEORGE BENSON - 20/20 (JAP CD, digitally remastered)

A: 15,5 € B: 18,5 €

20/20 (1985) is a great album, it's not jazz on offer here it's more pop and funk oriented. For some reason this album never scores very high in reviews which is odd because it's very good, I think that it gets lower scores because of the jazz snobs making out "it's not jazz from Benson" etc. Also another factor as to why it's rated lower is because Benson's brilliant guitar playing is not that prominent on here, there are however some of his trademark licks in the background, also the production is very slick drum machines synclavier synths etc.(which was state of the art during the mid 80s). Nevertheless, if you're diggin' the poppier side of west coast this is almost perfect stuff.  Digitally remastered, special edition.

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9epgm4R2c8k

GEORGE BENSON - In Your Eyes (JAP CD, digitally remastered)

A: 15,5 € B: 18,5 €

Always on the cusp of the West Coast scene during the late 70's and early 80's was legendary jazz guitarist George Benson, who made the transition into easy listening rock with albums like 'Breezin' and 'Give Me the Night'. Benson was joined by the likes of David Paich, Greg Philliganes, Nathan East, Steve Porcaro and Lenny Castro here, so veterans of this type of light AOR will know what to expect and not walk away disappointed. Tons of keyboards and AOR melody are the norm, with a heavy pop feel, which never gets in the way. Remarkably laid back and beautifully handled soft rock from a true master. Benson would soon shift away from this commercial material, but it left a lasting impression.

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8iwnXrlx3U

FAR CRY - The More Things Change
(JAP CD, digitally remastered)

A: 15,5 € B: 18,5 €

Far Cry was in fact a studio project lead New Yorker Phil Galdston and Canadian Peter Thom who worked together during the 70s. Some of their penned tunes were pretty successful and they got an album deal releasing the album "American Gypsies" as Galdston & Thom in the second half of that decade. Their 2nd effort went under the FAR CRY moniker, with a big budget at hand and top session musicians contributing, including guitarists Mark Doyle, Elliott Randall, Donald Fagen on backing vocals & more. It basically comprises the early '80s smooth melodies of those year's successful FM Radio / AOR West Coast style: melodic, smooth, easy listening and plenty of sweet harmonies. Digitally remastered.

Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJGdta6eZ1Q

 

NEW RELEASES IN STOCK!

ANDY ROCK - This Time

A: 13 € B: 15,5 €

ANDY ROCK, guitarist and founder member of AORsters Wild Rose, just released his second solo album "This Time". Andy is at charge of all instruments except the lead vocals and the drums, and wrote all of the songs on“This Time”. Having the excellent David A. Saylor (PUSH UK) doing all lead vocals elevates "This Time" above the bar, additionally the presence of a 'real' drummer results into an album with a crisp sound and a true '80s AOR feel. Just think a mix of Wild Rose and David A. Saylor solo albums... you can't go wrong, this is good stuff for the lovers of classic AOR stuff into FM / STRANGEWAYS. Sad but true this alsbum contains the final recordings of David A. Saylor, which passed away December the 31st.

Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J92SMdStaNk

SILENT - Land Of Lightning (digi pack)

A: 12,5 € B: 15 €

After almost 14 years of studio silence, Brazilian AOR band SILENT returns with new material entitled "Land Of Lightning. The band released a highly praised album in 2001, a pure AOR / Melodic Rock record in a time when the genre was pretty much considered 'underground'. With a refreshed line-up, Silent begin to compose new material and last year they selected the best, polished songs, and entered into the studio. "Land Of Lightning" continues with Silent's love for classy AOR melodies, with smooth guitars, lots of keys, big harmony vocals and strong hooklines and. 13 tracks are on offer featuring lovely melodies in the vein of 91 Suite, Foreigner, Hugo, Toto, Harem Scarem and modern Journey.

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2108w-HQdkE

MIDWAY - Low Life

A: 13 € B: 15,5 €

MIDWAY is a Swedish melodic rock band that was founded in 2014. Their debut "Kickstart Riot" was a solid piece of melodic rock. Now these youngsters are ready to unleash their 2nd strike which is entitled "Low Life". Their music is influenced by the late 80's hard rock scene with some strong late 70's pinches but, also, some newer Swedish melodic rock 'touches' here and there. With a powerful singer, which reminds me a bit of H.E.A.T.'s shouter Erik Gronwall, crunchy but still melodic guitars, the whole band sounds tight and extremely enjoyable from start to finish. All in all, this is another pleasant surprise for the lovers of H.E.A.T. and cohorts, and a band that has potentials to become the next big thing in this scene!!!

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4R3Hxr1ZBs

MAGNUM - The Valley Of Tears (digi pack)

A: 13,5 € B: 16 €

Like any band with a long and proud history, UK pomp rock specialists Magnum aren't exactly short of compilation collections for their fans and casual observers to choose from. "The Valley Of Tears – The Ballads" takes a slightly wider and yet at the same time narrower look at Magnum's work. This time selections are taken from as far back as 1986's "Vigilante" album (the band's sixth), stopping off at the "Rock Art" and "Sleepwalking" records along the way. The other six songs are from the reunion era, with "Your Dreams" even coming from 2016's excellent "Sacred Blood Divine Lies". There's no denying this is an excellent set of 'ballads' performed quite superbly, but it only focuses on one side of a many faceted band.

 

SPECIAL OFFERS !

DALTON - Pit Stop

A: 8,5 € B: 10,5 €

Together with Europe and Treat, for a few years in the late 80’s, DALTON was a force to be reckoned with in Sweden. They enjoyed successful touring, teen media coverage, TV appearances and a string of radio hits. 25 years after their debut album “The Race Is On”, the original members came back with a vengeance and a reunion filmed for TV. Loaded with inspiration and dedication the band went through demos made for the never recorded third album along with some newly written songs. They ended up with 11 pure excellent tracks, recorded in good company with producer Erik Mårtensson (Eclipse, W.E.T.). The result is simply stunning – pure and classy Scandi AOR of the highest order – a cracker!

Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWsk5uHXcow

KING OF HEARTS - 1989

A: 6 € B: 7,5 €

The group KING OF HEARTS  were born during Richard Marx's "Repeat Offender" recording sessions in 1988. In fact, this is a duo comprising the talents of Bruce Gaitsch and Tommy Funderburk, supported by a dream team: Kelly Keagy (Night Ranger) George Hawkins and Bill Champlin. This one, their debut, was recorded for a major US label in 1989 but got rejected, until it got released by a small Japanese label in 1999. The album is a mix of pure smooth and laid back westcoast with some more guitar driven pure rock. Tracks like “Working Man”, “Don't Call My Name”, “Lovin' Arms” and “Smack Dab” are some of the best examples of pure American FM rock you could find on this planet.

listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCgK0eerm3E

MITCH MALLOY - Making Noise

A: 6 € B: 7,5 €

A welcome return of the US sunnyboy after a break of almost four years since his latest studio album "Sine On" (2012). "Making Noise" marks the first time Mitch has undertaken an album solely by himself from start to finish – songwriting, producing, instruments, mixing and mastering. Overall the album sounds quite controlled like Mitch Malloy has done the recent years, keeping true to that melodic rock, well perhaps with a some more rough edges. The formula for "Making Noise" is still typically melodic rock flavored, but Mitch is also dealing with some classic rock influences like the first single "My Therapy" or the opening tune "Rock'n Roll". To sum it up - "Making Noise" is definately as good as Mitch Malloys last two albums.

watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j859-1GyvhA

SONIC STATION - Next Stop +4

A: 6 € B: 7,5 €

Sonic Station is the project of Swedish guitarist and composer Alexander Kronbrink. An accomplished musician, Kronbrink is heavily influenced by 80s AOR, notably Toto, Mr Mister and Journey, but also the West Coast sound of Airplay and Chicago. The seeds of Sonic Station are also in his song writing collaboration on singer and keyboard player Marika Willstedt. Contributing lyrics and vocals, Marika handles the lead vocals on 3 tracks while the other singer, Johan Boding, takes care of the lead vocals at the remaining 8 tracks. The music of Sonic Station is rather mild melodic rock, but also with the pleasant appeal of the hooks and melody of AOR and the breeze of West Coast, tailor made for fans of Work Of Art or Theander Expression.

watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gR3J1QSRJNM

 

COMING NEXT !!
 

AGE OF REFLECTION - 02/24
SUPERNOVA PLASMAJETS - 02/24
PRIDE OF LIONS - 01/24
STEPHEN PEARCY - 01/24
BLACK STAR RIDERS - 02/03
 
     
 

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