If this newsletter doesn't appear correctly in your mail browser, please visit : AOR Heaven Newsletter


AOR HEAVEN ::: N E W S L E T T E R ::: 16/04/2021


Howdy melodic rockers,

Something really special coming your way due next week (Tuesday, the 20th to be precise !), cause we can offer you a really special release – the new band from Kee Marcello / Tommy Heart called OUT OF THIS WORLD ! It’s a real cracker and copies have been only on sale in Europe as part of their crowdfunding campaign.


This said – we can ship copies starting by next Tuesday – happy ordering !


wishing you a great week

Georg & Monika






BRIAN ISLAND - Brian Island +1

A: 11 € B: 13 €

BRIAN ISLAND (real name Brian Cowieson) is a Canadian bass player and vocalist. He has played with many local acts, written songs for other artists and scores for movies & TV shows.
Island was part of the cult cancon AOR band Prototype which released a very good album back in '83.
For his one and only solo album, Island required the services of his old partner in Prototype, guitarist & producer Dan Lowe. Lowe, an inventor of an enhancement method for stereo recording (named Q-Sound), also contributed on guitars and songwriting. This recording sounds million bucks indeed, with excellent instrument separation and a crispy edge. Island's style is Hi-Tech AOR with an high dose of adult Pop. A playground where the likes of Stan Meissner, Zappacosta or Ian Thomas hang out. All the songs on this disc come along in a catchy and highly enjoyable style, featuring strong bass lines, very good guitars and cool keyboards. If you are fan of high quality Hi-Tech, perfect recording techniques and compact, glossy sounds, don't miss Brian Island. Initially only released in Canada and extremely rare these days. Limited edition of 500 copies incl. 1 bonus track and liner notes by Dave Reynolds.


listen: https://youtu.be/Jp7hIOAC6KY


ESCAPE - Fire In The Sky

A: 11 € B: 13 €

British AOR outfit has been away for quite some time but now guitar player Vince O’Reagan (BOB CATLEY, LEGION) starts a new version of the band including a new line-up. It’s  a collection of re-recorded and freshly produced songs from earlier ESCAPE records and some of his solo stuff as well as two songs previously recorded by BOB CATLEY but written by O’Reagan (“Blinded By A Lie“ and “Walk On Water“). Everything is typical British AOR with lots of majestic keyboards but also with balls or in other words, sharp guitars. If you dig the likes of TEN, NEWMAN or SERPENTINE, you can’t go wrong here. But a completely new ESCAPE record is in the making, too.



watch: https://youtu.be/48CL03i93lY

FARCRY - Balance

A: 11 € B: 13 €

“Balance“ is the third in total and first FARCRY output in roundabout ten years. The Americans offer a refurbished line-up with new vocalist Bob Malone and play straight-forward melodic hard rock with (almost) no keyboards, Mastermind Pete Fry (g) and the guys deliver an honest album with lots of hook lines as well as quite versatile and mature songwriting. Just check out the hook-driven tracks “Stay Away“ and “Long Distance Love Affair“ for a first impression or the emotional tracks “I’ll Find A Way“ and “Chasing Rainbows“, too. Definitely one of the best records hailing from far away America in the given genre in a long time. 


listen: https://youtu.be/8P9eSGhJF8c



OUT OF THIS WORLD - Out Of This World +4

A: 13 € B: 15,5 €

A collaboration of Tommy Heart (v, FAIR WARNING, ex SOUL DOCTOR) and Kee Marcello (g, ex EUROPE) with their second album although under a new monicker. Majestic AOR / melodic rock with a pretty decent production and a mix by Ron Nevison (e.g. KISS, OZZY). Don Airey (DEEP PURPLE) plays keyboard on four tracks. Ten killers, no fillers. A true contender for every “best of the year“ list. This record is simply “out of this world“ like the song “A Million Years“, for example.


Listen: https://youtu.be/0dcMoQ6iixI

HUNTER - Hungry Heart

A: 13 €

B: 15,5 €

Hunter is a band that hails from  Chile and its style is classic melodic rock/edgy AOR stuff. After the digital release of the band's 10 track debut (which contained five songs in Spanish), the band gained the attention of fans, press and, of course, labels. The Danish Lions Pride label has a weakness for such exotic releases, so it's not a surprise that their new album "Hungry Heart" get released through the Danish label. "Hungry Heart" contains twelve tracks with a classic melodic rock/edgy AOR sound. Well played and properly recorded the album should attract fans of the classic AOR sound with a weakness for exotic bands, cause as with many South American bands  the lead vocals leave some desires.



A: 12 € B: 14,5 €

Second album of the Australian who - like on “Volume One“ (2017) - was able to gather an illustrious number of musicians around him. The production could have been a bit better but musically and in terms of eighties AOR atmosphere foremost, this record is like a rollercoaster ride back in time. Guests like Rob Wylde (v, MIDNITE CITY), Alexander Strandell (v, ART NATION), Robbie LaBlanc (v, BLANC FACES) or Dennis Ward (v, PINK CREAM 69) are the real deal here. “Best Man For You“, an (officially) unreleased PAUL STANLEY track is the icing on the cake. 


Watch: https://youtu.be/B5EBjPn1BvE




ROBBIE LABLANC - Double Trouble

A: 12,5 € B: 15 €

First ever solo record of the American singer (BLANC FACES, FIND ME, EAST TEMPLE AVENUE) is no classic AOR like people could expect but rather seventies-infused pop-rock. Written and produced by Steve Overland (FM) and Tommy Denander (g, e.g. RADIOACTIVE). But can you ever go wrong with this stellar voice? Well, even two or maybe three rather average songs can be found on “Double Trouble“, but tracks like “Start Motor Running“ or “Never Let A Good Thing Go“ justify a purchase.



A: 13 € B: 15,5 €

Energetic and hot hard rock from cold Finland. Produced by Jona Tee from H.E.A.T. Album number three rocks like hell and is full of hooks. TEMPLE BALLS are one of the hottest discoveries recently and “Pyramite“ will definitely pave the way to greater attention and success. There is a certain live feeling in the sound which likely comes from the band touring a lot over the last years. Tracks like “Thunder From The North“, “Fallen Youth“ or “If Only I Could“ are the real deal.


watch: https://youtu.be/Y5e280Op6cY

BACKWOOD SPIRIT - Fresh From The Can

A: 12,5 € B: 15 €

BACKWOOD SPIRIT, that’s Swedish classic rock with none other than Göran Edman (YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, JOHN NORUM) singing. It sounds like the last three decades simply did not exist as it rocks, grooves and is full of bluesy sounds, organically produced and simply authentic. Music like a cool drink at a campfire on a summer’s night. Compared to the 2017 debut album, “Fresh From The Can“ is able to raise the bar considerably.


listen: https://youtu.be/-0B2mzHuEOE

ICON OF SIN - Icon Of Sin

A: 13 € B: 15,5 €

ICON OF SIN is a new band from Brazil around singer extraordinaire Raphael Mendes who sings exactly like Bruce Dickinson (IRON MAIDEN). Not much of a surprise that the songwriting is similar to the one of xxx and at times it’s really, really good (“Unholy Battleground“, “Arcade Generation“ or “The Howling“). But it’s all about the voice of Mendes here, that’s a fact. A good choice not only for those who dig IRON MAIDEN.


watch: https://youtu.be/IklKIpmj8mI

MY REFUGE - The Anger Is Never Over

A: 12,5 € B: 15 €

Melodic power metal outfit MY REFUGE from Italy started in 2014 and what used to be a normal band developed into a project involving musicians from 14 countries and 4 continents on this second longplayer. If you are into sounds in-between PRIMAL FEAR and SKYLARK, you should give the album a listen. Check out the fast “War In Heaven“ or the touching ballad “What If Tomorrow Never Came“. The thin red line is missing a bit across the whole distance, though.


listen: https://youtu.be/Lbk5jwcDaiU

ALLIES - Allies (digitally remastered)

A: 13 € B: 15,5 €

Formed as a by-product of the Christian outfit Sweet Comfort Band (SCB), which was the vehicle for musician Randy Thomas. When they split in 1984, singer Bryan Duncan went on to a successful solo career while Thomas formed Allies, inviting a relatively unknown Bob Carlisle to join as the singer. The style prevalent on SCB's last album 'Perfect Timing' was a natural progression for Thomas to take into Allies, but even so, he improved the quality ten-fold, so much so that this Allies debut album (1985)  is now a collectors item among the melodic rock fraternity. This improvement was also a recognition of Dino Elefante's excellent production job. Almost perfect 80s AOR stuff – every home needs a copy !

watch: https://youtu.be/kbiud0tfZlk

ALLIES - Virtues (digitally remastered)

A: 13 € B: 15,5 €

Christian band Allies were one of the better acquisitions for the Light Music label back in the mid 80's. With Allies, the label released just the two albums: 'Allies' (1985) and this one 'Virtues' the following year. I rate both albums very highly, with former Sweet Comfort Band guitarist Randy Thomas and singer Bob Carlisle leading the way. Vocalist Bob Carlisle seems in better command of his voice here and spends less time "showing off" his range and more just trying to communicate the lyric. Standouts here are the hunger relief ballad "Prayer for the Children" and the anthemic rocker "Runnin' Out of Time". Overall nearly as good as their debut, this is another prime example of perfect keyboard driven 80s AOR stuff.

listen: https://youtu.be/YjXuRvCRBfU

WHITE HEART - White Heart +1
(digitally remastered)

A: 13 € B: 15,5 €

This was White Heart’s introductory album. Formed in 1982 by two members of Bill Gaither’s group they decidedly recorded and performed a more upbeat style of music. Lead by the extraordinary pipes of vocalist Steve Green and the legendary brothers Dave and Dann Huff, both of who should need no introduction; this is one of the best Christian rock debuts ever recorded. Keep in mind, Toto were at the height of their powers when this record was released and it's clear where the group took its inspiration. Spine tingling really and tracks like 'Hold On' and 'Everyday' will make any 'west coast' fan swoon with White Heart standing toe to toe with the best of Maxus, Pages and any other band of similar ilk you care to mention.

listen: https://youtu.be/zFXaQb0D51g

WHITE HEART - Vital Signs +1
(digitally remastered)

A: 13 € B: 15,5 €

Whiteheart was turned down by every major Christian label until Chris Christian heard their demo and signed them to Home Sweet Home Records and gave them their first record deal.  By the time they released their third album on Home Sweet Home Records, they were selling in excess of 250,000 albums.  After their self-titled debut album was released in 1982, singer Steve Green left the band and was replaced by Scott Douglas. The band released its second album, "Vital Signs", in 1984.  Dann Huff left the band shortly afterward and recommended his high school friend, Gordon Kennedy as his replacement and Scott Douglas was added as Huff's replacement as lead vocalist. Digitally remastered re-issue incl. 1 bonus track.

listen: https://youtu.be/yApJ7t_VXvw

WHITE HEART - Hotline + 2
(digitally remastered)

A: 13 € B: 15,5 €

Dann Huff left the band shortly after the release of "Vital Signs" to pursue his dream of being a studio musician, and recommended his high school friend, Gordon Kennedy as his replacement for the next White Heart album, "Hotline". Later, in 1985, David Huff left the band to pursue other interests as well, including touring with Michael W. Smith. Eventually he would join his brother Dann to form the hard rock band Giant. "Hotline" follows the paths of the previous two albums, highlights icl. the Toto like "Jerusalem" and the amazing "In His Name", which are among their best songs ever. Digitally remastered re-issue incl. 2 bonus tracks.

listen: https://youtu.be/RgLXW_9OAo8



PROUD - 05/28
TUPLE - 05/28

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