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AOR HEAVEN ::: N E W S L E T T E R ::: 01/22/2021

 

Howdy melodic rockers,

The overkill of new releases continues - just have a short look at the "expected new releases" below. We have already received the Japanese stuff like the Treat / Tesla re-issues and while this week was almost perfect for the melodic rock fan base (W.e.t., Art Of Illusion, Creye, Wig Wam) the next week should please the more metal flavoured crowd with newies from Accept, Royal Hunt, MSG and Tragedian.

 

 

Have a great week

Georg & Monika

 

 

 

AOR HEAVEN RELEASES:

ART OF ILLUSION - X Marks The Spot

A: 11 € B: 13 €

ART OF ILLUSION is a collaboration of the two Swedes Anders Rydholm (g/b/keys, GRAND ILLUSION, CODE) and Lars Säfsund (v, WORK OF ART, LIONVILLE, ENBOUND). So the genre is absolutely set although on some songs there are additional influences and elements from musical productions (“A Culinary Detour“ or “Waltz For The Movies“) or parts that are reminiscent of QUEEN. Melodic Rock/AOR including some stylistic surprises with the amazing voice of Säfsund being the icing on the cake. Perfect stuff for fans of LAST AUTUMNS DREAM, LIONVILLE, ART NATION and CWF and from WORK OF ART and GRAND ILLUSION foremost, of course. “X Marks The Spot“ definitely is one early highlight of the year. Just check out the cool “Run“ or the brilliant ballad by the name of “Race Against Time“.

MARTIN STARK

Watch: https://youtu.be/ydps8Hw1AII

 

PERTICONE - Underdog

A: 11 € B: 13 €

PERTICONE that’s the Argentinian singer and musician Martin Perticone. „Underdog“ is his debut album although he has been playing and recording with various artists from Latin America for many years. Melodic Rock from Argentina. Melodic Rock with a little bit of southern rock, which surprisingly fits pretty well and forms an interesting body of songs, being quite unique. Tracks for example like the title song or the powerful opener “No One Else (But You)“ or “All You Can Trust“, which comes in two different versions and features the one and only Eric Martin (v, MR.BIG), are quite remarkable. PERTICONE or UNDERDOG, that’s how he would like to call him from now on, is a true gem.

MARTIN STARK

 

listen: https://youtu.be/hJAwMpC_ZKI

 
 
 
 
EXPECTED NEW RELEASES !!

TREAT - Dreamhunter (JAP CD)

A: 15,5 € B: 18,5 €

After EUROPE’s mega chartbuster “The Final Countdown” every Swedish major label was hunting down for the next potential follow up and TREAT where one of them. They never came close to the world wide success of Joey Tempest and his bunch, but both “Dreamhunter” (1987) and their previous release “The Pleasure Principle” still stands as two brilliant European AOR releases of the 80s. “Dreamhunter” is full packed with hits. It’s hard to pick out stand out tracks while the overall quality is so high, but I would state the opening track “Sole Survivor”, “World Of Promises”, or  “Take Me On Your Wings” for prime examples of perfect Scandi AOR with killer hooklines. Limited re-issue, the sound quality is superb !

watch: https://youtu.be/AcKdJ4T0dfA

TREAT - The Pleasure Principle (JAP CD)

A: 15,5 € B: 18,5 €

It didn’t happened that often that a band released two classic album within only one year, but TREAT were undoubtful one of them. Their second strike “The Pleasure Principle” and the follow up “Dreamhunter” were both phenomenal AOR albums full of killer tunes and both CDs were hard to find at the last few years, so this official reissues should please a lot of AOR maniacs. “The Pleasure Principle” (1986) contains some of the strongest Euro AOR tunes ever which could be easily described as a mix of 80s DOKKEN (“Under Lock And Key” era) and the majestic keys and hooklines out of the EUROPE master piece “The Final Countdown” – the ultimate Scandi AOR sound !! Limited edition re-issue with great sound !

listen: https://youtu.be/lz6Z7bZ6JcA

TREAT - Scratch And Bite (JAP CD)

A: 15,5 € B: 18,5 €

Treat started life in 1982 as rock band with Swedish lyrics until drummer Mats “Dalton” Dahl joyned them in 1983. They recorded a demo for Polygram, which were looking for a Swedish hard rock band as a counterpart to Europe and signed them in 1984. One year later “Scratch And Bite” got released in 1985 and carried such great Scandi AOR tunes like “Scracth And Bite”, “Get You On The Run”, “Hidin’” or the killer ballad “We Are One”, which tuned out not as strong as their following classics “The Pleasure Principle” and “Dreamhunter”, but already proved the great potential of the band. Strictly limited Japanese re-issue and the sound quality is simply stunning.

watch: https://youtu.be/fPl-z4xIFoY

TREAT - Organized Crime (JAP CD)

A: 15,5 € B: 18,5 €

Swedes’ TREAT 4th album “Organized Crime (1989), a terrific collection of songs were the band mix their classic Scandinavian Melodic Rock roots with all the shine n’ catchiness of ’80s American AOR. With new members Patrick Applegren on keyboards and Joe Larsson on bass, Treat signed to Vertigo for their next effort ‘Organized Crime’ with the aim to the American public. They’ve here mixed the glossy AOR of previous albums ‘Dreamhunter’ with an Americanized mainstream rock 1988-89 approach, and headed off in a direction led by Winger and cohorts. Production wise without a doubt their best sounding album. Limited Japanese re-release with a terrific sound quality.

watch: https://youtu.be/jKa-7099RFE

TESLA - Mechanical Resonance (JAP CD)

A: 15,5 € B: 18,5 €

Tesla came out of the gates with everything in its right place: a major label (Geffen), great producers (Thompson & Barbiero) and the best management you could ask for (Q Prime). The band were and are all top drawer musicians, and they had a batch of killer rootsy hard rock ready to record. When Tesla’s debut “Mechanical Resonance” was released in 1986, it made a major impact among the dominating glammy hard rock scene. “Mechanical Resonance” brought into the ’80s US Hard Rock scene one of the most distinctive – and best – bands of the era, which continue creating excellent nowadays. This limited Japanese re-release sounds like a million bucks - you better hurry up !

watch: https://youtu.be/uee-aYUA0u4

ROYAL HUNT - Dystopia

A: 13,5 € B: 16 €

Orchestral progressive rock and metal of the finest sort. ROYAL HUNT never disappointed and always put great quality but this record might well be their masterpiece even after some decades in the business. Apart from their regular frontman DC COOPER they use some guest vocalists like Mats Leven (THERION, CANDLEMASS) among others. Amazing and extremely versatile and exciting stuff! “I Used To Walk Alone“ or “Black Butterflies“ will definitely convince listeners.

MARTIN STARK

watch: https://youtu.be/R9yfEw08FnQ

ACCEPT - Too Mean To Die

A: 13 € B: 15,5 €

41 years after their first self-titled debut, the German kings of heavy metal are once more ready to shatter the eardrums with their latest record, ‘Too Mean to Die’. It’s an 11-track riff heavy slab of heavy metal in the classic Accept sound and possibly their finest release since 2010’s ‘Blood Of The Nations’. Accept have never been a thrash metal outfit, but with tracks like ‘Too Mean to Die’ you can certainly see their influence. Crashing riffs and a driving rhythm section work on every song, the pace varies but never slows too much. Accept may be closing on 45 years, but there is plenty of life in the old dogs yet.

watch: https://youtu.be/DQy6npwdwsY

CORPORATE CONTROL - Whatever It Takes

A: 12,5 € B: 15 €

CORPORATE CONTROL is classic hard rock with Paul Sabu (ONLY CHILD) on vocals. The project led by German allrounder Marcus Boeltz deliver their debut and offer cool songwriting and great musicianship. If you are into the likes of UFO, URIAH HEEP or even SILENT RAGE, CORPORATE CONTROL is what you need. “Radio“ is an absolute highlight giving you shivers all over and so is “Leaving It Behind“ or „Can’t Kill A Dead Man".  Just a pity that Paul Sabu's vocals are sometimes a bit painful.

MARTIN STARK

TRAGEDIAN - Seven Dimensions

A: 12,5 € B: 15 €

TRAGEDIAN is a power metal band from Germany which has got three albums out so far. They play quite a melodic and partly progressive style. Just check out the mighty “Rising Rage“ and the fast “Darkest Of My Days“. But also emotional and quiet songs are part of the repertoire the Hamburg-based band offers here, like e.g. “Crying In The Rain“. “Seven Dimensions“ is well-produced highlighting the versatile songwriting.

MARTIN STARK

watch: https://youtu.be/RnXu7yBoqAo

MSG - Immortal

A: 13 € B: 15,5 €

Michael Schenker is pretty active recently and this time, too, many guest musicians like Derek Sherinian (keys, ex DREAM THEATER) or Brian Tichy (d, e.g. ex BILLY IDOL) take part. Only the songwriting is not really convincing this time. “Immortal“ is mostly sang by Ronnie Romero (RAINBOW, CORELEONI) whereas songwriter and producer Michael Voss sings one two tracks, too. A good record with phenomenal guitars as always, but actually nothing more.

MARTIN STARK

watch: https://youtu.be/kLMn1nPqANM

BITE THE BULLET - Black & White

A: 12,5 € B: 15 €

Strong brand new material in the vein of MR.MISTER, FOREIGNER and ASIA. The second album (!) after the 1986 debut, which was just re-released one year ago. It picks up the original sound of BITE THE BULLET and offers highlights like “Rocks To Stones“, “Starlight“ or “You Never Knew“ among many others. It’s pretty cool when music is able to create the impression that time stands still.

MARTIN STARK

listen: https://youtu.be/cmPzbMFn0aw

THE DEAD DAISIES - Holy Ground (digi pack)

A: 13,5 € B: 16 €

The fifth album of the Australian-American “supergroup“ is again - maybe because? - another line-up-change a real killer. John Corabi is replaced by “the voice of rock“ Glenn Hughes (v/b, ex DEEP PURPLE, BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION). Energy-driven classic rock, timeless music with balls and lots of groove. Let alone the eye-twinkling and brutally powerful “Like No Other (bassline)“ shine which is worth every single penny.

MARTIN STARK

watch: https://youtu.be/EmBnz2bm5KE

 

 

NEW RELEASES IN STOCK!!

CREYE - II

A: 13 € B: 15,5 €

Young Swedish outfit CREYE was able to stir up the AOR world with their magnificent debut in 2018. And also, the sophomore album “II“ is superb AOR although on a couple of songs the Swedes push the boundaries a bit (“Siberia“). Ear candy like “Face To Face“, “Find A Reason“ or “Broken Highway“ are unrivaled. Essential stuff for fans digging ONE DESIRE, WORK OF ARRT, ART NATION or (early) H.E.A.T.! So that’s how you do AOR in 2021!

MARTIN STARK

watch: https://youtu.be/62fbWhXYFKU

W.E.T. - Retransmission

A: 13 € B: 15,5 €

Believe it or not, W.E.T. already puts out their fourth record already. Core members Robert Säll (g/keys, WORK OF ART), Eric Martensson (g, ECLIPSE) and Jeff Scott Soto (v, TALISMAN) set the pace here based on the sound of their main bands. You get strong melodies, fascinating vocals and more and versatile guitars than ever before. “Retransmission“ rocks. One of the really reliable projects out there. Fans of the genre and the aforementioned bands, of course, definitely can’t go wrong here.

MARTIN STARK

watch: https://youtu.be/qPJcLc-Kp9g

WIG WAM - Never Say Die

A: 13 € B: 15,5 €

The Norwegian glamsters around Age Sten Nilsen aka “Glam" are back for good. “Never Say Die“ is full of hard rock anthems and catchy like hell. WIG WAM do what they can do best and what fans actually expect. On these ten songs (plus two instrumentals), they entertain with a twinkling of an eye. Good times rock offering all types of well-known cliches, of course. With a record of this sort, the eighties are more alive than ever.

MARTIN STARK

watch: https://youtu.be/gv3AyHcZmH8

FLESH & BLOOD - Blues For Daze +2 (digitally remastered)

A: 13 € B: 15,5 €

FLESH & BLOOD was a short-lived but amazing super-group put together by Mark Mangold after his 3 AOR albums with Drive She Said, looking for a more rocking, bluesy-based sound. Alongside Mark Mangold on keyboards there’s the awesome Danny Vaughn (Tyketto) on vocals, Al Pitrelli (Savatage, Joe Lynn Turner) on guitar, Chuck Bonfante (Saraya, Drive She Said) on drums and Mitch DeStefano on bass. “Blues For Daze” is indeed a bluesy-based hard rock / classic rock affair mixing upbeat rockers and atmospheric midtempo / ballads with more than a hint of AOR / Melodic Rock. Danny Vaughn is simply the star of the show as his vocal performance is amazing, Bad Reputations re-issue, digitally remastered.

listen: https://youtu.be/FVMBbhrs9xg

LABYRINTH - Welcome To The Absurd Circus

A: 13 € B: 15,5 €

Probably the most hook-driven melodic metal band on this planet returns with the follow-up to the 2017 comeback album “Architecture Of A God“. The Italians manage to combine fast and heavy parts with mighty melodies, progressive elements as well as quiet and emotional moments to even creep into the hearts of pure AOR lovers. This record is actually the legitimate “follow-up" to the iconic “Return To Heaven Denied“ (1998). Fantastic!

MARTIN STARK

watch: https://youtu.be/PaQoJxYQQbM

JASON BIELER - Songs For The Apocalypse

A: 13 € B: 15,5 €

JASON BIELER (v) of SAIGON KICK is a terribly underrated musician. What you get is (surprisingly progressive) hard rock that is extremely powerful in terms of production and that comes with lots of illustrious guests like Todd LaTorre (v, QUEENSRYCHE), Dave Ellefson (b, MEGADETH) or DEVIN TOWNSEND (g). An album to be listened to with headphones on which will definitely reveal new details with every spin. Well done!

MARTIN STARK

watch: https://youtu.be/lNvZZ6oiX1o

PHANTOM ELITE - Titanium

A: 13 € B: 15,5 €

PHANTOM ELITE is the project of vocalist Marina La Torracam (EXIt EDEN, AVANTASIA) and Sander Gommans (ex AFTER FOREVER) who is responsible for the songwriting. Heavy, modern and symphonic as well as progressive, this band might not be suitable for old-school-fans but if you are eager to explore new territories to a certain degree, “Titanium“ is really good stuff. And the young lady can sing for sure! “Glass Crown“ or “Diamonds And Dark“ showcase the range stylistically pretty well here.

MARTIN STARK

watch: https://youtu.be/qhZ7k5Ve3ys

 

COMING NEXT !!
 

AUTUMN'S CHILD - 02/26
WALK THE - WALK - 02/26
GLASGOW - 02/26
JOEL HOEKSTRA - 02/12
INGLORIOUS - 02/12
 
     
 

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

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