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AOR HEAVEN ::: N E W S L E T T E R ::: 28/02/2020

 

Howdy melodic rockers,

Even more crazy times due next week, cause the next bunch of Frontiers releases for March has already been delivered to us and we'll make it available at our website for ordering by early next week. On top there are even more goodies scheduled for the next week incl. STEEL CITY, SHARK ISLAND and MISS CRAZY.

I have to admit that this are indeed really expensive times for CD collectors with such a stack of new releases.

Tickets for H.e.a.t. festival 2020 are also now available through our website. The festival takes place at the Scala in Ludwigsburg due November 28th/29th. Bands confirmed so far incl. GLASS TIGER, HAREM SCAREM, KINGDOM COME, ALIEN, NEWMAN, 91 SUITE, ROYAL HUNT, VICTORY, OSUKARU, 20 DARK SEVEN, FIGHTER V, NIGHT LASER & more to come !

 

have a great week

Georg & Monika

 

 

AOR HEAVEN RELEASES!

JESSE DAMON - Damon's Rage

A: 11 € B: 13 €

The SILENT RAGE-frontmann JESSE DAMON puts out solo albums on a regular basis for years and album number seven is probably the best so far. Melodic hard rock with the typical slightly raspy voice of the American and hook-laden compositions you would expect. “Play To Win“, “Love Gone Wild“ oder “Wildest Dreams“, to mention a few songs only, take you by storm. And then there’s the epic “Flyin’ Dutchman“ which adds a little bit of a different flavor to the record. Produced by AOR legend Paul Sabu who also co-wrote two songs and sang powerful backing vocals. Damon and Sabu are working together for a long time, a match made in heaven for sure in terms of writing and recording. A cool hybrid of hard and melodic rock that will easily please fans of KISS, HOUSE OF LORDS or SILENT RAGE, of course.

MARTIN STARK

listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hO-GwD5c3Xk

 

SHAFT OF STEEL - Steel Heartbeat

A: 11 € B: 13 €

AOR from London/UK? Non-existent? Well, it it! The five-piece SHAFT Of STEEL, who put out a highly praised EP some years ago, are back for good and deliver an amazing debut full of timeless AOR anthems. The nucleus of the band are Alex Markham on guitar and vocalist Robert Fenning, who developed from a heavy metal band to a pure AOR act. The emotional ballad “Body And Mind“ or the WORK OF ART-like “Touching You Everyday“ are ear candy of the finest sort. But the absolute highlight is “Everytime I Look At You“. What an AOR / melodic rock gem it is! Don’t be mistaken by the rather heavy metal-like artwork and band name. Melodies, keyboards and lots of positive vibes rule here. Backing vocals and mastering by Dennis Ward (ex PINK CREAM 69). Great record!

MARTIN STARK

listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3P_q34NyUk

 

 
EXPECTED NEW RELEASES!!
 

SHARK ISLAND - Bloodline

A: 13 € B: 15,5 €

When Shark Island released their debut album "Law Of The Order" in 1989, they were catapulted into rock and roll stardom. The music was filled with big guitars and even bigger hooks.  They were booked on tours in and out of the United States, and had their music featured on the soundtrack to "Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure". Fast forward 31 years later and Shark Island has returned with a brand new full length album entitled "Bloodline". The big guitar sound is still intact, as evidenced in the opening track, “Make a Move.” Driving rhythms and solid bottom end make this track utterly undeniable. Vocalist, Richard Black sounds absolutely amazing and quite possibly better than ever has. Thumbs up for a great comeback !

listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_SfVkKyd1E

STEEL CITY - Mach II

A: 12,5 € B: 15 €

US outfit Steel City made some waves with their debut "Fortress" in 2018, but since the release there have been some drastic changes in their camp. First of all they changed record labels from Kivel to Perris records and also their initial singer Bryan Cole has been replaced by Roy Cathey, formerly of COLD SWEAT. Guitarist and bandleader Mike Floros, drummer BJ Zampa (House Of Lords), bass player Jason Cornwell and keyboarder Tony Stahl seems to have found the missing link for their powerful, but catchy slice of classic US hard- and melodic rock. With great songwriting, powerful production and amazing performances Steel City are ready to take the next step. A clear winner for melodic rock lovers !

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

MISS CRAZY - Make America Crazy Again

A: 13 € B: 15,5 €

California-based M!SS CRAZY has issued a handful of releases over their 15-year lifespan, and now have released "Make America Crazy Again" … a clever modification of Donald Trump’s 2016 Presidential Campaign Slogan. "MACA" takes that ‘80s formula and kicks it up a notch in a few places. First, singer Markus Allen Christopher, best known in past releases for his vocal presentation being very similar to Tom Keifer (Cinderella), has sanded off much of his rasp in favor for thicker, more soothing vocal sound. Kiss, Def Leppard, Cinderella, and Motley Crue fans should take notice .you’ve been waiting for years if not decades for great new music similar to what you’ve loved and supported from the past for so long.

watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewRub76jdEc

KHYMERA - Master Of Illusion

A: 13 € B: 15,5 €

“Master Of Illusion“, the fifth album of the AOR/melodic rock project is a true gem. Once again Dennis Ward (v/b, Pink Cream 69) sings lead vocals and produced the record in a pretty pristine and powerful way. The surprisingly heavy “The First Time“ or the powerful “Walk Away“ are examples for rather heavy songs whereas “Victim Of Your Love“ showcases the extremely melodic and keyboard-driven side of the record.

MARTIN STARK

watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgpIsJKX9Fo

HAREM SCAREM - Change The World

A: 13 € B: 15,5 €

Canada’s finest melodic act totally delivers on album number fifteen, too. Frontman Harry Hess and the guys do have that special feeling for hook lines. In general it’s harder but still easily recognizable as HAREM SCAREM. Rather hard tracks (“Death Of Me“ or “Gasoline“) perfectly co-exist with ballads (“No Me Without You“). Certainly not a complete reset but some new sides in the band’s sound here and there.

MARTIN STARK

watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-n6XQJ-ehbM

ALLEN-OLZON - Worlds Apart

A: 13 € B: 15,5 €

If you love ALLEN/LANDE’s first three albums, but also DELAIN, WITHIN TEMPTATION, NIGHTWISH, and the like (but with a slightly heavier edge), then this is simply going to be a strong contender for album of the year. Anette Olzon (ALYSON AVENUE, ex NIGHTWISH) und Russel ALLEN (SYMPHONY X) deliver stellar vocals whereas the songwriting goes back to Magnus Karlsson (g, PRIMAL FEAR). A record like a thunderstorm!

MARTIN STARK

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

NOVENA - Eleventh Hour

A: 13 € B: 15,5 €

“Eleventh Hour“ is finest neo prog from the UK. It’s prog rock that can be loud and brutal at times, too. Frontmann Ross Jennings (HAKEN) and the guys know what they are doing. They offer everything from rock to metal up to easy jazz. The album is full of complex and nuanced compositions. NOVENA delivers something greater than the sum of its parts. “The Eleventh Hour“ is music to enjoy with a good glass of wine and headphones.

MARTIN STARK

watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npOpc8udtGU

SEMBLANT - Obscura

A: 13 € B: 15,5 €

Very hard and unusual stuff from Frontiers Records. SEMBLANT can be considered as melodic death outfit and there  hasn’t been anything like that from the melodic label based in Naples, Italy. The Brazilians SEMBLANT are very heavy which might not be everyone’s taste. Either you like it or not. Actually not bad in the rather quiet moments with clean (female) vocals but when it comes to the (male) growls it gets…well, nasty. “Obscura“ has got a powerful production, though.

MARTIN STARK

watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvXav_mrde4

ROSS THE BOSS - Born Of Fire (ltd. edition digi pack)

A: 13,5 € B: 16 €

Like the last effort of the former MANOWAR guitar player, “Born Of Fire“, too, is full of powerful riffs and roaring vocals. Due to singer Mark Lopes you hear the sound of the good old days but in an up to date production. Old school heavy metal without any fuzz like samples or the like. This record with its authenticity easily outplays the last twenty years of his former employers by name of MANOWAR.

MARTIN STARK

watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIiXhtl8cLg

BLUE OYSTER CULT - Angels Of Fortune 40th anniversary (CD + DVD)

A: 14,5 € B: 17,5 €

The live recording from 2016 showcases the Americans in good if not very good shape. The CD/DVD double-decker offers the complete fourth album which was actually their break-through record. This live document offers well-played versions of e.g. “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper“, “Sinful Love“ oder “Tenderloin“. The icing of the cake is a guest appearance by founding member Albert Bouchard (g/v). Goosebumps!

MARTIN STARK

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

AOR - The Best Of The Westcoast Spirit

A: 12,5 € B: 15 €

Frédéric Slama is well known for all his AOR / Melodic Rock albums but also for his smooth Westcoast sound that you can mostly find on his 6 first albums. So it was time to gather together a unique collection of songs in the pure Westcoast tradition in the style of Pages, Greg Guidry, Marc Jordan, Chicago or early Toto. With these cool 15 remastered tracks you will discover the best of Westcoast Music featuring the talents of Bill Champlin, Steve Lukather, David Roberts, Michael Ruff, Dane Donohue, Rick Riso, Michael Landau, Vinnie Colaiuta, Brandon Fields, Bruce Gaitsch, Ed Greene and so many more! Only the best and sometimes rarest tracks have been selected for this one of a kind compilation reminiscing of the 80's sound.

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

BLUE OYSTER CULT - Heaven Forbid (digitally remastered)

A: 13 € B: 15,5 €

Another rerelease of the American Band. This times it’s “Heaven Forbid“ (1998), their thirteenth in album and back then the first one containing new material in ten years. An album featuring Science Fiction author John Shirley providing most of the lyrics. Pretty raw musically and production-wise but absolutely offering some classics like “See You In Black“ or “X-Ray Eyes“. BLUE ÖYSTER CULT have been and are unique.

MARTIN STARK

listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdkFJmCv4lg&list=PL8F32B27C5E5D0B06

SHARK ISLAND - Law Of The Order +11
(2 CDs, digitally remastered)

A: 13 € B: 15,5 €

With SHARK ISLAND's “Law Of The Order” from the year 1989 one of the ultimate Melodic Hard Rock classics finally gets re-released. The CD still arouses enthusiasm by its great songwriting (Jack Ponti co-wrote a couple of songs), a crisp production and the excellent lead vocals by Richard Black. “Paris Calling”, “Shake Fore Me”, “Somebody's Falling”, “Bad For Each Other” and and and... For the re-release the album got remastered and pepped up extensive bonus material. Beside 3 rare bonus tracks you get a bonus-CD including the mega are promo EP “Live At The Whiskey”. There has never been any other band around playing Melodic Hard Rock in the same perfection as SHARK ISLAND  did here !

watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdrYV7WksJ0

 

NEW RELEASES IN STOCK !!
 

H.E.A.T. - H.e.a.t. II

A: 13 € B: 15,5 €

Being the sixth studio effort already but nevertheless the album title fits in a way because it’s basically the first with Erik Grönwall (v), who made the band sound harder, to fully connect with the first two releases. Extremely melodic but with a good portion of heaviness and an exceptional sense for great arrangements. It’s the fourth with Grönwall but it sounds like a fresh start. The best songs since the legendary first two releases. Well done! H.E.A.T. are (really) back for good!

MARTIN STARK

watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kiv3-1Ync2o

THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA - Aeromantic

A: 13 € B: 15,5 €

They are likely the hottest band around but “Aeromantic“ is already their fifth effort! Frontmann Björn Strid (SOILWORK) is able to deal with his love seventies hard and pomp rock without limits. Plenty of melodies, sophisticated arrangements and eye-twinkling lyrics and a lot of fun foremost, that’s what you get on “Aeromantic“. Hype or not, this band is simply fantastic, unrivaled and unique. Period. Just listen to “Divinyls“ or “Transmissions“ for evidence. Strong contender for “album of the year“.

MARTIN STARK

watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUh5iyl0Pyw

XTASY - Eye Of The Storm

A: 13 € B: 15,5 €

Spanish band XTASY topped every album with the next so far. Right away (“Die Young“) you feel like on a rollercoaster ride. “Eye Of The Storm“, album number three of the female fronted melodic hard rock band, is harder (“The War“ or “Play With Fire“) than the first two efforts but offers amazing melodies (“Perfect Strangers“ or “Welcome To My World“) as well. Great stuff for fans of VIXEN, MARTINA EDOFF or even ECLIPSE.

MARTIN STARK

watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaXLLU30I4g

SHAKRA - Mad World (ltd. edition digi pack)

A: 14,5 € B: 17,5 €

They are the better GOTTHARD these days and rock like there is no tomorrow. The Swiss outfit, which reunited with vocalist Mark Fox a few years ago, definitely knows the language of hard rock. Riffs that grab you by the balls, cool hooks and lots of authentic groove. if you are into AC/DC, GOTTHARD, CRYSTAL BALL or KROKUS, you have to love SHAKRA. “A Roll Of The Dice“ with its mighty guitars or the melodic “Thousand Kings“ set the pace here.

MARTIN STARK

NILS PATRIK JOHANSSON - The Great Conspiracy
(ltd. edition digi pack)

A: 13,5 € B: 16 €

“The Great Conspiracy“ is the second solo effort of ASTRAL DOORS-fronter NILS PATRIK JOHANSSON (ex CIVIL WAR). It’s no secret that he can sing like hell. This concept-album is rather heavy metal than hard rock. There are epic tracks and songs where the Swede gives full throttle, too. The lyrics are sophisticated and deal with the mysterious 1986 assassination of Swedish prime minister Olof Palme.

MARTIN STARK

watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9_fBzgwV-s

 

SPECIAL OFFERS !!
 

SIGNAL RED - Under The Radar

A: 6 € B: 7,5 €

SIGNAL RED is a brand new band from the UK featuring two very respected musicians namely guitarist Steve Grocott (TEN) and vocalist Lee Small (PHENOMENA, SHY, LIONHEARTt). “Under The Radar“ is typical British melodic and hard rock pleasing fans of the likes of NEWMAN, HEARTLAND or TEN for sure. Amazing songs like the highly melodic “Emotions In Motion“ or the AOR gem “Making Contact“ should easily convince listeners.

MARTIN STARK

listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cjDcSdoHh8

STEVE WALSH - Black Butterfly

A: 7 € B: 8,5 €

STEVE WALSH, former KANSAS frontman puts out his fourth solo effort called “Black Butterfly“. A great rock album with a little bit of everything in terms of melodic rock (“Born In Fire“), progressive music (“Hell Or High Water“) and pop (“Warsaw“) that will appeal to a broad audience easily. Together with Tommy Denander (g), STEVE WALSH created an album consisting of many facets. The American seems to have an astonishing sense for melody and arrangements. A great album with a slightly different flavor.

MARTIN STARK

listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnmSnzPP-SE

 

COMING NEXT !!
 

ARKADO - 03/27
NEWMAN - 03/27
RETURN / V re-issue - 03/27
GOTTHARD - 03/13
 
     
 

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

AOR HEAVEN ::: N E W S L E T T E R ::: 21/02/2020