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AOR HEAVEN ::: N E W S L E T T E R ::: 01/15/2021

 

Howdy melodic rockers,

That was indeed a busy time during the last few days - the response has been great in terms of new orders and it will continue in this style for a few weeks.

 

The upcoming week will see some really hot melodic rock titles from Frontiers incl. CREYE, W.E.T. and WIG WAM and they should be all in stock by Monday at the latest - happy shopping !

 

 

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 !!

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

 

NEW RELEASES IN STOCK!!

BLACK PAISLEY - Rambler

A: 13 € B: 15,5 €

Formed some six years ago, Sweden's Black Paisley have offered fans two exceptional and well received studio albums, 2017's "Late Bloomer" and 2018's "Perennials", yet with each album having slight personnel shifts. The band's latest and third album, "Rambler", finds Black Paisley Mk III returning to its roots with vocalist Stefan Blomqvist and bass player Jan Emanuelsson reuniting with original drummer Robert Karaszi. What hasn't changed with Black Paisley is their solemn commitment to classic rock, that is, melodic hard rock in a fine AOR wrapper. Like the two previous albums, every song within "Rambler" is spot on, not a single runt in the litter. Easily recommended !

watch: https://youtu.be/j4ZU5mQ3a7Y

ROBBY VALENTINE - Separate Worlds

A: 13,5 € B: 16 €

After the release of his previous album "The Alliance", Robby Valentine returns with this brand new album "Separate worlds", which came a bit as a surprise. Where "The Alliance" was a blend of many different genres molded together into a bombastic piece of art, "Separate worlds" is very different. There is a red line thruout "Separate Worlds" which is classical music. This results in an album with five classical pieces, mainly Chopin, one new Valentine song and six Valentine songs which were previously released on "Peter Strykes sings Robby Valentine", now finally sung by the writer himself. Let's all hope Robby, despite his sight problem, will be able to continue to enchant us all with his amazing music and songwriting skills.

watch: https://youtu.be/P74ABAZ7nys

MARTIN & GARP - Sentimental Fools

A: 12,5 € B: 15 €

Musician and producer Phil Martin has always been interested in the West Coast music scene and distinctive sound from the golden era. As a producer and song writer, Phil has historically been more active in soul and jazz music. After working on a project with singer Lo van Gorp (Garp) from the Netherlands, Phil found the perfect vocal fit to his recordings for his own West Coast flavoured pop album. The sound of Martin & Garp can best be described as feel-good, radio friendly melodies romantically looking back to California in the 70’s when the likes of Steely Dan, Hall & Oates, The Doobie Brothers, Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles ruled the airwaves. Almost perfect stuff for every serious west coast AOR lover - don't miss it !

watch: https://youtu.be/8FzWaQSi0zY

GUNNER - Back 4 More

A: 13 € B: 15,5 €

Hailing for Buenos Aires, Argentina, Gunner formed in 2003.  Back then they were known as Gunner Sixx.   They have released two ’80s inspired albums; 2013’s "Keep Fighting" and 2016’s "All Access". Gunner definitely have the ’80s look and presentation going for them.  From their aged album cover to their tight pants and long teased hair. As far as the music goes, they are far from the overly-produced anthems and ballads of the ’80.  The music on "Back 4 More" is reminiscent of old ’80s arcade games and ’80s movie soundtracks.  However, it would be sounds from the off-brand video games and B-Movie, maybe C-Movie soundtracks.  There are certainly signs on this album that Gunner can do better.

watch: https://youtu.be/6pcBOMs3eaU

AOR - The Ghost Of L.A.

A: 12,5 € B: 15 €

Absolutely unbelievable the sheer output of the French Frédéric Slama (g/keys) who is into AOR and WESTCOAST like probably nobody else. The twentieth (!) AOR record again features artists like Paul Sabu (v), Tommy Denander (g) oder Rick Riso (v), too. Markus Nordenberg (COASTLAND RIDE), who rarely participates on projects like this, sings on one track (“Sarah’s Touch“), too. Check out “The Spiral Heart“ and “The Edge Of The World“.

MARTIN STARK

listen: https://youtu.be/oPv7fc4KPxQ

THE NORSEMAN COMPANY
- The Coming Of The Chord

A: 12,5 € B: 15 €

THE NORSEMAN COMPANY is the solo project of former HUMBUCKER drummer Geir Arne Dale. The Norwegian offers pure classic rock and brings on guests like Peer Taraldsen (g, PEER GYNT), Rowan Robertson (g, ex DIO) or Age Sten Nilsen (WIG WAM, AMMUNITION). If you dig music style-wise between HUMBUCKER and WIG WAM, this is something hardly to be avoided. Real music. Thumbs up!

MARTIN STARK

listen: https://youtu.be/QH1Dl5Mrjj4

 

JOHN DIVA & THE ROCKET OF LOVE - American Amadeus (digi pack)

A: 13,5 € B: 16 €

“American Amadeus“ is finest eighties hard rock and sleaze. This band from Hagen/Germany is simply fun. To cut it short: They are better musically and lyrically way less provocative than STEEL PANTHER. The secret hit is “Weekend For Livetime“. Fans of POISON and MÖTLEY CRÜE will be delighted for sure. Well-produced and powerful sounding, American Amadeus“, the second effort of the band, is really killing.

MARTIN STARK

watch: https://youtu.be/Spdnke5I-wQ

VOODOO CIRCLE - Locked & Loaded (digi pack)

A: 14,5 € B: 17,5 €

The return of frontman David Readman (PINK CREAM 69) and the constant high level of songwriting of the classic rockers make “Locked & Loaded“ shine. It’s already a hot contender for the best-of lists of the new year. Whether you take faster songs like “Flesh & Bone“ or a ballad like “Eyes Full Of Tears“, VOODOO CIRCLE absolutely delivers. Mastermind Alex Beyrodt (g) and the guys are a brilliant match. Mix and mastering by Danish legend Jacob Hansen (VOLBEAT).

MARTIN STARK

watch: https://youtu.be/PcP_BKOZRyI

STINGRAY - Stingray +1 (digitally remastered)

A: 12,5 € B: 15 €

Next to Trevor Rabin, Stingray were without doubt South Africa's shining light on the melodic rock stage, and even some fourty or so years later, they are still mentioned and remembered by many fans and collectors alike. The debut album initially released locally on the Nitty Gritty label in 1979, is without doubt a great melodic rock romp, with an emphasis on effective and memorable choruses incl. the cult song “Better The Devil You Know”. The band followed this up one year later with 'Operation Stingray', another worthwhile album to obtain. Fans of early 80s pomp AOR into LE ROUX, TRILLION and early GRAND PRIX shouldn’t hesitate and order a copy pronto.Digitally remastered re-issue from Bad Reputation records.

listen: https://youtu.be/GI3mmtizinE

LOVE/HATE - Blackout In The Red Room +6 (digitally remastered)

A: 12,5 € B: 15 €

Love/Hate's USP was to blend the dynamics of Hair Metal with Punk energy and deliver it with a rawness that personified the early releases by Mötley Crüe and Guns 'N' Roses. 'Blackout In The Red Room' (1990) and its title track never ceases to thrill as guitarist Jon E. Love's urgent, spiralling lick – unusually it debuts after the first chorus – trades hooks with Jizzy Pearl's scotch-soaked sandpaper vocals. Tom Werman's robust production ensures there's plenty of bottom end ballast courtesy of Skid Rose and Joey Gold on bass and drums respectively. Digitally remastered re-issue from Bad Reputation records incl. 6 bonus tracks.

watch: https://youtu.be/pc68TjfsfMU

SURRENDER - Better Later Than Never +3

A: 12 € B: 14,5 €

Don’t confuse this US trio with the Canadian bunch feat. Alfie Zappacosta, cause here we’re speaking about the “mother of all indie pressings”. Originally released in 1991 just under the monicker of “Surender” more or less as a very limited edition to attract record labels the CD became the ultimate collectors item, cause this is not just a disc which is mega rare, the quality of the songs and the production matches the finest works from classic AOR outfits such as Survivor, Hybrid Ice, Final Frontier or Red Dawn. Due to the internet Surrender drummer Ken Hamberg fund out about the cult status of his album and he finally serves us this fantastic slice of AOR with 3 additional bonus tracks – BUY BUY BUY!!

listen: https://youtu.be/pd8GyvH88NQ

SWEET COMFORT BAND - Cutting Edge (digitally remastered, digi pack)

A: 12,5 € B: 15 €

For the fifth album “Cutting Edge” (1982) SCB were now a classic AOR band with a slick production with the keyboards has taken over the sound of the band and the songs sounds catchier than ever with huge hooklines. Now the sound can be compared to acts such as Toto, Styx, Allies, Le Roux, Dakota and Fortune. “Runnin'To Win” opens the album is a brilliant way, this is a pure AOR-heaven with fantastic hooks, melodies and the chorus is awesome and if you remember the band Fortune (then you know how fantastic this is. “What Have You Got” is another AOR-cracker with stunning keyboards and the chorus is outstanding with impressive harmonies and there is much more to follow of the same calibre - pure class !.

listen: https://youtu.be/rXGjYw78tA0

SWEET COMFORT BAND - Perfect Timing (digitally remastered, digi pack)

A: 12,5 € B: 15 €

“Perfect Timing” was the 6th and last album that SCB records. It was released in 1984 and was produced by Dino Elefante (Petra, Halo, Allies) and what a great work he did on this album. His brother John Elefante (Kansas) provided his voice to this album as well. This is a awesome classic AOR album in the best Styx, Petra, Fortune, Dakota and Le Roux style. The opening number “Perfect Timing” is pure magic with wonderful melodies filled with catchy hooklines and a stunning chorus. This is AOR/Pomp with class and the keyboards are all over and the chorus is superb. The guitar-rocker “Looking For The Answer” is strong with a fantastic chorus. This is the best album that SCB recorded and to bad that it was the last one.

listen: https://youtu.be/qobFdm5Wn7E

ROCK BOULEVARD - I Got What You Want (digitally remastered)

A: 12,5 € B: 15 €

Here's a band that missed the tail-end of the late great 80's hair-metal parade. A Reno based combo, with a sound that integrates a well balanced mix of hair metal and classic AOR. Lots of melody, guitar sting, big hooks, a loud vocalist and a tight rhythm section. Other bands similar to these guys included Jillson, Silent Rage and Lillian Axe. Released in 1990 as "Rock Boulevard" only 250 copies ea. got pressed on CD and tape with the intention of pressing more copies in the future - which never happened. That's why this CD became a cult classic which sold for over 1000$ on Ebay. This digitally remastered re-issue contains 2 bonus tracks.

listen: https://youtu.be/rZHXCNywiFI

ROCK BOULEVARD - Stand And Fight (digitally remastered)

A: 12,5 € B: 15 €

In 1990 we saw the release of the Nevada band ROCK BOULEVARD's "Self Titled" CD that became a collectors crown jewel, but the band has recorded plenty of more tracks prior to their debut. Titled "Stand And Fight"  which consists  of 10 tracks recorded in 1988-89 prior to their debut CD. There have been some lineup changes here and there......as a result, some fresh new sounds are part of the experience. The intitial style blends melodic hard rock that sounds more like US Westcoast melodic hard rock in the RATT school with a BON JOVI influence.  The remainder comes off in the vein of a more melodic SKID ROW (debut), with a touch of SILENT RAGE, LILLIAN AXE(early), JILLSON and LANCIA.

listen: https://youtu.be/mM1h15biUnc

 

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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