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AOR HEAVEN ::: N E W S L E T T E R ::: 21/01/2022

 

Howdy melodic rockers,

Crazy times at the AOR Heaven camp as we really sold 500 copies of Hit The Ground Runnin’s “Sudden Impact” just within a week and even if we have promoted the release as a limited run of 500 copies we must press another 500 copies, cause otherwise we would get killed by many of our customers which havn’t got a copy, yet. We should get the repressing back in by early next week!☺

 

Christmas come earlier this years as we finally received the shipment from down under containing the Life Of A Hero CD – it was shipped with express service and it took almost 2 months to receive it !!!

 

We should receive the next bunch of Japanese re-issues (3 x Wrabit, Blue Tears, Roxy Blue, Urgent, Cold Sweat) in about 10 days, so stay tuned for our next weekly newsletter !

 

wishing you a great week

Georg & Monika

 

 

 

 

AOR HEAVEN SPECIAL RELEASE:

HIT THE GROUND RUNNIN' - Sudden Impact +9 (2 CDs)

A: 13,5 € B: 16 €

 

 

 

"Sudden Impact" is the debut album by Philadelphia quintet HIT THE GROUND RUNNIN'. The band and the album holds the title as being the most sought after indie CD at eBay with a copy scoring $1950.52 and the status of the „Holy Grail“ of all  indie AOR- and melodic rock releases.

HIT THE GROUND RUNNIN' made an arrangement with a small Canadian recording label, and "Sudden Impact" was released in 1989 in very  limited quantities. The album is really professionally recorded and mixed, above the average for an indie. Musically, the band play clean, polished melodic rock / lite AOR here, with the typical sound of the era.

'Magic' has some Loverboy on it, and Blair Ramsey's vocal color reminds me of Kevin Cronin, so the REO Speedwagon comparison is accurate. There's a strong guitar work as on all songs on the CD, including quite imaginative and effective solos. 'Moment To Moment' recalls Starship, 'Slow Motion' some Scandal, and 'Don't You Look Back' has a that pristine Canadian sound from the era. 'Oh No!' is driven by stinging rhythm guitars and has fine harmony vocal arrangements, while the AOR synths of 'An Original' - brings to mind Honeymoon Suite.

Digitally remastered by the band and with the addition of 9 bonus tracks as a 2 CD set incl. liner notes by Dave Reynolds this gem is finally available again as a strictly limited run of 500 copies – make sure to get your copy pronto !!

watch:https://youtu.be/_2nMev7rHCA

 
 
EXPECTED NEW RELEASES !!
 

LIFE OF A HERO - Letting Go (digi pack)

B: 13 € B: 15,5 €

“Letting Go” is the debut album from British act LIFE OF A HERO consisting of current members of Midnite City & Vega and boasts the unique vocal talents of Russ Grimmett – son of the legendary singer Steve Grimmett (Grim Reaper). When you have the guitarist, bassist, and drummer of Midnite City performing together here, you only can expect quality, add to that Russ Grimmett’s impressive vocals and a strong, punchy melodic hard rock / AOR songwriting plus a production inspired by the glorious era, yeah, we have a winner here. Midnite City’s Pete Newdeck not only play, but also mixed & produced, and the whole thing has been mastered by Harem Scarem’s very own Harry Hess, who also features as a guest vocalist.

Watch:https://youtu.be/5W6ZYN3LvBc

TONY MARTIN - Thorns (digi pack)

B: 13,5 € B: 16 €

It really took a awhile until the former BLACK SABBATH vocalist TONY MARTIN puts out another solo album. But here it is! “Thorns“ is an exciting album which, of course, lets the fascinating voice of the Englishman shine. Authentic hard rock with a portion of epic sounds as well as songs like “As The World Burns“ which could have been on BLACK SABBATH’s “Headless Cross“ for sure. Hats off, Mister Martin.

MARTIN STARK

Watch:https://youtu.be/_-gy9Cjv8rw

KINGDOM - Lost In The City +3
(digitally remastered)

B: 13,5 € B: 16 €

Formed from the ashes of Seventies metal / hard rock progressive act Epitaph, German outfit KINGDOM was founded in 1984 with the aim to create a more commercial rock music. Their debut album "Lost In The City" got released in 1987, but the band decided to change their name to Domain not to get confused with Kingdom Come.  Especially the title track is a melodic rock anthem, but also the other tracks are straight out of the Magnum / Europe / Pretty Maids / Gary Moore songbook. After many years out of print, KINGDOM’s ”Lost In The City” is now being reissued, digitally remastered and with the addition of 3 bonus tracks plus liner notes.

Listen:https://youtu.be/8lCntk70Qk4

PRAYING MANTIS - Katharsis

B: 14,5 € B: 17,5 €

PRAYING MANTIS originated in the era of NWOBHM and have been putting out great records for years again. They put out their twelfth album now. Having been able to constantly reinvent themselves and staying true to their roots at the same time, the guys don’t disappoint, of course. “Katharsis“ is a pretty versatile album with heavy rockers like “Ain’t No Rock’n’Roll In Heaven“, key-board-driven tracks (“Cry For The Nations“) or even poppy songs like “Closer To Heaven“ or “Long Time Coming“.

MARTIN STARK

Watch:https://youtu.be/bJD4b4-W4jI

KRAEMER - All The Way

B: 14,5 € B: 17,5 €

KRAEMER is a project showcasing Finnish vocalist Erik Kraemer (SIMULACRUM). A fresh and contemporary rock record that contains heavy guitars and cool hook lines. Pretty boring name but really strong record. Produced by Alessandro Del Vecchio. Sounds like a harder version of BROTHER FIRETRIBE with less keyboards. A real surprise, this one. Check out “The King Will Come“ as an appetizer. The ballad “Forever“ at the end is pretty cool, too.

MARTIN STARK

Watch:https://youtu.be/snQO43BKp7

CRYSTAL BALL - Crysteria (digi pack)

B: 15,5 € B: 18,5 €

The Swiss rockers are an absolute contender for quality. The eleventh album “Crysteria“, too, offers exactly what you expect from them. Songs like „Loins On Fire“ or “Crystal Heart“ are potential future band classics. Produced, mixed and mastered by Stefan Kaufmann (U.D.O.). Probably not as heavy as the previous efforts but still equipped with excellent hook lines. Guest appearances by Ronnie Romero (v, MSG, RAINBOW) and their label mates from JADED HEART.

MARTIN STARK

Watch:https://youtu.be/Vz5Rq8u7ii4

TOKYO BLADE - Fury (digi pack)

B: 13 € B: 15,5 €

Tokyo Blade is the epitome of underground survivors.  Coming hot out the gates during the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal the band had considerable success. The current line-up of Andy Boulton (Lead guitar), John Wiggins (Rhythm guitar), Alan Marsh (Vocals), Andy Wrighton (Bass) and Steve Piece (Drums) have been together since 2016 and recorded the albums "Unbroken" (2018) and ‘"Dark Revolution" (2020). Their latest release "Fury" was written and recorded in lockdown with Andy Boulton utilising his home studio to record the album. The end result sounds great with a powerful mix. There is some fantastic traditional heavy metal on offer here with solid performances and some well-written songs.

Listen:https://youtu.be/MSrCMj_Vb8E

NASSON - Scars

B: 14,5 € B: 17,5 €

NASSON, that’s mainly the Chilean guitarist Nasson Prudant (CHAOS MAGIC, SINNER’S BLOOD) and he offers contemporary power and melodic metal. The songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer can rely on one or the other guest like Alessandro Del Vecchio (v, HARDLINE), Mitheria (keys) or Catarina Nix (v, CHAOS MAGIC). It’s really a multi-layered, interesting album which is not the usual stuff in the given genre. Just check out the mighty „Bringer Of Sorrow“ as an appropriate appetizer. But there’s still some room left…

MARTIN STARK

Watch:https://youtu.be/_Y0tyWwpqeE

LANA LANE - Neptun Blue

B: 14,5 € B: 17,5 €

LANA LANE is back! The queen of symphonic progressive rock with lots of AOR elements has been away for many years. Some really emotional tracks, all written like always by Erik Norlander (keys, ROCKET SCIENTISTS, DUKES OF THE ORIENT). „Neptune Blue“, with its initial clerical sounds, is a fascinating journey through a musical wonderland all held together by the magnificent voice of LANA LANE.

MARTIN STARK

Watch:https://youtu.be/qORGvVTwxKI

 

 
NEW RELEASES IN STOCK !!
 

KISSIN’ DYNAMITE - Not The End Of The Road (digi pack)

B: 13 € B: 15,5 €

KISSIN’ DYNAMITE are an institution in terms melodic hard rock and metal. The new effort “Not The End Of The Road“ is an album full of anthems and potential “hits“, too. No doubt about it: That’s what stadium rock sounds like in 2022. This record is definitely their best so far. Wow! A great overview is provided by the anthems “Only The Dead“ and "Not The End Of The Road“ as well as by the album closer and pretty emotional “Scars“. Even the less rocking moments when frontman Hannes Braun can showcase his voice best, are really cool.

MARTIN STARK

Watch:https://youtu.be/qGLFjML7RKo

BITE THE BULLET - End Of The Line

B: 13 € B: 15,5 €

A record like a ride through the highlights of the eighties: FOREIGNER, MR.MISTER, GLASS TIGER or TOTO as well as numerous others of that calibre have been a blueprint here. Cool rock pop with an occasional hard rock attitude. In term of production and songwriting slightly better than the last effort “Black & White“ (2020). Highlight are the melodic anthem “Band Of Brothers“ or “Bass Jumping“ as well as the the authentic “Camaraderie“.

MARTIN STARK

Watch:https://youtu.be/4Q2-OOn6GOQ

TOP NOTCH - Mean & Smooth
(digitally remastered)

B: 13 € B: 15,5 €

US outfit Top Notch was formed by songwriter and guitar player, Eric Kellogg, in 1984 and included Ken Robertson on vocals, Todd Jeffries on bass, and Mark Alderette on drums. The songs were primarily written by Eric Kellogg and Ken Robertson. The hard rock sound that they developed was melodic with blazing guitar solos. Top Notch was then picked up by Available Management and signed a developmental deal with Polygram Records. Guitarist Eric Kellogg was connected to write with Peter Frampton, Martin Briley, Marc Tanner (Nelson) and especially Steve Plunkett (Autograph). Especially the connection with Steve Plunkett turned out great as many songs has been featured here as well as on Steve Plunkett's solo album.

Listen:https://youtu.be/pi0H7Vd084E

HEIR APPARENT - Graceful Inheritance (digitally remastered)

B: 13 € B: 15,5 €

Seattle based outfit HEIR APPARENT belong to the category of bands that release a couple of memorable albums and disappear in the haze. Bearing a beautiful, yet bizarre cover, Graceful Inheritance“  was the band's debut back in 1986 and rightfully claims its place among the very first prog-metal releases along with the respective albums of the ''titans'' of those ages, Queensryche and Fates Warning with touches of Iron Maiden and Fifth Angel. Signed by French independent label Black Dragon Records the album failed to reach the masses due to the limited distribution of their label, which was a pity, cause „Graceful Inheritance“ still stands as one of the ultimate cult classics of the US metal genre. Digitally remastered.

Listen:https://youtu.be/tPmHUUSXUwU

ADRIAN GALE - Final Piece (2 CDs)

B: 13,5 € B: 16 €

Melodic rock “Made in the USA” made a nice comeback way back in the year 2000 when John Kivel started his new label Kivel Records. ADRIAN GALE featured the talents of singer extra ordinaire JAMIE ROWE (ex GUARDIAN), guitarists Vic Rivera and Eddie Campbell,  and the band proved on their 5 studio albums that they could easily compete with the leading Scandinavian melodic rock outfits. This double CD closes the chapter and the first disc contains 17 of their best tracks out of their 5 studio albums while the 2nd (bonus) CD contains 10 rare live and studio tracks incl. 2 previously unreleased tracks. Indeed a special release from an awesome band !

listen:https://youtu.be/X9xTIlls_tc

GIANT - Shifting Time

B: 14,5 € B: 17,5 €

GIANT, probably one of the most iconic bands of the golden era of melodic rock are back with another album. More or less the original line-up without Dan Huff (g/v). Well, at least he plays a solo on “Never Say Die“ and approved this version of the band. Taking over vocals is Kent Hilli (PERFECT PLAN). “Shifting Time“ surely has its magic moments but also one or the other average song. But still the Americans play among the best of the melodic genre.

MARTIN STARK

Watch:https://youtu.be/V2dkfESCYaI

THE FERRYMEN - One More River To Cross

B: 14,5 € B: 17,5 €

Everything with Ronnie Romero (u.a. RAINBOW, CORELEONI) is rock music of the finest sort and so is the third THE FERRYMEN album, too. The songs were penned by Magnus Karlsson (g, PRIMAL FEAR, MAGNUS KARLSSON’S FREEFALL). Apart from Romero, there’s the unique drum sound of Mike Terrana (TARJA, ex RAGE). Just check out the catchy “City Of Hate“ and the mighty and pretty epic title track. Well done, guys!

MARTIN STARK

Watch:https://youtu.be/_3is5pOencY

EDGE OF FOREVER - Seminole

B: 14,5 € B: 17,5 €

EDGE OF FOREVER is the “real“ band of Alessandro Del Vecchio (keys/v) and plays melodic hard rock. Slightly under the radar in the past but with this fifth effort and a refurbished line-up, the band might well make a great step forward. The epic four-part song “Seminole“ turns this record into a concept album, one about life in general. And by the way, signore Del Vecchio sings fantastically! A real surprise! Well done!

MARTIN STARK

Watch:https://youtu.be/Ay7cwjiQe2A

LALU - Paint The Sky

B: 14,5 € B: 17,5 €

Progressive rock from France featuring Damian Wilson (AYREON, ex THRESHOLD) on vocals. Great melodies and exciting arrangements that constantly offer new details. LALU is great fun and simply a good choice for fans of ARENA, PENDRAGON or PALLAS. Pretty atmospheric songs full of magic, sometimes in the vein of YES, can be heard here. Music full of passion. Simon Phillips (d, TOTO) and Steve Walsh (v, ex-KANSAS) are guesting here. Great stuff!.

MARTIN STARK

Watch:https://youtu.be/jnJjcQufftg

KANDIA - Quaternary

B: 14,5 € B: 17,5 €

Alternative metal from Portugal with some good melodies and some kind of theatrical sound. Female vocalist Nya Cruz and guitarist André Da Cruz offer a mixture of solemn parts, which sound like a cross between PINK FLOYD and PORCUPINE TREE, and pretty heavy riff-driven metal that can easily produce a METALLICA or PANTERA moment. If this band really helps to secure the future of rock, like said by the label, might be open to discuss…

MARTIN STARK

Watch:https://youtu.be/dxKwtmS1jOg

 
 
 

COMING NEXT !!
 

TAO - 02/04
HAMMERFALL - 02/25
LIONVILLE - 02/11
DEGREED - 02/11

 

 
     
 

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