AOR Heaven: July releases
First of all: a promotional video clip for the “Rock For Japan” charity sampler is now available at YouTube and can be found here: http://youtu.be/Fwo5jO9Lnd0
The following two albums will be released by AOR Heaven on July 22:
OUTLOUD - Love Catastrophe
The band’s history dates back to the year 2004 when Outland was founded in Athens, Greece. The debut album, “We Rock You To Hell Again”, was released in August 2009 and received massive feedback from the press. Having made a successful headline tour of Greece in December 2009 and a companion national Greek TV appearance in front of more than one million viewers, Outland have inked a brand-new deal with AOR Heaven for their sophomore release, which was recorded in the summer of 2010 and once again produced by Bob Katsionis and mixed and mastered by Tommy Hansen. The band ensures a memorable performance both sonically and visually once again. The debut single/video clip, “Waiting For Your Love”, the anthemic “We Came To Rock”, the thunderous “Live Again”, the magnificent “Falling Rain”, the modern sounding “Isolation Game” and the heart-wrenching ballad “Someday” are just a few of the highlights Outloud presents with their new release. Additionally, Outloud has developed into a strong and formidable live act, with 10 headline shows already under their belt in their native country of Greece in just under a year's time including two festival headlines and spanning five different cities, and opening for Twisted Sister in Athens this summer, the band now prepares to take to the world stage with album # 2, entitled “Love Catastrophe”. URLs: http://www.myspace.com/outloudtheband and http://www.outloud-rock.com
BAI BANG - Livin’ My Dream
Bai Bang, one of the most powerful rock acts from Sweden, features four talented and dynamic rockers in the line-up: Diddi Kastenholt (vocals), Pelle Eliaz (lead guitar), Joacim Sandin (bass) and Johnny Benson (drums). Since the band has started in the late 80s, BB have spent a lot of time together on their tours all over Europe, the USA, Canada & Japan. The Swedes shared the stage with bands such as L.A. Guns, Thin Lizzy, Wishbone Ash, Ratt, Dio, Mötley Crüe, Pretty Maids, Saxon, Axel Rudi Pell and played at festivals such as Sweden Rock, Wacken and Rocklahoma. The last album, “Are You Ready”, was released in 2009 and nominated for the best glam/sleaze album at the Swedish Metal Awards and voted as “the best all round party anthem album of the year” in the Australian magazine The Rockpit. July 22, 2011 sees the release of the band’s new and seventh album in total, “Livin’ My Dream”. This release was recorded in Sunshine Explosion Studios in Helsingborg, Sweden during the years 2010 & 2011, produced by Pontus Assarsson and mastered by Martin Kronlund. The drums were recorded by Jens Lundgren at Titan Studios Sweden. URLs:
http://www.baibang.se , http://www.baibang-music.com , http://www.facebook.com/baibang &
Akarusa Yami to release brand-new single for free
Rising British metallers Akarusa Yami are set to release “Millennium Is My Salvation”, the follow-up to their greatly received debut single “Third Eye, Wide Open” on July 4 for free via their Soundcloud page. Having picked up incredible airplay on Total Rock & Amazing Radio, Akarusa Yami have succeeded in building a strong name in a short period of time. Mastered by world-renowned engineer Tim Turan (Emperor, Plan B), “Millennium” is the latest cut from their greatly anticipated debut album, “Ouroborous”, which is set to hit shelves on September 12. With high expectations and a killer new album set to drop imminently, things couldn’t be looking better for Akarusa Yami in 2011. For a free copy of “Millennium Is My Salvation” & “Third Eye, Wide Open”, please visit soundcloud.com/akarusa-yami. For more information on the band, please contact either Tom Brumpton at tbrumptonpr(at)gmail.com or Tom Clarke at biker_velocity(at)hotmail.com .
We thought we would take this opportunity to keep you informed about what is happening behind the scenes at FIREFEST. Firstly, thanks to everybody who has shown support and purchased tickets early. Ticket sales at this point are the largest we have ever seen in the eight years of the show and it genuinely looks as if we might need the ‘house full’ signs. Please continue to spread the word regarding the show. Tickets can be purchased directly from Firefest at http://www.thefirefest.com .
Following their triumphant return to the stage at Firefest 2010, Terry, Ian and the guys have been extremely busy, not only with solo projects , but writing for a brand-new Strangeways album. Firefest 2011 will see the return of Ian’s little brother, David Stewart, to the band, meaning that Strangeways will once again consist of the classic line-up of Terry Brock, Ian Stewart, Jim Drummond, David Stewart and David ‘Munch’ Moore, who brought us the mega classics “Native Sons” and “Walk In The Fire”. David’s schedule had prevented him from being part of the 2010 show, but with David firmly back in the fold, this promises to make the Strangeways’ performance of “Walk In The Fire” in its entirety, even better (if that’s possible). Oh, and the boys have also promised to throw in two or three tracks from “Native Sons” that didn’t make the setlist last year ... can it get any better?
Pete Fry, guitarist and commander in chief, has sent the following update regarding the band: “It is with deep regret that we announce, for reasons of his own, that Mark Giovi (lead vocals) has decided to leave FarCry, effective immediately. Mark explained that recent events unrelated to FarCry led up to this difficult decision for him. We truly wish Mark all the best in his future endeavours, and know that he’ll be successful in whatever he takes on. “After searching far and wide for someone to fill some big shoes, Mike Ledesma becomes the new vocalist for FarCry, bringing an incredible range and a wealth of live experience singing melodic rock, to the band. Rehearsals are underway as we speak so that we can fulfil our upcoming live commitments as seamlessly as possible. After hearing Mike sing, not only do we believe that he will be able to handle our existing repertoire live, but will definitely be a big part of the future direction for FarCry. We hope you’ll come out and see us as soon as possible and welcome Mike to the band!”
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Shawn Pelata, current singer with Talon, will be unable to make Firefest, he sent the following update: “It is with deep regret that I am forced to withdraw myself from the brilliant opportunity to play Firefest. Conflicts in scheduling in my personal life would simply not allow it. My deepest apologies to Kieran, Bruce and the Talon guys. To all the fans and friends who wrote me words of excitement and encouragement, and who I was excited to meet and raise a glass with, I wish you all a rocking great time! I'll be there in spirit!" On the plus side, John Parker sent this update regarding the vocalist slot: “As Shawn could not perform at the show, we looked at many, many singers to fill the vacancy, including many ‘name’ singers, but the more we looked the more the answer was obvious. Original singer Michael O’ Meara, who was part of the band from 2000 until 2007, was the obvious choice. Michael performed at the Gods with Talon back in 2001 and knows not just us, but the music inside out. We are delighted to welcome Michael back to the Talon family and look forward to kickin’ some serious ass at Firefest”.
Friday night tickets for Serpentine, Houston, Terry Brock and Jimi Jamison are almost sold out. Anybody wishing to make sure they do get to see what will no doubt be a show to remember, (hey, remember Jimi absolutely tearing the roof off at Firefest last year?), are urged to purchase sooner rather than later. At this point in time approximately 120 are still available. You can purchase directly from http://www.thefirefest.com , just go to the SHOP page and place your order. Stay tuned for further updates, including the first three CD releases from the Live At Firefest series, all recorded at Firefest 2010 coming your way very, very shortly.
Jon Anderson – Survival & Other Stories
One of the most recognizable voices in music, the legendary Jon Anderson, best known for his work with Yes, Vangelis, Kitaro and other notable music artists, as well as his innovative solo efforts, is preparing to release one of the most highly anticipated albums of the year, “Survival & Other Stories”. Featuring eleven new luminous songs with themes about love, life, understanding, healing and survival, Jon’s new CD has an inspirational message for all who will listen!
“About four years ago I just put in an ad on my website: ‘Musicians Wanted’. This is the result. Writing the songs for “Survival & Other Stories” was uplifting for me on many levels, I was working with musicians from around the world via the Internet, it’s a new world, music is a healing energy, I had a tough 2008, through illness, and the music I’ve been writing since is a celebration of life on many levels ... I hope you get the chance to hear the album.”
“Survival & Other Stories” is the first of three albums to be released by Jon Anderson in the next two years.
Jon recently completed a successful east coast tour of the US, “An Acoustic Evening with Jon Anderson”, which featured an exciting mixture of material from Jon Anderson’s prolific solo career, collaborations with Vangelis and classic Yes songs, along with new compositions from his new CD “Survival & Other Stories”. Jon will be performing select shows throughout this summer in the US and Canada.
Jon Anderson’s “Survival & Other Stories” will soon be available through Voiceprint Records.
John Wetton – Raised In Captivity
Frontiers Records are proud to announce the release of the sixth solo album by esteemed British singer/songwriter John Wetton, “Raised In Captivity” is due out on July 1 in Europe and July 12 in North America. The album was recorded in Los Angeles during a brief break between touring commitments and is produced and mixed by multi-instrumentalist Billy Sherwood (Yes, World Trade, Yoso). The new offering finds Wetton teaming up with current and former musical partners, including some of the biggest names from the British music scene over the past four decades: Genesis’ Steve Hackett, King Crimson’s Robert Fripp, Deep Purple’s Steve Morse and many more.
“Raised In Captivity” celebrates yet another milestone in an extraordinary life, a stunning collection of songs reinforcing a career of over 40 years during which John Wetton has created a legacy as one of the greatest singers, musicians and songwriters ever. Respected worldwide by fans and musical peers alike, Wetton’s career included a significant period of time in the early eighties when he was the biggest selling singer in the world. Once again characterised by the emotional impact of the material, a necessary component in all Wetton’s creativity, “Raised In Captivity” continues an unrivalled career which has brought inspiration to millions worldwide.
Of the new album and choice of producer, Wetton comments: “The decision to record in Los Angeles with Billy Sherwood was entirely mine. I wanted the chaotic urban inspiration, edge and energy to juxtapose the natural beauty that California provides. I also knew that Billy Sherwood would provide the musical and technical ability to record quickly, with ultra high energy and superb production quality.” The material was written in a variety of ways, such as “Goodbye Elsinore” was written on the Denmark-Sweden sea ferry en route to a Vilde Frang concert and “The Devil And The Opera House” is co-written with King Crimson collaborator Richard Palmer-James. The album’s finale is “Mighty Rivers”, featuring the enigmatic Dutch soprano Anneke Van Giersbergen and the Seattle Symphony Orchestra.
Airrace – Back To The Start
Frontiers Records are pleased to announce the release of Airrace’s comeback album, entitled “Back To The Start” on July 1 in Europe and August 23 in North America.
Mostly known in hard rock circles for being the band that saw the musical debut from John Bonham’s son Jason on the band’s debut album for Atco (“Shaft of Light”), Airrace was instead the brainchild of former More guitarist Laurie Mansworth.
“Shaft Of Light”, produced by Beau Hill (Ratt, Winger, Fiona) received rave reviews when released in October 1984, showing a combination of breezy melodies and snappy choruses which moved journalist Derek Oliver to pronounce in the pages of Kerrang! that anyone who didn’t like Airrace ‘ought to be shot’.
Although the band got to play support slots with Queen, AC/DC and Meat Loaf, Airrace crash-landed in the summer of 1985.
It took a 25th anniversary re-issue of “Shaft Of Light” to reunite the band in 2009. To celebrate the record’s expanded rerelease, the original members Mansworth & Bonham with singer Keith Murrell and keyboardist Toby Sadler recruited two new members – second guitarist Dean Howard (formerly of T’Pau) and bassist Dave Boyce (ex-Samson) – to hit the road, playing gigs with Thunder, Tesla, Winger and more, in addition to headlining their own shows. When Jason Bonham departed, the occupation of his drum stool by The Outfield’s Simon Dawson brought them vital stability.
It was the overwhelmingly positive reaction to an appearance at annual melodic rock all-dayer the Firefest in October 2009 that convinced Airrace to take things more seriously. Describing what the wild scenes of that day, Fireworks magazine proposed the distinct possibility that Airrace were “the best opening band we’ve ever had at a Firefest”.
With Toby Sadler, who resides in Germany, unable to commit to playing more regularly, Airrace hired a new keyboard player, called Chris Williams, re-recruiting original bass player Jim Reid as a successor to Dave Boyce.
The above grouping can be heard on “Back To The Start”, the long-awaited second album from Airrace. Produced by Mansworth, it’s a notch heavier than “Shaft Of Light”, yet continues to offer all of the group’s trademarks, including über-memorable hooks and the exquisite singing of Keith Murrell, recently named at #20 in Classic Rock Presents AOR magazine’s list of the Top 40 AOR Vocalists Of All Time. Guitarist Laurie Mansworth said: “We had a great time making this record and we are very happy with the results. I feel this album captures the Airrace sound and is closer to how we sound live than the first album. We are also very excited about working with our new label Frontiers who have been very supportive throughout the making of ‘Back To The Start’”.
Rob Moratti – Victory
Canadian singer Rob Moratti has had a varied career. He first appeared as a songwriter and lead vocalist in the early 90s for the band Moratti, the result being the recording of two fine albums: “Desolation” in 1995 and “Legends Of Tomorrow” in 1997. Then he shot to centre stage as singer with Final Frontier, a band which also featured Mladen (Von Groove). Over a period of time the band recorded 4 albums and gained a cult following both in Europe and Japan. They played exciting AOR/hard rock which was set apart by Rob's powerful vocal performances.
In 2008 Rob has found more fame as frontman for AOR/progrock legends Saga who discovered him to replace Michael Sadler in recent years. Rob sang, wrote and produced the vocals on “The Human Condition” album and toured extensively with the band. He has since left Saga and this has given Rob time to concentrate on his solo CD, “Victory”.
“Victory” has an impressive line-up which includes Reb Beach (Winger, Whitesnake), Tony Franklin (The Firm, Blue Murder) and fellow Saga drummer Brian Doerner. The whole album is dominated by outstanding songs and great musicianship. The opening track, “Life On The Line”, is nothing short of outstanding. Rob’s vocals are so strong and with great musicians alongside him, no one can deny the end product is music to the ears. If you like a sound that mixes the great AOR brilliance of Final Frontier and Toto with a progressive edge that smacks of Saga, then this is the release you have been waiting for.
The album will be released by Escape Music on June 24.
Night Ranger – Somewhere In California
Night Ranger’s brand-new album, “Somewhere In California”, has just been confirmed for release on June 17 in Europe and June 21 in North America through Frontiers Records. The offering is the culmination of the band’s work to date and celebrates the 30th anniversary of Night Ranger. “Somewhere In California” finds Night Ranger returning to their classic sound with updated production. Frontman/bassist Jack Blades comments: “Night Ranger is back with a vengeance! We are so proud of our new album, classic NR in every sense, I can’t wait to see all the fans on tour this summer. Rock ‘n’ roll!”
The first single, “Growin’ Up In California”, will soon impact at radio. The sun-drenched new video has just been released. Night Ranger will hit the road this summer on a massive tour in Europe an the USA as special guests supporting Journey and Foreigner.
Suikerrock – Friday - July 29th 2011 – Grote Markt - Tienen
This year the Suikerrock Festival celebrates its 25th anniversary. The organisers promised us a top edition and they kept their word. With Roxette, Tom Jones, Heather Nova & Moby some big names were announced. Also for the classic rock fans there’s a lot to offer with Triggerfinger, Iggy & The Stooges and Deep Purple.
Formed in Antwerp in 1998, Triggerfinger consists of vocalist and guitarist Ruben Block, bassist Paul Van Bruystegem and drummer Mario Goossens. The band gained a small amount of popularity while performing prior to the band's debut album. Now after three albums this band has developed the hard way. By years of touring the clubs, pubs, festivals and dives of Europe they have bred a fierce and uncompromising sound. Recently they won a MIA award for best band. If you have any doubts about the powerful and multidimensional sound they can command, just go and watch this energetic trio live.
IGGY & THE STOOGES (20h40)
The inventor of stagediving has reached the age of 65 but refuses to retire. And alltough Iggy has a body full of wrinkles, once on stage he act like a teenager . Get ready for a powerful set of classic punk songs, and maybe you’ll get invited on stage by the legendary madman.
DEEP PURPLE with the Neue Philharmonie Frankfurt (22h30)
Deep Purple are among the original innovators of hard rock music. The British band has had a big influence on the birth and development of the genre since the late 1960s. This time they will go on stage with 45 musicians from the Neue Philharmonie Frankfurt. Together they will give the fans a new and exciting Deep Purple sound. The audience can look forward to a night full of energy, with classics like ”Smoke On The Water”, “Highway Star”, “Hush”, “Black Night” and many more.
Below you can find the complete program for Suikerrock 2011.
MAINSTAGE (GROTE MARKT)
• 20:00 SOULSISTER
• 22:00 TOM JONES
• 24:00 (dj) Dirk Stoops
• 19:00 TRIGGERFINGER
• 20:40 IGGY & THE STOOGES
• 22:30 DEEP PURPLE with The Neue Philharmonie Frankfurt
• 00:10 (dj) Studio Brussel, De Afrekening
• 15:00 TEDDIEDRUM
• 16:10 SHERMAN
• 17:30 DE JEUGD VAN TEGENWOORDIG
• 19:00 ZORNIK
• 20:30 HEATHER NOVA
• 22:15 MOBY
• 00:00 BASEMENT JAXX (dj set)
• 14:30 TOM DICE
• 16:00 TOM HELSEN
• 17:30 BART PEETERS
• 19:00 NATALIA
• 20:45 THE BASEBALLS
• 22:45 ROXETTE
Fireworks # 45 (May-June 2011) out now!
One of the best melodic rock mags on the planet, edited by Bruce Mee and designed by James Gaden. 96 pages in full colour, written in English. Highly recommended!
Duff McKagan’s Loaded | Francis Rossi | Maiden UniteD | Holy Rage | King Kobra | New York Dolls | Bonfire | Kingdom Come | Mr. Mister | Proto-Kaw | Robin George’s LovePower | 8-is | Cinder Road | Ben Waters | Shadowman | Sick Puppies | Leaves’ Eyes | Thunder | The Poodles | Brian Robertson | Within Temptation | Whitesnake | Power Quest | Bloodbound | Hinder | Eden’s Curse | China | Symphonia | Big Life | Seven Year Riot | Madam Adam | M.ill.ion
Tracklist free CD
Love Will Set You Free (Whitesnake) | Deadly Contradiction (Bonfire) | Across The Universe (Shadowman) | Rock ‘n’ Roll Soldiers (U.D.O.) | Dying Day (Big Life) | Cuts Like A Knife (The Poodles) | Kong Velemons Kamp (Midnattsol) | Saints Of Tomorrow (Eden’s Curse) | Cry To Heaven (M.ill.ion) | Vertigo (Tara’s Secret) | Better Days (Power Quest) | Against The Grain (After Hours) | Velvet Heart (Leaves’ Eyes) | Set You Free (Dust And Bones) | Mother’s Ruin (Electric Furnace) | World (Robin George And The LovePower Band) | Two Wrongs (Paul Young).
Album Reviews – Reissues – Multimedia – Books – Firin' On All Six! (concert reviews) – The Music Is Out There (Nicky Baldrian’s column) – The Melodic Rock Labels (Femme Metal Records) – Retrospective: Joe Lynn Turner
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