Frontiers Records update
JEFF SCOTT SOTO
“Damage Control”, the new album by Jeff Scott Soto, is near completion and promises to deliver a one-two punch in the standard that is expected from the artist who has mastered the world of melodic and hard rock music through the ages! The album is completed with appearances and co-writing by his current and former live line-ups as well as guests such as Dave Meniketti (Y&T), Jamie Borger (Talisman/Treat), Casey Grillo (Kamelot) and Joel Hoekstra (Night Ranger). There will be an 11 song single CD release of the album, as well as a 14-song digipak version along with a bonus DVD which includes videos and EPK.
Crazy Lixx are busy in the studio recording their third album, that will be entitled “Riot Avenue”. According to singer Danny Rexon: “This time the music is a little more riff-based and straightforward. We wanted to make a real hard rock album, so we decided to have a little more raw feeling in the production, sound and songwriting compared to our previous albums and there's a lot more up-tempo songs than we had on ‘New Religion’. Also, the addition of a second guitarist, Edd Liam, has made it possible to add some twin guitar playing and other interesting musical stuff that we've used on the album”. The album is planned for a worldwide release in April 2012 and will be followed by the usual string of live dates around the world.
PRIDE OF LIONS
Pride Of Lions is carrying on their proud heritage working hard on their as yet untitled fourth studio album. Jim Peterik says: “Our self-titled debut released in 2002 is still many of our fans favourite albums. So this album is a bit of a return to form. Of course there will be a few surprises and Toby Hitchcock is singing stronger than ever. I've hit a stride on the songwriting with songs such as "Tie Down The Wind" and "Coin Of The Realm". I needed the time since ‘The Roaring of Dreams’ to regroup and get reinspired. If you can't make a great record that will last the test of time - why even bother. This time Toby and me wanted to take Pride Of Lions on the road to promote this new one and spread the word". This new Pride Of Lions from what we've heard so far promises to be both more melodic and harder edged. Release is planned for early summer 2012.
Hardline will be back in 2012 with a brand-new album and a new line-up which will mark the beginning of a new co-operation between singer Johnny Gioeli and the italian producer/keyboardist Alessandro Del Vecchio (Edge Of Forever, Eden’s Curse). The US singer says: "I'm really excited to be working with Frontiers on a new Hardline record! We have slated the release for mid-2012. This CD is filled with melody and class, I'm digging it. I hope the Hardline fans enjoy this CD as much as I have enjoyed creating it. Happy holidays to all!"
Eclipse are putting the finishing touches to their anticipated fourth studio album that will be entitled "Bleed And Scream". Musically the band is taking off the new release where the last album finished, yet with more refined and progressed songwriting. It will be a 100% Eclipse-sounding album with big hooks, melodies and powerful riffs but it leans towards a more darker, moody and epic side of the band. Songs like the title track, "Battlegrounds", "A Bitter Taste" and "After The End Of The World" will show an exciting new side of the songwriting of the band. There will also be the first ballad in the history of the band, entitled "About To Break". Singer Erik Martensson tells: "This album was the hardest to write for us so far. On the other hand the most rewarding. We don’t know at this point how we are going to top this one. We have tweaked everything from quality of the songs, melodies, hooks, arrangements, guitar riffs, vocal performances, guitar solos, drumming and the variety in the songwriting in general. No stone is left unturned this time." Frontiers plans to release the album in the first half of 2012.
Singer Robbie LaBlanc of Blanc Faces and Swedish producer/songwriter Daniel Flores (Mind’s Eye, The Murder Of My Sweet) have started working together on an exciting new project, entitled Find Me. Musically it will have a heavier edge compared to Blanc Faces and Robbie sings louder and stronger than ever! Daniel Flores says: "This CD is some of the best AOR songs I've ever worked on, there are songs for everybody here, it is going to be a monster. Robbie has one of the best voices in the business and I'm proud to be working with him, he reminds me of the soulfulness of Martin Page and Lou Gramm's singing. I have given every song on Find Me its own identity for Robbie to showcase his great vocal diversity, all arrangements are carefully produced to fit his voice. The sonic impact will knock the socks out of you for sure! There are some great musicians involved on this CD, starting with the amazing solos from guitar wizard David Sivelind, the rhythm guitars of Daniel Palmqvist and the very tight and inventive bass playing from Jonny Trobro. The amount of time put into keyboards was really a lot and will instantly remind the listener of the greats like Boston and Foreigner. All done with real vintage keyboards to give the album the organic feel, that unfortunately so many albums lack of these days. I have never been this satisfied with the keyboards and synthesizer arrangements like on this album!" Release is planned for the summer 2012.
Two very exciting new bands have joined or are about to join the Frontiers Records roster. One is a new metal band from the UK which has already gathered a vast critical acclaim with their independently released debut album and that will finally have a worldwide release on Frontiers and another is a new melodic rock band from Sweden sounding like an exciting mix of Work Of Art and H.E.A.T. Stay tuned for more news in early 2012 - more and more surprises are in the works ! Merry Christmas and a Happy Rocking New Year!
Sunstorm – Emotional Fire
Born after Joe Lynn Turner met with Frontiers Records’ boss Serafino Perugino, the Sunstorm project was a way to dig up some old gems, written by the former Rainbow, Deep Purple and Yngwie Malmsteen singer during the mid 80s. The task was to create an ultimate Joe Lynn Turner melodic rock dream collection. This brought on the release of the first Sunstorm album in 2006 – which met with much critic and fan approval – and the follow-up “House Of Dreams” three years later.
While the first two albums’ basic inspiration came from the melodic rock catalogue of songs that Turner penned for himself or other artists of the genre, for this third album, Frontiers and JLT decided to look at Turner’s numerous vocal sessions he did in the 80s as a background vocalist for other artists. This brought on a resurrection of some of Michael Bolton’s melodic rock gems such as “Gina” (originally included on “The Hunger” album, where Turner contributed with background vocals), “You Wouldn’t Know Love” and “Emotional Fire”, which Bolton penned for the “Heart Of Stone” album by Cher (in which Turner also appeared as background vocalist). “I sang background on the original ‘Gina’”, says Joe, “Michael and I did all of the parts, but I tried to rock it up a bit more than the original ... not so pop! Good song though! It's funny ... I heard ‘Emotional Fire’ from Desmond Child during a writing session and then he asked me to sing background vocals on it! Crazy! It's like one big circle!”
With production and mixing once again under the expert hands of Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69, Place Vendome, Angra) and a track listing rounded out by some amazing songs written by the likes of Soren Kronkvist (Crash The System, Issa), Tom and James Martin (Vega, Sunstorm, Khymera) and Daniel Palmqvist (Xorigin, The Murder Of My Sweet), the third Sunstorm album, “Emotional Fire,” is destined to reignite the melodic rock passion in every fan. “I think this record has a good mix of songs”, concludes Joe, “Just what ‘Sunstorm’ is supposed to be! Dennis Ward is a great producer and the players are amazing. I have to say I am pleased with the work we did and hope that everyone else will be pleased as well ... enjoy!”
Release date Europe: February 24, 2012
Pendragon – Out Of Order Comes Chaos (DVD)
Metal Mind Productions will release a brand-new DVD by the legendary British band Pendragon. The live DVD, entitled “Out Of Order Comes Chaos”, will be available in March 2012. It contains a show recorded in Katowice during the Polish leg of the tour promoting the band’s most recent album “Passion”. For the first time in their career, live material will be released also on a Blu-ray.
Nick Barrett: “We've tried to do material that we haven't played very much before, particularly in Poland, and for the DVD we've changed the set drastically so that people don't buy the new DVD and it's just got the same songs as the last one.”
2. Back In The Spotlight
4. Not Of This World
6. If I Were The Wind
9. This Green And Pleasant Land
11. Feeding Frenzy
13. Last Man On Earth
Interview with Nick Barrett
„...Some of the Order”
„...Some of the Chaos”
Mr. Big – Live From The Living Room
Frontiers Records are pleased to announce the release of Mr. Big’s new acoustic live album “Live From The Living Room” on February 24, 2012 in Europe and February 28 in North America.
At the end of January 2011, during a week long promotion trip to promote for their latest reunion album “What If” and tour, Mr. Big were invited to the WOWOW TV Studios in Tokyo to perform a special show in an intimate setting.
When the talk of a broadcast first came up, the band wanted to present something different than they’ve ever done before. Thus the idea of an acoustic show came about and a string quintet was brought in to enhance the project even more, with arrangements provided by Takashi Miyazaki. Although Paul Gilbert and Billy Sheehan hooked up electric on a few songs, the show was still very much acoustic in nature throughout. Pat Torpey played various acoustic percussion instruments during the gig.
In Eric Martin’s words: “The idea for the show came out of a quick conversation the four of us had after a day of interviews promoting the new ‘What if’ CD. We did an acoustic show at the Hard Rock Café in Singapore in 1996 that (till this day) is one of my favourite live recordings. It had a stripped down, up close and personal feel to it. If we were going to do something like that again, it would have to be extra special. We were talking about the old days when musicians used to live together in a band house and practice day and night. Our favourite rock band posters and tapestries adorning the walls, family hand me down furniture, amps that doubled as lamp stands, friends hanging out and the usual cluttered mess on the floor, lyric sheets, guitar cases and chords, music stands, beer cans, pizza boxes, wine bottles etc. ‘Live from The Living Room’ was born out of that. We wanted to recreate a harmonious atmosphere and treat our fans to an informal jam session of songs from the past and present while throwing in a few surprises from our wish lists (strings, Japanese taiko drums).
A Mr. Big fun fact: it was recorded live in front of a small but intimate audience at Tokyo Studios where great movies like Seven Samurai, Godzilla and hundreds of other legendary Japanese films were made.
The result from that magic night in Tokyo comes in february: 10 Mr. Big classics in a completely new and fresh dress and a portrait from the very first ever acoustic show from the band.
“Live From The Living Room” will be exclusively released in a glossy digipak and will include the following songs: Undertow; Still Ain't Enough For Me; As Far As I Can See; Voodoo Kiss; Take Cover; Around The World; Stranger In My Life; All The Way Up; To Be With You; Nobody Left To Blame.
Human Temple – Halfway To Heartache
Finland’s premier melodic hard rockers Human Temple are back and bring us a brand-new release in February, called “Halfway To Heartache”. Their 2004 debut, “Insomnia”, received rave reviews and the 2010 release “Murder of Crows” set pulses racing. Two years later and the wait for the third CD is over, so get ready for this fantastic new release.
The foundation of the Temple was laid way back in the late eighties, when vocalist Janne Hurme and drummer Petri Lehto formed their first band. The guys were highly influenced by KISS, Dokken, Crüe and such bands, so the style of the music just had to be hard rock, yet always with a keen ear for a good melody.
Fast forward to1995. Janne was signed as a solo artist, and given an album’s worth of more pop type of material to sing. He sang it with conviction and once the album was released, he became a major star almost overnight. Among other hits, the album spawned “Kirje”, one of the biggest hits of the nineties in Finland. One could say that it's an evergreen nowadays, played regularly on the radio stations, while Janne’s solo career was blossoming, he didn't forget his roots and kept writing hard rock songs. In 1998 he and Petri formed Human Temple, determined that this band would take the next step and become something bigger than their previous bands.
After an initial buzz created via local gigs and the internet, Human Temple were signed to the German label MTM Music, and their first album saw the light of day in the summer of 2004. Marquee Avalon released the album later that year in Japan.
The next years passed quite fast and the band went through a few line-up changes. In the summer of 2009, they felt that the time was right for album number two. They entered the Noise Camp Studio in Turku, chose the best 10 songs from their selection of new tracks and started the recording process. The resulting “Murder Of Crows” stays true to the sound of the debut, while adding some new elements to it. It has since become a firm favourite amongst melodic hard rockers.
The brooding “Halfway To Heartache” is an extension of the Human Temple sound and they bring us 11 tracks of brilliant tunes that range from quirky rockers to powerful ballads. Songs like “Run Away”, “Misery” and “Bleeding Through” just ooze with class. This is a new age in the history of Human Temple and it’s going to set 2012 off with a bang.
The album will be released by Escape Music on February 24, 2012.
Rock It! # 67 (January-February 2012) out now!
The very best German AOR, hard rock & metal magazine
Contents (100 pages, written in German):
Interviews & Stories
Andromeda | Beggars & Thieves | Grand Design | Sammy Hagar | Hammerschmitt | Iron Mask | Iron Savior | Lillian Axe | Lance Lopez | The Magnificent | Mecca | Morton | Mötley Crüe | Mystic Prophecy | Nightwish | Chris Ousey | OZ | Palace | Renaissance Of Fools | Royal Hunt | Sergeant Steel | Soon | Steelwing | Stormzone | Talon | Theocracy | Trillium | Whitesnake | Xclaym
Devil’s Train | Freedom Call | Kissin’ Dynamite | Orden Ogan | Primal Fear | Vengeance
The Brew | Alice Cooper | Doro | Faster Pussycat | Faun | Firefest 2011 | H.E.A.T Festival 2011| HammerFall Tour Report | Iced Earth | Marillon/Saga | One Man’s Trash | Subway To Sally | Symphony X
CD - Hear It! Vol. 58
Free 17-track CD featuring songs from Iron Savior | Mystic Prophecy | Steelwing | Royal Hunt | Talon | The Magnificent | Mecca | Chris Ousey | Sergeant Steel | Soon | Bluesgangsters | Palace | Iron Mask | Hammerschmitt | Theocracy | Andromeda | Savatage
Editorial - News - Reader's Charts - Reviews (albums, books & DVDs) – Specials (AFM Records, Deep Purple, Rock Meets Classic) - Tour Dates etc.
Next issue (# 68)
February 15, 2012
Introducing Voodoo Vegas
Bournemouth’s very own Voodoo Vegas have inked a worldwide management deal with GerMusica and are currently working on their debut EP due for release in Spring 2012. Fronted by Lawrence Case, Voodoo Vegas have been called ‘the best band on the south coast of England today’.
With the beautiful Merylina Hamilton and the hard edged Nick Brown on a lead guitar onslaught, Ash Moulton and Matt Jolly driving the rhythms on the bass and drums respectively, Voodoo Vegas are a rock band that are going places. They have toured all over the UK, played shows in Italy, France, Belgium and many of the UK’s top live music venues, to huge audiences – both as headlining band but also as support for Uriah Heep, Gilby Clarke, Fozzy, Quireboys, Ginger (Wildhearts), Glenn Hughes and many others.
Malcolm Dome from Kerrang and Classic Rock says: “Finally an unsigned band worth checking out if you enjoy The Answer. Voodoo Vegas come from Bournemouth and their self-released live album suggests they’ve the ability to take their Guns n’ Roses and AC/DC influences into their own territory. Keep an eye on ‘em.”
Voodoo Vegas are a raw and explosive rock band giving us a snapshot of what will soon be a powerful force in British rock music. They have the sound, the songs and everything that’s needed to go far in the world of rock.
Trixter – New Audio Machine
Frontiers Records are pleased to announce the signing of Trixter for the worldwide release of their reunion album in the spring of 2012!
Formed in Paramus, New Jersey during 1983, Trixter would learn their chops playing live in the club circuit around their hometown with the likes of Skid Row and Kix, before eventually getting signed by Mechanic/MCA for their self-titled debut album in 1990, which spawned the Billboard hits & # 1 MTV Videos “Give It To Me Good”, “One In A Million” and “Surrender” and went on to become gold. The band toured nationally during 1990-91 with the likes of Poison, Scorpions and Warrant. Trixter's second album, “Hear!”, was released in October 1992, touring in support of KISS. Unfortunately the change of musical climate made it impossible for the band to keep going and after the release of an independent covers album, the band called it quits in 1995.
Trixter finally announced the reunion of the original line-up in 2007. Since then the band played several shows, including a successful appearance at the Rocklahoma festival in 2008. “The band has been playing together for the last 4 years, so making a new record is the next logical step”, tells guitarist Steve Brown. “We are all very excited: the new CD will be entitled ‘New Audio Machine’ and is a classic style melodic hard rock album. All the sounds people have loved about Trixter will be there: great songs, big guitar riffs, catchy vocals and a huge bottom end. A total big rock production.”
Trixter now consists of Pete Loran on lead vocals and guitar, Steve Brown on lead guitar, P.J. Farley on bass and Gus Scott on drums. “We take pride in the fact that we are one of the few bands of our genre that have all original members”, says Brown.
With an arsenal of great new songs and a catalogue of two successful releases Trixter are looking forward to bring their songs on stage. “We are hoping to land a support slot on one of the major summer tours”, concludes Brown. “And we finally hope to play our first European tour as well.”
Sonic Station – s/t
Frontiers Records are pleased to announce the signing to the label of a brand-new act, called Sonic Station. Their self-titled debut album will be released on February 24, 2012 in Europe and February 28 in North America.
Sonic Station is a new AOR/westcoast project put together by Alexander Kronbrink, a Swedish guitarist, composer and producer. He’s a young musician who learned his skills playing with smooth jazz star Jonathan Fritzén. Later on – after being introduced to Lee Ritenour – Alexander started to see a clearer direction in his playing. Through Ritenour he discovered the music of such giants as Steely Dan, Kenny Loggins, composer and producer David Foster and guitarist Jay Graydon, among others. Alexander says: “I have always been interested in guitarists with the ability to play everything from jazz to pop to country to hard rock. I have listened a lot to American session guitarists such as Steve Lukather, Michael Landau and Dan Huff. I guess that type of guitar playing is what has influenced me the most.”
From the very beginning the Sonic Station project has been based in the 80s AOR music (influenced by Toto, Mr. Mister and Journey) and the westcoast sound of Airplay and Chicago. The resulting album, “Sonic Station”, is an expressive and warm record, where each song has an obvious and immediate hit feeling. “The focus is on melody and the Sonic Station sound is a meticulous and exciting mixture of pop, rock and jazz”, explains Kronbrink. To get the most quality out of each track Alexander, who composed ten of the songs and also produced and arranged the whole record, engaged four singers with different styles and voices: Marika Willstedt (from the Swedish TV show “Så ska det låta”), Magnus Bäcklund (member of the Swedish duo Fame), Kristoffer Fogelmark and Tove Lo.
There are many musicians working on the album but the three contributing the most are Alexander’s close friends Jonathan Fritzén (on keyboards – a smooth jazz solo artist who reached #1 on the Billboard Indicator Smooth Jazz Chart), Henrik Linder (on bass – Dirty Loops, Work Of Art) and Aron Mellergård (on drums – Dirty Loops). All of them are accomplished musicians and gave their contribution for the final result. “I definitely think Sonic Station will have a life on stage and I expect that we will be able to do some shows in the coming months”, concludes Alexander Kronbrink.
HELP! For Japan
The first anniversary of the disastrous earthquake in Japan will be on March 11, 2012. The aftermath of this catastrophe is still apparent and to the present day the Japanese people are facing the impact of the events. The population of the affected area has not been able to completely return to their everyday live and the people are still grateful for our help.
Some of Europe’s leading rock artists have united to join a campaign initiated by singer Tommy Heart (Soul Doctor, Fair Warning) and recorded a tremendous new version of the classic Beatles song “Help”. The EP “Help! For Japan” will be released in Europe on the German label Avenue Of Allies Music in early March 2012. All income from the sales of this project will be donated to the Japanese Red Cross.
This EP includes the following four songs:
2. HELP! (Tommy Heart Version)
3. HELP! (Guitar Version)
4. HELP! (Extended Version)
The musicians are Don Airey (keyboards & piano, Deep Purple), Leo Leoni (guitar, Gotthard), Neil Murray (bass, ex-Whitesnake) and Hena Habegger (drums, Gotthard)
The singers are Tobias Sammet (Edguy, Avantasia), Bob Catley (Magnum), Andi Deris (Helloween), Torstein Flakne (Stage Dolls), Marc Storace (Krokus), David Readman (Pink Cream 69), Claus Lessmann (Bonfire), Oliver Hartmann (Hartmann), Bernhard Weiss (Axxis), Michael Kiske (Unisonic), Tony Mills (TNT), Carsten Schulz (Evidence One) and Tommy Heart (Soul Doctor, Fair Warning),
The solo guitar players are Cede Dupont (Downspirit), Kyoji Yamamoto (Bow Wow), Helge Engelke (Fair Warning), Roland Grapow (Masterplan), Leo Leoni (Gotthard), Henny Wolter (Nitrogods) and Robert R. Rodrigo (Airless)