Although he has only achieved cult status in the United States at this point in time, Great Britain's ROBIN GEORGE is legendary in his home country.
Even though he's probably best known as a backing guitarist for a variety of well-known British superstars, George is very much a songwriter and musician in his own right.
And now, 27 years after it's original release his debut album "Dangerous Music" is once again being made available to the public.
The big problem with this album re-issues was the terrible sound. The Sanctuary/Castle (2000) is almost intolerable.
Luckily in 2010 Angel Air records published a good version including previously unreleased tracks, but in limited quantities, and has become pretty scarce and hard to find.
Now is being available again (at least in a digital form) for our listening pleasure.
"Dangerous Music" is a very slick commercial album combining radio rock, AOR and Melodic Rock.
But George was one of those artists who was able to balance commercial appeal with artistic integrity, and thus his music was very appealing to both communities.
The album features plenty of Robin's tasty guitar work (of course) but it also presents many songs that, in a perfect world, would have been major hits.
"Heartline" opens this remastered edition. This is simply an amazing track. It's catchy as hell and contains one of the best guitar solos in memory. The song is a classic. There is something of a hit-single about it, plucky keyboards and great background vocals courtesy of Mr. Chris Thompson and Pete Green.
"Spy" is rock&pop with a hit refrain that sticks like superglue. Robin's guitar still rocks no matter the amount of pop refrains that has been applied.
In the sharp AOR keyboard-laden "Shout" George utilises an arsenal of fine Synth Guitars, in a song where rhythm rules.
Robin has always mixed his contemporaries with his personal older influences; "Hit List" does not sound like a track from the eighties, it's more a late seventies hard rocker with a glossy production.
The compulsory ballad takes a while, but "Don't Turn Away" encourages slow dancing with full body contact without being overly sentimental. It feels sincere all in all.
We have other luminaires contributing in this recording; master Pino Palladino, Phil Lynott (Thin Lizzy) and Phil Soussan (Ozzy, Billy Idol) share bass duties.
Kex Gorham (ex- Magnum) and Dave Holland (ex- Judas Priest) share the drumming, while Mark Stanway (Magnum) plays some keyboards.
This remaster features the tracks that appeared on the original vinyl release plus a bunch of cool bonus tracks previously unreleased. If you have the horrendous 2000 CD you should check the sound quality of this new remaster (and also get the bonuses).
"Dangerous Music" is an excellent album that unfortunately got lost in the blur of the '80s most likely because the original record company (Bronze) folded soon after the initial release.
This reissue will hopefully make more people aware of this talented fellow's early recorded work.
You've seen it first here, at zerodayrockz
01 - Heartline
02 - Spy
03 - No News Is Good News
04 - French Kisses
05 - Stolen From My Heart
06 - Shout
07 - Showdown
08 - Hit List
09 - Shoot In Sight
10 - Don't Turn Away
11 - Space Kadett (b-side) [bonus track]
Live at Tommy Vance Show;
12 - Heartline [bonus track prev. unreleased]
13 - Spy [bonus track prev. unreleased]
14 - No News Is Good News [bonus track prev. unreleased]
Previously unreleased digitally;
15 - Heartline (Dangerous Mix)
16 - Don't Turn Away (Dangerous Mix)
Robin George: Vocals, All Guitars, Guitar & Bass Synth, Fairlight, Effects
Pino Paladino: Bass, Fretless Bass
Phil Soussan: Bass
Phil Lynott: Bass
Mark Stanway: Synthesizer
Pete Green: Synthesizer
Adrian Lee: Keyboards, Synthesizer, Bass Synth
Dave Holland: Drums
Kex Gorham: Drums
Kex Gorin: Percussion
Chris Thompson, Pete Green, Robin: Backing Vocals
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Tuesday, July 31, 2012
CLOUDSCAPE is a band from Sweden formed in 2001 and after 3 albums and some member shifts, the group hit the studio again for their fourth release “New Era”.
Known for their elaborated Progressive Metal, this time the guys have added some melodic metal and even melodic hard rock touches to their music.
Cloudscape managed to put down a solid sound despite the different genre influences delivering an album that contains a variety of songs making them all catchy in their own way.
New vocalist Mike Andersson does use his clear voice in different ways providing rich textures to each track, while guitars, drums and bass lines are thick, but flexible as well.
What really sets this band from the rest of the Prog Metal crowd are the very clever arrangements which gives to the songs another dimension.
Perhaps starting the disc with "Silver Ending" wasn't the best choice, as in my opinion is the only weak track here. Not bad, just a plain metalized fare not showing what this band is capable of.
Then suddenly the pieces of their interesting musical puzzle began to come together in "Share Your Energy" followed irresistibly by "Kingdom Of Sand", both packing melody, class arrangement and confidence in what they were creating. Melodic riffs (with some oriental twist in the latter) playful drumming and some dramatic piano enrich the sound around the colorful vocals. There are welcomed brief moments of studio trickery as well.
By song number four called "Pull The Brake" the anthemic quality and punching rhythm section continue the good work.
"Seen It All Before" starts with some atmosphere before bringing out the guitar riff and a subtle, yet melodic keyboard refrain and then things get a little heavier before the barking vocals of Mike reach out. The song's pace changes at around the four minute for good effect.
After the frantic paced "Your Desire" with its insistent and furious riffage, arrives an epic called "Voyager 9". Not to be taken lightly as it clocks in at over eight and a half minutes. Mixing up spacious moments within the soundscape with some crunching heavy riffs in others, this track blend shades of light and dark with an ear for balance.
The innovative and melodic "Before Your Eyes" features some microphone trickery as Mike sings cool melodious lines before the wail of the guitar announces a change of pace.
Following on from the remnants of that song we go into some compressed sounding guitar before it's unleashed into another potent riff. "Violet Eve" has crash landed, a marching uptempo blast rocker.
"Into The Unknown" has a clear Euro melodic hard rock vibe with a clean sound and a cathy chorus, while ending track "Heroes" is some kind of midtempo prog metal tune with a solid melody and some epic imprinted over it.
In “New Era” Cloudscape blends their distinctive Prog Metal style and other sub-genres with success for the most part.
Guess I do find it very hard to place their sound, but when it comes down to it, it doesn't matter anyway, since it's the music that counts and their music count for something.
It's dynamic and varied, based on clever arrangements escaping from the typical cliches of the genre, and all members accomplish a good quality performance on what at times is impressive musicianship.
The first half of the CD is heavier and darker, while the second is much more melodic, even sometimes melodic hard rock oriented, confirming that Cloudscape - as the album title indicates - has something new to come up with.
“New Era” delivers twelve songs plenty of interesting twists and turns to keep you engaged, specially on the more melodious tracks.
01 - Silver Ending
02 - Share Your Energy
03 - Kingdom Of Sand
04 - Pull The Brake
05 - Seen It All Before
06 - Your Desire
07 - Voyager 9
08 - Simplicity…Huh…
09 - Before Your Eyes
10 - Violet Eye
11 - Into The Unknown
12 - Heroes
Mike Andersson : Lead & Backing Vocals
Patrik Svärd : Guitars
Stefan Rosqvist : Guitars, Keyboards
Håkan Nyander : Bass, Backing Vocals
Fredrik Joakimsson : Drums & Percussion
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Hailing from Switzerland, THE ORDER have already three albums in their history book.
With the title of their just released fourth album the band gives you a clear idea of what their music is all about; "1986". If you didn't catch it yet, take a look at the CD cover...
The Order plays classic Eighties American Melodic Hard Rock with enthusiasm and no excuses. "1986" is a time travel back into the great '80s featuring straigh forward melodies and focus is on strong vocals and kickin' up-tempo tracks.
Gianni Pontillo is the frontman and singer and his voice got the right rasp and tone for the genre. Bruno Spring on guitar is riffing and hooking with a potent valvular sound, while the rhythm section is solid and smashing, specially hard hitting drummer Mauro Casciero.
All members have been playing in various bands since the nineties and they glue truly well.
The great intro track "Power Of Love" is pointing the direction for the rest of the album. The true love to rock music from the '80s is overwhelming for these guys and the strong melodies with a tight production is really a blessing to listen to here.
The well balanced songs are juicy, bloody, fat and spicy barbecued pieces of hard rock meat to put on the hot grill this summer.
"Long Live Rock 'n' Roll" is a catchy tune to play air guitar to and with the easy to learn chorus makes up a song that I like. Not cheesy at all... just rocks hard.
In the Van Halen inspired track "Generation White Line" Gianni really sounds in a voice tune just like former Van Halen singer Mr. Sammy Hagar.
They go pretty heavy on "Lonely Nights" reminding me Riot, while follower "Fire It Up" is extremely melodic sporting a massive and catchy chorus.
Even a ballad can be found here in "A Kiss Under The Rain", solidly structured and performed. It's that kind of metal ballad that has real power, in the vein of Baton Rouge. Killer tune.
"1986" resurrects Classic Eighties Hard Rock with style, power and quality.
If you like good straight forward, energetic hard rock music as used to be in golden decade, with great sharp guitars and vocals in top class then I am sure The Order is band you will curse yourself that you missed out on earlier.
These guys are truly professional, their musicianship excellent and they know how to write a killer song, trust me. Production is excellent for this kind of music, tight & sharp, and polished at the same time.
The Order is still quite unknown, but with this mega strong album in their back these Swiss gentlemen do really deserve to make it to the bigger scenes and public.
01 - The Power Of Love
02 - Long Live Rock'n'Roll
03 - Generation White Line
04 - Lonely Nights
05 - Fire It Up
06 - A Kiss Under The Rain
07 - Damn Hot Chick
08 - Heartbreaking Rebel Blood
09 - Why Dreaming Hollywood
10 - Stop Lying In The Name Of Love
Gianni Pontillo - Vocals
Bruno Spring - Guitars
Andrej Abplanalp - Bass
Mauro Casciero - Drums, Percussion
BUY IT !
Monday, July 30, 2012
0DAYROCK has moved here
(NEW ADDRESS August 03, 2012):
This is a sample post to help search engines to find this new Blog address.
Friday, July 27, 2012
* Please read comments
Heard by over a billion people a week as the voice of the classic theme tune 'I'm Always Here' from the global smash hit show Baywatch, gracing the soundtracks of iconic films like The Karate Kid or Rocky IV, and as part of Melodic Rock AOR icons Survivor, Jimi Jamison is one of the best and most respected singers of the genre.
Incredibly, despite all this success, he had never played the UK until the organisers of the annual Firefest show in Nottingham decided to put right.
Jimi did not disappoint - not content playing a blistering set spanning his hit-strewn career, he also chose to steal the show with a performance that many regard as the greatest ever witnessed during Firefest's seven year history. Backed by an energetic Swedish band comprised of young rockers H.E.A.T., Eclipse drummer Magnus Ulfstedt and guitar hero Tommy Denander, the full concert was captured on DVD and released last year.
Now this amazing performance is finally available on CD!
Get your copy pronto at the brand new Firefest website, as this is an extremely limited edition, it will be a collectors item soon.
You've seen it first here, at zerodayrockz
01 - Caught In The Game
02 - It's The Singer Not The Song
03 - High On You
04 - Is This Love
05 - Didn't Know It Was Love
06 - I See You In Everyone
07 - A Dream Too Far
08 - Crossroads Moment
09 - Rebel Son
10 - Burning Heart
11 - I'm Always Here
12 - Eye Of The Tiger
Jimi Jamison - Vocals
Tommy Denander - Guitars
Jimmy Jay (H.E.A.T) - Bass
Jona Tee (H.E.A.T) - Keyboards
Magnus Ulfstedt (Eclipse) - Drums
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Recorded at Firefest Festival, "Another Step Closer" captures Steve Newman and his band of merry men on 'one of those nights' when the planets align, there is a full moon, a full house, and a band kicking 1000 plus asses amassed in the 'Rock City' Nottingham, UK.
More than ably assisted by Dave Bartlett (Bass), Nic Lipscombe (Drums), Paul Boyle (Keyboards) and new guitarist Shaun Bessant who rips out solo after solo and pose after pose, Newman have finally come of age as a bona fide live outfit rather than the studio project that some were beginning to label them.
Just listen to the crowd reaction to long time Newman faves "One Step Closer", "Heaven Knows" or "Every Moment".
Plus, we have as bonuses three tracks recently recorded at radio ARfm studio; "Endless", "On Any Other Sunday" and a Medley including "Edge Of The World / If It's Love / That Kind Of Girl / One Step Closer"
This is a hot concert released on CD by the Firefest label strictly limited to 500 copies worldwide.
Get yours fast.
You've seen it first here, at zerodayrockz
01 - Hero To Zero
02 - Endless
03 - Every Moment
04 - Primitive Soul
05 - Stay With Me
06 - Tumble Down
07 - If It's Love
08 - Coming Home Tonight
09 - Heaven Knows
10 - One Step Closer
11 - Endless [ARFM studios 2012] (bonus track)
12 - Medley ; Edge Of The World / If It's Love / That Kind Of Girl / One Step Closer [ARFM studios 2012] (bonus track)
13 - On Any Other Sunday [ARFM studios 2012] (bonus track)
Steve Newman - Vocals, Guitar
Dave Bartlett - Bass
Nic Lipscombe - Drums
Paul Boyle - Keyboards
Shaun Bessant - Guitars
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BURNING POINT, from Oulu, Finland, has been around for the last 11 years.
"The Ignitor", their 5th album, while it isn't much of stylistic deviation from their past material, it has a new welcomed blend with more melodic influences.
"The Ignitor" is an album that dabbles in the grey area somewhere between pure Euro Melodic Metal and more traditional Hard Rock.
Good melodies, good hooks in lyrics and chorus, and a bunch of impressive well played guitar solos make this an entertaining listen. In this new album Burning Point moves with some deft craftsmanship that only comes with maturity.
Pete Ahonen is the vocalist and he has never sounded better. The vocals are mostly mid-ranged but powerful and clear. And yes he can hit the high note when called upon. He also shares guitar duties with Pekka Kolivuori and they produce some real crunchy riffs.
Some tracks are really metalized as opener "Eternal Flame", "In the Fires of My Self Made Hell" or "Heaven Is Hell". These have some standard power metal clichés, although the band's conviction allows them to rise above the crowd. They toss in enough good riffs and quality vocals to give them a proper edge, and are relatively short tracks (as many here, which benfits the listen).
But where Burning Point shines is on the more hard rockin' songs.
Notable moments include the hyper-melodic "In the Night", a truly awesome track which partly resurrects the sound of the long forgotten Fifth Angel, the ominous and darker groove of the title track, and the mega hooky chorus of "Silent Scream" (another highlight) where the band pays homage to Joe Lynn Turner-era Rainbow.
There are also some progressive elements that remind me of Queensryche, especially in the solid "Demon Inside You". The anthemic "Losing Sleep" is another really good moment, delivering some memorable melodies in a cross between Primal Fear and Jorn Lande's band Ark.
All these tracks feature really well placed keyboards in the mix which adds texture and climate to the music.
Certainly, one could say, "The Ignitor" is common fare for European power metal, and that person would be right. But you have more to discover here.
If you are not specifically a metal fan, you'll enjoy - at least - the half of the album via the melodic and classic sounding tracks mentioned above. This is a straight-forward, super accessible album with tons of hooks and nice performances by all involved.
Production is sharp and agile with a crispy sound in the Allen / Lande style, very well mixed as well.
Fundamentally, "The Ignitor" finds Burning Point in fine form delivering a well-rounded metal album.
01 - Eternal Flame (Salvation By Fire Part II)
02 - In The Fires Of My Self-Made Hell
03 - In The Night
04 - The Ignitor
05 - Silent Scream
06 - Heaven Is Hell
07 - Losing Sleep
08 - Demon Inside Of You
09 - Everdream
10 - Lost Tribe
11 - Holier Than Thou
12 - Ice Queen (Japanese bonus track)
13 - Blood Will Win (Japanese bonus track)
Pete Ahonen / Vocals & Guitars
Pekka Kolivuori / Guitars
Jukka Jokikokko / Bass
Jussi Ontero / Drums & Keyboards
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“GREEK FIRE is a mission to capture the attention of a rock deprived generation. A mission to re-vitalize the spirit of rock music in all of it’s purity and greatness. A mission to create uplifting, soaring music for those who need it now more than ever.”
The band from St. Louis describe themselves this way. In May 2009, Phil Sneed (aka Moon), Ryan Phillips, Johnny Venus and Mark Joseph Roth start performing as Greek Fire.
Antitype without being pretentious, Greek Fire has developed a style that blends many influences, a genre-crossing music really original and vital.
Over a blasting rhythm section, they have an insane lead guitarist with gnarly riffage ability, and a frontman that is charismatic, poetic, and has a voice that can cut through a brick wall and knock you into another time zone.
On their debut album some songs are truly energetic, while others have a slow, calming, melodic feel. We have rockin' riffs over catchy radio worthy songs but still maintaining honesty and artistry, ignoring musical barricades or preconceptions.
It isn't easy classify Greek Fire's style, but precisely therein lies its charm.
They can rock hard as on the thumping opener "Doesn't Matter Anyway" delivering a wall of sound, and turn melodic and rhythmic on "Make Me Believe".
In some places this band could remind you the fire and freshness of U2's debut 'Boy'. I mean, when U2 used to be an edgy band and the intention was to rock the world.
Then, in a song like "Put Your Hands on Me" they go for a really heavy path with a monster reverberation in the sound akin late seventies bands but magically sounding modern and original.
But they surprise you all the time, as next track "Dreaming In Deja Vu" is an insanely catchy tune with some winks to European Melodic Rock featuring a fantastic guitar solo.
At this point maybe you're wondering if this album wouldn't be an indigestible mixed salad... not at all, it's original, attractive and leaves you wanting more.
Greek Fire is one of the most interesting and original bands I heard recently, no matter the genre. In fact, they break genre-boundaries.
There's just something captivating about frontman Moon's voice that I can't seem to put a label on. It's catchy, but not in an annoying pop-rock way. It's heartfelt, but not in an overly sappy way. It's just... natural.
And that natural, insanely enthralling voice meshes perfectly with the musical skills of Ryan Phillips on the guitars and the solid rhythm section by Mark Joseph Roth and Johnny Venus (drums). So many bands can get lost in the shuffle because they sound so similar, but Greek Fire is not one of those bands. They are immediately identifiable, which makes them even more memorable.
Greek Fire released the album independently as they wanted the entire control of their art. There was a limited run of physical CD's last year on the band's merch table at their concerts, but no more.
Now, after touring Japan, Greek Fire received the shocking news that drummer Johnny Venus was diagnosed with leukemia, and decided to record a new song dedicated to him; "If This Is The End (The Sound Of Belief)".
Support this band, they are truly good. If correctly managed, they can do great things.
01 - Doesn't Matter Anyway
02 - Break Me Down
03 - Make Me Believe
04 - Put Your Hands On Me
05 - Dreaming In Deja Vu
06 - Under The Stars
07 - Down In Mexico
08 - Just The Beginning
09 - If This Is The End (The Sound Of Belief)
Vocals: Phil 'Moon' Sneed
Guitar: Ryan Phillips
Bass: Mark Joseph Roth
Drums: Johnny Venus
Drums: John Pessoni
BUY IT !
FM debut album, ‘Indiscreet’, set the scene perfectly.
This was a British band with their eyes set firmly on the American market, playing music equal to, if not superior, than masters of the craft such as Foreigner, Journey and Survivor.
That they had not earned a significant sales foothold was shocking but it only fuelled their resolve to come back out swinging with their sophomore album, the stoically titled "Tough It Out".
This time around they were taking no chances. Arming themselves with new management (REO Speedwagon's representative) a top notch producer in Neil Kernon and topping off their determination by collaborating with some of the best songwriters (including Desmond Child) of the day they constructed an album of serious potential.
Originally issued in 1989, "Tough It Out" takes all the excitement of their first album and infuses it with top class production and an energy that suggested they weren't going to take any prisoners.
Mixed by Nigel Green (Def Leppard), the album contains eleven stunning slices of melodic AOR, including such crowd pleasers as "Don't Stop", "Bad Luck", "Burning My Heart Down" and "Someday (You'll Come Running)".
As always, Steve Overland must be credited for his superlative performance - outstanding vocals that turn quality songs into exploding supernovas of melody and sophistication.
The end result is truly, one of the greatest AOR albums of all time.
This Rock Candy 24-bit remastering from the original source tapes sounds excellent as usual, plus 5 bonus tracks originally appeared as b-sides, including the rare and really hard to find "Everytime We Touch".
01 - Tough It Out
02 - Don't Stop
03 - Bad Luck
04 - Someday (You'll Come Running)
05 - Everytime I Think Of You
06 - Burning My Heart Down
07 - The Dream That Died
08 - Obsession
09 - Can You Hear Me Calling?
10 - Does It Feel Like Love?
11 - Feels So Good
12 - Hurt Is Where The Heart Is (bonus track)
13 - This Could Be The Last Time (bonus track)
14 - Someday (You'll Come Running) [Extended Version] (bonus track)
15 - Alibi (bonus track)
16 - Everytime We Touch (bonus track)
Steve Overland: lead vocals, guitar
Chris Overland: guitar
Merv Goldsworthy: bass, backing vocals
Didge Digital: keyboards
Pete Jupp: drums, backing vocals
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Veteran rockers Y&T are releasing a very special live recording.
This double CD was recorded at one of the most popular venues that Y&T play every year; The Mystic Theatre in Petaluma, California.
It marks the very first release with bassist Brad Lang who before permanently joining the band, subbed for late Y&T bassist Phil Kennemore.
This is a massive project of 22 songs on 2 discs including many songs never before released on any other live Y&T album.
The band rocks tight as it ever did and Dave Meniketti's voice is still holding on nicely, and same can be said about his legendary guitar playing & monster tone.
The 22 chosen tracks from their extensive catalogue attempts and succeeds in trying to cover most bases and as may albums as possible, while it primarily focuses on the band's rockier, edgier output without losing its melodic license though.
Some fan could argue that a personal favorite is not getting aired but there's hardly a song on this Y&T live set that sounds out of place.
Y & T is a great band with the fire intact, and continues delivering with class their raunchy but also bluesy and soulful music that embodies all that is good about Rock. The amazing heat of this recording showcases the power of the band as it currently sounds in 2012.
"Live At The Mystic" is only available direct-to-the-fans exclusively on the Y&T web site (iTunes, Amazon, etc, soon).
CD 1 :
01 - Prelude
02 - On With The Show
03 - Black Tiger
04 - Dirty Girl
05 - Mean Streak
06 - Girl Crazy
07 - Shine On
08 - Blind Patriot
09 - Winds Of Change
10 - Straight Thru The Heart
11 - Gonna Go Blind
12 - Surrender
13 - I'm Coming Home
CD 2 :
01 - Hungry For Rock
02 - Don't Wanna Lose
03 - Don't Bring Me Down
04 - Hurricane
05 - I Believe In you
06 - Eyes Of A Stranger
07 - Rescue Me
08 - Squeeze
09 - Forever
Dave Meniketti (guitar/lead vocals)
John Nymann (guitar/vocals)
Brad Lang (bass/vocals)
Mike Vanderhule (drums/vocals)
BUY IT !
Not the 'cuts' version floating around
Englishman MARTIN PAGE is a renowned hit songwriter with chart-toppers such as Heart’s 'These Dreams' and Starship’s 'We Built This City' under his belt to name a couple.
In 1994, Page received recognition as a singer and musician with his lovable solo debut 'In the House of Stone and Light', much regarded in AOR / Westcoast circles. His 2nd 'In the Temple of the Muse' (2008) somehow was a disappointment, too much introspective and personal.
Now he's back with a third installment, "A Temper Of Peace", which marks a return to the good sounds. The new album offers a richly sensual listening experience and a soulful performance.
Page has engineered, produced and played all the instruments for the first time through these 14 tracks that never turn boring at all, alternating between rhythmic tunes and calmer ballads.
This is skillful mature music with a profound lyrical content, beautifully crafted and meticulously produced.
"A Temper Of Peace" will delight Westcoast and smooth AOR aficionados. It has a feel similar to Mr. Mister works with the elegance of his debut album.
The instrumental accompaniment to his spirited vocal performance is builded on a highly melodic foundation of ultra-refined keyboards, expertly dosed guitars and smooth drumming / percussion.
Page also reminds me Larry Tagg and Marc Jordan in his vocal phrasing, proving that one does not need to raise one's voice in order to be heard.
Those connoisseurs who are looking for musical grace and emotional depth (as opposed to a great many decibels and superficial entertainment) will have a hard time finding a better album this year.
01 - Halo
02 - The Washing of the Heart
03 - Think of Me (When You Dance)
04 - Soulprint
05 - Ruby Rae
06 - I'll Grow Old With You
07 - When the Harvest Is In
08 - Hungry Ghost
09 - Titch
10 - What Did I Do to Deserve You
11 - Healing Waters
12 - I Can't Get There Without You
13 - Sweet Killeney Hill
14 - You Can Let Go
Martin Page: All instruments
BUY IT !
* fixed July 25
UK '80s aorster JOHN PARR seems focused lately in the American market.
His new album "The Mission" is a tribute to the men and women in the Military, released in close conjunction with the Armed Forces related organizations.
As heard in the last year CD, Parr's style and sound now is oriented to a more American sound combining rockers with ballads.
"The Mission" is genuine Parr. There’s no distortion or alteration in his signature songwriting, and his voice is as solid as in the eighties and nineties works.
Parr has created each song to tell a story and each story relates to the overall theme of the album, which is life centered around military service. Although on paper this looks boring, each track stands by its own.
This is a rock album, guitar fueled and energetic, sometimes acoustic and relaxed.
We have Americanized rockers such as the melodic opener "Big Bad Silverado", the more edgy "Enlisted Man" or "Military Man".
The acoustic tracks are cool, being "Fightin' Girl", the ballad "The Boy I Left Behind" and the beautiful "At The Cathedral" the best.
We have Classic Parr as well (the best songs in my opinion) in the AOR catchiness of "Come Out Fightin´", the piano ballad "Soldiers Wife", the awesome mid-tempo "A Few Good Men" and the emotional charged "Bound By The Thread Of The Flag".
In the other hand, the training-like "Boots On The Ground" sounds silly to me, and the acoustical "M4 Practice" is pretty boring. But this is a 14-track album, just skip those and you have a solid twelve song CD.
"The Mission" is a fun and rocking album, strong for the most part.
Perhaps the 'concept' theme is not everyone's cup of tea, but the songs work as a whole. And we have a good bunch of 'classic Parr' new tunes, and that's worth the purchase.
Well recorded and produced, "The Mission" is released through John Parr's own label, and it's only available on physical CD via his website.
01 - Big Bad Silverado
02 - Enlisted Man
03 - The Boy I Left Behind
04 - Come Out Fightin'
05 - Soldiers Wife
06 - Boots On The Ground
07 - Military Man
08 - A Few Good Men
09 - Fightin' Girl
10 - At The Cathedral
11 - Open Sky (Fly Boys Fly)
12 - M4 Practice
13 - Bound By The Thread Of The Flag
14 - Comin' Home
BUY IT !
BILLY IDOL '80s albums were a truly representation of that decade sounds, combining synthesized and sequenced rhythms with flashy guitar work into a rock&pop song-package.
Although a bit cheesy at times, you can't deny the catchiness of Billy's stuff and the quality in Steve Steven's six-string playing, one of my favorite rock guitarist ever.
Extended and alternate mixes were popular during the eigthies, and Billy was one of most the prolific artists in that matter.
The good thing about these versions is that they weren't always designed as dancefloor alternates, most of these really rock. Producer Keith Forsey and the other knob experts involved recorded and remixed these multi-track tapes with as much force as possible, and Stevens's robot noises pierce the metronomic pulse.
The Blank & Jones is a team specialized in '80s music, and together with Idol's original label are publishing in Germany a CD series called "So80s presents".
While this may seem like a simple re-release of 'Vital Idol' or another greatest hits release, this is a comprehensive collection of Billy's extended mixes and long versions pretty hard to find, some of them previously unavailable on CD.
Instead of the 'Mother of Mercy' mix of "To Be A Lover" (which was on the original re-release of Vital Idol), the alternate 12" mix called the "Rock 'n' Roll Mix" is included.
The most known remix of "Catch My Fall" is the 'rub a dub dub', here we get the "Special Remix" which is simply a slight remix of the album version without all the heavy pulsing synth bass. This one is more rocking indeed, only prev. released as vinyl b-side.
The 'Meltdown Mix' of "Don't Need A Gun" included here is more rare than the longer 'beyond meltdown mix' which can be found on various eighties compilations.
These two tracks, as it says in the liner notes, are so rare that were transfered from a vinyl 12'' LP, as the original masters are impossible to find in the label's archive. Of course, both sounds pristine with the Blank & Jones treatment.
The rare 'Hung Like A Pony Mix' mix of "Mony Mony" is included instead of the more popular 'downtown mix'.
"Hot In The City" is slightly different than the 'Vital Idol' version in that it fades out instead of coming to a cold end, and therefore runs about 10 seconds longer.
Adding to the collection - to make it even more interesting - there are vinyl album length versions of "Eyes Without A Face", "Rebel Yell", "L.A. Woman" and "Sweet Sixteen", which in the CD pressings of the respective albums are presented in edited form.
Plus, instead of the album version of "Cradle Of Love", we get the "Cradle Of Dub" (which has vocals, but the background music was changed).
As you see this is a CD plenty of rarities, and if you're a collector or simply an '80s rock&pop culture fan, you will love it.
1. Dancing With Myself (Uptown Mix) 5:59
2. Rebel Yell (LP Version) 4:48
3. To Be A Lover (Rock 'N' Roll Mix) 7:13
4. Eyes Without A Face (LP Version) 4:58
5. Hot In The City (Extended Version) 5:20
6. Catch My Fall (Special Remix) 3:43
7. White Wedding - Parts 1 & 2 (Shot Gun Mix) 8:26
8. Flesh For Fantasy (Below The Belt Mix) 7:06
9. Don't Need A Gun (Meltdown Mix) 7:05
10. Mony Mony (Hung Like A Pony Mix) 7:02
11. L.A. Woman (LP Version) 5:31
12. Cradle Of Dub (Extended Mix) 6:28
13. Sweet Sixteen (LP Version) 4:15
Billy Idol - vocals
Steve Stevens - guitars
Phil Soussan, Steve Webster, Kenny Aaronson - bass
Judi Dozier - keyboards
Thommy Price - drums, percussion
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Swedish combo STATE OF SALAZAR was founded in Malmö two years ago by singer Marcus Nygren with many local friend session musicians.
The goal is spread their music to the masses, a music inspired by the the biggest melodious acts of the '80s.
Indeed, State Of Salazar's just released debut "Lost My Way" comprises all the elements that made the Arena Melodic Rock genre famous.
I hear a clear Pride Of Lions influence on tracks such as "Lost My Way (With You)", some rocking Chicago in "When Heroes Fall" and TOTO in the rhythmic "The Blind Man".
For the ballads, "Confession" has a very classic craft, and "Lie To Me" - where Marcus duets with Scandinavian female singer Anne Lätt Nyboe - reminds you those lovable eighties soundtracks.
"I Believe In You" is a great Scandi Melodic Rock tune with lots of keyboards and very good chorus / harmonic vocals. Also love the way Marcus Nygren emphasizes his leads, the guy has the pipes for sure.
As last track we have the Survivor-like (circa 1986) uptempo AOR of "Adrian", a lovable tune dedicated to Adrianna 'Adrian' Balboa, the character who plays Rocky's spouse in the legendary movie.
State Of Salazar plays the kind of melodic, Arena Rock / AOR we love: the '80s style. "Lost My Way" is an indie recording made with passion and love for the classic era of the genre.
The hooks, the melodies, the choruses are here, delivered with energy by these accomplished musicians. A special note goes to singer Marcus Nygren who owns a tuneful register in the vein of Toby Hitchcock (Pride Of Lions).
I only hope these guys continue working for a next CD, as considering the quality material exposed here, in the hands of a renowned producer and with a big budget they could be the next stars in the Melodic Rock AOR field.
You've seen it first here, at zerodayrockz
01 - When Heroes Fall
02 - The Blind Man
03 - Confession
04 - Lost My Way With You
05 - I Believe In You
06 - Lie To Me (feat. Anne Latt Nyboe)
07 - Adrian
Marcus Nygren - Vocals
Johan Thuresson - Gitars
Stefan Mårtenson - Keyboards
Johannes Hansson - Bass
Kristian Brun - Drums
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Deep Purple's IAN GILLAN and Black Sabbath's TONY IOMMI took everybody by surprise in 2011 by releasing a the 2-track single under the WHOCARES moniker.
For the occasion, the two rock legends called a few friends and were soon joined by Jon Lord (Deep Purple) on keyboards, Jason Newsted (ex Metallica) on bass and Nicko McBrain (ex Iron Maiden) behind the drum kit.
Not only jamming together for the sheer fun of things, this new project has united for a cause — rebuilding and helping the music school in Gyumari, Armenia. The single was a joyful and inspired moment.
Gillan & Iommi have now decided to make "WhoCares" an album for their devoted fans. Classic songs, a lot of rarities and unreleased material in two CDs of fantastic rare music.
Among the tracks are the two original WhoCares songs; Deep Purple's unreleased studio jam "Dick Pimple" and a song from Repo Depo (a band Ian Gillan formed before the Deep Purple reunion which never released any material)
We also find two previously unreleased songs from Tony Iommi featuring Glenn Hughes; obscure collaborations, B-sides lost on seven-inch vinyl and exclusive live versions recorded on radio.
The sound quality is outstanding, specially considering that these are mostly unreleased material or have not received previously a digital treatment.
"WhoCares 2CD" is much more than a compilation or a cash-in anthology, this is a real collector's item and a must have for every Ian Gillan, Tony Iommi, Purple, Sabbath - in short; Rock music fan.
CD 1 :
01. WhoCares - Out Of My Mind (first time on an album) Featuring Jon Lord, Linde Lindström (HIM), Jason Newsted (Metallica), Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden)
02. Black Sabbath - Zero The Hero
03. Ian Gillan feat. Iommi, Ian Paice & Roger Glover - Trashed
04. M. Rakintzis feat. Ian Gillan - Get Away (first release on a Gillan album, only released in Greece before)
05. Tony Iommi feat. Glenn Hughes - Slip Away (Rare Track first time on CD)
06. Gillan - Don’t Hold Me Back
07. Ian Gillan - She Thinks It’s A Crime (Limited 7" vinyl B-Side, First Time on CD)
08. Repo Depo feat. Ian Gillan - Easy Come, Easy Go (previously unreleased)
09. Deep Purple feat. Ronnie J. Dio - Smoke On The Water" (live with the Royal Philarmonic Orchestra)
CD 2 :
01. WhoCares - Holy Water (first time on an album) Featuring Jon Lord, Linde Lindström (HIM), Jason Newsted (Metallica), Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden)
02. Black Sabbath - Anno Mundi
03. Tony Iommi feat. Glenn Hughes - Let it Down Easy (Rare Track first time on CD)
04. Ian Gillan - Hole in My Vest (7" vinyl single B-side, first time on CD)
05. Gillan & Glover feat. Dr. John - Can’t Believe You Wanna Leave Me
06. Ian Gillan & The Javelins - Can I Get A Witness (old recording)
07. Garth Rockett & The Moonshiners aka IG - No Laughing in Heaven (Rare Track)
08. Ian Gillan - When A Blind Man Cries (Live at Absolute Radio, previously unreleased)
09. Deep Purple - Dick Pimple (Previously Unreleased Studio Jam)
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thanx to Carl
Formed by brothers Tino and Chris Troy, PRAYING MANTIS developed a reputation for delivering thinking man’s metal.
Indeed, they had the musical chops to rival and, at times, outshine the competition by utilising twin lead guitar, ambitious arrangements and multilayered harmonies; their songs were melodic yet intricately arranged and packed a powerful punch.
"Time Tells No Lies", produced by Time Friese Green (Touch), engineered by Mike Shipley (Def Leppard) and housed in a stunning Rodney Matthews designed sleeve, was originally issued in 1980, and attracted highbrow praise positioning them as a band to definitely watch out for.
Sure, in the end they didn’t quite reach the peak of popularity attained by Maiden or Leppard, but their presence on the scene was not without significance and "Time Tells No Lies" remains a gleaming testament to their talent.
“Cheated” is a hard rocker that opens the album with a bang while “All Day and All of the Night,” a remake of the Kinks classic, keeps the energy going.
The more progressive songs ala “Running for Tomorrow” and “Lovers to the Grave” show what made this band special.
Rock Candy records is releasing the album for the first time officially on CD in Europe with their usual 24-bit remastering from original source tapes, five bonus tracks, 3,500 word essay about the making of the album, band involvement and additional photos spread out over a 16 page full colour booklet.
It’s great to see this much ignored tome (way ahead of their time) by Praying Mantis get to bask in the limelight once again, in my opinion, one of the precursor bands of the Melodic Hard Rock genre.
01 - Cheated
02 - All Day And All Of The Night
03 - Running For Tomorrow
04 - Rich City Kids
05 - Lovers To The Grave
06 - Panic In The Streets
07 - Beads Of Ebony
08 - Flirting With Suicide
09 - Children Of The Earth
10 - Praying Mantis (bonus track)
11 - High Roller (bonus track)
12 - Thirty Pieces Of Silver (bonus track)
13 - Flirting With Suicide [Live] (bonus track)
14 - Panic In The Streets [Live] (bonus track)
Tino Troy - guitar, vocals
Steve Carroll - guitar, vocals
Chris Troy - bass, vocals
Dave Potts - drums
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Wednesday, July 18, 2012
thanx to Progmeister
"Out Of An Ancient World" is the debut album from RIVERSEA, a joint project between Nine Stones Close bandmates Brendan Eyre and Marc Atkinson.
Joined by a team of seasoned musicians from the Prog sphere (including excellent Sad Cafe guitarist Ashley Mulford) they have crafted an album with a (mostly Prog) music that has to be some of the most beautiful you have heard in a long time.
Marc's velvety vocals and Brendan's amazing compositions are without doubt the key to the albums success. The atmosphere created on many of the songs is the result of allowing space, depth and breadth in the soundstage.
This is not an album for lovers of their prog replete with keyboard and guitar excursions and twenty five minute operettas. Instead Riversea have created something rich in sophistication which will appeal to both traditional Prog fans and lovers of more traditional forms of rock.
Production is first class and the opening gambit “In The Beginning” sets the scene for what is a musical journey packed to the gunnels with emotion, excitement and finesse. Brendan Eyre’s powerful and rock steady keyboards drift into Marc Atkinson’s lilting voice before thundering into a powerful statement aided and abated by Nine Stones Close axe-man Adrian Jones.
Indeed Riversea seem to have a guitarist for every occasion, “The Song” enlists the skills of Mark Rowen who lends a sweet yet treated inflection into this hope filled piece. The track is brought to a crescendo by the amazing vocal talents of Olivia Sparnenn who finishes things off rather nicely.
On “Is That What God Wants?” I find it amazing how Marc’s voice trips from the sweet lilting balladeer to the all-out rock singer in the space of a few bars reminding me very much of Chris Thompson. This really is an amazing piece of music which is a credit to the keyboard abilities of Brendan Eyre and the writing talents of his band mate. To finish of such a tsunami of a song Adam Dawson nailed the concluding guitar solo to the wall. Absolutely breathtaking tune.
“Halo” is yet another song that forces the listener to reflect. From the beautiful tranquillity of the opening and closing piano through the massive orchestration to Bryan Josh’s wicked comfortably numb guitar lick this is yet another diamond in a crown of aural jewels.
However, if it’s a bit of good honest prog with its associated drama then look no further than “The Fallen”. This really is a balls to the wall rejection of complacency with an injection of true grit. The Mellotron and strong guitar are brutally beaten into submission by Alex Cromarty’s deft of hand with the drum sticks.
Scale is something that Riversea seem to major on and a perfect example of this is “Eden”. A massive and apocalyptic message is delivered in a civilised way and yet again Marc’s finely penned words really prompt the listener into deep thought and although very bleak paints a huge picture.
To lighten things up a little with some heft and imagination is gritty “Still Home”. Adrian Jones guitar adds just the right amount of bite and darkness to Brendan Eyre’s crisp keyboard textures. A short reprise of this song later in the album featuring Tony Patterson (John Hackett band/re-Genesis) and the eerie backing vocals really makes this a ghost-like tale.
One of my favorites songs should be “Falling Stars”. It lures the listening into thinking it is going to be a lilting ballad with soft and almost pleading vocals accompanied by piano until fifty seconds in it turns a bit more sinister. For those of you with large speakers I would suggest you proceed with caution. There are some very deep frequencies on this track, so much so it may actually fragment kidney stones. Adrian Jones’s nightmare guitar and a mean synth solo make this a compelling listen.
Allowing the dust to settle for a while the fore mentioned ballad happens along in the rather beautiful “Wiser”. Ashley Mulford (Sad Cafe, Mandala Band) adds impetus to this lilting and sad song. Ashley’s passionate blues licks are simply stunning and Brendan Eyre’s organ playing reminded me of Camel.
To conclude the album is of course the all-important title track and it is no disappointment. The now tried and tested formula of tranquil beginnings to the songs and finishing grand, utilises fully every weapon available in Riversea’s arsenal. Mark Rowen yet again blinding the listener with another great guitar contribution this time joined by Mostly Autumn’s Liam Davison.
This CD is pearl, beautifully hand-crafted by the talents of Riversea's core force Brendan Eyre and Marc Atkinson.
Though credit must be given to its many contributors, it is the quality of the writing and composition that puts “Out Of An Ancient World” head and shoulders above some of the present wave of self-purporting progressive artistes.
There is something for most people on this album, whether you are a traditional Prog lover or just enjoy quality rock.
Buy with confidence but don't leave it too late though because I have a feeling this album will sell out pretty quick once it gets some air play, as only is available at Riversea's website.
01 - In the Beginning
02 - The Song
03 - If That What God Wants
04 - Halo
05 - The Fallen
06 - Eden
07 - Still Home
08 - Falling Stars
09 - Wiser
10 - Freeze The Frame
11 - Still Home (Reprise)
12 - Out of an Ancient World
Marc Atkinson - vocals, acoustic guitar
Brendan Eyre - piano, synths
Alex Cromarty (The Heather Findlay Band) - drums
Dave Clements - bass
Tony Patterson (Regenesis, So Gabriel) - flute
Bryan Josh, Liam Davison (Mostly Autumn) - guitars
Paul Cusick, Adrian Jones (Nine Stones Close) - guitars
Mark Rowen (ex Breathing Space) - guitars
Adam Dawson (Stolen Earth) - guitars
Ashley Mulford (Sad Cafe, Mandalaband) - guitars
Olivia Sparnenn, Janine Atkinson, Benn and Louise Dawson - backing vocals
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One of the most talented musicians in the last fourteen years, GINO VANNELLI is nothing short of a genius.
He has played with the greats and cemented an impressive solo career covering many styles, all with class and finesse. Most of his work has given Vannelli a place in the hearts of all Westcoast / AOR / AC fans.
On this “Still Hurts To Be In Love” Gino has re-recorded 13 songs from his long career. You get stuff all the way from his early days in the mid-'70s and onwards.
This is an excellent re-arrangement of his favorite songs; Gino doing what he does best. I truly enjoy many of Mr. V's later work, but here is something about the songs of his youth; the passion of his youth.
He's returned to these compositions with a new respect and the wisdom of a man who has honed the instrument of his voice. Props to his talented musicians and back-up artists, but as always Gino and his vocal passion are the star of the show.
I did not think "Brother To Brother" or "I Just Wanna Stop" could be done any better, but I was wrong, they are beyond wonderful here.
"Crazy Life" is better than the re-recorded version on 'Live in Montreal' and not nearly long enough. I just wanted him to sing it on and on and on. It is a spectacular lead-in to the '80s classic "Black Cars".
Talking about "Black Cars", you'll be surprised by this new version, in fact, seems a completely new song. I just love, love, love, this arrangement. The musicianship is terrific and Gino's vocal talents are front and center.
On the other hand, "Wild Horses" (another true classic) is quite faithful to the original with the addition of some vintage keyboards and horns.
All tracks are just marvelous, but the last one "Put The Weight On My Shoulders" is breathtaking. It is a vocal masterpiece, dripping with emotion without any pretense or fabrication. Pure genius.
“Still Hurts To Be In Love” is not another cash-in album of re-recorded old hits. This is an absolute delight.
Recorded at his 59, Gino Vannelli must be one of the best singers around. His voice has never been better, and the musicians are equally great. Production is awesome, deep, organic and clear like a polished diamond.
If you are new to Gino, make this your first CD. If you are already a fan and you think you already have these songs, think again. These are new arrangements and the performances are incredible.
Westcoast / AOR / Classic Rock fans, you were advised: This is Very Gooood.
You've seen it first here, at zerodayrockz
01 - People Gotta Move
02 - Wild Horses
03 - Hurts To Be In Love
04 - Brother To Brother
05 - I Just Wanna Stop
06 - Crazy Life
07 - Black Cars
08 - Living Inside Myself
09 - Venus Envy
10 - Wheels Of Life
11 - Just A Motion Away
12 - The Surest Things Can Change
13 - Put The Weight On My Shoulders
Gino Vannelli: Vocals, Keyboards
Allen Hinds: Guitars
Sandin Wilson: Bass
Greg Goebel, Randy Porter: Keyboards
Tim Wilcox, Patrick Lamb, Paul Mazzio: Horns
Reinhardt Melz: Drums
Sean Homes, Ed Conard, Leisa Heart: Background Vocals
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the real iTunes version
Earlier in the year, MÖTLEY CRÜE entered drummer Tommy Lee's studio called The Atrium in Calabasas, California to begin recording a new song, "Sex", that will be released to coincide with the band's upcoming summer co-headlining tour with Kiss.
Written when the band was together during their residency in Las Vegas last February, "Sex" is the first studio track from the Crue since their June 2008 release of 'Saints Of Los Angeles'.
The single sound to something off 'Too Fast for Love', Mötley Crüe's seminal 1981 debut album. "Sex" has a retro Crüe kind of vibe in the riff, there's some cool analog synths as well, but the beat is really funky and modern.
So I guess you can say that it has a retro yet modern sound.
Vince Neil - Vocals
Nikki Sixx - Bass, Synths
Mick Mars - Guitars
Tommy Lee - Drums
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"Sacred Heart", the third DIO album as solo artist released in 1985, was a massive seller spawning a couple of hit singles.
In this recording Ronnie James opted for a slicker, commercial production with the keyboards more prominent and the AOR flavour turned up a few notches.
Although I love the first two albums, due the aforementioned orientation "Sacred Heart" is my favorite of the trilogy.
As part of the reissue of Dio's entire catalog, "Sacred Heart" is presented in a "Deluxe Edition" fully remastered and with an extra CD.
On the 2nd disc you get a bumper pack of bonus tracks featuring the excellent studio track "Hide In The Rainbow" which was featured in the soundtrack to the film 'Iron Eagle'. There are the usual live B-sides to the singles, with "We Rock", "The Last In Line" and "Like The Beat Of A Heart".
But what I really enjoy here is the inclussion of the entire mini-LP "Intermission", one of my favorite live discs of the '80s.
Recorded at The Sports Arena in San Diego, Dec. 6, 1985, features guitarist Vivian Campbell just prior to his departure, on a selection of tracks from the first three Dio albums, with Rainbow's 'Long Live Rock'n'Roll' and 'Man On The Silver Mountain' as part of a medley.
There's also the studio track "Time To Burn" included to introduce Campbell's replacement Craig Goldy, who finished the 'Sacred Heart' tour with the band.
"Sacred Heart - Deluxe Edition" is a must have not only for DIO / Sabbath fans, also for any '80s self-respecting rocker.
Great sound, great package including all original artwork, and great price.
01 - King of Rock and Roll
02 - Sacred Heart
03 - Another Lie
04 - Rock 'N' Roll Children
05 - Hungry for Heaven
06 - Like the Beat of a Heart
07 - Just Another Day
08 - Fallen Angels
09 - Shoot Shoot
01 - Hide In The Rainbow (The DIO EP - Iron Eagle OST)
02 - We Rock (Live B-Side Rock N Roll Children Single)
03 - Last in Line (B-Side Rock N Roll Children Single)
04 - Like the Beat of a Heart (B-Side Hungry For Heaven Single)
Intermission (Live At The Sports Arena in San Diego, Dec. 6, 1985);
05 - King of Rock and Roll
06 - Rainbow in the Dark
07 - Sacred Heart
08 - Time to Burn (studio track feat. Craig Goldy)
09 - R'N'R Children / Long Live R'N'R / Man on the Silver Mountain
10 - We Rock
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CLAUDE WEISBERG was born in Genoa, Italy in 1966. In his young years he performed as sessionist for many local artists until 1995 when filled the lead vocal slot in Wings Of Destiny.
After that, Claude sung in the progressive rock group Glamis, but left in '99 to start his solo career with a project called 'Different World', a recording showing the love for his favourite music and artists as Toto, Marillion and David Foster.
After a 12-year hiatus playing for other acts and composing own music, Weisberg entered in the studio to record songs for his new EP "Here I am".
Recorded and mixed at Sherwood Forest by Andrea Vassalini, the EP contains four songs in perfect style between TOTO, Gino Vannelli, Richard Page and many other AOR acts.
The list of the stellar musicians arranging and performing here is truly impressive; Herman Furin (Work Of Art), Charlie Giardina (Flamedown), Henrik Linder (Dirty Loops), AOR gurus Robbie Buchanan & Taylor Mesple, Jean Michel Byron (ex- Toto) and the mighty Michael Thompson on guitars among many others.
Check the video-track posted below to taste the quality AOR delivered here.
There's plans for a full length CD soon, meanwhile, AOR / Westcoast lovers, enjoy this fine slice of superbly crafted music.
You've seen it first here, at zerodayrockz
01 - Here I Am
02 - You're The Sun
03 - Men Without Souls
04 - Angels
Claude Weisberg: Vocals
Michael Thompson: Lead & Rhythm Guitars
Robbie Buchanan: Electric Piano
Jean Michel Byron (ex- Toto): Vocals
Henrik Linder (Dirty Loops): Bass
Charlie Giardina (Flamedown): Bass, Vocals
Herman Furin (Work Of Art): Drums
Taylor Mesple: Vocals
Adriano Arena: Guitar
Luca Canepa: Guitar
Maurizio Antognoli (Aelian): Keyboards, Vocals
Magnus Midelf (Wiseguys Sweden): Guitar, Vocals
Marco Carbone (A-Live AOR): Vocals
Robert Ingebretsen: Keyboards
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At this point seems unnecessary to tell you who is DAVID READMAN.
Singer and driving force for Pink Cream 69, not only has been part as well of such acts as Place Vendome, Voodoo Circle or Adagio, the man has also become one of the most requested producers in the Melodic Hard Rock genre.
In 2007 Readman unleashed his first solo album on Frontiers Rec., and now has decided to re-release it by himself including two previously unreleased tracks as bonuses.
Readman got help of an impressive list of musicians, including PC 69 bandmates Dennis Ward handling production and guitarist Uwe Reitenauer. Joining them are Paul Logue (Eden's Curse, Cry Havoc), Eric Ragno (Talon, Takara) plus members of Silent Force, Elegy, Vanden Plas and Melodic Rock guru Tommy Denander.
This is a powerful Melodic Hard Rock album with several AOR touches, plenty of catchy hooks and melodies. Opener "Without You" gives you a clear idea of what to expect here: killer riffs and monster choruses in the best European tradition.
All the following tracks are good and intense, being my favorites the awesome "Evil Combination", the late '80s Whitesnake influenced "Wild In The City" (Readman vocals sound as Coverdale many times on this recording), the AORish "Don't Let It Slip Away" and the great ballad "Love In Vain".
David has added to this reissue two tracks; the original versions of "Evil Combination" and "No Peace For The Wicked", both pretty different in arrangements and sound, much closer in style to Pink Cream 69.
David Readman has crafted here an album tailor made for all the fans of classy Melodic Hard Rock.
Fourteen mighty melodious and still very hard rockin' songs with top class songwriting, catchy choruses and flashy guitar work.
Everything is superbly put together with a killer vocal delivery and stellar musicianship by all the personnel involved. Production is huge, with a crystal clear sound as you'd expect from Dennis Ward.
01 - Without You
02 - Evil Combination
03 - Take These Tears
04 - Don't Let It Slip Away
05 - No Peace For The Wicked
06 - Long Way To Heaven
07 - Wild In The City
08 - Gentle Touch
09 - Prisoner Of Shame
10 - New Messiah
11 - Over The Ocean
12 - Love In Vain
13 - Evil Combination (2007 Original version) [bonus]
14 - No Peace For The Wicked (2007 Original version) [bonus]
David Readman: Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards
Paul Logue: Bass
Dirk Bruinenberg: Drums
Chris Schmidt Drums
Eric Ragno: Keyboards
Günter Werno: Keyboards
Alex Beyrodt: Guitars
Gerald Sänger: Guitars
Uwe Reitenauer: Guitars
Tommy Denander: Guitars
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FAITH CIRCUS is a Norwegian Melodic Hard Rock act who released their very good debut in 2008 through Kivel Records.
The label did little to promote the album which criminally passed unnoticed for the public. Besides, the band was not happy with the mix & mastering. Then they negotiated the contract and set them free.
Faith Circus decided to release by themselves their version of "Faith Circus", not only re-mixed and re-packaged, but also including two new tracks as bonuses, one of them a duet with the amazing Robin Beck!
You'd expect a band as polished as Faith Circus and playing this kind of Melodic Hard Rock to come from Sweden, but instead, Faith Circus is a Norwegian band that draws on the influences from classic Euro acts but also big names from America.
Being a Norwegian band has its perks, because two of the guest musicians on the release are none other than Morty Black and Tony Harnell, both of Norway's greatest rock band TNT. Drummer Steinar Krokstad from the should-be legendary Stage Dolls also guests on the CD, along with a few others.
I own the original 2008 release, and this re-mix and new tracklist truly launches this terrific collection of songs to a new level.
Now, one of the best songs of the CD is placed as opener; "Temporary High" is a true ass kicker rocker that rolls with an American vibe. Lyrically, the song is strong as well, with sentiments like, "Do you want my love, or some temporary high?"
Next, we have another winner. "Back On Love" starts with the chorus sung a capella. While seemingly a straight ahead rocker, you'll hear keyboard fills and Def Leppard-like guitar leads interspersed throughout the track, making it more complicated than a cursory listen will detail. After the guitar solo, singer Marc Ferrano displays his warm and solid singing style, and in many ways, he sounds like Jamie Rowe, which is a massive compliment. While probably the best song on the CD, some of the others come pretty damn close …
After these two uptempo tracks, Faith Circus proves they can flow into the mellower vein with ease, as you'll hear on "Half The Man." Not quite a ballad, but more of a mid-tempo AOR rocker, this is a song about loss and dealing with being bereft after your love leaves. As noted before, the adjective 'polished' is a great way to define Faith Circus, and you'll hear it here.
Next, "Alive & Kickin´" ups the tempo again with a great rhythm, followed by the extremely melodious "Without Me" which reminds you their countryman Stage Dolls. This is the kind of tunes that sticks in your head after a couple of listens.
"Hold On" is a jumpin', sort of quirky composition, beginning with a bass line from Lasse Koester, with guest keyboardist Dag Stokke (TNT, Vagabond) adding streams of melody to the overall feel. Guitarist Marius Morch doesn't show off but plays within the parameters of the song, his solo superbly melodic and fluid. Singer Ferrano seems to be the focal point of the band with his masculine yet flexible vocals stealing the spotlight most of the time, as happens on this brilliant track.
The band decides to wax poetic and philosophical on "Pushing Up Daisies". Thematically, it's about living in the now and not taking yourself so seriously.
Or, as they put it, "And all the bullshit that might seem so important now, won't compare to pushing up daisies. I'm talking about the beauty of simplicity." So take advice from Faith Circus and get rid of the convoluted aspects and the complexities of your life … or just groove to this song, a driving melodic hard rocker.
The CD is reaching its end with "Wasted Rainbow", which starts with noises of children playing and soft keyboards. The song is again contemplative and experiments with musical nuances and flow. You may be reminded of Winger on this track, another band that put musicianship before looks. A really good one.
The first of the new tracks is "Heroes", an Americanized anthem filled with layers of harmonic vocals everywhere, and musically it has a killer groove.
"For Your Eyes Only" is a little gem of a song. This is a cover of the 1981 classic tune featured in a James Bond movie. This version has been arranged in a Melodic Rock semi-ballad style, performed in duet with the always outstanding Robin Beck. You will be thrilled by the quality of this track, one of the highlights without a doubt.
Surely "Faith Circus" has slipped under the radar of most Melodic Hard Rock fans in its original release back in 2008.
Don't miss it now, this is a superb album full of amazing melodies and hooks. This re-mix now makes justice to these terrific songs delivered with pure passion for the genre.
The band presented the CD the last Christmas eve, and now is available in hard copies and as digital download.
You've seen it first here, at zerodayrockz
01 - Temporary High (Re-Mix)
02 - Back On Love (Re-Mix)
03 - Tried 'n True (Re-Mix)
04 - Half The Man (Re-Mix)
05 - Alive & Kickin' (Re-Mix)
06 - Without Me (Re-Mix)
07 - Can You Feel It (Re-Mix)
08 - Rain On You (Re-Mix)
09 - Hold On (Re-Mix)
10 - Pushing Up Daisies (Re-Mix)
11 - Wasted Rainbow (Re-Mix)
12 - Heroes (New track)
13 - For Your Eyes Only [duet with Robin Beck] (New track)
Marc Farrano - vocals
Marius Morch - guitars
Lasse Koester - bass
Baard Nordvik - drums
Morty Black (TNT, Jorn Lande) - bass
Steinar Krokstad (Stage Dolls, Vagabond) - drums
Dag Stokke (TNT, Vagabond) - keyboards
Tore Moren (Jorn Lande, Rain) - guitar
Steinar Hagen (Return) - guitar
Tony Harnell (TNT, Westworld) - background vocals
Robin Beck - vocal duet
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After a busy 2011 for the band, only a year has past since the Sweds THE GLORIA STORY released their stupendous debut 'Shades Of White', and they strike again with an EP album just to keep us warm.
“Out Of The Shade” includes three new tracks plus a remix of the bands first platinum hit single "Oh! No".
The Gloria Story debut became an instant hit in Scandinavia, with raving reviews worldwide.
This new EP reveals a more straight old school approach than the polished and glossy heard previously. Producer Anders 'Boba Fett' Lindström (Hellacopters) has provided a more hot and in your face sound this time.
The opening track "Adore" and follower "Tennis Is Nice" manifests quite well what the band is about, namely humor and glamour analog '70s classic hard rock.
Really fun is "Tennis Is Nice" intro featuring a sample of John McEnroe's angry voice recorded during The Stockholm Tennis Open in the seventies, screaming "Answer my question! The question, jerk!"
Third track is a new, dirtier version of the successful single "Oh! No" from the debut CD. This is a feel good and catchy tune, now even more rocking.
And for the end we have a real surprise. "Lacie Heart" is a very delicate creature which consists entirely of vocals and keyboards, and it is indeed something extraordinary for this band.
The sound is reverberated and retro, with upfront vocals and some kind of vintage organ / synths creating a fantastic atmosphere. This track alone worth the EP.
"Out Of The Shade EP" was released on CD only in Sweden, but now you can catch a digital version worldwide.
For starters, The Gloria Story is mainly focusing on the analogue '70s classic sounds but it also efficiently looks one eye at today's radio-huntin' rock standards.
What we have here is a celebration of the positive energy and vibe that the seventies brought to (Hard) Rock music. Take some of the first mark of Kiss, add the poetic colors of Thin Lizzy, don't forget to pour a little bit of T-Rex, Ramones or Blue Oyster Cult and you easily get what The Gloria Story really stand for.
Their music has a clear personality and the attitude of the band is 100% fitting the songs’ needs. It's impressive how some bands can offer you something that's already been played millions of times before and still portray it in their own signature.
This is the kind of EP's that puts a big smile on your face, as it's a short, effective and an extremely fun rockin' moment.
You've seen it first here, at zerodayrockz
Joan “Kid” Sallrot - Lead Guitar, Lead & Backing Vocals
Filip Rapp - Lead & Backing Vocals, Guitar, Percussion
Carl Ahlander - Guitar
Joakim Stahl, Fredrik Axelsson - Bass
Henrik Siberg - Drums & Percussion
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Hailing from Pisa, Italy, the quintet BAD MEMORIES has been active since 2006, and after a few line-up adjustments they land with their first full length CD "Forced To Be A Stranger", released by American label Perris.
Bad Memories is clearly inspired by late '80s rockin' AOR from both sides of the Atlantic ocean. I heard a previous demo from the band where alongside original material they covered Robert Tepper and Toto songs.
So this gives you an idea of the musical direction in "Forced To Be A Stranger".
After the nice orchestrated "Intro", "Tears Of Anger" starts with synths and guitars in fuller sound, developing an intense riff and a catchy refrain.
"Never Too Hard" is British oriented ala Strangeways, same with the rocking "Shadow In This Life" which features a very good guitars / keys interplay.
In my opinion, the most complete track on the CD is "Our Love Is Dead", where the chorus is really cool complemented by fine ivory.
An album in this style needs ballads, and this department is well rounded with the Euro sounding "Memories" and the semi-acoustic "Crossroads".
The semi-midtempo American influenced title track "Forced to Be a Stranger" has some bluesy scent, while "Shooting Star" wraps the album in a good late '80s AOR vein, even though the guitar solo is quite weak.
"Forced To Be A Stranger" comprises all the ingredients of our beloved late eighties rocking AOR / melodic rock watering several influences from America and Europe.
The result is satisfactory for the most part, the guys have studied & learned the golden book of the genre. These songs are well written and arranged, plenty of keyboards, proper guitars and good vocals (with a bit of accent).
What Bad Memories needs to improve is the spark, the brilliance needed in this genre to make explode the tune in the right moment.
Correctly produced by Olaf Thorsen (Labyrinth, Vision Divine) and with the good mix of Alex Lucatti (Vision Divine), "Forced To Be A Stranger" is an enjoyable recording from a band to keep an eye on in the future.
01 - Intro
02 - Tears Of Anger
03 - Never Too Hard
04 - Memories
05 - Reach The High
06 - Crossroads
07 - Our Love Is Dead
08 - Forced to Be a Stranger
09 - Shadow in This Life
10 - Signs Of Time
11 - Shooting Star
Francesco Cavalieri - vocals
Enrico Dal Canto - guitars
Andrea Rivello - bass
Federico Meranda - keyboards
Angelo Carmignani - drums
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Justin Murr and his current partners Vic Rivera and JK Northrup have been hard at work for the past couple of years on the next LIBERTY N' JUSTICE album 'The Cigar Chronicles', an ambitious, two-disc project of both new songs and cover tunes.
However, that process has taken much longer than initially planned, and Murr wasn't happy with leaving his fans without new L N' J music for that long.
So many new tracks of the recent recording sessions plus a couple of alternate mixes (including an acoustic version of "Sin" featuring the late Jani Lane) are being released as "Hell Is Coming To Breakfast".
One thing people will likely notice is that the songs here are a bit more aggressive in nature than a lot of Liberty N' Justice previous material, and the production has a bit of a modern feel in several spots.
The songs still hold a melodic quality that fits well with the sound and style of the vocalists that have been chosen for this release, but there is no denying there is an edge not present on the 'Chasing A Cure' album, for example.
This sonic edge does not carry over into the lyrics or the vibe, as these really show off a fun, goofy side of Liberty N' Justice that many people may not have heard before.
With such great track titles as "Nakatomi Plaze" (Die Hard fans rejoice), "Whack A Mole" and "Stretch Armstrong" it should be apparent that L N' J is mining some new territory here, or at least taking a new approach to their delivery.
The album's title track starts things off in the right direction, with a powerful vocal performance by Seann Nichols, formerly known as Sheldon Tarsha of Adler's Appetite. JK Northrup of King Kobra/XYZ handles the guitars here, as he does on several tracks on this album, and there is a nice solo that should keep fans of the melodic L N' J style very happy.
Follow-up "Mad Hatter" continues in this melodic direction with Donnie Vie's unmistakeable vocals shining on top of Northrup's smooth scales.
On "Whack A Mole" we hear the aforementioned aggressivity and much modern sound, but the tune is really catchy and the chorus extremely infectious.
"Thankful Heart" steers things sharply back into the more melodic, more typical Liberty N' Justice sound. Phillip Bardowell shines as usual in the vocal department, adorned with nice keyboards and fine guitars handled by Anthony Gravley. This is a cover of a forgotten Petra track, so expect religious lyrics but with a great message
"Nakatomi Plaza" may win Best Song Title of the Year awards, and "Stretch Armstrong" isn't far behind. Titles aside, these are two smoking songs, again featuring a slightly more modern sound that really show the power of this record. "Nakatomi" has a definitely a hard rockin' approach with fun lyrics referencing Die Hard movies.
"Stretch Armstrong" continues the more modern, yet still melodic craft and features some killer axe-work from Keri Kelli.
"Get Down" returns to more familiar L N' J territory as far as style goes, and Tony Mills (TNT / Shy) pulls off one of the best vocal performances of the disc. Mark Allen Lanoue of Chasing Karma lays down some really nice lead guitar tracks for this song, with Anthony Gravley handling the rhythm and bass guitars. This is a cover of an Audio Adrenaline song, but I have to say this version is melodic and catchy.
On "Your Memory Just Won't Do", despite the fact that CJ Snare is credited on the track, the Firehouse singer does not handle all the vocal duty here; it's shared with David Cagle, who has worked in L N' J before. An acoustic track featuring guitars by Alex Grossi of Quiet Riot fame.
Ex- Great White Jack Russell is featured on a reworked alternate mix of "Monkey Dance", which originally appeared a few years ago on the Independence Day album.
Another re-worked ald song is "What Do You Believe", which has different chorus and rhythm and the very good vocals of Mike Ledesma from Far Cry. In all reality, it is almost like two different songs with the lyrical and vocalist changes, and both tracks stands up well here.
Closing track is an acoustic version of "Sin" with the late Jani Lane. Anyone who has heard the electric version of this song knows how well it is written. However, when the electricity and distortion is stripped away, and Jani Lane's vocals are given the full, haunting range of emotion that he poured into this track, it truly becomes something both breathtakingly beautiful and achingly sad to listen to at the same time.
Overall, "Hell Is Coming To Breakfast" may be a tad bit disjointed due to the various styles that are employed here, but that is part of its charm.
The songs are good and well crafted, from melodious tunes to edgy rockers including calmer ballads. We have fine performances by all the artists involved and production is good, even in the couple demo versions.
A gift to the melodic hard rock fans who have been patiently waiting for new Liberty N' Justice material until the 'Cigar Chronicles' comes out.
01. Hell Is Coming To Breakfast
Seann Nichols (Adler's Appetite/Tarsha), JK Northrup (King Kobra/XYZ)
Donnie Vie (Enuff Z'Nuff), JK Northrup (King Kobra/XYZ), Chris Dickens (Mission Of One), Tommy Denander
03. Whack A Mole
Johnny Lima, JK Northrup (King Kobra/XYZ), Jerry Johnson (Saint), Richard Lynch (Saint)
04. Thankful Heart
Phillip Bardowell (Magdallan/Unruly Child), Lynn Louise Lowrey (Vixen/Testify), Anthony Gravely
05. Nakatomi Plaza
JK Northrup (King Kobra/XYZ), Greg Bishop (X-Sinner), Scott Weisenborn (Testify)
06. Stretch Armstrong
Louis St. August (Mass), JK Northrup (King Kobra/XYZ), Keri Kelli (Alice Cooper/Ratt/LA Guns)
07. Get Down
Tony Mills (TNT / Shy), Mark Allen Lanoue (Chasing Karma/Biloxi), Anthony Gravley
08. Your Memory Just Won't Do
CJ Snare (Firehouse), Alex Grossi (Quiet Riot), David Cagle
09. Thy Will Be Done [demo version]
Jamie Rowe (Guardian/Crunch)
10. What Do You Believe?
Mike Ledesma (Far Cry), Vic Rivera (Crunch)
11. Monkey Dance [Alternate Mix]
Jack Russell (Great White)
12. Sin (Acoustic Version)
Jani Lane (Warrant)
Tony Mills (TNT / SHY)
Seann Nicols (Adler's Appetite/ Tarsha)
JK Northrup (King Kobra / XYZ)
Donnie Vie (Enuff Z'Nuff)
Chris Dickens (Mission Of One)
Jerry Johnson, Richard Lynch (Saint)
Philip Bardowell (Magdalen / Unruly Child)
Lynn Louise Lowrey (Vixen / Testify)
Greg Bishop (X-Sinner)
Scott Wisenborn (Testify)
Mark Allen Lanoue (Chasing Karma / Biloxi)
Louis St August (Mass)
Keri Kelli (Alice Cooper)
Justin Murr: Guitar, Keyboards, Drums
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ROADMASTER was unquestionably one of the pillars in the Pomp AOR movement.
The band released five albums - all really good - but their second "Sweet Music" has regarded as arguably the high point of their career.
Certainly, "Sweet Music" is amongst the top Pomp Rock albums of all time, rubbing shoulders with the likes of similar work by Styx, Starcastle, Kansas and Trillion; the epitome of melodic AOR, with a touch of progressive rock thrown in for good measure.
Formed in the comparatively laid back environs of Indianapolis and featuring Steven McNally’s totally unique vocals, Rick Benick’s blazing guitar work and Michael Read’s dazzling keyboard flourishes, "Sweet Music" pushes the Pomp boundaries to the outer limits of the solar system.
We have ten majestic songs here, no fillers, all truly lovable, but if I had to mention favorites; title track "Sweet Music" is one of the finest Pomp tunes ever, and the synth / keyboard-driven festival of "Higher Higher" is to die for.
For many years "Sweet Music" remained officially unreleased on CD, and several bootleg editions floating around.
Finally, the Rock Candy remaster does justice to this much sought after album, with a superb 24-bit remastering from original source tapes.
01 - It Doesn't Mean A Thing
02 - I Must Be Dreaming
03 - Ya Move Me
04 - Been Gone Too Long
05 - I'll Be Lovin' You
06 - The Swan Song
07 - You Come See Me
08 - Higher, Higher
09 - Circle Of Love
10 - Sweet Music
Stephan McNally - vocals
Rick Benick - guitars
Michael Read - keyboards, synthesizers
Toby Myers - bass
Bobby Johns - drums
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In short, NUBIAN ROSE should be the next Swedish sensation.
This awesome new Scandi band has released their debut "Mountain" and surely it will turn heads everywhere.
Actually, Nubian Rose revolves around singer Sofia Lilja as a vehicle for his stardom, but it's fair to say the music in this CD sounds played by a real band, and a damn fine one.
Sofia Lilja is a renowned vocal coach in North Europe, mosty recently recognized for training Swedish TV4-show Idol artists. But this girl is more than a teacher, owner of an incredible register and an overwhelming personality.
And which genre Sofia has chosen for her self-place in the spotlight?
Pure, meaty, awe-inspiring '80s Female Fronted Melodic Hard Rock. I mean pure in all aspects; songwriting, attitude and sonics.
This girl has the pipes and the technique of a young Jackie Bodimead, Kristina Nichols, Gudrun Laos or Lee Aaron, and the fire of a wild rocker.
"Mountain" is the dream come true for thousands of real Female Fronted Hard Rock fans eager for a band and album like this since the early nineties.
One of the most remarkable attributes of this band is the bite, the attack on every song without losing the melodic sense. This is true polished and melodious Hard Rock with a girl at the mic.
Songs full of energy, catchiness, foot-tapping choruses... the twin guitar work is always varied and scintillating, plenty of staccato slashing, all over a smashing rhythm section and clever keyboards when needed.
But the star are Sofia Lilja's vocals. Seriously, this woman is the most brilliant female singer I heard in years. Her vocal range, articulation and general permormance blows out of the water already good singers recently appeared such as Issa, Amanda Sommerville or Elizabeth Lzzy Hale.
A track-by-track is needless this time my fellow readers, all have their own charm evoking late eighties / early nineties magic.
Just to mention the guest stars, the excellent cover of Lita Ford / Ozzy classic "Close My Eyes Forever" is performed in duet with Mats Levén, one of the finest vocals in the hard rock world and former singer of Yngwie Malmsteen’s band, Therion and Swedish Erotica.
And we have former Europe guitarist Kee Marcello who can be heard on the killer hard rocker "Living For Tomorrow".
Nubian Rose's "Mountain" is A Must Have for every Female Fronted Melodic Hard Rock fan, an album with the smell of a future classic.
"Mountain" only was released in Sweden on a digipak CD, not available as digital download. Trust me, worth every penny ordering it as import.
HIGHLY, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
You've seen it first here, at zerodayrockz
01 - Ever See Your Face
02 - Mountain
03 - Living For Tomorrow
04 - How Am I
05 - Get Ready
06 - Your Love
07 - Once Bitten
08 - Reckless
09 - Close My Eyes Forever (Lita & Ozzy cover)
10 - Sisters
Sofia Lilja – Vocals
Christer Akerlund – Guitar
Thomas Lindgren – Guitar
Henric Uhrbom – Bass
David Algesten – Drums
Fredrik Akerlund – Keyboards
Kee Marcello – Guitar on 3
Mats Levén – Vocals on 9
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