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Monday, April 02, 2007

Hugh McDowell (ELO) will join Wetton/Downes on their UK tour in November.

Very good April Fool’s news page on the DPRP website


DEAD SOUL TRIBE release their new album ‘A Lullaby For The Devil’ in July via Inside Out.

IQ plan to start work on their new album in June with a view to a Sep/Oct release date.

MARTIN ORFORD has made considerable progress with his new album The Old Road in recent months, and apart from the lyrics on a couple of songs, the album is completely written now, and all the drums recorded. John Wetton, Andy Edwards and fiddle player Colm Murphy have all been in the studio during February, with more guests lined up. Martin is confident that the album will be released in time for the IQ tour in November.

Good week for rock in the UK album charts with the following chart positions –
No. 2 ELTON JOHN, no.15 THE DOORS, no.16 MACHINE HEAD, no.60 MADINA LAKE & no70 MAGNUM!

Apple and EMI will reveal a ground-breaking deal on Monday for Apple to sell the music label's songs free from copy protection limits, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.
The report said music giant EMI plans to sell "significant amounts" of its catalogue without anti-piracy software, citing people familiar with the matter, and that the music label is considering not only Apple's iTunes stores but other outlets.
However, a separate source familiar with the situation told Reuters a Beatles deal was not the focus of Monday's event. "There is no Beatles' announcement," the source said.

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PRESS RELEASES

Lion Music have updated their release info and artist news with the following updates:
Lion Music April 20 Releases -
Milan Polak - Straight - After 2 hugely successful instrumental albums in "Dreamscapes" and "Guitar Odyssey", Austrian guitar virtuoso Milan Polak returns with his first solo vocal album entitled "Straight". The album is powered by 13 rocking tracks that not only showcase Milan's guitar prowess but also his great bluesy vocals backed by a killer band of Randy Coven (bass, ex Malmsteen, Ark, MCM), John Macaluso (drums, ex Malmsteen, Ark, John Macaluso & Union Radio) and Fabio Trentini (bass). Fans of Milan's guitar work will not find any lack of fret board prowess but the addition of vocals gives a more balanced packaged.

Delphian - Unravel - Raw and honest; that's how the recordings of "Unravel", Delphian's second album can best be described. The band went for the recording-takes which had the best feel and flow, which led to a grooving and heavy album. The style of Delphian has evolved from progressive metal in the earlier recordings to a heavy kind of rock on the latest album "Unravel". From heavy to epic, all completed with dramatic, emotional lyrics and vocals by female singer Aniek Janssen. Reviewers speak of a non-comparable unique sound, consisting of dynamic, creative rhythms combined with melodic guitar riffs and crystal clear vocals and flute playing.

Steen Grøntved - Night Vision Googles - Danish guitarist Steen Grøntved is a veteran of the session music scene having appeared on countless releases over the last few years (within Denmark mostly) across many genres. Steen makes his debut onto the instrumental guitar platform with the fusion/jazz/rock rich `Night Vision Goggles'. The album is home to 12 tracks that travel through a myriad of tonalities and cultural expressions with an end product that is very accessible and possesses strong melodic content. `Night Vision Goggles' is a very fresh sounding guitar instrumental with lush melodies and great ambience.

May 2007 Releases -
John Macaluso & Union Radio - The Radio Waves Goodbye - Featuring: James LaBrie, Vitalij Kuprij, Mike DiMeo, Chris Caffrey, Alex Masi, Randy Coven, Zey Grey, Dimuti, Marco Sfogli, Adrian Holtz (Ark), Derrik Weiland (TSO) etc.
Tomorrow's Eve - The Tower - A 4 track single available only in a strictly limited edition.
Chris Poland - Return to Metalopolis Live - A killer live release from the ex Megadeth lead guitarist.

Dogpound III release delayed - The much anticipated third Dogpound album III on Lion Music has been delayed due to contractual reasons with a Japanese licensing deal. The Japanese version of 'III' will contain an exclusive bonus track written by Conny Bloom. The Lion Music release of Dogpound - III is now set for September (tbc).

Venturia clips from live TV concert - Venturia's live show for Swiss TV (recorded in December) was finally broadcasted on March 17th - there's a 9 minute medley online at YouTube for you check out (it's in two parts) Part 1 - Part 2.

Danish guitarist Steen Grøntved who sees his debut album Night Vision Goggles releases on Lion Music on April 20th has just launched his own MySpace page at www.myspace.com/steengrontved where 4 tracks from his album can be heard.

Tomorrow's Eve embark on a European tour in support of Circle II Circle throughout April. The tour sees the band cap a successful few months since the release of the critically acclaimed Mirror Of Creation II – The Genesis. Shortly after the tour a new 4 track single entitled The Tower will be released in May to show the bands direction for their next album and as a way to say thanks to fans for their support.
The Tower will be released in a strictly limited number so once they are sold out that's it. The single features the tracks [1] The Tower [2] Remember [3] Success 2007 [4] Not from this World 2007.
On `The Tower', band vocalist Martin LeMar comments, "The music is dark and aggressive and the lyrics are like episodes from 'The Twilight Zone', which will also be the concept of the next release. We are already booked into SU2 Studios to record the new album in July".
Tomorrow's Eve tour dates:
07.04.2007 (D) Flensburg - Roxy
08.04.2007 (D) Osnabrück - Bastard Club
09.04.2007 (D) Adelsheim - Life Factory
10.04.2007 (CH) Pratteln - Z7
11.04.2007 (A) Villach - Volkshaus Landskron
12.04.2007 (A) Wörgl - Komma
13.04.2007 (F) Eloyes - Centre Culturel
14.04.2007 (I) Prato - Siddharta
15.04.2007 (I) Milano - Transylvania
16.04.2007 (D) Berlin - KATO
17.04.2007 (D) Hamburg - Headbangers Ballroom
18.04.2007 (D) Bochum - Matrix
19.04.2007 (NL) Den Bosch - W 2
20.04.2007 (NL) De Boerderij - Zoetermeer
21.04.2007 (B) Aalst - Pestpop Festival
22.04.2007 (D) Andernach - JUZ Live Club
Web Link: www.tomorrows-eve.de / www.lionmusic.com / www.myspace.com/lionmusiclabel

REVIEWS

BURN ‘Global Warning’ (2007) www.burn.uk.com

UK band Burn released two well received hard rock albums in the mid-90’s before their drummer was tragically killed in an accident and then the band folded. Now they are back with the core band of vocalist Jeff Ogden and brothers Marc (bass) and Barney (keys) Stackhouse joined by drummer Benjy Reid (ex-Stuck Mojo/Praying Mantis/Deborah Bonham) and guitarists Phil Hammond and Julian Nicholas.
Musically they have taken up where they left off producing catchy hard rockers, with great rhythm guitar riffs and the keyboards nicely interwoven into the tunes. Their music would be enjoyed by fans of Lost Weekend, Sacred Heart, Kick, Tara’s Secret, the defunct Pride and Demon. ‘Shadow Of The Satellites’ and ‘Forgive Me’ are cracking, tight hard rock tunes that grab you on first listen. The band take a neat detour into the epic ‘Pray For Rain’, which from its piano intro through to the strings and guitar solo mid-section is a wonderful listen. Fans of Magnum will love this tune I am sure! Crunching guitar riffs and swirling organ dominate ‘In Another Lifetime’ and ‘Give Me Tonight’ ends the album nicely complete with layered harmony vocals, which are always guaranteed to grab my attention! Lyrically as well the band have moved on with songs based on global warming, the precarious nature of the world today although there are some positive lyrics to counterbalance all this!
Good to have them back and hopefully they can gain the success they deserve second time around.

****
Jason Ritchie

A.C.T ‘Today’s Report / Imaginary Friends / Last Epic’ (Special Editions 2007)
Inside Out www.insideout.de

Inside Out are re-issuing the band’s first three studio albums as special editions, each of them including bonus material and enhanced booklets.
‘Today’s Report’ ***1/2 was originally released by MTM in 1999. Bonus material on the current special edition re-issue includes two rare tracks, ‘Grandpa Phone Home’ (described by drummer Tomas Erlandsson as ‘Abba meets 10cc’) and ‘New Age Polka’ as well as a live video of ‘Welcome’. The Queen like harmonies and arrangements are certainly in place on this debut album although they lack the run of killer tunes found on their later albums. That said ‘The Wandering’ and the title track ooze class.
‘Imaginary Friends’ **** was again originally released by MTM back in 2001 (subsequently re-issued by Atenzia in 2004). This latest re-issue includes the bonus track ‘Catherine’ and an eleven minute documentary on the making of the album. The band really let fly their musical ability on this album, from the quirky ‘Hippest Flop’ through to the epic ‘She/male Relationships (The Long One)’ they keep the listener hooked. For many fans of the band this is their favourite album but for me they have yet to beat ‘Last Epic’ ***** which came out on the now defunct label Atenzia back in 2003. This was the band’s first concept album and from the ‘Intro’ through to the ‘Outro’ it is one glorious listen full of pomp rock, layers of keys and vocals and some damn fine tunes like ‘Mr Landlord’. Melody and harmonies are a key ingredient to the album’s success from the Supertramp/ELO high harmonies on the superb ‘The Cause’ or the ELO style strings that link many of the songs. Prog rock fans will enjoy ‘Wailings From A Building’, an interesting mix of guitar with piano and some chunky riffing on the chorus. ‘Torn By A Phrase’ mixes shade and light with acoustic moments mixed with guitar bombast - Dream Theater fans will enjoy this.
ACT are hard to fit into any musical niche, a fact that may be why they are not that well known (yet!) amongst rock fans in general. But if you own albums by ELO, Queen, Supertramp, Dream Theater, Cheap Trick and Jellyfish to name but a few you are bound to enjoy these albums and if you buy only one then it has to be ‘Last Epic’!

Jason Ritchie

Echoes of Eternity: The Forgotten Goddess

This is a bunch of Americans trying to do the female fronted progressive goth
thing and beat the Europeans at their own game. The band really works quite well
on this disc, but there is really nothing that jumps out at you and blows you
away. "Voices in a Dream" and "Expressions of Hesh" are a couple of tracks that
do seem to stick after a few plays. Musically it's rather modern riffing metal
with touches of Dream Theater and the added twist of a sweet voiced songstress.
Some of the European purveyors of the same music seem to work better with female
vocals than this lot; their vocals can seem to be a bit too lush and fluffy,
without enough oomph behind 'em.
This is a decent album, just not yet to the level of some of the similar style
coming out of Scandinavia and Italy. One thing that can be said about this lot
though is that they are not by any means Evanescence-clones preferring a goth
metal, as opposed to pop edge, with plenty of blast beat drumming. The album is
just missing that something I can't quite put my finger on, which is a shame.

Rating: 3/5
Marty Dodge

Khigh: Wise Hedonist

A re-release with bonus tracks of 2005 album, this one never really took off for
me. I think it's very much the case of the irritating lead-singer that puts one
off. I found myself looking forward to the end of the CD, which is never really
a good sign, now is it. The musicianship on this CD is competent, if nothing
special, and a bit directionless. There is nothing on here that would really
have me coming back to it. The bonus tracks are nothing terribly special either.
Let's hope that this band is going to get things sorted, ditch their singer, and
actually get some decent songs.

Rating: 2/5
Marty Dodge

Masterplan: Aeronautics

This lots debut I absolutely adored and am still returning to it for a listen.
Of course with the combination of two parts of Helloween (ex) and the vocal
miracle that is Jorn Lande, how could you possibly go wrong? Well Masterplan has
suffered a bit from the sophomore slump producing a patchy follow-up that does
not hold a candle to the debut.
There are some great songs that really let Jorn rip, like the power balladry of
"After this War" and the absolute class of "Black in the Burn." When this CD
gets going its pretty impressive but there are just some songs that do not live
up to the band's normally high standard. A bit of a nice surprise is the bonus
track "Treasure World" which is a quite good one has to admit.
Alas Jorn has headed off to pastures new and Masterplan are back with a new
singer with the album MK2. Aeronautics is not a bad album by any standards and
most bands would love to come close to the class, musicianship and talent on
this release.

Rating: 3.8/5
Marty Dodge

Spellblast: Horns of Silence

Despite the death metal logo, this lot play heads down, classy power metal with
some degree of skill and talent. Clearly coming from the Gamma Ray school of
power metal (as opposed to the slightly more melodic Helloween/Masterplan
variety), Spellblast show lots of promise. While the CD did not rise above the
average power metal on first listen there are elements in there which show
through on repeated listens.
Yes, there are daft songs like "Goblins Song" but the band pull it off without
sounding silly. Imagine Blackmoore's Night and Helloween doing a joint tune
Kiske on vocals. It's one of those songs as a reviewer you should loath but
finding yourself smiling nonetheless. I quite enjoyed this album, it has to be
said. Full of clichés, power metal noodling, symphonic pomp and a wee dollop of
humour, the band shows great promise. Not essential, but worthy of your
attention.

Rating: 3.5/5
Marty Dodge

Within Temptation: The Heart of Everything

Readers of this column will know I rather liked this lot's last album and was
worried they would have a hard time matching it. I needn't have. If anything
this album matches it for quality and there is a song on here that makes "Angel"
seem a bit week. "What Have You Done," which features Keith Caputo just stuns
from the first listen. It's goth-pop pomp at its absolute best. As if that was
not enough, there is the absolutely blinding "Our Solemn Hour."
There is absolutely nothing on the last Evanescence album which comes anywhere
near close, and some have speculated that this song is WT laying the gauntlet
down. Never mind the fact that Sharon Den Adel has probably the best voice in
female goth metal completely eclipsing the vocals of Ms Lee. The vocalist can do
sweet but also has enough grunt behind it to get out some wicked power. The band
is providing music for the new RPG Spellborn as well as releasing a strong
candidate for album of the year.
There is not one duff track on this CD, a powerhouse of the genre from start to
finish. I will be amazed if there is anything this good for quite a while.
Simply stunning stuff and essential if you like quality symphonic goth tinged
metal.

Rating: 5/5

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