Classic Rock Newswire

Click here for GRTR! Free Guestbook
My Guestbook

Friday, July 27, 2007

Rising Stars - ADRENALINE 101

ADRENALINE 101 are a new band hailing from Switzerland who are making quite a name for themselves already - and in September they will be filling the guest slot for GLENN HUGHES on Glenn's three shows in Spain. (Thanks to the legendary Batttttty for this one)
1. What are you currently up to? (e.g. touring/studio,etc.)
We're currently rehearsing our live set for the upcoming shows with Glenn Hughes in Spain and the shows in Switzerland. On top of that we're writing songs for a full length album which we hope to release early next year.

2. Please give us a brief history of Adrenaline 101 and the style of music
you play, how you got together, who your biggest influences are, and
introduce us to the other bandmembers .
Pascal Luder (Bass), Hens Grubenmann (Guitars) and Reto Wild (Drums) already played together in 1997 when they played for the Swiss band Paganini. Pascal and Reto then moved to Germany for a few years and when they returned they called up Hens to form their own band. After auditioning more than 20 singers they've finally found what they were looking for in the form of Delon Cyclon from the band Bonafide, and shortly after, Mack Schildknecht who we always wanted as a 2nd guitarist joined forces and we started to record our 5 Track EP in our own studio. Adrenaline 101 is a mix of all kinds of rock styles but is best described as New Rock.

3. How easy or difficult has it been to get gigs and promotion for gigs, and what are your views on 'talent show' television programmes such as Pop Idol, The X Factor etc?
Since all of us played in various bands before we all had people we could call to help us out so thankfully it hasn't been too hard yet. As for talent shows... if culture was a tree then shows like Pop Idol would be the dog's piss laying on the ground underneath it.

4. How important do you feel the internet is for promoting your music etc., and what do you think of the proliferation of sites such as MySpace, Bebo Facebook etc?
We found our singer on MySpace , thank God for that!

5. What music do you have available, and where can we find out more about it?
Currently we only have our 5 track EP which you can hear on our MySpace profile which caused kind of a buzz and we're now negotiating with various record labels to put out our debut album.

6. What has been the highlight(s) and lowpoint(s) of your career to date,
and what would you like to achieve ideally by the end of 2007?
A highlight for us was to see how people react to our demo, since we all did it by ourselves not knowing if anyone would like it - and getting back so many postive reactions is a great thing. Another highlight will be our first small tour with Glenn Hughes in Spain and we're all looking forward to that. No lowpoints yet. We hope to get our record released next year and play as many shows as possible.

7. Pascal, you've worked in the music business for quite a few years and have seen bands at all levels of their career, and have worked in front of audiences all over the world. How is the music scene changing? And how do you think it will develop?
That's hard to say. The Internet changed things a lot but since you're not able to download the full all-round experience of actually being at a concert I hope that more people will go out and catch a great band on stage LIVE.

8. What has been your most rocknroll moment so far?
Getting the mastered version of our EP back and then getting wasted listening to it.

9. What do you all like doing in your spare time?
Since we all still have to work in day jobs, our spare time is used entirely for the band . No rest for the wicked!

10. Please give a message to your fans.
We hope to see all of you at our upcoming shows and have a blast together. Join us for the ride!


Keyboard player to the stars, Eric will soon be heard on new albums from David Readman (Pink Cream 69), Steve Grimmett (ex-Grim Reaper/Onsluaght) and Ted Poley (Danger Danger) to name but a few!

1. What are you currently up to?

I’ve been working late nights this month to beat the deadlines for the new Ted Poley CD! It’s an awesome disc and JK Northrup is doing a killer production. After that I start writing for Tony Mills (TNT) new disc. I’ve been writing a lot for other artists lately, it’s been one crazy summer!

2. How is the album with Josh Ramos shaping up? Will this be similar in sound/style to the Ramos album released a couple of years ago on Frontiers?

That record is now being called the Ramos/Hugo album. The music is completely finished. We’re just waiting on Hugo Valenti (Valentine, Open Skyz) to finish his vocals. He’s writing everything some scratch and taking great care in the process – so it takes some time. He sang some ideas to me over the phone and it sounds AWESOME. Josh & I co-wrote the album with a classic AOR vibe in mind, so it’s in that same vein. We’ve also folded in some of the classic elements that you would associate with Josh’s legacy and his work with The Storm, The Vu, etc. I’m very proud of it.

3. The David Readman album is superb. How did you get involved with this one and what tracks do you appear on?

I met David at the Prog Power Festival in 2005. I was performing D.C. Cooper, and David was singing with Pink Cream 69 the following night. David’s a great guy and it was a thrill to work with him – he’s got a unique voice that I’ve always admired. I recorded keyboards for Long Way to Heaven, Take These Tears and Evil Combination. I also arranged an additional acoustic version of Take These Tears with a lush string/piano arrangement for a bonus track. The album ships on August 31.

4. What is happening with Vox Tempus? Will Z records still be releasing the album?

Sadly, no. We fell victim to the typical Z Records trap that so many bands have fallen into before us. I knew they had financial problems in the past – Jeff Scott Soto had warned me about this at length, as did others. I was told that Mark Alger would do anything to avoid paying a band, and the net is full of stories like this.

Once the contract was signed and faxed over, Z began a great press campaign announcing our new partnership. Mark asked for my bank info and set a date that we would be paid in exchange for our masters. We provided this twice actually, but the money never arrived. He then requested an original contract with wet signature, so I sent that also. Still no word, and no money. Finally he tells us he hasn’t’ received it, and we have 3 days before the deadline. So of course I send another package overnight to the U.K. Still no response, and he finally tells me he never received it and the deadline is past, so he can’t release the album.

I suppose I could have sued, I mean we did have a signed, exclusive contract. But I didn’t expect much and I kept us protected so we wouldn’t lose anything financially. So sadly the album never got an overseas release, which is unfortunate as people seem to really love it! It has gotten a great afterlife on iTunes! Our website is still working (at, but we are pretty much on hiatus. Everyone lost a lot of heart in this process, and outside of Gregg (Bissonette) I’m the only one still making music now.

5. How do you think your style of playing has developed down the years? When you start working with other artists are you given free reign on the musical direction or do you tailor your ideas/playing to meet a particular artist's style?

My style has always revolved around the piano, with synth highlights. As time went on I started bringing in more string orchestrations – cellos and stuff I learned about in the school band as a kid. It adds a timeless quality in the right context.

Most folks who usually know my previous work or have checked out my site, and know what aspects they like. When I work with someone new I get as much input as possible – I talk to them, I listen to their previous work and I read everything I possibly can find on them! It gives me an idea of what they are looking for and what their fans expect. I’ve been at this awhile so I know how to capture the vibe someone is looking for. I also have a great respect for an artist’s legacy and their fan base. Once we’ve established that rapport, they usually give me free reign – but it’s still their project, and I’m always open to new ideas.

6. Your working on the upcoming Steve Grimmett Band CD. How did you hook-up with him and what direction is the music taking?

I got a call from Pete Newdeck, who plays drums with Steve and is producing the disc. Pete found me through Paul Logue (Eden’s Curse) who was also instrumental in the new David Readman release. The Steve Grimmett disc was one of the quickest and easiest CD’s I’ve ever done. The guys knew exactly what they wanted, and I gave it a little sparkle. Again, here is a guy with a legacy (with Grim Reaper) that is respected by metalheads everywhere. The new album is definitely metal, but it’s got these great melodic lines and harmonies also. The band is bringing me to the U.K. for Firefest in October and I am VERY excited to be playing the songs live with these guys!

7. Are Takara still going? What was it like working with Jeff Scott Soto? What is your take on the recent news that Journey have dispensed with him and are now looking for a Steve Perry sound-alike?

Takara has been on hiatus, and we’ve all been busy doing other things. Bjorn Englen (bassist) was playing with Robin McAuley until Robin recently joined Survivor. Now he does gigs with Yngwie Malmsteen. But I’ve actually heard from (guitarist and Takara mainman) Neal Grusky this week, and he’s got a new set of songs he would like to start demo’ing for the next Takara record. And of course we need to find a new vocalist. We’re all great friends –I’ve been in the Takara family for over 10 years.

Jeff Scott Soto is an amazing guy…a great singer and a kind soul. He dropped everything to breathe new life into Journey, a band we both revered since childhood…and when they changed their mind, he was the last to know. And now they’re looking to Journey tribute bands to find their new singer. It’s almost exactly like the plot of the Rock Star movie, which is ironic as Jeff sang in that film.

8. What has been the best career decision you have made and why?

Probably moving to Los Angeles. I mean with the Internet today you can make music anywhere – but everyone is here, the musicians, the films, everything is right here. My dad is a rock guitarist, and he told me that if I wanted to get better I’d have to surround myself with the best. Out here you’re still a small fish in a big pond…but fish grow according to their tank size, right? And you can’t give up!

9. What do you do in your spare time outside of music?

I try to spend more time with my family, watching sci-fi with the kids and playing basketball. And I meditate every day. Other than that, it’s all about the music.

10. Message for your fans...

Thanks for reading through this page! I’m always looking to work with new people, so come visit me at!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

STILL REMAINS ‘The Serpent’ Roadrunner Records (2007)

The new album by the US Christian metalcore band (don’t you just love all these different genres in metal?) who have two new members in bassist Steve Hetland and keyboards player Ben Schauland.
The band manages to mix aggressive guitar riffing/dark vocals with big melodies and a lot of keyboards. The title track opener is a gorgeous keyboard led instrumental before ‘The Wax Walls Of An Empty Room’ sees the clean, melodic vocals of JT Miller mix well with the darker, gruff vocals of guitarist Mike Church. ‘Sleepless Nights Alone’ could have fallen off a H.I.M. album, very melodic rock with just the right amount of metal backing. ‘Maria’ sees the band dip into quieter waters with some success although they seem better suited at the faster paced tunes. ‘Dancing With The Enemy’ verges into emo territory, although fans of Mt Chemical Romance will doubtless like this one!
Good to see a band that successfully marries aggressive metal guitar riffs and vocals with melodies, many of which would could gain a lot of airplay. I was pleasantly surprised as I am not a big fan of growl vocals but when used to complement a much more melodic voice they compliment each other very well. Never mind the genres this is just damn fine metal music!

Jason Ritchie
GENE SIMMONS is apparently appearing in the next ‘I Am A celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here’.

SAD CAFÉ are looking to re-issue some albums and are looking at potential vocalists with a view to some live dates.

THE SHINS have covered PINK FLOYD’s ‘Breathe’ as the b-side to their new single.

Starbucks after successfully releasing PAUL McCARTNEY’s new album are now trying to get the rights to release the upcoming album from JONI MITCHELL.

The Offspring are to make their long awaited live return at the Summer Sonic Festival in Japan next month. They join Arctic Monkeys, Black Eyed Peas, Gwen Stefani, Kasabian, Avril Lavigne, Block Party and Interpol before returning to Orange County to complete the recording of their next studio album.

Simon and Garfunkel are to release a new live album called Live 1969 on September 17th.
The full track list:
'Homeward Bound', 'At the Zoo', '59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)', 'Song for the Asking', 'For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her', 'Scarborough Fair/Canticle', 'Mrs. Robinson', 'The Boxer', 'Why Don't You Write Me', 'So Long', 'Frank Lloyd Wright', 'That Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine', 'Bridge over Troubled Water', 'Sound of Silence', 'I Am a Rock', 'Old Friends/Bookends Theme', 'Leaves That Are Green', 'Kathy's Song'.

MUSE will release a live DVD of their recent Wembley Stadium concerts with a planned release before the end of the year.

PUDDLE OF MUDD have delayed the release of their new album to allow for some more ‘tweaking’ of the songs.

Release date: 3RD SEPTEMBER 2007

With music spanning the entire career of ELP, From The Beginning is a lavish celebration of the U.K. progressive rock legends. The 6- disc set features some of the band's most memorable performances, both in the studio and in concert, including a number of previously unreleased tracks and an entire concert performance from 1972. Interspersed throughout the five CDs are a number of single b-sides, significant live recordings, alternate studio mixes and material taken from band rehearsals. Rounding off the set is a separate DVD disc of The Manticore Years documentary. The accompanying 60-page booklet comes with "in their own words" sleeve notes by all three band members, discussing in depth their entire career together as ELP. Presented in an alluring book-style format with a sumptuous cover image, From The Beginning is the definitive collection for all fans of ELP and followers of the progressive rock genre.

As one of the most successful progressive rock acts of the 1970s, Emerson Lake & Palmer took popular music to previously uncharted territories by marrying neo-classical Hammond organ motifs with powerful, driving rock rhythms. Featuring the virtuoso keyboard skills of Keith Emerson, the soaring vocals of Greg Lake and the powerhouse drumming of Carl Palmer, ELP became one of the first 'arena' rock bands of their generation. With a stage show that utilised cutting edge special effects technology with dazzling lighting production, their performances became the stuff of legend.

From BBC Online –
Guitarist Brian May is to spend two days studying the night sky in the Canary Islands as he completes the PhD he abandoned in 1971 to join Queen.
May is going to La Palma to observe the formation of "zodiacal dust clouds".
The subject forms the basis of a thesis for London's Imperial College, where he had been studying before deciding to pursue a career with the rock group.
The 60-year-old recently published a book on astronomy with The Sky at Night presenter Sir Patrick Moore.
May is basing himself at the Observatory of the Roque de Los Muchachos on the island of La Palma.
A statement issued on behalf of the facility said he had chosen this location because of the "quality of the sky" and the opportunity to use a 3.6-metre optical telescope, "which allows astronomers to study extremely faint objects".
May is also preparing a concert to mark the inauguration of another telescope at the observatory.
He will present his thesis, which he has been preparing for across much of the past year, to Imperial College "within a fortnight".
A number of academics will question him about his work before any doctorate is awarded, a spokeswoman said.

FARRAH ‘Cut Out And Keep’ (2007)

Wow! Farrah have made their best album to date with this their third release. For those who love quirky pop rock like XTC, Cheap Trick, anything featuring Willie Dowling and Jellyfish coupled with a little ELO and Fountains Of Wayne then buy this CD ASAP. Every song could be an airplay hit none more so that the big dumb rock anthem ‘Dumb Dumb Ditty’ with its very catchy but simple chorus. But wait it gets better as ‘Awkward Situation’ and ‘No Reason Why’ as they hint at ELO with Fountains Of Wayne thrown in and of course the band’s own styling as well. ‘Fear Of Flying’ sees Michelle Margherita take lead vocals for a great pop rock single. ‘School Reunion’ tells the story of a school leaver whose life didn’t quite turn out as planned although the music is bright and breezy! It is not all short pop rock gems as ‘As Soon As I Get Over You’ is a heartfelt acoustic ballad and a lovely song.
They have already made a splash in Japan and hopefully this album will get them the recognition they deserve in the UK, Europe and the US. The latter would definitely like the tunes on here given the success of Fountains Of Wayne and the Goo Goo Dolls et al. An album chock full of gems that shows how pop rock should be done.

Jason Ritchie


Peaceville Records has been in the process of re-releasing some very important metal albums for quite some time now, and even though a few belong to bands that were never included in the label’s roster, I was really shocked to see one of these releases belonging to the well-known extreme metal outfit Cradle of Filth. Dani Filth’s band is currently in contract with Roadrunner records and it is no secret that the English noisemakers are considered to be one of the best selling acts of this label in recent years, so how did the Yorkshire-based label manage to put their name on one of Cradle of Filth’s latest releases?

Well, the truth is not as exciting as some of you may think. “Eleven Burial Masses” is the title of a two disc (CD/DVD) release which combines the main disc of the band’s first ever live album “Live Bait for the Dead” (Abracadaver, 2002) and the visual representation of the exact same performance that was recorded in the famous “Rock City” in Nottingham and which was previously released by the underground label Abracadaver (2002) under the name “Heavy, Left-Handed and Candid”. In other words the fans of Cradle of Filth are given the opportunity to get their hands on one package that contains two of the band’s releases at a reasonable price. That sounds indeed quite intriguing, but what about the quality of these recordings?

I have always been a huge fan of the band’s first two albums but began to loose interest in the outfit the moment the first signs of Rock star attitude became part of the general picture. What the exposure to “Eleven Burial Masses” did was to rekindle my interest in Cradle of Filth’s music and remind me of how impressive this band comes across in a live environment. To put this in plain words: if you like atmospheric Black Metal in general and Cradle of Filth in particular, there is no reason in my opinion why you should not choose to invest in “Eleven Burial Masses”.

In terms of material, I was happy to see that “The Principle of Evil Made Flesh” was represented, not only by the same-titled composition, but also by “Summer Dying Fast” and “The Forest Whispers My Name” – the performance of which was among the highlights of the show. The chemistry between the members of this specific line-up was evident not only from the accuracy of their performance, but also by their general stage presence. Dani was trying, in between impressive and highly demanding vocal performances, to get the band’s English fans more involved in the whole process, but he never really managed to connect with them.

There were only a few moments and especially during the performance of the more commercial “From The Cradle to Enslave” that the fans of the band created the atmosphere that such a good quality performance really deserved and that obviously annoyed Dani who responded from time to time with some really “interesting” comments. On a more positive note, the band’s decision to perform four songs from the album “Midian” introduced me to the massive riffs of “Lord Abortion”, the clever arrangements of “Cthulhu Dawn” and the beautiful melodies of “Her Ghost in the Fog”, thus convincing me of the necessity not only of acquiring the album, but also of keeping an open mind as far as the band’s latest material is concerned.

I always believed that a great live performance depends strictly on a band’s ability to recreate their material on stage, but “Eleven Burial Masses” is the living proof of the importance of the crowd’s participation in such recordings. Don’t get me wrong – the guys from Cradle of Filth did a great job but I do believe that had the vibe been different that night at “Rock City”, we would not be talking about a four star release, but about yet another classic live album!

John Stefanis
Rating: **** (4.0 / 5.0)

Y&T ‘Live – One Hot Night’ (DVD 2007)

A very nice three disc set – two DVD’s and a CD of selected songs from the concert. The main DVD contains a sixteen song set performed in 2006 in Zoetermeer, Holland. Only Dave Meinketti and Phil Kennemore remain form the classic line-up but along with John Nyman and the most recent recruit drummer Mike Vandehule they play a storming set (this despite most of them suffering from heavy colds!).
Highlights would depend on your particular Y&T faves but great to see ‘Open Fire’, ‘Summertime Girls’, ‘Mean Streak’, ‘Surrender’ and ‘I’ll Cry For You’ all in set list. It is a very basic stage set as Y&T concentrate on giving the crowd straight ahead hard rock without the needs for flashy pyros or stage effects. Good sound and camera angles throughout make for a very enjoyable DVD. Only minor niggle is the live CD leaves of ‘Summertime Girls’ – criminal!
The second DVD includes backstage footage, before and after the show – including Mike Vanderhule wringing out his sweat drenched t-shirt to show how hot it was on stage, nice. Plus the soundcheck which is fun to watch once but I doubt I would personally watch it again. You also get the meet and greet, a few fan interviews and the real bonus is some live footage from Bang Your Head festival in 2006.
A perfect live DVD for the Y&T fan and perhaps they could release the live CD on its own to entice in a few new fans. One of the most consistent and enjoyable hard rock bands around and long may they continue.

Jason Ritchie

Monday, July 23, 2007

10 Q's with Paul Stead of SACRED HEART

1. What are you currently up to?

At the moment, working extremely hard preparing for the release of our new album, "Shake" & doing our best to get ready for the live dates we have coming up.

It's not hard work but a lot of laborious effort needs to be put in - though fingers crossed it will be well worth the effort!

2. Could you take us through the songs on your excellent new album 'Shake'...

Certainly, but these are 100% my views/opinions - others may not agree!

"Paradise", "Tonight", "Shake", "Maybe", "Natali" & "Lift You Up" were all written after various explosive and naughty exploits in Prague - hence the "Shake" album theme. . .

"Afraid" - slow to mid-paced heavy rocker. Kind of Sabbath meets Nickelback. One of the heaviest tracks on the album but still has a sweet melody. Mark's guitar solo is superb - starts off with finger-tapping, then goes more melodic, awesome.

"Paradise" - Sleazy upbeat catchy hard rocker. Some great drumming and sin-a-long chorus - one of my faves to play live.

"Tonight" - Nickelback, Hinder territory, more modern, sweet melody & lovely chorus. It has to be said, Mark came up with one of the best guitar solo's I've ever heard. One of my favourite lines sung/written "When I saw your beautiful smile, that moment felt like a year - but was only a while. . .".

"Shake" - the title track, sleazy blues hard rocker which has a real groove to it live. Dokken meets Skynard. Fun, naughty - but true - lyrics!

"Lost" - catchy melodic upbeat rocker. Mixes classic hard rock with modern metal in our playing technique - lot's of low/down-tuned chords. Vocal melody is very sing-a-long from start to finish.

"Maybe" - the BIG ballad. I always use to describe this that it tips it's hat to Warrant's "Heaven" & "November Rain" by GnR as it has the acoustic intro and sweet vocal melody, yet builds up into distorted guitars and keys/strings. Proving very popular with those who have heard it.

"Promise" - another song proving extremely popular. Written 10years ago! I always think of Def Leppard with this one, again, catchy from start to finish.

"Natali" - something very different to what we've done before and unlike anything else on the album. It's just a guitar & piano led pop-rocker, also very catchy throughout.

"Carry On" - there's been many versions of this song, and I'm sure there will be more. Modern guitar sounds but mixed with a classic rock-esque vocal melody. Upbeat rocker.

"Perfect" - fun, tongue in cheek, bouncy & catchy. Mark's solo is a little bit Brian May, which is cool. The piano break at the end is gorgeous and will come as quite a surprise! Actually wrote it in my head while driving then had to work it all out on the guitar when I got home!

"Lift You Up" - my first venture into more modern rock. No big intro's large instrumental parts just straight in there with the vocals and a catchy melody. One of my favourite songs. Slow paced soft rock.

"1000 Tears" - the vocal melody and lyrics were written around 1996 but the music was written around 2 years ago. It's just a straight ahead in yer face hard rock song. Great solo and sweet melody for a heavy song.

3. How do you think Sacred Heart have developed musically and in song writing since the debut CD?

I think the biggest change has been letting more modern influences in. "Promise" is 10years old and it's exactly the same, so we've not changed in a big way. "1000 Tears" on the other hand mixes our old classic rock influences with the new, and again, the vocal melody & lyrics are even older than "Promise"!

We just now accept - and enjoy the fact - that there are more options. "Lost" is less cheesey than the original version and sounds better for it while "Afraid" & "Lift You Up" are more modern sounding. "Natali" is completely new for us, but we love it!

4. You've got Z Rock, Cambridge Rock and the Rock of Ages festivals coming up. What sort of set list will you be playing and who are you looking forward to appearing with most and why?

Without doubt, Dokken & Thunder! Simply can't wait, will be a lot of fun and all of them a great day out.

Regards set list, the 2 from "Lay It On The Line" we'll always play are the title track and the new version of "Rock 'n' Roll away". It will be "Shake" heavy set-lists but the longer times we're allocated will see tracks from both CD's.

5. You are releasing 'Shake' yourselves. How have you gone about marketing and promoting the album? Have you managed to get much airplay for the album yet?

Thus far we have given the CD to only 3 outlets, one to you for review, another to Fireworks Magazine and one to ARfm for airplay - of which they are kindly knocking out songs from "Shake" on a regular basis.

The promo-list is huge and we've only just started mailing out the CD's to magazine, webzines, radio stations and other promotional outlets.

What we didn't want to do was send out everything at once, see a lot of SH mentions for a couple of months and then it all go dead, so we're staggering our mail-outs. With any luck that'll mean our profile/promotion will be higher for longer.

The reviews we've had so far are incredible and considering we're unsigned and only used myspace to promote "Shake" (up until this point) we're flattered by the large amount of pre-orders!

And everyday we get emails from media outlets requesting to go on our promo list, really can't ask for much more than that. We're very upbeat and honoured by the attention.

6. How do you view the current live rock scene here in the UK? Is it still tribute/covers bands stifling newer bands and have you been winning over new fans at your gigs you've performed in the past year?

I think the music scene here is utter crap, but venues need to make money - they are at the end of the day a business, they have bills & wages to pay so tribute bands are good for both them and music fans.

We've supported a number of tribute bands, as we're often guaranteed a bigger crowd than some people who were names in the past.

Though I admit, most venues are awful at promoting - it takes money to make money.

And also, music fans are a rather lethargic in their efforts to check out new music.

But we recently played with former Little Angels front-man Toby Jepson, which was an honour. Was great to see almost as many people there for us as him and we won a lot of his crowd over, awesome.

7. What have been the most memorable gigs so far - both good and bad...

In 2004, just our 2nd & 4th gigs respectively we played in front of over 2500 people at Celtic Warriors & then supported a hero of mine ex-Europe guitarist Kee Marcello's K2.

Played a great gig at Stripes in Brentford and we enjoyed Toby Jepson.

The worst was probably a biker gig in a school sports hall where no-one stayed in for any of the bands and we simply couldn't hear ourselves because of the echo, awful!

8. If you had to sum up the Sacred Heart sound in a couple of your songs to win over a new fan what would these be and why?

"Lay It On The Line" - as we know it's won so many people over. And any of these: "Tonight", "Shake", "Maybe", "Promise", "Natali", "Lift You Up" & "1000 Tears" as they all show we can deliver the goods!

Ok, so more than a couple - sorry!

9. What do you do in your spare time outside of music?

Don't have a great deal of time for other stuff at the moment what with managing SH too. Generally though, I'm a music fan so concerts and record shopping, cinema, socialising, the usual.

10. Message for your fans...

Firstly, thank you to Jason and all at GRTR! We'll see you at Cambridge Rock.

To all our friends/fans, thank you for your patience and your continued support, we really can't thank you enough for all your effort on our behalf and your kind comments.

We'll see you on the road and we hope you come "Shake" with us July 31st!

Please visit us at &

Keep rockin'

Friday, July 20, 2007

"Hello everyone - I wanted to personally send out a message to let our fans know that the tour for Human Nature will be Harem Scarem's last.
We will make one more studio record and then after 20 years we have decided to move on to other things. We look forward to seeing you in September/October for our final tour." - Harry Hess.

Annie Lennox will release her first solo material in over four years on October 1 with a new album called 'Songs of Mass Destruction'.

The current trend of covers albums shows no signs of abating with KORN now recording covers by the Psychedelic Furs and Faith No More with a view to releasing a full album of covers possibly next year.

NEIL DANIELS' "Defenders Of The Faith: The True Story Of Judas Priest" will be published via Omnibus Press, 14 September, 2007.

EMI America will release a MEGADETH box set entitled ‘Warchest’ this autumn.

L.A. GUNS vocalist PHIL LEWIS has a compilation of songs gathered over a twenty-year period featuring live and alternative versions of well know "Gems" from five different bands. Including rare hard to find never before released songs. It is now available on a very limited basis and as an added bonus the first hundred will be personally autographed. More at -




Noted West Coast session guitarist Michael Thompson branched out with his own band who released one solitary album in the late 80’s, which became cult listening in AOR circles and now gets a timely re-release.
The original hype passed me by- indeed, my copy went back to the Record and Tape Exchange after one listen- so I listened again with a degree of nervousness. The CD is super smooth and anyone looking for crashing rhythms and powerchords had better search elsewhere. The arrangements are very much designed to place the spotlight on clear, soulful vocals from Moon Calhoun and Thompson’s guitar, tasteful and restrained but occasionally given room to flex out his jazzy style, somewhat like Steve Lukather- check out his extended solo on the seven minute Give Love A Chance.
Songs like opener Secret Information and Wasteland are classic pieces of eighties AOR, balanced by laid back ballads such as Never Stop Falling and the pop-rock of Can’t Miss and Gloria. But the overall feel is of slick west coast music, at times verging on white soul: recommended for fans of the likes of Fahrenheit-era Toto, Chicago and Richard Marx.
I’ve partly been won over by this album now, but the three bonus tracks are almost worth buying the CD for in their own right- Right to be Wrong and Love Goes On (Jeff Paris’s song I can’t Let Go with a different title) rock much harder than the rest of the album, while Wheelchair is Calhoun’s spiritually uplifting tale of his current condition.

Andy Nathan


Concurrent with the re-release of his How Long album, noted session guitarist Michael Thompson makes a return with his new project, joining forces with vocalist/bassist Mark Williamson and much-travelled drummer John Robinson.
While still in the general melodic rock idiom, the feel of the album is surprisingly far removed from Thompson’s West Coast roots. If anything, in feel, songs like Hold On, Indiscretion and Gonna be some Changes lean more to bluesy southern rock, helped by Williamson’s bourbon-soaked vocals, somewhere between the Allman Brothers and Bad Company. The heartfelt Only a Letter is the most AOR sounding track on view, leading into an impressive trio of Hard Time Love, One Good Woman and Love Comes Calling. The closest comparisons I could think of were 38 Special on the albums with Max Carl and the Gregg Rolie sung numbers on the Storm albums.
In short an album that marries classic bluesy rock with a more AOR approach, but quality wins through in the end.

Andy Nathan

TIGER ARMY ‘Music From regions Beyond’ Hellcat Records (2007)

Follow-up to the band’s debut album released back in 2004. Musically it is a collection of alternative rock meets punk – the Dictators and the Misfits come to mind on ‘Hotprowl’ and the opening chant of ‘Prelude: Signal Return’. ‘Ghosts Of Memory’ is a strong tune but being brutally honest unless your under 25 and full of angst this is hardly going to float your boat as it has all been done before and often a lot better!

Jason Ritchie

DARKWATER ‘1920’ (CDS 2007)

Second single by the Glaswegian electro rockers and this time around they have a big name producer in Anthrax’s Scott Ian. Both ‘1920’ (complete with a promo video that will delight gentlemen of a certain age!) and ‘Left Behind’ are catchy rockers, like a more radio friendly NIN! Also on here is a live version of ‘Find What We Take’.
Very enjoyable single from a band on the up and up.

Jason Ritchie

ROBB JOHNSON & THE IRREGULARS ‘All That Way For This’ Irregular Records (2007)

Having been luckily enough to see Robb Johnson perform live at the Stripes Bar at Brentford FC (now sadly defunct) I was looking forward to hearing his new album. He is ably backed by his Irregulars who provide accordion, violin, bass, percussion and backing vocals. Robb Johnson is what you would call a classic singer/songwriter as opposed to a record company’s version of a singer/songwriter like that twat James Blunt. He carries on the fine folk tradition of weaving current events into timeless themes such as love, relationships and urban life.
I urge you all to listen to ‘Moron Land’ which has very funny lyrics but sadly they are so true in that we are a nation of mindless zombies watching ‘Big Brother’, drinking and loving the celebrity. ‘No-One Wants To Look Like You’ takes a shot at people who want us all to look the same and conform. As you may gather he doesn’t hide his political and personal views but then the best folk songs have always been ones like this. There are some very accessible almost pop moments like ‘Pink Shoes’, which could easily make its way onto radio 2 play lists, as could ‘Sunny Afternoon In Limenau’.
Strong and thought provoking lyrics with very catchy melodies thrown in makes for a wonderful album. Robb Johnson is one of the better singer/songwriters out there – up there with Richard Thompson in my book.

Jason Ritchie

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Alter Bridge have set October 9th as the date for their new album "Blackbird". The first single from the album, "Rise Today", will hit radio on July 30th.

Hanoi Rocks' new studio album ‘Street Poetry’ will be released in Europe on September 5th.

DOMAIN are looking for a new vocalist.

Juan Croucier of Ratt has joined forces with Carlos Cavazo (formerly of Quiet Riot) to complete the line up of his band. The band also includes John Medina on drums (ex-Bret Michaels solo band).

MOTLEY CRUE will start work on a new album towards the end of the year.

WAYSTED release a new album in Oct via Livewire Records. Guitarist Chris George is also back in the band.

MOTÖRHEAD has issued the following update:
"It is with extreme sadness to inform you that Kelly Johnson, original lead guitarist of GIRLSCHOOL, passed away on Sunday night, 15th July. She has been suffering from spinal cancer for the last six years.
"Joining GIRLSCHOOL in 1978, Kelly was a face in the classic line-up alongside Kim McAuliffe (rhythm guitar, vocals), Enid Williams (bass, vocals) and Denise Dufort (drums). The band was an integral and major force in the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) movement, beginning with the release of its debut album, 'Demolition' (1980), and continuing with the follow-ups 'Hit 'n' Run' (1981) and 'Screaming Blue Murder' (1982). Kelly's participation also saw GIRLSCHOOL collaborating with MOTÖRHEAD under the name HEADGIRL for the 'St. Valentine's Day Massacre' EP. Both bands appeared on the lead track 'Please Don't Touch' and covered each other's songs, GIRLSCHOOL choosing 'Bomber' and MOTÖRHEAD picking 'Emergency'.
"Watch the 'Please Don't Touch' (MOTÖRHEAD and GIRLSCHOOL) video at YouTube.
"Kelly originally left GIRLSCHOOL in 1984 after recording the band's fourth album, 'Play Dirty', to live in Los Angeles for the next ten years. She rejoined in 1993 and moved back to the U.K. In 2000, she decided to quit the music business for good after recording her final album with GIRLSCHOOL, 'Not That Innocent: 21st Anniversary' (2001), though always remained a close friend to the band.
"Kelly Johnson (RIP) will be missed heavy-heartedly by all. Our deepest condolences go out to her family and friends."

SINNER have signed to AFM Records for their upcoming album.

The Japanese release of the eagerly anticipated new Mind's Eye album A Gentleman's Hurricane will be released on August 1 on Mellow Music. It will be released with the bonus track Those who fear.
The Japanese release will also contain the DVD "The making of a gentleman's hurricane" in NTSC version. The whole package will be slightly different from the European release as the Japanese release will be a resized magazine, double CD package as opposed to the European/US release which will be a DVD package.
The first 150 Japanese fans who order the disc through Disc Union Japan will receive the extra song called The art of an angel. The Lion Music version of the album will be released in full size DVD case with the aforementioned mentioned "Making of A Gentleman's Hurricane DVD" in PAL format, the CD and a Comic Book - The worlds first three pack release - out on September 14.

House of Shakira check in with progress on their forthcoming album Retoxed. The band states: "Retoxed is getting nearer to completion. We have finally managed to lay down all the trax without any casualties! Andreas have done a beautiful job on the lead vocals, with assistance from the even more handsome "choir boys" Mats, Per and Mikael. Our dear friend Andreas Bauman have now started the difficult task of making us sounding good (and hopefully looking good also). He has 13 classic HoS masterpieces to work with."
We can now confirm that Retoxed will be released on October 19.

Leading drum stick manufacturer Vic Firth have just launched a load of great John Macaluso (a Vic Firth endorsee) features on their website for fans and drummers worldwide to get their teeth into. Be sure to check out the video interview with John where he discusses the recording and development of his new critically acclaimed album John Macaluso & Union Radio - The Radio Waves Goodbye in addition to how got started on the drums and and insight into how he got to where he is today as one of the leading drummers in the rock/metal field.

US metallers Resistance have almost completed work on their second album entitled Patents Of Control. The new work sees the band honing their blend of traditional metal with thrash influences to brutal perfection. The album is currently being mixed by legendary producer Neil Kernon (Queensrÿche/Nevermore/Deicide) and will be released fall 2007 (date TBC) - more information to follow soon.

D Drive featuring Don Mancuso (Lou Gramm, Black Sheep, Cheater) and Phil Naro (Talas, Peter Criss, 24K), have signed with Chavis Records for their latest release: Straight Up The Middle.
On the heels of their successful self-titled debut, D Drive are back with 12 finely crafted tracks of solid Melodic / AOR rock featuring the dynamic vocals of Phil Naro and eclectic guitar work of Don Mancuso with a special appearance by Lou Gramm.
Track listing: A Little Bitta Sunshine, Straight Up The Middle, Lick Your Lips, Dead On The Highway, Pray For Tomorrow, Whose Side You're On, Can You Dig It, I Don't Wanna Wait, I Can Feel No Pain, Love Me, Diamond StarHalo, Another Funky Day.
For more information visit:,,,,

Threshold are to perform at both the Metalcamp and Earthshaker Festivals this weekend without vocalist Mac. His predecessor Damian Wilson, now of Headspace, will step in for the shows in Slovenia and Germany, respectively.

(Hed)pe: Insomnia

Rap metal when at its best can bring something interesting to the table whether in the form of Faith no More or daftness from Anthrax. Alas, there are a whole bunch of bands that jumped on the bandwagon. This is one of those. This lot combine all that is bad about metal and gangsta rap. You have a nice selection of brain dead paranoia, misogyny, violence towards women and a liberal dose of expletives. It's unmitigated shite that is so bad it beggars belief. No redeeming features whatever.

At one point the rapper wonders if he is surrounded by idiots, while ranting about conspiracies, I think he only needs to look around the studio.

Rating: 1/5
Marty Dodge

Greg Lake: Live

Greg Lake, of Emerson Lake & Palmer fame, playing the tracks he is best known for including "Fanfare for a Common Man", "In the Court of the Crimson King" and "21st Century Schizoid Man". Excellent pomp rock played amazingly well in the live setting. The record is rather good and there is no excess of on-stage chatter, nor crowd noise. If you like Greg Lake then this might be just the thing for you. For everyone else it's a rather good ten track introduction to a very talented man. Most enjoyable one has to say.

Rating: 3.5/5
Marty Dodge

Prince: Planet Earth

With this release Prince did his best to annoy the entire record business in one go. He released the CD in the UK free with the purchase of the Daily Mail on Sunday. This is the complete album not just highlights or some other con. People wonder why he did it; I suspect that it might be the fourteen night stand he is doing at the O2 centre here in London. And like many musicians and bands who have been around for a while this album smacks of "excuse to tour".

It's not horrid but there are a few tracks on here which aren't his best. The title track ranking up there in that stakes. Its a mostly mellow affair, not much on here that rivals his older ballsier stuff. All in all I have to say I rather enjoyed this CD. My favourite track has to be his ode to his instrument and by that I mean his guitar, called "Guitar."

Nevertheless I suspect this will be remembered far more for the barrier it has broken in distribution than its contents.

Rating: 3.5/5
Marty Dodge

Silverchair: Young Modern

Got a confession to make. I used to think this lot were a bunch of Nirvana clones signed to jump on the bandwagon with a pretty boy on lead. Never rated their early albums. Lets just say this lot have grown up a wee bit and release quite a nice little CD. Its got oodles of charm, humour and rocks rather nicely. To say I was rather shocked at its quality is an understatement. There isn't a hint of grunge anywhere to be found.

There are songs about playing twister nude sung in a jaunty way that comes across as a cross between the Monkeys and Tiny Tim. It shouldn't work though it does, "If you keep losing sleep" is most fun. Other tracks on here remind me of Canadian AOR band Harem Scarem. Pop rock melodies that are catchy and immediate. This album is tight, professional and oozing class. Check out "Insomnia" and tell me it doesn't bring a smile.

Rating: 4/5
Marty Dodge

Stormtroopers: Rise of the Infidels

This is a 24 track EP from the veteran daft metal punkers all but four of which were recorded at the Fenix in Seattle. Known for their short and not so sweet songs about the various "ballads" about dead celebs this EP shows them in all their bone-head glory. Also known for offending a few people with their track "Speak English or Die" then continue in that vein with tracks like "Fuck the Middle East" and "Pussywhipped".

S.o.D., the supergroup that they are, specialise in the most un-PC stuff going. However they don't take themselves too seriously and have a great deal of fun. The new tracks are fun as well, if you don't like em' a new one will be along in less than 2 minutes. The perfect album for when you are drunk as a skunk and want something to crank. Needless to say if you are a fan...this is essential.

Rating: 3.5/5
Marty Dodge

DEVON ALLMAN’S HONEYTRIBE ‘Torch’ Provogue (2007)

Son of Gregg Allman, Devon’s own band has a hint of the Allman Brothers sound about them as you would expect but they go off in lots of other musical directions as well. The title track opens the album in fine style and Devon has a very rich, melodic voice which really suits the music. A good example of this is the cover of the Bob Marley classic ‘No Woman, No Cry’ which gets a more soulful feel added to it – very enjoyable. Blues guitar maestro Joe Bonamassa pops up on the hard rocking blues of ‘Mercy Mercy’, whilst the album closer ‘Nothing To Be Sad About’ is a damn fine feel good tune steeped in southern rock yet modern and fresh sounding. Possibly the best song on a very strong album. There are two instrumentals, both of which don’t outstay their welcome and the acoustic ‘511 Texas Avenue’ is a very personal piece of music dedicated to Devon’s late grandparents. Some excellent guitar on this as there is throughout the album.
A really strong, enjoyable album that crosses blues, southern rock, a little bit of soul and even AOR. They are touring Europe at the end of the year and I for one want to hear these songs performed live.

Jason Ritchie


Ten cracking rock vocalists bought together by Michael Voss (Casanova/Silver/Mad Max) and Chris Lausman (Bonfire/Jaded Heart) and they are ably backed by top draw musicians including Tommy Denander and Angel Schleifer (Bonfire). This really is a treat for melodic rock fans and the songs on the whole are very strong and stand up to repeated plays.
Highlights? Depends on your vocal choice but for me it is James Christian belting it out on the hard rocking ‘Voodoo Woman’ (very House of Lords in sound) and where James Christian is his lovely wife Robin beck is not far behind with a mid tempo rocker ‘Underloved’. Great to hear Dan Reed on ‘Over And Done’, although the song and his vocals at times sound like John Waite! Jean Beauvoir (Crown of Thorns) is on fine form on ‘Wild Thing’, great riff and chorus although cheesy lyrics alert. Steve Overland (FM/Shadowland) as ever lays down an emotive vocal on ‘Slip Away’. The other vocalists on here are Terry Brock, Johnny Gioeli, Goran Edman (one of my personal fave vocalists although the song he has on here is sadly one of the weakest), Harry Hess and Gary Barden.
Despite ten different vocalists the songs all sit well together and if you love melodic rock get this pronto!

Jason Ritchie

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Escape Music are pleased to announce the details for the anticipated new album from British melodic rockers Heartland. The band's new album Mind Your Head will be released throughout the UK and Europe on September 21st.
The Songs: 1. Magazine / 2. For Pity's Sake / 3. Frozen Hearted / 4. Last Man To Fall / 5. A Fathom I Fell / 6. So The Story Goes / 7. Mountain To Climb / 8. A Richer Vein / 9. Run For Your Life / 10. Time To Believe / 11. The Best Is Yet To Come.
(Hop over to for an exclusive track!)
The Players: Chris Ousey – All Vocals; Steve Morris – Guitars, Bass & Keyboards; Fredrik Oscarsson - Drums.
Produced by: Steve Morris for T.O.M. Productions, Recorded at: Ocean Reach Studio's Runcorn, Cheshire, UK, Vocals Recorded by Gary Hughes at Aria Studio's, Fleetwood, UK.
Mixed and Mastered by Martin Kronlund and Hakan Kristofferson at JM Recording Studio's, Gothenburg, Sweden.
We are at milestone in the band's history, their 10th studio album no less. The core of the band Ousey and Morris are at their best, like a fine red wine they have matured into the much loved band we hear and love today. Mind Your Head gives us 11 beautiful rock music tracks that are simply pleasure to the ears. Finely crafted riffs are backed with solid rhythms and, of course, those unmistakable lead vocals of Chris Ousey.

VON GROOVE hope to release their new album ‘Live It Up’ via Z Records next spring.

“Diamonds Unlocked” is the title of the new Axel Rudi Pell album, full of covers, that will be released by Steamhammer on October 1.
01) The Diamond Overture
02) Warrior (Riot)
03) Beautiful Day (U2)
04) Stone (Chris Rea/The Law)
05) Love Gun (Kiss)
06) Fools Game (Michael Bolton)
07) Heartbreaker (Free)
08) Rock The Nation (Montrose)
09) In The Air Tonight (Phil Collins)
10) Like A Child Again (The Mission)
11) Won´t Get Fooled Again (The Who)
JOHNNY GIOELI - Lead and Backing Vocals
AXEL RUDI PELL - Lead, Rhythm and Acoustic Guitars
MIKE TERRANA - Drums and Percussion

From NME.Com –
Nikki Sixx reveals details of 'Heroin Diaries' in LA
Nikki Sixx, bassist for Motley Crue, revealed details of his forthcoming book 'Heroin Diaries' and premiered songs from the accompanying soundtrack with his new band Sixx:AM at a press conference in Los Angeles this morning (July 16).
The bassist spoke frankly about his former addiction to heroin and other drugs, which is chronicled in the book due out in September.
'Heroin Diaries' contains excerpts from Sixx's 1987 diaries during the height of Motley Crue's fame, and graphically depicts the bassist's life-threatening struggle with drugs.
It also includes writings from people close to him at the time, including Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee, Guns N Roses guitarist Slash, and Prince back-up singer Vanity.
"I felt the book wasn't complete without other people's perspectives and opinions on what I was like as an addict," said Sixx.





9th Corn Exchange Cambridge
10th Grimsby Auditorium
12th Symphony Hall Birmingham
13th Preston Guildhall Preston
15th St George's Hall Bradford
16th Shepherds Bush Empire London
18th Rock City Nottingham
19th Concorde 2 Brighton

FABLES LAST STAND ‘Bite The Hook’ (CDS 2007)

The band’s debut single and they have already been gaining favourable reviews from amongst others ‘Classic Rock’ magazine. They really have tapped into the AC/DC sound riff wise and it is not a bad tune at all. Nice mean and dirty chorus makes for a very strong tune. The other track ‘Road Religion’ is okay but nowhere near as good as the title track.
A band to watch and I am sure live they will be even better than on CD.

Jason Ritchie

THE KING BLUES ‘Come Fi Di Youth’ (CDS 2007)

Ska with a bit of rap is not my preferred choice of listening and it has to be said the ‘vocals’ are frankly pants. Doubtless someone will like them but most will pass them by.

Jason Ritchie

Monday, July 16, 2007

Guilfest 2007

Friday night held some promising treats in store and the band I was most looking forward to seeing live the Hold Steady didn't disappoint. A greats et by this US band who sound at times like classic Springsteen mixed with Bruce Hornsby's piano! 'On The Radio' and 'Ships Ahoy' are made for the live arena whilst 'Let's Go out Tonight' is a perfect party song. 'You Can Make Him Like You' is another gem of their latest album while even 'Southtown Girls' sounds good live being my least favourite track on the new album. Great set by a very talented band and well worth seeing live.
The acoustic brother and sister duo of Rodrigo Y Gabriela were a real eye opener in their sheer speed and variety of playing acoustic guitars. Amazing to see and they use the guitar's body as an extra instrument adding percussion - simply stunning. They even throw in a couple of snippets from Metallica's 'Master Of Puppets' and Led Zep's 'Stairway To Heaven'. An amazing duo and definitely one worth seeing live.
Next off to the Kids Zone my daughter's favourite area and again Guilfest really cater well for the younger person. We watched a very good pair of jugglers who juggled with fire for an added twist. Again it is a circus theme with hoops and balls to juggle with along with face painting, fairground rides and wandering entertainers. Next up the theatre tent where we watched a selection of West End show songs performed by a trio called Creative Minds. Very enjoyable although often drowned out by the sound from he neighbouring rock tent.
Headlining Friday night were Supergrass who kicked off with 'Caught By The Fuzz' band they played a very hits loaded set including 'Pumping On Your Stereo' and the awesome 'Sun Hits The Sky'. Sound was slightly drowned out at times by the bass but other than that a great way to close the first night.
Couldn't make Saturday due to family commitments but we were back in force come Sunday but sadly missed the 250 strong Rock Choir who seemed to go down a storm by all accounts. The main stage was very ska/Mod friendly today so I gave it a wide berth :) Mind you I did pop back to see the Icicle Works, well Ian McNabb plus others and it was a very enjoyable set. 'Evangeline' and 'Birds Fly (Whisper To A Scream)' were the set stand outs and they seemed to go down well with the crowd although Ian McNabb seemed a bit disappointed by the overall crowd response at times.
Redwood on the Ents 24 stage were very good - like an updated Pearl Jam with the good bits of Nirvana added. They look destined for bigger things. As the rain started (thankfully briefly) I dodged into another tent to see a good, solid rock band with a flamboyant frontman who liked his spangly jackets! Good festival fodder but not something you'd rush out and buy. I am reliably informed by my wife and sister-in-law that the stalls were as good as ever with the lantern and silly hats stall being a highlight (we like to cover all bases in this review).
Caught the end of Dukes Special and was impressed by the final song, one for further investigation. Caught the first part of the Madness set which had all their fans going nutty as normal with all the faves there like 'Madness', 'Just Another Day' and 'One Step Beyond'. They work the crowd well and for a fun night you can't go wrong although their fans can get a bit boisterous which can put off the more casual fan.
But for me it has to be Uriah Heep to close this year's Guilfest. Like Blue Oyster Cult last year then spend fifteen minutes fannying around with the sound which means with a strict ten o'clock curfew they only had 45 minutes left to play. Just get on with the music as people at a festival will forgive a slightly less than perfect sound I am sure. Many fans were grumbling it has to be said. First chanmce in the UK to see new drumemr Russell Gilbrook as well who is a big hitter in the Chris Slade style and slots in well with the band's overall sound. A very heavy set with a stunning 'Between Two Worlds', 'Gypsy', 'Cry Freedom' and 'Sunrise'. Uriah Heep are a classic festival band as they work the crowd well and are not too heavy to put of the casual festival music fan looking for a band to watch. Along with the Hold Steady and Rodrigo Y Gabriela the bands of the festival for me.
Another great Guilfest with fine food, company, music and entertainment - what more could you want? Well better toliets as they were in a right state by Sunday night but bar that the best family festival around and big thanks to the organizers, bands, crews and Roland for the passes.

Jason Ritchie

Friday, July 13, 2007

TANKARD entered Stage One studios in Borgentreich, Germany earlier in the year with producer Andy Classen (DEW-SCENTED, CALLENISH CIRCLE, TANKARD, OCCULT) to record new versions of their biggest "hits" for "Best Case Scenario: 25 Years In Beers", is scheduled for release on August 31 through AFM Records.

FATAL SMILE has parted ways with singer H.B. Anderson and has replaced him with Thomas E. Blade.

DRAGONFORCE's "Inhuman Rampage" album has been certified silver in the U.K. for sales in excess of 60,000 copies.

AVENGED SEVENFOLD release their new album in October via Warners.

TED NUGENT’s new album ‘Love Grenade’ is out on Sep 4th via Eagle Rock.

GENESIS are planning to release a live DVD/CD from their recent reunion tour plus their autobiography is published in the autumn featuring contributions form all the band’s members past and present.

Collective Soul has struck a deal with Target, making it the exclusive physical retailer for its next album. "Afterwords" is due Aug. 28 and will be issued by the band's own El Music Group imprint. The set will also be available digitally on iTunes.

Escape Music Ltd are very happy to announce the forthcoming reissue of the Fortress album Hands in the Till originally released in 1981. Scheduled for release September 21, Hands in the Till is regarded as a classic power rock album that features such songs as How Do I Exist and Comin' After You.
The band features Jim West (Ambrosia) on vocals, Eric Turner on Guitar, Donny Vosburgh on drums and Charlie Souza (Tom Petty) on bass.
The reissue has been remixed and re-mastered and features 8 bonus tracks from the unreleased 2nd album with beautifully packaged as always (digipak); a real treat for eighties rock fans. In the past the album has been hailed as a classic of its time, with comparisons made to Led Zeppelin, Sammy Hagar, early Shooting Star and sometimes Journey. The guitars are heavy and melodic and there are some nice keyboards to keep the whole sound in balance. Just wait till you hear the vocals of Jim West and you will be amazed by his sheer power!
Track Listening: 1 - Hands In The Tell 2 - How Do I Exist 3 - Comin' After You 4 - Requiem 5 - Kisses 6 - Lets Do It Again 7 - Breaking Free 8 - Carry Me Back 9 - Back On The Path 10 - bonus tracks 11 - Across The Border 12 - Rockin 'n' Roll Lady 13 - I'm Flying 14 - Love Or Money 15 - Executive Lines 16 - Broken Promises 17 - Going For Broke 18 - I Got Love.

Sept 4 Anchorage, AK Egan Convention Center
Sept 5 Fairbanks, AK Carlson Center
Sept 7 Seattle, WA Moore Theater
Sept 8 Spokane, WA Big Easy
Sept 9 Portland, OR Roseland
Sept 11 San Francisco, CA Warfield
Sept 12 Anaheim, CA Grove
Sept 14 Las Vegas, NV House of Blues
Sept 16 Denver, CO Ogden
Sept 18 Sauget, IL Pops
Sept 19 Milwaukee, WI Eagles Club
Sept 21 Indianapolis, IN Egyptian Room
Sept 22 Columbus, OH Newport Music Hall
Sept 23 Grand Rapids, MI Orbit Room
Sept 25 Buffalo, NY Town Ballroom
Sept 26 New York, NY Irving Plaza
Sept 28 Providence, RI Lupos
Sept 29 Hampton Beach, NH Hampton Beach Casino
Sept 30 Washington, DC 9:30 Club
Oct 01 Richmond, VA Toad's Place
Oct 03 Ft. Lauderdale, FL Revolution
Oct 04 Orlando, FL House of Blues
Oct 05 Myrtle Beach, SC House of Blues
Oct 06 Norfolk, VA Norva

LILLIAN AXE are planning to tour Europe in early 2008.

Portsmouth Guildhall December 7
Wolverhampton Civic Hall 8
Manchester Apollo 9
Glasgow Barrowlands 10
London Astoria 12

American Angel “Vanity” Chavis Records.

The last we heard of American Angel was in 1989 when their single “How Can I Miss You” was in heavy rotation on MTV, now after a 15-year break the band are back with their new “Vanity” album and a North American tour to back it up.
At times the album has hints of Bon Jovi (“Pantomind”), at other Whitesnake
(“Vanity”) and there are elements of Ratt and Slaughter in there, however, there is an overall feel of 80’s rock- harmonies, hooks, solos and big guitars (courtesy of guitarists Dennis Zehrer and Mike Biscula) and big vocals provided by front man Rocco Fury.
The outstanding tracks include the afore mentioned “Pantomind” and “Vanity”
plus the lighters out style of ballad “Warm Inside”, the more upbeat “Don’t Wait Up” and “Another Day”.
A welcome return and a great nostalgia-inducing album.

Nikk Gunns. 4 out of 5.

Sonic X “Thirteen” Chavis Records (Cat No 747014555422).

In “Thirteen” Canadian band Sonic X have released a classic slice of modern sounding classic rock- 12 heavy yet melodic songs that follow up nicely to 2004s self titled debut album. Vocalist Adam Troy has a voice that turns from bluesy to shredding at the flick of a switch, complemented by the guitar skills of Lawrence Falcomer and a quality rhythm section. The highlights include the tracks “Carried Away”, “My Condition”, “Seeds of Thunder” and, what surely has to be the lead single off of the CD, “Shine”- an almost acoustic track, full of harmonies and reminiscent of Mr Big or Extreme.

Nikk Gunns. 4 out of 5.

The Furze “Subterranean Kicks” Three Sixty Records (Cat No TSR003).

UK band The Furze release the catchy and upbeat “Subterranean Kicks” just in time for the summer barbeques and parties- not a bad move as the 10 tracks on the album range from Feeder style rock to more laid back and mellow songs. There are touches of Nirvana, The White Stripes and even The Kaiser Chiefs (who the band have recently toured with) in the mix. The pick of the tracks includes “God’s On Vacation”, “Hope The Light” and “Lunatic”. There is something here for most music lovers and I guarantee you will find yourself either singing along or tapping your feet!!

Nikk Gunns. 3 out of 5.

Hanoi Rocks “Fashion” Demolition (DEMCDS004).

Hanoi Rocks new single “Fashion” recalls the sound that made them the band that launched countless imitations over the years. Whilst the material they have released since reforming in 2001 has been good, this single is the natural successor to the songs they were making back in the early to mid 1980’s. It is also the first single to feature ex-Electric Boys Conny Bloom
(guitar) and Andy Christell (bass) and bodes well for upcoming album “Street
Poetry”- Michael Monroe and Andy McCoy (along with drummer Lacu- who has been with them since reforming) have created another classic here. This CD also includes the bands version of Billy Bremners’ “Trouble Boys”, the video for “Fashion” and a live version of “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” recorded in Helsinki earlier this year.

I for one can’t wait for the new album and accompanying tour.

Nikk Gunns. 5 out of 5

DAVID READMAN Frontiers (2007)

Pink Cream 69 vocalist David Readman has produced a very enjoyable solo album which will delight lovers of Pink Cream 69 and Whitesnake (Readman does have the odd touch of Coverdale at times in his voice). A very impressive musical cast including band mates Dennis Ward handling production and guitarist Uwe Reitenauer. Joining them are Paul Logue (Eden’s Curse/Cry Havoc), Eric Rango (Vox Tempus/Takara) plus members of Silent Force, Elegy and Vanden Plas.
If the opener ‘Without You’ doesn’t get you running around pulling air guitar/vocalist shapes all over the place then you must be clinically dead! What a riff, what a chorus – this is what great melodic hard rock is all about. The next track ‘Evil Combination’ keeps the pace going nicely and then we get to slow it down slightly with ‘Take These Tears’. A very moving ballad although certain parts of the song sound like Whitesnake’s ‘Is This Love?’ Other corkers include ‘Prisoner Of Shame’ (the Coverdale sound comes through on this song) and ‘New Messiah’, which is another superlative hard rock tune. The lushly instrumented ‘Love In Vain’ closes the album in fine style.
David Readman has produced a very enjoyable album (with great production as you’d expect from Dennis Ward’s involvement) that taps into Pink Cream 69 but for me hits the Whitesnake button more. High quality hard rock form one of the better voices in the genre, buy with confidence!

Jason Ritchie


Well, well…just as we all thought that we would finally witness the second greatest era in the history of the classic Candlemass line up, a thought that was clearly justified by the release of the same-titled opus back in 2005, the Swedish Doomsters decided to once again prove their reputation for being one of the most unpredictable bands in the world. On the 28th of April 2006, Messiah Marcolin (vocals) announced his (second) departure from the ranks of the band, claiming “musical disagreement” as the reason, and the world of Doom Metal froze!

Since that very day, many of us hoped that the charismatic frontman would have a change of mind and return to the band – a hope that remained alive even when the first rumors of Robert Lowe (Solitude Aeturnus) joining the band first started to appear in magazines and webzines world-wide. Well, much to the disappointment of Messiah’s dedicated fan-base, the band has finally decided to release their latest album “King of the Grey Islands” with Robert behind the microphone, but the overall result is of such epic proportions that one has to approve the choice of replacement singer as entirely correct.

Let me make things straight here: I do not believe that there is any singer out there capable of convincing me that he is better suited for the role of frontman for Candlemass than Messiah, and it is true that one of the main things that this album lacks are the operatic/pompous melodies that only his “blessed” vocal can produce, but I would be lying if I was to say that Robert Lowe’s contribution was not important in the process of making “King of the Grey Islands” a release worthy of bearing the band’s name. This contribution, combined with Leif Edling’s (bass) well-established compositional/musical ingenuity gave birth to ten impressive compositions that even the most loyal of fans will find difficult to reject.

After a short acoustic intro, a riff of immeasurable epic proportions will introduce you to “Emperor of the Void” – the heaviest composition of the album. Simple in its structure but passionate in its performance, this four and a half minute composition with its catchy refrain and groovy breaks will win you over in no time. Closer to some of the band’s most classical compositions, “Devil Seed” does indeed impress with its heaviness and comes in direct contrast with “Of Stars and Smoke” – a lyrical/atmospheric composition with a certain late Black Sabbath (see “Headless Cross”) aura which in my opinion displays Robert Lowe’s best vocal performance of the album. The price for the most ‘disturbing’ song of the album should definitely be awarded to “Demonia 6”, seeing as it is based on one of the most claustrophobic riffs that I have listened to in recent times and that of ‘familiarity’ should be granted to “Destroyer” whose main theme is terribly reminiscent of that of the “Samarithan” (see “Nightfall” album). If what you are looking for in this album is rhythmical mid-tempo riff-based compositions, then you should definitely pay attention to both “Man of Sorrows” and “Clearsight”, but I warn you – save some energy for the very end because the Slayeresque (see “Dead Skin Mask”) melodic theme of “Embracing the Styx” will certainly ‘show no mercy’.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have an announcement to make: Candlemass are alive and kicking and have created another impressive album that goes by the name “King of the Grey Islands” – an album that you should definitely add to your CD collection. I am well aware that you miss the presence of the gentle rotund monk, God knows I do, but do not allow these feelings to blind you from the truth which is that Candlemass with Robert Lowe are a powerful outfit capable of keeping us on our toes with their future releases, which I personally hope will be numerous.

John Stefanis
Rating: ****1/2 (4.5 / 5.0)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Newswire #1054

EPICA vocalist Simone Simons will guest on the new AYREON album.

DEAD SOUL TRIBE are to release their new album on September 11th via InsideOut label and it will be called "A Lullaby For The Devil".

VINCE NEIL is very pleased to announce the addition of RATT to the musical lineup of VINCE NEIL'S MOTLEY CRUISE sailing from Miami to Key West and Playa del Carmen, Mexico, on January 24-28, 2008. RATT -- featuring Stephen Pearcy, Warren DeMartini, Bobby Blotzer, John Corabi and Robby Crane -- will perform on board during the 4-day rock and roll vacation, which will also features performances by fellow Rocklahoma artists Skid Row and Slaughter.
Even more artists will be climbing aboard in the coming days and weeks, and cabins are booking up FAST! For all the latest info, and to make your reservation, visit:

The new CURE album will be a double with an October release expected.

From - "This week Dick Wagner suffered a massive heart attack and has been in the hospital since July 3. He is resting comfortably and has been on life support until today, July 8, in which he was weaned off of, and is doing well on his own. Dick would like to thank everyone for the support from all his family, friends and fans during this time. He is expected to make a full recovery and will be back to doing what he does best - making phenomenal music, playing guitar, and producing hit records.
We all appreciate your thoughts and prayers this past week. More details will be released when Dick updates his monthly news. Until then, ROCK ON!"

On August 28, Capitol/EMI will release Sign Of The Times: The Best of Queensryche in CD, 2-CD Collectors Edition packages and digitally. The new career-spanning hits collection features 17 of Queensryche's best singles and album tracks, including seven Top 10 Mainstream Rock hits, packaged in a jewel case with a sixteen-page booklet featuring custom artwork, a discography and track notes from the band's singer, Geoff Tate.
The Collectors Edition, presented in deluxe digipak packaging, adds a second disc of 15 rare and previously unreleased demos, outtakes, remixes, live recordings, television performance audio, recordings for soundtracks and a new, never-before-heard song making its release debut on this collection.
"In an era that valued style over substance, Queensryche emerged as a contrary force to the happy-go-lucky sounds of hard rock in the late '80s and early '90s," explains Paul Gargano in his Sign Of The Times liner notes essay. "In hindsight, one might even go as far as to say that the band succeeded despite themselves. Whether knowingly or not, they zigged when the industry zagged, progressed while the scene regressed, and offered provocation while others opted for escapism. There's a subtle irony, then, that their best-of collection is called Sign Of The Times."
Among Sign Of The Times: The Best Of Queensryche's 17 hits and favorites are the #1 smash "Silent Lucidity," "Jet City Woman," "Eyes of a Stranger," and "Another Rainy Night (Without You)" and more than a dozen other well-known songs. The 15 tracks on the Collectors Edition rarities disc include three demo recordings by Myth (lead vocalist Geoff Tate's band prior to Queensryche), three demo recordings from The Warning, three bonus tracks from the reissued Empire album, bonus tracks from the reissued Promised Land and Q2K albums, an intoxicated version of "Silent Lucidity," a previously unreleased version of "Della Brown" recorded for "MTV Unplugged," and a new track making its release debut, "Justified," recorded with original Queensryche guitarist Chris DeGarmo.
Beginning September 5 in Binghamton, New York, Queensryche -- Geoff Tate, Michael Wilton, Eddie Jackson, Scott Rockenfield and Mike Stone -- and Alice Cooper will join Ronnie James Dio, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Vinny Appice on the "Heaven and Hell Tour" for a U.S. trek that is expected to continue through early November.
Sign Of The Times: The Best Of Queensryche (CD & Digital Albums)
1. Queen Of The Reich (from the EP Queensryche), 2. Warning (from the album The Warning), 3. Walk In The Shadows (from the album Rage For Order), 4. Take Hold Of The Flame (from the album The Warning), 5. The Lady Wore Black (from the EP Queensryche), 6. I Don't Believe In Love (from the album Operation: Mindcrime), 7. Eyes Of A Stranger (from the album Operation: Mindcrime), 8. Silent Lucidity (from the album Empire), 9. Bridge (from the album Promised Land), 10. Jet City Woman (from the album Empire), 11. Another Rainy Night (Without You) (from the album Empire), 12. Sign Of The Times (from the album Hear In The Now Frontier), 13. I Am I (from the album Promised Land), 14. Real World (from the soundtrack album Last Action Hero; also a bonus track from the reissued version of the album Promised Land), 15. Some People Fly (from the album Hear In The Now Frontier), 16. Until There Was You (bonus track from the reissued version of the album Q2K), 17. All The Promises (from the album Operation: Mindcrime II).
Sign Of The Times: The Best Of Queensryche (2-CD Collectors Edition) (Contains Disc 1 + 2nd Disc of Rarities) Disc 2 - 1. Take Hold Of The Flame (previously unreleased original demo version recorded by Myth), 2. Walk In The Shadows (previously unreleased original demo version recorded by Myth), 3. Before The Storm (previously unreleased original demo version recorded by Myth), 4. Waiting For The Kill (previously unreleased demo version for The Warning), 5. No Sanctuary (previously unreleased demo version for The Warning), 6. Prophecy (previously unreleased demo version for The Warning), 7. I Dream In Infrared (1991 Acoustic Remix: bonus track from the reissued version of the album Rage For Order), 8. Dirty Lil Secret (bonus track from the reissued version of the album Empire), 9. Last Time In Paris (from the soundtrack album The Adventures Of Ford Fairlane; also a bonus track from the reissued version of the album Empire), 10. Scarborough Fair (bonus track from the reissued version of the album Empire), 11. Della Brown (previously unreleased: "MTV Unplugged," New York, New York 4/27/92), 12. Someone Else? (with full band: bonus track from the reissued version of the album Promised Land), 13. Silent Lucidity (live at The Astoria Theatre, London 10/20/94: from the Bridge CD single), 14. Chasing Blue Sky (bonus track from the reissued version of the album Hear In The Now Frontier), 15. Justified (New Track)

New Brunswick, NJ (July 10, 2007) - Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band release, Glen Burtnik & Friends will be recreating the classic album in its entirety—note for note—based on the original Beatles recording (never performed “live” by the Beatles themselves). This spectacular performance will take place one night only: Friday, August 17 at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
Organizing a production of this caliber is something Burtnik does NOT take lightly, and this particular show is very close to his heart. “In 1967, my big brother sat me down to play me the brand new Beatles record, signifying this was an 'important' event,“ recalls Burtnik. “The album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band changed my life, and basically became the soundtrack of the 'Summer Of Love,' if not the entire 1960s, the era from which came I. From that day on, I've worn long multi-colored hair, and screamingly bright patterns. I still haven't quite gotten over hearing that recording for the first time. Here it is, forty years later, and I am assembling a number of talented, dedicated musicians to help me perform the songs of this classic album, note for note, song by song. It's actually one of my life's ambitions.”
Performing alongside Burtnik will be the equivalent of a small nation's population of musicians including Steve Holley on drums (Paul McCartney's 'Wings'), Drew & John (from 'Liverpool'), Erin Hill on harp, a pair of tabla players, a string section, a horn section, and a clarinet trio, as well as a live orchestral recreation of the “A Day In The Life” climax. Other Sgt. Pepper's song highlights include “Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,” “Fixing a Hole,” and “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!.”
Also on the bill, The Smithereens will perform their recent release, Meet The Smithereens!, an homage to the Beatles U.S. debut album. Songs include “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “I Saw Her Standing There,” “All I've Got to Do,” “All My Loving,” and “Hold Me Tight.”

Jersey Summer Beatles Bash! With Glen Burtnik & Friends and the Smithereens
Friday August 17, 2007 – 8:00 PM, State Theatre, 15 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901. Box Office phone: 732-246-SHOW (7469) Tickets: $45 and $35.

Y & T
Leeds Rio's October 23
Glasgow Cathouse 25
Newcastle Carling Academy 26
Manchester Academy III 27
Bristol Thekla Social 28
Nuneaton Queens Hall 30
Nottingham Rock City 1
Dudley JB's 2
London Mean Fiddler 3

Th, 24 Oct 2007 - Derngate, Northampton
Fr, 26 Oct 2007 - Civic Theatre, Chelmsford
Sa, 27 Oct 2007 - Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells
Mo, 29 Oct 2007 - The Stables, Milton Keynes
Tu, 30 Oct 2007 - Octagon Theatre, Yeovil
We, 31 Oct 2007 - Opera House, Buxton
Th, 01 Nov 2007 - The Palace, Newark
Sa, 03 Nov 2007 - Key Theatre, Peterborough
Mo, 05 Nov 2007 - Wycombe Swan, High Wycombe
We, 07 Nov 2007 - Civic Hall, Wolverhampton
Fr, 09 Nov 2007 - Regents Theatre, Ipswich
Sa, 10 Nov 2007 - New Empire Theatre, Southend

14/7 Manchester , Iguana Bar (JY solo...full entry)
15/7 Milton Keynes, The Pitz ( JY solo supporting Darwin's Radio free entry)
25/7 Leighton Buzzard The Wheatsheaf (JYB full show entry)
27/7 Kernave, Lithuania Batlic Prog Fest (JYB full show)
12/8 Worcester, Marrs Bar (JY Solo full show)
15/9 Hove, Sanctuary Cafe (JY Solo full show)

25.08. Batumi / Gerorgien (G) Monsters of Rock
14.09. Günzburg / PEP-Gelände
19.09. München / Metropolis (D)
20.09. Bochum / Zeche (D)
25.09. Traun / Spinnerei (A)
26.09. Nürnberg / Hirsch / (D) 28.09. Roma / Statione Birra (IT)
27.09. Reichenbach / H2O (D) 29.09. Pasardjik / Open Air (BG)

MOTORHEAD ‘Better Motorhead Than Dead - Live At Hammersmith’ SPV (2007)

Yes it is another live Motorhead album but this one was recorded back in June 2005 at the band’s 30th anniversary gig. Two CD’s with twenty three songs that cover the band’s history and include a few songs making a welcome return to the setlist including the immense ‘Dancing On Your Grave’. Disc 2 wins the day though as you have ‘R.A.M.O.N.E.S.’, ‘Just ‘Cause You Got The Power’, ‘Killed By Death’. ‘Going To Brazil’ and the big three finale – ‘Bomber’, ‘Ace Of Spades’ and ‘Overkill’. All are played with the minimum of fuss and maximum effort. Motorhead even whip out the acoustic guitars for ‘Whorehouse Blues’ which is something you’d not normally associate Motorhead with!
You just can’t beat Motorhead live and it should be compulsory for every rock fan to see them at least once live as I defy anyone to go away disappointed (and temporarily deafened!). Lemmy and co. really are what mean and dirty rock ‘n’ roll is all about and this live set is as good as any to see what the fuss is all about.

Jason Ritchie

CIRCUS MAXIMUS ‘Isolate’ Frontiers (2007)

The band’s second album following on form their 2005 debut album also released via Frontiers. They really do sound like Dream Theater circa their debut album and Prophet and being honest whilst their musicianship can not be faulted it just sounds too generic and there is little to keep drawing back the listener. That said ‘Zero’ sees an impassioned vocal from Michael Eriksen and the epic ‘Mouth Of Madness’ has some great musical interludes and time changes beloved of prog metal fans. ‘Withered’ is interesting as they go down a melodic hard rock route and give TNT a run for their money!
A decent enough album but in a very crowded market place and with band’s like Symphony X, Dream Theater and Kamelot to compete against they really need to raise their game on the next album.

Jason Ritchie

Behemoth: Chaotica

This is an extensive two-CD set of the Polish black metal master's best stuff to date (greatest hits probably not), together with some covers, and some live stuff. Behemoth, one of Poland's most extreme exports, started out as pure black metal, complete with the corpse paint, then evolved into some more deathy. The intensity and aggression of this lot cannot be underestimated.
Tracks like "Pure Evil and Hate" very much set the stage for what you are about to hear. Twenty-nine tracks of the blackest and most deathly stuff you can imagine. If you want an introduction to extreme metal of the best sort, as well as a taster of what this band can do, then this CD is for sure.

Rating: 3.5/5
Marty Dodge

Bon Jovi: Lost Highway

Pomp rockers of the 80s Bon Jovi have finally ended up in Nashville and fallen for the new country hook, line, and sinker. This is a not a pure country album by any means but it means country, pop, and hard rock half way for one of the best releases this lot have done for quite a long time. There are no serious stinkers on here like on their last few. I came into this album with fairly low expectations and was rather impressed.
The duets LeAnn Rimes, "Till We Ain't Strangers Anymore" and "We Got it Going On" are quality tracks of country-tinged AOR. The stand out up tempo track has got to be "Summertime" with its nod to the anthemia rocks of Bon Jovi's past. It took Bon Jovi long enough but they finally followed rockers like the guys in Giant (the Huff brothers) and Ron Keel to Nashville, the new home of American AOR. It is bizarre they left off the big hit "Who Says You Can't Go Home," though.

Rating: 4/5
Marty Dodge

Civilization One: Revolution Rising

This lot are a truly international group of musicians (Italy, France, Sri Lanka, and Brazil) who play progressive power metal of the European variety with quite a bit of aplomb. Unlike some bands of this sort, they do have a decent set of songs on here and its not just musicians showing off. As with many of this sort of album, it's not really about catchiness per se, but "Dream On" is quite a good AOR power ballad. It's competent power prog with feeling and talent.

Rating: 3/5
Marty Dodge

Consortium Project: IV

As you might image from the name, this is an album which has a few core members and lots of guests. It's basically the brainchild of Ian Parry. The band features former members of Elergy and With Temptation. This is progressive power metal with hard rock hints that is neither unpleasant nor particularly thrilling. It's decent to listen to but there is really nothing that could be classed as memorable it has to be said. It would be interesting to see what they are like live.

Rating: 3.5/5
Marty Dodge

Stone Lake: World Entry

The one thing that first strikes you about this CD is the vocals of Peter Grundstrom. To say he is an acquired taste, with his high screech, is an understatement. There are times he goes so high as to sound off key. These Swedish lads seem to be doing the business on their local scene. There is a no faulting the quality of the musicianship, especially from main-man Jan Akesson.
As with many of this sort of bands, on record they sometimes lack enough decent songs to fill an album. There are several filler tracks on here, really nothing that stands out in its catchiness. This is the band's debut. Let's hope they gel a bit more and come up with a better collection of tracks.

Rating: 2.5/5
Marty Dodge

Porcupine Tree: Fear of a Blank Planet

It will shock no one at all to hear that Steve Wilson and Co have produced probably their best work to date. (It's hard to tell as they are all so good.) Wilson who is also in the excellent Blackfield and is a producer of note (ex: Opeth) just has that ability to make his prog both deep and accessible. The album is not a concept album, as so beloved by proggers, but deals with the digital age in all its glory.
PT are on par with Dream Theater, especially in the light of latest release, without being complete clones. There is something special going on with this band that you can't quite put your finger on. Not that you want to, it you want brilliance, try "Anesthetize". There is a heavy Pink Floyd vibe, but it's all their own. A heavy Opeth-like vibe can be found later on the CD.
Neil Peart and Robert Fripp show up for good measure. If you like your prog deep, meaningful, but still accessible then this CD is a must have. This just might be their Dark Side of the Moon. Pretty damn near essential methinks.

Rating: 5/5
Marty Dodge

Velvet Revolver: Libertad

Did VR going to fall victim to that dreaded sophomore slump? Were they going to fail where so many bands have fallen. Not bloody likely mate. Veteran players like this lot have spent the time since the first one touring their guts out, gelling their vibe and sound. I don't think I can remember when Scott Weiland's voice has ever sounded better. Proof, if needed, that in fact Weiland is a far better singer than Axl.
From the opening bars of "Let it Roll" to the final licks of "Grave Danger" this is quality LA heavy rock. It's what you wanted from VR in every way. If you are so inclined you can get an enhanced CD with "The Making of Libertad" as well as a bonus DVD tour documentary "Tierra Roja, Sangre Roja" about their recent South American tour. We all so wanted this band to deliver on their second release and thankfully they did.

Rating: 4.8/5
Marty Dodge

KORN ‘Evolution’ (CDS 2007) Virgin

Korn return with the first single lifted of their upcoming new album. This is classic Korn with a scathing lyric, heavy guitars and sampling all topped by the distinctive vocals of Jonathan Davis. On this song they put Linkin Park in the shade, especially after the latter’s so so new album. If the rest of the album is as good this single then fans are in for a treat.

Jason Ritchie

Monday, July 09, 2007

Dear all,
The sun was shining as we set off on a 10K run of two laps around the wonderful Regent's Park, running past flower beds, Andrew Flintoff approved pedalos, kamikaze ducks and squirrels and boy was it hot out there! Mind you I highly recommend taking up running/jogging as I 've lost 6lbs in training and have definitely got the running craze back in my system.

The winner came in at just over 33 minutes (I reckon he cheated and took a short cut!) and I finished in 1hr 11mins 55 secs which I am very pleased with as this was my first race since 2002 and moving house last weekend was maybe not the best preparation :) I also beat four of the ten runners dressed as bananas out on the course.

832 1:11:55 RITCHIE, Jason Senior Men (less of the Senior if you don't mind!)

982 finishers (1,005 started) with the last time being one of the ten bananas on the course - these runners are all cancer survivors - in 1hr 41mins.

Race results

Fundraising - So far the total raised is £705 which has already beaten my target of £500. For those who have pledged on the sponsor forms I will be collecting your monies in the next month or you can send me cheques - please e-mail me if you wish to do the latter.

If you have not and still wish to sponsor me please do either here or via PayPal on or by cash/cheque/Postal Order

Running blog

Thank you ALL for such wonderful support and donations. The money raised for the Parkinson's Disease Society will be split 50/50 - half to the local support groups based in Staines and Stoke-on-Trent and the other half towards funding the Parkinson's nurses nationwide.

Now what to run next? I am open to suggestions but please no marathons ;)

Best wishes ,
Jason Ritchie

About the charity I am raising funds for -

The Parkinson’s Disease Society (PDS) provide vital work in not only research into the disease but fund Parkinson’s Disease Nurse Specialists (there are currently 200 in the UK) and help run over 300 support groups and local branches throughout the UK. Many people know someone who has Parkinson’s and although there is no cure as yet with the help of medicine and local support groups the lifestyle of people with Parkinson’s has been greatly improved although more funds are still needed to keep up the results achieved so far.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Newswire #1052

URIAH HEEP update –
"Well I can finally report that we have finished the mixing of the new CD. We found that a good way of doing this was to let Mike Paxman go in the studio for a few days at a time and get most of the mix down with a guy called Mark 'Tufty' Evans. The CD was mixed in it's entirety at Tufty's studio in Wispington Studios, Berkshire, UK. Tufty is someone Mike has known for a long time and he specialises in just mixing. The template for the mixing became Mike and Tufty getting it all together and then the band received CD's of the mixes in the post and made their comments to Mike who then went back in and tweaked them to everybodies satisfaction. Except for me and Bernie who could not wait and we drove up there in my car every Friday to pick ours up. It was a long hard haul of a drive each time to get there on a busy Friday afternoon but well worth it as the journey back we rocked out in the car listening to the mixes which made the return journey so much sweeter and less painful. It was a good way of working because we had the luxury of being able to play the CD on a variety of Hi Fi and Low Fi systems and add comments. The end result is that they all sound FANTASTIC. The Mastering will be completed shortly with any luck. Mike has someone he wants to work with on that and all of his decisions thus far have been spot on so we are happy to go with it. As for the cover we are getting ever closer and I am presently compiling all of the text and lyrics to send to Ioannis in the USA.
'Appy days!

BALANCE are reforming and will release their comeback album via Frontiers.

Rick Chase has sent out the following announcement: "Unfortunately I have come to the difficult decision to leave Alibi as lead vocalist. I must take this opportunity in thanking Vince O'Regan for involving me in this project, though unfortunately it soon became apparent that due to his commitment with other projects, Alibi was never his main concern.
The recording of the second Alibi album has been complete for some time, but due to ongoing disputes between Vince and the record company Escape Music regarding production, this has left Alibi in a stalemate situation with nothing happening for several months. Vince is a prolific songwriter and an incredible guitarist, which makes the decision so hard to make, but the circumstances leave me no choice.
Finally, I would like to thank the many people who have taken interest in Alibi during my stay, and especially those who have helped us out. I wish Vince and the guys of Alibi the very best in their future pursuits. As I am currently contractually free, and am now in pursuit of another band or project, interested parties please feel free to visit"

MONSTER MAGNET release their new album "4 Way Diablo" on November 2, 2007 via SPV Records.

Organisers of the London Leg of the Live Earth concert, which takes place at the new Wembley Stadium on this Saturday (July 7), have the revealed the official line up and the set lists. Please note - I have removed R’N’B rubbish & Madonna :)

Genesis: 'Turn It On Again', 'No Sun Of Mine' and 'Land Of Confusion'
Razorlight: 'Before I Fall To Pieces' and 'America'
Snow Patrol: 'Open Your Eyes', 'Shut Your Eyes' and 'Chasing Cars'
David Gray: 'Babylon'
Damien Rice: 'The Blower's Daughter'
David Gray/Damien Rice: 'Que Sera Ser'
Kasabian: 'Empire', 'Club Foot' and 'ID'
Duran Duran: 'Planet Earth', 'Ordinary World', 'Night Runner' and 'Falling Down'
Red Hot Chili Peppers: 'Can't Stop', 'Dani California', 'So Much I' and 'By The Way'
Bloc Party: 'Hunting For Witches', 'Banquet', 'So Here We Are' and 'The Prayer'
Corinne Bailey Rae: 'I'd Like To', 'Mercy Mercy Me' and 'Put Your Records On'
Keane: 'Everybody's Changing', 'Somewhere Only We Know' and 'Is It Any Wonder'
Metallica: 'Enter Sandman', 'Nothing Else Matters', 'Sad But True' and 'For Whom The Bell Tolls'
Spinal Tap: 'Stonehenge', 'Warmer Than Hell' and 'Big Bottom'
James Blunt: 'Same Mistakes' and 'Wiseman'
Keith Urban and Alicia Keys: 'Gimme Shelter'
Beastie Boys: 'Sabotage', 'So What'cha Want', 'Sure Shot', 'Intergalatic' and 'Off The Grid'
Foo Fighters: 'Best Of You', 'All My Life', 'My Hero' and 'Everlong'

ARCH ENEMY are pleased to announce that they have completed work on their
highly anticipated new album. The new masterpiece entitled RISE OF THE
TYRANT was recorded at Studio Fredman with producer Fredrik Nordström and
will be unleashed on 24th September 2007.

ARCH ENEMY mastermind Michael Amott comments on the new album and the band's upcoming touring activities as follows:

"To all ARCH ENEMY fans!
So how does it sound, you ask? Well, I am of the opinion that we have made
the 'ultimate ARCH ENEMY album'!!! To me, this album sounds like the perfect
mix of melody and brutality. This album is an organic and honest statement
from the band ­ it's pure f**king metal at its absolute best, the ARCH ENEMY

Producer Fredrik Nordström did a killer mix on the record ­ the sound is big
and intense! This album has everything that ARCH ENEMY represents in my
mind. I can't wait to release it and play these songs live for you, the

Actually, we have to start rehearsing at some point this summe, as we will
be playing a couple of festivals in the U.K. ('Bloodstock') and Germany ('Up
From The Ground'). These will also be the first shows with my brother
Christopher (Amott ­ guitar) back in the band! We also have to work out how
to play these new songs so we will have a very busy summer with ARCH ENEMY,
that's for certain!

The touring plan for ARCH ENEMY will start full on after the summer, and we
can confirm that we will be joining the European 'Black Crusade' tour
package with Machine Head, Trivium, Dragonforce and Shadows Fall ­ yeah,
that's a pretty impressive tour, huh? Equally exciting for us is the
Australian 'Black Crusade' tour which we will be doing with Trivium and
Machine Head.

Lot's of other cool touring ideas are flying around at the moment ­ looks
like we also might be visiting places on this planet where ARCH ENEMY has
not yet had the pleasure of playingŠŠŠŠŠthat's what it's all about!

Let the madness begin!"

RISE OF THE TYRANT ­ tracklisting:
Blood On Your Hands
The Last Enemy
I Will Live Again
In This Shallow Grave
Revolution Begins
Rise Of The Tyrant
The Day You Died
Intermezzo Liberté
Night Falls Fast
The Great Darkness

ARCH ENEMY - live:
Aug. 18 - Bloodstock Festival ­ Derby, UK
Aug. 24 - Up From The Ground Festival ­ Gemuenden, Germany
'Black Crusade' tour - Australia
(+ Trivium, Machine Head)
Oct. 28 ­ The Metro - Perth, Australia
Oct. 30 ­ The Barton - Adelaide, Australia
Oct. 31 ­ Festival Hall - Melbourne, Australia
Nov. 01 ­ Luna Park - Sydney, Australia
Nov. 02 ­ Luna Park - Sydney, Australia
Nov. 03 ­ Riverstage - Brisbane, Australia
'Black Crusade' tour ­ Europe
(+ Machine Head, Trivium, Dragonforce, Shadows Fall)
Nov. 20 ­ SECC - Glasgow, UK
Nov. 21 ­ MEN Arena Manchester, UK
Nov. 23 ­ NEC - Birmingham, UK
Nov. 24 ­ Brixton Academy - London, UK
Nov. 25 ­ Brixton Academy - London, UK
Nov. 26 ­ CIA Arena - Cardiff, UK
Nov. 28 ­ Elysee Montmartre - Paris, France
Nov. 29 ­ Elysee Montmartre - Paris, France
Nov. 30 ­ Heineken Music Hall - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Dec. 01 ­ The Palladium - Cologne, Germany
Dec. 02 ­ Messe Congress - Stuttgart, Germany
Dec. 03 ­ Tonhalle - Munich, Germany
Dec. 05 ­ Gasometer - Vienna, Austria
Dec. 06 ­ Alcatraz - Milan, Italy
Dec. 07 ­ Eulachhalle - Winterthur, Switzerland
Dec. 09 ­ Schlachthof - Wiesbaden, Germany
Dec. 10 ­ KB Halle - Copenhagen, Denmark
Dec. 11 ­ Arenan - Stockholm, Sweden
Dec. 13 ­ Old Ice Hall - Tampere, Finland
Dec. 14 ­ Old Ice Hall - Helsinki, Finland

Angela Gossow - vocals
Michael Amott - lead & rhythm guitar
Christopher Amott - lead & rhythm guitar
Sharlee D'Angelo - bass guitar
Daniel Erlandsson - drums

1. Eden’s Curse
AFM are delighted to announce the signing of International Melodic Metal outfit Eden's Curse. Fronted by US born vocalist Michael Eden and Scottish bassist / songwriter Paul Logue (ex-Cry Havoc,) the lineup is completed by a host of well seasoned pro's; German keyboard player Ferdy Doernberg (Axel Rudi Pell), Englishman Pete Newdeck (Steve Grimmett Band) drums and the unbelievable talents of German guitar virtuoso Thorsten Koehne (Code Of Perfection). Produced and mixed by Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69), who's previous work includes Silent Force and Allen/Lande amongst others and featuring David Readman (Pink Cream 69), Doogie White (Cornerstone / ex-Rainbow) and Carsten Schulz (Evidence One) on backing vocals, the debut album - “Eden’s Curse” is released on August 27th featuring the tracks;

1. Book Of Life (Intro)
2. Judgement Day
3. Eyes Of The World (donated by Carsten Schulz and left over from Evidence One’s own “Tattooed Heart”)
4. Stronger Than The Flame
5. The Voice Inside
6. After The Love Is Gone
7. Fly Away
8. What Are You Waiting For
9. Eden's Curse
10. Don't Bring Me Down
11. Heaven Touch Me
12. The Bruce (Intro)
13. Fallen King
14. We All Die Young

The bands website is currently being designed and will be online soon, but visit the band's MySpace site for more information now.
“The Bruce / Fallen King” will also feature on the re-designed web site for Scottish Charity The Bruce Trust which campaigns for recognition of Scot, Robert The Bruce - - very soon.

A&R Manager Markus Wosgien states "AFM is proud to announce the signing of Eden's Curse. They’ve created a brilliant melodic metal album. It’s just full of hymns that just blew us totally away. In Michael Eden they have one of the greatest vocalists we have heard for a long time. Fans of Pink Cream 69, old school Bonfire and Dokken will love it!".
Song-smith Logue added "It fills me with immense pride to see our names nesting alongside some of my favourite bands; Masterplan, Silent Force, Evidence One (on AFM). They’re probably the finest and fastest growing Melodic Rock/Metal label in Europe and I'm delighted that they are sharing in the vision Mike and I have had since day one.!"

2. Crystal Ball
After signing such great Swiss bands as Krokus and Shakra, we are proud to announce that we just signed another, the excellent, Crystal Ball, centered around very talented front man Mark Sweeney! The guys are currently working on their sixth album tentatively entitled “Secrets” and are set to work with producer Michael Bormann (ex-Jaded Heart, Bloodbound), and mix with Achim Köhler (Primal Fear, Brainstorm).
The release date; October 26th (TBC).

4. Helstar
Founded in 1982 in Texas, Helstar went onto become a legend with ground-breaking albums like “Burning Star” (1984), “Remnants Of War” (1986), and “Nosferatu” (1989). Singer James Rivera played in bands like Vigilante and New Eden also, but after several years as a solo artist and as the singer of Vicious Rumors, with whom he recorded the last album, he’s back and the new Helstar is now working in the studio to re-record some of the classics from the first Helstar records for a “Best Of…” album “Sins Of The Past” which will be released on November 19th. This album will contain 2 brand new tracks! The new studio album should then be released around Summer 2008.

3. Michele Darkness
Some time has passed since the last END OF GREEN album hit the charts but with the arrival of summer, singer, guitarist and songwriter Michelle Darkness has signed a long-term contract with AFM. He's currently holed up in Finland recording his first solo album at Sonic Pump Studios (Apocalyptica).
All songs have been written by Darkness, who's also going to play all the instruments; "I've been yearning to realize this for years. With AFM, I've not only found an excellent home for my music but also new friends.” stated the singer.
Producer Nino Laurenne is set to produce and more information is due soon.

Scheduled release date: October 26th (AFM Records/Soulfood). (TBC)

July 6 - Lovely Days Festival, Saint Polten, Austria
July 7 - Open Air, Peine (near Hanover), Germany
July 13 - Masters of Rock Festival, Vizovice, Czech Republic
July 14 - Rock 'N' Rowlit, Parainen, Finland
July 15 - GuilFest, Stoke Park, Guildford, Surrey, UK
July 20 - Tall Ships’ Races, Kotka, Finland
July 21 - Open air, Breitenbach, Germany
July 26 - Keitelejazz, Äänekoski (north of Jyvaskyla), Finland
July 27 - Club Umpitunneli, Tornio (north of Oulu), Finland
July 28 - Vauhtiajot, Seinäjoki, Finland
July 29 - Piata Centrala, Open Air, Zalau, Romania
July 29 - Il Molo, Tarracina (near Rome), Italy
Aug 10 - Wrightegaarden, Langesund, Norway
Aug 24 - Seepark Linzgau, Pfullendorf, Germany
Sept 8 - Cover Festival, Plock, Poland