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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A rather good Sweden Rocks review

MAGNUM play two UK dates in Nov to celebrate 20 years since the release of their classic ‘Wings Of heaven’ album (although that would be next year!). A live album will follow in 2008.

Lizzy Borden will release "Appointment With Death", their first album in seven years on Metal Blade Records on October 2nd. "AWD is epic, Heavy, dark and melodic, everything a traditional Lizzy Borden recording should be and more", says the press release... Guests on the album include George Lynch (Dokken/Lynch Mob), Dave Meniketti (Y & T), Corey Beaulieu (Trivium), Jonas Hansson (Silver Mountain), Erik Rutan (Hate Eternal/ex-Morbid Angel) and Michael T. Ross (Angel/Hardline). More details of the album and samples can be found on the following sites:

Dubliner Chris Singleton's 'Twisted City' is an album with a London theme - the album is conceived as a tube journey through the city, with every song a stop on the line and about a particular person, place or experience in the capital. To reflect this, Chris has already done some unique London gigs, including launching the album on the Underground and carrying out a series of guerrilla performances in taxis, tubes, buses and boats. All of which attracted major media attention, including televised performances on BBC and ITV.

Singleton's Monopoly Tour is his most ambitious live project yet, and involves playing 29 short impromptu sets on the streets of the famous board game (2-3 tracks per location). Featuring gigs outside a power station, a free car park and even a jail, it promises to be an exciting experience and a fitting way to showcase some of the excellent songs on 'Twisted City'. The tour coincides with the release of his new double A-side single 'Pieces/Gimme Something'.

The tour is going to take in several London landmarks associated with musical icons, including

Battersea Power Station - where the cover of Pink Floyd's 'Animals' album was shot

Upper Street, Angel - home of the famous Hope and Anchor pub, which in the late 1970s and 1980s saw classic early gigs from Madness, Joy Division, U2 and The Stranglers.

Savile Row (as part of Regent's Street stop) - the office where the Beatles ran their 'Apple Corps' record label and site of the famous rooftop concert by the band.

Marylebone Station - where the opening sequence of 'A Hard Day's Night' was shot.

Ridgmount Gardens (near Euston Road) - Bob Marley's first London address

Mayfair - the gallery where John Lennon met Yoko Ono.

Savoy Hotel, The Strand - where Bob Dylan's 'Subterranean Homesick Blues' was shot

Chris will be performing a preview street gig at Angel, Islington (£100 on the Monopoly board, but attendance at the gig is free) at 5.45pm on Thursday, 30th August, outside the York Pub, 82 Islington High Street, London, N1 8EQ. The complete tour, also free, starts at 1pm on Saturday, 1 September in the Old Kent Road area. Those who would like to attend the whole tour should visit website for full details and to register their attendance at the event.

Frontiers Records is pleased to announce the European release of Richie Kotzen’s brand new album “Return of the Mother Head’s Family Reunion” on October 19th 2007.

For the un-initiated “The Mother Head's Family Reunion” is the title of Richie Kotzen’s album for Geffen Records in 1994, his major debut and first post-Poison solo album. Regarded by many fans and critics as his real masterpiece, that record featured drummer Atma Anur, bassist John Pierce and producer Richie Zito. This new “Return” album features instead powerhouse drummer Franklin Vanderbilt, bassist Virgil McKoy and Arlan Schierbaum, who has already played keyboards on Richie's previous albums.

“I decided to call this new album Return of the Mother Head’s Family Reunion” explains Richie, “because it is the first cd I have done in years with a full band. After hearing the vibe of some of the songs it reminded me of the energy I had back when I did the original MHFR cd. So once the cd was complete, it really had a lot in common with the original MHFR and this is why I decided to call it Return of the MHFR”.

“Return of The Mother Head's Family Reunion” can boast a crystal clear mix, some incredible band performances and a more guitar oriented approach, with the addition of a stellar songwriting melted with Kotzen incredible talents. “The thing that made the original MHFR cd stand out was the extended solos in songs like “Cover Me” and “Reach Out I’ll Be There”, on this record I think there are a lot of parallels in that regard, in particular Fooled Again, Faith and Go Faster all have that original vibe to them”, states Kotzen.

“Return of the Mother Head’s Family Reunion” is a definite highlight of the season which marks a milestone in the former Mr. Big guitar player solo career and will include the following songs:

Go Faster; You Know That; Fooled Again; Faith; Bad Things; Dust; Chase It; Do It Yourself; You’re Crazy; Feed My Head; Can You Feel It; Drift (demo version – European exclusive bonus track)

Dear Hacketteers,

The new - and official - Genesis biography 'Genesis: Chapter And Verse' is published
on 6th September.

It's the first time in over 20 years that Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel,
Steve Hackett and Mike Rutherford have collaborated creatively on a project, working
together to create the complete history of Genesis.

A story that spans 30 years and 30 albums selling a staggering 212 million copies
worldwide, it embraces world tours that have played to 25 million people and it
covers the high-profile departure over the years of one vocalist (Peter Gabriel),
one highly influential guitarist (Steve Hackett) and their best-known drummer and
vocalist (Phil Collins).

Key fellow members of the band, management, road crew and entourage have also been
interviewed, including Jonathan King (their first manager, who got Genesis signed to
Decca in 1967), long-time cohort and road manager Richard MacPhail, Anthony Phillips
(guitarist, founder member to 1970), Tony Smith (manager since 1973), drummers Bill
Bruford, Chris Stewart and John Silver, and Ray Wilson, the Genesis vocalist after
Phil Collins.

Now available for PRE-order, we have 'Genesis: Chapter And Verse' as a 360-page
hardback book (very high quality, printed in colour with loads of photos - it's a
weighty tome!) or an illustrated CD 'audio book' read by David Baddiel (4CDs -

ALL PRE-ordered books/audio books will be SIGNED BY STEVE!!!
(please note, dedications from Steve are not possible)

For more info and pre-orders go here...

Hardback Book (360 pages):
Illustrated CD 'Audio Book' (4CD - abridged):

Please also read our pre-order & despatch information here:

That's it for now.

All the best,
Andy Lodge
Camino Records /

TYKETTO (farewell tour)
OCT. 26 MADRID, SPAIN (Venue to be announced)

November 17th London Astoria (more TBA)

Thursday 8/11 Nottingham Arena
Sunday 11/11 Cardiff International Arena

KORTINI (if you like AC/DC check these guys out - superb band)
12 Oct 2007 20:00 The Ringside UK - Hull
13 Oct 2007 20:00 Gasworks UK - Bradford
16 Oct 2007 20:00 Rockers UK - Glasgow
17 Oct 2007 20:00 Riffs UK - Blackpool
18 Oct 2007 20:00 Mercury Flux UK - Preston
19 Oct 2007 20:00 Yardbirds Club UK - Grisby
20 Oct 2007 20:00 Bar Monsta UK - London

16th Nov JBs, Dudley
17th Nov Corporation, Sheffield
18th Nov Rescue Rooms, Nottingham

18th September CC Club, London

Tony MacAlpine, Billy Sheehan and Virgil Donati
25th Oct CC Club, London

17th Birmingham Carling Academy November
18th London Mean Fiddler

Tuesday 25th March 2008 - Astoria, London
Saturday 29th March 2008 - Academy, Birmingham
Sunday 30th March 2008 - Academy, Newcastle
Monday 4th April 2008 - Academy, Manchester

MANCHESTER Evening News Arena - Sat 3 November
NEWCASTLE Metro Radio Arena - Mon 5 November
BIRMINGHAM NEC - Tue 6 November
SHEFFIELD Hallam FM Arena - Mon 12 November
CARDIFF International Arena - Tue 13 November
LONDON O2 Arena - Sat 17 November
LONDON O2 Arena - Sun 18 November

SOUL DOCTOR "Bloods Runs Cold" Frontiers (2007)

A fourth album of distinctly US styled hard rock from the Germany based band featuring the vocal talents of Tommy Hart alongside guitarist Chris Lyne and a rhythm section consisting of Jogy r**tenb**g on bass and Michael Wolpers on drums.

Launching with a superb opening couple of numbers, notably the title track initially strutting forth reminding you of the last Lynyrd Skynyrd album "Vicious Cycle", then "Temptation" hitting on a sound not too dissimilar to that achieved by the latter day incarnation of Bad Company circa "Holy Water". Stylish, classy and radio friendly there are also a couple of songs that should carry a warning of what can happen if exposed to too much of David Coverdale's output from his 'big hair' days. There's plenty of similarities to "Still Of The Night" with the stop/start staccato guitar in the verse of " F.A.F.O.D." whilst the excellent bluesy breakdown during "Touch Of Love" is adorned by Hart adding a few vocal Coverdale-isms for good measure.

After this though things take a distinctly more commercial turn with the remainder of the album bearing similarities more in line with early nineties Bon Jovi than anything else. "The Ocean" appears to be their own "Wanted Dead Or Alive" type number although I doubt rhyme seeking phrases such as "The ocean... it's like a magic potion" will ever rock anything like a million faces. Elsewhere "The Lie" treads similar ground to "Bad Medicine" and "Something For The Pain", "Justine" shows as the obligatory power ballad and "Revolution", whilst certainly a fine song in it's own right, manages to remind me of the old "These Days" era outtake "The End" also adding a bit of "Kashmir" style chugging guitar to boot. In fact, it's the sort of song that has such a big, anthemic singalong chorus it wouldn't surprise me to hear it resurface as a reprise as the album closes. Sadly though this is not the case.

All in all a more than decent commercial hard rock album that you suspect would have been very well received if released in the late 80s or early 90s. There's not actually too much of this sort of stuff about nowadays. Let's face it even Bon Jovi don't do 'proper' Bon Jovi anymore, and this works in Soul Doctor's favour. Highly enjoyable even if it does lack originality which all bodes well for a scheduled UK live appearance at Firefest '08 in October.


MARC RIZZO "The Ultimate Devotion"

The unquestionable talent and versatility of ex-Ill Nino, current Soulfly guitarist Marc Rizzo is displayed on this release, his second solo album following last years "Colossal Myopia". This new album, entitled "The Ultimate Devotion" is an unpredictable mix with heavy metal, classical, flamenco and occasionally jazzy guitar providing the means for the first eight tracks with "The Riddle Of Steel", a classic slice of metal with almost "Maiden-esq" leanings at times proving to be the best of the bunch.

Mixing up some sublime Latin flavoured acoustic playing alongside a typically virtuoso performance of fretboard gymnastics adds something different to the shredder market and the likes of the title track and opener "The Ultimate Devotion", the excellent "Skankin To The Shred" and "Trentinarra" all benefit from this approach. Final two tracks "Lived And Learned" and "All For Nothing" tread a significantly different path though with both being fast paced, thrash styled workouts punctuated by superb melodic soloing, whilst the addition of angry, roared vocals come as a surprise at the end of an album that is otherwise completely instrumental.

Ultimately it is perhaps only going to appeal to a niche market of fans particularly attuned to virtuoso instrumental albums although of course Soulfly followers will be interested to hear what's in Rizzo's backpack on this release and then sample the two thrashers especially. The mix of styles employed here is refreshingly unique though.



Caro appears to be a project under the guidance of Suffolk based song-writer/producer Phil Harding who it seems has discovered the talents of Charlie Batchelor and she takes the spotlight on this album despite Harding having a hand in writing six of the songs. Now I have to admit to hearing of neither before receiving this for review and a bit of online fact finding leads me to find a fair bit of flak being thrown Ms. Batchelor's way in particular for her part on this album.

To my ears though she isn't the problem. On occasion, for instance the distinctly K.T. Tunstall like "You Don't Know Me" there is a hint that maybe with the right material, at the right time she, and therefore I guess Caro as a whole, could appeal to a wider audience. No, the issue for me is that the celtic flavoured pop on offer here just isn't memorable enough and despite numerous plays now little of the ten tracks on offer have stuck in my head. Even a cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" fails to lift the bar.

I'll be the first to offer a disclaimer that there are not actually too many albums by female lead vocalists in my music collection, however the likes of PJ Harvey, Melissa Etheridge and Sheryl Crow have secured repeated attention in the past therefore I don't rate myself totally averse to a female voice. It's possible that in the right mood maybe more of this album would strike a chord but, with a definite feeling that maybe this disc has gone to the wrong reviewer, I have to say this failed to excite or interest me much.

On a positive note though there are four tracks to sample at their myspace page and the album retails for just a fiver so you might be best advised to check it out for yourself, particularly if female fronted, celtic flavoured pop holds some appeal.


BACKDRAFT ‘The Second Coming’ GMR Music (2007)

Swedish band return with their second album (their debut came out back in 2001) and they play kick ass southern rock – not something you’d naturally assume from a European based band. They reminded me greatly of American Dog (although with one extra guitarist!) playing lean, classy rock ‘n’ roll songs – no frills, just good melodies. Pick of the bunch has to be ‘Just Ain’t Right’, the banjo intro on ‘Rise ‘N’ Shine’ which then explodes into some tasty boogie riffs and ‘Hogtied’ – hints of early ZZ Top in this one.
All in all a very enjoyable album and it is southern rock with a real hard rock backbone. More American Dog and even Monster Magnet than Lynyrd Skynyrd in sound though.

Jason Ritchie

APRIL WINE ‘First Glance/Harder…Faster’ BGO (2007)

April Wine have been going since the late 60’s yet like Nazareth, bar a brief time in the chart limelight they have gone undiscovered by many rock fans, which is criminal in my book. These two remastered albums originally saw the light of day back in 1978 and 1979. ‘First Glance’ has not aged that well although ‘Hot Wheels Of Love’ and ‘Silver Dollar’ are classic 70’s hard rock songs. However, ‘Harder…Faster’ is a ‘must have’ by the band containing such classics as ‘I Like To Rock’ (guitars to the max!), ‘Tonite’ and a cover of King Crimson’s ‘21st Century Schizoid Man’, which takes a heavier route than the original.
A band worthy of a place in any self-respecting hard rock fans collection and ‘Harder…Faster’ is the band at their best.

Jason Ritchie

ALCATRAZZ ‘Disturbing the Peace’ BGO (2007)

After leaving MSG Graham Bonnet formed hard rock band Alcatrazz who featured a certain Yngwie Malmsteen on their debut album and on this, the band’s second, Malmsteen was replaced by Steve Vai (who co-wrote all the songs on this album). I loved this album when it first came out back in 1985 and it still sounds great today. Vai is widdling all over the place none more so on the excellent ‘God Blessed Video’ but it never detracts from the song’s overall melody. The drink driving song ‘Will You Be Home Tonight’ features waves of keys courtesy of Jimmy Waldo, whilst ‘Wire An d Wood’ is a heads down rocker. Bonnet’s gruff vocals suit the sleazy ‘Stripper’ to a tee and he hits the high notes on ‘Mercy’. The album does tail off slightly but overall this is a ‘must have’ album and great to see it widely available again plus fully remastered.
After the band’s demise in the late 80’s Bonnet fronted Blackthorne and released a series of solo albums plus sang on the Taz Taylor Band album released last year. Via went onto massive solo success plus played with Whitesnake and Dave Lee Roth amongst many others. Bonnet has recently reformed Alcatrazz with a new line-up but is being legally pursued by three former band members who are also currently active under the Alcatrazz name.

Jason Ritchie

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007



According to Ray Waddell of, sources say a Hollywood press conference in one week will announce a 50-date American arena tour by VAN HALEN to begin in early October. The tour will feature founding VAN HALEN members David Lee Roth, Eddie Van Halen and Alex Van Halen, with Eddie's son Wolfgang on bass.

The Wildhearts release the single 'New Flesh' on October 1.

Texas are to release 'The Complete BBC Sessions' on September 24 with the following 24 tracks:
'Thrill Has Gone', 'Everyday Now', 'Future Is Promises', 'Prayer For You', 'It Hurts Me Too', 'Dream Hotel', 'Alone With You, Fade Away', 'You Owe It All To Me', 'I Want To Go To Heaven', 'I've Got A Feeling', 'I Don't Want A Lover', 'So In Love With You', 'Tired Of Being Alone', 'Insane', 'Say What You Want', 'You're All I Need To Get By', 'Black Eyed Boy', 'Halo', 'Tell Me The Answer', 'In Our Lifetime', 'Carnival Girl', 'Say What You Want' and 'I'll See It Through'.

The Goo Goo Dolls will release a greatest hits album on September 11.

Pearl Jam are to release a new DVD on September 24 called Picture in a Frame Live in Italy 2006.

Jimmy Eat World will release a brand album on October 15 called 'Chase the Light' with the following tracks:
'Big Casino', 'Carry You', 'Chase This Light', 'Be Sensible', 'Firefight', 'Distraction', 'Electable', 'Stop', 'Beautiful Is', 'Dizzy', 'Gotta Be Somebody's Blues', 'Here It Goes', 'Sunlight' and 'California'.

Frank Black's 'Bluefinger' is released on 3rd September.

ELBOW release a b-sides album due out on Sep 3rd. The band have hinted at a low key release to bridge the gap between 2005's Leaders of the Free World and their next studio album.

Current TNT and former Shy vocalist has begun work on a new solo album. The release is expected in spring 2008, fitting in with existing plans for TNT. The line-up for the release includes a current working team of Neil 'Shredder' Hibbs on guitar, Victor Borge on bass, Eric Ragno and Joe Basketts on keyboards and Bob Richards on drums. The album is planned to have a mainstream rock theme with traditional arrangements, leaning towards a heavier guitar base.

Ed Harcourt will release a greatest hits album on October 8 entitled 'Until Tomorrow Then'. The 16 tracks are:
'Born In The 70's', 'She Fell Into My Arms', 'Black Dress', 'All Of Your Days Will Be Blessed', 'This One's For You', 'Apple Of My Eye (Maplewood version)', 'Visit From The Dead Dog', 'Something In My Eye', 'Watching The Sun Come Up', 'Loneliness', 'Fireflies Take Flight', 'Shanghai', 'Shadowboxing', 'Whistle Of A Distant Train', 'Until Tomorrow Then' and 'You Put A Spell On Me'.


Official statement from the band's website:

As many already know, our guitarist Jani Liimatainen has been absent from the line-up this spring and summer. The reason was his messing around with his compulsory military/civil/prison duty, or rather, complete failure to take care of it.

This matter, and everything that goes with it, caused a split between Jani and the other band members. This split was impossible to mend without Jani's help and co-operation.

Therefore we would like to make known the following: During fall of '06 and spring of '07, Jani's personal matters and actions drove us to a situation where we had no option but to ask Jani to leave the band.

Jani was notified of this in May, and the separation was amicable. We wanted to give Jani the chance to get his life together before making this public, which is why we didn't make this announcement earlier. We wish Jani well on his chosen path.

"Show must go on", so, facing the facts, we hereby humbly announce that Elias Viljanen is from this day forward a full and official member of Sonata Arctica.

Throughout this summer, on many occasions, Elias has shown himself to be able to fill the big boots Jani left behind.

We hope our friends and our fans understand that this was the only choice left for us to make so that our band could continue. Sonata Arctica has always been, and always will be, more than the sum of its parts. The band has become for us a way of life, a lifeline that simply can not be cut off.

A long "Unia" -tour lies in front of us. We extend Elias a warm welcome to the Sonata family, and we hope the fans will, too. Sonata Arctica is whole again.

See you on the road!
Best regards,
~Tony, Tommy, Marko, and Henrik

MSG cancelled their remaining UK dates as Michael Schenker is off to seek medical help again.

Sacred Heart - Shake 31/7/07 Indie

There are not many albums recently, which have had me chomping at the bit, eagerly waiting for it to be released but due to having heard the samples from this album some weeks ago on myspace, this is one of them. Though not strictly their debut album with demo CDs A New Dawn (2003) and Lay It On The Line (2004) already having already been available through mail-order, this is their first with proper production and what an absolute belter it is!

Does your memory stretch back to the heady 80’s days when rock music was about boys being boys and having fun? One look at the scantily clad young lady on the cover and you know instantly those happy days are here again!
As Paul Stead explains “the "Shake" artwork really does get the message across of what many of the tracks theme is. And I can assure you, they are based on many real experiences” Indeed there is a nod to the past both lyrically and musically yet with enough current influences to make this a must have for rockers of at least two generations!

Afraid opens the proceedings with the invitation “wanna play with me?”
from a husky young lady. A catchy, slow, heavy number, two things immediately strike you, the excellent guitar solo from Mark Stephenson and Paul Stead’s unique vocal delivery. A crisp, clean delivery, something close to Joey Tempest, more refined, yet perfectly suited and a definite asset. Adding weight to their claim that this album really does have something for everyone, next up is the hook laden, upbeat Paradise followed by the simmering Tonight. On both tracks guitars feature heavily, though not overwhelming the outstanding vocal melodies. We’re now into the meat of the album with title track Shake, painting a fantastic picture of a wonderful sleazy encounter. Lost is the song which screams out for airplay, sure to be a great live favourite. Describing Maybe as a big ballad probably wouldn’t do it justice, this builds from acoustic beginnings into an absolute cracker, and it’s hard to remember one that has impressed me this much. Great bass lines from Darren Jhuboo litter the pop/rock of Natali, a song about love lost. Another, which is sure to be fantastic live, is Carry On a clever blend of old and newer styles, punchy and melodic in equal measure. Perfect has some wonderfully ironic lyrics, a guitar solo reminiscent of Brian May, whilst the piano outro comforts like a familiar old friend. A change of pace next with the slower, yet very catchy Lift You Up very passionate, you can almost hear the regret dripping from the words. Perhaps the heaviest track on here, 1000 Tears is saved for last but long before now the air guitar is firmly in hands head shaking, mind made up that this is indeed an essential purchase for every fan of Great British hard rock!

Through their own self-belief and sheer determination Sacred Heart have managed to get this album out. It’s easy to understand why they persevered when you hear the quality of the tracks and I am sure it won’t be long before the labels come sniffing. Let’s get ready to “Shake”

Dave Hunter

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Tony Harnell (ex-TNT) is producing the new album by POUND.

The Eagles are planning to take flight with a long-awaited new album and a tour. Guitarist Joe Walsh tells that the album is "almost out. We're just finishing vocals and mixing it. We're all finally signing off on it."
Walsh says that all of the band members -- himself, Don Henley, Glenn Frey and Timothy B. Schmit -- wrote songs for the album, which he says "go in some really, really new, different directions. It's hard to compare to anything that I hear out there now." For his songs, however, Walsh "went rock'n’roll," including one "extended" track with "a middle full of guitar statement" and another that's "full-on rock'n'roll. I didn't want us to be too ballad-y here. We need some stuff we can play live, so I made sure there was that element in the record."
Walsh says the band, which took this year off the road to hunker down on the album, plans to tour extensively in 2008.
The guitarist is hardly sitting at home, however. Though he's put the James Gang on ice until he has more time to dedicate to it, he's playing 13 solo shows in the next month, beginning tonight (July 31) in Saratoga, Calif. Walsh has recruited a band of well-credentialed young players such as Gia Ciambotti (Bruce Springsteen, Lucinda Williams) and Drew Hester (Lisa Marie Presley, Foo Fighters), who he says "are really kicking me in the pants."
"I love the energy and the attitude of a younger band, especially on stage," Walsh says. "I'm less cautious and less ... professional, I guess. I just like to rock'n'roll, and they're making me want to do it more."
Walsh adds that he's hoping to do some solo recording again but, not surprisingly, says, "I don't think I would cancel being an Eagle and resurface with a solo career. I love being in the Eagles, and we're not really done yet."

The band is formed around Kristian and Palle, two musicians who have been playing together for fifteen years in a Finnish band called NAISKALA. During the past few years the guys have felt more and more the need to write and compose in English language and towards and more Adult-Oriented Rock musical style.
Kristian started writing songs in November 2006, meanwhile Petri Lahtinen and Mika Mäkiranta wrote the lyrics for the tales. The result was a demo that was submitted to the attention of Frontiers Records in the past weeks. The brilliant songwriting, catchy melodies and big choruses immediately hit the attention of Frontiers Records A&R team, who decided to offer the band a recording deal.
In the meanwhile, long time musicians and friends Sami Rajala (on bass) and Sami Ojala (on drums) joined the band and right now the guys are busy in the studio completing the songwriting for their debut album which is foreseen to be released in early 2008.
The Land of Tales sound can be described as an equal union of keyboards and guitar, well crafted and with truly original and strong melodic elements!
Their material did already receive some glowing press responses with Strutter Webzine saying: “LAND OF TALES is definitely a sensational new Finnish AOR band as good as last year's BROTHER FIRETRIBE or URBAN TALE”. AORdreamzones wrote “I will only write a few words about these new Finnish stars on the melodic rock sky. I found them through the fantastic MySpace site and I even liked them so much so I had to add them and one of their songs as the song of the week”
”We are so excited to work with the label, which is absolutely the best for this kind of music!” say Kristian and Palle. So let’s share their enthusiasm and get ready for a brand new talent to be unleashed on the Melodic Rock World !!
Check out some of the band’s demo tracks that gained them the recording deal at

Swedish Melodic Rock quartet ECLIPSE is writing and recording songs that will make up their third studio album. After the great acclaim gathered by their debut album on Frontiers entitled “Second To None”, the guys took some time off to write songs that could really be something “BIG” and that could really launch the band to the levels they deserve.

The resulting was a few demo tracks which were delivered to Frontiers a couple of months back. We are pleased to say the guys totally nailed it! When exposed to samples of the new material Andrew J. McNeice of had to say “I love it when that music impresses beyond expectation and I get to talk about that. Today I refer to Swedish AOR outfit Eclipse, who have already gained a loyal following with 2 passionate, powerful melodic rock records. The guys are hard at work on album number three for Frontiers Records which signals what isn't really a slight change in direction, but rather an updating of their sound. It suits them. The rough mixes I have heard of three songs features a more modern and contemporary sound, but still very classy and very melodic outlook. Of the tracks I have heard - Unbreakable has a punchier guitar riff and a darker contemporary style, but a glorious harmony filled chorus. Two Souls has a faster tempo and a commercial rock feel and reminds me of an updated Talisman style. To Mend A Broken Heart is a great, catchy modern rocker with an uplifting commercial chorus. It may be a new sound, but the best aspects of their sound remains and I'm really keen to hear more from these Swedish lads”.
As a special present, enjoy a small sample of Unbreakable (demo version!) and get ready for the full attack in early 2008. These guys are getting ready to kill!

The STARBREAKER guitar player Magnus Karlsson has been quite busy in the past few months. After completing the songwriting and production for the second ALLEN / LANDE instalment “The Revenge”, Magnus has completed a brand new record with ex YNGWIE MALMSTEEN and RING OF FIRE singer MARK BOALS on all lead vocals. This new album, entitled THE CODEX is going to be a slightly heavier affair compared to the most recent efforts from Magnus and will showcase Boals’ return on the scene after a 3 years hiatus. Release for this incredible record is tentatively scheduled for December 07. Stay tuned for more details.
Not content with this, Karlsson is already in very advanced stages for the songwriting of the sixth BOB CATLEY solo album. For this record Magnus dug deep in his Celtic and Epic Hard Rock influences and gave the material anyway an heavier edge, similar in places to Catley’s “When Empires Burn” with obvious hints to MAGNUM sound. Production for the album will be handled by none other than Dennis Ward.
Finally singer ex TNT singer Tony Harnell has planned a songwriting trip to Sweden in august to write together with Magnus the new STARBREAKER album. More details on this will be unleashed when available!

Bruce Turgon (ex FOREIGNER) and Philip Bardowell (ex UNRULY CHILD) are very close to finish laying the rough tracks for their upcoming debut album. Some of the songs that will be included on the record are Hard To Love You, Places of Power, I Live For You, One Day, The Passage, Light Of My World, Secrets, Desires of Our Hearts, Always and Make Me Believe.
The songwriting is truly impressive and can only be described as “Foreigner with balls”, with epic elements at times resounding of classic House of Lords sound. The recording are planned to be finished after the summer with mix to be handled by Dennis Ward (Allen / Lande, PC 69 etc). Places of Power is going to be one of the major priorities in Melodic Rock for new year so stay tuned for updates!


James Christian and his cohorts in Florida are deep in the songwriting mood for the new album that has a working title of “Come To My Kingdom”. The stuff written so far encompasses everything that HOUSE OF LORDS is known for: soaring melodies, epic numbers and riveting guitars. You can expect the right follow up to “World Upside Down” one of the most successful releases on Frontiers in 2006!

The Khymera line-up this time is identical to the second album with Daniele Liverani on keyboards, Tommy Ermolli on guitars, Dario Ciccioni on drums and Dennis Ward of PC69 handling all lead vocals. The bulk of the songwriting was supplied this time by Jim and Tom Martin, who offered seven tracks on the previous album and wrote the classic “Ghost Of Time” on the HOUSE OF LORDS masterpiece album “World Upside Down”. You can expect this time a tighter production and a stronger amalgam for a winning team that will please every Melodic Rock freak! Release to happen in early 2008.

Former STRANGEWAYS singer Terry Brock is currently busy in the recording and production for his new solo album in Los Angeles under the direction of none other than Mike Slamer (STEELHOUSE LANE, SEVENTH KEY, SLAMER). Terry is back in a true Melodic Rock mood and his songwriting is expected to go back directly to his STRANGEWAYS days with some hints at KANSAS’ “Drastic Measures”. The mix will start after the summer and delivery of the album is expected to happen at the end of 2007.

Brothers Robbie and Brian LaBlanc have pretty much completed the songwriting of the second BLANC FACES album for Frontiers Records. Some of the song titles include Goodbye Summer, I Come Alive, Don’t Take It Away, Like a Believer, Fly, Light In My World, Deep In The Heart, I Swear To You, Everything, It’s All About Love, Falling From The Moon.
Whoever loved the band’s self titled debut is expected to be absolutely delighted with what is to come. You can expect great songs in Survivor meets Journey style.

The Polyphonic Spree’s long awaited return to London will now take place at London’s Astoria on September 3rd, after tickets for the concert’s original venue, Scala, Kings Cross, sold out in less than a day after going on sale.
The band’s UK live dates will take place the week after the release of the band’s highly anticipated third album, ‘The Fragile Army’, which has been described by long-time fan David Bowie as, “'Probably the Poly's best and deepest album yet!”
"We have entered a new phase in our musical contribution," say Spree leaders/songwriters Tim DeLaughter and Julie Doyle. "This recording was extremely challenging for us, trying to create a piece of art while weathering the storm of our collective relationship as humans in a political climate that's choking us all. When we listen back it feels like a diary more than anything else. It's painful and beautiful all at once, kinda like life. Welcome to The Fragile Army."
Along with the evolved sound comes an effected new look for The Polyphonic Spree. The group has folded their robes up nicely and put them away for now, becoming more "streamline for the future" in their unified military-style uniforms garnished with universal symbols for peace. "We're gearing up for the evolution," says DeLaughter.
The Polyphonic Spree will precede their London date with appearances at The Electric Picnic in Dublin (Sept 1st) and The Connect Festival in Glasgow (Sept 2nd), followed by dates at Manchester’s Academy 3 (Sept 4th) and Birmingham’s Glee Club (Sept 5th).

Most of us were made to stand up and pay attention to TD Lind last year when he released his debut single ‘Come in From The Cold’, very quickly fans in the press and radio were singing his praises. A brilliant live session on BBC 6 music with Tom Robinson sparked off a number of plays with key radio tastemakers such as Phil Jupitus, Bob Harris and Mark Radcliffe (Radio 2). Also one of his songs was even used in one of the surprise hit movies of last year ‘Driving Lessons’ starring Julie Walters.

He dazzled at south x south west and his live shows really began to hot up with high profile supports with James Blunt and Mew, and key shows at The Wireless Festival and The Americana Festival, which saw his powerful performance mesmerise the crowd and it also secured his reputation as a hot new talent to watch out for.

Now TD Lind brings us an idea called ‘Balloon Tales’ – devised in order to get people giving TD stories from their life that he can turn into songs. He is planting cards in places like museums and book shops that read;

“Words, music, stories all float on the wind like lost balloons waiting to be found.

I’ve left this card here because I collect stories; old, secret, sad, beautiful or tall – I’m looking for the unspoken and otherwise lost tales from your life.

My name is TD Lind and I’m a singer songwriter. Send me your tales and I’ll turn them into songs”.
If you’re intrigued you can find out more at

Andy Summers
The high-profile return of The Police to the world stage in 2007, brings their guitarist Andy Summers and his new album into sharp focus.

Summers' guitar playing was always at the musical heart of The Police, and when the band split up in the mid 80s, he went off to make music outside of the rock mainstream. This brand new album is further proof of his wide ranging talents.

Recorded in collaboration with Ben Verdery - described as ‘One of the classical guitar world's most foremost personalities’ by Classical Guitar Magazine, ‘An American original, an American master’ by Guitar Review Magazine, and ‘Iconoclastic’ and ‘Inventive’ by the New York Times - the new album perfectly illustrates both their innovative and eclectic musical careers.

Having shared a stage at the 2002 New York Guitar Festival in 2002, the possibility was raised of making a record together. Recalls Andy: "Although our musical disciplines were, at least on the surface, something different - Ben, classical guitar, me, jazz and rock improvisation - we had both played in each other's main style. This led to an easy exchange, where we were able to create an interesting, hybrid, non-generic style.

Rather than taking the standard route of slowly composing together, we got at it with a shock tactic. In other words, just improvise together - composing in the heat of the moment and trusting the instinct and musicianship built over many years; put another way - blow. This we did. As we moved through takes and ideas of playing together, something crystallised. With Ben playing fantastic arpeggios on various guitars in remote tuning, I found it inspiring to take off over those soundscapes, following Ben's rhythm and my own ears, as he laid out the harmonies. The result is this album...."

Alvin Lee
Alvin Lee, one of the world’s greatest rock guitarists, has unleashed his latest solo album ‘Saguitar’, which is among the first releases on the exciting new R.A.R.E. record label. Packed with bluesy vocals and dazzling guitar work, Alvin says the album ‘celebrates the sheer fun of making music’.

After decades on the road with Ten Years After and the Alvin Lee Band, the guitarist now prefers to play a few festivals and concerts, in between spending time in the studio. Explains Alvin: "The album reflects what I’ve been doing for the past two years, enjoying myself and making music."

Among the guest musicians on ‘Saguitar’ is keyboard player Tim Hinkley, a veteran of Alvin’s past projects and one time leader of Jody Grind. He appears on the atmospheric ‘Motel Blues’, one of the highlights of this 14 track album. A surprise item is ‘Rapper’, a track built up from various drum loops. Says Alvin: "I did my own drum fills and laid some hot guitar over the top. It’s a rap song which people have said is fantastic."

‘Saguitar’ is named in honour of Alvin’s star sign Sagittarius, and he feels the title reflects his musical personality. "A Sagittarian is supposed to be outgoing. He’s symbolised by a man’s head and torso on a horse holding a bow and arrow. Just like me!"

THRESHOLD and PENDRAGON have been removed from the billing of Norway's Subtacto Progfest (set to take place August 4) due to "financial difficulties." A statement posted on the Subtacto web site explains that "The reason for this is that we as organizers don't have enough funds to see this through. We therefore have to reorganize the event, and that means that we can't afford those two bands."
THRESHOLD has issued a statement expressing its disappointment at the cancellation and sympathy to all its fans who bought tickets and were hoping to see the group perform. The festival is offering full refunds to fans who no longer want to attend.

IRRITANT Bar Riga Stroud 28.07.07

Sometimes the most unexpected of things put a smile on your face! After a couple of days feeling seriously under the weather and my Saturday night looking like another complete wash out, a late night message on myspace planted a seed of interest with the possibility that all was not lost. A band, which had somehow previously passed under my radar, was playing locally, for a worthwhile cause and for the bargain price of a fiver. Of course the added bonus being, that this was a 14+ gig so young James would be able to accompany me.

Armed with nothing more than a good impression gathered from few hastily sampled tracks on myspace from the previous evening, we made our way to the venue. Quite what was going through my mind on seeing the mid-teens dressed in their AC/DC and Iron Maiden T-shirts queuing up outside the venue I wouldn’t like to say. Though once through the door all worries were dispelled with the familiar Iron Maiden and Judas Priest tunes pumping through the club PA to impressionable ears. A nice little venue, comfortably full, with fears of the underage drinking alcohol seemingly overcome through the age check and issue of wristbands on the door. What a wonderfully simple idea!

Irritant played a short but memorable set drawn heavily from their chart bothering “Good Evening From The Machine” EP. Lead vocalist and bass player Niall looks and sounded every bit the rock star, working the audience like an old pro. Not that there was much encouragement required to get the place headbanging and the mosh pit heaving! Opener, Days Turn To Night from their self titled EP setting the tone, up-tempo, machine-gun drums, bass heavy with the twin guitar attack from Will and Jack fiercely trading licks and riffs, their Maiden colours are proudly nailed to the mast. This is no more evident than in the excellent set closer Voice Of The Siren. In between they rocked ragged this little part of sodden Gloucestershire, a welcome treat for rockers young and old. Unmistakably influenced by traditional metal, live, this band certainly hits the right spot. As for studio recordings? I’m still waiting to find out, the CDs purchased on the night went home with James and from his admiring comments, I guess unlikely to return. My only criticism would be the shortness of the set, which was due mainly to there being a support band and the curfew, imposed by the venue. Although it must be noted that once it was cleared Bar Riga re-opened at 10pm as a nightclub.

Tonight I realised this is what rock music in general should be aiming for - getting the kids back involved in attending gigs. There is nothing like seeing a band and audience feeding from each other’s energy, with there being none more enthusiastic than this crowd. Nick Wright, general manager of the venue explained he would be more than happy to put more of these gigs on, surely this is a great opportunity for rock music as a whole, lets hope more places follow suit! Irritant? I am just so annoyed with myself for not having noticed them earlier.

Dave Hunter

POVERTY’S NO CRIME ‘Save My Soul’ Inside Out (2007)

The band’s follow-up to 2003’s well received ‘The Chemical Chaos’ sees them branch out a bit more soundwise, none more so than the Sabbath like riffing on ‘The Torture’ – quite possibly one of the heaviest songs they have recorded to date. Whereas ‘In The Wait Loop’ and the melodic refrains of ‘From A Distance’ sees the band almost in letter day Marillion territory. Both feature plenty of keyboards and concise guitar soloing. The only slight disappoint on the album is the epic track ‘Break The Spell’ which although it builds nicely doesn’t really seem to go anywhere and is not a track that keeps the listener interested throughout.
Poverty’s No Crime should certainly pop up on the prog metal/rock fans radar with this release as they are easily up there with Slyvian, Vaden Plas et al. For me it is there more melodic moments which set them apart from similar bands as they can keep the melody going coupled with the instrumental wizardry fans of this genre expect and love.

Jason Ritchie


Evergreen Terrace is a Jacksonville-based outfit that's been recently added to the Metal Blade family, following the ever increasing demand for metalcore bands which is the direct result of the popularity that this genre has been enjoying these last few years. Even though "Wolfbiker" is the band's first release under the protective wings of Brian Slagel's label, the quintet has been actively recording their music since 2001, thus making this their fourth full-length album. The main question that needs to be asked here, and with applies to most new releases belonging to that genre, is whether Evergreen Terrace have managed to create an album that has something new to offer in this scene. The answer to that: not a straightforward one, I'm afraid!
My first impression after having listened to the opening track "Bad Energy Troll" was not so positive, seeing as it is a song based on the same rhythmical mid tempo riffs and screamo vocals that most bands of this genre tend to use nowadays. It is quite clear that these lads are focused on creating easy and memorable melodies, and that can be both a positive and negative aspect, depending on what it is that you are looking for from a metalcore release. There are many references to the music of Sepultura, both in terms of vocal and guitar contributions, but that was not enough to make songs like "Wolfbiker" sound more appealing to me.
The term 'metalcore' is soon to be challenged, though, seeing as the majority of the remaining nine compositions, good representatives of which are "High Tide Or No Tide" and "Where There Is Fire We Will Carry Gasoline", contain large quantities of catchy refrains and melodic vocals which are normally associated with the Emocore scene, and which are not particularly to my liking. Having said that, I did find a couple of compositions where the mix of melodic guitars and clear vocals worked really well. "Chaney Can't Quite Riff Like Helmet's Page Hamilton" is a Punky composition whose main Maidenesque melodic theme will make it quite appealing to young audiences and same applies for "Starter" which, even though it contains equally catchy melodies, it comes across as a far more atmospheric composition. Those of you who were hoping for a less melodic, more straight forward approach to metalcore will only find songs like "Rip This" and "Rolling Thunder Mental Illness" to your liking - the former being a pretty average composition and the latter being only a minute and a half long.
Looking back on my criticism towards this release I realise that it comes across as quite negative, but one needs to realise that it is simply based on my personal taste. As most fans of bands like Agnostic Front and Madball, I find it quite difficult to relate to a band whose target audience is at least half my age, and I hope that my argument clearly justifies this rating.

John Stefanis
Rating: **1/2 (2.5/5.0)