Review: Frontline – The State Of Rock

AOR Heaven (April 2018)

Reviewer: Grant Foster

Originally released in 1994 (jeez, that makes me feel old!), this re-release/remastering/getting it back out there, comes complete with two bonus tracks that were only available previously on the Japanese release of this album.

Frontline hailed from Germany and are definitely of the AOR/Melodic Rock persuasion. Unfortunately, even a remastering job can’t hide the fact that what’s on offer here sounds dated.  It can hardly be described as a ground breaker of an album and you kind of wonder why it was reissued at all? But maybe that’s just the cynic in me, as apparently, these guys were ‘big in Japan.’

There are highlights – ‘Heaven Knows’ has a tough guitar riff and melodic keyboard interplay, strong vocals and a chorus to remember.

An AOR album demands a strong power ballad and ‘Another Love’ is that tune. ‘Heaven Can’t Wait’ is your muscular rock anthem and is upbeat, positive and would of probably have made a good lead track back in the day.

Surprisingly, both bonus tracks also shine. ‘I’m Falling’ has a Nelson type vibe with acoustic guitars and some top backing vocals. ‘Alone’ although very melodic, doesn’t lack bite and has a nice melody line.

Bottom line is, if you love this kind of genre, I’m sure it will be a welcome addition to your collection. Personally,I’d love the band to reform and go and re-record this with more of an organic sound, as it could bring out a lot of the qualities that the original recording and production didn’t highlight.

Vandenberg’s MoonKings have unveiled a stripped back version of ‘Sailing Ships‘.

The track comes from their new record ‘Rugged and Unplugged’ which will be released on 23rd November 2018 via Mascot Records/Mascot Label Group.

Originally from Whitesnake’s 1989 album ‘Slip of the Tongue’, ‘Sailing Ships’ has a delicate beauty to it that makes the hairs on your arm stand up and has become a favourite and regular in the MoonKing’s live shows

Rugged and Unplugged‘ is a beautifully stripped back acoustic album which features songs from across Adrian Vandenberg’s career. From his first band Teaser as a 20 year old he has always used an acoustic guitar in his recordings, which along with the electric guitar creates the light and shade dynamic that is the cornerstone to all of his records.

This project created the opportunity to strip down the big orchestral arrangements on songs such as ‘What Doesn’t Kill You’ and ‘Breathing’ to just Vandenberg on acoustic guitar and the voice of Jan Hoving. His 1983 hit ‘Burning Heart’ gets a stunning reworking. ‘One Step Behind’ has a graceful warmth and ‘Walk Away’ feels both intimate and anthemic.

Like the two MoonKings albums, ‘MoonKings’ (2014) and ‘MK II’ (2017) it was produced by Adrian Vandenberg himself. It was recorded between Vandenberg’s home studio and Jan Hoving’s farm which gives it the relaxed, intimate and natural feel, away from the clinical studio environment. It is Vandenberg and Hoving doing what they do and love the most, playing music straight from the heart.

 

Jason Becker is thrilled to reveal the official video for his brand new song ‘Hold On To Love’ featuring singer Codany Holiday, taken from the new album ‘Triumphant Hearts,’ which will be released on 7 December 2018 via Music Theories Recordings/Mascot Label Group.

Jason Becker’s story is one of brilliance, talent, determination, adversity, and, ultimately, triumph. A child prodigy on guitar, Jason rose to prominence as a teenager when he was one half of Cacophony, with Marty Friedman. In 1989, at only 19 years old, the young virtuoso became the guitarist for David Lee Roth, following in the huge footsteps of Eddie Van Halen and Steve Vai. He wrote and recorded on ‘A Little Ain’t Enough’ and was poised for superstardom when a nagging pain in his leg was diagnosed as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Motor Neurone Disease (MND). The same condition Stephen Hawking had. A fatal condition with a life expectancy of maybe five years. Maybe.

That was 29 years ago.  He lost the ability to play guitar, walk, talk, and breathe on his own. Communicating through a series of eye movements with a system developed by his father, Jason spells out words as well as musical notes and chords. He imparts his musical vision to his team who then can input the notes into a computer, edit the parts to his exacting standards, and then generate charts for session musicians. His inspiring life story was the subject of an award-winning documentary, Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet.

Talking about the new song he says; “This is my story, and in a way, everyone’s story. Life – we are all just trying to be happy. People are baffled that I can be happy after almost 30 years with ALS. Even I sometimes wonder how it is possible. This song is the simple answer. Most of this video takes place in my mind. I am talking to myself, looking for answers, thinking about the past and some of the people I love, and it all comes out in music.

The song was written by Becker and features California singer Codany Holiday, the highly rated guitarist Daniele Gottardo, who also counts fans in Steve Vai as well as Matt Bissonette (bass) and Gregg Bissonette (drums) who between them have played with Joe Satriani, David Lee Roth, Ringo Starr, Jeff Lynne, Elton John, Santana and more. The video was directed by Mike Sloat (Lynyrd Skynyrd, Tom Waits, Staind, Machine Head, Testament)

Elaborating further on the song he says; “I wrote the first melody years ago on a flute sample and the chords on a harp sample. I knew I would want a guitar to play it, so I phrased it like I would play it on guitar. It was going to be an instrumental, but after I wrote the chorus with lyrics, I knew I had to tell my story, and explain how I can continue living without feeling hate. I hadn’t written many lyrics before. Most of them came to me, along with the melody phrasing, as I lie in bed alone at around 2AM. Silence is good for writing music. The following day when I got in my wheelchair, I would put the melody in, and then type the words. “

He continues; “You know, people feel sorry for me, and I understand that. I feel lucky though. I am surrounded by loving people, and I can still make music. I don’t miss playing guitar anymore. I am sure that is out of necessity, but I am grateful for so much more. My sadness comes from seeing everyone else suffer. No matter how well off a person is, they are going to die like everyone else. We all are just trying to be happy. I am trying to find the answer like everyone else.”

In addition to its beautiful, gospel-tinged choir, the heartfelt song features Bay Area singer Codany Holiday, who came to Jason’s home to record in his living room. He did it in 5 straight hours, with no break. “Dan (Alvarez) and I were blown away by his emotional and soulful take on the message of the song. He really brought it to life,” he remembers. “A fan/friend named Andrew Jay played the intro guitar solo. The rest of the guitar is by my friend and fellow composer, Daniele Gottardo. Daniele’s wonderful mom wrote to me, asking if I would find a place on the album for Daniele. That melted me. That is something my mom might do. I am already a fan and friend of his, so we happily made it so. He worked so hard to make me happy.

The album’s 14 tracks showcase Jason’s gift for melody and his deep knowledge of classical composition and orchestral arrangement. Many of the guitar parts are performed by a who’s who of 6-string gods including Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Neal Schon, Steve Morse, Paul Gilbert, Joe Bonamassa, Marty Friedman, Uli Jon Roth, Richie Kotzen, Gus G and many others. And, in what will absolutely delight his fans, Jason’s amazing guitar playing—recorded in the ’80s and ’90s—features throughout.

Ryan Hamilton and the Harlequin Ghosts have unveiled the video for their debut single, ‘Bottoms Up (Here’s To Goodbye)‘ in anticipation of going with the The Alarm’s for8 date UK tourkicking off at London’s ULU on 28th November and wrapping up at the Liquid Room in Edinburgh on 7th December.

Ryan Hamilton and the Harlequin Ghosts have just signed to Wicked Cool Records and they have been working with the legendary Stevie Van Zandt.

Speaking of the video to accompany ‘Bottoms Up’, Ryan explains:

“when your bandmates live on a different continent, music videos are tough. But we set up cameras in our respective studios, and recorded ourselves while we recorded the song, but we wanted to do something more. So, my wife Holly and I filmed the other parts of the video here at home in Texas. She is the girl in the video. That’s our home and my truck in the video. I’m super proud of this DIY video, and all it cost us was a case of beer.”

Bottoms Up (Here’s To Goodbye)is available as a strictly limited edition pink vinyl 7” and the B side is a swaggering cover of Paula Abdul’s 80s smash ‘Straight Up‘.

To purchase or stream this fine single go to: https://ampl.ink/7xwVz

In 2017 Ryan and the band reaped critical acclaim with debut album ‘The Devil’s In The Detail’ – under their previous name ‘Ryan Hamilton and the Traitors’. Singles ‘Heavy Heart’ and ‘Smarter’ received heavy radio play and were each voted Classic Rock magazine’s ‘Track of the Week’, as well as their Ginger Wildheart collaboration and Samaritans charity single, ‘F**k You Brain’.

Having already achieved Steven Van Zandt’s ‘Coolest Song In The World’ thrice on his ‘Underground Garage’ radio show, Little Steven recently heralded Ryan as ‘hope for the future’ – holding him up with such luminaries as Eddie Vedder, Dave Grohl and Bille Joe Armstrong.

Following their recent headline tour Ryan Hamilton and the Harlequin Ghosts are special guests on The Alarm’s 8 date UK tourkicking off at London’s ULU on 28th November and wrapping up at the Liquid Room in Edinburgh on 7th December.

The Alarm and Ryan Hamilton and the Harlequin Ghosts UK tour dates

November

Wed     28th      ULU. London

Thur     29th       Wedgwood Rooms Portsmouth

Fri        30th      Fibbers, York

December

Sat       1st        Arts Club, Liverpool

Sun      2nd       O2 Academy 2,  Birmingham

Wed     5th          Sub 89, Reading

Thur     6th          Brudenell, Leeds

Fri        7th          Liquid Room, Edinburgh

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Canadian 90’s rockers Sven Gali reformed in 2018 with a monster new single called ‘Kill The Lies‘ recorded with legendary producer David Bendeth (Paramore, Breaking Benjamin, Bring Me The Horizon) to celebrate the twenty-five anniversary of their self-titled debut album that went Gold (50,000 units) in Canada.

Since the single’s release, Sven Gali have been touring across Ontario performing for their diehard fans as part of their ‘Unfinished Business Tour‘. Before the year ends, the band has added two more shows on November 30th in Toronto and December 1st in Niagara Falls.

Show Dates:
Nov 30 – Toronto, ON – The Rockpile – info
Dec 1 – Niagara Falls, ON – Chips n’ Charlie’s – info

Formed in 1987 in Hamilton and Niagara Falls, Ontario, Sven Gali brought the 80’s and 90’s hard rock/metal wave home to Canada. They delivered their high-energy live show from St. Johns to Victoria and across the USA along with Europe for the next 9 years touring with bands such as April Wine, Foreigner, Candlebox, Pearl Jam and Def Leppard.

Twenty-five years after the release self-titled debut album, their new single ‘Kill The Lies‘ (Spotify, iTunes) is no throwback to the 90’s, but a heavy, modern rock song that doesn’t look back. A part of the proceeds from the sale of the single will also go to support cancer research in the name of founding guitar player Dee Cernile whom passed away from cancer in 2012.

Recording Band Line Up:
Dave Wanless (Vocals)
Andy Frank (Guitar)
Sean Minden (Bass)
Dan Fila (Drums)

Live Band Line Up:
Dave Wanless (Vocals)
Andy Frank (Guitar
Sean Minden (Bass)
Dan Fila (Drums)
Sean Williamson (Guitar)

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Swedish heavy metal band Lion’s Share is making its first five albums available on streaming services and digital service providers today, November 14.

The albums ‘Lion’s Share‘ (1995), ‘Two‘(1997), ‘Fall From Grace‘(1999), ‘Entrance‘(2001) and ‘Emotional Coma‘ (2007) have all been remastered by Mike Lind (www.noterious.eu), giving them a new life. These new releases join Lion’s Share‘s catalog titles already online — ‘Dark Hours‘(2009) and ‘EP‘(2018). The cover artwork has been touched up, and in most cases completely redone by Carl-André Beckston (www.noterious.eu).

The Lion’s Share catalogue features appearances by current and former members of Megadeth, KISS, King Diamond, HammerFallSymphony XYngwie Malmsteen, Candlemass etc.

Mixers include top engineers such as Jens Bogren (Arch Enemy, Opeth, Symphony X, Amon Amarth),  Niklas Flyckt (one-time Grammy award winner and four-time nominee) and Ronny Lahti (Roxette, Europe, Glenn Hughes).

To get a feel for future live set-lists, the band encourages fans to make their own ‘Best of Lion’s ShareSpotify playlists, and tag/name them We Are: Lion’s Share.

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Since the success of 2017’s acclaimed album ‘Jupiter‘, Norway’s Melodic Hard Rock/Metal artist VITNE shakes the landscape with his newest single ‘Vanquish The Night‘, to be out today on all digital platforms. This will be one of your favorite releases before the year is out, and shows a very promising direction for VITNE‘s legacy.

With an inspirational and anthemic quality about his songs, VITNE‘s music has captivated fans around the globe by the masses and has been featured in a vast array of international publications from Brazil and Chile to Russia, China and Japan. Now following up the award winning ‘Jupiter‘ album, VITNE brings forth a powerful force behind his voice in his latest anthem ‘Vanquish The Night‘ and it does not disappoint.

Drawing comparisons to industry heavyweights and artists of his caliber including X Japan, Billy Idol and Gackt, VITNE‘s melodic presence and top of the line production value comes full circle in this new single and delivers up an eyebrow raising listening experience from the very first riff.

From soaring guitar leads, a pounding rhythm section and an exceptional showcasing of vocal ranges, “Vanquish The Night” puts a modern spin on an 80s Metal-infused approach with VITNE‘s signature touch we’ve all come to know and love since his inception into the market. The song is climactic, innovative and provides elements of symphonic overtones and a fantasy-like quality in different chapters of the song. There are twists and turns, but nothing out of place. This single is everything you’ll hope it’ll be plus so much more. It’s the type of song that is catchy, heavy and has that instant-classic status.

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The Franck Carducci team is proud to release the music video for our new song ‘Slave to Rock ‘n’ Roll‘ today.

The video was produced by La Koloc Production and stars the new fictional character: ‘Arion Superstar‘.

Statement from Franck:

I’ve always loved and been inspired by Greek mythology. You might remember my first album opens with ‘Achilles‘. Some time ago, I discovered the myth of Arion.
He was the first famous musician, playing his kithara, going on tour, getting kidnapped by pirates who robbed him and threw him out in the water, … and I thought, wow … this guy was actually the very first rock-star!
Then I had the idea of creating a modern version of this story, so I wrote a 15 minutes song called “SUPERSTAR” telling a similar story to the original but taking place today.
That’s how ‘
Arion Superstarwas born.
Arion was born in Hollywood, he’s seen it all and done it all. He’s no longer enthusiastic about life and success because he’s already lived it all. But anyway, his story is told in that SUPERSTAR track and I started impersonating him on stage during this song.
Then I thought, this Arion is such a big rock star, he must have had a hit!
So I started to write a would-have-been hit single and that’s how “Slave to Rock ‘n’ Roll” was born. It’s more a classic-rock track than a prog epic but when we tried it live, everybody seemed to love it so we thought it would be a good idea to make a music video out of it.
Given the subject we could use a lot of humour and self-derision, in the pure tradition of the 70’s classic rock hits.

We had a great time shooting a funny video full of glam to go with it, and we now hope the viewers will be entertained”

The song is also available on all digital platforms.

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Eden’s Curse are delighted to announce their headline Testament UK Tour in April 2019, in support of their new Best Of album which is out now on AFM Records, released 2nd November 2018.

Joining them on the road will be two VERY special guests in German Melodic Metal legends MOB RULES and up and coming Swedish Melodic Rock sensations degreed.

MOB RULES have been one of my favourite bands for many years and when we were putting the tour together with our booking agency, their brilliant new album ‘Beast Reborn‘ dropped and we also signed to the same LUCKY BOB Music Agency. The omens were there and it just made perfect sense, as musically we are not too dissimilar and they haven’t been to the UK in many years.” says bassist Paul Logue.

Paul went onto add “I had been hearing the name degreed for a few years now, but never seen or heard them. Eventually I caught them opening for H.E.A.T last year and they were absolutely brilliant. We then followed them on the bill at MelodicRock Fest – Scandinavia in Sweden, earlier this summer, and I loved what I saw and kept them in mind as possible future touring partners. I’m really glad they accepted our offer. I think it makes it a brilliant package for the fans. Expect an evening of gigantic guitars, titanic choruses and fist pumping anthems!”.

The complete tour dates & ticket links are as follows:
Sun 14th APRIL – The Underworld Camden, London, ENG
Tickets: https://www.theunderworldcamden.co.uk/…/564f4d10-af83-0136-…
Mon 15th APRIL – Trillians Newcastle, Newcastle, ENG
Tickets: http://t-s.co/ede01
Tue 16th APRIL – Yardbirds Rock, Grimsby, ENG
Tickets: https://www.seetickets.com/…/edens-c…/yardbirds-club/1274826
Wed 17th APRIL – Eleven, Stoke, ENG
Tickets: https://www.ents24.com/stoke-on-tr…/…/edens-curse/1073911103
Thu 18th APRIL – The Robin 2, Bilston, ENG
Tickets: http://www.therobin.co.uk/whats_on/giginfo.asp?gigid=5515
Fri 19th APRIL – Corporation Sheffield, ENG
Tickets: http://www.corporation.org.uk/…/Edens+Curse+at+Corporation+…
Sat 20th APRIL – Muni Arts Centre, Pontypridd, WAL
Tickets: http://www.derricksmusic.co.uk/Tickets.html?event=5676
Sun 21st APRIL – The Garage G2, Glasgow, SCO

Tickets are on sale now from http://www.edenscurse.com/tour
Tickets: http://t-s.co/ede00

Order ‘Testament – The Best Of Eden’s Curse‘ here:
https://shop.afm-records.de/detail/index/sArticle/1458