Review: Midnite City –There Goes The Neighbourhood

AOR Heaven (October 19th 2018)

Reviewer: Stephen Brophy

There is a reality here that I still can’t quite get my head around, Midnite City have only been on the Melodic scene for a little over a year, the debut Album launch took place in Nottingham last October and it was one of the best Melodic Rock releases of 2017, and here we stand 12 months later and they have rapidly built up a very loyal following, this reviewer included, but that’s all down to the quality of the songs released to date. This band are certainly not going to rest on their laurels and album number two is an absolute cracker.

The musical style here is very much melodic hard rock, there’s a massive 80’s feel to it but it also has a modern feel, and just like its predecessor the backing vocals throughout are outstanding, it’s not just that they are there it’s where they are brought in and how good they are that makes the difference. Musically the guys are top notch, fluid beautiful guitar from Miles all the way through, Shawn’s keyboards that enhance the overall sound, such a rock solid backline of Pete (Drums) and Josh (Bass), the band has elevated the great work they produced on the first album and taken it to the next level.

Having listened to the album a lot over the last few weeks it has been difficult to swap to other music on my players, and it still demands more listening. Of the eleven tracks you just get the feeling that they were put together to bring out a different emotion, it’s not all party music, but still pretty upbeat throughout.

Any album you listen to and more tracks push their way to the front of your mind when listening, is one worth holding onto as it’s going to keep getting better and this is one, right now I can’t stop listening to. ‘Heaven’s Falling‘, just wow, what a wonderful song, and in many ways it epitomises this band, Midnite City are not a nostalgic look back on 80’s Hair Metal bands, they are a living beating modern band with a hard rock engine and so much freshness about what they are doing. The closer ‘Until The End‘ is another with a bit of everything in it, ‘Tonight You’re All I Need‘ has also been hitting the spot, love the keyboards, subtle but prominent, love it.

This album grabbed me straight away and hasn’t let go, part of that was because of the first single ‘Give Me Love‘ which really is my favourite song of the year so far, so catchy and full of life, definitely made to be sung at the top of your lungs at a gig, just a cracking song. But it’s not just a couple of stand out tracks here, this is an album you can sit and enjoy listening to in it’s entirety, if you are a melodic rock fan this one should really be right up your street, great balance, production, songs just a wonderful package. The guys have done it again, without a doubt a contender for Melodic Rock Album of the year, for those lucky enough to be attending the Album Launch at the Rockingham Aftershow Party on the 19th, have an amazing time, it’s a brilliant album.

Following on from their explosive self-titled debut album last year, Midnite City return all guns blazing on 19th of October 2018 via AOR Heaven with their sophomore release ‘There Goes The Neighbourhhood‘ – eleven tracks of fist pumping, high energy, feel-good, hair metal of the highest order!

The lush melodies, huge choruses and gargantuan hooks found on their debut album are all here in abundance alongside some true modern day glam anthems, fun commercial party rock, moody mid-paced hard rockers and heart wrenching power ballads big enough to light up an entire arena.

As with the first album, the winning formula has remained – all songs have been written by Rob Wylde, whilst Pete Newdeck has once again taken control of production, engineering and mixing duties.  With ‘There Goes The Neighbourhhood‘ the band has literally stepped everything up several notches to unbridled, head splitting proportions. The guitars are big, the drums are huge, there are walls and walls of harmonies and more synths than you’d find this side of a classic Bon Jovi album. In a nutshell, this album has everything but the kitchen sink!

With shows all over the UK and Europe in 2017/ 2018, Midnite City‘s sound is tighter than ever before.

So if you long for a band that still look, sound and perform like those long lost million selling forgotten bands of the late 80’s/ early 90’s, Midnite City and ‘There Goes The Neighbourhhood’ is the album for you.

Soundfiles in advance:

Here Comes The Party (Edit)

Life Ain’t Like This On The RAdio (Edit)

You Don’t Understand Me (Edit)

 

Don’t forget to catch Midnite City tearing it up live all over the UK, Europe and beyond in their own inimitable, arena rock style in 2018/ 2019…

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ATLAS is a Melodic Rock band from the North of England that is comprised of 5 young musicians, i.e. James Thorley (Keyboards, programming and percussion), John Moss (Lead Guitars), Howie Little (Lead Guitars), Chris Redfearn (Bass Guitar) and Craig Wells (Lead Vocals). Keyboard player Thorley founded the band in early 2017 with the intention to create a band that centered its roots around the AOR and Melodic Rock genre whilst delving into other areas of Hard Rock, Metal, Progressive and even Jazz. 5 keyboard demos were produced by Thorley during the first few months of 2017.

The name ATLAS came from the working title for these demos, which would soon be molded into the songs heard on the bands’ debut EP ‘World In Motion’. ATLAS drew heavily on influences stemming from the AOR classic standards of Toto and Journey to the modern era of Work of Art and W.E.T with subtle progressive elements of Dream Theater mixed in to forge the early sound heard throughout their EP. The recording and mixing duties fell upon keyboard player James Thorley. Sam Millar of UK rock band Bigfoot contributed to the backing vocals on this EP which got self-released through their band camp website in late August 2017. The end of 2017 found the band achieve three awards from AOR Underground (A feature of Powerplay magazine) for ‘Independent album of year 2017’ for their release of the EP ‘World in Motion’,  ‘Best Newcomer of 2017’ and ‘Song of the year’ with ‘Lost in The Moment’. This momentum and growing social media following provided the stepping-stone for the bands next endeavor. With strong motivation and after almost a year of working together as a band they were now eager to start collaborating on new material using the stronger aspects of their EP as a cornerstone.

The writing sessions for the debut album officially started in December 2017 and continued for 8 months. The band were given an opportunity in June to have a break from the album production when they were approached by UK Melodic Rock band Vega to open up for them and AOR Heaven rockers Midnite City in support of their latest album tour. Rob Evans of Powerplay Magazine had helped the band get in contact with Georg Siegl, the founder of AOR Heaven, and after discussions between the band and Siegl a contract was drawn up.

The album name ‘In Pursuit of Memory’ reflects the nature and themes of the songs heard throughout the album. With a common theme throughout the album being self-reflection, healing and learning from mistakes one has made; with lyricists Thorley, Moss and Wells all penning at least one track centered on those themes. The album was recorded and engineered by keyboard player James Thorley at his studio ‘The Woodshed”. Thorley also took on the role of the producer as he did on the bands previous self released EP.

Soundfiles in advance:

Bad Habit (Edit)

Breathe Me In (Edit)

Samsara (Edit)

Sam Millar of Bigfoot provided ‘guest vocals’ on the album as well; his vocal harmony contributions can be heard throughout most of the tracks and add a much desired AOR factor that the band often desire in their songs. Christoffer Borg (Taste, Art Nation) was chosen as the mixing and mastering engineer on ‘In Pursuit of Memory’. Borg’s credit’s, which include Anthrax, Evergrey & Kee Marcello gave the group confidence that he would be able to do the variety of songs they had written the justice it sonically deserved.

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In 1997 Singer, songwriter Steve Newman formed the band Newman and since 1998 have been producing consistently high quality albums filled with hook laden songs and thought provoking lyrics.

On September 21st, 2018 Newman will now release a double CD with 34 of their finest songs on AOR Heaven to celebrate the band’s 20th recording anniversary. Steve Newman says: “So here we are again, oh, but hang on, we’re another 10 years (after the decade I release) down the line on this musical journey. I can’t believe how quickly those years have gone by!! I wanted to keep the concept for this collection the same as the previous release, so once again, I am proud and excited to present to you another double CD re-performed and re-recorded featuring 35 songs from 2007 right through to 2017. 20 years since Newman first released the debut album, and I still get the same excitement and joy from recording and performing music. In the last 10 years the live band has gone from strength to strength and I am now surrounded by a bunch of really good friends who bring these songs to life whenever we play. My drive to write and perform is a selfish quest, however, my inspiration is you, everyone that supports my music, and the wonderful compliments I receive on a daily basis, thank you for your belief, this one is for you.

Disc 1 features 17 songs from the 2007 album ‘Primitive Soul‘ through ‘The Art Of Balance‘, ‘Under Southern Skies‘, ‘Siren‘, and finally the 2015 album ‘The Elegance Machine‘.

Disc 2 features another 17 songs, some that were written and even recorded, but not included on the final releases, songs that were written for other artists and 2 songs that were originally released as Japanese bonus tracks. There are some songs, as before, that were “works in progress” especially recorded for this release and also another 6 songs from the ‘Aerial‘ sessions.

Soundfiles in advance:

Breaking The Barrier (Edit)

Girl Found Love (Edit)

One More Night With You (Edit)

Cd 1:

01 Hero To Zero

02 Heading For Your Heart

03 Ghost In The Night

04 Feel Her Again

05 Stay With Me

06 The Elegance Machine

07 Killing Me

08 Primitive Soul

09 Endless

10 Fire With Fire

11 Scar Of Love

12 15 Minute Revolution

13 She Walks In Silence

14 Under Southern Skies

15 Had Enough

16 Tumble Down

17 For The Man I Am

Cd 2:

01 Breaking The Barrier

02 Girl Found Love

03 Liar

04 One More Night With You

05 Fight No More

06 She’s The Woman

07 Nightmare

08 Angel

09 World Keeps Turning

10 In Too Deep

11 The More I Love

12 Crossed My Heart

13 A Witness To Love’s Decline

14 Does It Feel The Same?

15 Race Of A Lifetime

16 Never Becomes Again

17 My Fantasy

Line up:

Steve Newman (Vocals, Guitar)

Pete Newdeck (Drums)

Shaun Bessant (Guitar, Vocals)

Paul Boyle (Keyboards, Vocals)

Dave Bartlett (Bass, Vocals)

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Frontline from Nürnberg, Germany belong to the pioneers of the German hard rock scene. Founded in 1989 by Robert Böbel (guitars, keyboards; Evidence One, Phantom V), Stephan Kämmerer (vocals), Thomas Riess (bass) and Stephan Bayerlein (drums), their debut album ‘The State Of Rock‘ finally hit the stores in 1994 – a true classic which until today still is regarded as the finest album of the band by many. This record also meant the breakthrough for the guys in Japan where they reached # 10 in the rock sales charts. Straightly after the release, Frontline went on tour in Europe and had the honour to open for various great acts such as Gotthard, Crash Test Dummies, Bonfire, Tyketto and Casanova.

In 1995, Frontline pulled out the full acoustic album ‘Two Faced‘. However, personal differences within the band followed and ended up in the departure of Stephan Bayerlein and Thomas Riess in 1996. They were replaced by Thomas ‘Hutch’ Bauer (Bass) and Rami Ali (Drums; Evidence One, Shylock). Still in the same year, Frontline signed a record deal with a new label, recorded the single ‘Man In Motion‘ and the album ‘Heroes‘ which though officially only saw the light of day in Japan since their European label went out of business.

One year later, the band decided to start working on another new album which is well known under it’s working title ‘Heroes II‘ amongst the fans but never saw a release. Due to a complicated contractual situation many labels feared to contact Frontline during the following years and the band went back to the underground again until Georg Siegl at AOR Heaven finally showed his interest in the band in the year 2000 and signed them for the first time. Just one month later, the album ‘Right Attitude‘ was released which can be regarded as a sort of compilation out of both ‘Heroes‘ albums …and ‘Right Attitude‘ became a huge success for the band again! The recordings for their 2002 output ‘Against The World‘ started the same year, and this album finally re-established Frontline on the international hard rock market.

Throughout the months after the release of the best of compilation ‘Almost Unreleased‘ (2003) which also featured a couple of rare tracks for the fans, Frontline again went into the studio and started to work on a new album called ‘The Seventh Sign‘ (2004). In the year 2006, the last studio album the German group called ‘Circles‘ was released.

On May 25th 2018, AOR Heaven will re-issue the former Japanese only release ‘Heroes‘ as a limited edition of 1000 copies. The album was  re-mastered by guitarist Robby Böbel.

Sound clips:

Heroes (Edit)

On The Run (Edit)

Our Love (Edit)

AOR Heaven will be releasing the new album from Imperium, ‘Beyond The Stars‘ on May 25th 2018.

Imperium is the solo project of drummer Mika Brushane. Mika has been playing drums and percussion in various bands since 1981 in all genres from jazz to metal and composed songs for different genres – and this legacy of mixed genres can be heard in the Imperium sound! The music is Melodic Rock which has a big dose of 80’s feel and sounds in it.

The project started in 2012 when Mika composed a new track for the new Strike record ‘We’re Back‘ and realized that there was more songs in him that needed to be released. In 2016, the debut album by Imperium, ‘Dreamhunter‘, saw the light of day on  AOR Heaven.

In Imperium, Mika is in charge of the song-writing and playing all drums, bass, keyboards and the backing vocals. All lead vocals and guitars are performed by various very talented musicians from the rock/metal scene. 

Also the album’s post production was handled by top professionals, i.e. it was  mixed by Erkka Korhonen (Dark Sarah, Urban Tale, Northern Kings, Ari Koivunen, Raskasta Joulua) and mastered by the legendary Mika Jussila (Nightwish, Children of Bodom, Stratovarius, HIM etc.) ‘Beyond The Stars‘ was produced and mostly recorded during 2017-2018 by Mika himself at his Groovehouse studio in Vantaa, Finland.

Sound clips in advance:

Beyond The Stars (Edit)

Crash And Burn (Edit)

Learning How To Fly (Edit)

Line up:

Mika Brushane – Music, lyrics, drums, vst-bass, keyboards and backing vocals

Erkka Korhonen – Guitars

Samuli Federley – Guitars

Toni Huovinen – Guitars

Susanna Eronen – Backing vocals

Sini Heinilä – Backing vocals

Guest stars on ‘Beyond The Stars‘: Dennis Ward – Lead & backing vocals (Gus G, Khymera, Unisonic, Pink Cream 69, Place Vendome, Sunstrom, etc.); Markku Kuikka – Lead & backing vocals (Crow’s Flight, Agonizer, Kenziner, The Ragged Saints, Status Minor, etc.); Antti Railio – Lead & backing vocals (The Voice of Finland winner, Ex-Celesty, Solo artist, Raskasta Joulua tour etc.), Rob Lundgren – Lead & backing vocals, (solo artist, The Midgard project, Barque of Dante, etc.)

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Frontline from Nürnberg, Germany belong to the pioneers of the German hard rock scene. Founded in 1989 by Robert Böbel (guitars, keyboards; Evidence One, Phantom V), Stephan Kämmerer (vocals), Thomas Riess (bass) und Stephan Bayerlein (drums), their debut album ‘The State Of Rock‘ finally hit the stores in 1994 – a true classic which until today still is regarded as the finest album of the band by many. This record also meant the breakthrough for the guys in Japan where they reached # 10 in the rock sales charts. Straightly after the release, Frontline went on tour in Europe and had the honour to open for various great acts such as Gotthard, Crash Test Dummies, Bonfire, Tyketto and Casanova.

In 1995,  Frontline pulled out the full acoustic album „Two Faced“. However, personal differences within the band followed and ended up in the departure of Stephan Bayerlein and Thomas Riess in 1996. They were replaced by Thomas „Hutch“ Bauer (Bass) und Rami Ali (Drums; Evidence One, Shylock). Still in the same year, Frontline signed a record deal with a new label, recorded the single ‘Man In Motion‘ and the album ‘Heroes‘ which though officially only saw the light of day in Japan since their European label went out of business.

One year later, the band decided to start working on another new album which is well known under it’s working title ‘Heroes II‘ amongst the fans but never saw a release. Due to a complicated contractual situation many labels feared to contact Frontline during the following years and the band went back to the underground again until Georg Siegl at AOR Heaven finally showed his interest in the band in the year 2000 and signed them for the first time. Just one month later, the album “Right Attitude” was released which can be regarded as a sort of compilation out of both “Heroes” albums …and ‘Right Attitude‘ became a huge success for the band again! The recordings for their 2002 output “Against The World” started the same year, and this album finally re-established Frontline on the international hard rock market.

Throughout the months after the release of the best of compilation ‘Almost Unreleased‘ (2003) which also featured a couple of rare tracks for the fans, Frontline again went into the studio and started to work on a new album called ‘The Seventh Sign‘ (2004). In the year 2006, the last studio album the German group called ‘Circles‘ was released.

On April 27th 2018, AOR Heaven now will re-issue the rare and out of print album ‘The State Of Rock‘ with two bonus tracks as a Limited Edition of 1000 copies. The album was  re-mastered by guitarist Robby Böbel.

Soundclips in advance:

Frontline – Another Love (Edit)

Frontline – Heaven Knows (Edit)

Frontline – The Night Comes Over You (Edit)

 

 

With members from bands like Constancia, The Poodles, Token, Narnia and Essence of Sorrow, and with guest stars Nina Söderquist (Bjorn Skifs/Badrock, Champions of Rock a.o.), Janne Stark (Grand Design, Mountain of Power a.o.), and Tåve Wanning (The Voice, Adrenaline Rush, Peaches), new melodic hard rockers Heartwind may come across as one of those one off band projects, but nothing could be more far from the truth. Heartwind is the story of two old friends, with a common love for classical melodic hard rock and AOR, that after fifteen years of friendship started to write the album they always had wanted to listen to themselves. Over a meal in downtown Stockholm, guitar player and songwriter Goran Engvall (former with Hitworks) and progressive/melodic keyboard player and fellow songwriter Mikael Rosengren (Constancia, Token, Scudiero), laid down the vision for what was yet to come. 15 original songs and 12 months later, Mikael started to pull some strings from his many fellow musicians in the Swedish hard rock scene since 20 years back.

The two songwriters were amazed with the positive response they got on their first demos, from hard rock industry people & fans. It became evident that they were going to be able to attract some great talent to the album and the band. Believing in the importance of fellowship and a strong people fit when starting a band, Mikael and Göran started to dig in closest ground: Drummer Peter TrumPeter Svensson (Constancia, Faith) and singer Germán Pascual (Narnia, Dj Mendez, Essence of Sorrow), happily joined the band, and two key pieces of the puzzle came into place. With Peter and Germán onboard, the band knew they had both a powerful backbone and a phenomenal front man in place!

Germán invited his old friends, and former band mates, guitar virtuoso Martin Hall (Germán Pascual band) and bass wizard Germain Leth (The Poodles, Watchmen) to join the band and magic was about to happen. When also the very well respected Fredrik Folkare (Unleashed, Firespawn, Eclipse, Scudiero a.o.), accepted to team up to produce and mix, the band knew they had something special going. Fredrik’s contribution also as a musician on the album (guitar & bass) cannot be underestimated.

With classical albums like Hysteria (Def Leppard), 1987 (Whitesnake) and Escape (Journey) serving as inspiration, the intention from the band has been to get every single track to stand on its own two feet! Timeless melodic hard rock with a modern but still genuine sound!

After publishing a short teaser on Youtube, just before X-mas 2017, Heartwind stood ready as a band and was offered record deals by no less than three (!) different labels. Heartwind was happy to sign with AOR Heaven in early January and making an old dream come true.

Soundclips in advance:

Heartwind – Cry Out Into Space (Edit)

Heartwind – Higher And Higher (Edit)

Heartwind – Ready For The Moonlight (Edit)

The album is mixed and produced by Fredrik Folkare, Chrome Studios, and mastered by Erik Mårtensson, Blowout Productions (Eclipse, Ammunition, WET a.o).

Official Website