Review: Bonfire – Live On Holy Ground Wacken 2018

Pride & Joy Music (June 14th 2019)
Reviewer: Grant Foster

Live albums, are they as relevant today as they were 40 years ago?

If You Want Blood, Live and Dangerous, Strangers In The Night. In the days before the internet, downloads, YouTube etc, they were a wonderful documentation of a band’s live show committed to vinyl. But even those illustrious releases aren’t entirely ‘live’.

Priest’s effort is well known as ‘Unleashed In The Studio’ for a reason! Listen to Whole Lotta Rosie from IYWB. Most of it is the studio version from the Let There Be Rock album version. And the ending? I’ve never heard it finished like that on any bootlegs from that era or since! So, how do you know what you are hearing on these ‘live’ albums, is in fact, just that?

This album recorded at Wacken 2018, sounds great. Full and muscular. Almost like a studio release. Ooops, there’s the cynic in me again. The playing and singing is full on. There’s no doubting the quality of this band ‘live’. I really don’t know what else to say. If you are a Bonfire fan, you’re gonna love this. If you’re a hard rock fan, it’s worth checking out. If you haven’t heard of the band, check out their ‘Fireworks’ album.

That’s the problem with live albums in the modern day, in my humble opinion. The songs become so over produced, that they are almost indistinguishable from the albums from which they originally came. And as anyone who has ever performed a live rock show knows, that’s very rarely the case. Now where’s my copy of AC/DC’s ‘Live From The Atlantic Studios?’ Now that’s a LIVE album!

German Hard Rock band Bonfire for a couple of decades has been one of the busiest touring bands and consistently also is a regular guest at numerous big European Metal festivals. On August 4th, 2018 the Ingolstadt based group once again set a highlight performance at the world’s biggest Heavy Metal festival: Wacken Open Air.

The show in Wacken was filmed and will now be released on June 14th, 2019 as DVD, as CD, as LP and digital under the name ‘Live On Holy Ground 2018‘. The main film offers a superb ‘best of’ journey through time and includes Bonfire‘s own classic hits like ‘Ready 4 Reaction‘, ‘Sweet Obsession‘ and ‘American Nights‘. The DVD version with ‘Praying 4 A Miracle‘ (radio edit), ‘Locomotive Breath‘ (radio edit), ‘Sweet Obsession‘ (2019) and ‘American Nights‘ (2019) shows four bonus video clips which are also included on the CD, LP and digital as audio files. The first pressing of all three physical formats is coming hand signed by the band!

Tracklist:

1.In the Beginning

2.Ready 4 Reaction

3.Never Mind

4.Don’t Touch The Light

5.American Nights

6.Give It A Try

7.Sword and Stone

8.SDI

9.Sweet Obsession

10.Champion

Bonus Tracks:

11.Praying 4 A Miracle

12.Locomotive Breath

13. American Nights (2019)

14. Sweet Obsession (2019)

Filmed & recorded live at Wacken Open Air on August 4th, 2018

Mix & Mastering: Tom Müller (Flatliner Studios)

Produced by: Hans Ziller

Additional Recordings by Rolf Munkes at Empire Studios

Virtual set extensions for American Nights by Andreas Resch @world-of-visions.de

Locomotive Breath – Byron Mansylla, AVMS

Artwork design: The Digital Dictators

DVD information: FSK12, Playing time: 60:09 min, Full screen: 4:3, DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital, NTSC, Full HD, Region Code: 0

Line up:

Hans Ziller – Lead, Rhythm-Guitar, Backing Vocals

Alexx Stahl – Lead Vocals

Ronnie Parkes – Bass, Backing Vocals

Frank Pané- Lead, Rhythm-Guitar, Backing Vocals

André Hilgers – Drums, Percussion

Additional Musicians: Tim Breideband, Harry Reischmann – Drums; Paul Morris, Fredrik Bergh, Alessandro DelVecchio – Keyboards; Mike Gerhold & Alessandro DelVecchio – Backing Vocals

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Review: Lugnet – Nightwalker

Pride & Joy Music (Jan 25th 2019)

Reviewer: Dan Mann

Lugnet are set to release their second album in January, three years after their self titled debut. To say I’ve played that debut to death wouldn’t be overstating how much I love it, so I for one was looking forward to getting my mitts on ‘Nightwalker‘. There’s been one major change since the debut, with Jaded Heart‘s Johan Fahlberg taking over on vocals. Now I’m very familiar with Johan’s singing, but there’s still that element of will this work?

Rest easy, it works a treat! Johan slots in perfectly, his style nicely slotting into Lugnet‘s unashamed 70’s hard rock as does the other new boy, guitarist Matti Norlin, whose tone and vibe help bring it all together.

Two of the album’s tracks I’d already heard rather a lot after the release earlier in the year of ‘Begging‘ comprising both ‘Begging‘ and ‘Cockroach‘ so they were a nice taster of what was to come.

One stand out track for me is ‘Death Laughs At You‘, the opening riffs could be straight off a Black Sabbath album, with elements Of Pink Floyd‘s ‘Sheep‘ all with a distinctive Lugnet slant. It absolutely nails your full concentration!

Although the album is ‘only’ eight tracks, you get your monies worth having two songs just under seven minutes and one almost eight minutes long.

This album is a grower in every sense, I hear more little nuances and details on every listen and my enjoyment for it has increased every play.

If your already a Lugnet fan, then rejoice as your about to be handsomely rewarded. Not a fan yet? You will be after listening to this, and then you can go and increase your enjoyment by visiting their debut!

 

Buckets Rebel Heart is the new band formed by ex Bad Company and Humble Pie guitarist Dave “Bucket” Colwell, along with former 720 & New Torpedoes drummer, Paul “Taff” Edwards. The line-up is completed by lead vocalist Jim Stapley and bass player Dave “Boycie” Boyce, previously of The Quireboys.

December 7th, 2018 sees the official release of the band’s debut album ‘20 Good Summers‘, showcasing 12 songs written by Colwell and Edwards. Mixed in Nashville, by Grammy Award Winner Ben Fowler, the album also features vocal contributions from Mollie Marriott and Rick “Georgia Satellites” Richards, among others.

The albumwill be released on Pride & Joy Music on December 7th, 2018

The band made their live debut in June, going down a storm at the Sweden Rock Festival 2018.

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Orion’s Reign are back with their second full-length studio album, ‘Scores of War‘, set for an October 19th release by Pride & Joy Music.

The album was engineered, mixed and mastered at Fascination Street Studios (Powerwolf, Arch Enemy, Dragonforce, Amorphis etc.),  in Sweden by Jens Bergen, Linus Corneliusson and Orion’s Reign, includes 11 tracks of epic/symphonic metal.

The band continues the music path it had already begun with the previous album ‘Nuclear Winter‘, offering this time a full symphonic experience profoundly influenced by epic movie scores, with a complete orchestra, bombastic rhythms, massive choirs and guest appearances such as Tim Ripper Owens (Judas Priest, Iced Earth), Bob Katsionis (Firewind), Mark Boals (Malmsteen) and others.

The record is extremely diversified and contains much to explore, from Symphonic Speed Metal to catchy (Hard) Rock sounds, as well as operatic refrains filigreeing rich emotionality. The single ‘The Undefeated Gaul‘ is the first appetizer of the album, with fast riffs, heavy rhythm section and furious guitar solos! Stay tuned for more single releases!

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Germany based Hard Rock band DeVicious will release their debut album ‘Never Say Never‘ on Pride & Joy Music on August 24th, 2018!

After their tour with Ammunition in Spring 2018, ‘Never Say Never‘ marks the first album release for this group.

The band says: “We are proud to announce our new partnership with Pride & Joy Music, GerMusica and Soulfood Distribution. Our debut album “Never say Never” will be available on August 28th exclusively world-wide through Pride & Joy Music. Zoran, Radivoj, Gisi, Alex, Denis and Lars want to thank the one and only Birgitt Schwanke for taking care of our album and for giving us a chance at such an established label. We could not be more happy right now.”

DeVicious are currently working on the follow-up album. In December 2018, they’ll tour Germany as support for US Hard Rock legends Hardline:

DeVicious with Xtasy & Hardline:

06.12.2018 D-Hamburg, Logo

07.12.2018 Bochum, Rockpalast

08.12.2018 D-Mörlenbach, Live Music Hall

09.12.2018 D-Munich, Backstage Club

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Swedish Hard Rock band Free From Sin have extended their collaboration with Pride & Joy Music and will release their second album entitled ‘II‘ on the German Metal label on July 20th, 2018.

Free From Sin’s self-titled debut album was released in mid 2015.  After good sales, reviews and press feedback, the Swedish based group is now back with a vengeance and with a new record called ‘Free From Sin II’!

The band has added new band members to the line-up which resulted in a much darker & heavier sounding release in comparison to the first one. Free From Sin is again going back to basics, with a classical 5 piece line-up, with hammond organ, guitar, bass & drums together with aggressively vivid vocals and now is featuring Per Englund (ex-Blacksmith, vocals), Patrik Lämborg (guitars), Fredrik Strömberg (keyboards), Ulf Kronsell (bass) and Paul Ekdahl (drums).

There is a clear message and thought throughout the lyrics, this in combination with massive guitar riffs will for sure capture the listener’s attention and mind…….cast the second stone!

With strong influences from Deep Purple, Judas Priest, Rainbow, Iron Maiden etc., Free From Sin is again merging these ingredients in riff- based songs together with a modern sound. “II” was again produced by Mankan Sedenberg with Free From Sin at Pama Studios, Sweden.

Line-up:

Per Englund (vocals)

Patrik Lämborg (guitars)

Fredrik Strömberg (keyboards)

Ulf Kronsell (bass)

Paul Ekdahl (drums)

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Pride & Joy Music is proud to announce the addition of Italian Heavy Metal veterans Crying Steel to the roster!

Stay Steel‘ is the name of their new album which will be released on June 15th, 2018 on Pride & Joy Music. This is the first record from Crying Steel to feature one of the finest voices in rock, Tony Mills (ex Shy, ex TNT), on vocals!

Crying Steel were founded in Bologna in 1982 from the ashes of the Hard Rock group Wurdalak. The founding members were Alberto Simonini (guitar) and Angelo Franchini (bass), who were joined by Luke Bonzagni (vocals) and in 1983, and after various line-up changes, by Luca Ferri (drums) and Franco Grandchildren (guitar). After a couple of demos, the Italians released their debut EP “Crying Steel” in 1985.

During the next two years the group intensified their live activities throughout Italy including a performance at Heavy Metal Festival in Bologna in June 1986 with Motörhead and Twisted Sister. After more demo and promo releases, the debut LP “On The Prowl” came out in 1987. This was a revolutionary album – at least for the Italian New Wave of Heavy Metal (NWOIHM), as it was the first to be also released on CD. In September 1988 the line-up changed again. Simonini and Bonzagni left Crying Steel  and were replaced by Michele Vanni and Lisa Bisognin. In March of 1990 Michele Vanni also left when Francesco Di Nicola joined the group. In the same year, the band performed some gigs in Russia with Massimiliano Merlini as new singer in the line-up. Some more gigs followed in 1994 and 2003 – reunions which saw Crying Steel perform with the classic line-up (Simonini / Grandchildren / Bonzagni / Franchini / Ferri). In 2006, Crying Steel were signed by  Italian label My Graveyards Production and began to record the new record “The Steel Is Back” which was released in 2007. Shortly after the album came out, Simonini unfortunately decided to leave the group. Max Magagni stepped in for the release party. Luca Bonzagni then had to leave the band due to differences with the other members until Crying Steel announced their new singer Stephen Palmonari in November 2009. Another series of concerts followed and included a performance at the British Fest. The follow-up album, “Time Stands Steel”, was released in April 2013. In June 2013, Crying Steel parted ways with singer Palmonari who was immediately replaced with Ramon Punch Drunk. Before the concert held in Reno in February 2014, Friars Luigi replaced Max Magagni who had to leave due to increasing work commitments. After this line-up change, the group intensified it’s touring schedule once more and also represented Italy at Wacken Open Air’s 25th Anniversary. In 2015, they played the Greek festival “Metal Rites” in Athens with Jag Panzer and signed a record deal with local label No Remorse Records before playing with former Iron Maiden singer Blaze Bayley in 2015. In 2016, Crying Steel celebrated their 30th Anniversary with a live show at Lokomotiv Club in Bologna with their friends Rain, Markonee and later on supported the American band Riot. A special box set containing a reprint of “On The Prowl” + a DVD with the performance at Wacken Open Air 2014 was released in 2016, and Mirko Bacchilega became the new singer. In 2016, Crying Steel announced that the coming studio release will feature Tony Mills (Shy, TNT), one of the greatest voices in the international rock scene, on vocals. Crying Steel also played Paris Metal Fest in 2017.

Line-up:

Tony Mills (Vocals)

Luca Ferri (Drums)

Angelo Franchini (Bass)

JJ Frati (Guitar)

Franco Nipoti (Guitar)

Mirko Bacchilega (Piano intro on track 4, live vocals)

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Power Metal band Crystal Tears is the latest addition to Pride & Joy Music’s roster! The Greek band’s new album ‘Decadence Deluxe‘ will be released on May 18th, 2018.

The world’s a stage, we plug & play“! With a steady evolution from the band’s first demos to its latest installments, Crystal Tears have managed to leave their mark as one of the most qualitative heavy metal acts, proven to be a persistent, innovative & unstoppable force. Their previous testimony ‘Hellmade‘, with music videos involving Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (ex-Guns N’ Roses, Sons Of Apollo) & actors Lew Temple (of The Walking Dead fame) & Lou Taylor Pucci (Evil Dead) – initiated their first European tour (with Mystic Prophecy), followed by their own headline Greek tour & a few more extended shows with Firewind/ ex-Ozzy Osbourne’s Gus G.

Having gained a formidable reputation for delivering the goods on stage & via their honest and sing-along anthems, Crystal Tears strike back with the massively anticipated new album ‘Decadence Deluxe‘. With producer R. D. Liapakis (Mystic Prophecy, Devil’s Train, Suicidal Angels etc.) on the front again, the quintet delivers high quality heavy metal dedicating heart & soul, managing to sound constantly inspired & fresh. Crystal Tears have always been original. And this unique blend of dynamics in aggressiveness & harmony has been introducing ’em continually to new audiences all over the world. And as good ol’ friend Ryan Roxie (Alice Cooper, ex-Slash’s Snakepit) says… “all is rock”! And the story continues…

The artwork for ‘Decadence Deluxe‘ was designed by Caio Caldas (Dragonforce) and guest musicians include Ryan Roxie (Alice Cooper, Slash’s Snakepit), Karis Charisma (Deadsquad), Julien Nutz Deyres (Gorod) and Fidel De Jesus (Xeno Devata Project).

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‘The Extended Sessions‘ EP is the follow-up release to the extremely successful ‘The Four Seasons‘ album release by Vivaldi Metal Project which hit the shelves in Summer 2016 on CD & double vinyl on Pride & Joy Music. The album up to today is one of the label’s best sellers and now being continued with this valuable EP which will shorten the waiting time for the fans until the next full album!

The digital version of the EP will be available at the usual outlets; the physical edition  digipack is limited to 300 copies and will only be available at the band’s shows, at the label’s online shop and at selected mailorder.

Created and produced by MistheriaVivaldi Metal Project are currently working on bringing the project onto stage with full band, orchestra and choir. During Summer/Autumn 2017, the band played a series of unplugged shows in Finland, in Bulgaria and in Italy in advance which resulted in the idea to put some of the extraordinary material onto this EP! ‘The Extended Sessions‘ includes four tracks which are centered around the group’s performance at “Kitee International Music And Art Festival” which took place in Kitee (Finland) on July 13th, 2017. Arranged by Mistheria, the performance at the “Sleeping Sun” event featured Mistheria himself on piano and Tsena Stefanova on vocals. An epic video for this track will also be available soon online.

‘The Extended Sessions‘ EP opens with a newly recorded unplugged studio version of ‘The Four Seasons‘ medley which again was arranged by Mistheria who performed on this track on piano and was joined by vocalists Tsena Stefanova, Angel Wolf-Black and Dimitar Belchev plus Abigail Stahlschmidt on violin. Additionally to this track, the song ‘Vita‘ – one of the album’s single – is featured twice on the EP: once as exclusive “original vocal session” as recorded by Dimitar Belchev on the first demo version of this song which impressed Mistheria at the first listening, and once as instrumental “karaoke”. Both versions are delivered with a brand new mix by Ivan Moni Bidin at Artesonika studios.

Vita‘ was originally released with different singers on last year’s album. The track was arranged by Zhivko Koev and the line-up here includes Dimitar Belchev on vocals, Srdjan Brankovic on guitars, Chris Caffery (TSO, Savatage) with a guitar solo, Jeffrey Revet on keyboards, Royal Hunt’s Andreas Passmark on bass and Martijn Peters on drums.

Like the Vivaldi Metal Project‘s full length album ‘The Four Seasons‘, ‘The Extended Sessions‘ EP was mixed and mastered by Ivan Moni Bidin at Artesonika Studios in Italy and produced by Mistheria. Vivaldi Metal Project is currently booking more unplugged shows over Europe and USA. Dates will be announced soon!

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