Melodic Rock Fanzine issue 52
This new issue includes reviews and interviews of Dokken, Ten, KIX, Impera, Bonrud, Andy Rock, Soulspell, Night Ranger, Pride of Lions, Neal Schon... and more!
CONTENTS 04 D o k k e n 06 Te n 07 K I X 09 I m p e r a 09 Bonrud 10 A n d y R o c k 12 R e v i e w s 14 S o u l s p e l l 17 N i g h t R a n g e r 19 P r i d e o f L i o n s 20 N e a l S c h o n 22 O b s e s s i o n Melodic Rock Fanzine The official Frontiers Records magazine Year #8 - Nr. 5 / Issue #52 Editor-in-chief: Elio Bordi Graphic & Design: Elio Bordi Writers: Bruce E.J. Atkinson, Duncan Jamieson, Barry McMinn, Vitale Nocerino, Rob “Ezy” Bone, Fabio Mainardi, Primo Bonali. Headquarters and general contacts: Frontiers Records - Via Gonzaga 18 80125, Napoli - Italy Tel: +39.081.2399340/7753 Fax: +39.081.2399794 E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.frontiers.it Facebook: facebook.com/frontiersrecordsofficial Twitter: twitter.com/frontiersrec Editor and publisher: Frontiers Records s.r.l. Copyright©2012 Frontiers Records. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Printed in Italy. band. dokken album. broken bones Interview with. don dokken interviewed by:. duncan jamieson Focus on: 4 | MRF DOKKEN - Broken Bones (Frontiers Records) It’s been a troubling time recently for Don Dokken as he has needed vocal surgery. Fortunately, he’s come out the other end and he still sounds recognisably Don Dokken. He might not be hitting those stratospheric high notes as once did but he’s adjusted his song writing to suit his delivery. The good news is he still rocks. John Levin returns as his guitar foil and he has enough riff power and shredding ability that you don’t pine for classic line-up guitarist George Lynch. Song wise it’s pitched somewhere between the classic 80s output, with a touch of mid 90s ‘Dysfunctional’. The title track and ‘Victim Of The Crime’ have a definite Led Zeppelin vibe which works well and suggests the band still want to move forward. ‘Empire’ rocks hardest while ‘Best Of Me’ and ‘Burning Tears’ have the most nagging melodic hooks. The ballad ‘Today’ is a well-structured tune, with backing vocals to help out on those high notes and it’s a song that could work well live. Dokken might have had a few ‘Broken Bones’ over the years but there’s still plenty of life left in Dokken circa 2012. Duncan Jamieson (90/100) Question: The title of the album is related to your bike accident occurred last year, isn’t it? Or is it a larger metaphor of life? Answer: No it is not about my bike accident, yes I broke 4 ribs in the accident, but the CD title is about every body that has had troubles in there life, love, health, lost love, heartbreak, death,,nobody goes through life without a few broken bones metaphorically, most of us learn from our past mistakes but some people do not, what does not kill you makes you stronger. After my bike accident it reminded me that life is short, the pain in our lives inspires us to make music, and the happiness as well inspires to write. We are all damaged. Q: What about the “Empire” of the first song? Who is its Emperor? A: There are no emperors. The dictators kill their own people to maintain control but in the end they gain nothing but a burning empire, its been going on for thousands of years, and we have not learned anything. Its the year 2012 and still we kill for nothing, just like the Romans and Greeks you cannot win and in the end the people lose to a few megalomaniacs who kill their own people. I am ashamed of our race, violence is not the answer, that is the meaning of the song. Q: “Victim Of The Crime” reminds me of the “Dysfunctional” sound and approach. Is it by chance or did you want to return to that sound for this song? A: We write what comes into our soul. I have no reason to repeat what I have already written, Jon and I wrote from our hearts in these troubled times. Q: Are all of the songs from “Broken Bones” new? Or are there any coming from the past? A: Every song is new! We wrote 32 songs over 11 months and picked our favorites Q: How has your inspiration changed and the way you write your songs from the early Dokken years until now? A: We were young but now we are older and hopefully wiser, I do not see the world as I did when I was 30, everything has changed, I have children now and I am concerned about there future, and ours as well. I have never been a political person, but when I see Greece bankrupt, and Spain and Italy on the verge as well I realize the the politicians are running our world. We are just puppets. Q: In the last 4-5 years Dokken toured with several different drummers. what is the situation about Mick Brown? Will he be on stage in the next tour? A: No, Mick is now with Ted Nugent, I love him like a brother, we have played together for 30 years and he HAD played with Dokken when he can, but now we must move on... Jimmy De' Grasso from Megadeath - Alice Cooper and Y&T is now our drummer! Q: It has been ten years that you and Jon Levin have worked together, changing the story of the band. What is your balance about this collaboration? Do you think that Jon would have fit into the role if he would have played on the Eighties records? A: George was a big part of the Dokken sound but the Eighties are over. We cannot look back and wonder what could have been. Jon's rhythms and solos on our last few records as well as 'Broken Bones' show that he does not live in the shadow of George lynch anymore. George will always be remembered for his contribution to Dokken, but Jon has now made his mark and unlike George is a good person Q: Dokken are one of the few bands that never experimented with any kind of “reunion” Do you consider it a positive thing? A: I would love to do one more Dokken record some day with the original members. Jeff, Mick and I get along great but George continues to talk negative about me, I have no desire to play with someone that is emotionally unstable and full of hate. Jon and I are best friends and we both understand the Dokken sound, George always wanted to change it. George continues to say he believes that i was the weakest member of the band, he forgot who wrote a large part of our music and hits. Narcissism is a disease of the mind, and I think it’s too late for him to change and find spiritual peace in this life time. The band is called Dokken, not Lynch, Jon Levin was always a fan of George’s playing. He has always spoken of him with respect because Jon has class. You can listen to “Broken Bones” T&N and Lynch Mob and let the fans make their own decision, George will go down in history as once being a great guitarist, but his day is over! Q: How has the music industry changed since when Dokken first hit the metal scene back in the early eighties? A: When I went to Germany to get the record deal, they wanted to sign me as a solo artist. The original album, Breaking The Chains originally came out in Europe and the band was called Don Dokken. It was pretty rare. There were 500 copies of it that said “Don” on the cover. So when we got the band together, I just dropped the “Don” and we became Dokken. I am stuck in 1989. I think the ’90s killed music. There were no good songs on the radio. Music was depressing then. Dokken is old school. We come from the genre of Van Halen and The Scorpions. Q: Dokken were known for their innovative music videos. What was your favorite Dokken video? A: I would have to say,”It’s Not Love”. We were riding down Hollywood Boulevard in a flatbed truck. We were playing live, yeah! We kept getting stopped. I think we got stopped four times! Q: As a singer, who first influenced your style of singing? A: I listened to Ian Gillan a lot. I love “Highway Star”. I love Ian Gillan’s falsetto. I listened to Ronnie James Dio and Steven Tyler that started it all. Q: You did record vocals for the demo tracks of Scorpions album "Blackout". Back in the day there were all these rumors about you were about to replace Klaus Meine in Scorpions because he had some serious problems with his voice. Was there any truth behind that rumor? A: No truth at all, I just did it because his voice was hurting. I mean, we just had a guy come sing on our record. So what? I had Kelly Hansen to sing background vocals. He has the low more husky voice, I’m in the middle and Jeff Pilson has a higher voice. Why would I scream my ass off all day and stack my vocals when I can have someone else come in and do it? Q: How about John Norum, he was out from the band in the middle of LONG WAY HOME tour. What really happened for him back then? A: He wanted to do more like a blues-type thing. Actually what he wanted to do, it was really weird, it was something like Black Label Society meets blues kind of thing? I said it doesn’t fit Dokken. I said that has nothing to do with Dokken. When he came into the band, he wanted to change things so I’ve been struggling with him. And when the guitarist lives in Sweden, how do you have a guitar player in another country? It was difficult and expensive. Then his visa would expire and he would have to go home and come back. I told him it’s not going to work. MRF | 5 BAnd. ten album. heresy and creed Interview with. gary hughes interviewed by:. b. atkinson Question: Last year was a big year for Ten… Take us through some of the highlights, and how your comeback year influenced your new album. Answer: For some time now it has been my wish that Ten should return to a higher product output and more regular album turnover. I hope eventually to return to the pro - active ways of our early years. Last year’s release “Stormwarning”, and the live dates that followed, felt like an adrenaline rush for Ten. It felt fantastic to play in the live arena again after so long away. The band are hungrier than ever to play and promote the new product. We felt we had lost touch with our fan base and now we intend to do everything within our power to rectify that. I hope that there will be a new album every 12-18 months from now on. Q: Were the line-up changes in place during last year, or, more recent? A: The trick is to bring new vibrant musicians in that add life and energy to the band. Ten are sounding fresher and more powerful than ever. Ten 2012 is very different animal to Ten circa 1996. We have had to evolve to survive. Many bands around in the 90’s are long gone now. Ten 2012 is no nostalgia trip. We’re not simple dusting off a collection of old musicians past their sell by date. When members of any band have been together as long Focus on: as Ten have, occasionally we ask ourselves is this what we really want to do any more. Band members come and go. Q: Gary, how has the line-up change affected the new album, in regards to the recording process and the performances? A: The recording process never alters. The new members are aware of the bands lineage and legacy and so the blue print is already there. When members of any band have been together as long as Ten have, occasionally we ask ourselves is this what we really want to do any more. Neil (Fraser) only came in on guitar for the Stormwarning album as a session. Mark (Sumner) came in on bass guitar but at the last minute decided that committing to a tour schedule was not what he wanted. In Paul Hodson’s case, ill health was a big factor. An ongoing health condition meant that he simply couldn’t commit to any further live dates or touring. Paul and I are still great friends and will probably continue to work on “studio only” projects together. Steve McKenna has returned to the line - up on bass following a reconciliation with myself. It is great to have Steve back in Ten. I had missed him. Dan Mitchell has come in on lead guitar for the exiting Neil Fraser. Dan is a virtuoso guitar player. His style is somewhere between Rusty Cooly and Steve Vai. His presence adds greatly to the live sound. Ten are sounding fresher and more powerful than ever. Q: Ten have a very recognisable sound and so it is essential that these specific flavours are present each time we record . Did you have a certain ‘vision’ regarding “Heresy And Creed”… A: Heresy And Creed isn’t a ‘concept album’ as much as ‘an album full of concepts‘. Every song has its own concept and is a free standing piece in its own right. I feel that the album has great depth to it. In fact it is one that grows richer with every time you listen through it. There are some solid rockers alongside some powerful melancholic ballads. A typical Ten album really but with some new flavours too. “Heresy And Creed” comes out in October, worldwide…can we expect to see Ten in concert during the Autum/Winter? A: We plan to tour extensively in Europe with Heresy And Creed. I would also like to look into going to Japan again soon. It has been almost 10 years since Ten played in Japan and 6 or so since we played extensively in Europe. That’s too long and this new line up is on fire. We play Firefest in October here in the UK. Then we’re off to Madrid in November. We then do Hard Rock Hell Festival just after that too. T E N - Heresy And Creed ( F r o n t i e r s R e c o r d s ) With such a cinematic opening… “The Gates Of Jerusalem”, the theme of “Heresy And Creed” is instantly in your face! Ten’s tenth album is an instant classic! Gary Hughes and friends have totally out-done themselves. Perhaps the greatest Songwriter in this half of the 21st century, the sheer volume and diversity of Mr. Hughes’ material is nothing short of amazing! “Heresy And Creed” is a refined Recorded Work, displaying the multi - talents of the six musicians whom make - up this classic Hard Melodic Rock wonder. As mentioned - fuelled by Gary Hughes, his songwriting and singing… Ten are firing on all sixteen cylinders!! Flowing in and out of the timely religious and cultural overtones, this story is so powerfully delivered, it totally immerses the listener. A very deep and layered album - majestic in form - gigantic in musical performance, and exquisitely finished by the song “The Riddle”… This is a monumental release! “Heresy And Creed” will be sought after the world over!! Bruce Atkinson (90/100) 6 | MRF Artist. kix album. live in baltomore Interview with. Brian Forsythe interviewed by. b. mcminn Queston: The band has a never say die attitude and since your re-emergence in the mid nineties, things have gone from strength to strength, but what keeps you going when others have fallen by the wayside? Answer: I feel that this is what I was meant to do and what I do best so why not run with it? When I'm on stage I'm giving it everything I've got every show, every night! You'll never catch me just going through the motions. I think that's what happens for some bands, they lose the spark. Q: When was the album recorded and why choose Ram’s head show in Baltimore? A: We recorded it in December 2011. Ram's Head is in the heart of Baltimore, what better place is there? It's a nice size venue with a full size concert stage, a rockin' band and a sold out crowd, a winning combination! Q: The band are working on a Focus on: new album for release next year, can you give us a little insight into the album and will it be pure KIX? A: It's gonna rock! We've got over 20 new song ideas to work with at the moment so we're going through them and trying to narrow it down to the best 10 to 12 tracks. And yes, it will be pure KIX! Q: The band was one of the many casualties of the Seattle scene, did you ever think the music industry would recover from Grunge and its effect on Hard Rock music? A: Things always go in cycles but when I initially left the band in 1993, I never really thought about what might happen 10 years down the road. When we first reunited in late 2003 we were thinking we would only be remembered around the Baltimore / DC area and didn't think it would become this big again. Q: “Live in Baltimore” is pure Hard Rock at its live best, so is touring still a big part of KIX and are their any shows lineup for the not to distant future? A: Yes the live show is our specialty! As I write this, we have two shows coming up this week and two the following week. Q: Looking back over the years you must have many highs and lows, but what has been the standout moment in your careers? A: Wow there are so many! The one in my most recent memory would have to be Rocklahoma 2008. I think that was when we realized that people did still remember us even outside the Maryland area. Q: Finally any last words for KIX fans worldwide? A: Thanks for being there all these years! If you want to see a real rock show, come on out to see us when we're in your area, you will not be disappointed! Oh yeah, and buy the record! KIX - Live In Baltimore (Frontiers Records) Founded in 1978 in Hagerstown Maryland, Kix led by the energetic frontman Steve Whiteman, along with guitarist Ronnie Younkins and Brian Forsythe, bassist Donnie Purnell and last but by no means least Jimmy Chalfont. The band had numerous hits during the 80’s and became one of the more popular live bands of the era, leading the band to tours with Cheap Trick, Ted Nugent, Triumph and Krokus to name a few. The band parted ways in 1995 but later reformed in mid 2000. The band played some big US festivals in 2008 and continue to tour. Prior to new studio album in 2013, the band have released a CD/DVD of one of their legendary live shows recorded in Baltimore, highlighting some of their greatest hits with tracks like ‘No Ring Around Rosie, Lie Like a Rug’, ‘Girl Money’ and of course ‘Midnite Dynamite’ and the rocking ‘Yeah Yeah Yeah’, complete with monologue by Whitman of one of the worst girlfriend experiences of all time. This is Kix at their live best and is good prelude to reacquaint yourself with one of the hardest rocking bands of the 80’s. I for one can’t wait to hear the new album. Barry McMinn (89/100) MRF | 7 Barry McMinn: The bands line-up reads like a who’s who of modern melodic rock, but how did the band come together? J.K.: I´ve started the band 3 years ago after a conversation with my good friend John Corabi (ex Mötley Crue) and the plan was that John would handle the vocals and I would dig up the rest of the band, unfortunately John´s busy schedule prevented him to participate so I started from scratch and it was quite easy actually, I just went, who is the best guitar player in Sweden? Tommy Denander. Who is the greatest singer? Matti Alfonzetti and so on. And it helped that I´ve none all the guys for over 20 years. BM: The album itself is no nonsense Hard Rock, was that your intention from the off, just to rock out? JK: Yes, I wanted to make an album that I would buy. No nonsense just rock. BM: It’s unusual to have a drummer as the leading light of a band, was it easier to mould the band from behind the kit rather than from behind a guitar or microphone? JK: In this case it was, because I´ve been in different bands for almost 30 years and there´s always been so many voices in every band that wanted to decide what´s best for the band and so on but in IMPERA there´s only one voice and that´s mine and honestly Matti and Tommy are so busy in other projects so they let me do my thing ha ha. BM: The album title ‘Legacy of Life’ is quite a statement, is this how you see the band and its music? JK: Yes, of course but it´s also a tribute to my father who past away a few years ago. BM: Did the band as a whole have input on the album or was there one songwriter / composer for the entire album? JK: Tommy, Matti and myself wrote pretty much everything. Lars Chriss (Lion´s Share) mixed it and I produced it. BM: Where do you see Impera fitting in today’s Hard Rock world? JK: We just wanna be one of those band´s that always releases new albums and tours all the time. But if people recognize some KISS, Whitesnake or Van Halen in our music I´ll be a happy camper. BM: With such a pedigree of talent in the band were there any doubts that this would work from the off, you know “too many cooks” and all that! JK: I´ve been trying to put this album together for over 3 years and that´s because Tommy and Matti always are on tour or in the studio working on some project but when we get together it´s magic and in IMPERA there is only one cook. BM: Are there any tour plans to bring the music if Impera to the masses? JK: We are planing to play some festivals in Europe next summer and after that I´m straight back to the studio to record the next IMPERA album. BM: Where would you like to see Impera in the next few years? JK: Living the dream. Recording, touring. Recording, touring. Barry McMinn: How long have you been working on album and was it a labour of love? Paul Bonrud: It was definitely a labor of love! I actually began working on the songs for this CD shortly after Frontiers released the first Bonrud CD. Then I got married, got a new job, moved from Seattle to Minnesota, bought a house which necessitated home improvement projects, and most significantly, my wife needed four major back surgeries that each required very long recovery times. I really had my hands full and there were two years where I didn’t touch my guitar at all. Most of the work on the new CD has been done over the past three years. BM: How did you and Rick Forsgren first come together and when did you fist know this was a partnership that was going to reap rewards? PB: I met Rick about three years ago. When I decided to get back into music, I began networking with all the best musicians in Minneapolis in an effort to meet the best singers. I got lots of recommendations from people like Lance King and in the end, there were five guys that had the vocal chops that fit my requirements and Rick was one of them. BM: So one Saturday morning about three years ago, Rick came over to my house and we met for the first time. We immediately clicked as friends because we had so much in common. Then we began recording three demos to see how we sounded together. The first song we worked on was “We Collide” and right away, it was very clear that we had some major mojo. We instantly became very good friends and I’m very pleased to say we are friends first, musical partners second. We have a lot of fun working on music together which is what makes it all worthwhile. BM: How would you compare this new album to the critically acclaimed debut release? PB: t’s a melodic rock record just like the first CD so fans of that record will feel right at home with this one. “Save Tomorrow” definitely has better production though and the performances are superior. There are a few songs that have a little harder edge than the first CD (“We Collide” and “Bullet in the Back”) but most of them are very similar to the first CD with a heavy “rocking Journey” influence which can be heard on the title track, “Save Tomorrow”. BM: How did you get involved with Escape Music for this new release? PB: I wrote, recorded, and produced this CD independently without any interaction with any record companies. I wanted to follow my own artistic instincts. Once the CD was mastered, I sent it off to a few record companies and among them were Escape Music and Frontiers Records. Khalil at Escape Music was very passionate about signing me and his enthusiasm won me over. Picking a record company is just like picking a band member or hiring an employee...you will almost always do better if you select the person who has the most passion and enthusiasm for the job. They will work harder for you and that will give you an edge. MRF |9 Question: This is your first solo album and some readers will recognise you as the guitarist with Wild Rose. Can you tell us about your background and how you got into music? Answer: Hi there! Well, I've started playing music very young around the age of 16 and I played with many different brands till I grew up , I was really hungry for music!!! In 2004 after a lot of search finally I made my own band Wild Rose! We made a few demos and finally last year we finished and released our first official album named ''Half Past Midnight''. Q: What’s been the reaction of Wild Rose to your CD release? A: If you mean the other guys of the band, the reaction was very good and they supported me with kindness !! I wanna thank them a lot! Q: “Into The Night” has a classic late night 80s AOR feel to it. Which bands encouraged you to pursue this direction? A: There are a lot of bands that inspired me through these years bands like Bon Jovi, Dokken, BAnd. andy rock Europe, Journey, Chicago, Russ album. into the night Ballard etc, while I'm a fan of Interview with. andy rock melodic rock from when I was a interviewed by. d. jamieson kid! Also the way that my life has turned to was a reason that inspired me a lot (many adventures) and of course my country especially the summer!!! Q: It truly is a solo album, as apart from the drums, you play all the instruments and sing lead vocals. How did you piece it all together? A: When you are working at the studio you don't have problems to piece it all together especially when you know to play all these instruments and when you know what exactly you wanna do!! I don't think it was a problem and I enjoyed it very much cause I did everything I wanted! Q: There are some great tunes on the record such as “Love Is Not A Game”, “I Wanna Be With You” and “Without You” for example. Which tracks are you particularly fond of? A: My favorite tracks from the album are different as the time passes... I mean before a while that it was summer, I was listening again and again to ''I Wanna Be With You''... ''Without you" also is a good one and... All the rest...! Q: Do you write your solo material differently than the material you write for Wild Rose? A: Not exactly, I mean the inspiration is the same but in Wild Rose I have in mind our singer George and his voice!! I have to write songs that will be perfect for George's style and of course for Wild Rose too! Q: What’s next for you Andy? A: Next coming is the new Wild Rose album "Dangerous" which is almost ready (some details left) and of course some other projects that I have in mind to do in the coming future so stay in touch... Focus on: ANDY ROCK - Into The Night (AOR Heaven) The unlikely named Andy Rock is guitarist with Greek melodic rock band Wild Rose. This is his debut solo album but any fears that it might be a self-indulgent, fretboard shredfest are dispelled from the off. The record teleports you to the late 80s when AOR walked the earth and ruled the airwaves. Considering it’s a guitarist’s record what strikes you about the record is the authentic 80s sounding keyboards , also played by Rock, that wrap up the music in a big fluffy cloud of hummable melodies. At different times the music brings to mind Los Angeles, Aldo Nova, Michael Bolton (Fool’s Game era) and even Robin Beck. On ‘Love Is Not a Game’ and especially standout ballad ‘I Wanna Be With You’ the music, especially the atmospheric keyboards and the sweet melodic guitar solos recall parts of Strangeways. Vocally, Rock’s voice is a little thin in places and a bigger production sound would have helped but if you like 80s AOR with songs about heartbreak, in the city, in the night, in the rain and often all at the same time then this is an easy album to like. Duncan Jamieson (86/100) JEFF LYNNE - Long Wave (Frontiers Records) After a gap of ten years this is Jeff Lynne’s latest solo album. Initially, it might be disappointing to discover that it’s not new original material from the former ELO lynchpin but an album of covers. It’s a mix of old sentimental standards like ‘Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered’, ‘Love is A Many Splendored Thing’ and ‘Smile’, rock ‘n’ roll covers such as ‘Running Scared’ and ‘Let It Rock’ and soul music like ‘Mercy, Mercy’ and ‘At Last’. The rock and soul material is more what you’d expect from Lynne and there are some echoes of the eclecticism of his ELO days in the arrangements of the tunes. The standards, on the other hand, are by design songs that are the middle of the road, and Lynne’s take on them is generally laidback. However Lynne is astute enough to make them sonically appealing and you can tell these songs are special to him and his performance on the disc is warm and inviting, leaving you with a satisfied nostalgic glow. Duncan Jamieson (90/100) ELO - Mr Blue Sky-The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra (Frontiers Records) ELO are one of those rare bands that when one of their songs come on the radio, they make whatever songs that have preceded it or follow it sound insipid and uninspiring by comparison. Jeff Lynne took a kaleidoscope of genres, and added the pop-craft and experimental playfulness of the Beatles to create undeniably classic pop songs. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of ELO’s music, like an old masterpiece that’s been restored to its former glories, Lynne has rerecorded the tracks and with the aid of modern technology has made the songs sound pristine and better than ever. The new version s might not replace the original vinyl versions in your affections, but the inclusion of the previously unreleased ‘Point Of No Return’ makes this worth checking out for diehards and for those unfamiliar with the bonafide pop classics that the band created then this is an indispensable introduction. Duncan Jamieson (90/100) BONRUD - Save Tomorrow (Escape Music) ‘Save Tomorrow’ is the long awaited new album from Paul Bonrud’s BONRUD following their acclaimed debut. Bonrud is once again joined by the vocal powerhouse that is Rick Forsgren. Also lending his powerhouse drumming is Paul Higgins, with Bonrud himself taking up both guitar and bass duties on this opus. The album ge’ts underway with the excellent ‘We Collide’. From the off the hard rock hits hard and fast, with Bonrud firing on all six while Forsgren unleashes his vocal might and Higgins pounding the skins in almost primal fashion. A real ballsy opener. The hard rocking keeps going with great tracks like ‘American Dream’, ‘Last Sunrise’, the funky ‘Blinded’ and my personal favourite ‘End Of Days’. Even the more mellower moments like the stunning ‘Last Sun’ make for great listening. It may have been a while coming but ‘Save Tomorrow’ is well worth the wait. Barry McMinn (90/100) MOB RULES - Cannibal Nation (AFM Records) "Cannibal Nation" is the seventh album for the german metallers Mob Rules. The band has plenty of quality and the new album is here to prove it, starting with the strong Metal-opener "Close My Eyes", passing thru' the more atmospheric and melodic "Lost" (with some epic keyboards) and the typical melodic german Power Metal of "Tele Box Fool" to the orchestrally-arranged "Ice & Fire" (which features atmospheric orchestral-parts by “Miro” of Avantasia and Angra-fame). Personally I've been really impressed by the vocals of Klaus Dirks, who might recall Tobias Sammet’ (Edguy/Avantasia) or Bruce Dickinson’s style, especially on the higher notes and on the use of vibrato; that said, the dual guitar-work (courtesy of Matthias Mineur and Sven Lüdke) and the tight rhythm section are worth a note too. If what you're looking for is an excellent Power Metal album that moves beyond the borders of the classic European / German Power to approach some new "aural solutions", go for it and you'll not be left down... Primo Bonali (85/100) GRAVEYARD - Lights Out (Nuclear Blast) The band Graveyard was burn in 2006 and “Light Out” is the third album, the second one on Nuclear Blast. During the years the band become really well known playing a lot of live shows and releasing so amazing albums like the second CD “Hisingen Blues” (2011). The sound comes from the seventies and is full of blues, powerfull riffs and dark atmospheres. Hard rock with balls and so much ispired, “Lights Out” has no fillers and if you want the best from it, listen to it from the beginning till the end, it is a journey! Songs like the opene “An Industry Of Murder”, “Slow Motion Countdown”, “Endless Night”, “The Suits, The Low & The Uniforms” and “Fool In The End” are clear example of what I’m talking about. “Light Out” is probably the best album Graveyard have released in their history, so there are no doubts that it will be in the 2012 top ten. Enjoy! Vitale Nocerino (90/100) PASTORE - The End Of Our Flames (Ulterium Records) Pastore is a Brazilian heavy metal band formed in 2007 by Mario Pastore [Acid Storm, Delpht, Soulspell] and Raphael Gazal. They released their first album "The Price For The Human Sins" in 2010. Pastore are now ready for the follow up "The End Of Our Flames", produced by Raphael Gazal himself while mix and mastering was handled by Thomas "Plec" Johansson [Scar Symmetry, Miseration, Incrave] at Panic Room Studio, Sweden. Pastore line-up consist of Mario Pastore vocals, Raphael Gazal guitars, Alexis Gallucci Bass and Fábio Buitividas drums. "The End Of Our Flames" is a ferocious heavy metal album in the vein of huge metal bands such as Judas Priest or Iron Maiden, highlights the opener and title track "The End Of Our Flames", “Fools” (amazing bass work over here) and the up tempo “Unreal Messages”. Fabio “Deuce” Mainardi (88/100) 12 | MRF THRESHOLD - Definitive Edition (Nuclear Blast) “Formed in the South of England in the late 1980s, THRESHOLD combined the influences of heavy metal and progressive rock to craft their own unique sound which was a far cry from the commercial sound of the time.” Threshold are one of the best progressive metal band ever and their history is so full of amazing and innovative albums that no one can disagree with this statement. Nuclear blast is releasing all their back catalogue and this is a really amazing operation since the first albums are all out of print and so much difficoult to find. They are called “Definitive Edition” and will be released in September, October and November: “Wounded Land” + “Psychedelicatessen” – September 7, 2012, “Extinct Instinct” + “Clone” – October 12, 2012, “Hypothetical” + “Critical Mass” + “Subsurface” – November 16, 2012. All the edition will be enriched with extensive bonus material making them an absolute presence in your album collections. Vitale Nocerino (95/100) ORDEN OGAN - To The End (AFM Records) Originally founded in June 1996 as Tanzende Aingewaide the band was soon renamed to Orden Ogan. After releasing three well received demo tapes: "Into Oblivion" (1997), "Anthem to the Darkside" (1998) and "Soli Deo Gloria" (1999), and going through some line up changes the band they self produced the full length album "Testimonium a.d." in 2004 that got a huge success among german critics. “To The End” is an epic melodic metal album crafted with the best intention possible. In addition to that fans of the band will be pleased by the releasing of “Angels War” and “Mystic Symphony”, two songs constant part of their live set for many years but never released on an official album. Other relevant tunes are the title track “To The End”, the epic ballad “The Ice Kings” and “Dying Paradise”. Orden Ogan are exceptionally talented musicians that panned a high class songs collection. A great metal album indeed. Fabio “Deuce” Mainardi (88/100) OBESESSION – Order of Chaos (Ulterium Records) Formed way back in 1982, Obsession is an American heavy metal band led by singer Michael Vescera. The band passed trough many line up changes and Vescere also joined for some time the Japanese metal group Loudness and Yngwie Malmsteen on the albums "The Seventh Sign" and "Magnum Opus". In 2004 Obsession reformed and they released "Carnival of Lies" in 2006 while in the 2008 the self titled Obsession. In 2009, Obsession started working on "Order of Chaos". Currently Vescera's band members are Scott Boland (MVP) and John Bruno (X Factor X) on guitars, Chris McCarvill (House of Lords, Jeff Scott Soto, Dokken) on bass and BJ Zampa (Dokken, Yngwie Malmsteen, House of Lords) on drums and even though this is a totally new line up the classic Obsession sound is still there. Personal highlights “Twist Of The Knife”, “License To Kill” and “Dark Shadows” but rest assure most of the tracks will rock you out loud. Fabio “Deuce” Mainardi (87/100) CANNON – Burning Love (Yesterrock) No strangers to the rigors of the music business, ‘Cannon’ have been around since the mid-eighties. Veteran Hard-rockers all “Cannon” went missing in action during the last decade of the twentieth century, only to be found again in 2002/03. It was actually 2003 that the full-fledged re-union of this German mainstay of Heavy Metal was realised. The group hasn’t looked back since and their latest effort, “Burning Love” is an apt title, as this record shows their collective love for Heavy Metal music. Yes, you can tell that they are all veterans, but not dated. “Burning Love” is modern molten metal in every sense. High energy levels… Intense, rhythmic, and in places quite melodic. A tough and hard hitting slice of metal, “Burning Love” will heat up your love for straight-up, no nonsense Rock!! Bruce Atkinson (88/100) IMPERA – Legacy Of Life (Escape Music) Impera is the brainchild of drummer J K Impera, who some three years ago, originally had John Corabi pencilled in to cover the lead vocal slot, but unfortunately schedule conflicts meant this wasn’t to be. Luckily enough for us that meant that left room for Matti Alfonzetti to step up to the plate to fill the vocal role. Along with Matti comes Tommy Denander, whose pedigree in the genre is second to none and finally taking up the bass duties is Mats Vassfjord, so Impera was born. The album itself is no-nonsense Hard Rock, with Impera leading the way from behind the skins with a thunderous back beat and those hard edged bass lines of Vassfjord not far behind. Up front we have the huge vocals of Alfonzetti and leading the charge, the six string splendour that is Denander’s trade mark. From the opener “Turn My Heart To Stone” to the closer “Deadend Street”, it’s hard rocking all the way. The phrase “all killer no filler” comes to mind. Definitely one of the finest hard rock debuts of the year. Barry McMinn (92/100) REDLINE – Vice (Escape Music) Hailing from the British heartland of Hard Rock, Redline is a five piece Birmingham band that lives and breathes “Nu-classic Rock”. Six years old, this quintet are creators of some very tasteful, well executed straight ahead rock. Hardened by the powerful driving rhythm section of Mark Biddiscombe-drums, Steve Hall - bass, and Rhythm guitarist Steve Petty. The music on “Vice” is further tempered by Lead Vocalist Kez Taylor and Lead Guitarist; Ade Yeomans. “Vice” can be considered the group’s debut, at least in the full length album category. Since their inception, ‘Redline’ has been constantly growing. With a few line-up changes, and numerous demos… The group’s present membership seems to be the one. Producing a driven and melodic set of songs, “Vice” should serve these lads very well, and yes, us as well! Bruce Atkinson (80/100) MRF | 13 BAnd. SOULSPELL album. Hollow’s gathering Interview with. heleno vale interviewed by:. fabio mainardi Question: We talked last time when The labyrinth of truths” has been released, and now here we are with ACT III of your Metal Opera, can you tell us what's happening in the storyline of this one? Answer: Yes, of course! The third chapter tells us the part of the story where the main character deals with his mother’s death (Princess Judith’s death – in A Rescue Into The Storm). He discovers his special gift and begins a journey searching for the Amon’s Fountain to reach the other dimensions so he can find out what happened to his mother. During his journey he faces Banneth – the loyal keeper of the sacred tree (Blaze Bayley), The Holy Dead Tree (Tim Ripper Owens) which talks to him with a magical language he can’t understand at first, the phoenix (Amanda Somerville) who helps Judith in the other dimension, the Charon (Michael Vescera) who allows Judith to assist his son before she enters the ship of souls, among Focus on: many others interesting characters. Q: Again lots of musicians and singers have been part of the recordings, can you tell us more about the huge work of recordings with all these guys? A: It was fantastic to work with so many great musicians from Brazil, Europe, USA etc. I’m learning a lot and working a lot of course (lol). Soulspell producer (Tito Falaschi) and I are working together for 6 years and now we are able to manage our schedule very well. I’m very excited to start working on the next album so we can do everything like we always dreamed of. We spent about 300h of recordings to reach the level we wanted for this album. We will never minimize the things which can improve the album quality. Also we spent much more time on the choir parts of this new album compared to the previous ones. We also wanted a more organic sound, so we spent much time recording things with perfection so we wouldn’t need to edit anything. I think the result can be heard and the difference is huge from the other albums. It is a more detailed album, but also a faster one. It is very difficult to put these two characteristics in the same album. Q: What about the rock scene in Brazil and what your thoughts about live events over there? A: The rock scene in Brazil is strange. The people (fans) are wonderful and they like the brazilian albums a lot. But, we have a lot of international big events all weekend, so if you want to survive here you have to think faster and to produce a different event. I’m trying to transform Soulspell concerts in special theatrical events. As Brazil is a huge country, we have a lot of people who like Heavy Metal even though it isn’t our main music style here in Brazil. You have to be patient and conquer each fan, one by one. You will never loose a conquered fan. Through the years you can have a big list of fans and play for a considerable audience. S O U L S P E L L - Hollow’s Gathering (Ulterium Records) Soulspell Metal Opera is a Brazilian Heavy Metal project led by drummer Heleno Vale. Story line is about a story concerning the conflicts among human emotions, not a huge effort in the fantasy department here, with young boy powerful evil dragon and all the classic yet listened storyboard. Not a huge success in the music that is not that far from the previous efforts, “A Legacy of Honor” from 2008 and the second one “The Labyrinth of Truths” (2010). Probably having a huge list of musicians and singers doesn't help so much to get a decent album, although I must admit very well produced. The incredible guest appearances goes from metal icons such as Tim “Ripper” Owens [ex. Judas Priest, Iced Earth], Blaze Bayley [Iron Maiden], Michael Vescera [Obsession, ex. Loudness, Malmsteen], Markus Grosskopf [Helloween], Amanda Sommerville [Avantasia], Matt Smith [Theocracy] and many (too) more. Fabio “Deuce” Mainardi (80/100) 14 | MRF BAnd. night ranger album. 24 strings... Interview with. jack blades interviewed by:. b. atkinson Queston: Why did you feel the need to record an all-acoustic album? Why did you decide to celebrate your 30th anniversary with such an album like this? Answer: We have recorded so many records before this but we had never done an acoustic album. I think it will be a nice break for the fans to hear some of our classic songs done in a very different way. It was also a nice challenge for us as a band to be acoustic and still be Night Ranger... You know, keeping the excitement and energy with acoustic guitars. It was really fun actually. Q: Could an acoustic song have the same energy of its electric version? Is it possible? A: Yes and it is a very different kind of energy. With acoustic guitars a song takes on an entirely different flavor as different parts rise to the forefront and the song really takes on a life of its own. Sometimes it seems like a completely different Focus on: song... I always loved what Clapton did with "Layla" acoustically so when we came up with this idea we referenced that song as to how one can take a kick ass rock song and turn it into a cool acoustic thing. We love a good challenge. Q: What is for you the most difficult thing to singing on an acoustic base? A: It's a bit different as I could feel free to add in some licks depending on the ebb and flow of the song but generally it's the same. Different for me to play so much six string guitar on a record but I started out on guitar and not on bass guitar...I switched to bass when I was about 12 or 13 as there were too many guitar players and no bass players. Q: How did you choose the songs to include in the album? A: We got in my studio to rehearse and just started trying songs out... Sort of auditioning them as it were. Eric had an idea to change around the vibe on "This boy needs to rock" and we all just fell into it. That really set us on the right course on how to do our songs acoustically. Some songs didn't work and others were a blast to play. It was pretty obvious the ones that didn't work... They sounded like a train wreak. It was surprising though how so many NR songs could come off acoustically. I think it goes back to when we started the band, if you couldn't play the song on an acoustic, sing it and everyone got it, then it wasn't a good song and we didn't use it. Q: In your opinion, are there new bands that can replace bands like Night Ranger when you won’t be any more on stage? Are you - like Lynyrd Skynyrd said - “the last of a dying breed”? A: That's a good question, and a hard one too. To be honest with you I don't know. Where is the next Elton John, Springsteen, Stones, Zep etc? I'm still waiting... I'll let you know when I see em. N I G H T R A N G E R - 24 Strings And A Drummer Live & Acoustic (Frontiers Records) One can always tell when a group of musicians are a confident bunch when they strip down their electrified music creations to that of the bare essentials and voices. And that is what “Night Ranger” has done! What with just guitars / barest of drums, and all their vocal ability, this group put on an amazing performance. After thirty years in the business - these lads should be confident! And it shows! This new release was recorded just a few months back, live and off the floor - with only acoustic guitars and the bare essentials in the drum department, new life has been breathed into these classic numbers by the perfect harmony of the combined voices of Night Ranger. A beautifully packaged CD/DVD set, you, too, can be part of the select members of the audience - with this specially invited concert performance! Captured live somewhere in California, Night Ranger celebrates thirty years of creating some of the best AOR around!.. And now we can celebrate with them! Bruce Atkinson (91/100) MRF | 17 band. pride of lions album. immortal Interview with:. jim peterik interviewed by:. d. jamieson Question: You’ve been busy “Roaring Of Dreams” to get my and the emotion just came out of him - You can hear it! lately what with Jimi Jamison’s juices restored. “Crossroads Moment” album Q: What songs in particular on Q: There are a number of songs and contributing songs to this album are you particularly that have you thinking about artists like Fergie Frederiksen. proud of either musically or the past. Was this intentional When did you start writing for lyrically and do you think they or is this what has been occupying your mind recently? this record and how long did will become POL classics? the process from writing to A: I am proud of “Are You the A: I like to look back. But I don’t Same Girl”. So many of us change live in the past - I use the past just recording take? A: I started writing in august 2011. as we mature - and not always for to learn from and move forward. I was on the road doing a show the better. I love this songs bitter- Ask me “Yesterday” is about the with a supergroup out of sweet mood - with one of Toby’s brash confidance many of us unfortunately lose though time. Minneapolis called the Fabulous best vocals to date in my opinion. Armadillos. In the green room I Q: This is your fourth album Q: You’ve included the track just started riffing on something now with Toby. What do you do ‘Vital Signs’ which of course is new - the talented background differently now in terms of the title of the classic Survivor singer Pamela Macneil came writing and recording than you album of 1984. Can you tell me around (she produces many of did when you first got togeth- about the inclusion of this song and why it took so long to finalFergie’s vocals) and we just wrote er? until show time. The result was A: By now I really know how to get ly see the light of day? “Coin Of The Realm”. With this one the best out of toby - I have real- A: Ha! I couldnt seem to finish it at under my belt - I got on o PoL roll! ized that the more he can relate to the time. I didn’t even show it to Next came Delusional - then a lyric - the better he will sing it. Frankie! Sometimes you just don’t Immortal. Once they start coming - While he was singing “Sending My have the right tools to finish a there is no stopping the ideas. But Love” he was thinking about his song. This one took many more yes - I needed a few years off after lovely wife and brand new son - years of living! F o c u s o n : P R I D E O F L I O N S - Immortal (Frontiers Records) It’s Pride Of Lions fourth studio album, the band helmed by ex-Survivor man Jim Peterik. Alongside the golden voiced Toby Hitchcock the pair continue to serve up their infectious, upbeat AOR anthems. Peterik is both the villain and hero of the piece here. His own singing and some of his lyrics can be too melodramatic and downright cheesy at times. This lessens the overall effect of the record but once the songs get round to the choruses, the sheer joyous abandon of the hooks convince you that Peterik’s still a master tunesmith. These catchy choruses and Hitchcock’s range compensate for the cheesiness elsewhere. The rocking ‘Coins Of the Realm’, the euphoric ‘Shine On’ and the melt in the mouth ballad ‘Everything Money Can’t Buy’ win you round in the end, and there’s a chance to hear the song ‘Vital Signs’ originally written for but omitted from the Survivor album of the same name. Overall, cheese aside, this is a strong AOR release. Duncan Jamieson (94/100) MRF | 19 band. neal schon album. the calling Interview with:. n. Schon interviewed by:. Barry mcminn Focus on: N E A L S C H O N - The Calling (Frontiers Records) “The Calling” is the new solo release from Journey guitarist Neal Schon. A man who needs no introduction so I won’t, so let’s get straight down to the album itself. Joining Schon on this instrumental journey are Steve Smith on drums, Igor Len on keyboards and special guest Jan Hammer on Moog solos. The album see’s Schon take a step aside from Journey and shows his virtuoso guitar skills on this quite stunning and very listenable instrumental release. The album explores Schon’s Funky and Jazz side with a little Blues thrown into the mix, along with the more traditional Rock elements, thus making this a very interesting album to listen to and one you can come back to time and time again and still hear something you missed last time around. With such diverse tracks like ‘Carnival Jazz’, the short but impressive ‘Irish Field’, the rockier ‘Back Smash’, the oriental mix of ‘Fifty Six’ and the funk filled epic ‘Tumbleweed’, all different and at the same time all excellent works that show off Schon’s six string dexterity. You don’t have to be a guitar player to appreciate this album, just a lover of great musicianship. Barry McMinn (95/100) 20 | MRF Question: Who was your first influence to play the guitar? Anser: The first time I heard The Beatles, I was like, “What is that jangling sound?” that was it. Then, the rest of the British Invasion. Q:What was the first guitar you really lusted after? A: My dad – we were a modest, middle-class family – got me a Stella. My fingers bled. Then I upgraded to a Silvertone, from Sears. But it was the Gibson 335 – from my dad – which was stolen. Q: What was the best gig you ever did? A: A lot were great. The Hammersmith Odeon on my first Santana tour was one. Jimmy Page came. Eric Clapton came. Everyone was there. And with Journey at the Rose Bowl, for Bill Graham. It was the final show on the 1981-2 Escape Tour. We were the first rock band to play there. It was sold out. Everyone had their lighters going, the place looked like a Christmas tree. Q: And your worst playing nightmare? A: I spent 3 years with Paul Rodgers, which was amazing, electrifying. Deen Castronovo on drums, Todd Jensen on bass. We did songs from Free, Bad Company, The Firm, and our Muddy Waters tribute album. I got Paul to do some Hendrix. We’re at Woodstock 2. Slash sat in. The rains came. Equipment shorted out, it was a disaster gig for me. It was so frustrating to be at an event like that and have it turn out that way. Q: What’s the most important musical lesson you ever learnt? A: It still applies today: listen. Listen well to who’s around you while you’re playing. Don’t go off in your own world. Even if you’re the leader of the band, you gotta listen to what everyone’s doing. Q: Do you still practise? A: Every day. I noodle a lot, keep my fingers moving. There’s this footage of Wes Montgomery warming up – he’s playing blistering fast! And, as accurate as he could. I try to warm up with all my limbs. When I’m home, off the road, I practice more. Or I’m recording. Q: Do you have a pre-gig warm-up routine? A. First, everything in number 6. We have keyboards backstage, Deen will beat on anything! We add different songs from night to night, and rehearse backstage. Our crew plays well enough, that they can sound check. We run through a new song once or twice, and we’re ready. I also do my own warm-up for 10-15 minutes. Q: If you could put together a fantasy band with you in it, who would the other players be (dead or alive)? A: There are so many great musicians, but you don’t know till you play with them what will happen, if it will make magic. Mitch Mitchell in the early days against Jimi’s electric blues was amazing. I like jazzier drums with a rock guitar sound, not so 4-on-the-floor. Singers – Paul Rodgers, Arnel Pineda, Steve Perry, even John Waite! Paul brings something different to the table. He brings me back to my blues roots. Q: Present company excepted, who’s the greatest guitarist that’s ever lived? A: I can’t pick just one. My list is a mile long. That said, Jimi Hendrix’s timeless. He was unique. He paved the way… He would go where no one had gone before. Q: Is there a solo you really wish you had played? A: I wish I had played Jimi Hendrix’ “All Along the Watchtower.” Q: What’s the solo / song of your own that you’re most proud of? A: “Everybody's Everything” on the Santana 3 record. I played lead guitar on the track Carlos played rhythm and bass and we had the Tower of Power horns. It was the number 1 hit single on radio from that record. Q: What would you most like to be remembered for? A: The bands I’ve played in, and for being known as a good musician. Q: There seems to be a popular trend these days of artists teaming up/collaborating in order to release an album or single. What do you think about it, and are you open to any future collaboration? If so, with whom and why? A: Yeah, I'm always open to collaboration. I'm working on a side project right now that's called "Guitar Men" that's based out of Sausalito, at the Record Plant. Right now there's 23 tracks and it's got everyone on it from Stevie Wonder to Carlos Santana to Bonnie Raitt, I believe, and Ronnie Montrose, myself, and Sammy Hagar. I've got about 5 different tracks on this record right now, one with my girlfriend Lori Carpenter singing. It's really fun for me. I love collaborating. So, yes, in answer to your question. I think if something came our way and looked interesting, I think we'd definitely pursue it. Q: Did guitar playing come easy to you? A: It did actually. It did after I got into it. The first couple of years it was a lot of practicing. I wasn't out playing sports with the other kids. I was in my room playing guitar. I studied like all day and all night for the first two years, until I started to get a grip on just the basic blues, R and B blues. Once I felt that I understood that and could express myself with that, then I sort of didn't practice as much. I still walked around with a guitar all day. I don't practice that much any more. I come down to my studio, and it's a different way of practicing. I play. I hooked up to a couple of Echo plus now that enable me to sample up to about 3 1/3 minutes worth of background music for myself to jam over. It's more creative for me to make up something on the spot rather than practice scales. I've never been a fan of that. I don't like the way players sound that are so well school that, you can obviously tell that this is a Dorian Scale and this is a Minor Scale and this is a Flat Fifth Scale. Some notes sound right to me, and some notes sound bad. So, I try to play the notes that sound right. Q: Your parents were in the music business. Did they enjoy any time of regional success? A: No they didn't. My Dad deserved to actually have some success. He was a pretty incredible composer and arranger. Because of where the music scene had gone, he was more of a Big Band arranger like a Gerald Wilson or early Quincy Jones, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, that kind of thing. There really was no market for Big Band stuff. He wasn't getting any work and he'd become disillusioned with it all. He can still write and arrange beautifully. But, he just never had any success with it. Q: Do you ever get tired of writing, recording, rehearsing, touring, making videos, and giving interviews? A: No, because you know what? It's not a lengthy process. It's a very fast one for me. I can usually make a record in 2 to 3 weeks. If I'm doing just a Blues record which I've never done, or a jam type record, like an R and B record, I can make one in a couple of days. It's not a hard thing to do. I've always been into that concept. Let's get it, get it done, and get out. The more you stay in there...the more you think, the more it stinks. That's about it. MRF | 21 Fabio Mainardi: Since 2004 when you reformed this is your third album. What are similarities and differences with this last work? Michael Vescera: Carnival of Lies and Order of Chaos are a good representation of what Obsession portrays. A straight forward melodic power metal band. The one difference is our new drummer that appears with us on Order of Chaos, BJ Zampa. BJ brings a whole new dimension to Obsession and really helps to bring it to the next level. FM: I read you started writing for this album un 2009, can you tell us about the writing and recording process you went into? MV: John Bruno, Scott Boland, and myself first get together and write the actual music, then we present it to the other members and work out what their parts. We try and stay true to the Obsession sound but also want them to be comfortable with their parts. The record was recorded and mixed between 2 studios, our studio in Connecticut (Toy Room North), and the Toy Room in Nashville. The recording process went rather smooth, all the members are great players and 100% professionals and they all understand the Obsession sound and how to capture it. FM: Are you digging the ultra modern technology or you'd rather prefer the old school recordings? MV: I do miss the old school process of recording with Tape but I also do love modern technology as well. as long as it is not abused. I really love a combination of the two. FM: Where do you take inspiration about lyrics? MV: World events, personal experiences, life and death, hope, and survival. FM: Can you introduce us the current band members? MV: John Bruno Guitars, Scott Boland Guitars, Chris McCarvill Bass, and BJ Zampa Drums. We have all been friends for a good amount of time and have worked with each other on various projects. FM: Are you planning touring in support of the album? MV: Yes we are. We are currently in the process of putting together a tour. At the moment nothing is in stone, but we are confident a tour will follow with the release of the CD. FM: What's next for Obsession? MV: We plan on touring and promoting Order of Chaos to all corners of the world. Then start the next CD and continue forging ahead.