The official Frontiers Music s.r.l. magazine Editor-in-chief: Elio Bordi Concept, Graphics & Design: Elio Bordi Writers: Bruce E.J. Atkinson, Duncan Jamieson, Barry McMinn, Vitale Nocerino, Rob “Ezy” Bone, 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.frontiers.it Facebook: facebook.com/frontiersmusicsrl Twitter: twitter.com/FrontiersMusic1 Editor and publisher: Frontiers Records s.r.l. Copyright©2016 Frontiers Records. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Printed in Italy.
Con tre album all'attivo ed un quarto uscito da poco (“Rabbits’ Hill Pt.2”, nonché centinaia di concerti in Italia ed all'estero, i TRICK OR TREAT coniugano una assoluta professionalità in studio ed “on stage” con un approccio divertito e dissacrante che i fans della band italiana hanno dimostrato di apprezzare.
After three albums and a new album just released (“Rabbits’ Hill Pt.2”), plus hundreds of live-gigs in Italy and around the world, TRICK OR TREAT can be considered as a great Power Metal band, and – at the same time – as a bunch of crazy guys who like to share fun with their audience. That's why everybody loves them!
Nati nel 2002 come cover-band degli Helloween, i TRICK OR TREAT si sono costruiti negli anni una solida fama, e la scelta del singer Alessandro Conti da parte di Luca Turilli per la sua formazione Luca Turilli's Rhapsody ha portato nuovi adepti e crescente popolarità al gruppo tricolore.
Formed originally in 2002 as a tribute-band to Helloween, TRICK OR TREAT became, through the years, a very popular and appreciated Metal band, and when – during 2012 – Luca Turilli decided to offer singer Alessandro Conti the role of the singer on his own band Rhapsody, a new and bigger international exposure graced the italian band.
Happy Power Metal: il sound perfetto per aprire la giornata e la festa chiamata “FRONTIERS METAL FESTIVAL”! Inizio concerto ore 15,00 Fine concerto ore 15,35
Happy Power Metal: the perfect sound to start the party and open the first FRONTIERS METAL FESTIVAL! Show starts at 3,00pm Show ends at 3,35pm
La notizia che il singer della band spagnola, Ronnie Romero, è stato scelto, mesi fa, da Ritchie Blackmore per dare nuova vita ai RAINBOW con alcune date live (lo stesso Blackmore ha definito la voce di Romero come “un incrocio perfetto tra Ronnie James Dio e Freddy Mercury”), ha ovviamente portato i LORDS OF BLACK all'attenzione di stampa e pubblico internazionali. Attenzione del tutto meritata, visto che il gruppo iberico (che vede tra le proprie file altri due “assi” come il chitarrista Tony Hernando ed il drummer Andy C, entrambi ex Saratoga) ha esordito con un debut-album potentissimo e classicamente Metal (pur se con qualche influenza un pò più moderna), recentemente bissato dal fantastico “II”, prodotto e mixato da Roland Grapow (Masterplan, Helloween). I Lords Of Black, con già all'attivo parecchie date nel proprio paese, sono pronti ad esportare il proprio attacco frontale per il pubblico del “Frontiers Metal Festival”! Inizio concerto ore 15,50 Fine concerto ore 16,40
LORDS OF BLACK is the band formed by world class singer Ronnie Romero, amazing guitarist Tony Hernando and monster drummer Andy C. After their acclaimed self-titled debut album released during 2014, the news that the chilean born, Ronnie Romero, was picked up by Ritchie Blackmore to join the new incarnation of Rainbow (with Blackmore describing Romero’s voice as a “cross between Ronnie James Dio and Freddie Mercury”) brought the spanish band a lot of attention from the international media and fans. The new album “II”, already described as "a great Heavy Metal album with a modern approach, yet catchy, melodic and progressive", coproduced and mixed by Roland Grapow (Masterplan, Helloween), is the natural follow-up to the debut and one of the best Metal albums of 2016. Expect a full frontal Metal attack from these guys! Show starts at 3,50pm Show ends at 4,40pm
“The Passage”, in uscita ad agosto, rappresenterà il capitolo numero otto per gli italiani DGM. Un disco straordinario che corona ben venti anni di carriera al servizio del più illuminato e convincente Progressive Metal, e non solo in Italia, considerati gli shows tenuti in giro per il mondo. I DGM hanno aperto per i tour europei di Symphony X e Pagan's Mind ed hanno condiviso lo stage in USA e Giappone con altri “pesi massimi” del genere. Composti dal produttore e chitarrista Simone Mularoni, dal singer Mark Basile, dal bassista Andrea Arcangeli, dal batterista Fabio Costantino e dal tastierista Emanuele Casali, i DGM avranno l'occasione di portare la loro indubbia classe e perizia strumentale “on stage” per la gioia di tutti gli amanti del genere. Inizio concerto ore 17,00 Fine concerto ore 18,00
“The Passage” (to be released on August 26th) is DGM’s eighth studio-album and the culmination of almost 20 years of hard work that started back in 1997 and pushed the band into the elite of international Progressive Metal. During the years DGM managed to tour around the world, taking part in some of the biggest Metal festivals in USA and Japan, and supporting Symphony X on their European tour as well as sharing the stage with Pagan's Mind. With a strong line-up made up of producer/guitarist Simone Mularoni, singer MArk Basile, bass-player Andrea Arcangeli, drummer Fabio Costantino and keyboards-player Emanuele Casali, DGM will have the chance to show their awesome musicianship and class to the international audience of the FRONTIERS METAL FESTIVAL. Don't miss them! Show starts at 5,00pm Show ends at 6,00pm
Recentemente entrati nel prestigioso roster di Frontiers Records, i SECRET SPHERE hanno saputo costruirsi, fin dal 1997 (anno di fondazione della band) una carriera davvero ricca di soddisfazioni, con sei album all'attivo e prestigiosi live-shows in giro per il mondo (ProgPower USA Fest, ProgPower UK, Evolution Fest, European Tour come opening-band per i Gamma Ray).
SECRET SPHERE: a name guaranteed to make every Power Metal freak’s heart beat faster with excitement and anticipation! A couple months ago they joined the Frontiers Records family, after six albums and hundreds live-shows around the world (with ProgPower USA Fest, ProgPower UK, Evolution Fest, and the European Tour as opening-band to Gamma Ray) and the future looks bright for them.
Influenzati da bands storiche come HELLOWEEN, ANGRA e SAVATAGE, Aldo Lonobile e soci hanno, negli anni, elaborato uno stile del tutto personale, che li ha portati a coniugare il Power Metal di matrice tedesca con melodie più propriamente Hard-Rock e con arrangiamenti sinfonici.
Clearly influenced by the big names of the genre (like HELLOWEEN, ANGRA and SAVATAGE), Aldo Lonobile and his bandmates have been able – thru the years how – to create their very own brand of Symphonic Power Metal.
A dare ancora maggiore lustro al nome del sestetto italiano, l'entrata in line-up del fenomenale singer/tastierista dei WHITESNAKE, Michele Luppi, il quale porterà il suo talento e la sua incredibile esperienza live sulle assi del “Live Club”.
With the amazing WHITESNAKE background singer and keyboards player, Michele Luppi, lately joining the band as lead singer, SECRET SPHERE made the final step to enter the Realm of top European Heavy Metal bands.
Inizio concerto ore 18,15 Fine concerto ore 19,10
Show starts at 6,15pm Show ends at 7,10pm
Band pressoché unica e difficilmente catalogabile (Progressive Metal? - Power Metal? - Symphonic Metal?), i tedeschi VANDEN PLAS hanno all'attivo ben nove album ed una quantità impressionante di songs spettacolari e memorabili. Mai banali né ripetitivi, il quintetto – dotato di tecnica strumentale sopraffina – riesce a fondere arrangiamenti elaborati ed, allo stesso tempo, eleganti con melodie di grande presa, atmosfere particolari ed epiche parti strumentali per un risultato che non può non affascinare chi ama questa musica. Forti del successo dell'ultimo capitolo della loro discografia, “Chronicles Of The Immortals – Netherworld II”, i VANDEN PLAS non vedono loro di riproporre dal vivo la loro intricata ed intelligente miscela tra musica e testi. In una sola parola: Arte. Spettacolo assicurato. Non perdeteli per nessun motivo! Inizio concerto ore 19,30 Fine concerto ore 20,30
With an unique and very personal sound that can not be easily labeled (Progressive Metal? Power Metal? Symphonic Metal?), german VANDEN PLAS have nine albums under their belts with dozens of impressive songs. Sporting elaborate arrangements, sensitive piano melodies, and epic instrumental passages, paired with the unique hard sound and distinctive vocals of Andy Kuntz, the band continues to break new grounds, while still remaining faithful to its original style. A clear example is their latest work, “Chronicles Of The Immortals – Netherworld II”, a fascinating symbiosis of art-forms with which the German Metal Band has been able to justify its exceptional status. For more than 20 years, Vanden Plas has stood for intelligent Progressive Metal. Check them live at “Frontiers Metal Festival”. It will be a real experience. In one word: Art.
Show starts at 7,30pm Show ends at 8,30pm
Considerati tra le Metal bands italiane di maggior successo, i LABYRINTH hanno deciso, in occasione del “FRONTIERS METAL FESTIVAL”, di riunirsi con il loro cantante storico, Roberto Tiranti, e debuttano con la nuova line-up davanti al pubblico “di casa”.
Among the italian Metal bands that got most success and international recognition in the whole world, LABYRINTH have decided to reunite with acclaimed original singer Roberto Tiranti and to play a very special concert at “Frontiers Metal Festival”.
Ma le novità non sono finite qui: la loro performance live, infatti, ripercorrerà il loro hit-album “Return to Heaven Denied” (che sarà suonato nella sua interezza!), oltre a vari altri brani salienti della loro carriera. Pubblicato originariamente nel 1998, “Return” rimane un capolavoro del Power Metal, recentemente incluso da “Classic Rock UK”nella lista dei migliori album di sempre del genere.
As a matter of fact, the band will play their complete hitalbum “Return to Heaven Denied”, along with some of their most famous songs taken off their successful discography. Released in 1998, “Return” is still considered as one of the best Power Metal albums, as lately confirmed by “Classic Rock UK” that included it in the top-list of the genre.
I LABYRINTH approfitteranno dell’occasione per girare un DVD celebrativo, che vedrà la luce dopo la “release” del nuovo album, prevista per la prima metà del 2017.
The concert will be fully filmed for a DVD-release in late 2017, with the comeback album scheduled for Spring 2017.
Un'occasione unica per assistere dal vivo alla forza di questi autentici “giganti” del Power Metal!
Really a not-to-be missed event, and something that all Power Metal fans will be proud and happy to attend!
Inizio concerto ore 20,50 Fine concerto ore 22,05
Show starts at 8,50pm Show ends at 10,05pm
That's Heavy Metal!!! Nessuna esitazione, la band tedesca incarna totalmente l'idea ed il concetto del genere: ritmiche terremotanti, killer guitars riffs, vocals potenti ed anthemici... in una frase, no frills, all thrills!
That's Heavy Metal !!! No doubts about it. Album after album, the german band have kept the promise to play high energy Heavy Metal, with all the trademarks of the genre: killer guitar-riffs, a bombastic sound, and powerful vocals. To say it better: no frills, all thrills!
Ralf Scheepers alla voce, Mat Sinner al basso, Alex Beyrodt e Tom Naumann alle chitarre ed il “nostro” Francesco Jovino dietro le pelli: musicisti riconosciuti da anni tra i top e che non lasciano alcun dubbio sulla loro performance live.
With a line-up comprising of top musicians such as Ralf Scheepers as singer, Mat Sinner on bass, guitarists Alex Beyrodt and Tom Naumann and Francesco Jovino behind the drums, their live-shows can not be described in a different way than... explosive!
Sulla spinta del successo commerciale ottenuto dall'ultimo bellissimo lavoro “Rulebreaker”, ed in tour da Febbraio di quest'anno, dapprima in Europa, ed in seguito in USA, Giappone e Sud America, i PRIMAL FEAR sono stati scelti come headliner per portare la loro esplosiva proposta al “FRONTIERS METAL FESTIVAL”. Un ruolo assolutamente meritato e costruito in quasi 20 anni di ininterrotta attività live ed in studio.
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Their new stronger-than-ever album “Rulebreaker” brought PRIMAL FEAR on top of any international Heavy Metal Chart, and the following world tour is getting them a lot of incredible feedback as well as sold-out shows almost everywhere. They'll be headlining the first edition of FRONTIERS METAL FESTIVAL. There could not be a better band for the task!
Bang that head that doesn't bang!!!
Bang that head that doesn't bang!!!
Inizio concerto ore 22,30 Fine concerto ore 24,00
Show starts at 10,30pm Show ends at 0,00am
SECRET SPHERE “One Night In Tokyo” (Frontiers Music s.r.l.) Secret Sphere has always been a band of passionate musicians, and their latest release, “One Night In Tokyo” captures that passion oh! so well! From the intro right to the last piece of performance, passion exudes from the small stage of this live concert performance from one of their most devoted countries. Japan has welcomed ‘Secret Sphere’ with open arms, almost from their inception. ‘One Night In Tokyo’ is the group’s hearty thank-you to all of their fans, especially those in Japan. Energy, musical mastery and yes, that passion reigns supreme on this night! The band flows through their long standing gems, mixing with some of their latest recordings from their last studio album… and everything is met with the approval of their audience. Although the stage was tight, and those gathered were so close to that stage, the warmth of both band and fan ruled the nightAn excellent live performance from one of our foremost Progressive Metal bands. A hearty thank-you for all of the support they have received. Plus the group have included a couple of surprises as well! “One Night In Tokyo”, a very special live documentation from ‘Secret Sphere’. BA (95/100)
LORDI “Monstereophonic ” (AFM Records)
Eighth studio album for the band formed in 1992 by Mr. Lordi and, this time, a pretty unique one: “Monstereophonic”, in fact, introduces two different sides of the band. The “A side” of the album ( “Theaterror” ) contains 6 tracks ( + intro ) featuring the traditional '80s influenced Hard-Rock sound of the band, with a style between Kiss and Alice Cooper, as songs like "Let's Go Slaughter He-Man" (great keyboards!) and the catchy “Down With The Devil” clearly show. The thematic “B-side” (“Demonarchy”), on the other side, is a sort of conceptual story and it presents LORDI more modern, heavier and darker than ever. Highly complex song structures and aggressive in-yourface riffing is something we have never heard from the band. Listen to the first track of this second part, “Demonarchy”, and – I'm warning you – you'd better fasten your safety belt as you'll be wiped out by that killer guitar riff! Fast and heavy. I really like “Heaven Sent Hell On Earth”, a pretty complex song that contains elements from Annihilator, Savatage, W.A.S.P, and... Queen! Definitely a challenge. Worth more than a listen... PB (85/100)
KEE MARCELLO “Scaling Up” (Frontiers Music s.r.l.) Opening with “Black Hole Star”, Kee Marcello makes a very strong musical statement right from the first chord! As one of the most renowned guitarists in the world of Hard Rock, Kee delivers and is about to give us a few surprises! Being a veteran musician and no stranger to a globe wielding outfit and audience, one may think that Kee would stand on safe ground, but no, not this Talent!! His song writing comes from differing areas, approaching each subject or theme with a freshness and richness that simply inspires. His voice, although rich and at times tender, takes every song to the soaring heights, with the music in close form. ‘Scaling Up’ is a driven record. Driven by Kee’s desire to reach out to new musical plateaus. He reaches and achieves, with every performance and with each vocal! ‘Scaling Up’ is simple sonic brilliance! Songs such as “Fix Me”, “Wild Child” and the title cut are excursions in sonic pleasure. And, when Kee slows things down and uses his guitar craft as the dominant factor, what we hear is simply beautiful, and with that rich voice… We can touch heaven! ‘Scaling Up’ is an album that will certainly elevate Kee’s musical star higher and cause it to burn brighter! Brilliant music from a brilliant musician… It is just that simple! BA (92/100)
BULLETRAIN “What You Fear The Most” (AOR Heaven)
As the saying goes… “forged out of fire…” that is what this record and band are: “What You Fear The Most” is Sweden’s Bulletrain’s second full length album. Released through AOR Heaven a label that has supported this group through thick and thin, and both are set to reap the rewards! A set of ten hard rock songs that harmoniously combines towering vocals, searing guitars, and energy filled rhythms… This effort should push ‘Bulletrain’ further up the musical chain. “What You Fear The Most” is more than a solid effort. Each member’s shining talent shows through, and the group as a whole, are strengthening their song writing skills from song to song. Upon listening, one can hear that these five love to play live! Each creation is geared for ultimate effect from the stage. “We Salute You” will certainly become one of their concert favourites! Yes, ‘Bulletrain’ are hard rock, however their musical arsenal is a varied one, in which they are not afraid to stretch and enter in to a variety of musical styles. Then combine them seamlessly in to their own Hardened Rock style! The result? Every song is fresh, high energy and melodic. “What You Fear The Most” is a stand out effort from five fearless Swedes ‘Bulletrain’! BA (90/100)
SONATA ARCTICA “The Ninth Hour” (Nuclear Blast)
This being Sonata Arctica’s ninth studio effort, “The Ninth Hour” is an appropriate title, however not only for the obvious reason. A clever title, “The Ninth Hour” also represents where we may well be in terms of our existence and that of our present society. I know! Pretty heavy stuff! The musical explorations reveal refreshing cascades of rhythm, and lyrically there is hope along with the dire warnings, and both are combined to give us a masterful collection of music! As we explore with these Masters of Progressive Rock, we are exposed to some melodic-yet hardened musical vistas. Razor sharp and fast flowing, each musical work displays a multitude of rich flowing textures. We can also explore these musical sound- scapes with the same confidence that each member of the group perform. Yes-we hear the warnings, and at the same time, perhaps some of the answers that will help in solving these grave concerns. A strongly driven musical vehicle, one that illuminates a rather dark path that we all seem to be walking. And all set to some breathtaking music and performances. “The Ninth” Hour”, an album of warning, an album of light, and, a collection of eleven musical masterpieces performed by five Masterful Musicians!! BA (92/100)
HARDLINE “Numan Nature” (Frontiers Music s.r.l.) It was with some excitement I put this on as the promotion proclaims it to be a hard rocking update on their classic 25 year old début 'Double Eclipse'. It falls short of that claim but it does show glimmers of that record in a number of tracks. The stop start riff and big hooks on ‘Nobody’s Fool’, the bluesy ‘Trapped In Muddy Waters’ and ‘Running on Empty’ all kick up the dust and have some of the driving thwack of that first disc. Another notable tune is the piano ballad ‘Take You Home’ which showcases what a good voice Johnny Gioelli has. Josh Ramos joins the fold again to give it a wallop- in-your- face guitar sound and thereare a whole heap of sturdy rockers such as ‘Where Will We Go from Here’, 'The World Is Falling Down', ‘In the Dead Of Night’, ‘Where The North Wind Blows' and ‘Fighting The Battle’ . Alex Del Vecchio adds a splurges of keyboard and organ, to give the whole thing a classic rock vibe. Similar to their last effort 2012’s ‘Dangerzone’ but better and with more bite. DJ(92/100)
NARNIA “Narnia” (Ulterium Records) Swedish Melodic Metallers Narnia return in 2016 with the 7th studio album simply entitled ‘Narnia’, some twenty years since their debut ‘Awakening’. This 2016 lineup consists of Christian Liljegren (vocals), CJ Grimmark (guitars, keyboards & backing vocals), Andreas “Habo” Johansson (drums), Martin Härenstam (keyboards) and Andreas Passmark (bass). Together they have produced a fine slice of Melodic Heavy Metal that shows that you can’t keep an old dog down. ‘Narnia’ the album is purebred Metal that has a modern edginess that really hits the mark and will sure to have those metal horns aloft when played live. This non-stop Metal assault opens up with ‘Reach For The Top’ and from here on in, it’s heads down all the way, with such metal delights as ‘I Still Believe’, the excellent ‘One Way to the Promised Land’ and even the ballad ‘Thank You’ is worth a mention. The band might be 20 years old, but they can still deliver the goods. So once again, let’s enter the wardrobe and step into the wondrous land that is Narnia. BM (91/100)
RavenEye “NOVA” (Frontiers Music s.r.l.) RavenEye is a UK-based rock trio formed in 2014 by 25 year old, multiaward winning guitarist / singer Oli Brown, along with drummer Kev Hickman and Aussie bassist Aaron Spiers. Although the band was just formed in 2014, they have shared the stage with the likes of Deep Purple, The Darkness and played numerous festivals throughout Europe and the US, all this on the back of their EP ‘Breaking Out’. This new album shows that there is a wealth of talent on the UK shores from the opener ‘Wanna Feel You’, to the enigmatic closer ‘Eternity’, this power trio have really taken the bull by its horns with ‘Nova’. Although the band have been labelled with the likes of Soundgarden, this album is no Grunge throwback, this is energetic high octane rock n’ roll. The big bass lines and the monster drums, brought together with the dirty guitars and Browns superb vocals, make this one of the most exciting debut albums of 2016. Check out the likes of ‘Come With Me’, the excellent ‘Hero’, the trailblazing ‘Oh My Love’ and the closer ‘Eternity’, as they’re just what the doctor ordered. BM (90/100)
CROBOT “Welcome To Fat City” (Nuclear Blast)
I had the honour of reviewing the debut of ‘Crobot’ back in 2014. That disc; ‘Something Supernatural’ has been spinning on my music system ever since! Now!, I’m happy to report that ‘Welcome To Fat City’ will be spinning just as long and even longer! This, the group’s second effort is full of funk fuelled heavy rock, and like their debut, each number is riff-driven slices of molten spacey Rock and Funk! The group has grown; their maturity is in full bloom. During the two years from their debut’s release, the group has logged in many miles on the road and it shows! ‘Crobot’ musically are tighter, their riffs sharper, and their rhythms are bed rock heavier! Even Brandon’s vocals seem to be deeper and richer, and of course they were deep and rich on “Something Supernatural”. Exploring these eleven musical gems, we are constantly caught up and carried within musical grooves that entice and excite. ‘Welcome To Fat City’ shows that these four are not afraid to stretch out and tread on new musical plateaus. Each musical expression displays a confidence seldom seen in a group’s second effort. An album that is full of passion, soulfully performed, and at an energy level completely off the scale! ‘Crobot’ absolutely welcomes’ us to fat city!! BA (91/100)
EDEN’S COURSE “Cardinal ” (AFM Records) Produced by bassist Paul Logue and guitarist Thorsten Koehne, their fifth studio-album “Cardinal” contains 12 songs, with all of the classic Eden's Curse trademark melodies, hooks and riffs. With a style always divided between Melodic Metal and Hard-Rock, Eden's Curse have in their singer Nikola Mijic a real star. Just listen to the sensational near-7 minutes epic ballad “Find My Way” and you'll be amazed by his heartfelt vocals and the incredible melodies, with some heavenly piano and keyboards parts plus a wall of orchestral strings thrown into for good measure. Already a classic! Put the Cd onto your player and the first three tracks (“Prophets Of Doom”, “Sell Your Soul” and “The Great Pretender”) will blow your mind away, bringing you into the Eden's Curse world; a world made of great hooks, huge melodies and killer guitar riffs. Among the other songs my fave ones are the catchy “Utopian Dreams”, that sounds so close to Edguy at the top, and “Unconditional”, a stunning radio-friendly track featuring a duet between Mijic and former Leaves' Eyes vocalist Liv Kristine. Strongly recommended. PB (92/100)
CRY OF DAWN Feat. Goran Edman “S/T” (Frontiers Music s.r.l.) This project is created around the always reliable Göran Edman whose voice carries this brand of upbeat, cheerilly infectious aor so well. Just check out what Edman does on the chorus of 'Listen To Me' for proof of the man's gifts. Daniel Flores is in the production chair and Michael Palace plays guitars so sound wise it is a close blood relation to the recent cds of Find Me, First Signal and Palace. Both of those men contribute to the songwriting as do Work Of Art's Robert Säll , Alex Del Vecchio and Steve Newman ensuring you've got of an album chock full of catchy, made-tomeasure, European aor. Many of the songs sound like they were written on keyboard as it's that instrument that drives the songs' melodies with the guitar simply adding some extra colour and power. 'Chance', 'Tell It To My Heart' and 'Hands Around My Heart' are all soft rock heaven buoyed by big harmonies. Listening to two or three songs at a time, like eating sweets, is almost better than devouring it all at once as after eleven tracks it might get a bit sickly and leave you with a sugar headache. Ultimately though, there is some classy, tailored aor here. DJ (90/100)
OPERATION: MINDCRIME “Resurrection” (Frontiers Music s.r.l.) This is part two of Geoff Tate's ambitious trilogy. Initially, after the first four songs; imstrumentals or short spoken parts, which are all over in a blink of an eye you wonder if it's going to be a car crash but it's not as there's still excellent prog metal in these grooves . The slow, industrial 'Left For Dead' is a good song with a proper hook with an almost David Bowie like delivery from Tate. That Bowie influence he carries into 'Miles Away' too. The record really picks up after this with the epic ballad 'The Fight' and Blaze Bailey and Ripper Owens cut loose on 'Taking On The World', an album highlight.'Invincible' builds well and the “Feels Strong” sentiment of the song resonates and 'A Smear Campaign' is a dramatic, metal music hall of a song which Tate adds some saxophone to. It drops off a little with the industrial spiralling 'Which Side Are You On' .The intitally stong 'Into The Hands Of The World' goes on a bit with some woozy space age noodling as does album closer 'Live From my Machine'. Whether you can follow his concept or not, there's enough class mid album to draw you back for the third instalment. DJ (90/100)
TYKETTO “Reach” (Frontiers Music s.r.l.) After a five-year studio hiatus Danny Vaughn and his band return with their new album ‘Reach’. On this new opus Vaughn is joined by band founder Michael Clayton Arbeeny and new members Chris Green on guitars, Ged Ryland on keyboards, and completing the line-up Chris Childs on bass. With this new album the band have taken a bold step and expanded their sound, which for me this leap of faith and one that is well worth it, as for me, ‘Reach’ is one of the bands strongest albums in years. The album kicks some serious ass, with some of the best rocking tracks I’ve heard from the band, songs like the big riffing ‘Big Money’, ‘Kick Like A Mule’ and ‘The Fastest Man on Earth’, to name but few. For the traditionalists then check out ‘Letting Go’ and the bluesy ‘Remember My Name’. This is one album that shows the band have more to offer and with Green leading the charge with some of the best guitar work I’ve heard on any Tyketto album, in addition to the powerhouse rhythm section of Childs and Clayton, well they seem to be a match made in heaven. Not forgetting of course Vaughn’s vocals, which have never sounded better. So ‘Reach’ out and grab yourself a slice of 2016 Tyketto, you won’t be disappointed. BM (96/100)
SEVENTH WONDER “Welcome To Atlanta” (Frontiers Music s.r.l.) ‘Seventh Wonder’ functions excellently in a live situation, and actually longs for the stage! Taking on numerous tours and prestigious shows, each year that the band goes out, they gather more believers in what they say-sing and play! In 2014, the group had an opportunity to make another impact, this time at the ProgPower Festival in the States. There they performed fully, their third album release: “Mercy Falls” plus, of course, other selections to a very responsive and enthusiastic crowd! “Welcome To Atlanta 2014” is that recorded document! A grand release, the deluxe version sporting not only two CD’s-but two DVD’s as well! On both Medias, we have the full concert performance and extensive bonus material! But, primarily this is a live performance from five maestros! And a performance it is! The group shine, as they play through the music presenting flawless performance to performance! The quality of musicianship is totally upfront, and for all to see. To see and listen to this group is to set us up to a rarefied height that can be enjoyed for a very long time! “Welcome To Atlanta 2014” is just what we need, as we wait for ‘Seventh Wonder’s next opus! BA (94/100)
ANGELS OR KINGS “Go Ask The Moon” (AFM Records)
NIVA “Atmospherical” (AOR Heaven)
OPETH “Sorceress” (Nuclear Blast)
FOREVER STILL “Tied Down” (Nuclear Blast)
EVERGREY “The Storm Within” (AFM Records)
Their 2014 debut-album “Kings Of Nowhere” proved to be a real AOR masterpiece and – personally – one of my favorites of that year, one that I played dozens and dozens of times. Obviously I was impatiently waiting for the new one, and now here it is: “Go Ask The Moon”. An album which basically continues from where the previous one left off. 25 years spent together, playing and creating music, definitely has forged a really unique band-trademark and when you start playing the first song “No More Faith To Lose” you can immediately recognize that sound! Infectious vocal melodies, great keyboards, sweet arrangements: basically, everything any AOR-fan could ask for. Often compared to the UK “Gods” of the genre such as Dare, FM and Strangeways, Angels Or Kings is the proof that “hard work pays off”. Especially when you play your music with such passion and heart. OK, I admit I love this band. That said, do yourself a favour, go out and buy this piece of Art. 'nuff said... PB (92/100)
The ex-Lion Share singer is back with his sixth solo album and it's a tougher reboot of his previous sound. It's still melodic rock but the guitars are set on attack as on the opener 'Dressed To Kill' that has one foot in the melodic metal camp. There's still a large keyboard presense but it's bigger, more overblown than you normally associate with aor. The pompy keyboards could quite happily adorn a symphonic rock record, which sets it apart from a lot of melodic rock on the scene at the moment. 'I'm On A Roll' is a straight ahead rocker with a great hook and 'Raise Your Voice' has Niva really going for vocally, with a real nuts-in-a-vice delivery. 'Forbidden Lover' has more traditional aor sound, recalling his album under the monikor Oxygen. Lars Chris gives it a big production sound and supplies the incendiery fretwork. It might not have some of the finesse of some recent melodic rock releases but if you're looking for muscle and pomp in your melodic rock with a distinct European then this is for you. DJ (84/100)
By now we know the thing to expect with a new Opeth album is the unexpected. They’ve moved a long way from their death metal origins. The Opeth that’s turned up for this record is progressive in nature and there’s also a retro, folksy feel too. It’s eclectic and absorbing. Mikael Åkerfeldt and his band's heavy roots can be heard in the juddering riffage of the title track and the hypnotic metal of ‘Chrysalis’. Sprinkled throughout are pastoral, folky pieces.The acoustic start of ‘Will O The Wisp’ is pure Jethro Tull. There are other classic rock nods too; ‘The Seventh Sojourn’ conjurs up Page and Plant’s ‘Unledded’ with it’s Middle Eastern undercurrent before its harmonies have a Fleet Fox purity to them. ‘Strange Brew’ has a John Lennon like vocal on a song that has light guitars before it goes spacey, prog rock crazy. The Beatles reference is also on ‘A Fleeting Glance’ with what sounds like a harpsichord motif remincent of ‘In My Life’. Lyrically dark, it's about how the negative side effects of love.There’s an intimate tone in the production that makes you connect with the music as different sound textures and not just tunes. DJ (92/100)
Look out Amy Lee there’s a new female vocalist in town ready to take your crown and she is Forever Stills Maja Shining, as she and Mikkel Haastrup bring us their debut album ‘Tied Down’. Danes Forever Still they are going to make huge waves in this business with this opus, taking on the likes of Hailstorm and Lacuna Coil as the new force in the world of female fronted rock… Shining has such a great vocal range that the world is the oyster for Forever still, yes the similarities to the likes of Evanesance and their like will come thick and fast, but Forever Still are much more than this. Check out the likes of opener ‘Scars’ and instantly you get to full power of this duet and the stunning and almost mystical vocals of Shining. This is angsty power infused metal for the new generation. Forget what you’ve heard before, the bar is set high from the off with the excellent ‘Breathe’, the equally impressive ‘Save Me’ and title track ‘Tied Down’, a powerful end to a very impressive debut. ‘Tied Down’ might be the title but this band are about to unleash one highlights of 2016, so be prepared as this band are set to start a tsunami in this genre. BM (92/100)
The Swedish legend's tenth album is is a bold, majestic ambitious record. There's a unifying theme to the lyrics about love and finding your feet after fractured relationships. With Evergrey you were never going to get hand-clappy love songs. The opening song 'The Distance' captures the band in all their widescreen, epic glory. Starting from a sole piano motive it grows in intensity with guitars and a choir and it it's nagging “It's Not Over” hook will lodge in your head. The video made for this song in an Icelandic landscape, brilliantly encapsulates the raw elements of both the lanscape and their music; At time it can cold, isolated and fragile and then the wind can change and the feriousity of the climate and the heavy metal can take your breath away. The existential 'Passing Through' and heart tugging 'Someday' offer one of the best opening three songs on an album this year. 'Astray' is as heavy as the band have been while 'Impossible' , Katatonia -like,shows their delicate side. Tom Englund's wife duets on 'The Paradox of The Flame'. You hope the lyrics are fictional as otherwise it's a rather brutal expose of a troubled relationship. Repeated listens reveal its artistry. DJ (92/100)
MISS BEHAVIOUR “Ghost Play” (AOR Heaven) 10 years after releasing their debut album ‘Heart of Midwinter’, Miss Behaviour are back with their 4th studio album ‘Ghost Play’. This new album shows the band are ready to take on the Melodic Rock world and stamp their place in the anoles of rock history. As once again Scandinavia shows the world how great Melodic Hard Rock should sound in 2016. The album is a must for all fans of the genre, as Sebastian Roos (Vocals), Erik Heikne (Guitars), Henrik Sproge (Keyboards), Niclas Lindblom (Bass) and Magnus Jacobson (Drums), bring you another stunning release from the far off shores of Sweden. From the opener ‘Friendly Fire’, this classy album just shines right through to the closing ballad ‘Save The World’. My personal highlights being the title track ‘Ghost Play’, ‘Brothers in Arms’ and ‘Pain and Passion’, just to name but a few. If this is ‘Ghost Play’ then let’s get haunted together, there’s nothing scary here, just good honest Melodic Hard Rock. BM (90/100)
Question: Hardline are back and rocking. How does it feel? Answer: Honestly, it feels great. We’re back and we’re stronger. We’re very excited for this new album. Q: You resurrected Hardline in 2012 with 'Dangerzone' and this is that band with one notable execption in Josh Ramos returning to the fold. How would say 'Human Nature' differs? A: When I met Johnny professionally I never thought that meeting would turn into the resurrection of Hardline from the dust. And yes, now we got Josh back again, which feels awesome. Great human being, great musician and a tone to die for. I guess a lot of people will love what Josh did on this album. It’s in your face and we didn’t compromise the energy and the groove but we also kept a lot of soft moment where his bluesy melodic guitars can shine. Q: “Human Nature” is a different beast than “Danger Zone”. A: I wouldn’t say that DZ was more of a safer record, but that’s how I look at it from here. It’s got few songs from outside writers which are cool, but also made the band general feel in the works less deep. HN it’s 100% us. We wrote every single note to catch the essence of each one of us. You can hear Francesco’s drums thunder-
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Interview with: Alessandro Del Vechio
ing like he only do, Anna’s groove always present and steady, Josh’s melodies and amazing guitars and obivously there’s isn’t one single vocal line that’s not meant to be his more than 100%. I also produced the album and I wanted everyone to go crazy over the songs, have fun and capture the great vibe we have as a band. Another big difference with DZ is that most of the lyrics now matter a lot to us. We wake up everyday to the news of a world that’s decaying slowly, but not very slowly though. These lyrics are deep and mean the world to us. There’s a deep message on this album. Q: It must be great to have Josh back. What does he bring to the band? A: He brings fun, joy, a great tone and the closest you can get to Neal Schon. Q: You have a good working relationship with Johnny Gioeli. Can you tell us about it? A: Everytime we’re together we feel like there’s a great bond and brotherhood between us. We understand each other and I always try to make the music so that it fits like a glove to his unique voice. Being on the road with Johnny is always super funny and the stage always turns into this italo-american litle cabaret that we laugh so hard! Q: What tracks from the new record do
Interview by: Duncan Jamieson
you think will get Hardline fans particularly excited? A: Take You Home, Take You Home and Take You Home! LOL, well, that’s our favorite song. You can hear a special magic on it. I also love Human Nature, Where Will We Go From Here and Trapped In Muddy Waters. I’m sure fans will love Nobody’s Fool and Running On Empty being the most classic “Double Eclipse”-like songs that we ever did after the debut. Q: Hard to believe, it's going to be the 25th Anniversary of your classic 'Double Eclipse' album. You've got some special shows in the pipeline for that, don't you? A: Seems like. Let’s cross our fingers! Q: What's the likelihood of you ever getting Neal Schon back on a Hardline record or stage? A: Never say never, but Neal is as busy as it can get, so who knows. Q: Will we have the chance to see you in Europe soon? A: Hopefully yes. I could say “YES”, but we’re negotiating the gigs for next year. So, yes, we’ll play in Europe again in 2017. We are very driven and excited by “Human Nature” and can’t wait to be on stage again and rock these new tunes! See ya up the road!
Band: Operation: Mindcrime
Question: Resurrection is the second album in a trilogy. How would sum up the story in this part? Answer: It continues the story that began on the first album The Key with the near death experience of the lead character known as “H” and his subsequent recovery of the missing encryption key. With the Key finally in his possession, “H” has everything he needs to finally launch his long awaited project called “The New Reality”. Or does he? Q: Its cinematic in feel in places how did you go about writing and recording the record. A: I wrote this in the usual way that I work. Story first, Outline story, develop the characters, compose the music to fit the story. Q: You’ve got some high profile guests on the record; Ripper Owens, Blaze Bailey. You’re touring together too. How did this come about and how do you all get along? A: Ripper and Blaze are both tremendous talents and fabulous singers. And unknown to most people, the three of us share a love of Las Vegas show tunes and crooners like Frank, Deano and Sammy. In fact, close your eyes and think of the Rat Pack, only on steroids screaming at 110 decibels. Like most endeavors, this one started with a phone call. After working together on a song called “Taking on the World”, we all thought that it would
Interview with: Geoff Tate
be great fun to continue our crooning by touring together. Expect and onslaught of Metal classics from our collective times in Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Queensryche! Q: The song “ A Smear Campaign “ is about the press. Is this something you’ve felt over the years as some people have been down right rude about you, without even having met you? A: Well … yes it is absurd for people to make judgments against people they do not know and I believe most intelligent people would not give in to that kind of mental weakness. So If you are a smart person and you are reading what an idiot thinks, what does that say about you? Quick turn the page … don’t get “THE STUPID” on you ! Ha! Ha! Some say it may be contagious. Q: There’s an almost David Bowie feel on a couple of the songs here. Was he an influence growing up? A: David Bowie has had a great influence on my way of approaching the creative process itself. I read years ago how in a attempt to conquer writer’s block, he scribbled words on a blank sheet of paper. He then cut up the individual words, put them in a pile and then shook the pile of words to the floor. The words on the floor would fall into interesting sentences and that would give him a place to begin writing from. Q: A trilogy of albums suggests a fertile
Interview by: Duncan Jamieson
creative period for you at the moment. How far are you along with the third part and what should we expect? A: Yes. Most of the 3rd album is finished and will be the final chapter in this story. I am really excited to play all three albums back to back and see how I feel. I hope to perform all three albums live at some point, maybe in 2019 for a special limited tour. Q: You are, of course, using Operation Mindcrime as the name . How important was it to have a band name and not go out as Geoff Tate? A: It was quite important really. You see I spent 30 years signing all my work as Queensryche, thus my own name is not as well known around the world. But slowly I’m changing that. Q: With the name Operation Mindcrime, what similarities would you say there are between this present trilogy of records and with that bonafide prog metal classic album Operation Mindcrime? A: The common denominator between the two projects is…. Me. I believe there are similarities in song constructs and melodic content. Q: What are you planning next? A: Tour, tour, tour! We are in the planning stages of a Fall/Winter tour now. I love touring and I look forward to traveling to some new places this year. Last year, I visited my 60th country.
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Band: Operation: RavenEye
Question: For those unfamiliar with the band how did Raven Eye come together? Answer: Oli started RavenEye as a means to have a ‘band’ of brothers take the music to the next level. Rather than being a solo aritst with a ‘backing band’ Oli wanted RavenEye to be equal members that take on all the responsibilities of running the band. After relocating to the UK from Toronto, Canada, Oli met Aaron and have since recruited Adam Breeze on drums and we are the core of RavenEye as you know it now. Q: The band played at this years Download festival, as well as at some European and US festivals, in addition to guest slots with the likes of Deep Purple! For a band in its second year, has this felt real to you? A: It does felt a little unreal, we feel extremely lucky to have been able to watch Slash, Deep Purple and the Darkness every night of a long tour and we’ve lerned so much. The big festivals have been incredible as well, being around such amaing bands and making lots of new fans, the last year has been UNREAL. But we love touring and playing live, so were happy to be on the road! Q: The band’s big grooved rock is infectious, but who are your influences? A: Thanks! Our influences are bands like Sound Garden, Audio Slave, Queens of the Stone Age but also lately, Rival Sons and Band of Skulls. We have worked hard on getting the groove nice and big so we can move a venue full of people and get everyone rocking out! The live show is a huge part of our bands identity and we hope it spreads! Q: The album has an energy I haven’t
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Interview with: Gunnar Olsen
felt in ages, do you record live or do you record you parts individually and let the mixing do the rest? A: We teamed up with our producer Warren Riker and instantly agreed upon the mix of live and tracked parts for the album. We laid down drums first and we all played in the room together to make sure there was still a group sound happeneing. Then we layered up the guitars and vocals whilst trying to keep then’live’ feeling to the tracks. Tracks like ‘Oh My Love’ is a live recording with bits and pieces added on. Warren was a master at mixing the album, working the reverbs and he truly took the tracked parts to a new level. Q: How long after the EP ‘Breaking Out’ did you start working on the full album? A: We always have little riffs buzzing around in our heads and a common practice (especailly on the road) is to sing little riff ideas or lyrics into our voice recorder app on our iphones. So when it came time to write the next record, we had a library of ideas to draw from. It was January of 2016 that we sat down to specifically write for NOVA and our plan was to write as many songs as possible (maybe 20) with the intention of whittling them down to 10 for the album. When we started writing together (Oli and Aaron), the songs just came pouring out and they kept getting better and better until we had 25 songs!! We even wrote a song whilst on the road in the USA, in Las Vegas to be specific! We spent the night writng the song instead of going out and partying because our recording session was two weeks after that! Q: Did you have any songs that weren’t used on the EP but made it on to the album?
Interview by: Barry McMinn
A: No. We started from sratch for NOVA. We figured that we had developed a strong band sound from touring so much and our writing ideas had changed as well, so we just started from scratch! We are writers after all, it would be pretty lazy to start recycling tunes just to save time, why not write something better! Plus, we wanted to a coherent sounding album not just a bunch of song thrown together, we put thought into every aspect of this album, our debut is very important to us! Q: The band are touring with Zodiac and Honeymoon Disease, but are their plans for your own headline tour in 2017? A: Our immediate plans are to undertake a headline tour in October/November 2016 in the UK and then finishing off the year with some dates in Spain in December. Next year we hope to tour the USA, Europe and the UK, pretty much hitting as many festivals and venues as we can!! But we have talked about a headline tour in summer as we always seem to tour the UK in winter, so a big tour will definitly be on the cards. Q: Speaking of 2017, what does the New Year have in store for the band and have you had any thoughts on a follow up album yet? A: The lead up to the release of NOVA was incredibly intense for us and now that we’re on the road until Decemeber 2016, we are actively taking a break on the writing so we can just focus on touring as it’s only the three of us on the road and there is always something to do. But we will start writing again in the new year with no plans for a follow-up album specifically but more to stretch our writing skills and maybe towards the end of next year we will talk about recording another album.
Question: ‘Reach’ is the first new Tyketto album in half a decade, has this album been a journey of faith in what Tyketto now stand for in 2016? Answer: “Reach” is the result of several major events for the band. During the “Dig In Deep” tour Brooke came to us and said that he didn’t want to continue on touring. He has a great family and a wonderful home life and he simply wasn’t happy being on the road anymore. You have to respect that. For all of us, Tyketto has always been a labor of love and if you’re not loving it then there’s not much point in being there because it’s certainly not about the money. Likewise, Jimi came up against similar circumstances. He has a job that doesn’t allow him the luxury of getting up and going out on tour or spending weeks locked away in a recording studio whenever he wants. So Michael and I were faced with a choice about how to continue. We either went back to working on my solo career or we revamped Tyketto with new blood. We both felt very strongly that it wasn’t time to out Tyketto out to pasture yet. There is a certain amout of faith in that decision, yes! Q: The album still has the renowned Tyketto sound but you’ve added new elements that has brought the band into the now. Was this the direction the band always wanted to follow? A: This is the direction the band came upon when we began mixing in the methods of working and writing that Michael and I have established over 27 years with the new additions of such wonderful talents as Chris Green, Ged Rylands and Chris Childs. Each of these guys has their own unique skill set and it became very easy to work in the direction that capitalized on the types of players we found ourselves writing with. We didn’t set out purposefully to create a different Tyketto sound. We just wrote songs together and let nature take its course. Q: Obviously the die-hard fans are going to love the new album, but are you looking to
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Interview with: Danny Vaughn
expand its fan base by expanding your sound? A: I think so, yes! Songs like “Scream” and “I Need It Now” are definitely tinged with modern rock and roll elements that are a result of paying attention to what’s going on in the music world and not pretending that time and tastes haven’t evolved a bit. Q: Personally I think this is the strongest Tyketto album in years, but how do the band feel about the final result? A: To a man, we all agree with you. It may well be the strongest Tyketto album ever, but that is for the individual listener to decide. Each member of the band feels that they have done their best work so far while recording these songs and I really must agree. As long as I’ve known him, I’ve never heard Michael Arbeeny cut loose like this on drums. His playing is both powerful and complex. I think that is a good word to describe how our songs and recordings have evolved. We remain a strong rock and roll band but we have become more complex. Q: How long have you actually been working on the new album? A: It’s taken almost two years from making the initial decision to record a new album until it’s release. We didn’t set any time limits or specific goals other than we wanted to have a larger selection of songs at the ready before we began recording than we did for “Dig In Deep”. Q: The band sees some new faces joining the line-up, what do you feel the new guys bring to the mix? A: New life, new skills, these guys bring genuine enthusiasm to every part of the process. When we first consolidated this line up and took it on the road there was an immediate realization that something big had happened within the camp. Each guy pushes the other to raise the bar a notch higher. Our live shows have always been very good but with this lineup they have become an extremely powerful experience for us and, I hope, for our fans. And we wanted to capture that
Interview by: Barry McMinn
live experience in the studio. Both Brooke St. James and Chris Green are incredibly talented guitarists, but their approach to the instrument and to writing are very different. Chris had to learn how to work with us and we had to learn how to work with him. That is never a perfectly harmonious process but I feel that it should have a little push and pull. The passion for what we are trying to do is shared by all of us and that makes for a great album. Q: The band have already announced a multi country tour in support of the new album, will be concentrating on mostly the new material this time around? A: No, we want to find a way to bring a balance of all of our studio albums onto the live stage. So there will be songs representing every Tyketto album when we tour this time. Q: Why the decision to record the album at Rockfield Studios in Wales? A: Like so many aspects of our career this past two years, the stars just seem to align for us no matter what we set our minds to. It was Chris Childs who first asked if we had considered Rockfield. He had just finished doing several tracks there with Thunder and he was raving about it. Amazingly, Rockfield is also the first professional studio I ever worked at because it was where Waysted recorded all of the demos for our album “Save Your Prayers” in 1986. We thought that we wouldn’t be able to afford working there but then, when we were asked to play the Steelhouse Festival in Wales we found ourselves only a 20 minutes drive away so we just popped in to say hello and look around. The atmosphere was instantly electric and evertything we wanted to bring to our new songs. Michael looked at me and said, “We have to do this album here”. With the help of Nick Brine and the good people at Rockfield, we were able to strike a deal and spend 3 weeks there recording. It’s a process that I wish every band could experience at least once in their careers.
Band: Kee Marcello
Question: Congratulation for your new amazing album. Can you present it to our reader? Answer: Well, the concept of Scaling Up derives out of spending a lot of time on the road with The Kee Marcello Band, and by doing so realizing what it is that makes us tick musically. I’m using the full monty of my musical influences on this album, but for me it basically all started with 70’s hard rock, but later grew into my own particular style of song writing. Q: What is the cover album story and message? A: The man on the ladder in front of an apocalyptic city is PAPA LEGBA. He’s a Voodoo spirit that is said to be the gatekeeper of the spiritual crossroads. Right now humanity is facing a lot of tough choices if we want to survive as a species we would need to speak to PAPA LEGBA. The reason I chose a Voodoo divinity to climb that ladder is because I used to live in the Turks And Caicos Islands in the British West Indies (BWI), in the late 80’s, early 90’s. There were a lot of Haitians there because of it’s closeness to Haiti, so Voodoo was ever present, and it fascinated and inspired me. Q: The band is playing on the album is really great. Can you talk about it? A: The bass player is long time colleague KEN SANDIN: (Alien, Joe Lynn Turner, Bobby Kimball, etc). He’s been in the band since 2004. We’ve played together for so long that we’ve reached the point when we start thinking the same thoughts! This kind of intuitivity is a great tool in the band. The drummer is DARBY TODD: (The Darkness, Gary Moore, Robert Plant, etc). He joined the band for last years UK Tour, and he immediately became crucial for this band. Me and Ken have had different drummers in the band over the years. They’ve all been really gifted, but for different reasons it hasn’t worked out. But when Darby joined and we started to rehearse, we just looked at each other and said with one
Interview with: Kee Marcello
voice: ”This is the guy!” Darby is an outgoing, social guy, pretty much the same kind of creature like me, while Ken is more thoughtful, contemplating and calm. He therefore works as a catalyst in the band - when the two fools rush in he can take a step back for perspective. Q: On the production side, it is really a huge and well done... A: It all started with spending lots of time on the road. Especially the UK tour of 2015 gave me a lot of inspiration to write songs for a new album. I wrote and made demos of the songs in my studio and sent them to Darby and Ken. They listened to the songs and put their own twists to them well ahead of the recordings. Then we all met up at excellent Top Floor Studios in Gothenburg, where we recorded drums, bass and guitars the old fashioned way. The studio owner, Jake Herrmann, designed a spectacular drum sound for us, and that’s what you hear on the record. No drum samples or Hocus Pocus, just a really organic, natural drum sound, designed by someone who knows what the hell he’s doing! Q: I love the think than you included “Don’t Miss You Much”. It is a song that a lot of your long time fans have been waiting for. A: Thank you. Yeah, I think a lot of my fans from back in the 80’s/90’s will feel at home with the vibe of that song. I’m very happy with the way it came out, it manages to be both groovy, heartful, melodic and somewhat rocking. Q: I love as well the Jeff Beck influence on the beautiful ballad, “Fighter On The Trigger” and amazing poweful part on “Soldier Down”... A: This song actually derives from an outtake of ”Out Of This World”, but back then I named it ”Too Far Gone”. When I was cleaning out a storage room last winter, I discovered an old quarter inch tape box lying on a shelf. It said ”COMPASS POINT” on it, and then I remembered what it was. in 1987, before I moved to BWI I lived about
Interview by: Bruce Atkinson
a year in Nassau, the Bahamas. I had my home studio there and I was doing demos for OOTW, which we were about to record in London. I went to Compass Point (a legendary studio where AC/DC recorded ”Back In Black” f.i.) to buy a quarter inch tape for mixing down my demos on, at this was it. I had to send it to a studio that ”bakes” tapes. When tapes are that old you can’t just play them back on a tape recorder - the magnetism has decreased over the years, and it will simply fall apart. When you send them for ”baking”, the tapes manage to keep together so you at least can make a digital copy of it. I received the digital copy after a week, and I was thrilled to hear that song again! I really tried to get the same vibe on ”Finger On The Trigger” as on the demo, cause the first feel for a song is almost the right one. I even kept the feeling of the solo, and I remember that my playing on the original demo was inspired by Jeff Beck, who was a big inspiration for me when I first started playing the guitar. It was always a disappointment to me that this song never made the album, and now I finally found a perfect forum for it, after changing the preachers and rewriting the lyrics. ”Finger On The Trigger” is a story about a suicide bomber that regrets his choices facing death with his finger on the trigger. I’m very happy with the guitar parts on “Soldier Down”, where I got to use a whole variety of styles and techniques. We premiered it on the recent UK tour, so I can certify that it’s also a killer live song! The instrumental parts makes it take off in a big way, and Darby’s drums on it are epic! The first piece of music to come out of this was actually the classic music sounding intro, which repeats itself in the second part of the solo. That’s what the whole idea of the song came from. After I ”got to know” the song, the rest of it pretty much wrote itself! I dedicate it to all the brave men and women of the peacekeeping forces around the World that risk their life daily so we can be free.
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Band: Cry Of Dawn
Question: You're on great form on the new Cry Of Dawn cd. How did the project materialise? Answer: Daniel Flores recommended me to the Project when Frontiers was looking for a singer. At that stage there were still a few songs that remained to be written. Q: How involved were you in the songwriting and how much choice doid you have about the songs that made the record? A: Frontiers picked the songs. During the recording process I made some changes in the arrangement regarding melodies here and there. Small modifications. Initially the songs where already complete with lyrics and melody, recorded on a demo. Q: What was it like working with Daniel Flores and Michael Palace? You worked with Daniel Flores before back in 2005 on the XsavioR record. A: Great as usual. I have full confidence in what he is doing with the mix and everything. We also worked together on one of the “Crash the System” albums more recently. I work independently though since my studio is at home. When each song was completed and confirmed, I delivered the files for mix and continued to the next. Unfortunately, I never met Michael during the recordings. Internet has a bad side effect but in general, it makes life easier. Q: I love what you do with your vocals on 'Listen To Me'. Are there any particular songs that stand out on the disc for you?
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Interview with: Goran Edman
A: “Listen to Me” stands out a little bit since it has a more rocky approach. It is hard to pick one from another. Q: You are a very versatile singer, coping with heavy rock in the likes of Brazon Abbot and Yngwie Malmsteen, progressive things like Karmankanic, the kind of classic AOR of this project and Kharma, and even the lighter West Coast material you have made with Crossfade. Which style do you feel most at home with and do you have a favorite record in your back catalogue? A: I grew up with progressive rock and that was the music I was influenced by as a consumer. When it comes to being a vocalist it's not only about what your preferences are it's also about what you are suited for. Neoclassic rock has never been heavily represented in my album collection though I was singing it back in the old days. I guess west coast or progressive are what I prefer to sing. More versatile in its expression. Q: Who do you consider as your biggest influences as singer? A: I don't think I have any favourite singer in particular. I have always tried to find a style of my own. I enjoy listening to singers such as Steve Walsh in Kansas, Paul Rogers from Free and Bad Company ore Peter Gabriel just to mention a few. Yes and Genesis were the bands I first discovered sure, but they didn’t influence me as far as my singing goes. I’m much more anchored in progressive music… Q: When it comes to the stage do you
Interview by: Duncan Jamieson
prefer big venues or more intimate clubs? A: In general I prefer to sing in more intimate clubs even though it gives me a hard time due to my nervousness. It’s very hard for me to handle. I don’t have any problem when I perform in front of bigger venues but I must admit that I always have stage freight regardless of where we play or how big the audience is. Q: You used to work with many artists such as John Norum and Yngwie Malmsteen. What did you learn from these collaborations? A: Thanks to them I became more renowned. I also learned a lot from the music industry. It gave me a good experience but on the personal and human level it didn’t give me much… Q: You were great fronting Touch at the Firesfest in 2014. How did you find that experience and do you think you and Mark Mangold will work on something in the future? A: It was an honor to work with him and I hope we can collaborate more in the future. Time will tell. Q: Do you have any bands or projects on the horizon? A: Right now, I'm preparing for a little tour with Headless in Europe. In Nov, there will be Karmakanic and beside that, a lot of studio work with different bands and projects. I hope that the third Crossfade album will be mixed this year. We have more material than what is needed for an album recorded with vocals.
Band: Secret Sphere
Question: Aldo, before we start to talk about your new release, “Secret Sphere” is approaching their 20th Anniversary. Does the band feel that they are where they planned to be at this juncture? Answer: Well during our career we had several “important” chances. We had the opportunity to work with very big labels, we have been on the road lots of time following many big acts, we have been definitely able to jump on some trains, but we also wasted lots of things, due to inexperience or wrong considerations... All in all I am satisfied, after 20 years we are still here, another great chance came from Frontiers Records now and we will work hard to reach even more results! Question: Of course, through the years, the band has developed a loyal following in Japan, and your new album “One Night In Tokyo” is certainly a big thank-you to those loyal fans… However for us that are not in Japan, it displays the enormous Talent you guys have… So in that spirit, what we hear on this disc, is it the same show we would have heard say in Europe? A: Yes of course! We play every show with the same approach, at least we try.
Interview with: Aldo Lo Nobile
The difference maybe the can be found in the fact that in Japan we have a strong fanbase, but the energy is always the same! Q: You also had a very special guest duet with Michele, and have included the resulting song as a bonus track— care to let us know whom that is, and how did this come about? A: The idea came from Frontiers Records team, they love the song “Lie To Me” and in their opinion, due to the success of the song (the official video received almost 1 million views) there were still chances to promote the band working on that song and the idea of the duet with Anette Olzon was just brilliant, she is a very nice person and a great singer! Q: Who would you say have been strong influences on your music? A: Me personally, I grew up listening to a lot of hard rock music, and it is still my favorite kind of music. I am totally in love with Extreme, Def Leppard, Whitesnake and Dokken, but I am very open mind, I listen so many different kind of music from Pop to Thrash Metal and everything helped my musical background Q: So how do create a song, is it a band effort or...?
Interview by: Bruce Atkinson
A: Most of the ideas comes from me and I used to work later with all the band members, I compose the first structure and then I share the idea with the band, Michele take care of the lyrics and vocal melodies. Q: Did you ever think that you would be this successful and renowned in the metal community way back when you first picked up your guitar? A: When I first picked up a guitar I thought that I won’t ever be able to play the easiest solo in the world. (laughs) I’m not totally agreeing with you, we have a good audience, but we need more time to be really renowned, but thank you. I can say that we really put all our passions for the music in the band, it’s our first priority in our lives and I think that the people that love our music understand this. Q: I understand that you are actually writing and recording for Secret Sphere’s next recorded work. Are we to expect some more surprises like your duet with Anette? A: We will enter the studio on December 5th. Almost all the songs are ready. We had few toughts about some other possible collaborations, but, it's just an idea, who knows!
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Band: Seventh Wonder
Question: Listening to “Welcome To Atlanta Live 2014” the feeling is that the new lineup is very solid and harmonious: do you agree? Answer: Yes, we are super happy with Stefan! He truly is a beast and he always carries us live. I feel so comfortable playing with him -he is a great musician. He has also already contributed with some original ideas for new songs that will be on the new album. Q: What are the key strengths of Seventh Wonder in your view? A: I think that we in short manage to combione great songs, and by that I mean great catchy melodies, with advanced prog-metal passages. I think that specific mix is what makes us stand out. For me personally I believe that my bass playing and the space we allow the bass to take sonically also adds to our unique sound. Q: “Mercy Falls”, which is played in its entirety in the live album, is probably your most appreciated album: what was the genesis of a concept so complex and tragic? A: While I was in the studio tracking Tommy's vocals for “Waiting In The Wings”, we started talking about a concept album and right then and there the kind of underlying meaning was hashed out. To make it into the detailed story it turned out
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Interview with: Andreas Blomqvist
in the end of course required lots of additional work, that me and Tommy did together. Q: The new tracks (“Inner Enemy” and “The Promise”) are very good “appetizers” while waiting for your new fulllength album: can you anticipate something about it? A: First of all I'd like to make it clear to everyone that non of those tracks will be on the album. We don't wanna be cheap here, but give us much new music to everybody as we can, so there will only be new original songs on the upcoming album. Other than that I think it is safe to say that it will be somewhat different sound, since Stefan is now behind the drum kit. He has more of a natural groove and heaviness than his predecessor and I think that will make it interesting for fans. Other than that I think noone will be suprised by how the album sounds as I am sure it is very much a classic Seventh Wonder album. Q: Why did you decide to put together an acoustic medley? In the review I compared it to the one done by Toto in “Falling In Between Live”… A: I wanted us to do a little special treat for the fans who made it to the second show, and also something to put on the DVD that can't be found any other place. But there was another reason too, and that was that I
Interview by: Bruce Atkinson
wanted to capture as much of our history as possible on the DVD and since 90 minutes or so were dedicated to Mercy Falls, it was hard to give the other albums sufficient space. That's when I came up with this idea, to kind of take the audience on a trip through our history and also including stuff off of ou first album Become, which we basically never play songs from anymore. Q: How did you get in touch with Frontiers? A: They actually reached out to us, and I believe it is a good match for both parties. Q: Is it hard to balance Tommy’s duties with Kamelot with Seventh Wonder’s activities both live and in the studio? A: Yes, very much so. It is no secret that it is what slows us down the most. On the other hand it is of course great that so many other fans have discovered us through Tommy's work with Kamelot. Q: In the last few years did any new band / artist impress you in some way? A: I was very impressed by the new guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Eric Gillette in the Neal Morse band. That guy is a wiz. Other than that I am getting to be an old geezer, and am basically stuck listening to the same old bands I was listening to 20 years ago. I was impressed by the new Dream Theater album too, “The Astonishing”.
Featuring the Frontiers Metal Festival Guide + Hardline, Kee Marcello, Secret Sphere, RavenEye, Cry of Dawn, Operation: Mindcrime, Tyketto,...