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Issue 16 - January 2014

PLUS Battleaxe Freedom Call Lover Under Cover Within Temptation Dave Evans Overland House Of Lords Darkyra Black


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What a fantastic start to the New Year rain rain and yet more rain. I was thinking about getting a fake tan to cheer myself up but then I read about Cuprinol fence treatments and how it protects wood for five years. Well at my age you have to be careful and any form of protection sounds good to me. Anyway I digress it has already proven musically to be a great start to ’14 having discovered lots of great new artists such as Malf, Reason, Maker all of which you will hear about in next months issue. I finally got to see one of my personal favourite bands I AM I in Camden and legendary prog rockers The Enid both fantastic shows and if you get the chance to see either of these bands in the next year I strongly suggest you do so. Lots happening over the course of the next 12 months for all of us at Firebrand command and I cannot wait to update you all on the future events. I saw a magazine recently running an article entitled “Is Rock Dying?� I personally think rock is having a stronger resurgence in the last couple of years than in any other time the last thirty years. However I would be interested in your opinion so please feel free to mail me doc@firebrandrr.co.uk to tell me your thoughts for an upcoming article. Anyway that is me for now enjoy the mag, tune into the station to discover all the best in new talent and remember my young apprentices the rock will be with you always. Peace and Respect Darth Doc

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Kill or Cure's sound is a unique and gripping take on modern metal. The music is a rare mix of groove, aggression and melody, combining technical excellence and musical flair with modern razor sharp hooks. The trio of band members are based in Manchester and Southend. Due to the geographical divide, Kill or Cure are concentrating on studio work and are currently recording their second album.

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MÖTLEY CRÜE Announces THE FINAL TOUR Band is first-ever to sign binding “Cessation of Touring” agreement to prevent future, unauthorized touring. After more than three decades together, MÖTLEY CRÜE announced today their Final Tour and the band’s ultimate retirement. The announcement was solidified when the band signed a formal Cessation Of Touring Agreement, effective at the end of 2015, in front of global media in Los Angeles today. Celebrating the announcement of this Final Tour, the band will perform on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live TONIGHT and will appear on CBS This Morning tomorrow, 29TH Jan. With over 80 million albums sold, MÖTLEY CRÜE has sold out countless tours across the globe and spawned more than 2,500 MÖTLEY CRÜE branded items sold in over 30 countries. MÖTLEY CRÜE has proven they know how to make a lasting impression and this tour will be no different; Fans can expect to hear all the band’s hits and look forward to mind-blowing, unparalleled live production. “When it comes to putting together a new show we always push the envelope and that’s part of Motley Crue’s legacy,” explains Nikki Sixx (bass). “As far as letting on to what we’re doing, that would be like finding out what you’re getting for Christmas before you open the presents. We think in an age of too much information, we’d like to keep some surprises close to our chest until we launch the Final Tour.” The Final Tour presented by Dodge and produced by Live Nation will kick off in North America on July 2nd in Grand Rapids, MI and reach 72 markets before hitting international territories in 2015. To Live Nation MÖTLEY CRÜE tours are not only box office successes but artistically their shows have set the bar for production and entertainment value. "There's no arguing that Motley Crue have been and always will be the definitive bad boys of rock and roll," says Rick Franks, Live Nation's Regional President of North America Concerts. "But behind all those notorious stories is a legendary rock band that has revolutionized heavy metal and created some of the biggest hits in music history. They are a hugely successful global brand and a touring powerhouse. Everyone at Live Nation has a tremendous amount of respect for these hard working and extremely talented gentlemen. The music industry will never have another Motley Crue." The Dodge brothers were a notorious duo, so it seemed only natural to partner with the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band. "Whenever I talk to people about Motley Crue, the common thread is how cool and relevant the band remains even after 33 years," said Tim Kuniskis, President and CEO, Dodge Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. "This irreverent 'staying power' resonates deeply with the Dodge brand as we turn the corner on our 100 year anniversary. What better way to celebrate the band's final tour and the 25th anniversary of Kickstart My Heart than to do it together?" Fans can look forward to Very Special Guest ALICE COOPER joining MÖTLEY CRÜE for an incredible package Alice invented the genre and MÖTLEY CRÜE put steroids in it! "Real hard rock bands are hard to find these days," said Alice, "Motley has always gone on stage with one attitude and that's to blow the audience away. That's exactly how we do it.

Putting Motley Crue and Alice Cooper together is going to be just what this summer really NEEDS. We're going to go out there and tear it up, and I can't wait to see Motley on stage. Motley Crue and Alice Cooper - A match made in... Armageddon?" As documented in the Cessation Of Touring Agreement the band signed at the press conference today, the band will not tour after this Final Tour. Band Attorney, Doug Mark of Mark Music & Media Law, explains “Other bands have split up over rancor or the inability of people to get along, but this is mutual among all four original members and a peaceful decision to move on to other endeavors and to confirm it with a binding agreement.” Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, and Mick Mars will go their separate ways after the lengthy 2-year touring cycle. Tommy Lee (drums) explains “Everything must come to an end!! We always had a vision of going out with a big fucking bang and not playing county fairs and clubs with 1 or 2 original band members! Our job here is done!!!” Of the band’s tumultuous history, Mick Mars (guitar) adds "(It has been) more drama than ‘General Hospital’ - it keeps 'em watchin’ and they keep comin’ back.” Vocalist, Vince Neil says of the Finality of the tour - “I'll miss playing with the guys but I won't quit playing rock and roll!! I feel there are a lot of great opportunities and exciting projects after Motley.” The Final Tour will coincide with the film made from MÖTLEY CRÜE’s NY Times Best-Selling book The Dirt. Jeff Tremaine (Bad Grandpa) has signed on to direct the opus that is set to debut in theaters globally in 2015, coinciding with The Final Tour. The Dirt is not only one of the best selling rock books of all time but also one of the greatest rock books of all time because of its brutal honesty, its unique voice, its multiple perspectives on the same events and its first-person inclusion of all members of the same band. Most rock memoirs are salacious mud-slinging accounts of a single person and MÖTLEY CRÜE was adamant to include the perspectives of all four of its members. Tremaine’s intention is to make, not just a great movie about a band, but a great movie about four misfits who, despite themselves and everyone else, band together to overcome the odds and change the history of Rock & Roll. "The Dirt' is a movie I've wanted to make ever since I read the book in 2002,” says Tremaine. “I relate to the story on so many levels; my whole professional career has been about boys behaving badly, so I have a real connection to the material. It's awesome to be working with the band at such an exciting time in Motley Crue’s history." The film will be produced by the members of MÖTLEY CRÜE, Rick Yorn, Julie Yorn, Erik Olsen and 10th Street Entertainment. BIG MACHINE RECORDS, home to Country Superstars such as Taylor Swift and Tim McGraw has teamed up in a joint venture with MÖTLEY RECORDS and ELEVEN SEVEN MUSIC for the summer 2014 release of a Country Music Tribute To MÖTLEY CRÜE. BIG MACHINE founder and CEO, Scott Borchetta, is among the legion of Country Music fans who love MÖTLEY CRÜE. The country tribute album will show off the band’s quality songwriting with these fresh takes on their classic hit songs. Among the artists already confirmed to be featured on the country tribute album is Florida Georgia Line. Borchetta says of the collaboration, "I have been a not-so-

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secret Crue fan from the beginning. When manager Chris Nilsson called with the idea for a tribute album on Big Machine Records it was an immediate 'yes' from me! Our album will highlight just how great the Motley Crue song catalog is. At the end of the day, that's what will stand the test of time." MÖTLEY CRÜE Fan Club members will get the exclusive first crack at tickets and VIP Packages, via a unique code, beginning on Wednesday, January 29th starting at 10am local time. VIP ticket packages will be made available to the general public on Thursday, January 30th at 10am local time. The general public ticket on-sale for most shows is Friday, January 31st. All tickets and packages can be obtained via Ticketmaster.com http://www.ticketmaster.com/ Motley-Crue-tickets/artist/910417, LiveNation.com http:// www.livenation.com/artists/41479/motley-crue , or via MotleyVIP.com. UK dates will be announced later this year.

1995 and ‘Equilibrium’ (which featured Phillips, Neal Schon, Steve Porcaro, Jason Scheff and Dave Amato) in 1999. In 2002 he joined the band Mecca, while he also toured with the World Classic Rockers and the Voices of Classic Rock. Frontiers Records label president Serafino Perugino has the following to say about Fergie : “Fergie has always been special to us. Since day one we tried to sign him to the label and while we needed a few more years to finally start working together, all experiences with him have been nothing but a pleasure. A fine artist, brilliant singer, lovely person – even more after we finally got to meet when he came to see us during the recording of his last album ‘Any Given Moment’. He said that day was special to him and certainly it was for us all too. I had the chance to say goodbye to him some weeks ago and was so emotional. We miss you so much Fergie, God bless you!”

Tygers Of Pan Tang Release Promo Video Tygers Of Pan Tanghave released a promo video for the song "Keeping Me Alive" from the "Ambush" album released on Rocksector Records in 2012. The video features the latest addition to the band - guitarist Micky Crystal.

Moonkings Debut Album Released on 24 February 2014 Vandenberg's MoonKings debut album MoonKings, the first release from Adrian Vandenberg in 16 years, will be released on 24th February 2014 through Mascot Records. The eagerly awaited record is a sensational mix of blistering rock songs and powerful ballads from the Dutch Frontiers Records are sad to announce the death of Dennis guitar hero, and includes a newly recorded version of ‘Fergie’ Frederiksen, who recorded and released his final two Vandenberg’s ex-band Whitesnake’s classic ‘Sailing Ships’. studio albums with the label (’Happiness Is The Road’ and ‘Any Special guest David Coverdale adds his unique vocals to the Given Moment’) while suffering from inoperable cancer that equation, to complement Vandenberg’s powerful riffs for a he had announced in 2010. welcome moment of nostalgia. Fergie was an American rock singer best known as the Multi-talented Vandenberg - who has designed all of his former lead singer of Trillion, Angel, Le Roux and Toto, as well album sleeves since his very first record with Teaser at the as a background vocalist for Survivor. He contributed to hit age of 22 – took care of the artwork for this much-awaited singles in three consecutive years, all with different bands: record. Survivor - ‘American Heartbeat’ (1982), Le Roux - ‘Carrie's Gone’ (1983) and Toto - ‘Stranger in Town’ (1984). After taking a few years out of the music industry, he returned in the mid-1990s to release albums such as ‘Frederiksen/Phillips’ (a collaboration with Ricky Phillips) in

In loving memory of Dennis ‘Fergie’ Frederiksen May 15th 1951 – January 18th 2014

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GET READY FOR THE ROCK’N’ROLL TOUR OF 2014

WITH SPECIAL GUESTS

SUPPORT

APRIL 2014 UK TOUR WWW.TICKETMASTER.CO.UK / WWW.LIVENATION.CO.UK

24 HR BOX OFFICE: 0844 844 0444 FOREIGNER with special guests EUROPE and FM will appear onstage together for the first time ever taking in nine dates across the UK throughout April 2014. The nine date UK tour kicks off on Thursday 3rd April at the O2 Apollo Manchester.

most iconic songs in rock music. With ten multi-platinum albums and sixteen Top 30 hits, Foreigner is universally hailed as one of the most popular rock acts in the world with a formidable musical arsenal that continues to propel sold-out tours and album sales, now exceeding 75 million.

“I’m thrilled to be coming back home to England and touring with Europe and FM,” says Foreigner’s founding British member and lead guitarist, Mick Jones. “We’re looking forward to having a great time.”

Responsible for some of rock’s and roll’s most enduring anthems including “Cold As Ice,” “Juke Box Hero,” “Feels Like The First Time,” “Urgent,” “Head Games,” “Waiting For A Girl Like You,” “Say You Will,” “Dirty White Boy,” Tickets can be purchased from www.livenation.co.uk and “Long, Long Way From Home,” and the worldwide #1 hit, www.ticketmaster.co.uk with official Meet & Greet VIP ”I Want To Know What Love Is,” packages available from www.vipnation.co.uk. Foreigner continues to rock the charts more than thirty years into the game. FOREIGNER, one of the biggest rock bands of all time, are internationally renowned for creating some of the At Foreigner’s core is founder and lead guitarist Mick

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Jones, the visionary maestro whose stylistic songwriting, indelible guitar hooks and multi-layered talents continue to escalate Foreigner’s influence, along with Kelly Hansen (lead vocals) Jeff Pilson (bass guitar) and multi-instrumentalist Tom Gimbel. In June 2013, Billy Joel inducted Mick Jones into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame.

Joey Tempest (vocals), John Norum (guitars), Mic Michaeli (keyboards), John Levén (bass) and Ian Haugland (drums). The current “Bag Of Bones” spawned three radio hits in the UK – “Not Supposed To Sing The Blues,” “Firebox” and “Demon Head.”

Special guests FM will be opening the concerts on the upcoming UK tour. FM formed in 1984 and quickly hit Special guests are the legendary, multi million selling, the road touring with the likes of Meat Loaf, Tina Turner, Swedish hard rock band EUROPE. Hot off the heels of a Foreigner, Gary Moore, Status Quo and the white-hot Spanish tour with Def Leppard and Whitesnake, Europe Bon Jovi on their "Slippery When Wet" tour. FM released have made nothing short of a remarkable comeback their debut album “Indiscreet” in 1986 to great critical with their last four studio albums, “Start From The Dark,” acclaim. “Secret Society”, "Last Look At Eden" and their ninth and most critically acclaimed studio album “Bag Of Bones" For the next 12 years FM consolidated their position at which was declared the 16th best rock album of 2012 the forefront of British melodic rock, touring everywhere by Classic Rock magazine. they could to promote releases such as 1989's “Tough It Out” and 1992's “Aphrodisiac.” Europe will perform songs from their last four albums, plus their classics including “Rock The Night,” In 2007 - after a 12 year sabbatical - FM returned to the “Superstitious,” “Carrie,” “Let The Good Times Rock,” stage with a headline performance at a sold-out Firefest “Prisoners In Paradise” and their worldwide No. 1 rock IV at Nottingham Rock City. This was followed in March anthem “The Final Countdown.” 2010 by the release of their highly anticipated sixth studio album "Metropolis." Spring 2013 saw FM release Founded and formed by lead singer, chief songwriter, a double helping of again critically-acclaimed albums Joey Tempest and guitar legend John Norum, the band “Rockville” and companion album, “Rockville II.” The band have over the last 10 years re-established themselves line-up features Steve Overland (vocals, guitar), Merv into a cutting edge hard rock band well respected in the Goldsworthy (bass), Pete Jupp (drums), Jem Davis rock community. Europe includes the original line-up (keyboards) and Jim Kirkpatrick (guitar).

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a decent guitar player and I would just watch him, how his hands moved on the neck and what kind of positions the fingers went? So I taught myself, just from watching what he did. After 5 years of watching, when I made the guitar my instrument, it was kinda natural? I knew the finger positioning So tell us a little about yourself Rich? I’m a guitar player from New England in the USA. I just had to get the co ordination to do it. I started many years ago with a band called “Skyhigh”, we released an album with Perris You list some great players as influences, Records back in the day and got to support some Steve Vai , Nuno Bettencourt , Richie great bands onstage. That lasted about 15 years Sambora and I can hear all those influences and eventually we all kinda grew up and moved but there’s a huge slice of Antonelli in there on with our families. as well. Recently I’ve been playing in a Bon Jovi Eddie Van Halen was self-taught and he has his tribute band, Bon Jersey. own way of playing technically and me not having ever taken a lesson, I’m pretty sure I play things wrong! Technically, I use the wrong fingers which Yeah , I was reading that ! How does that sit give me my own style? It’s difficult for me to be in with your own work? It’s fun, I’ve been with them for about 8 years a band that say covers different guitar players now, none of us really see each other except at because I only have one way of playing so it’s shows, we don’t even rehearse, it’s kinda the hard for me to copy? stage where you either know the songs... or you don’t ... The Track “Giddy Up” is a really fluid piece of music with some really rapid playing. Do you find you get as much enjoyment doing Thanks! That was a Joe Satriani “style” track but hopefully not Too Satriani (laughs) that as performing your own material? I get the best of both I suppose, when I did the “Voiceless” cd it was basically me and a friend of How long did the album take to record? mine, Chris, who plays drums on it. I basically did I didn’t really have a deadline to work to, so it everything else and recorded it on my laptop. probably spanned around 6 months. I wasn’t Whereas with Bon Jersey, I get the experience of working on it every single day. So it was an hour being onstage with a band, the good thing about here, and hour there? Bon Jovi is they have so many hits that you’re already half way there? Everyone knows the There is a message with the album isn’t songs? there? The most obvious reference being So I get that side of it and get to be creative “Brie’s Song”? and write with my own recordings. Gabrielle, she’s my daughter, is 11 now but when she was 7, was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. The reason I ask is, for those that haven’t yet We went through the testing etc. She goes to heard “Voiceless”, as the title suggests there Hasbro Hospital in Rhode Island. They were is no vocalist, but the album sounds nothing great! They taught us a lot as we knew nothing about the disease. like a Bon Jovi influenced thing. Well, I grew up in the 80’s and I actually started As a father I wanted to do something on drums when I was younger, I discovered Van positive and being a musician, I decided to do a Halen and said “To hell with these drums, I cd and every dime from the cd (which is available wanna play guitar!” So when you’re in school thru Rich’s website) goes to Hasbro toward you’re in garage bands just jamming and we had Crohn’s research. So far we have raised around Hi Rich , congratulations on winning band of the month and what a worthy winner with a splendid album “Voiceless” Thank you very much, I appreciate it.

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$3,000.

of day. I’ve spoken to a few labels, so you never know. We’ve just had our first pre-production meeting, I have to keep busy, and pick up my guitar everyday or I’ll go crazy.

Crohn’s Disease in a youngster can be a devastating thing. Yeah, but she’s great about it, never complains at all, it doesn’t usually affect people so young. What does Brie think of the CD? She doesn’t really make a big deal out of anything but will go “That’s Cool”. The reason it’s called “Brie’s Song” is because when she heard me play that riff, she always kinda perked up and said “I like that part”. Of course there is another song on the album called “Hannah’s Song” for my other daughter because you can’t have one without the other. Let’s move on a little and talk about “Rattlesnake Stew” That was a fun one to do. It has a real southern vibe to it. The acoustic intro to that one was sort of influenced by, although it doesn’t sound like it, by Winger’s “Madeline” but when the song kicks in...you don’t hear any Winger. No, you don’t (Laughs) Did you at any point think that some of the tracks on the album needed a vocalist? When I was doing the cd I thought that these were good songs that could be sung to, and that’s how I write, with that in mind, with radio in mind? I don’t set out to write a ten minute epic that goes nowhere? So there is always the thought that if “Voiceless” did well I could always do another cd of the same songs with lyrics and different singers on each song. During the recording I was contacted by a local film maker who had used a couple of tracks from “Voiceless” on his last movie. He asked me to write the title track to his new movie called “Bloodmare”. He sent me the script so the song would fit the movie and Chris and I with another of Chris’s friends, Another Chris, did the song with us. We are now working on a full length cd as a band. I don’t know if it will ever see the light

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Lets talk about something else now, I’ve just been reading you Bio which says that you like playing volleyball and watching sport events. Are you one of those guys who has his guitar one his knee whilst watching the telly? Yeah, pretty much. If there’s a game on I’m usually watching it. I’ve been playing volleyball in a league for the last 15 years or so, it helps keep me in shape, as much as possible without having to do anything else. A lot of these guitar players I talk to, they seem to live in a dungeon and do nothing except get up in the morning and playing guitar for 15 hours a day and nothing else. Well, I’ve never had lessons, never practiced scales or anything, i just play, and if it sounds good, then it probably is good. To me, there are no rules.

Do you get as much reward working for a full band, with a vocalist, as much as you do just working for yourself? I think so, it’s different, but, you know, if it does well, I’d rather share it with people. Plus, when you work with other people. They can spark new ideas that I probably wouldn’t have thought of, and kind of push you a little too, to get better, and that’s always a good thing.

Obviously, you’re going out on tour with the Bon Jovi tribute band. Is Richard Antonelli going out on the road at all under his own steam? Probably not, but never say never. This band thing, well, if we get this album done, and on a label, we all have kids and stuff, and busy lives, and the Bon Jovi thing kind of takes up most of my music time. Here and there, we might go out and do a ‘one off’, if the CD does well, who

People don’t seem to realise these days, that its all very well having an album out, but everybody has to eat, and I presume that the Bon Jovi act actually earns you some cash? Yeah, with cover bands, if you do it right, and you do it well, it’s a pretty good payday. When you’re doing an original gig, when I was in the band Skyhigh, we played for fifteen years and really never made any money, a lot of the times we had to pay to play, so when we finished up, I had had enough of that. I needed to start making some money, even a little bit of money if I’m going to start playing the guitar. I think a lot of people tend to forget that that’s the case, and we’re not 20 anymore, we’ve grown up a bit since then. Yes, it’s not all just having fun and parties, its work, and those that take it seriously are the ones that do well. You have to keep on, push, push, push.

It’s about feel isn’t it, rather than technical ability? Yes, exactly.

Yes, it’s a bit like cheering each other on. Exactly!

knows? We may try and get on a festival somewhere.

Now, what I was going to say, about the new album, is, that wherever you put the player down on the record, there are always a lot of albums that you’ll listen to, and think, I’ll skip that one, and that one, but on this one you don’t. Each track leads into the other, and even if it’s a light change of direction, there’s always something interesting happening on the album. Do you think that’s because of the way you arranged the tunes, or because of the way you’re playing on them? Thanks, I appreciate that, and when I write, I’m a big melodic rock guy, and love melodies. I’ve never been into thrash bands. There’s nothing wrong with them, I just like melody. I want a great song that always has a hook in it, that you’re always humming, that sticks in your head, so when I write I try to get at least a few hooks in every song so that you don’t get bored with it.

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Yes, there’s got to be something that brings you in and entertains you, and I think you’ve done that with the eleven tracks on the album, an absolute gem. From Peaceful Sorrow, to Hannah’s Song, I actually enjoyed Giddy Up a great deal, I also enjoyed Saturday Night Serenade, which is a bit of a left field song for the album, but sounds brilliant. Yes, when I was writing Saturday Night Serenade, I actually intended it, to just be an acoustic guitar alone by itself. Because I recorded the whole thing myself at home on my laptop, I could not get a good acoustic sound. I wasn’t going to go into a studio, because this CD was being recorded for charity and I wanted all the money to go to the Hospital, so I started recording it, and instead of using an acoustic guitar, just used a clean electric tone, and it kind of evolved. I just kept adding, and adding, and adding, and mentioned to Chris that maybe there should be drums in this song too? So Chris ended up laying down a drum track to it and the song was built in layers. It just kind of worked out that way.

You know, it’s funny. After we broke up, around 2002, we actually did two reunion shows, one in 2005 and one I think maybe two years ago. It was fun to get back together and play, but it’s not really where I want to be right now. Never say never, I’d probably do another one if the right opportunity came up, but if anybody is interested in anything that Skyhigh did, there are some tunes on my website, you can preview them there, some tunes from the CD and some unreleased tracks that we didn’t put out.

So that’s at RichardAntonelli.com, and I see there that you can purchase the Single that you released, Winter In New England. Yes, I forgot all about that being there, am glad you brought it up. The song which was actually the idea of Eddie Lavelle from Kivel Records. He and I just became good friends, it was winter time, and getting towards Christmas and he had an idea to do something for charity, and said let’s do a Christmas tune, let’s do something original. It’s funny how it worked out, cos he asked me to record something and let him hear it, and I took the idea that he wanted me to write the whole song which I actually finished in two days, recorded everything and sent it to Eddie, who How do you feel with doing the Bon Jovi thing, and your own thing, do you sometimes said ‘what the heck do you need me for, the songs done already’. wish that you had more time for one rather than the other, as you were saying that the Bon Jovi took up most of your music time. Not really, I can’t complain about anything, Some people may not like Bon Jovi but it’s really fun to do. It’s usually a good crowd that we’re playing in front of and they’re really enthusiastic, they’re singing along with all the songs, and its usually a good time. And, with my other time, I just get to do what I want with the originals. I don’t have any barriers with that. I can record when I want to, or write when I want to, or if I don’t feel like it, I just don’t do it. There’s one question that I haven’t asked you yet, which I think I have got to , to be fair. In this day and age with bands reforming and going back out onto the road again, do you think that will ever happen with Skyhigh?

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I told him I thought that was what he wanted me to do, asked him to listen to it and it sorta went from there. He played some great leads on it, and I originally played the keyboards on it too, but on Eddies song he had Alessandro Del Vecchio on keys, so Eddie contacted him and he was gracious enough to do it, so we sent him the tracks and he played all the keyboards. He sent it back to me, I mixed the whole thing and then we sent it back to Alessandro in Italy, and he mastered it for us. So it’s like a three man collaboration, and we put it out, and if you like Transiberian Orchestra, that’s basically the style of song it is. It’s a heavy, kind of Christmas themed tune, and another one that donates money to Hasbro,

anything, you just let me know. Well let’s see if we can’t change the fact that nobody has ever heard of you, thanks for being on the programme Rich.

Rich, thanks for joining me, it’s been a great pleasure. Thanks very much, you have shown some great support. Nobody knows who I am and you guys have really helped me out, if you ever need

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As I sit here in my little hovel I can’t but wonder just how good a year 2013 was supposed to be for Progressive Rock. Now don’t get me wrong I am certainly a ‘glass half empty’ kind of guy, but the hype surrounding certain bands within the genre and the blind faith shown by a now ageing fan base, myself included, on the ‘old school’ is a bit of a cause for concern to this ancient monument of a progressive rock fan! Talking of ‘Old School’ one bright light at the end of the tunnel was the album by Manning, The Root, The Leaf & The Bone, featuring a track called ‘Old School’. Some ‘old school’ styling maybe but a sound that most defiantly belonged in 2013 not 1974!

featuring Mr Young, Mr Beedle, no not Jeremy, Martin (Frosty), honestly, and Mr Beggs, a good smattering of guests including the aforementioned (big word for me that!), Mr Hackett, Robin Boult, Jakko Jakszyk and the Granddad of Prog Thijs Van Leer. Has the album set the world alight, not really, it probably should have done but the fickle anoraks don’t seem to have appreciated the albums splendour that much!

Prog has got to keep up with the times, embrace new ideas and new sounds, if you ask me, but I don’t There was also the excellent album by the Tangent, suppose you are! Anyway one band to give a bit of Le Scare Du Travail, or to us mere mortals, The Rite your time to could well be Symphony Of Pain with of Work, true British Prog Rock in all its their album Hydeology. Naughty nurses, strange magnificence. Far more exciting than the much weddings and a hideous hypodermic all add to a very vaunted Von colourful and powerful full debut, but is it PROG? Helsing Bros, Who knows, who cares, it possibly is, it possibly isn’t, think that is what but it is a good inventive rock album. they’re called but they’re plugged by Well there could be a Feast of Consequences, (ohh a certain areas of Fishy reference) from my ramblings but I’m the big the ‘industry’ who man won’t mind if he sells a few more of his terrific are supposed to return to form of an album. Well I’ve got to go and be in the ‘know’. change the candles in the back of the hovel, the cow Too much needs milking, my flowing cape is covered in manure Hobgoblin if you and my melotron has developed a nasty rash, so I’d ask me! better find some soothing ointment. Of course if you believe the hype, then Genesis will be Prog On folks. May your 7/8 take root in every tree having another ‘reunion’ this year. Now call me and you continue to know what you like and like what cynical, oh come on not all of you at once!, anyway, you know! call me cynical, but could this have something to do with the much deserved success that Steve Hackett has had with the Genesis Revisited project? Who knows, but it does make you think, or does it? A real bright light was the arrival of Lifesigns,

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Lee Speaks to Mirko The man behind

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Can you give the Firebrand readers a quick overview of Defox Records? Hi Lee, thanks for this opportunity and for the hospitality in Firebrand Magazine, Based in Italy, Defox Records is an association and independent record label dedicated to promoting an extensive variety of international bands and artists. Defox Records is also a creative lab offering full-service promotional solutions, strategic consulting and marketing services, graphic design and more. Musically my background started with singing and composing songs for a cult NWOIM (New Way Of Italian Metal) band in the early 80’s called Axe Hero (later changed X-HERO). I started my career as an A&R associate for several European record and entertainment companies, such as A.M.Songs & Music, Altar of the King Records, Heart Of Steel Records, Bubble Blood Records, Invincible Records, Brit Beat Records, and Emmeciesse Music Publishing. My job comprises many roles ranging from being an executive producer, A&R scout, licenses/strategies, artistic producer, concert and event promoter and planner through to being a creative researcher. I deal with copyright issues through the Italian S.I.A.E. and I am also a President of a sporting and cultural association called Artisti No Limits, which is affiliated with the national federations/organisations Sport Nazionale and Coni.

Saluto, Alex De Rosso, Luca Zamberlin, Gianni Rojatti and honoured to had as special guest in many productions for big rock stars such as Don Dokken (Dokken),Reb Beach (Winger),George Lynch (Lynch Mob),Timothy Drury (Whitesnake),Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake),Steve Lukather (Toto), Marco Mendoza (Thin Lizzy), Atma Anur (Cacophony),Terry Ilous (Xyz, Great White),Richie Kotzen (Mister Big),Doug Wimbish (Living Colors),Goran Edman (Malmsteen),Chris Caffery (Savatage),Jeff Waters (Annihilator),Jeff L'Hereux (Culprit),Stewartie Adams (Tytan), Michael T. Ross (Angel, Lita Ford, Missing Persons) as well as working with other music genres such as Bob Stoner (Cardiac, SWT) and Pau Blondie. Following on from your earlier comments re the sub-labels that are part of Defox Records what prompted this diversification? Each brand has its own light, and usefulness to help categorise and distinguish each production by musical genre. We have competent staff for each sub-label, with the ability to choose and promote with a precise target. Was this something which was planned from the start or something which just happened over time? The idea was scheduled from the start, but over time there are always variables with plans.

It goes without saying that as the label has expanded so has the amount of bands and artists that are able to apply to be signed up to it. How do you select the What prompted you to start the label? bands which you sign up for the label? Are there any Primarily my love for music and to help develop and specific things you look out for? promote emerging bands, then all my efforts finally With a musical system in serious crisis, artists must became a real job! have an open mind and do not expect to become a rock In an effort to organise the variety the bands and star overnight, artists represented, Defox Records opted to create From potential bands we need a finished mastered several sub-labels to help categorize and distinguish each album, with good recording quality and interesting song production by musical genre. writing Heart Of Steel Records is dedicated to hard rock, progressive rock and heavy metal music and always What do you have planned for 2014? searching for album masters from the golden 80's for We have many scheduled productions especially for re-release. Invincible Records, Eur Records and Bubble Blood More recently we added yet more sub-labels to the Records, list, this time to address the extreme metal genres, called We are also strengthening our relationship with Invincible Records, and to promote the Horror-GothicDVLGATOR, which is a amazing promotional press office. Metal, GlamPunk, and Postrock, Alternative genre called Bubble Blood Records. Are there any messages that you would like to pass on For the Italian and European mainstream music to the Firebrand readers? scene we founded Eur Records. I invite you all to listen all our productions and to support underground music scene. As an independent record label what are the biggest obstacles that you come across and how do you Official site : http://defox.nlz.it (official site) overcome them? Official site : http://www.artistinolimits.it (Artists In recent years the business has changed radically, and Association) luckily I'm progressive in my approach and have expertise Official Blog : http://defoxrecords.blogspot.com in using new technology. Official site : http://heartofsteel.nlz.it (Hard'n'Heavy Today it's a major problem if you do not understand department) the great potential of the internet. Official site : http://invinciblerecords.nlz.it (Extreme metal department) In terms of the bands and artists that have been (or Official site : http://bubbleblood.nlz.it (Glam,Horror, still are) a part of the Defox rosta over the years, who Pop-punk department) has been your favourite to work with and why? Official site : http://eurrecords.nlz.it (mainstream, pop, I am happy to have released many albums and great rock department) music, in particular excellent guitarists such as Steve

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BETHESDA SOFTWORKS ANNOUNCES THE ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE IMPERIAL EDITION AND OFFICIAL ONLINE STORE Pre-Order and Pre-Purchase Bonuses Are Detailed for Latest Game in Award-Winning Franchise Bethesda Softworks, a ZeniMax Media company, today announced that it will release The Elder Scrolls Online Imperial Edition - a premium collector’s edition for the highly-anticipated The Elder Scrolls Online. The Elder Scrolls Online Imperial Edition will be made available in digital and limited physical formats. Both standard and collector’s editions are now available for pre-order through participating retailers and pre-purchase from the newly launched online store (store.elderscrollsonline.com). In addition to the highly-anticipated game, The Elder Scrolls Online Physical Imperial Edition includes: • Molag Bal Statue. A 30.5 cm statue featuring Molag Bal, Daedric Prince of domination and enslavement.

• The Improved Emperor’s Guide to Tamriel. A 224-page illustrated guide annotated by the Imperial scholar, Flaccus Terentius. • Physical Map of Tamriel. A 53.3 cm x 66 cm printed map detailing Alliance-controlled zones and the ultimate conquest: Cyrodiil. • Steelbook™ Packaging. A limited edition steel case decorated in the color of the Imperials. • Exclusive Collection of Digital Content. o Play as an Imperial: Become an Imperial and play in any Alliance. Gain unique bonuses, crafting styles, gear, and more. o White Imperial Horse: Summon this Imperial mount and journey through Tamriel with speed. o Mudcrab Vanity Pet: Explore Tamriel with a mudcrab pet scuttling along by your side. o Rings of Mara: Complete the Ritual of Mara with a friend and receive an experience bonus when you play together. The Physical Imperial Edition is extremely limited in quantity and available for pre-order through participating retailers for $99.99/€99.99/ £89.99/AU$139.95.

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The Elder Scrolls Online Digital Imperial Edition includes the base game and all digital content outlined for the Physical Imperial Edition above and retails for $79.99/€79.99/£69.99/AU$119.95. All those who pre-order or pre-purchase either the Imperial Edition or the Standard Edition in physical or digital formats will also receive The Explorer’s Pack bonus at launch, which includes: Scuttler vanity pet, four bonus treasure maps, and the ability to play as any of the nine races in any Alliance. Early Access bonuses will also be offered to those pre-ordering or pre-purchasing a PC/Mac version. A five (5) day early access bonus will be offered to those who pre-purchase the Digital Imperial Edition or the Digital Standard Edition through The Elder Scrolls Online Store. Additional early access programs are also available through participating retailers. The Elder Scrolls Online, developed by ZeniMax Online Studios, is the latest chapter of the award-winning franchise and will bring the legendary experience online for the first time. Players can choose their own style of play as they embark upon an epic adventure across all of Tamriel, playing alone on heroic quests as in previous Elder Scrolls games, exploring the huge, rich world with a few friends, or joining with hundreds of others in massive PvP battles to save the Empire. The Elder Scrolls® Online will be available worldwide on April 4, 2014 for PC and Mac users. Versions for the PlayStation®4 system and the Xbox One® will be arriving on retail shelves in June 2014.

Defilement of Honour campaigns are also available as DLC, and all future DLC will be available on Linux on the same day as the PC Space Hulk Features · Faithful adaption of the classic board game · Set in the hugely popular Warhammer 40,000 universe. · Challenging AI. · Thematic 3D environment - experience the dark labyrinth of a Space Hulk as never before. · 15 mission single player campaign. · Multiplayer head-to-head recreating the board game experience against a friend. · Asynchronous cross platform multiplayer across Windows PC, Mac, Linux. To download Space Hulk via digital distribution service Steam please visit: http://store.steampowered.com/app/242570/

GUILD WARS 2 GIVES A GLIMPSE INTO THE “EDGE OF THE MISTS”

New teaser trailer for the game’s next living world release shows off atmospheric new map & continuation of Scarlet storyline. NCSOFT and ArenaNet, developer of the acclaimed Guild Wars franchise, today released a video trailer that introduces players to the “Edge of the Mists”, a brand-new realm that has remained undiscovered, and until now untainted by the evil machinations of arch-villain Scarlet Briar. In the eerie “Edge of the Mists” preview video, the camera glides over the complex of floating SPACE HULK MARCHES ON FULL islands that make up this new map, revealing the CONTROL RELEASES LINUX variety of terrain and landscapes players will DEPLOYMENT encounter with the next release arriving Tuesday 4th February. Dense cloud forests, icy mountains and crumbling temples provide players with a Turn Based Strategy Specialist Launches Linux challenging new terrain to battle over. As the video Version of Popular Warhammer 40,000 franchise January 28th, 2013, Copenhagen, Denmark - reveals, the players won’t be the only ones battling for control of this new realm. Danish independent studio Full Control today The Aetherblades; dreaded sky pirates of Tyria; announced that Space Hulk – the digital adaptation have also discovered the “Edge of the Mists”. of the classic Games Workshop board-game, set in Minions of Scarlet, the Aetherblades have the Warhammer 40,000 universe – is now available descended from their airships. Although their true on Linux. aims in this virgin territory of Tyria remain unknown, “We’ve always wanted to offer gamers what’s certain is that they’re ready to take on any different options on what platform they choose to newcomers. play Space Hulk,” said Thomas Hentschel Lund, CEO Guild Wars® 2 is a visually stunning MMO that of Full Control “We actively support Valve's push for offers players the epic grandeur of a massive role Linux as a gaming platform and the future release of playing environment combined with innovative steam machines, that will push PC gaming into the combat mechanics, dynamic events, and customized living room". Space Hulk features a single player campaign personal storytelling. Building on the success of Guild Wars, NCSOFT and game developer with 15 missions, and head-to-head cross-platform ArenaNet™ have created an MMO that lets gamers multiplayer action. The Sword of the Halcyon, and

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play the way they want, while at the same time retaining the no-subscription-fee business model that made the originalGuild Wars so popular. For more details on Guild Wars2 and the Living World releases, visitwww.guildwars2.com.

BANDFUSE: ROCK LEGENDS MUSIC STORE AND FIRST DLC FEATURING JIMI HENDRIX AVAILABLE NOW Experience Fully Playable Hendrix’s Songs “Fire” and “Love or Confusion,” Plus Hits from Boston, Yes, Incubus, and More Realta Entertainment released today its new Music Store for BandFuse: Rock Legends,the music video game designed by musicians for people who want to play music. The BandFuse: Rock Legends Music Store offers users the ability to sort, listen to, and purchase DLC songs and backing tracks for play on Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft and PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system. The BandFuse: Rock Legends Music Store is headlined by Jimi Hendrix’s “Fire” and “Love or Confusion” from the album Are You Experienced (1967), the first two of 15 signature songs coming to the game from the legend’s catalogue. The store also features epic songs from The Offspring, Incubus, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Boston, Yes, Blues Traveler, Filter, and Pantera. An expanded library of backing tracks for players to create and record original music is also part of the DLC catalogue. Each downloadable song comes with a music video, multi-instrument support and Lick Lab learning modules for $2.99, and each backing track is $1.99. Only on BandFuse: Rock Legends will aspiring musicians receive the unique opportunity to learn to play like Jimi Hendrix. Gamers can now pick up a real guitar or bass and play ‘Fire’ and ‘Love or Confusion’ with fully animated tablature, five difficulty levels, including the full lead and rhythm transcriptions, and view specially selected Jimi Hendrix video footage while playing. The new Music Store enables players to broaden their musical experience with a wealth of content packed into each DLC track. Songs are playable on guitar, bass, and vocals in single-player mode or multiplayer mode on five difficulty levels. Just like every song that comes on disc, each DLC song is also paired with a specially picked video to accompany it. BandFuse: Rock Legends’ DLC songs are fully integrated into all gameplay modes, including Lick Lab and Practice Mode. Reigniting the music genre with the only true

multiplayer experience on console, supporting two guitars, a bass, and vocals, BandFuse: Rock Legends’stellar lineup of acclaimed talent, authentic animated tablature, and lag-free audio unleashes a full band experience for players of all skill levels. Players jam using authentic animated tablature and a fully unlocked library of 55 massive genre-jumping songs ranging from rock to metal and punk to funk. The platinum cast of musicians includes master guitar instructor Slash, Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society), Mike Ness (Social Distortion), Bootsy Collins (Parliament-Funkadelic), George Lynch (Dokken, Lynch Mob), Zoltán Báthory and Jason Hook (Five Finger Death Punch), and Alexi Laiho (Children of Bodom). Later this year, Jimi Hendrix will be integrated into the game as a rock legend, which will include interviews with present day guitar greats talking about his technique and experimental style paired with archival video footage from his illustrious career.

POWER STRUGGLE IN THE MIDDLE AGES: THRONE WARS COMES TO WINDOWS PHONE flaregames, Makers of Royal Revolt!, Return to the Windows Platforms with the Release of their Epic Strategy-MMO set in the Middle Ages flaregames GmbH, a leading developer and publisher of mobile games brought its strategy MMO game to Windows Phone platform. Throne Wars is free and available worldwide with fully localized versions in 15 languages. Throne Wars is a challenging multiplayer strategy game with MMO elements set in a persistent world. The setting is inspired by the late Middle Ages of Europe were players engage in intense competition, establish settlements, manage cities, conduct research, and fight wars. Of particular importance are the free heroes who - depending on their talent – help players, by serving as generals, governors and spies. Whether organized in an alliance with hundreds of other players or as a lone wolf, every action has an impact and implication in Throne Wars. Only those who can play all of the instruments of power will succeed and rise to the top of the leaderboards to become the king of kings. Throne Wars features deep gameplay, beautiful graphics and a sophisticated user interface. Players praise the passionately designed Cityscape, intricately detailed buildings and parallax effect, which provides perspective and brings the world to life. The title is simultaneously available worldwide in 15 languages: English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Russian, Turkish, Indonesian, Malay, Thai,

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Portuguese, Korean, Japanese, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified). No other strategy game in the Windows Marketplace can be accessed by so many players in their native language.

RETROGAMES, COCKTAILS AND KARAOKE REZtron Ltd. announced it will be kicking off the year filled with more legendary Japanese games from the yesteryears on all four generation of SEGA consoles (Master System, Mega Drive, Saturn, Dreamcast). Having successfully hosted the Mega Drive 25th and Dreamcast 15th Anniversary events last year REZtron’s ‘retrotainment’ line up for this year continues with more themed parties on a monthly basis.The event once again will take place at the award winning The Hoxton Pony cocktail bar, from 5pm til late on Wednesday 5th of February. The legendary games includes Golden Axe, R-Type, OutRun 3-D, Streets of Rage 2, Alien Storm, Sonic 2, Shinobi III ,Virtua Cop, Micro Machines 2,SEGA Rally, House of the Dead 2,Virtua Fighter 2,Typing of the Dead and Marvel Vs Capcom 2 to name a few... As always the games will be displayed on sexy CRT TVs and also on a Projector screen. There will also be competition running on SEGA Saturn's SEGA Rally for the fastest lap on the Desert course (#kingofthedesert) during the first half of the night, with retro prizes to give away. To keep things true to REZtron’s retrotainment spirit there will be some 80s/90s electronic music from their resident DJ and not forgetting Karaoke on the MEGA-CD Karaoke system. The party will take place on Wednesday 5th February, 5pm till late.Tickets can be booked through Eventbrite Comic book, Shmups, Racing, Sports, Beat'em up and Light gun themed retrotainment are just a few others lined up for this year ...more details of these will come in the following months.. As always, anyone who comes dressed in gaming or anime inspired Cosplay will get in for FREE.

Vikings is ready for launch next month! The game is set to hit the App Store on February 26, 2014 in English, French, Spanish and German. Android and Browser versions are expected to release during the spring and summer of 2014. With Trolls vs. Vikings, Megapop has delivered a super tight tower defense experience, with astounding depth of play for a mobile game, all wrapped within a lush and wacky game world. Although a tribute to a certain Plants game, it has sought to re-innovate the beloved formula, adding a range of fresh and unique features. This includes more engagement through movable and active units, a dynamic tiles system, social features, and epic boss fights with the Nordic gods themselves such as Thor, Odin and Loki. Trolls vs. Vikings is for both casual and hardcore players alike with difficulty modes ranging from Normal to a divinely crushing Hard. As the gamers progress into the Hard levels, all new tactics and challenges are presented for each round, effectively opening up an entirely new gameplay approach! The game boasts 30 + hours of gameplay with even more content to come in future updates, including multiplayer! All the developers on Trolls vs Vikings have extensive experience from the games industry, and Megapop’s team has previously co-founded companies like Funcom, Artplant and Innerloop. The team have thus directed or been leads on a long range of award winning games over the last 20 years, including Age of Conan, Anarchy Online, Dreamfall - The Longest Journey, Battlestar Galactica Online and many, many others. The team also consists of composer Aleksander Dimitrevic, which makes one of his first forays into the games industry. He has previously composed trailer music for more than 100 Hollywood movies, including Harry Potter, Narnia, X-men, Pirates of the Caribbean, Wall-E and the Simpsons movie.

TROLLS VS. VIKINGS RELEASE DATE REVEALED! Megapop announces Trolls vs. VikingsTM will arrive on iOS February 26 Megapop is proud to announce thatTrolls vs.

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Within Temptation - Hydra Record Label: Dramatico

10/10 Released: 3 February 2014

Highlight of the album: The Whole World Is Watching Website: http://www.within-temptation.com Reviewer: Jon Seymour

Yes, the long awaited new album from Within Temptation, and the follow up to 2011’s The Unforgiving. As soon as you press play, you’re greeted with that familiar sound that we’ve become accustomed with. It’s unmistakably WT, and that alone is enough to let you know you’re about to listen to something rather good.

listening.

Reading the track list though, you can’t help but raise an eyebrow. There are a few guest vocalists on the album, namely Howard Jones (ex Killswitch Engage), Dave Pirner (Soul Asylum) and Tarja Turunen. Now those are interesting, but the final name on the list, Xzibit is something that I didn’t expect, and was intrigued to hear what it sounded like.

With Hydra, Within Temptation have produced something rather special. It’s not so much an evolution, more of a mutation. Yes it’s still Within Temptation, but more so. It could well split the fan base, as some of it is a lot different to what we’ve come to expect from them, but they’ve never been a band that’s content to regurgitate the same formula over and over, and that’s something I find most appealing about them and keeps me coming back again and again.

Hydra is an interesting choice of name actually, and could quite easily be a metaphor for the album. It branches off in several directions from the WT core, and while each is inherently different, they’re still part of the same whole. There’s a lot on this album that is completely unexpected, and it makes for some great

I was expecting another great Within Temptation album, but what I got was so much more. The songs featuring the guest vocalists are very cleverly arranged, and sit very well with the differing styles within them. The rest of the album is as good as I’ve ever heard from the band before.

Put it this way, it’s January, and I am fully expecting this to be in my top five albums of 2014, that’s how good I think it is.

Dave Evans - Nothing To Prove Record Label: Rocksector Records

10/10 Released: 3 March 2014

Highlight of the album: Put Up Or Shut Up Website: http://www.daveevansrocks.com/ Reviewer: Lee Walker

Dave Evans musically speaking is something of an enigma and has recently been undergoing quite a resurgence on his career thanks partly due to his connection with iconic rockers AC/DC, and one thing which is often forgotten is that Dave has produced some cracking solo tunes over the years and this latest e.p plays host to yet more examples of his solo work surpassing his earlier work with AC/DC with the opening track firmly laying down the foundations on this storming four track ep with its gritty, no nonsense guitar riffs providing the back bone for this throbbing beast of a song.

‘Nothing To Prove’ plays out with the tried and tested ‘Baby Please Don't Go’ which was first recorded by Big Joe Williams in 1935 and has been covered by bands ranging from the likes of Budgie, Aerosmith, AC/DC and is currently a staple part of Dave's live show. Overally ‘Nothing To Prove’ proves that there is much more to Dave Evans than his AC/DC connection and will hopefully encourage more of his newer fans to check out his solo efforts.

‘I Believe’ simply screams that it needs to be included on a soundtrack to something like Waynes World with its classic rock meodies and throw away choruses carrying the song well contrasting nicely with ‘Reach For The Sky’ which feels almost nwobhm in nature both lrically and instrumentally.

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House Of Lords - Precious Metal Record Label: Frontiers Records

7/10 Released: 21 February 2014

Highlight of the album: I’m Breaking Free Website: http://www.jameschristianmusic.com/home.html Reviewer: Junior

2014 brings a new release from this rather “under the wailing vocals and a polished production then you will radar” Arena Rock, Glam band that I had not heard of most definite will find something to like here. But if you before. are expecting a bit more complexity or variety in musical composition you may look elsewhere. Then I went on to listen some of their previous songs on the net and I can state that this new offering keeps Aside the repetitiveness this album is quite solid and is on the same line as previous releases maybe being a one you should definitely check out tad heavier. The album was produced by their singer James Christian and it has a very refined 80’s feel to it. It opens with two of the best tracks on the album “Battle” and “I’m breaking Free” from then on it feels a bit samey- and repetitive, however there are some really interesting elements and catchy vocal melodies and found along the way as well as the sappy type of ballads that are essential in this type of Melodic Rock albums. Overall if you are a fan of 80’s Rock with Big choruses,

Darkyra Black - Dragon Tears Record Label: Self Release

9/10 Released: 20 February 2014

Highlight of the album: Before I Wither Website: http://www.darkyra.com Reviewer: Jon Seymour

Australia has a wealth of talent, that much is clear, and Darkyra Black are another export to these shores from the land of animals that are trying to kill you, and this is their debut album. Are they any good though? Yes they are actually. They’re described as “Symphonic Gothic Metal with an Oriental influence” which is an interesting mix of styles. Thankfully, they actually work together though.

though, it appears as though this may have been intentional. Nothing is given more prominence than anything else. Yes, you can pick out the individual components if you choose, but this isn’t meant to be listened to like that.

If you go and listen to an orchestra, all of the sections work in perfect harmony, with each adding their own dimension to the overall sound. That’s exactly what The album its self is quite a dark and brooding affair. happens on this album, and it works surprisingly well, Each of the tracks is intricately woven together, and and gives the band some individuality. It’s not although there are some fast instrumental breaks and something that I’ve heard done a lot previously, if at all a few quick guitar solos, the songs aren’t actually that in fact. fast. Instead they opt for the slower, more progressive/melodic approach which in turn gives the This is an impressive debut actually, and is something album a heavy atmosphere, which is added to by the altogether different, and more importantly, intriguing. lyrical content. Give it a listen if you think that the rock genre doesn’t have anything new to offer, as I’ve a feeling this will At first listen, a lot of the elements appear understated, change your mind. and at times the female vocals seem a little too soft, and lacking in power. After listening a few more times

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Lover Under Cover - Into The Night Record Label: Escape Music

9/10

Released: 24 January 2014

Highlight of the album: Into The Shadows Website: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lover-Under-Cover/267854212104 Reviewer: Stephen Brophy

Hailing from Gothenburg, Sweden - yes they are not the only Swedish band doing the rounds, but hey there's a lot of talent in Sweden so there's nothing wrong with that, Lover Under Cover are a 4 piece Melodic Rock band put together by Mikael Carlsson initially in the '80s but from a productivity perspective it was with the release of 2012's "Set The Night On Fire" where the current lineup really took off. Having really liked the first Lover Under Cover album I was eagerly awaiting this follow up effort and to be honest I'm liking the new album "Into The Night". But the intro of the first track "A Fight" just does nothing for me, I don't know why but after listening to the album a number of times it's started to really bug me, but that's a very minor point because once the song gets going it's a cracking slab of rock. With this album we see this band of seasoned pros honing their sound and also showcasing some terrific and very well crafted songs along with the individual talents on show, the excellent Mikael Erlandsson's vocals stand out throughout the album, with a very strong start, opening track "A Fight" as mentioned is excellent, followed by "Into The Shadows" and that's followed straight away by "Miracle" all really top quality songs in their own right, next up will be where I might cause a few discussions, there is a track on "Into The Night" that I have heard a number of times in isolation

and thin it works really well, it's a cover of the 1988 pop hit "Toy Soldiers" by Martika, in fact I really don't think anyone could have sung it better and the guys do a great creating their own version of the song, but when I listen to the album from start to finish I just don't think it fits in very well, to me it would have worked much better as an EP release or some sort of a special release. Don't get me wrong I like the song and how they have reworked it, I just don't think it works well in the middle of this album, but I could be a minority of one on that. Then we are back to LUC's great brand of melodic rock with tracks like "Fantasy Man", "The Game Is On" and "Closer To The Truth" all keep the quality high and this album, there's some excellent guitar work from Martin Kronlund throughout the album and the backbone of the band (Mikael Carlsson (bass) and Perr Johansson (drums) keep everything ticking along nicely. They don't overly remind me of any other band where there's an obvious or damaging major influence, LUC are definitely a band that you should keep an eye on with regards to album releases and I really hope that we will get the pleasure of some live shows in the near future, I will definitely travel to see these guys live. With the large quantity of new releases in recent times don't let this one pass you by, get out and enjoy it.

The Mighty Wraith - The Awakening Record Label: Self Release

7/10

Released: 20 January 2014

Highlight of the album: Spirits Website: http://www.facebook.com/themightywraithuk Reviewer: Jon Seymour

You know when you stumble across something on Facebook, check it out and end up rather intrigued? That’s what happened here. The Mighty Wraith are pretty much a Viking/power metal band, with lyrical content to match. There’s a lot to be said about ancient mythology though, so no complaints from me on that front at all. Musically, it’s exactly as you would expect. It’s heavy, purposeful and has a fair amount of forward momentum. The solos are very clean and precise, and there’s a lot of shredding going on throughout too. It occasionally ventures into thrash territory, sounding not unlike Annihilator at times, which is also nothing to complain about. No, I really can’t fault it on the music.

they’re good, but for the most part they’re around the ok mark. Sometimes the vocalist seems to be a little underpowered, and falls short of the mark. Of course this is just my opinion, and I’ve had some cracking albums to listen to lately, so it could be just that the vocals just don’t stack up against some of the other releases around right now. It could be put down to production or mastering issues of course, but for me, it just didn’t quite connect. I may well go back to it in a week or so to see what it’s like after not listening to anything else.

That said, the songs are all done with passion and conviction, and there’s definitely no shortage of effort from anyone in the band. They put their heart and soul into this album. As a debut album, it’s a pretty good Unfortunately though, the same can’t be said about the attempt, and something to build on though, and I vocals. Now, the vocals aren’t bad, and in some places wouldn’t write them off, this is just the beginning.

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Sonic Divide - Sonic Divide (Self Titled) Record Label: Self Release

9/10

Released: 23 November 2013

Highlight of the album: The Healing Website: http://www.sonicdivide.net Reviewer: Jon Seymour

Sonic Divide are from Australia, and are a melodic/ hard rock band. Australia is producing some great bands and most of them don’t make it as far as the UK, which is a great shame. This is the debut album from this band, and it’s really quite impressive.

sounds quite raw and unrefined at times, but at other times it sounds almost majestic. Very clever production has been applied here.

All in all this is a solid debut album, with some great songs on it. It’s also going to be interesting to see what The songs are huge, with a big full sound and they come up with next. This is a very good foundation occasionally venturing into AOR territory and sounding on which to build, and I really hope the band gets the a little Journeyesque. They’re also catchy and will quite chance to do that. easily stick in your head, and you’ll find yourself singing along to the choruses before you know it. The music is also quite complex, as quite often it’s built up in layers. You can hear each individual layer as it is placed on, building the song as you’re listening. It’s really quite interesting to hear. Vocally, there’s a lot to like. Powerful in places, reined in when it’s needed, and never sounding over the top. A lot of vocalists have a nasty habit of over singing in this genre, but I’m glad to say that isn’t the case here. The production is minimal, so it’s very much a warts and all affair, but I like that. It

Kill Or Cure - Kill Or Cure (Self Titled) Record Label: Tunecore

8/10

Released: 7 January 2014

Highlight of the album: Seasons End Website: https://www.facebook.com/killorcure.uk Reviewer: Stoodge Mc Nulty

Wearing your influences on your sleeve can be a good thing, as long as it's both proficiency and cohesiveness that also stain your cuff. Both those qualities are immensely apparent on this early shout for debut album of the year by Manchester/Southend based Kill Or Cure. With the band currently concentrating on studio work due to their geographical millstone, what they've delivered thus far is the ingenuity to produce well crafted and heavy driven, hook laden metal tunes. 'Seasons End' opens the album with a Pantera vs Disturbed vs Iron Maiden variance before the majestic cover of 'From Paris To Berlin' boldly incarnates the trios diversity and assured approach. Further into the maelstrom that is this self titled vortex of pleasant stimulus, you'll hear shards of Stone Sour, fragments of Trivium and slivers of Lamb Of God as this supernova perpetually explodes from your speakers.

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Battleaxe - Heavy Metal Sanctuary Record Label: Steamhammer/SPV

9/10

Released: 24 February 2014

Highlight of the album: Heavy Metal Sanctuary Website: http://www.battleaxemetal.com/ Reviewer: Joey Lowebins

Battleaxe are back baby! That’s right! The last time Mr Rob Halford himself. The whole band is incredibly they released an album was way back in 1983, before I tight. was even born! This is an album for all fans of rock/metal. I dare you The recording of new album Heavy Metal Sanctuary is to put it on and not start banging your head and long overdue and has finally been released. Noted as tapping your foot. Ladies and Gentleman this is a great one of the first NWOBHM band’s in the 80’s the four album. piece from Sunderland have had their fair share of ups and downs in their career. Booking agents, ahem, please ASAP!! The turning point was, as grunge and death metal sprung on the scene, the demand for good old British Rock n Roll ceased. Musically Battleaxe are spot on galloping bass lines, kick ass drums and the guitar riffs, oh the riffs are awesome and throw in some blistering solos for good measure. I mean for so long between albums and to create this, wow! It must be said though that Dave King’s vocals are what make this album. Expressing a great vocal range, with hitting high notes on par with

Freedom Call - Beyond Record Label: Steamhammer/SPV

6/10 Released: 24 February 2014

Highlight of the album: Edge Of The Ocean Website: http://www.freedom-call.net Reviewer: Stephen Brophy

Freedom Call have been releasing consistently good German Power Metal albums since the late 80's, "Beyond" is their 8th studio album and it's really good in places. What we get here is 14 tracks and a bit of a mixed bag. I've always thought that at times Freedom Call sound quite a lot like Helloween, and maybe that's a little unfair, maybe it's just that they are making the same type of music and comparison's will be ultimately impossible to avoid, but on a couple of tracks it shines out a bit more than you might like, for example the opening track on the album "Union Of The Strong" could easily have fitted on a Helloween album, but there is definitely variation in what's offered here, at times heading into an almost folk direction.

although is still decent quality it wasn't something that got me off my feet and moving. To a true Power Metal fan tracks like "Journey Into Wonderland" may well seem like epic tracks, but for me despite some nice guitar work there wasn't much to seperate it from the other songs on the album. The album continues on it's merry way and it is quite an upbeat, "In The Ryhthym Of Light" has a very Goth/Electronic feel to it, decent track but not sure if fits in with the rest of the album. Overall a very decent album, but not something I think will blow away their fans or grab them a lot of new admirers.

"Edge Of The Ocean" is a cracking track, exactly what I like about this style of music, it's pacy, good vocals, solid drums throughout. To me some of the tracks are a little dull, nothing we haven't heard before and

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You Me At Six - Cavalier Youth Record Label: BMG

10/10 Released: 27 January 2014

Highlight of the album: Lived A Lie Website: http://www.youmeatsix.co.uk Reviewer: Jon Seymour

So album number four from these guys has a lot to live up to. Previous offerings been praised or scorned, depending on where you read your reviews. I personally think there’s a place in rock music for this kind of stuff, so you could say I’m not one of the purists. One thing that strikes you right from the off, is how much the sound has seemed to mature. The lads have grown up, both physically and musically. The songs have a more prominent guitar sound, the mood is a little darker, and the choruses have grown to epic proportions. It seems they’ve gone into the studio with a “go big or go home” attitude, and do you know what? It’s pretty damned good. Musically, these guys have always known how to write

a good song, so it’s no surprise that this album’s chock full of them. In fact I don’t think there’s a weak track among them. Despite the darker mood, you can’t help but be animated by the infectious noises that emit from your speakers. Seriously, if this album doesn’t at least get your foot tapping, or your head bobbing, you’re already dead. Let yourself get immersed in it though, and you’ll be singing along with the choruses with your vocal chords cranked up to eleven. It just begs to be played loud, and I have no doubt that the noise could fill a stadium without any issues. Yes these guys play stadium rock with pop choruses, it’s big, it’s bold, and most of all, it’s a whole lot of fun to listen and sing along to. It’s just a cracking album, in my humble opinion of course.

W.E.T - One Live In Stockholm Record Label: Frontiers Records

8/10 Released: 21 February 2014

Highlight of the album: Bleed And Scream Website: http://jeffscottsoto.com/WET2/ Reviewer: Stephen Brophy

There are bands that just get thrown together out of convenience and there are Supergroups that are manufactured, but W.E.T. to me are different, they are more of a collective of like minded Rockers that love to just do what they do best, but they suffer one huge problem - how good the individual members of the band are and therefore how much in demand they are. That's how things go when you have one of the top vocalists (Jeff Scott Soto), the guts of the band Eclipse (Erik Mårtensson - guitar, Magnus Henriksson - guitar, Robban Bäck - drums) and the excellent Robert Säll - guitar & Andreas Passmark - bass from Work Of Art. It must be a nightmare for them to get together and that has shown in how few Live dates they've been able to setup to date, JSS is involved in so many projects it's scary at times.

songs to date which gives you a powerful tracklisting. There's good energy in the recording, the band were on excellent form, having had the pleasure of seeing them play live since it's pretty much exactly what you would expect from them, this is a top band of musicians on top of their game, the fact that the Eclipse track is for me the highlight of this particular set fades in the memory as we have a recording of a great show. There's a feeling in my head that I will be returning to this release on many of the long bus trips of train trips that I make to other concerts during the year. The crowd at the show appears charged and with many hometown heroes in the band that's to be expected.

Double live CD's aren't always my favourite format and certainly over produced re-recorded Live shows also don't Back to the point, to date W.E.T. have released two studio do a huge amount for me, but I still get a Live feeling albums, the self titled W.E.T. from 2009 and last years about this show, I've always found JSS to be an engaging Rise Up, both excellent releases in their own rights and frontman and I think that comes through in this live well received by critics and fans alike, and now they are recording also. Well worth taking some time to listen to releasing a double CD or DVD or their first full Live show and of course if you get the opportunity to catch these in Stockholm, the album launch for Rise Up in January guys live don't hesitate as they are excellent. 2013, and what a show it was. We get here W.E.T. songs from both albums, Talisman, Eclipse and Work Of Art The only reason I'm marking this release down a little is songs, with Erik singing the Eclipse track "Bleed And the fact that it's mixed with songs from the individual Scream", which is a stand out in the live set, and Lars associated bands, not that that's a bad thing for the Live Säfsund the lead singer of Work Of Art guesting on the show, I just think it loses a bit of the identity of W.E.T. as WOA song The Great Fall. So in effect what we have here this is their first live release is a great collection of songs on top of the best W.E.T.

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Overland - Epic Record Label: Escape Music

9/10 Released: 21 February 2014

Highlight of the album: Down Comes The Night Website: http://www.overland-shadowman.com/overland_home.htm Reviewer: Jon Seymour

Ah here we are, some good old hard rock, or is it? Actually, I’d say it was probably a bit more AOR, but that’s splitting hairs. For those of you that don’t know who Steve Overland is, he is the lead singer of UK rockers FM, and also Shadowman, amongst other things. Overland is his solo band project. What this album most certainly is though, is radio friendly commercially acceptable rock, along the lines of Foreigner and Journey. That’s no bad thing though is it?

vinyl or cassette (that would be me then), this is comforting. There’s not much more that needs to be said really. Steve is an incredible vocalist, and the music on this album easily compliments that. It might be a style that’s been copied for around fifty years or so, but it works, and it’s nice to hear something different, and more importantly British. It doesn’t set the world alight, or blaze any trails, but it will put a fire in your belly, and a smile on your face. Epic indeed.

It kicks off with a nice catchy little number that instantly works its way under your skin, and sets the rest of the album up nicely. Steve’s voice is unmistakable, and is as good as I’ve ever heard. Epic is a brave choice of album name, but listening to the music, it’s got the stones to be able to back it up. Does it bring anything new to the table? Probably not, but come on, this is one of those genres that has never gone out of fashion. It’s new old rock music, and for those oldies who still like to think back to nostalgic days of playing music on the radio,

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Peter Antony Peter Antony is the host of ” The Drive Time Show”. British Born Peter Antony is one of Firebrands newest presenters and well remembered from his days on Radio Luxembourg. Having been a Club DJ for many years, Peter”PA”Antony was well known at Stringfellows Los Angeles, California, in Rodeo Drive, Beverley Hill …’putting them on’ and ‘pulling them off’ ……. and by that we mean the vinyl, not his socks!! Also known for hosting the breakfast show on Pirate station Skyline Radio the Drive Time show on LWR, along with Radio Caroline, PA has brought his personality, charm, smooth patter and talent to Firebrand Rock Radio. You can listen to Peter Antony on The Drive Time Show every Friday at 4pm (11am EST) here on Firebrand Rock Radio. 41 page HERE! Firebrand Magazine Check out Peters


Alcest February 1 London Islington Assembly Hall Amaranthe April 2014 05 London O2 Academy Islington 09 Wolverhampton Slade Rooms 11 Nottingham Rescue Rooms Black Stone Cherry February 2014 25 Glasgow Barrowlands 26 Manchester Ritz 28 London KoKo March 2014 01 Wolverhampton Wulfrun Bonafide March 15 Birmingham The Institute 16 Bristol Thekla 18 London Camden Barfly 19 Nottingham Rescue Rooms 30 Glasgow Cathouse Clutch April 22 Newcastle O2 Academy 24 Birmingham O2 Academy May 1 London The Forum 3 Nottingham Rock City 6 Edinburgh Liquid Rooms 7 Glasgow O2 ABC 8 Belfast The Limelight Deathstars March 25 London The Garage 26 Manchester Academy 3 27 Wolverhampton Slade Rooms Dream Theater February 13 Manchester O2 Apollo 14 London Wembley Arena 15 Wolverhampton Civic Hall Dr Feelgood April 2014 05 West Yorkshire The Picturedrome Eagles May 2014 28 Birmingham LG Arena 29 Birmingham LG Arena

31 Glasgow The Hydro June 2014 02 June Glasgow The Hydro 04 Dublin O2 06 Dublin O2 16 London O2 18 London O2 23 Leeds first direct arena 25 Manchester Phones 4u Arena Edenbridge February 16 Wolverhampton Robin 2 Foreigner April 3 Manchester Apollo 4 Newcastle City Hall 5 Glasgow Clyde 7 Nottingham Royal Centre 8 Sheffield City Hall 9 Portsmouth Guildhall 11 Bristol Colston Hall 13 London Hammersmith Apollo 15 Wolverhampton Civic Hall Grand Magus March 15 Wolverhampton Slade Rooms Halestorm April 2014 07 Birmingham O2 Academy Heaven’s Basement March 20 Belfast Voodoo 25 Bristol Fleece Monster Magnet February 13 London Koko 14 Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall Oliver Dawson Saxon April 12 Wolverhampton Slade Rooms

10 Northampton Roadmender 11 Buckley Tivoli 13 Glasgow O2 Academy 15 Preston 53 Degrees 16 Manchester O2 Apollo 17 Wolverhampton Civic Hall Sepultura February 2 Birmingham The Institute 3 Bristol Fleece 5 Manchester The Ritz 6 London O2 Academy Islington Sham 69 February 08 Bristol Fleece 22 London Borderline Skindred February 2014 01 London The Forum 02 Manchester Academy March 8 Newport Centre Susperia February 21 London Boarderline Tarja February 2014 10 London O2 Academy Islington 12 Nottingham Rock City The Answer February 25 Leicester O2 Academy March 12 Devon Exeter Phoenix 13 London White Rabbit The Quireboys February 2014 01 Bolton The Railway 02 Bilson Robin2 04 Bristol Thekla 05 Southampton Joiners 06 Chester Live Rooms

07 Northampton The Attic 08 Sheffield Corporation 09 London Borderline 12 Leamington Spa Zephyr Lounge 13 Workington Vine Bar 14 Aberdeen The Moorings 15 Ballymena The Diamond 16 Edinburgh Voodoo Rooms 18 Newcastle The Cluny Toseland March 28 Oxford O2 Academy Tyketto March 22 Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall UFO March 21 Sheffield O2 Academy Within Temptation April 2014 11 Manchester O2 Apollo 12 London Wembley Arena 14 Newcastle O2 Academy 15 Glasgow O2 Academy 16 Birmingham O2 Academy Voodoo Six March 12 Wolverhampton Slade Rooms 13 Manchester Sound Control 14 Glasgow Audio 15 Dundee Buskers 17 Newcastle The Cluny 19 Wakefield Warehouse 23 20 Nottingham Rock City Basement 21 London The Underworld 22 Milton Keynes The Craufurd Arms 23 Southampton The Joiners

For a free listing please email your gig or festival information to: sales@fbrr2010.com With the following info: Date(s), Band Name, Venue, City (Please do not send any attachments) Sadly if any of the above information is not included we will be unable to list your event.

Overkill March 13 London Islington O2 Academy Savage Messiah March 2 London Camden Barfly Saxon February

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Firebrand Magazine Issue 16 - January