This month with news from Jesse Damon & Shaft Of Steel
::: Former SILENT RAGE singer Jesse Damon returns with “Damon’s Rage” on February 28th, 2020!:::
The musical pathway of Jesse Damon’s life has been inspired by some of the biggest artists in rock music. Jesse's story starts back in the glory days of the eighties as the lead singer and guitarist for the band Silent Rage that rose to fame in 1989 when signed by Gene Simmons to Simmons/RCA Records for their second release entitled "Don't Touch Me There" which brought critical acclaim and rave reviews. It was deemed # 1 album on the European Charts. "Rebel With A Cause" was the single featured on MTV and the video placed into heavy rotation on MTV's Head Bangers Ball. The strength of the album and video led to the band opening for Black Sabbath on their North American tour. During this time in Jesse's career he formed a friendship with Gene Simmons of Kiss, co-writing songs together and eventually co-writing the song “Thou Shalt Not” from the Kiss album “Revenge” for which Jesse was presented a gold album award.
In 2002, he went on to record another co-written song with Simmons entitled "Everybody Needs Somebody" from his own debut album "The Hand That Rocks." Jesse launched into a solo career and has recorded six of his own releases. The first five solo albums are a mix of well crafted melodic rock songs and intense ballads.
Jesse Damon's new album "Damon's Rage" delivers a killer dose of powerful songs, rock ‘n’ roll anthems and unforgettable choruses! He's known for his distinct vocals, songwriting and his rocking guitar style by blending melodic rock with metal to create his own sound, but his songwriting is his main maestro that is prevalent throughout his performances on this new album. Acclaimed AOR artist Paul Sabu is at the helm once again producing this album and also co-writing two songs with Jesse titled "Love Gone Wild" and "Wildest Dreams."
This time around all tracks were recorded by Jesse Damon and Paul Sabu and everything was on they're shoulders. From the beginning of recording this album Jesse felt he had a collection of great songs and they both decided to conquer this task and tackle it on their own.
Audio video: https://youtu.be/hO-GwD5c3Xk
Release date: February 28th, 2020
::: SHAFT OF STEEL debut with “Steel Heartbeat” on February 28th, 2020!:::
SHAFT OF STEEL are a melodic hard rock band based in London, UK and centered around the songwriting partnership of Alex Markham (guitar) and Robert Fenning (vocals). The group’s line-up is completed by Adam Carruthers (guitar), Dominic Swords (bass), Chris Smurthwaite (keyboards) and Michael Levy (drums).
Formed in 2004 at Hull University, SHAFT OF STEEL began life as a power metal band influenced by acts such as Iron Maiden, Dream Theater and Blind Guardian. Guitarist Alex Markham and vocalist Robert Fenning soon discovered that they had a shared love of 80s rock and pop music, in particular Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins and Journey, and quickly sought to combine these sounds with their metal influences. After three years as a popular and much-loved local act on the Scarborough music scene, the band went their separate ways after graduating.
In 2011, after establishing themselves in other careers, the band felt it was finally right to regroup and record an EP. Bassist Andy Cooper and drummer Garth Vickers from the earlier incarnation of SHAFT OF STEEL re-joined, along with Markham’s school friends, guitarist Adam Carruthers and keyboard player Chris Smurthwaite.
During their hiatus, the members of SHAFT OF STEEL learned of the thriving AOR scene in mainland Europe and were determined to introduce more melodic influences into their music upon reforming. The band’s self-titled debut EP was released independently in 2014 and picked up plaudits in the music press all around the globe, appearing in Classic Rock AOR, Powerplay and Fireworks magazines and a host of online publications.
SHAFT OF STEEL subsequently made their first live appearance with their new line-up, supporting UK melodic rock heavyweights VEGA at The Garage in London in 2014. Since then, they’ve appeared at the prestigious HRH AOR Festival in North Wales and The Underworld, Camden, where they delivered a storming hour-long set, filled with new material.
Bassist Andy Cooper and drummer Garth Vickers departed the line-up in 2017 and were replaced respectively by Dominic Swords and Michael Levy, both of whom had already played in earlier incarnations of the band. A full-length album remained an ongoing project in the years following the EP release and it was finally completed in late 2019.
SHAFT OF STEEL have signed to AOR Heaven for the release of the new album, entitled ‘Steel Heartbeat’. They have made major stylistic leaps on this record, taking influence from a range of melodic hard rock and AOR acts, including Work of Art, FM, Harem Scarem, Strangeways and Shy, while being careful not to abandon their metal roots.
‘Steel Heartbeat’ features backing vocals on all tracks from respected American producer and musician Dennis Ward. Famous for being the bass player in legendary German hard rockers Pink Cream 69 (and, more recently, the vocalist for Firewind main man Gus G’s solo material), Ward appeared on the band’s debut EP and has also mastered the record. The album was produced and mixed by guitarist Alex Markham, who took up the same roles on the debut EP.
Release date: February 28th, 2020
Audio video: https://youtu.be/u3P_q34NyUk
Dear press & media,
next up in PR is an exciting AOR release from MARTY AND THE BAD PUNCH! The group’s second album entitled “Walk A Straight Line” will be released on February 21st, 2020 via Enghardt Media/ Edel and be available as CD, LP & digital. The album features a couple of illustrious guests incl. Bruce Kulick (Kiss), Tommy Denander, JK Northrup and Frank Pané (Bonfire). The PR for this release will start shortly.
Band leader Marty Punch will host of a listening & signing session at Munich’s famous M2 Record Store on Friday, December 13th between 17.30 and 19.00 CET. Press & radio is also invited to join - please, get in touch with us for more details if interested!
A couple of singles from this album have been already released in advance – here comes video for the track “Universe” feat. Frank Pané: https://youtu.be/ovr85CuOfA4
Enjoy the music!
Band: Marty And The Bad Punch
Album: Walk A Straight Line
Label: Enghardt Media/ Edel
Marty Punch returns after his successful debut album „Moon Over Baskerville“, which was awarded with four awards at the German Rock & Pop Awards in 2015. The brilliant follow-up double album is called „Marty And The Bad Punch – Walk A Straight Line“ (EnghardtMedia) and will be released on February 21st, 2020. Also featured on the new release is frontman & singer David Cagle (JK Northrup/ David Cagle „That’s Gonna Leave A Mark“, MelodicRock Records).
„Walk A Straight Line“ is a time travel through the most beautiful time of Melodic & AOR Rock – the 80’s. In addition to beautiful ballads you can also find incredible AOR Rock songs and country anthems!
The album includes the 3 singles "Zakopane" (#1 Hit in Poland!) with Tommy Denander on lead guitar, the melodic rock anthem "Universe" with Frank Pané (Bonfire) on guitar and "My Demons" with Bruce Kulick (ex-Kiss / Grand Funk Railroad) on lead guitar (to be released Dec 13, 2019 as single).
Many international stars such as David Cagle, Sarah Straub, Robert Karasek, Martin Motnik, Carsten Enghardt, JK Northrup, Tommy Denander, Frank Pané and Bruce Kulick can be heard on „Walk A Straight Line“. The recording and mix was handled by Carsten Enghardt, and the final touches were given to the album by mastering engineer Dennis Ward.
Right now, Marty is working with Tommy Denander on a re-recording of the track “Better Be Strong” from his first album – with Robert Tepper, David Cagle, Steph Honde and Mick White as singers amongst others. This recording will be released for charity in the near future.
Line-up: Marty Punch (Guitars), David Cagle (Vocals), Carsten Enghardt (Drums), Martin Motnik (Bass), Robert Karasek (Keyboards)
Guests: Sarah Straub (vocal duet on “Feels Like Heaven”); Tommy Denander (lead guitar & solo on “Zakopane”), JK Northrup (guitar solo on “Southbound Train”, Voice over on “The Story Of The Making…), Frank Pané (guitar solo “Universe”), Bruce Kulick (lead guitar & solo “My Demons”
Aussie Theatrical Glam Rock Warriors, CROSSON, return with their uplifting new video/ single ‘Everyone’s A Star’ taken from their upcoming new album ‘Rock ‘N Roll Love Affair’. The video depicts CROSSON doing what they do best…. unleashing their electrifying, energetic, choreographed and titillating stage show. The track was mixed by Duane Baron (Mötley Crüe, Ozzy Osbourne, Poison) and mastered by Dave Donnelly (Whitesnake, KISS, Aerosmith).
“Rock ‘N Love Affair” comes crash landing from the stratosphere 27 March 2020 through Galaxy Records/ Melodic Rock Records. “
Check out the video for „Everyone’s A Star“ here: https://youtu.be/XTMN3wi8mM0
This month with news from Autumn’s Child, The Ragged Saints & Easy Action
::: AUTUMN’S CHILD release self-titled album in Europe on January 31st, 2020! :::
Mikael Erlandsson from Gothenburg is one of the best singers/songwriters in Sweden today. Between 2006-2018 he was the frontman in the Swedish super group Secret Service.
He has recorded five successful solo albums and together with the fantastic guitar player Andy Malecek from the successful German hard rock band Fair Warning he thought of putting a band together. Ian Haugland (d), Mic Michaeli (keys) and John Leven (b) of Europe-fame were asked if they were interested to join - which they did, and the band LAST AUTUMN'S DREAM was born in 2003. The self-titled debut album was produced by Claes Andreasson and was a great success.
Then the band went on releasing another 14 albums with different line-ups with great musicians like Jamie Borger (d, Treat), Marcel Jacob (b, Talisman) and they all had an impact of the band’s development. They toured Japan, England and Germany but decided to take a break in 2018.
Then Mikael formed this new group: AUTUMN’S CHILD. The line-up apart from Mikael Erlandsson: Jona Tee on Keyboard from Swedish melodic sensation H.E.A.T., Robban Bäck, former drummer of Eclipse and currently with Swedish rock band Mustasch, Claes Andreasson from Swedish Westcoast/AOR band Heartbreak Radio. He also produced the first LAD album and “Winter in Paradise“ and “Saturn Skyline“ for LAD as well and finally on guitar: the amazing Pontus Åkesson from the prog rock band Moon Safari.
Audio video: https://youtu.be/ZgN2FYqGzQE
Release date: January 31st, 2020
::: THE RAGGED SAINTS – second album called “Sonic Playground Revisted” in the pipeline! :::
After few years hiatus Finnish hard rockers The Ragged Saints are coming back with an old school 80’s hard rock influenced record. The album titled ”Sonic Playground Revisited” contains 10 new songs, and will delight not only The Ragged Saints fans, but also fans of bands like Whitesnake, Def Leppard and Ratt to mention a few.
Stylewise, the band continues its path without compromises. They didn’t feel the need to change too much. There’s a bit more keyboards and orchestration on some of the songs and little synth bass here and there, but it’s the same songwriting team so the style and sound are pretty much the same as before. Once again the studio was their sandpit, their own sonic playground.
Band has been working on the album on and off for number of years. It has been a working process since 2013 when the first demos came into being. But the start of recordings took another year due to personal issues and other projects, giving the band opportunity to distance themselves a bit and resume another perspective on the song material.
The Ragged Saints was formed in 2011 by guitarists Tomi Julkunen and Toni Bite. After writing bunch of songs they recruited like-minded singer Markku Kuikka, bassist Jukka Hoffrén and drummer Miikki Kunttu ”not to reinvent the wheel but to play melodic hard rock music we all have loved since the day one”. Shortly after forming they began working on their first record. Band’s well received and critically acclaimed debut album ”The Sound Of Breaking Free” was released in 2013.
New album ”Sonic Playground Revisited” will be released world-wide on January 31st, 2020 on AOR Heaven.
Release date: January 31st, 2020
Audio video: https://youtu.be/0lCMPZLTOls
::: EASY ACTION classic re-issue of “That Makes One” due on January 31st, 2020! :::
Rarely has there been such a drastic change of musical style than that made by the Swedish hard rock band Easy Action when it came to the recording of their second album ‘That Makes One’ in 1985. While the band’s debut LP (1983) was an ahead of its time glam classic, Easy Action had morphed into a slickly melodic AOR group on the follow up record.
Kee Marcello, who later on joined Europe, was approached by Peo Thyrén (b) from the pop punk band Noice which were considerably successful at the time to sing but eventually ended up as their producer. Not willing to live the destructive lifestyle of the band, Kee and Peo founded their own band: Easy Action. The name refers to Marc Bolan who is considered the biggest rock star by Marcello. The band recorded a mini-album and got themselves a multi-million dollar deal with Sire Records. Joining Peo and Kee in this early version of Easy Action were Zinny J. Zan (v), Fredrik Von Gerber (d, ex Noice) and Danny Wilde (g).
The band sounded like a blueprint for Mötley Crüe, Poison and the like and consequently wanted to go in a different direction with the follow-up. Several line-up changes came, most notably Peo eventually making way for Björn ‘Nalle’ Påhlsson and Tommy Nilsson being recruited to fill the vacant lead singer role after Zinny left. The journey together ended when Marcello was offered to join Europe - an offer to good to turn down.
Upon release in 1986 ‘That Makes One’ certainly gained its many admirers, but any success was short-lived due to Kee taking up that aforementioned offer from Europe to replace John Norum in November the same year to go on to record the ‘Out Of This World’ and ‘Prisoners In Paradise’ albums with the group. When that version of Europe went their separate ways, Marcello began a solo career in 1993 that continues to this day, alongside a lot of production for other artists.
The “glam rock variant“ of Easy Action reunited. Kee and Zinny J. Zan having recruited a first class team of players that included Simon Roxx (g), Micael Grimm (b) and ‘Grizzly’ Höglund (d) and played Sweden Rock in 2006. But the passing of Grimm in 2011 who was the driving force at the time ended the band activities, although some songs were written.
Yet in 2019 the “melodic rock version“ of the band got back together! Kee and Tommy, alongside Chris Lind (g), Björn ’Nalle’ Påhlsson, Björn ‘Grizzly’ Höglund and the band’s long-time live keyboard player Jörgen Ingeström reformed again earlier this year when Kee received another offer to play Sweden Rock. The band recorded a live DVD and presented themselves in excellent shape, for instance using no backing tapes and stuff.
This re-release is remastered by Chris Lyne and limited to 1000 copies. As a bonus there are rare b-sides “Eye For An Eye“ from the “In The Middle Of Nowhere“ single and “There Is A River“ from the “Talk Of The Town“ single. Liner notes and texts by Dave Reynolds.
Remark: available only via www.aorheaven.com and ginza.se
Release date: 31st January, 2020
Italian female fronted band SECRET RULE will release their new album “Against” on February 21st, 2020 via Pride & Joy Music.
The track list looks a follows: 1. Spira Mirabilis, 2. Shades Of Humanity, 3. Rise Again, 4. Going Nowhere, 5. Digital Revolution, 6. Endless Promises, 7. Purgatory, 8. Against, 9. Deep Solitude, 10. Outsiders, 11. My Last Breath, 12. Don’t Let Me Fade
“Against” now is their fifth studio album. In April 2020, the Italian Heavy Metal band will support Brazilian Melodic Death Metal SEMBLANT on their European tour at the following dates:
02.04.20 • NAMUR (BE) • BELVEDERE
03.04.20 • ROTTERDAM (NL) • Baroeg
04.04.20 • PARIS (FR) • La Boule Noire
05.04.20 • WEINHEIM (DE) • Café Central
06.04.20 • LONDON (UK) • The Underworld Camden
09.04.20 • LISBOA (PT) • RCA CLUB
10.04.20 • MADRID (ES) • Nazca Music Live
11.04.20 • BARCELONA (ES) • Razzmatazz 3
12.04.20 • LYON (FR) • ROCK N EAT official
14.04.20 • PRATTELN (CH) • Konzertfabrik Z7
15.04.20 • BERLIN (DE) • Musik & Frieden
16.04.20 • KRAKOW (PL) • Klub Zaścianek
17.04.20 • BRATISLAVA (SK) • Randal Club
18.04.20 • ROMA (IT) • Traffic Live
The PR for this release will start in early January 2020.