NEWS

This month with news from Newman, Return, Arkado & Easy Action!

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::: British Melodic Rock band NEWMAN return with “Ignition” in March!”

In 1997 singer, songwriter Steve Newman formed the band NEWMAN and since 1998 have been producing consistently high quality albums filled with hook laden songs and thought provoking lyrics.

      

In 2018 NEWMAN were invited back to play the HRH Festival in support of the 20th anniversary of their first album. The rest of 2018 and for the first part of 2019 Steve remained busy writing and recording for other artists in different genres, taking a break from focusing on Newman and moving into different areas both musically and lyrically.

Revitalized, and after a break of two years Steve turned his attention to the next NEWMAN album. Bringing in influences from some of the projects he'd worked on previously but also returning to the writing and sound that has become part of the Newman legacy.

So, the first NEWMAN album in 3 years "Ignition" is finally here, 12 songs in a natural continuation from 2017's "Aerial" release. The album was recorded at Chrome Dome Studios in London between May and October 2019 with all songs being written and arranged by Steve Newman. 

Steve Newman: Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards

Rob McEwen: Drums & Percussion

Dave Bartlett: backing vocals on “End Of The Road”, “Ignition” and “Moving Target”

Mark Thompson-Smith: backing vocals on “Worth Dying For” and “Welcome To The Rush”

Audio video: https://youtu.be/cb5wHRlNguY

Release date: March 27th, 2020

Web: www.newmansound.com

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Haulix: will be send on Monday, February 3rd

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::: ARKADO debut with “Never Say Never” on March 31st, 2020! :::

ARKADO were founded in 1983 in Ödåkra (near Helsingborg), Sweden. Originally, the band was named to BB2 (Better Be Together). Way back then, BB2 recorded a vinyl single which became the hymn of the football club Ödåkra IF which still is played there today at every match. 

     

In May 2018, BB2 executed a live concert in Helsingborg which was totally sold out. The “dream” of again being reckoned as a band, if so only locally, flamed up. In August 2018, the Swedish based group teamed up with some new additional members. The “new” band was named to ARKADO when reverting the name “Ödåkra” and now offers their first full-length AOR album which is entitled “Never Say Never”. 

“Never Say Never” was recorded & produced by Mikael Svensson and recorded at LdM Studios, Chasing Sparks studio, Lindstrand Music and Skafars studio; mixed by Mikael Svensson at LdM Studios and mastered at Panic Room.

Line-up: Philip Lindstrom (vocals, lead guitars), Mats Nilsson & Martin Kirschner (guitars), Mikael Skafar (drums & backing vocals), Bernt Lundgren (bass), Mikael Svensson (keyboards & backing vocals)

Video clip: https://youtu.be/q-763G45qA8

Release date: March 27th, 2020

Web: www.arkado.se

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Haulix: will be send on Monday, February 3rd

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::: “AOR HEAVEN re-issue RETURN’s classic “V” album! :::

Although never offered the same opportunities compatriots TNT and Stage Dolls enjoyed in venturing into the US and British markets, Norwegian melodic hard rock band Return nevertheless have carved their own place in the annals of rock history, with a quite illustrious career to boast of in their own right. The band’s fifth album, ‘V’, reissued courtesy of AOR Heaven, perfectly captures what Return were all about.

       

Picture credit: Norway’s National Library

Comprised of Knut Erik Østgård (v), Steinar Hagen (g), Tore Larsen (b) and Øyvind Håkonsen (d), Return were founded in the early 80s combining various influences from punk, ska, disco, pop and hard rock drawing major inspiration from British bands such as Thin Lizzy, Iron Maiden and The Police.

By the mid 80s there was certainly a very interesting music scene happening in Norway, too, with the likes of the aforementioned TNT, Stage Dolls and other emerging acts, including Da Vinci. Winning a band competition got them a deal with ARCO records, eventually resulting in the debut ‘To The Top’ (1987) arousing interest with majors like CBS who signed them for the next three records, ‘Attitudes’ (1988),’Straight Down The Line’ (1989) and ‘Fourplay’ (1991) leading the band to basically constantly tour from 1987 to 1994 and develop musically and form some kind of Return brotherhood.

For ‘V’, the album at hand, with its slightly more international approach, the band followed their label managers to EMI Norway. Recordings took place during the summer of 1992 in Glen Studio in Stockholm and the mix in Studio Nova in Norway. Unfortunately, soon after grunge struck Norway, too, and after yet again some extensive touring, in 1994 Return decided to take a break which actually lead to a six year hiatus.

Return’s, uh, return to action occurred in the year 2000 when a best of compilation sold a total of 120.000 copies! More compilations, e.g. a live output, followed over the years. Being the strongest effort so far, Return still play a considerable amount of the songs from ‘V’ in their sets of their occasional live appearances.

2020 is a year to celebrate. It is 40 years since four young guys met in a small rehearsal room and started to make great music together. This re-issue was re-mastered by Chris Lyne, offers an upgraded booklet with vintage picture material from the archives and comes as 1000 copies only ltd. edition and is being sold via mailorder only. Liner notes by Dave Reynolds.

Release date: March 27th, 2020

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Haulix: will be send on Monday, February 3rd

Remark: ltd. to 1000 copies; available via mailorder only

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::: EASY ACTION release “Eye For An Eye” video clip filmed at Sweden Rock 2019!”

To celebrate the release of the re-mastered edition of their 1986 album ”That Makes One”, EASY ACTION drops a live video from their performance at Sweden Rock Festival last summer. The song ”Eye For an Eye” was recorded for the 1986 album but only released as a rare b-side. It is now included in the new CD edition together with one more bonus track. The band is currently recording new music, though no details are available.

The video is found at this link: https://youtu.be/G4OrI6Y40ZQ

The re-mastered re-release ”That makes One ” is available through AOR Heaven - and 1000 copies only - this Friday, Jan 31.

Easy Action are: Tommy Nilsson, Kee Marcello, Chris Lindh, Björn Höglund, Jörgen Ingeström, Nalle Påhlsson

Kee Marcello currently is available for a few interviews!

Release date: January 31st, 2020

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Haulix: still available

Remark: ltd. to 1000 copies; available via mailorder only

This month with news from Jesse Damon & Shaft Of Steel

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::: 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

Web: https://www.facebook.com/jesse.damon.7

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::: 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

Web: www.facebook.com/shaftofsteel

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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!

Birgitt

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Band: Marty And The Bad Punch 

Album: Walk A Straight Line

Out: 21.02.2020

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”

https://www.facebook.com/martyandthebadpunch/

http://www.martyandthebadpunch.com/

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

More links:

https://www.facebook.com/CrossonRock

http://crosson.com.au

This month with news from Autumn’s Child, The Ragged Saints & Easy Action

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::: 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

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::: 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

Web: www.facebook.com/theraggedsaints

 

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::: 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.

Web: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easy_Action_(band)

Remark: available only via www.aorheaven.com and ginza.se

Release date: 31st January, 2020

 

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