product: Flames Of Fire - Flames Of Fire
release date: 18.03.2022
label: Melodic Passion Records
PR territory: Europe & North America
Flames Of Fire was formed in spring of 2021, but the story goes back to 1987.
In their hometown, Jönköping, Christian Liljegren and Mats-Åke Andersson met for the first time outside a burger chain called O’Briens. Christian was then 16 years old and fronted the band Venture and Mats-Åke was 21, guitarist and composer in legendary local group called Zaragon.
Zaragon was active between 1984-1988 style-wise strongly influenced by Rainbow, MSG, Iron Maiden early Europe. They were close to a record deal but bad decisions and a bad management made nothing happen. Zaragon did some fine recordings with Ragne & Styrbjörn Wahlqvist from Heavy Load.
That meeting in 1987 had a great impact on both. It was the passion, fire and energy for the music, that really connected these hard rock & heavy metal lovers. Both watched the concerts in 1986-1987 with Europe and Madison – two bands they both loved, as well as Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force, Michael Schenker, Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, Iron Maiden & Alcatrazz.
The meeting developed into a friendship that lasts until this day, even though the years went by and a lot happened along the way.Then 10 years later, in 1997, Mats-Åke composed an intro that Christian’s new band Narnia used for their first tour, promoting their debut album Awakening. Narnia’s guitarist CJ Grimmark also helped Mats-Åke with some demos.
Every time Christian & Mats-Åke met, it was all about the musical fire, the passion and also the will to bring something more than the music. Long phone calls ended with a desire to do something together. Both still loved hard rock and heavy metal, with soaring vocals and lots of twin guitars like Iron Maiden and Thin Lizzy. Mats-Åke had tons of ideas, as did Christian.
Amazed by the sound and production by Jani Stefanovic from Solution .45, The Waymaker, ex. Divinefire, they asked Jani if he was willing to produce and co-wrote songs together with them, as he is a very talented songwriter, guitarist and drummer and also gifted arranging keyboards and string arrangements. To really get the twin guitar sound, Christian suggested the guitarist Stephen Carlson, who worked close with Christian on his solo album Melodic Passion, as Stephen also is a good co-writer.
When searching for the right bass player, in the style Phil Lynnot and Steve Harris, Flames Of Fire recruited Per Schelander from House of Shakira, Astrakhan, ex. Royal Hunt, and Pain of Salvation, and the line-up was complete.
Per has worked with Christian on the Melodic Passion album as well, so now they had a killer team.
Christian then came up with the band name Flames of Fire showing the passion they have, as well as the spiritual dimension to it. Songs just came so naturally, and within 6-7 months they had material for several albums. Guitarist Stephen, who lives in Oppdal, Norway, recorded his parts in his studio, Per Schelander, who lives in Stockholm, tracked the bass parts there, and Christian recorded the vocals in Örebro, with Narnia’s sound engineer, Viktor Stenqvist.
Mats-Åke was also involved and along with Christian, he worked out the arrangements. Then Jani put everything together in his studio in Lahtis, Finland, where he lives. So it is all about explosive Scandinavian heavy metal.
To finalize the album production, CJ Grimmark from Narnia, handled the mastering of the songs, Jonatan Samuelsson from JONOmedia and the bass player of Narnia helped Flames of Fire with website, web shop, etc., and Danymax Gatica from Chile created video teasers and promo videos for social media.
The distribution will be handled by Sound Pollution, a close partner to Melodic Passion Records, the record label behind Flames of Fire, and partners in Japan, North and South America.
All members in Flames Of Fire are very well experienced in touring around the world and have visited North and South America, India, Japan and of course Europe.
product: Re-Machined - Brain Dead
release date: 18.02.2022
label: Pride & Joy Music
PR territory: world
After the big success of their debut album “Wheels Of Time”, the German Heavy Metal machine RE-MACHINED returns on February 18th, 2022 with its sophomore release “Brain Dead” which will be released once again by German Heavy Metal label Pride & Joy Music!
Following the motto “never change a winning team”, the band from Hessia stays true to oneself. The high class production by producer Markus Teske (The New Roses, U.D.O.) again is the icing on the cake. “Brain Dead” also combines elements from various classic Heavy Metal acts but nevertheless manages the transfer into the new century. RE-MACHINED’s solid sound still is based on by the impressive twin guitars by Horst Pflaumer and Andreas Glanz, the pumping bass courtesy of Bruno Strasser, the shocking screams by singer Thomas Ritter and the classic metal beats by Volker Brecher.
In conclusion, RE-MACHINED once again offer first Class Heavy Rock which will please old and new Metal fans alike. The 11 songs powerfully breathe the spirit of classic 80’s bands such as Sinner, Trance, (the German group) Bullet or Cacumen!
product: Boguslaw Balcerak's Crylord - Human Heredity
release date: 18.02.2022
label: Pride & Joy Music
PR territory: world (excluding Japan)
Boguslaw Balcerak’s Crylord is a Neoclassical Power Metal band based in Poland which was founded in 2009. The band centered around guitarist Balcerak so far has released two albums (“Blood Of The Prophets” (2011) and “Gates Of Valhalla” (2014).
The release of the band’s 3rd full length-album “Human Heredity” is now more representing a kind of hard rock sound but nevertheless still also showcases the previous, unique neoclassical style. “Human Heredity” is scheduled for a release via Pride & Joy Music on February 18th 2022.
product: Guild Of Others - Guild Of Others
release date: 18.02.2022
label: Louder Than Loud Records
PR territory: world
Guild of Others, begun by Tom Wallace (drums) and Steve Potts (guitar), is a collection of musicians from various bands and backgrounds making progressive metal music. As songs between the two began taking shape, questions of whom else to bring into the fold arose. Considering the style of music the two were creating, the keyboardist most desired was easy. Derek Sherinian (Sons of Apollo, Dream Theater, BCC, etc.) was top of the list. Upon hearing the demos, Derek's response was perfect. He described the music as, "Aggressive and adventurous. Without being too proggy." He liked it and would add his talents.
"Guild of Others accomplish the near impossible, and that's make progressive metal that is accessible," proclaims venerated rock author/critic Martin Popoff. High praise from someone steeped in musical knowledge and history. He continued, "This sounds like thinking man's stadium rock. In a plethora of old and new school styles, these hooky compositions keep the proceedings earthy and built for the stage." He went on to place Guild of Others' debut among some of the rock world's most legendary and successful acts. "It's songs very much like this that resulted in early notoriety for Rush and even Styx for that matter. There's no reason why Guild of Others can't serve large pockets of fans... who believe in those same ideals toward both heaviness and craftsmanship."
Among the material were two songs Steve and Tom both felt needed fretless bass. For that they reached out to well-known bassist, Tony Franklin (The Firm, Blue Murder, etc.). Steve and Tom were floored by Tony's playing. His style and tone offered everything needed to complete the bottom end. His counter melodies and bass fills were superb. The guys requested he record the six remaining songs and he obliged.
For vocals, local singer Mark Hammond was tapped for six of the songs. Michael Sadler (Saga) and Henrik Bath (Darkwater) lend their talents for the remaining two. The three vocalists offer three unique sounds and styles. All of which work perfectly for the material.
In addition to the musicians already mentioned, guitar shredder Craig Goldy (Dio, Resurrection Kings) offers a blistering solo on "Veil of Insanity". As an added treat, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Michael Bruce (Alice Cooper) and wife Lynette contribute the doting parents voice-over for "Memento".
The "Others" part of Guild of Others suggests future recordings will always involve other musicians. Tom and Steve are the driving force behind Guild of Others. They will remain. While always appreciating those who have participated in this debut effort and welcoming their return, there is already material for a second album. with hopes of bringing in new names and making new friends.
product: Into The Unknown - Into The Unknown
release date: January 28th, 2022
format: digital EP
PR territory: Europe
Into the Unknown, the British symphonic rock band, released their last album in 2019, and then unfortunately singer Lucie Hölzlová left the band as she moved back home to her native Czech Republic. A period of auditions, pandemics and Brexit all conspired to delay the creativity of the band, and the planned 2020 release of their third full studio album was delayed!
They were working behind the scenes, recruiting new drummer Richard Novak and keyboard player Paul Knightley ready for proposed gig, and then 2020 happened ….
However, rehearsals have now been underway, the band have been in recording their parts for the new album, and they are ready to reveal their new singer …. Natalie Shedden.
Natalie is no stranger to the music business, her solo career having seen her grace the dance music charts, which may surprise people as to why she would be now fronting a heavy rock band!
“We didn’t want a ‘rock’ singer, Lucie was more theatrical with her vocals and we had heard Natalie singing some Musical Theatre, especially her renditions of Les Misérables songs. Ryan and I had both worked with her a few years ago, before Into The Unknown formed and after a few auditions with some great singers, it was suggested that we approach Natalie, who immediately said yes!” said bass player Rupert
They recorded a few live acoustic tracks whilst in lockdown but for various reasons didn’t release them. They’ve now added two of the tracks to the single as ‘b sides’.
And so to the single - it’s another Disney cover!
“Back when we did the covers mini album, “The Other Side of the Wall”, we recorded a version of “I Wanna Be Like you” from the Jungle Book, so when we saw that Disney released Frozen 2 with the main song being called “Into The Unknown”, we took that as a challenge! It also showcases Natalie’s vocals and gave us the chance to have a bit of fun” says lead guitarist Ryan
Coupled with the new live acoustic versions of “Breaking My Heart” and “Don’t Pay The Ferryman”, the songs have been produced in 3D audio, which means that listening (especially with headphones) should give the listener the feeling of being more immersed in the music.
This single serves the purposes of introducing Natalie to the fans and media, whilst paving the way for the new album, which is nearly fully written and recorded, and due for a release in 2022. The twin guitars of Ryan Rivers and James Milner combine with the solid rhythm section of Richard and Rupert, the orchestration, Pauls melodic piano playing, and Natalie’s searing vocals.
Into the Unknown, the EP is released digitally on January 28th, via The Orchard/Sony.
Track list: 1. Into The Unknown (3D Mix), 2. Breaking My Heart (live acoustic), 3. Don’t Pay The Ferryman (live acoustic)
product: Swedish Magazines - I Wish Life Could Be...
release date: 17.01.2022
label: Bad Reputation
PR territory: GAS
“I wish life could be Swedish magazines” – Iggy Pop, “Five Foot One”, 1979
Fronted by the irrepressible Van Walker, Swedish Magazines are a delightfully raucous Melbourne punk outfit. Originally hailing from Tasmania, Van and his brother Cal’s band bridged the divide between the Cosmic Psychos, Powder Monkeys, and Amyl and the Sniffers and Civic.
If you’re unfamiliar with their work, Bottles & Barstools is the perfect way to get acquainted and probably fall in love. Bottles & Barstools features the band’s second line-up, with Johnny Gibson on drums and Lachlan Rimes on bass. The original Swedes line-up, which also features on the new collection, with Anton Ruddick (lead guitar) and Tim Durkin (drums), is now back together.
They’re in the midst of recording a new album and are set to play live shows. They’re in the process of recording new material for a new album, their first since 2010’s Wino Havoc.
The band just released a best-of collection titled I Wish Life Could Be, it’s also their first vinyl release. The CD will include a handful of tracks drawn from two live-in-the-studio sessions recorded in 2005 by Melbourne’s PBS-FM. The tunes are very catchy, high-tempo and highly emotive blend of guitar riffs and Van’s phenomenal vocals.It’s reminiscent of the best of Buckcherry’s work.
Fans of Rancid and the Dropkick Murphys will love “She’s Evil”, “Girl From The Tote” “You Never Wanted It” or “Think Tanks A Million”. These are great songs with great melodies and wry, literate lyrics – plenty for fans of Van’s solo work to love too.
product: Hit The Ground Runnin' - Sudden Impact
release date: 14.01.2022
label: AOR Heaven
PR territory: world
While Philadelphia based Hit The Ground Runnin’ may not have had the same kind of international recognition their better known local compatriots Cinderella, Britny Fox, Tangier and Heaven’s Edge acquired back in the day, they can surely feel a sense of pride in the fact that the album they released back in 1989 (‘Sudden Impact’) became one of the most sought after hard rock records. Collectors of the genre have, especially over the last twenty five years, fought and outbid each other on eBay for the privilege of owning a copy.
First formed as the curiously named Free Delivery in early 1985, the initial line-up consisted of vocalist Blair Rumsey, bassist Paul Piccari, guitarist Alan Augunas, drummer Bert Marks and the keyboard playing pairing of Steve Cocchi and Rob Knauss (aka Rob Kay).However, Marks was quickly replaced by Jimmy Katone (formerly a member of fellow local bands Sanctuary and Escape) and Cocchi would also depart the band within a year.
The band found themselves opening up for a number of other groups on the local scene as things progressed, including Britny Fox on many an appearance at the legendary Galaxy Club in Somerdale, New Jersey and also The Who’s John Entwistle and Blue Oyster Cult at the even more legendary Stone Pony venue in Asbury Park. The quintet would also go on to later perform (as Hit The Ground Runnin’) at the 1989 Monterey Pop Festival with Jeff Healey, Billy Preston and War.
So having built up a reputation locally under the Free Delivery handle the band renamed into Hit The Ground Runnin’ in 1986 when Hilary Schacter at Powerhouse Studios at Nise Productions suggested this name. The association with Nise eventually led to the newly named Hit The Ground Runnin’ gaining a deal with the recently established Autograph Records imprint; a boutique label linked to BMG
‘Sudden Impact’ was originally available on LP, CD and cassette. Although examples of the CD version have sold for the most money in collector circles, it’s actually the cassette version that is the rarest of the three formats. At the time of writing a CD is listed for sale on a popular internet site for music purchases for the princely sum of just over $3000.
The second album, originally slated for release in 1991, got shelved and released in 2000 by the band’s own label Smash Records. A third, entitled “HGR”, followed as a self-release in 2007.
AOR Heaven now will re-release the sought after “Sudden Impact” album on January 14th, 2022 as strictly ltd., re-mastered double CD including 2 bonus tracks on the original disc and additional 8 bonus tracks on disc 2 which will be available via AOR Heaven mailorder exclusively.