product: Saeko - Holy Are We Alone
release date: 20.08.2021
label: Pride & Joy Music
PR territory: world - Asia
SAEKO was originally formed in 2003 in Germany by a Japanese singer, Saeko Kitamae, who flew to Germany to find a heavy metal band to join, with the help of well-known German musicians, such as Lars Ratz and Michael Ehré (both Metalium), Sven Lüdke (Mob Rules) etc.
After the debut album (2004), which was well affirmed by the international media, SAEKO went on tour with DORO (2004), and performed at festivals such as Wacken Open Air (2005) as the first Asian female singer, leaving the capacity audience to insist strongly on encores. It was the only power metal act by a Japanese singer whose interviews and articles were positively covered by many magazines around the world (to name a few, Break Out Germany, Metal Hammer Italy, La Heavy Spain and Rock Hard Brazil).
However, it was a time when no Japanese heavy metal bands had succeeded in the international music scene for years, since Loudness and Bow Wow in the 80's. Saeko Kitamae's reckless attempt, too ahead of the times, faced many troubles between two different cultures, which eventually forced her to fly back to Japan. That's how SAEKO’s activity was suspended only after two albums, to the disappointment of many: “Above Heaven Below Heaven” (2004) and “Life” (2006).
The Japanese singer has never compromised at all in bringing her vision alive. Again relocating from Japan to Germany only for her music, she chose the finest members from Italy and Germany this time. The very first step, the crowdfunding campaign launched in 2020, was already a great success, quickly surpassing ¥2,000,000 (about €15,400).
SAEKO’s music, affirmed by the international media as having its "own musical identity with an exotic touch” in 2004, is the unique result created by fusion of Japanese and European elements. This individual identity is even more developed and expanded on the new album: An epic with a concept story of a spirit reincarnating through different areas of the world to find his/her answer--a sequel to the 1st and 2nd albums. The blend of classic/folkloristic elements of each area and the metal approach resulted in music no one has heard of.
All lyrics were written by Saeko Kitamae, while all music composed by Saeko Kitamae and Guido Benedetti. The perfect combination of her vocals and his guitars is supported by outstanding plays of Alessandro Sala (Bass) and Michael Ehré (Drums).
Guest musicians include Derek Sherinian (Sons of Apollo, Planet X, ex. Dream Theater) and Lars Ratz (ex. Metalium, † 2021).
Produced by Saeko Kitamae, Guido Benedetti and V. Santura, the engineer well-known for his elaborate work for the artists such as Triptykon, Obscura, Secrets of the Moon, also known as the guitarist of Triptykon, Dark Fortress etc. Co-produced by Eddy Cavazza. Mixed and mastered also by V. Santura at his Woodshed Studio in Landshut, Germany.
It is an unforgettable experience made by Saeko Kitamae’s non-compromising attitude combined with the top-class Italian/German collaboration. Sometimes quiet and reflective, sometimes powerful, intense and resonating, with lyrics in English, Japanese, German, even Hawaiian and Sanskrit, concluding with a citation from Plato. It will surely inspire both intellectual and emotional minds of yours.
product: The Bardogs - Southern Soul
release date: July 4th, 2021
label: Bad Reputation
PR territory: GAS
The Bardogs journey began in 2014 in Bukittinggi (West Sumatra) as a trio of childhood pals with Paul (vocals and guitar), Deni (bass) and Romi (drums). They first played for fun in the local bars, covering the Allman Brothers, Led Zeppelin and Tedeschi Tucks Band’s classic tunes. As they started to write original songs (including some indonesian spoken lyrics) music quickly became a priority and the ambition to play outside of their island kept growing. A couple of years later, they made the move to the touristic island of Bali. They got exposed to an international audience and made connections with people from all over the world who were willing to help
them achieving their dream after witnessing their undeniable talent. Second guitarist Weldi, from Bogor (Java island) joined the adventure in 2016. Not long after, the Bardogs became resident performers at the legendary Pretty Poison club, where they frequented the fast growing skateboarding scene of Canggu. Those crowded performances led them to headline gigs several times at popular venues like Deus Ex Machina, Old Man’s and Single Fin in front of more than 600 people. The band has also been performing for targeted rock and blues audience at Hard Rock Cafe, New Lazer, The Orchard and many more. As they just recorded their debut album in 2018 to be released in March 2019, The Bardogs decided that it was time to finally go next level and take their soulful addictive melodies and catchy riffs to Europe, starting by a tour in France where they already have solid connections and expressions of interest
Southern Soul is a fantastic Southern Rock album with soul and gospel. Sail Away clearly defines the ambitious spirit of the band, and their will to defy borders and cultural limitations that they are facing on their way to the top. Corona on the other side is a soulful southern ballad that reflects the melancholic dimension of the Bardogs music. Colorado, anthem of the band that never fails to set the audience onfire, is a mix of those feelings of love and optimism no matter the obstacles
product: Marty And The Bad Punch feat. Robert Tepper - Better Be Strong
release date: 19.06.2021
label: Enghardt Media
PR territory: Europe
"Better Be Strong" has been Marty's message since the first single was released. The track originally comes from his debut album "Moon Over Baskerville" from 2014, with which Marty has won four awards at the German Rock & Pop Prize in December 2015.
Since then there have been many requests from Marty's musician buddies to record and perform this song themselves. The interest is workldwide already so great that “Better Be Strong” developed into a global appeal to give people strength and persevere in these difficult times. With the idea of getting the project off the ground, some first versions were created, that have not yet been published yet. In the meantime, the artist has also received requests for the use of rights in films and in charitable projects. The potential of the Allstar project is still in its infancy and is currently in production by the well-known Swedish producer Tommy Denander (Hollywood Vampires, Alice Cooper, Radioactive and many more).
The first version of the re-recorded „Better Be Strong“ goes now into race with Marty And The Bad Punch feat. Robert Tepper.
For Robert Tepper ("No Easy Way Out" / "Rocky Soundtrack") it was clear, due to his long-standing friendship with Marty, to record and release a complete version. Since people currently need a strong song due to the current situation, the decision was made to publish the title in September 2021 despite requests for a movie. Many more versions are in production. Several other well-known musicians from Marty Punch will also present their own version on their upcoming albums.
In addition to Marty, the Robert Tepper version features Tommy Denander on guitars, keys and bass, and drummer Carsten Enghardt (Marty And The Bad Punch & Endfield) on drums.
product: Stephen Crane & Duane Sciacqua - Big Guns
label: AOR Heaven
release date: 30.07.2021
PR territory: world
Big Guns was formed in 1985 as a direct follow up to the record “KICKS” by Stephen Crane (MCA 1984). Due to Irving Azoff’s departure and the ensuing shake up at MCA that year, KICKS was left without any marketing or promotional funds and was basically ‘Dead on Arrival’ and did not chart. Although, interestingly enough, the record has subsequently been re-released two times in Europe and has received rave reviews!
As a result of MCA’s inability to promote the album and band, Stephen Crane and Duane Sciacqua continued their quest to write and record new songs that were, and still are relevant in the world of Rock! Joined by then band member, Johnny Burnett (RIP), Crane and Sciacqua soon enlisted fellow band mates Paul Daniel (drums), and Matt MacKelvie (guitars, keys, vocals) and created “BIG GUNS”. They began a series of recordings with engineer Brett Gurewitz at his Hollywood studio. Crane and Sciacqua wrote, or co-wrote, and produced the songs that would become their self-titled album “BIG GUNS”. The band became a staple playing around Hollywood at the ROXY, FM Station, and other well-known rock venues. They received label interest but could never reach an amicable agreement and their search waned … players moved on, lives changed and BIG GUNS faded into the Rock n Roll sunset…
Many years later as good fortune would have it, the once forgotten Stephen Crane album (KICKS) received its popular acclaim, and the search for the long forgotten tapes was on. Georg Siegl at AOR Heaven, sought out guitarist Sciacqua for material, and the re-emergence of BIG GUNS was underway. After searching through the archives of years past, Sciacqua found the missing BIG GUNS tapes and through careful remastering and some re-recording was able to render the 10 tracks that make up the album.
This project stands as a monument to the songwriters, the singers and the players who dedicated their time and talents to comprise their self-titled album “BIG GUNS”.
product: Nitrate - Renegade
release date: 30.07.2021
label: AOR Heaven
PR territory: world
Nitrate is back with their third album; ‘Renegade’, a follow on to their previous highly rated albums ‘Realworld’ in 2018 and ‘Openwide’ in 2019, which achieved great success. Inspired by the late 80’s rock scene with bands such as Def Leppard, Europe, Motley Crue, and Bon Jovi, Nitrate is the brainchild of song writer Nick Hogg (bass guitar) from Nottingham England. Nick has this time changed the line-up and enlisted Alexander Strandell (Art Nation) to take over on Lead Vocals & has teamed up with Tom & James Martin (Vega) & Mikey Wilson (Kimber) to produce an album that has been heavily influenced by Def Leppard’s ‘Hysteria’. With Tom Martin playing all the rhythm guitars and James Martin taking over on Keyboards the album delivers a more melodic/AOR feel than ever before. Renegade delivers 11 Hook filled tracks with great melodies, walls of keyboards and backing vocals supplied by Alessandro Del Vecchio. Tracks were inspired from bands such as Def Leppard, Starship, Journey, Skid Row, and Roxette making for a true 80s sound. Taking over on Lead Guitar is Dario Nikzad (Hell to Play).
Nitrate is: Nick Hogg – Bass Guitar, Alexander Strandell - Lead vocals, Tom Martin - Rhythm Guitars, James Martin - Keyboards, Dario Nikzad – Lead guitars, Mikey Wilson – Drums & additional guitar and keyboards, Alessandro Del Vecchio - Backing vocals;
Produced by Tom & James Martin & Mikey Wilson; Mastered by Alessandro Del Vecchio; Engineered by Tom & James Martin, Mikey Wilson, Alexander Strandell, Dario Nikzad, Alessandro Del Vecchio & Paul J King
Music recorded at Strandell Studios - Sweden, Osborne Studios - UK, Ivorytears Music Works - Italy, Soundwave Studios - UK
Mixed by Mikey Wilson ; Mastered at Ivorytears Music Works
product: Ty Coates' Bombers - Man Down
release date: 15.06.2021
label: Bad Reputation
PR territory: GAS
After leaving the Party Boys, Ty Coates (Flash Harry, Party Boys), Alan Lancaster (Status Quo) & John Brewster (The Angels) formed powerhouse rock band The Bombers. They went on to record an album, ‘Aim High’ and released several singles which received critical acclaim worldwide. The band toured with Alice Cooper, Skid Row, Ian Moss, Dragon and Cheap Trick, appeared on Countdown and performed extensively throughout Australia.
Lead singer Ty Coates, has re-formed the band with a brand new line-up. Featuring Christina Crofts (widow of the late Steve Crofts, the original Bombers lead guitarist) on guitars and slide guitar, Mick Carter on bass (ex-Swannee, One World) and much sought after young gun Ryan Mathison on drums. The band has recorded a brand new album which has been extremely well received by the bands long-time fans as well as a whole new stable of supporters…all also eager to see the band perform live once again!
Ty Coates’ BOMBERS have been working hard in the studio in preparation for the live shows and are excited about playing those timeless classics as well as new songs off the current album!
product: Strÿkenine - Strÿkenine I
release date: 16.07.2021
label: Pride & Joy Music
PR territory: world-JP
The new sensation of Swedish Melodic Rock!
With influences from classic Melodic Rock, Modern Pop and Metal STRYKENINE entered the Stockholm rock scene in 2015. The band was formed in the southern suburbs of Stockholm by guitarist Andi Sarandopoulos, drummer Henrik Remesaho and singer Jacob Petäjämaa. At this point they were still in their teens dreaming big while exploring the musical influences from bands such as Europe, Whitesnake, Def Leppard and Mötley Crüe to name a few.
In 2016 the line up changed to what it is today when Sarandopoulos finally found a suitable second guitar player in Alex Zackrisson. The same year, Tony Bakirciouglu joined as the bass player.
The A-team was assembled. STRYKENINE started to elaborate their sound, in search for something that they felt was missing in the modern Melodic Rock scene: attitude and adrenaline. This set a standard for the young Swedish group to write Melodic Rock songs that still have that aggressive rock n roll spirit and to deliver the same energy live.
With this new lineup STRYKENINE perfected their craft, got to play clubs and festivals all around Sweden. Despite not having an album out at that point, they got to play festivals and open up for bigger bands like Hardcore Superstar, Santa Cruz, Shiraz Lane and Art Nation. In 2018 they released the EP ”Nowhere To Run” and went on tour Europe for the first time.
Now STRYKENINE is ready to unleash the beast that is their debut album ”Strykenine 1” and take on the Melodic Rock scene for real! This release was recorded at the Strykenine HQ during Summer 2020. In charge of the recording process were Calle Svennerstedt and bass player Tony Bakircioglu. Rich Gray mastered the album.
Keyboards were provided by Patrik Törnblom and Passi Oksman. Patrik Törnblom was in fact a member of the band between 2017-2020 and a big influence in developing the sound that STRYKENINE stands for today. He played keyboards on half of the album but was definitely an important partner for the songwriting for the whole album. Törnblom felt the need to step back from the band in the spring of 2020 to explore other things in life. That’ s when we asked Passi Oksman to work his magic on the rest of this amazing album!