product: Universe - Universe
release date: 13.04.2018
label: Pride & Joy Music
UNIVERSE started in 1982 in Upplands Väsby, Sweden, where hard rock ruled the streets. The members hailed from several different local bands. After leaving the band Moon, lead guitarist Michael Kling, who founded the band WC in the late 70's with John Norum, became one of UNIVERSE’s founding members. Bassist Hasse Hagman, who played in Joey Tempest's first band, along with drummer Anders Wetterström and guitarist Per Nilsson, all came from the band Twilight. Once UNIVERSE got their hands on keyboard player Fredrik Kriström and singer Kjell Wallen, the band was complete. They played diligently for a couple of years all over Sweden, opening for Nazareth, among many other gigs. In 1985, the band released its self-titled debut album with songs like "Rollin’ On", "Stories from the Old Days", and "Strong Vibrations". In 1986, Kjell Wallen left the band on good terms following creative differences and was subsequently replaced by Janne Åström. With Janne as the new frontman, the band focused fully on a follow-up to their debut album. Several demos were recorded but never ended up in the right hands. The band dissolved in early 1988 and then had a short reunion for a final show in the ice hall in Upplands Väsby later that year.
The band members went their separate ways, each showing up here and there in different contexts with connections to music. Everyone maintained occasional contact and eventually Per Nilsson reached out to the others to see if they were interested in playing together again. In 2002, all the members met up together for the first time in 14 years. They immediately knew they wanted to play again, and became convinced that the old material still had potential. Everyone agreed that a new album had to be released, but also that they were being pulled in different directions. For several years they kept continuous contact, waiting for the time when recording an album became inevitable. At first, UNIVERSE lacked a singer, but suddenly one day he was just there. Andreas Eklund (ex-House Of Shakira) became the new front man, his narrative lyrics and tasteful melodies opening the door to another dimension, so the band could take a bigger step into the galaxy. Now, finally, UNIVERSE is back as UNIVERSE INFINITY with “Rock Is Alive”, a powerful album that is a tribute to the music of the 70’s and 80's, and to their youth in Upplands Väsby.
Also on April 13th, 2018, Pride & Joy Music in co-operation with Universal Music Sweden AB will re-release the UNIVERSE’s classic self-titled album from 1985. Ltd. on 1000 copies only, the re-issue will be remastered and come with an extended 12 page booklet.
product: Heartwind - Higher And Higher
release date: 27.04.2017
label: AOR Heaven
With members from bands like Constancia, The Poodles, Token, Narnia and Essence of Sorrow, and with guest stars Nina Söderquist (Bjorn Skifs/Badrock, Champions of Rock a.o.), Janne Stark (Grand Design, Mountain of Power a.o.), and Tåve Wanning (The Voice, Adrenaline Rush, Peaches), new melodic hard rockers Heartwind may come across as one of those one off band projects, but nothing could be more far from the truth. Heartwind is the story of two old friends, with a common love for classical melodic hard rock and AOR, that after fifteen years of friendship started to write the album they always had wanted to listen to themselves. Over a meal in downtown Stockholm, guitar player and songwriter Goran Engvall (former with Hitworks) and progressive/melodic keyboard player and fellow songwriter Mikael Rosengren (Constancia, Token, Scudiero), laid down the vision for what was yet to come. 15 original songs and 12 months later, Mikael started to pull some strings from his many fellow musicians in the Swedish hard rock scene since 20 years back. The two songwriters were amazed with the positive response they got on their first demos, from hard rock industry people & fans. It became evident that they were going to be able to attract some great talent to the album and the band. Believing in the importance of fellowship and a strong people fit when starting a band, Mikael and Göran started to dig in closest ground: Drummer Peter TrumPeter Svensson (Constancia, Faith) and singer Germán Pascual (Narnia, Dj Mendez, Essence of Sorrow), happily joined the band, and two key pieces of the puzzle came into place. With Peter and Germán onboard, the band knew they had both a powerful backbone and a phenomenal front man in place!
Germán invited his old friends, and former band mates, guitar virtuoso Martin Hall (Germán Pascual band) and bass wizard Germain Leth (The Poodles, Watchmen) to join the band and magic was about to happen. When also the very well respected Fredrik Folkare (Unleashed, Firespawn, Eclipse, Scudiero a.o.), accepted to team up to produce and mix, the band knew they had something special going. Fredrik’s contribution also as a musician on the album (guitar & bass) cannot be underestimated.
With classical albums like Hysteria (Def Leppard), 1987 (Whitesnake) and Escape (Journey) serving as inspiration, the intention from the band has been to get every single track to stand on its own two feet! Timeless melodic hard rock with a modern but still genuine sound!
After publishing a short teaser on Youtube, just before X-mas 2017, Heartwind stood ready as a band and was offered record deals by no less than three (!) different labels. Heartwind was happy to sign with AOR Heaven in early January and making an old dream come true.
The album is mixed and produced by Fredrik Folkare, Chrome Studios, and mastered by Erik Mårtensson, Blowout Productions (Eclipse, Ammunition, WET a.o).
Heartwind is ready to rock the world!
product: Crosson - Invincible
release date: 27.04.2017
CROSSON are back!!! Following the release of their critically acclaimed 2016 album “Spreading The Rock ‘N’ Roll Disease”, Australia based Futuristic Theatrical Rock Warriors CROSSON are back with their new album „Invincible“. Once again mixed by legendary producer Duane Baron (OZZY OSBOURNE, MÖTLEY CRÜE, ALICE COOPER), and mastered by U.S mastering legend Dave Donnelly (AEROSMITH, KISS, WHITESNAKE), „Invincible“ delivers CROSSON’s own brand of uplifting catchy rock anthems with loud guitars, big harmonies and a blistering production. „Invincible“ is 10 notches up from where Crosson left off with „Spreading The Rock N Roll Disease“. The songwriting and production has leaped in great bounds and the album will have you shamelessly singing along to the catchy choruses while leaving your ears bleeding”., says bandleader and mastermind Jason Crosson. If „Spreading the Rock ‘N’ Roll Disease“ sparked people’s attention, „Invincible“ will have them jumping aboard the CROSSON rebel train. The opening track „Rock Warriors“ is an anthemic tribute to all the metal / rock bands and artists who laid the foundations for the genre and kept it alive and kicking for decades, whilst the first single „Never Give Up“ is an inspirational and catchy as Chlamydia track with a strong 80’s Bon Jovi vibe that would even make Desmond Child tap his feet. The album’s only ballad “Unconditional Love” is a duet with renowned Finnish singer / actress JESSICA WOLFF, with the music video shot in Australia and Croatia by award winning feature film and music video director Steve Ravic (DORO, MANOWAR, RHAPSODY). Nothing can prepare you for the visual onslaught CROSSON delivers in its live show. Numerous costume changes, blended with high-energy choreography, smoke, sirens, and catchy rock anthems makes the CROSSON live show a “seen-to-be-believed” entertaining experience. “If you like the of idea of KISS and Motley Crue crossed with The Darkness and Steel Panther, you’re gonna love CROSSON” - Xavier Russell (Classic Rock Magazine AOR).
product: Frontline - State Of Rock +2
release date: 27.04.2018
label: AOR Heaven
FRONTLINE from Nürnberg, Germany belong to the pioneers of the German hard rock scene. Founded in 1989 by Robert Böbel (guitars, keyboards; EVIDENCE ONE, PHANTOM V), Stephan Kämmerer (vocals), Thomas Riess (bass) und Stephan Bayerlein (drums), their debut album “The State Of Rock” finally hit the stores in 1994 – a true classic which until today still is regarded as the finest album of the band by many. This record also meant the breakthrough for the guys in Japan where they reached # 10 in the rock sales charts. Straightly after the release, FRONTLINE went on tour in Europe and had the honour to open for various great acts such as GOTTHARD, CRASH TEST DUMMIES, BONFIRE, TYKETTO and CASANOVA.
In 1995, FRONTLINE pulled out the full acoustic album „Two Faced“. However, personal differences within the band followed and ended up in the departure of Stephan Bayerlein and Thomas Riess in 1996. They were replaced by Thomas „Hutch“ Bauer (Bass) und Rami Ali (Drums; EVIDENCE ONE, SHYLOCK). Still in the same year, FRONTLINE signed a record deal with a new label, recorded the single “Man In Motion” and the album “Heroes” which though officially only saw the light of day in Japan since their European label went out of business.
One year later, the band decided to start working on another new album which is well known under it’s working title “Heroes II” amongst the fans but never saw a release. Due to a complicated contractual situation many labels feared to contact FRONTLINE during the following years and the band went back to the underground again until Georg Siegl at AOR Heaven finally showed his interest in the band in the year 2000 and signed them for the first time. Just one month later, the album “Right Attitude” was released which can be regarded as a sort of compilation out of both “Heroes” albums …and “Right Attitude” became a huge success for the band again! The recordings for their 2002 output “Against The World” started the same year, and this album finally re-established FRONTLINE on the international hard rock market.
Throughout the months after the release of the best of compilation “Almost Unreleased” (2003) which also featured a couple of rare tracks for the fans, FRONTLINE again went into the studio and started to work on a new album called “The Seventh Sign” (2004). In the year 2006, the last studio album the German group called “Circles” was released.
On April 27th 2018, AOR Heaven now will re-issue the rare and out of print album “The State Of Rock” with two bonus tracks as a limited edition of 1000 copies. The album was re-mastered by guitarist Robby Böbel.
product: Trouble Agency - Suspected
release date: 23.03.2018
Trouble Agency is a Belgian Thrash Metal band from Brussels, formed in 1993. Founding members Didier Van Coppenolle (guitarist) and Bart Brion (drummer) decided to join forces, writing their first songs, embracing a unique blend of groovy Thrash Metal with Hard Core elements. The band is considered as one of the last of it’s generation being still active in Belgium. Trouble Agency was born on the ashes of 80’s Thrash Metal bands Cyclone and Decadence. Their music was described as being similar to crossover and thrash metal acts Sacred Reich, D.R.I., Destruction and Annihilator by Dutch magazine Aardschok and Metallian magazine from France. Through the years Trouble Agency has shared stages with acts as Exodus, Destruction, Immortal, Anvil, Hyades, Onslaught and Paradox and headlined the Metal Blast festival held at the Botanique in Brussels. They also played Wacken Open Air in 2014's.
The original Trouble Agency line-up consisted of Didier Van Coppenolle (ex-Brain Cancer and Necrosis), Bart Brion (ex-Decadence) with Kalle Vanlint (ex-Cyclone & Decadence) on guitars, bassist Alain Fabry (ex-Necrosis), and Serge Van Bossele on vocals. The band recorded ‘Alone’ (1996) and ‘Angry’ (1998), their first two demos, and was joined back then by Pascal Haneuse on drums and Didier Meeus on vocals. Trouble Agency then released their first studio demo called ‘Bite Into Life’ (2002), which was recorded and produced by Xavier Carrion (ex-Cyclone & Channel Zero) and featured Jamal Obeidat on drums. Larry Van De Rostyne (ex-Decadence) joined the group on lead guitars in 2003. This line-up was the longest to last and also recorded Trouble Agency’s first studio album 'Moneycracy' in 2006.
The band’s commitment to self-releasing their albums and remaining independent from any local or major labels is obvious, and the music nevertheless always has been well received by the public. Jamal Obeidat’s departure from the band in 2008 opened a breach in the line-up, as bassist Alain Fabry and singer Didier Meeus left Trouble Agency shortly after.
Though Trouble Agency never broke-up; the most important line-up changes, occurring around 2010, didn’t affect the band’s inspiration or style. Trouble Agency recruited drummer François De Bock (ex- Breathstealer) and as a three-piece, released the totally self-recorded demo LP ‘The Last Shot’ (2011) with mastermind Didier Van Coppenolle assuming rhythm guitars as well as vocals and Larry Van De Rostyne on both lead guitars and bass. The addition of Simon Mouawad on bass definitely put Trouble Agency back on track, allowing them to bounce back and recruit longtime friend Kevin Nolis (ex- Breathstealer and Wasted Years) on vocals during early 2013. The Belgians now are releasing their new full-length album 'Suspected' – once again totally self-released.
The album can be ordered via the band’s website.
product: Innfight - Black Dog
release date: 13.04.2018
label: Pride & Joy Music
The story of INNFIGHT started at the end of the year 2013 in Mannheim, Germany with a line-up consisting of Sascha Wagner (guitar), Michael Heck (keys) und Frank Widderson (vocals). About a year later and after writing songs together they began to record their debut CD „Boulevard Of Pain“ in Rolf Munkes’ Empire Studios in Bensheim (Hessia), Germany.
INNFIGHT later on were joined by the new members Udo Boppré (drums), Eugen Leonhardt (lead guitar) and Thomas Klesius (bass). After they were complete, they began to play live to bring INNFIGHT and the album into the focus of their fans.
In October 2017, INNFIGHT started to record their second album „Black Dog“ which is now set for a release on Pride & Joy Music on April 13th, 2018. During the recordings, bass player Thomas Klesius died due to serious illness. Tommy Schmitt, bass player of RED CIRCUIT, stepped in to help in these hard times and completed the bass recordings.
Impulsive rhythms, loaded with energetic guitar riffs, combined with spherical keyboard melodies and the distinctive voice of Frank Widderson are the major trademarks of the band’s Alternative Rock/Metal sound – always with their own kind of interpretation. The songs themselves deal with emotions, experiences, impressions and topics such as human interaction and the daily struggle with the world both around and within us. “Black Dog” was once again produced by Rolf Munkes at Empire Studios.
product: Screaming Beast - Our New Narrative Of Hate
release date: 23.03.2018
Formed from the depths of the much revered Manchester (UK) metal scene, Screaming Beast fuse heavy metal and the swagger of the deep south to bring you groovy and bluesy melodic metal. Influences of the band include: Black Label Society, Pantera, Lamb of God, Strapping Young Lad, Machine Head, In Flames, Dream Theater, At the Gates, The Haunted, Alter Bridge…. To name just a few.
The band began as the project of vocalist Anton War and drummer Daniel Mucs in the summer of 2013. Once songs took shape, the band released the first EP “Blistering Lies” in February of 2014, followed by a second EP “To Assail and Conquer” in September 2015.
Soon after these releases, sights for the stage were set, and the bands line-up was solidified. Daniel and Anton are joined by Arun Kamath (guitar, backing vocals), Rory Vallely (guitar) and Jason Hartley-Smith (bass, backing vocals).
Having each individually forged their own creative paths over the years, and with a lifetimes worth of combined musical experience, all five of these rather talented and handsome chaps are connected by their love for creating and playing the best music possible, and having jolly good fun in the process!
Lyrically, the band draws on a healthy mix of personal experience and outward commentary. While not wishing to preach or force a particular message upon anyone, the listener is taken on a journey through the mind-set of the songs protagonists.
After a successful live outing with the full line up in November 2017, Screaming Beast brings you their debut album “Our New Narrative of Hate” in 2018. The band promises ten tracks of groovers, shakers, bruisers and head banging neck-breakers.