Thursday, May 27, 2010

GRAND ILLUSION - Brand New World (2010)

After a four and a half year absence, swedens GRAND ILLUSION have decided to reunite and the boys also have a new album with the title "Brand New World" in the pipeline.
The band core of Anders Rydholm, Peter Sundell and Per Svensson are intact and guests on their new album are Gregg Bissonette, Tim Pierce, Mike Slamer, Danny Jacob, Roger Ljunggren and Kjell Klaesson.

"The core of GRAND ILLUSION started in 1986 (under the name Promotion) but in 2005 we needed a break and to work with other people to develop as musicians.
A lot of things has happened during the four years since the break up but now we all felt that it was time to get back together, have fun and make some great music.
We have never before worked so hard on any album.
Just having legends like Gregg on drums and Tim and Danny on guitar solos feels like magic.
The band formula with strong melodies and over the top vocals are the same", says Rydholm.

In April 2009 Rydholm flew to Los Angeles to record drums with Gregg Bissonette in WoodCliff Studios, Sherman Oaks.
During two intense days, Rydholm, Bissonette and engineer Frank Rosato recorded the drums and the foundation for the new Grand Illusion record.
In the lunch on the second day they were talking about favourite guitar players and one thing led to another and before the lunch had ended, Tim Pierce was booked for a guitar session two days later.
Mike Slamer is another guitar legend that guests on this new album.
Roger Ljunggren played the majority of the solos on the previous album "View From The Top" and we are very pleased that he once again helps us out with a couple of solos.


Anders Rydholm - all rhythm guitars, bass, keyboards
Peter Sundell - lead and background vocals
Per Svensson - lead and background vocals

Gregg Bissonette - drums
Tim Pierce - guitar solos
Danny Jacob - guitar solos
Mike Slamer - guitar solo on "157th Breakdown"
Roger Ljunggren - guitar solo on "Sacrifice" & "Playing with fire"
Tony Carlsson - guitar solo on "Moment of truth"
Kjell Klaesson - acoustic guitar on "Forever with you"
Arlene Matza-Jackson - Lyrics

01 - Never find her alone
02 - All out of love
03 - 157th breakdown
04 - Emily
05 - I'm Alive
06 - Burning bed
07 - Brand new world
08 - Evil and pain
09 - Warning signs
10 - Playing with fire
11 - Sacrifice
12 - Forever with you



Thursday, May 20, 2010

Y and T - Facemelter (2010)

Before Mötley Crüe, before RATT, even before there was a Metallica, Y&T was slogging away in sweaty rock clubs around America.
When the band formed in the early 1970s, little did they know they would set the standard for hard rock bands that trailed.
Many of the biggest acts of the '80s became popular opening for headliners Y&T, and cut their teeth on the band, as evidenced by the Y&T mentions in tell-all books by acts such as Metallica and Mötley Crüe.

Born in Oakland, California, Y&T is one of the San Francisco Bay Area's own innovators of the hard rock sound.
World-renowned headliners on their own, the band also remained the most requested support act on the hard rock road, touring with icons Ozzy Osbourne, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Mötley Crüe, and more.
Originally formed as Yesterday and Today, the initial powerhouse quartet-featuring Dave Meniketti (lead guitar/lead vocals), Phil Kennemore (bass), Leonard Haze (drums), and Joey Alves (rhythm guitar), tore through the '70s and '80s with their own brand of hard rock.
After two '70s albums on London Records, they shortened their name to Y&T and released eight albums on A&M in the '80s.
Two more albums with Geffen Records marked an era of change with Jimmy DeGrasso (Alice Cooper, Suicidal Tendencies, Megadeth) on drums and Stef Burns (Alice Cooper, Berlin, Huey Lewis) on guitar.

With a discography of 18 albums and three greatest hits collections, Y&T has sold over four million albums since their 1974 inception.
The band received extensive airplay with hits such as Forever, Rescue Me, Mean Streak, and Summertime Girls, which played in heavy rotation on MTV.
After five top 100 albums, songs that tipped into the 40s, two Bammie Awards, and many international television appearances, Y&T's hits are still played on VH1 Classic and classic rock radio stations everywhere.

In 2010, Y&T recorded their first studio album in 13 years, featuring original members Dave Meniketti and Phil Kennemore, with longtime members John Nymann on guitar and Mike Vanderhule on drums.
As the title indicates, "Facemelter" is a hard-rockin', song-oriented album that lives up to its name: it captures the band's raw energy and tightness that they've become known for.
Featuring deep grooves, powerful guitars and strong melodies, the band shows their versatility, delivering a range of high-energy rockers, mid-tempo head-bangers, modern rock grooves, majestic ballads, and signature Y&T rock anthems.

01. Prelude
02. On With The Show
03. How Long
04. Shine On
05. I Want Your Money
06. Wild Child
07. I'm Coming Home
08. If You Want Me
09. Hot Shot
10. Blind Patriot
11. Gonna Go Blind
12. Don't Bring Me Down
13. One Life

Dave Meniketti - Lead Vocals, Lead Guitars
Phil Kennemore - Bass Guitar, Vocals
John Nymann - Guitar, Vocals
Mike Vanderhule - Drums & Percussion, Vocals


Thursday, May 13, 2010


It’s about so many years that "they" costantly consider AOR on the way to extinction, if not quite dead; but in spite of all, AOR music is without doubt alive again.
It's a scene that counts on records passed to the history of rock music, and is still able to produce great works and forge musicians ready to capture the admiration of many true fans all over the world, the die hard ones that keep alive this genre with their unconditional and infinite faith.

Along this fairy tale, a new sensational project called SHINING LINE were born.
Founded by drummer and songwriter Pierpaolo "Zorro11" Monti (founding member of italian hard 'n' heavy band Sovversivo, whom he recorded together three demos and opened for well-known names of the international heavy metal scene just like Virgin Steele, Omen, Labyrinth, Extrema and many others), that found his ideal partner in his longtime friend and bass player Amos Monti, Shining Line project shared immediately a real and unquestionable attitude in trying to build a real monster album, created both to pay tribute to the great sonorities of the golden era, and offers to all the loyal fans of the immortal adult oriented melodies a deep and real feeling to thanks them for keeping alive the flame.
Just a brilliant sensation born from fans for all the fans.

There is no serious melodic rock addicted in the world that, today, hasn't into his personal discography albums performed by worldwide known talents such as Robin Beck, Harry Hess, Michael Bormann, Bob Harris or Michael Voss.
Every name involved as guest into the line-up of Shining Line project provided a top class performance, giving to every single song an invaluable artistic touch.
An honourable mention deserve also the presence of the best artists of the italian hard-rock scene, all reunited together in a real dream line-up.

THE PRODUCER: "When I decided that was time to open the doors of my melodic creativity" - says Zorro - "I had absolutely no doubt concerning the choice of the producer for a so important adventure: Alessandro Del Vecchio, a longtime friend and invaluable musician, shared through the world his great ability of singer, songriter and performer thanks to acclaimed works with his personal project Edge Of Forever, and his collaborations with true legends like Glenn Hughes and Ian Paice (along also with the two renowned releases as Moonstone Project), becoming through the years an unquestionable reference for a new generations of hard-rock bands, that chosen him behind the mixing desk to be sure to get the real rock sound they were searchin' off".
The involving into the line-up of the legendary american hard-rock band Axe in 2009 was another confirm of his growing and respectable reputation, culminated the same period with the call of Michael Eden that asked him to became the new official member in the line-up multi-national rockers Eden's Curse.

MIX & MASTERING: Top melodic rock and AOR music is represented, from the golden era, by three main elements: great vocals, catchy melodies and bombastic sound.
For this reason, who better than Michael Voss (Mad Max, Casanova, and winner with Chris Laussman of the important Alumni Award in Germany for the astonishing "Voices Of Rock" project) could have been called to treat the fundamental role of mix & mastering sessions?
Michael assembled all the elements with his great experience and magical touch building a real monster sound, perfect to combine roaring guitars, angelic keyboards and killer melodies into an unique top-notch quality result.


Erik Martensson (Eclipse, W.E.T.): Lead & Backing Vocals
Tank Palamara: Guitar Solo
Marco "Dandy" D'Andrea: Guitars
Alessandro Del Vecchio: Keyboards
Amos Monti: Bass
Pierpaolo "Zorro11" Monti: Drums & Percussion

02 - "AMY"
Harry Hess (Harem Scarem): Lead & Backing Vocals
Michael T. Ross: Ending keyboards Solo
Mario Percudani: Guitars
Alessandro Del Vecchio: Keyboards
Amos Monti: Bass
Pierpaolo "Zorro11" Monti: Drums & Percussion

Robbie LaBlanc (Blanc Faces): Lead & Backing Vocals
Brian LaBlanc: Backing Vocals
Tommy Ermolli (Kymera): Guitar Solo
Douglas R. Docker: Ending Keyboards Arrangements
Mario Percudani: Guitars
Alessandro Del Vecchio: Keyboards
Amos Monti: Bass
Pierpaolo "Zorro11" Monti: Drums & Percussion

04 - "HEAVEN'S PATHS" (Instrumental)
Alessandro Del Vecchio: Keyboards

Robin Beck: Lead Vocals
Marco "Dandy" D'Andrea: Guitars
Alessandro Del Vecchio: Keyboards
Amos Monti: Bass
Pierpaolo "Zorro11" Monti: Drums & Percussion

Mikael Erlandsson (Last Autumn's Dream): Lead Vocals
Michael Voss: Guitar Solo
Marco "Dandy" D'Andrea: Guitars
Alessandro Del Vecchio: Keyboards
Amos Monti: Bass
Pierpaolo "Zorro11" Monti: Drums & Percussion

Michael Shotton (Von Groove): Lead Vocals
Elisa Paganelli: Backing Vocals
Ivan Varsi: Guitars
Mario Percudani: Guitars
Alessandro Del Vecchio: Keyboards & Backing Vocals
Amos Monti: Bass
Pierpaolo "Zorro11" Monti: Drums & Percussion

Michael Voss (Casanova): Lead & Backing Vocals
Carsten "Lizard" Schulz: Backing Vocals
Vinny Burns (Dare, Ten, Asia): Guitar Solo
Marco "Dandy" D'Andrea: Guitars
Alessandro Del Vecchio: Keyboards
Amos Monti: Bass
Pierpaolo "Zorro11" Monti: Drums & Percussion

Bob Harris (Edge Of Forever): Lead & Backing Vocals
Sue Willets: Lead Vocals
Tim Manford (Dante Fox): Guitar Solo
Mario Percudani: Guitars
Alessandro Del Vecchio: Keyboards & Backing Vocals
Amos Monti: Bass
Pierpaolo "Zorro11" Monti: Drums & Percussion

Ulrich Carlsson (M.ILL.ION): Lead Vocals
Carsten "Lizard" Schulz: Lead Vocals
Johan Bergquist: Backing Vocals
Marko Pavic: Guitar Solo
Marco "Dandy" D'Andrea: Guitars
Alessandro Del Vecchio: Keyboards & Backing Vocals
Amos Monti: Bass
Pierpaolo "Zorro11" Monti: Drums & Percussion

11 - "FOLLOW THE STARS" (European Bonus Track)
Phil Vincent (Tragik): Lead & Backing Vocals
Matt Filippini: Guitar Solo
Michael Voss: Guitar Solo
Mario Percudani: Guitars
Alessandro Del Vecchio: Keyboards & Backing Vocals
Amos Monti: Bass
Pierpaolo "Zorro11" Monti: Drums & Percussion

Brunorock: Lead & Backing Vocals
Jack Meille: Lead & Backing Vocals
Graziano De Murtas: Lead & Backing Vocals
Walter Caliaro: Guitar Solo
Marco "Dandy" D'Andrea: Guitars
Alessandro Del Vecchio: Lead & Backing Vocals, Keyboards
Amos Monti: Bass
Pierpaolo "Zorro11" Monti: Drums & Percussion

Blossom: from night to dawn (Instrumental)
Marco Tansini: Intro lead guitar
Mario Percudani: Guitars
Alessandro Del Vecchio: Keyboards
Amos Monti: Bass
Pierpaolo "Zorro11" Monti: Drums & Percussion

Michael Bormann (Jaded Heart): Lead & Backing Vocals
Mario Percudani: Guitars
Alessandro Del Vecchio: Keyboards
Amos Monti: Bass
Pierpaolo "Zorro11" Monti: Drums & Percussion

Overture: Death Of Cupid (Instrumental)
Mario Percudani: Guitars
Alessandro Del Vecchio: Keyboards
Amos Monti: Bass
Pierpaolo "Zorro11" Monti: Drums & Percussion

Pierpaolo "Zorro11" Monti: Drums & Percussion
Amos Monti: Bass

Alessandro Del Vecchio: Keyboards & Vocals
Marco "Dandy" D'Andrea: Guitars
Mario Percudani: Guitars

Bob Harris (Axe, Edge Of Forever)
Brian LaBlanc (Blanc Faces)
Carsten "Lizard" Schulz (Evidence One, Domain, Midnite Club)
Douglas R. Docker (Biloxi, Docker's Guild)
Elisa Paganelli
Enrico Sarzi (Midnite Sun)
Erik Martensson (Eclipse, W.E.T.)
Frank Law (The Pythons)
Gabriele Gozzi (Markonee)
Graziano "Il Conte" De Murtas (Wine Spirit)
Ivan Varsi
Harry Hess (Harem Scarem)
Jacopo Meille (Tygers Of Pan Tang, Mantra, Fool's Moon)
Johan Bergquist (Elevener, M.ill.ion)
Josh Zighetti (Hungryheart)
Luke Marsilio (Lizhard)
Marco Tansini (Big Sur)
Marco Sivo (Planethard)
Marko Pavic
Matt Albarelli (Homerun)
Matt Filippini (Moonstone Project)
Michael Bormann (Rain, Charade, Jaded Heart, The Trophy, Redrum, Zeno)
Michael Shotton (Von Groove, Airtime)
Michael T. Ross (Hardline, Lita Ford, Angel)
Michael Voss (Mad Max, Voices Of Rock, Casanova, Demon Drive)
Mikael Erlandsson (Last Autumn's Dream, Salute)
Phil Vincent (Tragik, Circular Logik)
Robbie LaBlanc (Blanc Faces)
Robin Beck
Sue Willetts (Dante Fox)
Tank Palamara (The Lovecrave, Oxido)
Tim Manford (Dante Fox)
Tommy Ermolli (Khymera)
Ulrich Carlsson (M.ill.ion)
Vinny Burns (Dare, Ten, Asia)
Walter Caliaro (Edge Of Forever)



Saturday, May 1, 2010

H.E.A.T - Freedom Rock (2010) Japan Edition

Sweden’s hottest AOR - Rock band are back with their 2nd album called "Freedom Rock".
They came out of nowhere and set the world on fire when they released their debut album in 2008. It was a magnificent debut album filled with classic AOR-sound with huge hooklines.

Earlier this year H.E.A.T released a 3-track single called 'Beg Beg Beg' with 2 stunning bonus tracks called 'Tonight' and 'Living In A Memory' that sounded awesome.
I wondered if they could or manage to come up with a new cracker with their 2nd album and I must say that Freedom Rock is even better with stronger production, better arrangements and it’s filled with stunning songs.
This new album sounds even more AOR than the debut.
Kenny Leckremo's voice has grown to be even stronger between these two albums and he sings just stunning, like a mixture of Mickey Thomas (Starship) and Mark Free (Signal, Unruly Child).

Opens up with 'Beg Beg Beg', a party song advanced in the single.
'Black Night' is a duet with Kenny and Tobias Sammet (Edguy, Avantasia) and is a cracker with layers of melodies and the chorus is powerful with strong background vocals.
'Shelter' is the ballad of the album and what a song then, this would have been a major hit back in the 80s for sure because the chorus is a winner with Giant feel over it. The melodies and Kenny’s voice makes it a perfect match.
'We're Gonna Make It To The End' and is a fantastic soundtrack AOR-rocker with plenty of keyboards and riff strong guitars that builds up the song to a first class chorus that grabs a hold of you and your in AOR-heaven. What a start of the album and it just gets better.
'Stay 2010' (bonus track on the Japanese version of the debut album) and this is a hook laden AOR-rocker that reminds of FM with big background vocals and a sing-a-long chorus.

'Nobody Love You Like I Do' is filled with brilliant twin guitars and the sing-a-long chorus is huge with classy harmony vocals and H.e.a.t rock big time on this one.
'Everybody Wants To Be Someone' starts slow but turns out to a excellent AOR-rocker with a phenomenal chorus with powerful background vocals and a song that won’t leave your head. This reminds so much of Starship at their peak.
'I Can’t Look The Other Way' could be the AOR-song of the year and it gave me goose-bumps (well there’s more songs on the album that gave me that). This is a fantastic AOR-rocker with powerful drum sound and Jona Tee gets extra room to shine with his keyboards. The chorus is huge with catchy hooklines and this is pure AOR magic and listen to the harmonies, classy stuff.

Freedom Rock is a true masterpiece and they have proved us that they are here to stay.
The album of the year for sure.

1 - Beg Beg Beg
2 - Black Night
3 - Danger Road
4 - Shelter
5 - We're Gonna Make It To The End
6 - Stay
7 - Nobody Loves You (Like I Do)
8 - Everybody Wants To Be Someone
9 - I Know What It Takes
10 - Living In A Memory (Japan Bonus Track)
11 - Cast Away
12 - I Can't Look The Other Way
13 - Who Will Stop The Rain
14 - Tonight (Japan Bonus Track)

Kenny Leckremo - vocals
Dave Dalone - guitar
Eric Rivers - guitar
Jona Tee - keybords
Jimmy Jay - bass
Crash - drums


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