AOR and Melodic Rock News on 27/05/2014

VEGA TO RELEASE THEIR STEREO MESSIAH ON FRONTIERS:
Frontiers Records is pleased to welcome back to the label British Melodic Rockers Vega who plan to release their third album “Stereo Messiah” in the fall of 2014.

“It is a pleasure to be part again of the best label in the world!” said James Martin keyboardist and co-songwriter of the band. The recordings are almost completed and the band is currently putting the finishing touches to the album which can certainly be enlisted as one of the Melodic Rock highlights of the second part of the year. “Stereo Messiah” has been produced by John Mitchell and will be mastered in June by Harry Hess of Harem Scarem. It will also see Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott appear on a duet with singer Nick Workman on a rare Def Leppard song given to Vega by the Sheffield front man himself! “It’s a clichй to say this, but it really is a dream come true for us. Leppard are a massive influence on us. This is such an honour!” said Nick.

Vega have also finalized already the first batch of UK shows. More dates will follow in the rest of Europe and UK in the following months:
November 1st: Nottingham Rescue Rooms
November 6th: Bolton Railway
November 7th: Swansea Static
November 8th: London The Garage


TIMO TOLKKI’S AVALON “THE PARADISE LOST” LYRIC VIDEO:
Timo Tolkki’s Avalon “The Paradise Lost” Lyric Video. Order the album on Amazon www.smarturl.it/avalonangelsamaz or iTunes www.smarturl.it/ttokkkisangelitunes. Or buy it on www.frontiers.it.

AOR ­ LA CONNECTION DUE JULY 18:
Escape Music will release the new AOR album L.A Connection July 18.
Track listing: On The Edge Of Glory / Pride Of Strangers / Closer To Zero / Once Off Guard / Lost Souls Don’t Cry / Exiled In Sadness / Age Of Desire / Circle Of Danger / The Crystal Heart.

Audio Preview: Lost Souls don’t cry.

Musicians: Frйdйric Slama : Guitars & Keyboards; Tommy Denander : All Instruments; Bill Champlin : Lead & Backing Vocals; Paul Sabu : Lead & Backing Vocals; Jeff Paris : Lead & Backing Vocals; Sherwood Ball : Lead & Backing Vocals; David Forbes : Lead & Backing Vocals; Philip Bardowell : Lead & Backing Vocals; Bob Harris : Lead & Backing Vocals; Rick Riso: Lead & Backing Vocals; Tamara Champlin: Lead & Backing Vocals; Pete Newdeck : Backing Vocals; Colin Rodgers : Guitars & Bass; Pat Thern : Drums.

Band bio: “Frederic Slama has continued to inspire us through the years with his “LA” themed releases. Ranging from soft rock to west coast to harder, edgier tunes Frederic has always brought quality music to the table. Now in 2014 Frйdйric Slama’ s AOR project is back with lucky number 13, with an impressive new album called L.A Connection, featuring a fantastic list of guests such as Tommy Denander, Bill Champlin (Chicago), Paul Sabu (Sabu, Only Child, Kidd Glove), Jeff Paris, Sherwood Ball (Jay Graydon), David Forbes (Boulevard), Rick Riso, Philip Bardowell (Places Of Power, Unruly Child), Bob Harris (Axe), Tamara Champlin & many others.
For this 13th album, AOR is flirting with heavier territories with songs reminiscent of Foreigner, Giant, Journey & Toto. The first class production by Frйdйric Slama & Tommy Denander will leave you breathless and the legendary singers of L.A Connection will surely take Melodic Rock to new heights. So it’s time for the “L.A Connection”.
This is AOR’s best outing to date and worthy of your attention, like a great red wine AOR just improves as each year passes.”
WebLink: www.Escape-Music.com.


MORE FROM THAT VOICE:
Here’s a better view of the 3 songs Steve Perry sung with The Eels this weekend past. It seems Perry’s arrival on stage has gone viral!

KILLER DWARFS IN HIGHWAY SMASH:
Killer Dwarfs frontman Russ Dwarf airlifted after band was involved in a multi-car freeway pileup returning from Rocklahoma appearance. Details: www.metalsludge.tv/?p=43662 
I’ve just heard via Mitch Lafon that “Russ okay in hospital. On plane now coming home…”

INTRODUCING GERMAN ROCK BAND AT EAZE:
The German newcomer rock band At Eaze has just released their new record Another Shot – modern hard rock at its best!
“Back in the years we released our first album Facing the Odds in 2010, which gave us a huge respect of the music scene in many countries. With our new record Another Shot we wanted to start something amazing, something that’s a milestone in modern Hard rock music. Well, we’ve got it. And this one is for all of you guys out there!”, singer/bass player Laura Fink says.
Another Shot will kick your ass with modern Hard rock and a strong woman’s voice. So blow up your mind and hit your ears.
Don’t miss these four awesome musicians and their powerful rock music. You can download the record on iTunes and Amazon. WebLink: www.facebook.com/ateaze.


MITCH LAFON TALKS TO GREAT WHITE:
In episode 16 of One On One With Mitch Lafon, Mitch sits down with, in part one, Great White’s Michael Lardie to discuss the band’s recently launched Official Great White TV channel on YouTube. The pair also discuss the band’s upcoming touring and recording plans as well as singer Terry Ilous. They also talk about Michael’s involvement in the ‘A World With Heroes – Kiss tribute CD’ (that raises money for a Montreal Palliative Care home), his cover of the Kiss song ‘beth’, Great White’s Elation album and Michael’s time with Night Ranger.
WebLink: www.spreaker.com/user/talkingmetal/one-on-one-with-mitch-lafon-episode-16.

In Part 2, Mitch chats with Great White’s Mark Kendall and his wife Bridget Kendall. Topics of discussion include the launch of the Official Great White TV channel on YouTube. The challenges of being a rock ‘n roll married couple and dealing with every day life while on the road (from taking care of the family, to paying bills, etc). This was Bridget’s first ever interview with her husband, Mark. It offers a unique perspective of being a rock ‘n roll family.
The episode of One On One With Mitch Lafon was co-hosted by former Guns ‘N Roses & Great White manager, Alan Niven.
For more about Great White visit: http://www.greatwhiterocks.com. Follow Mark Kendall on Twitter: @MarkKendall_GW and Great White: @GreatWhiteBand 
For more about the Kiss 40th Anniversary Tribute album for Palliative care on iTunes visit: itunes.apple.com/ca/album/world-heroes-kiss-tribute/id716859684.

NEW SHOWCASE:
A new Showcase online today for the Frontiers Rock Festival 2014 Compilation. Check it out here and purchase here: www.frontiers.it/album/5207/.

 

NEW REVIEWS ONLINE:
New Reviews added to the site today – the LAST batch before the launch of the new MR website!
Online today are reviews for: California Breed, Neal Schon, Timo Tolkki, Seven, Diesel, SunStrike, Mother Road, Alien, Dynazty and Brother FiretribeCheck them out now.

Today’s reviews reflect a few things. First – there’s a lot of great releases around. Plenty to pick and choose from for all!
Secondly, with the development of the new MR website, I haven’t had much time to devote to reviews as is needed, so what I’m reviewing right now are the main titles around right now – and as far as those – they are mostly very consistent and of high quality. The ratings have been high all year – because of the quality with mainline releases and the fact I haven’t had time to get to the secondary releases which may not obtain such high praise and help average out the scores, but equally deserving of coverage.

Which leads to my final point – the increased consistency and quality of releases is leading the reviews to tend higher and if I keep going we’ll need a 110 rating soon enough.

So with today’s reviews, say goodbye to the old MR site and stand by for the new. The new design allows me a whole lot more flexibility to add reviews one at a time, instead of painfully working up a batch and HTML’ing them to add in one go. That means more reviews, less constraints over what titles and the length of reviews (long if I want, short if I want…) and a slight tweak to the ratings system.

I have grappled with this for months, but decided that to do anything completely different would throw 16 years of past reviews into disarray, so the % system will stay and I’ll continue to talk about the details within each release in as much detail as necessary, but at the same time, there is one additional rank being added within the current 0-100 system, plus I have tweaked the descriptions each color rank uses. On top of that, you can expect me to be tougher on scores and a general depreciation in overall marks (just slightly), as this will allow greater scope to point out truly outstanding releases, focus on the good records and allow room to grow once again. 

80 is the new 90 🙂

I’m looking forward to getting the new site launched….I hope the new layout and system makes sense and is as popular as the reviews here have been over the years. Once the new site is launched I will begin the slow process of cataloguing all past years’ worth of reviews into one mega-searchable database at the new site!
Thanks for the support and awesome feedback over that time.

BEAUTIFUL GOODBYE FROM RICHARD MARX IN JULY:
A new Richard Marx album titles Beautiful Goodbye will be released worldwide July 8 via Marx’s own independent label. The tracks featured on the album are: 01 Whatever We Started 02 Suddenly 03 Inside 04 Beautiful Goodbye 05 Forgot To Remember 06 Turn Off The Night 07 Have A Little Faith 08 Like The World Is Ending 09 To My Senses 10 Getaway 11 Eyes On Me.
Check out the first single now:

STEVE PERRY JOINS THE EELS ON STAGE:
Great to hear the legendary Mr. Steve Perry on a stage once again – making a short cameo lead vocal appearance this weekend with The Eels. Check it out here: www.facebook.com/MelodicRockAU/posts/10152339516022326.

BRITISH MELODIC ROCKERS SERPENTINE RETURN:
Press Release: “We are delighted to announce that after twelve months in the proverbial wilderness, Serpentine are back!
After parting ways with our former singer Matt Black last year, and with our beloved bassist and founder member Gareth Vanstone bowing out in early 2014 due to health issues, it is with extreme pleasure that we welcome two new recruits to the band who represent the cream of the South Wales rock scene. Vocal powerhouse Adam Payne (ex-Tidal) was identified almost immediately upon Matt’s departure as the voice to represent the new era of Serpentine, and is joined by bassist Owen Crawford whose work on former band Triaxis’ ‘Rage & Retribution’ album is beyond impressive.
You may have gathered by now from our Facebook posts that work in the studio on our yet-to-be-titled third record, which is being produced and co-written by Gary Hughes (Ten), is well underway. The sessions so far have been great and we are more than confident that the songs we’ve chosen represent our best work to date. With that in mind, we are also very excited and honoured to have landed the services of Neil Kernon (Queensryche, FM, Judas Priest, Autograph) to mix the album this summer, which promises to have a harder and darker edge than previous releases.
More details will be available in a full press release, which will be out at the beginning of next week. In the meantime we hope that you will all join us in welcoming two class acts into Serpentine. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your continued support while we’ve been away. Now we’re back, and you’re gonna know about it!!”


PAUL DEAN’S PRE-LOVERBOY BAND STREETHEART RELEASES 1993 LIVE REUNION ALBUM:
One Night One Take features Dean, Matt Frenette and Ken “Spider” Sinnaeve reuniting with Kenny Shields and Daryl Gutheil

New York, May 23, 2014–Long before they became full-time members of Loverboy, guitarist Paul Dean, bassist Ken “Spider” Sinnaeve and drummer Matt Frenette were members of another legendary Canadian band, Streetheart. Long gathering dust in Dean’s archives, One Night One Take finally sees the light of day, a live recording made at Winnipeg’s Rolling Stone Cabaret on Friday, August 13, 1993, part of a week-long stint marking the band’s reunion after Dean was “dumped” 15 years before.

One Night, One Take shows off a band where chops, musicianship and communication resulted in an almost 14-minute-long cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Under My Thumb” and a fiery version of Them’s Bert Berns-penned classic, “Here Comes the Night,” both spotlighting Dean’s intense guitar-playing. Sinnaeve’s virtuoso bass and Frenette’s frenetic drumming are showcased on one of the previously unreleased tracks, “Mr. Tall”, while the other new track, “Losin’ Streak”, features vocalist Kenny Shields and keyboardist/vocalist Daryl Gutheil. Also, check out Dean’s electric violin solo on “Move On Over,” where Shields playfully dubs him Paul “Charlie Daniels” Dean, or his guitar pyrotechnics in “Can You Feel It” for further proof of Streetheart’s legendary jamming prowess. “At rehearsal, I said to myself, how the heck am I gonna pull that off – did I actually play that?” laughs Dean today. Their musical touchstones included such powerhouse outfits as Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, and Cream (catch the snippet of “Sunshine of Your Love” in the midst of the almost 10-minute-long “Mr. Tall”). The CD is available now at Streetheart gigs as well as online, and can be downloaded worldwide from digital retailers like iTunes and Amazon, as well as streaming services such as Rdio, Beats Music and Spotify. 

Based in Edmonton at the time, longtime musical collaborators Dean and Frenette were playing in a local cover band, Great Canadian River Race, when they heard about a group from Saskatchewan playing a bar in town. Dean says he and Frenette were impressed, to say the least. Soon after, they found themselves in Regina with Shields and Gutheil, and a year later they recorded their only album, Meanwhile Back in Paris. Dean was replaced in the group shortly thereafter, and eventually joined up with vocalist Mike Reno to form Loverboy, along with bassist Jim Clench (soon to be replaced by the late Scott Smith) and keyboardist Doug Johnson, with Frenette coming aboard soon afterward. “Spider,” who went on to play with Tom Cochrane’s Red Rider, rejoined his ex-Streetheart mates in 2001, after the tragic death of Smith.
Streetheart went on to receive a Juno Award, two Ampex Golden Reel Awards and were voted the most popular Canadian act at the People’s Choice Awards. During the course of their career, they toured with fellow Canucks Chilliwack, Rush, Aldo Nova and April Wine, as well as Sammy Hagar, Styx, Kansas, Blue Oyster Cult and AC/DC.

“I thought we were a great band,” says Dean. “We definitely had dynamics and communication on stage, and it took a live album to showcase that. Yeah, I was pretty distraught when I got kicked out – that was a heavy period in my life, but I got over it. I survived. And now I think I can speak for Matt and Spider – it wouldn’t take much convincing for us to do a tour one day. We’re totally appreciative of all our Streetheart and Loverboy fans. Personally, it blows me away that people are still behind us as much as they are, and I’m excited we can finally offer them something like this in return.”

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AOR and Melodic Rock News on 05/05/2014

LILLIAN AXE – ONE NIGHT AT THE TEMPLE MRR PACKAGE TO SHIP THIS WEEK:
The brand new 2CD/1DVD set from Lillian Axe One Night in the Temple released by MelodicRock Records is due for release officially May 19, with the US release due one week later on May 27.
The MRR release is ready to be shipped out THIS WEEK to all those that pre-ordered the set. If you haven’t – this is your last call to get in prior to release date and free shipping! 
Get in on the deal now at: melodicrock.com/showcase/lillianaxe-onenightinthetemple.html.

Performed acoustically in an intimate setting housed in a Masonic Temple in the Bayou, with their most die-hard fans, One Night in the Temple, features all their hits including, True Believer, Show A Little Love, Crucified, Misery Loves Company, Ghost of Winter, The Great Divide, Bow Your Head, Waters Rising and the crowd favorite Nobody Knows.
Lillian Axe founder Steve Blaze reflects; “when I first had the idea of putting this show together, it was originally going to be a private 20 person show with acoustic guitars, vocals and no production, however, it took on a life of its own.”
One Night in the Temple; will be released as 3 disc set (2CDs/1DVD and 2CDs/1Blu-Ray), housed in an elaborate Digipak. Filmed in high definition, the Blu-Ray will contain the acoustic performance, fan question and answer session, videos for the songs Caged In and Death Comes Tomorrow, featuring 3 songs live in concert from their July 4, 2013 performance at the Paragon Casino and behind the scenes footage while the DVD will contain 1 song from the Paragon Casino and the video for Death Comes Tomorrow.


Full Track Listing: Disc 1: Waters Rising, Death Comes Tomorrow, Ghost of Winter, See You Someday, The Great Divide, Nocturnal Symphony, Sad Day On Planet Earth, Bow Your Head, Show A Little Love and Misery Loves Company. Disc 2: Crucified, The World Stopped Turning, Dyin’ to Live (Shades of Blue), Until The End Of The World, The Day I Met You, The Promised Land, Nobody Knows, My Apologies, True Believer and Nobody Knows (Crowd Version).

Lillian Axe is Brian Jones (lead vocals), Steve Blaze (guitar and vocals), Sam Poitevent (guitar and vocals), Eric Morris (bass guitar) and Ken Koudelka (drums).
WebLinks: www.cmerecordsandfilm.com / www.lillianaxe.com / www.melodicrockrecords.com.

DENNIS DRIES READIES FIRST SOLO ALBUM:
News from Dennis Churchill Dries: “After some serious thought, I have decided to remove myself from the Lost Angeles project. Paul Sabu, Eric Ragno and I have come to the conclusion that my current batch of songs are better suited for a solo project. I wish Eric nothing but the best with LA and will help out any way I can, but I will no longer be directly involved with it, nor will I be participating in MRF4.
Eric Ragno adds: “As work progressed, it was clear that Dennis deserved a full-fledged album to realize his artistic vision. The results so far have been amazing, and we respect his desire to focus on this vision.”

Dennis continues: “Which brings me to my next announcement… I’m excited to announce that 36 years after picking up the bass guitar and spending my music life in a band setting, I’m working on my first solo project. Paul is handling guitars and giving my music the punch that it needs, and Eric is weaving his keyboard magic. His work to date on “Song For The Living” is epic, and I can’t wait to share it with the world. Paul is engineering, and we’re producing it together with Jason Montgomery laying down the grooves. Paul has a heavier edge to his music, and it’s the perfect counter to my melodies… the results are just the right blend of melodic rock for me. It’s great to be working with such a talented guitarist/artist again…I wasn’t sure that was possible.
I’m not running away from my past, you will definitely hear traces of White Sister, Tattoo Rodeo, and even a little Sabu in these songs, and a few new twists as well…a little bit of everything is in the works. I have about 13 songs written, three of which are a few weeks away from being ready for presentation. I have not yet decided if we’re going for a record deal, or a privately funded independent approach…to be decided soon. I love the freedom of an independent project, not sure if I can pull it off financially though!
I’m looking forward to sharing this musical journey with everyone soon. With only three live performances in the last seven years, and nineteen years since my last release, this should be interesting…stay tuned!
Peace, Dennis Churchill Dries.”

CLASSIC JUDAS PRIEST METAL ON THE WAY WITH THEIR 17TH ALBUM ‘REDEEMER OF SOULS’:
There are only a select number of bands that have accomplished what Judas Priest has throughout their career (as well as having served as a stylistic influence on such a wide variety of bands). Soon the group – singer Rob Halford, guitarists Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner, bassist Ian Hill and drummer Scott Travis – will be offering up more classic Judas Priest metal with the release of ‘Redeemer of Souls’.
To be released in the US on July 15th, 2014 via Epic Records (as a standard version and a deluxe edition with five bonus tracks), ‘Redeemer of Souls’ is Judas Priest’s latest collection of epic metal – “raising the bar is consistent for us and ‘Redeemer’ hits the ground running” – it matches up perfectly to earlier Priest classics as evidenced by the album’s leadoff single ‘March of the Damned’ (“we are forging ahead, slamming the pedal to the metal!”) – the band mean business once again.
“We feel ‘Redeemer of Souls’ reinforces our passion for what we believe in from the Judas Priest style heavy metal.” The album also marks Richie Faulkner’s studio debut with Priest and is the co-writer of the material along with Glenn Tipton and Rob Halford.
First bursting onto the scene with 1974’s ‘Rocka Rolla’ Judas Priest is responsible for some of heavy metal’s all-time great albums – 1980’s ‘British Steel’, 1982’s ‘Screaming for Vengeance’, 1990’s ‘Painkiller’ etc – and anthems ‘Breaking the Law’, ‘Living After Midnight’, ‘You’ve Got Another Thing Coming’ etc – as well as trailblazing metal’s now instantly identifiable look – leather and studs – 2014 marks the 40th anniversary of the band.
And while fans are undoubtedly starved for more Priest (their last studio album ‘Nostradamus’ was released in 2008) the band themselves are eager for the world to hear their latest studio triumph. “Classic combination of all the statements we love to create with raging guitar riffs and solos, thundering drums, thick grooves of bass and vocals tearing it all up!”

Redeemer Of Souls – tracklisting as follows: Dragonaut, Redeemer Of Souls, Halls Of Valhalla, Sword Of Damocles, March Of The Damned, Down In Flames, Hell & Back, Cold Blooded, Metalizer, Crossfire, Secrets Of The Dead, Battle Cry, Beginning Of The End. Bonus Tracks: Snakebite, Tears Of Blood, Creatures, Bring It On, Never Forget.
For further information visit: www.judaspriest.com / www.facebook.com/OfficialJudasPriest.

HANGFIRE RETURN WITH SOPHMORE RELEASE:
Blending the best of Southern Classic Rock such as Blackberry Smoke, Shine Down and Black Stone Cherry, along with classic power and groove of Led Zeppelin and the guitar class of Joe Bonamassa, HangFire are set to release their full length 2nd album ‘Tempting Fete’. As a ‘taster’ to the full album HangFire give you this sampler preview of three songs, the 1st ‘Hell This Time’ inspired by the bands appearance at the Hard Rock Hell festival and the circumstances surrounding that performance. Grinding riffs and huge vocal harmonies aplenty. ‘Out Alive’ a full on Rock n Roll romper in the tradition of ZZ Top meets the best in modern Southern Rock Melody. ‘Careful What You Wish For’ a huge hook that Moby Dick would never escape from. Riffs, Hooks, Huge soaring melody, it’s got the lot! youtu.be/zT04SoCwgX8 
Having possibly taken longer to record than Def Leppard’s classic ‘Hysteria’, the wait has been well worth it having blended the very best of the aforementioned bands with the most memorable hooks and guitar riffs to come up with ten absolute gems. 
HangFire are hoping to release the full album shortly after securing a label to give the support it deserves. They hope to play all over the U.K. and would love to hear from you if you have a label/distribution or venue appropriate for the bands needs this coming year. 
Look out for the first full length video for the track ‘Careful What You Wish For’…coming soon ! 
WebLinks: www.hangfire-rocks.co.uk / www.facebook.com/HangfireRocks.

Lillian Axe – One Night At The Temple EPK Launched

Louisiana Music Hall of Fame members, Lillian Axe, will be releasing their thirteenth album, the acoustic live, One Night in the Temple, produced by Steve Blaze, on May 27, 2014 via CME Records / Sony Music (RED) in the USA and Canada and on Melodic Rock Records / Cargo for the rest of the world on May 19. Performed acoustically in an intimate setting housed in a Masonic Temple in the Bayou, with their most die-hard fans, One Night in the Temple, features all their hits including, True Believer, Show A Little Love, Crucified, Misery Loves Company, Ghost of Winter, The Great Divide, Bow Your Head, Waters Rising and the crowd favorite Nobody Knows.
Lillian Axe founder Steve Blaze reflects; “when I first had the idea of putting this show together, it was originally going to be a private 20 person show with acoustic guitars, vocals and no production, however, it took on a life of its own.”
One Night in the Temple; will be released as 3 disc set (2CDs/1DVD and 2CDs/1Blu-Ray), housed in an elaborate Digipak. Filmed in high definition, the Blu-Ray will contain the acoustic performance, fan question and answer session, videos for the songs Caged In and Death Comes Tomorrow, featuring 3 songs live in concert from their July 4, 2013 performance at the Paragon Casino and behind the scenes footage while the DVD will contain 1 song from the Paragon Casino and the video for Death Comes Tomorrow.


Full Track Listing: Disc 1: Waters Rising, Death Comes Tomorrow, Ghost of Winter, See You Someday, The Great Divide, Nocturnal Symphony, Sad Day On Planet Earth, Bow Your Head, Show A Little Love and Misery Loves Company. Disc 2: Crucified, The World Stopped Turning, Dyin’ to Live (Shades of Blue), Until The End Of The World, The Day I Met You, The Promised Land, Nobody Knows, My Apologies, True Believer and Nobody Knows (Crowd Version).

Lillian Axe is Brian Jones (lead vocals), Steve Blaze (guitar and vocals), Sam Poitevent (guitar and vocals), Eric Morris (bass guitar) and Ken Koudelka (drums).
Lillian Axe will be touring to support this release this summer beginning in the middle of July.

Confirmed dates with more to be announced:
5/9 Jackson, MS Duling Hall
7/19 Pekin, IL Goodfellas
9/27 Melbourne, FL 80’s In The Park Festival
WebLinks: www.cmerecordsandfilm.com / www.lillianaxe.com / www.melodicrockrecords.com.

The MRR release is available exclusively one week earlier (May 19) with pre-orders shipped prior to that – with free shipping! Get in on the deal now at: melodicrock.com/showcase/lillianaxe-onenightinthetemple.html.