AOR and Melodic Rock News on 15/05/2014

SOUND OF ETERNITY – NEW AUDIO PREVIEWS:
MelodicRock Records is excited to release some teaser soundbytes for Spanish melodic hard rock band Sound Of Eternity. The band’s debut album Visions & Dreams will be released one week later than origially announced (now June 23) to coincide with the release ofMRCD12.

Soundbytes: 03) Running To You 04) Broken Heart 05) Reason To Live.

Sound of Eternity is a female fronted melodic rock band formed in San Pedro Sula, Honduras in 2013 by Jean Funes (Guitars) and Beatriz Aranda, the lead vocals from Cordoba, Spain. Its background comes from the band “Codigo Eterno”, which makes melodic rock in Spanish since 2004, and was formed by guitarist Jean Funes. The debut album “Visions & Dreams” is filled with passionate songs inspired by melodic rock acts like Def leppard, White Heart and Petra, also modern rock bands like Skillet, Anberlin and Fireflight.
It was mixed and mastered by Erik Martensson (W.E.T., Eclipse, Jimi Jamison), who plays bass and keyboards on the album. Also with Andreas Passmark (Narnia, Rob Rock, Work of Art) on bass, as a guest studio musician. The cover artwork is made by Carl Andre Beckston (Monowasp) and booklet design by Nello Dell’Omo from Art For Music.
Sound Of Eternity is: Beatriz Aranda – Vocals and BGV, acoustic Guitars; Jean Funes – Electric Guitars; Rui Prado – Drums / Guest Studio Musicians: Erik Martensson – Bass, Keyboards, Background Vocals; Andreas Passmark – Bass.
The track listing for Visions & Dreams is: 01) Visions & Dreams 02) Call To Action 03) Running To You 04) Broken Heart 05) Reason To Live 06) Alpha & Omega 07) My Saviour 08) Eternal Love 09) Forever 10) Universe.


MRCD12 ADDS ONE MORE TRACK:
The details of MRCD12 – Better Days (out June 23) was announced yesterday with a small error – there is one more track that needs to be added to the compilation, making it an 18 track, 78 minute release – 07) Fenrik Lane – Diamonds In The Waste
Pre-orders for both MRCD12 and Sound Of Eternity from tomorrow (Friday).


GUITAR LEGEND NEAL SCHЦN’S VIDEO “LOVE FINDS A WAY” HAS PREMIERE ON USATODAY.COM:
Neal Schцn fans can click here to check out the exclusive worldwide premiere of the video for “Love Finds A Way” on USAToday.com. The new video is taken from the forthcoming jazz and blues-inspired hard rock studio album, SO U. SO U features Schцn along with bassistMarco Mendoza (Black Star Riders, Ted Nugent, Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy) and drummer Deen Castronovo (Journey, Ozzy Osbourne, Steve Vai, Hardline) splitting vocal and writing duties, with many of the tracks also co-written by Night Ranger/Damn Yankee’ssongwriter, singer and bassist Jack Blades. The track “Serenity,” from the album is now firmly entrenched in the Top 5 at Classic Rock radio, coming in at #3 this week.
Best known as founding member and lead guitarist of Journey, Neal Schцn has enjoyed a remarkable career as one of rock n’ roll’s top virtuosos, with a hand in creating some of the most popular songs of all time. Beginning his career more than 35 years ago in the San Francisco Bay area, the 15-year-old guitar prodigy left home to join Santana. Schцn moved on in 1973 to form Journey. With Journey and other projects, he has earned 19 Top 40 singles and 25 platinum and gold albums, was awarded the prestigious “Legend Of Live Award” at the 2011 Billboard Touring Awards, received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2005 and was individually inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall Of Fame in 2013. As the only member to record on all of Journey’s albums, Schцn continues with the band today in its latest incarnation.
For more information please visit: www.schonmusic.com.


BALANCE BACK ONCE AGAIN FOR SWEDEN SHOWS:
The Iconic Melodic Rock Band Balance is scheduled to regroup for a round of Live Shows based out of Sweden for the end of Summer 2014. This will kick off in the Swedish coastal town of Vдstervik (home of famous music festivals and the group ABBA), on Friday August 22, 2014. The next night, Balance will play in the university city of Linkцping as part of its annual party. Both shows are sponsored by the Swedish national organization Sensus.
Based on a Youtube viewing of 4 young 10 yr. old Swedish girls called the SeaTeens singing a cover version of one of the band’s well known songs “Is It Over” at the Hojrock Festival in Vдstervik the summer of 2013, Peppy Castro (original founding member), was so taken by the videos (www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-KoKSyDzdE and www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYxJZQmS1oQ) that it spawned the reunion of the band.
The Melodic Rock and AOR scene are made up of legendary albums and bands, which, as time goes by, become even more respected among the community of fans. Balance is exactly one of those bands, whose name and reputation, like good wine, has stood the test of time for decades. Original members, Peppy Castro, Bob Kulick and Doug Katsaros, will be reuniting for a round of shows in Europe in late summer 2014 based out of Sweden where it has all started again thanks to Sweden’s own Sea Teens.

As proof of the many talents of the artists involved in Balance, all members went on to brilliant careers in music following the group’s recording years. Grammy award winning Producer/Guitarist Bob Kulick’s credits read like a who’s who of heavy metal and rock bands, working in the studio, recording or producing or playing live with Meat Loaf, Kiss, Wasp, Paul Stanley Band, Lou Reed, John Cale, Michael Bolton, Dee Snider, Motorhead, Alice Cooper, Tim Curry, etc, etc…Doug Katsaros, Grammy and Emmy winner, sang & arranged for KISS, Rod Stewart, Cher, Bon Jovi, Sinйad O’Connor, Aerosmith and Georg “Jojje” Wadenius, among others, and he worked in several rockin’ Broadway shows, including The Rocky Horror Show and Footloose. Peppy Castro, Emmy nominated and inducted into The Long Island Music Hall of Fame, is considered to be one of the early pioneers of the Psychedelic Garage band rock era. His 1st hit record began at the age of 17 as one of the founding fathers of the legendary rock group, “The Blues Magoos.” His rock and roll status led him to a starring role in the original Broadway Production of Hair. He has written songs for and sang on records by Diana Ross, Kiss, Laura Branigan, Michael Bolton, Cher, Joan Jett, Ronnie Spector etc., and is even one of the producers of the hit off Broadway show (The Gong Show) in New York. All the members of Balance have had a long affiliation on many levels with KISS.

Balance will be joined on stage with two seasoned and respected musicians who hail from the depths of the Swedish rock brigade. Jonas Wikstrom on drums and Dan Larsson on bass will complete the line-up of Balance. For more info on the members of this incredible band and their astounding list of accomplishments, as well as their music, check these links: www.peppycastro.com / en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Kulick / www.themusicofyourdreams.com/Biography.html.

NIGHT BY NIGHT PUSH ALBUM BACK ONE MONTH:
News from Night By Night: “After some deliberation, we’ve decided to postpone the release date of our June 16th to July as to avoid clashes with the Download Festival and Sweden Rock. As you’ll understand, it’s really important for us to be able to get press and radio attention around the release of the album and we’re concerned that the rock media won’t have time for a (relatively) new band’s debut amidst all the events of June. 
Therefore, we’ve decided to change the date to July 11th (Mainland Europe) 14th (UK) and 15th (USA/Canada). We hope you understand – we’ve put the last 4 years into this album, so really want to ensure we get off to a great start with it! 
However – we will still be giving you some NxN delights in June, with the release of a digital single and video on June 23rd (more news soon) and we will play a London release show on July 17th (again, more news on this ASAP). 
Thank you for continuing to support us! Not long now! Ben, Hen, Jon, Tom and Damien.”


INTRODUCING SCARLETT MOONLIGHT – I’VE CHASED THE RAIN:
Scarlett Moonlight, the US-based melodic rock/AOR band, have just released their latest single, I’ve Chased The Rain, in digital format in most MP3 online stores (iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, etc). You can listen to the song here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7tYMwvWHlw.
This will be the first of a series of single releases that will happen every 2-3 months. Stay tuned to each release at: www.facebook.com/scarlettmoonlight.

Scarlett Moonlight, formerly known as Scarlett Shadow, is a Rhode Island based original Rock band in the style of Survivor, Foreigner, Whitesnake, Bon Jovi and Journey. They first came together when Michael Geiser, former bass player for Firebrand, met Fran Rodriguez, former keyboardist for the band Nexx. They then asked Mike Rodenbaugh, guitarist with Shotgun Still, to join on Guitar and Bob Myron on drums. They needed the right singer for the band, and Fran brought in Jacob Guajardo and the band Scarlett Moonlight was born.
Scarlett Moonlight has been in Michael’s studio for the last year writing and recording their first group of 13 songs, which will be released one at a time as they are finished. In this day of digital music outlets and stores the need to release and entire album at one time is not as necessary as it once was. You can follow the band at: facebook.com/scarlettmoonlight / reverbnation.com/scarlettmoonlight / twitter.com/ScarlettShadow5.


XLRATOR MEDIA PLUGS INTO DUFF McKAGAN’S “IT’S SO EASY AND OTHER LIES”:
Los Angeles (May 14, 2014) – XLrator Media announced today that it has acquired from Vision Films the North American distribution rights for former Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan’s autobiographical documentary, It’s So Easy And Other Lies. The film is currently in production with financing provided by Scatena & Rosner Films. Based on the New York Times best-seller about McKagan’s life, the film is written and directed by Christopher Duddy, produced by Daniel Zirilli, Duff McKagan, Christopher Duddy, and Steven G. Kaplan of Rainstorm Entertainment, and executive produced by Lise Romanoff, Gato Scatena, Jordan Rosner, Birgit Stein, Hans Stangl and Katherine Thomson.
The deal was negotiated by Vision Films’ Managing Director/CEO, Worldwide Distribution Lise Romanoff, Steven G. Kaplan and XLrator Media CEO Barry Gordon. 
“Duff’s remarkable life will be the ultimate ‘insider’ rock n’ roll documentary chronicling Duff’s rise as a punk-rock teen prodigy from Seattle, to the heights of super-stardom as a founding member of Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver, to the depths of substance abuse and addiction. All of these things have defined Duff and have led him to his current, and most rewarding, life chapter. Everyone will be moved by his story,” said Gordon. 

McKagan said: “I’m one of the fortunate ones who survived the trials of severe drug and alcohol addiction. I not only survived, but am blessed with seeing life from a whole different and brighter perspective. This film and stage show from the book, will hopefully expose some stark insight, knowledgeable commentary, and humor of this rock and roll life of mine.”

This authorized documentary takes the audience on an incredible cinematic journey from a driven Seattle teenager’s meager beginnings to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The man is Michael McKagan, better known to the world as “Duff.” The band is Guns N’ Roses. The band became the ultimate icons of sex, drugs and rock and roll, causing pandemonium in their wake, but the lifestyle caught up with Duff, leaving him close to death. Follow Duff’s journey through original archival footage and interviews with many of the people who took this wild ride, including a constellation of rock stars that rose to fame alongside him, and the people who inspired him to overcome his addictions. Duff provides a voice that is as honest as it is indelibly his own as he takes viewers on his harrowing journey through the dark heart of one of the most notorious bands in rock and roll history and out the other side.

It’s So Easy And Other Lies began production by capturing one of Duff’s book readings at the Moore Theatre in Seattle. The film will contain rare archive footage from Marc Canter, who filmed all the early footage of Guns N’ Roses behind the scenes and performances. “Vision Films is excited to be distributing “It’s So Easy And Other Lies” globally,” said Lise Romanoff, Managing Director and CEO of Worldwide Distribution. “The film is a one of a kind look into the life of one of the most iconic musicians in Rock history.” 
For more information on It’s So Easy And Other Lies, visit: duff-itssoeasy.com.

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Additional AOR and Melodic Rock News on 01/05/2014

LOVERBOY KEYBOARDIST DOUG JOHNSON’S NOTES TO SELF:
Indie release available on iTunes, CDBaby and his own website is an homage to Beethoven, Bartok, Chopin and Ravel featuring pieces he composed and arranged himself.

Los Angeles, April 30, 2014-The distance from “Working for the Weekend” to classical composers like Beethoven, Bartok, Chopin and Ravel might seem like a long way, but Loverboy keyboardist Doug Johnson has proven there is a connection on his new CD, Notes to Self. Recorded in Vancouver with classical musicians from the Vancouver Opera Symphony, the CBC Radio Symphony and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the album is available digitally on iTunes and CDBaby as well as in physical form on his own website (www.dougjohnsonmusic.com/CD.html) via PayPal.
“If you listen, the keyboard parts for many of Loverboy’s songs were very much informed by my classical training,” says Johnson, who started taking piano lessons at four years old, then received his Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Toronto (A.R.C.T) degree when he was 18, with a silver medal. “This has been a lifelong passion for me.”
Recorded in Vancouver on a nine-foot Steinway concert grand piano with a variety of classical musicians-most prominently violinist Mark Ferris, who helped with the arrangements, and flautist Lorna McGhee-Notes to Self was inspired by “my physical and emotional connections to the places and people in my life.”
The album ranges from solo pieces like the playful “Sucrose,” a number that reflects the deleterious effects of a birthday cake-induced sugar rush on his visiting granddaughters to a quintet featuring violin, viola, cello, flute and his own keyboards on the opening four-part “The Crescent Suite,” a grand vision of four seasons as seen from running on the beach near his Surrey home in West Canada.

“It goes from the fall, when the storms start coming in (‘Con Brio’) through all four seasons, ending with the summer (‘Maestoso’), when all the tourists arrive and life is more laid-back,” says Johnson, who also captures the brooding, overcast nature of the area’s weather in “Waltz of the Grey Days,” a duet with piano and cello.
“Zoe” and “Emily” are dedicated to his nieces, the former “beautiful, capricious and brave,” the latter “a methodical, persistent problem-solver,” both painting vivid pictures by capturing those personalities in sound. “Two Versions of a Visit” is another piano/cello duet that reflects the very different personalities of his two grandsons. “Warsaw” is his tribute to Chopin, whom Johnson considers “the best composer of piano music who ever lived… I’ve always had a special place in my heart for him.”
Johnson, an outspoken believer in music education, hopes that Notes to Self will simply make people feel good. “I’m hoping it will energize them, and allow them to reflect,” he says. “Music is inspired by the things around us and our experiences, our interactions with others,” adds Johnson. “I wanted to let people in on that process, how this album came about.”

And while he has already performed some of this music recently in a live setting, Johnson isn’t about to ignore his “day” job, playing with Loverboy, who for three decades have entertained several generations of fans with hits like “Working for the Weekend,” “Lovin’ Every Minute of It,” “This Could Be the Night,” “Hot Girls in Love,” “Heaven In Your Eyes,” “Turn Me Loose,” “When It’s Over,” “The Kid is Hot Tonite” and “Queen of the Broken Hearts.”
“Playing with Loverboy is just a great deal of fun,” he says. “We’re like brothers. We get to stand up before thousands of fans, and when you look out into the crowd, you see them smiling, laughing, dancing and having a great time. Our songs seem to have stood the test of time. They’re not only relatable to our old fans, but their kids.”
Catch Loverboy on tour this summer: www.loverboyband.com/tours.html.


FROM POLAND TO PERRIS FOR SCREAM MAKER:
Perris Records is proud to announce the CD release of their first band from Poland Scream Maker. The “Livin’ In The Past” CD cover was designed by Roslaw Szaybo, world-renowned designer of Judas Priest, Elton John, Santana and Bob Marley.The band just finished a tour in Poland with Paul Di’Anno and sharing the stage with Blaze Bayley (Iron Maiden). Scream Maker will also be on 9 city tour through China including the Mordensky Festival festival in Beijing.
WebLink: www.perrisrecords.com.

xx


NEW WIZARDS OF WINTER ALBUM ARTWORK TO BE DESIGNED BY IOANNIS:
Legendary record cover artist Ioannis (Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, King Crimson, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bob Weir, Allman Brothers Band, Dream Theater) will be joining forces with The Wizards of Winter to produce cover artwork for their upcoming album to be released later this year. Ioannis will also design merchandise and the tour art for their upcoming 2014 schedule.
Says Ioannis, “I think The Wizards of Winter is an incredibly talented group of individuals and it will be cool to work on their holiday project, so I am really looking forward to doing this.”  Plans are also in discussion for additional ventures to be announced later this year.

The Wizards of Winter, the prog-metal-meets-classical rock band that has been hard at work recording their second release, are excited to be working with this iconic artist for the design of their album cover artwork. Ioannis has created the covers of over 170 albums, with his art firmly rooted in fantasy and surrealism. The currently untitled album, produced by Tommy Farese of Trans-Siberian Orchestra fame, promises to continue the band’s style of integrating elements of hard rock and classical influences into a distinctive blend of original compositions. “We are honored to have the privilege to work with a creative master like Ioannis,” said Scott Kelly, leader of The Wizards of Winter. “His art work has graced the album covers of so many of the music industry’s legendary performers that he too, truly is a legend. When Ioannis contacted us and told us that he really liked our material and wanted to work together, we were really quite surprised given where the band is in its development. It is just another proof point that the Wizards are really beginning to gain some broad recognition. After speaking with Ioannis, Steve Ratchen, one of the other co-founders of the band, and I both found that besides being a very nice and approachable guy, his artistic concepts and marketing directions appear to be exactly what we need at this time to assist us in moving to the next level. We are humbly grateful that he has chosen to work with us and greatly look forward to working with him.”
For more info visit: thewizardsofwinter.com / www.dangerousage.com / www.facebook.com/DANGEROUSAGEART?ref=hl.

UNISONIC ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM AND EP ‘FOR THE KINGDOM’:
Two years after their celebrated eponymous debut album German hard rock supergroup Unisonic which includes Michael Kiske, Kai Hansen, Dennis Ward, Mandy Meyer and last but not least Kosta Zafiriou is back with a new record that will be released on July 25. As a foretaste of their eagerly awaited sophomore album the band will release the EP ‘For The Kingdom’, which contains two new songs and four live tracks, on May 23.

Rock and metal fans had to wait many many years – 23 to be exact – before it finally happened: German metal icons Kai Hansen and Michael Kiske, who kicked off German Metal trailblazers Helloween’s international triumph with the two ‘Keeper Of The Seven Keys’ records at the end of the 80s, got back together again. Again? Yes, again: Hansen quit Helloween in 1989 to found Gamma Ray while Kiske left four years later to attend to his solo projects. Even though the band already formed a year before Kai joined them but it was his involvement that made Unisonic a so-called supergroup.
The two congenial musicians’ new baby was called Unisonic and instantly aroused enthusiasm in the rock and metal community. Their first single ‘Unisonic’ got well over 150.000 YouTube clicks in just a few days after its release in January 2012 and has by now garnered more than 640.000. When music legends like Kiske on mic and Hansen on guitar, who are completed by bassist Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69), guitarrist Mandy Meyer (Krokus, ex Asia & Gotthard) and drummer Kosta Zafiriou (ex Pink Cream 69), pool their creative strengths, the world is going to be set on fire for sure.
And Unisonic did deliver the goods: After their teaser mini album ‘Ignition’ got rave reviews and sold out immediately, the eponymous full-length debut was equally acclaimed and proved impressively that the chemistry between Hansen and Kiske is simply second to none. However, all those who expected a third ‘Keeper Of The Seven Keys’ album were mistaken: Instead of relying on worn out success patterns the two thoroughbred musicians rather indulged in heavy rock than in power metal and delivered a stylistically manifold album which featured everything from emotional ballad to luscious rock track while occasionally still drawing on buzzing heavy metal of course. The outcome was a unique collection of rock anthems full of energy, melody and magic.

And there’s more to come. Only two years later Hansen, Kiske and co. up the ante again with their sophomore album which is once more produced by Dennis Ward and will be released on July 25th. Heralding this eagerly awaited full-length album, Unisonic will again offer a foretaste in form of an EP called ‘For The Kingdom’ which will see the light of day on May 23rd. The six song collection consists of the brand new album track ‘For The Kingdom’, which hymn-like chorus and its double-bass footwork extraordinaire will rush the blood to the head of all metal fans. Followed by the EP exclusive smasher ‘You Come Undone’ which could have been included on the first band offering as well but also gives a hint of what to expect from the near-by future plus four live recordings from their show at the Masters Of Rock Festival 2012 in the Czech Republic where Unisonic performed a celebrated show (also exclusive to this EP).

NEW SHOWCASES ONLINE:
New Showcases online today for Tesla & Night Ranger (Frontiers Records, out June 6) and Perfect View, Sonic Station & Rik Priem’s Prime (Avenue Of Allies, out May 23). Check them all out!