Top3 NOVEMBER Hard Rock Releases (PINK CREAM 69, SWEET & LYNCH and JEFF SCOTT SOTO)

The second half of 2017 is certainly far more prolific and musically mind-blowing than the first half and what happened the past 2 months only is an indicator enough for what I’m saying. October and November became my two most favorite hard rock months of 2017 and there’s plenty of reasons why! Europe, Autograph, L.A. Guns, Sons of Apollo, Revolution Saints and BigFoot rocked October and this November I was entirely captivated by rock acts such as Sweet & Lynch, Jeff Scott Soto and Sweet Cream 69. Those three titles stood out the most to me due to impeccable musical qualities which I wanna talk about about a bit more and explain why you just gotta instantaneously grab your copy in case you haven’t done it yet! I also included two of my favorite songs from each album and yes they are a Must Listen!


Pink Cream 69 – Headstrong

pink cream 69

I’ve been a fan of Pink Cream 69 since the first time I heard “One Size Fits All” back in the day. No surprises here, I’m sure you are all well aware of my musical tastes! So, when I heard that the German rockstars are back with a brand new album, you can imagine how thrilled I was. You know what? This album also marks the 30th anniversary since the formation of the band, making things so much more exciting! The fire, the fury, the joy …it’s all coming out of this fantastic hard rock gem that made me and I’m sure many other fans out there scream “WOW” right from the opening track. Speaking of that opening track, “We Bow to None” perfectly describes the album – “there’s a fire spreading out across the land and the situation’s getting out of hand”; the name of that fire is “Headstrong” and yes, once you experience the album, the situation will surely get out of hand. “Path of Destiny” is a speedy, thunderous 5-minute long adventure that might turn into your new favorite heavy metal gem!

“We Bow to None”

“Path of Destiny”


Sweet & Lynch – Unified

sweet and lynch

Michael Sweet of Stryper and legendary guitar player George Lynch (Dokken, Lynch Mob) once again teamed up for a phenomenal follow up to their 2015 debut album “Only to Rise” which by the way I still play quite often. “Unified” does differentiate a little bit from the debut release but certainly in a very good way. The duo sound more fearless, experimental and it looks and sounds as if it’s now or never for those guys! We all know the kind of vocalist Michael Sweet is so no need for me to remind you of his outstanding voice; George Lynch … do I have to say more? Whatever he does, he does it with style, the very heavy kind of! Michael’s talents are unquestionable; however it’s the thrilling, pleasingly disturbing riffs of George Lynch I came here for! “Promised Land” was love at first listen – the band is taking the listener to a new direction, further away from our expectations for this album …and that’s the best thing! “Walk” is my other favorite – a very interesting song, mixing many different vocal and sound techniques and keeping the listener involved in the song till the very end. “Tired and True” is a ballad that you should certainly check out – it just fits perfectly!

“Promised Land”

“Walk”


Jeff Scott Soto – Retribution

jeff scott soto

It has been a busy year for one of my most beloved musicians of all time – Jeff Scott Soto. In October we were totally mesmerized by Sons Of Apollo’s Psychotic Symphony and a month later, he once again penetrated our fragile rock harts with a solo release, titled “Retribution”. Nothing but praises and fascination for this album and I’m not just saying it because it’s Jeff freakin Scott Soto; I’m saying it because obviously tons of work, heart and passion have been put in the making of this album. He sounds as confident as ever and his music is as good as ever. I was prepared for something like this from the veteran rockstar and it’s all here – heavy melodic rock, epic vocal culminations, striking lyrics and excellent fiery solos. “Feels Like Forever” is my instant stand-out though it’s not necessarily the highlight of “Retribution” (it’s just that I love way too much!). It’s an emotional ballad that just shines brighter than a star! The title song is another track you just gotta pay attention to; if you crank that track up, you will electrify your entire neighborhood, that’s for certain! I’m loving the riffs, the progressive touches and of course, Soto being Soto with…his one of a kind VOICE!

“Feels Like Forever”

“Retribution”

 


References:
Album artworks, retrieved from: http://www.frontiers.it/
P.S. This publication expresses my personal thoughts and opinions, based on actual experiences. All the photos are taken by me. Please be kind and considerate and make sure you don’t just save and use the written and visual content without my permission! Rock on!

Love at First Listen: ONE DESIRE’s Self-Titled Debut Album (2017)

one desire - one desire 2017It took me a few months to discover this album but better late than never, right? I still cannot forgive myself for letting it pass through me without getting the much deserved attention but I have now stopped blaming myself for overlooking it and fully committed to spreading the word and telling everyone how exceptional this album is! I don’t believe in love at first sight but I do believe in love at first listen. These precious moments can be very rare, usually it takes time to fully warm up to an album; but with the Finnish band One Desire and their debut release, things couldn’t have taken a better turn. You play the opening track, “Hurt” and you just end up in getting trapped in this mesmerizing world of new-age melodic rock, where One Desire are the new rulers and their music is the law. I rarely establish such a strong connection with an album from the very first second I hear it but “One Desire” just has the right musical qualities to become the refreshing exception and that’s exactly what happened with me.

“Hurt”

I mean, let’s take the opening track for example. What a blasting explosion of musical brightness. Not a second of this song is wasted on pointless and trivial moments. Every detail is polished to perfection to capture the attention of the melodic rock fans and people who are still drawn to the old-school rock vibes that ruled the ’80s. I am specifically impressed by the sophisticated yet so catchy melody, illustrated by gloomy yet so pure lyrics. “Hurt” will be in my Top10 Songs of 2017 list for sure!

“Apologize”

The second track “Apologize” is a worthy discovery. I’m all for the melody and the sing-along anthems and this one’s definitely it! With this song you can’t but be sucked into a whirlpool of energy, power and intensity. The chorus is unbelievable and don’t you even get me started on vocalist André Linman who is putting to shame all the more famous young vocalist out there, only proving that this band deserves more.

“Falling Apart”

“Falling Apart” is one of the most alluring tracks on the album and a personal favorite. The choruses are once again demonstrating the powerful vocal range of vocalist André Linman who did so much justice to this song! I am loving the peaceful percussion intro that builds up to an angelic song with tons of memorable moments. 

“Turn Back Time”

I saved the best for last! On a personal level, the lyrics of this song just mean everything and I am sure so many people will find themselves in it. It’s a song about regret and lost time and trying so hard to bring it back. The lyrics aren’t the only thing that makes “Turn Back Time” ultimate stand-out; I love the nostalgic guitar-intro and how this song sounds so simple but yet so complex. The beautiful melody and expressive vocal delivery are making it the perfect listening experience.

There you were with those big brown eyes among the crowd, piercing like a knife…

Final Verdict:

I was immensely surprised by the power of this album and can’t but be happy that it found a way into my life. I urge everyone, looking for that splendid mixture of old-school hard rock, meeting modern-day metalcore with just a little bit of an electronic feel into it, this is the album for you. Can’t praise it enough.

I just wish there was less autotune because  André Linman is obviously good enough of a vocalist to not be needing it. (though believe me I understand the reason behind the decision of the producer to polish his voice that much)

one desire band
Jimmy Westerlund- Guitar
André Linman- Vocals, guitar
Jonas Kuhlberg- Bass
Ossi Sivula- Drums

References:
Album artwork and Band Photo, retrieved from: http://www.frontiers.it/
P.S. This publication expresses my personal thoughts and opinions, based on actual experiences. All the photos are taken by me. Please be kind and considerate and make sure you don’t just save and use the written and visual content without my permission! Rock on!

Concert Experience: SAINTED SINNERS & IAN PAICE @ Diana Hall, Yambol, Bulgaria (28/10/2017)

(by Velina of “My Rock Mixtapes”)

backstage pass - ian paice yambolI think about this rock&roll weekend I had with Sainted Sinners and Ian Paice and I still cannot fully process what happened to me and how lucky I was to be there and have this life-changing experience. I’ve been to so many rock concerts, of all shapes, styles and sizes, but this was the first time I got the chance to have the “insider’s look” and closely witness how hard but immensely rewarding it is for artists, crew and everyone involved in an event to put everything together and deliver it to the beloved fans who came to support them.

me and alessandroIt was an honor to be invited backstage by the versatile musical genius Alessandro Del Vecchio and sit down and talk to him about the current situation of the music industry (stay tuned for the full interview on my blog, coming up pretty soon). Getting this opportunity was certainly the highlight of my career as a music blogger and will forever cherish the memories and insights I gained; Not just that, but I cannot wait to share everything with my devoted readers.

The concert was held at Sports Diana Hall in Yambol, Bulgaria. Despite Yambol being one of the small cities in Bulgaria, the 2,000+ people that ended up showing was no surprise. Legendary drummer Ian Paice, along with the supergroup Sainted Sinners who are composed of top-notch musicians, including lead guitarist Frank Pané, vocalist David Reece, drummer Berci Hirleman, bass guitarist Malte Frederik Burkert and guest keyboardist/vocalist Alessandro Del Vecchio are certainly a solid reason for fans to gather up for a night of pure rock&roll!

I’ve been to many sound-checks but as I said, this was the first time I’ve witnessed something of this calibre. The preparations and the level of precision and dedication from the band and crew were admirable and equally pleasing to watch as the show that came later on. I expected nothing but professionalism and great attitude from all the rockstars on that stage and believe me, that’s the only way they handled everything.

soundcheck sainted sinners and ian

backstage 2

Backstage photos with David AndNadia Reece & Malte Frederik Burkert. Both were incredibly kind and sweet. I especially enjoyed talking to Malte who by the way puts to shame any lady out there with his gorgeous hair. 

Me and Frank Pané . Had the chance to tell him that Bonfire‘s “Byte the Bullet” is in my Top3 albums of 2017 so far! He was so happy to hear it!

20171029_011932

The Before…

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& the after…

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from ...
Right before the show; Proud of everyone who contributed to this concert and the lovely audience!

Everyone was thrilled to see Ian Paice rock the hell out of those drums, just like he’s been doing for the past 50 years or so. The first time I saw him, he immediately said hi to me and moved on to the stage for soundcheck; I will never forget how natural the encounter was. I met him after the concert as well, took a photo with him and got his autograph! What a memory. I mean, we are talking about a founding member of one of the most legendary and history-defining bands of all time – Deep Purple. Seeing him at this shape, despite being 70 years old is inspiring and I was blessed to once again this year be in his presence (I went to Deep Purple’s concert in Sofia, Bulgaria this past May too). He did a splendid job and it seemed like everyone was enjoying themselves in the company of this legend.

me and ian
Me and the legend! It was an honor to meet him!

Don’t you even get me started on Sainted Sinners. This was the first time I watched them live and I had the time of my life. I knew that David Reece was going to tear down the place with his vocals and he did it, believe me. The stage dynamics were a beautiful thing to experience. I loved the energy and interaction between the members, as well as the way they portrayed their style in front of the Bulgarian audience. The concert was divided into two parts – first part was with Sainted Sinners, mixing golden oldies and newly released music. The second part was with Ian Paice and it exclusively featured Deep Purple’s strongest hits, like “Stormbringer”, “Burn”, “Highway Star”, etc. The concert was quite long and at one point I could feel that I’m no longer 20 as my back started hurting from so much dancing and jumping around.  

Some of my favorite moments include Alessandro Del Vecchio taking over the mic for a beautiful cover of Rainbow’s “Since You’ve Been Gone”. Just listen to his powerful vocals, I was entirely mindblown by how good of a live performer he is.

The setlist included timeless classics like this and more, even AC/DC’s “Back in Black”, performed by Frank Pané‘s wife Lydia was on the table. Another memorable moment for me was Sainted Sinners performing the highly energizing “We Are All Sainted Sinners” which was the point where I realized I won’t be having my voice on the next day (and yes, it was gone). You know how much I love Bonfire so seeing Frank Pané live in action was a dream becoming true. The guy is effortlessly stunning as a guitarist – he just barely touches that signature polka dots guitar as if it’s a feather and the ground starts shaking. Malte Burkert was something else – his youthful, playful but passionate presence on that stage make me drop my jaw a few times.

stage photo 1

concert photo 2

concert photo 3

on stage

concert photo 4

crowd 2

frank

concert photo 5

For the second part of the concert, as I’ve already mentioned, drummer Ian Paice joined Sainted Sinners and put us all into his back pocket. What a musician! I especially loved when the band played “Burn” – a pivotal moment for the evening. There’s a video but you can hear me sing my guts out so I think I will keep it to myself for now. 

concert photo 6

ian 1

Check this out! He is unbelievable – drumming as if he was a 20-year old…

The grand finale!

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final 3

Happiness…my face says it all! I was part of a historical concert and thank everyone who made it happen! Cheers to more!


P.S. This publication expresses my personal thoughts and opinions, based on actual experiences. All the photos are taken by me. Please be kind and considerate and make sure you don’t just save and use the written and visual content without my permission! Rock on!

New Album Recommendations: Sons of Apollo – “Psychotic Symphony” (2017)

(by Velina of “My Rock Mixtapes”)

Ready for a big hardcore punch that will inevitably lead to enormous satisfaction both mental and physical. I’ve always said that the best kind of music is the one that affects both your brain and body and results in the ultimate eargasm. This album right here is the kind of album you gotta listen to if you just want to be transferred to a different dimension and really want to be taken out of your comfort musical zone!

Sons of Apollo is no joke. Don’t expect any sentimental radio-oriented tracks or cheesy pop rock statements. “Psychotic Symphony” is a meaningful, highly sophisticated piece of progressive metal, packed with A-to-Z qualities, including flaming guitar solos, mind-crushing vocals and of course – fierce synthesizers, aiding to that modern-day feel.

I’ve been a fan of Jeff Scott Soto (Journey, Yngwie Malmsteen‘s Rising Force, etc.) since forever and I know that whatever he does, he does it with passion and confidence and this album is no exception. With respect to everyone who got involved in this project, his vocals are in my opinion the heart and soul of “Psychotic Symphony” and the reason why I’m here, talking about it. He is a monster-vocalist and I bet you don’t need me to convince you otherwise.

sons of apolloI won’t go into details about the album because for a first time in a while I’ve been left speechless. “God of the Sun” is one of my favorite openers this year; the 11-minute tornado of a song is a clear highlight and how can it not be with that speed, intensity and lyrics (another Greek-inspired theme). “Sings of the Times” is my ultimate number 1 song from this release – that intro knocked my socks off (it’s my new ringtone by the way). You can’t have an album like this one without an instrumental now can you? But then again, “Opus Maximus” is not your ordinary instrumental. Good luck stopping it once you hit the play! “Alive” and “Lost in Oblivion” are pure madness! I am absolutely in love with the way the playlist was crafted – it’s all very well thought of and every song has its own place, contributing to the overall atmosphere of the album. I mean, you can just consider it as one song, actually; it’s indeed a progressive metal album but there’s just so much more to it than that – it’s progressive, it’s classic, it’s hard, it’s loud! What a punch in the face! Guitars are stunning too – Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal is the king of the explosive riff and guitar culminations on this one! 

I have to say – this genre is not my cup of tea and I don’t play it on a daily basis but you know – there are rules to every exception and my exception is “Psychotic Symphony”. Grab your copy now!

 

“Sings of the Times”

“Coming Home”

“Lost in Oblivion”

 

Tracklist:

  1. God of The Sun
  2. Coming Home
  3. Signs of the Time
  4. Labyrinth
  5. Alive
  6. Lost In Oblivion
  7. Figaro’s Whore
  8. Divine Addiction
  9. Opus Maximus

References:
THIS BLOG claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please E-mail with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.

L.A. GUNS – “The Missing Peace” Album Review (2017)

(by Velina of “My Rock Mixtapes”)

I didn’t have the chance to grow up in the ’80s and experience that magical, flamboyant, so attractive to me hard rock scene that forever changed the music industry but with albums like “The Missing Peace”, young fans like myself can get a pretty good taste of those old-school vibes, presented in a modern-day environment. I am still mindblown by the authenticity of L.A. Guns‘ new album and the tasteful manner in which such energetic, a bit forceful and instantly-consuming Sunset Strip-staple hard rock music was delivered to the audience of 2017. It took me just one listen from start to finish to realize that what we have right here might be one of the best representations of how to sustain your original sound that made you famous back in the day and still stay musically-current even 30 years later. 

So many long-overdue reunions have been happening this past year and many rock music enthusiasts, including myself have placed L.A. Guns’ comeback as one of the most anticipated ones in their fan books. It has been, after all, 5 years since their last album, “Hollywood Forever” and not to mention almost 30 years since the release of their famous self-titled debut album that sky-rocketed their name and career. No need to yet again talk about their past and remind everyone of how and why those guys are relevant and deserve recognition – their solid trace speaks for themselves. What is important to know is that L.A. Guns’ glorious reunion happened and is once again, after over a decade, in the capable hands of the winning songwriting team of guitarist Tracii Guns and vocalist Philip Lewis. I was so looking forward to their new collaboration and as obvious, they still have it, they still rock it, they still conquer it! One of the things that immediately strike you as you go on song after song on “The Missing Peace” is the aura of the album and the way it makes you feel – the guys have found a way to revive a classic sound, hit it as hard as ever and bring it to us with all their might, strengthened by modern-day technologies. The 12-song album was released on October 13, 2017, via Frontiers Music Srl and is yet another important piece of the puzzle I’ve been talking about for so long – there’s a hard rock renaissance and Frontiers, along with hard-working classic rock bands like L.A. Guns are the main players. What a time to be alive!

Let’s talk music – we are here because of it, after all. Each track on “The Missing Peace” has the potential of finding a place on your list of favorite songs because they all are doing justice to both the genre and the band. The album kicks things off with “It’s All the Same To Me” – a classic hard rock punch, taken right out the streets of Sunset Strip. Philip Lewis is showcasing perfect vocal progression and unbelievable match between vocals, melody, rhythm, guitars and every other little thing that makes this song so good. The follow-up track, “Speed” is …well the title says it all – the entire song is a bundle of energy and just what you needed in your life right now. “Baby Gotta Fever”, along with “The Devil Made Me Do It” are topping my list of favorite songs from this album. Both represent what I’m looking for in a rock&roll experience – catchy choruses, melody, rhythm and of course, brilliant vocal delivery. Not to mention that those two songs, especially “The Devil Made Me Do It”, are “so ‘80s” and that in my book is an absolute WIN! The enslaving “Christine” – a strategic mid-point, placed there to calm your spirits and demonstrate how well the band can craft not only crazy rockers but soothing softer pieces. The rough “Don’t Bring a Knife to a Gunfight” was another one of my “love-at-first-listen” tracks that won me with that dangerous L.A. Guns trademark sound it carries.

“The Missing Peace” is something that was truly missing in today’s rock&roll scene; I’ve been waiting for an album with that extra danger, extra roughness and that beloved ’80s attitude for so long and now when it’s finally here, I just can’t get enough of it. Production is top-notch and the reaction from the audience speaks louder than my words.

Check out the tracks and share your thoughts and opinions on L.A. Guns‘ terrific comeback in the comment section below:


“Baby Gotta Fever”

“Speed”

“Christine”

TRACKLIST

It’s All The Same To Me
Speed
A Drop Of Bleach
Sticky Fingers
Christine
Baby Gotta Fever
Kill It Or Die
Don’t Bring A Knife To A Gunfight
The Flood’s The Fault Of The Rain
The Devil Made Me Do It
The Missing Peace
Gave It All Away

Philip Lewis – Vocals
Tracii Guns – Guitars
Johnny Martin – Bass
Michael Grant – Guitar
Shane Fitzgibbon – Drums


References:
Album artwork, retrieved from: http://www.frontiers.it/album/5409
THIS BLOG claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please E-mail with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.

Album Review: Revolution Saints – Light in the Dark (2017)

(by Velina of “My Rock Mixtapes”)

“I Wouldn’t Change a Thing”

You know, it’s October already and I was beginning to worry that I might not actually get the ballad I was waiting for – you know that mind-crushing, emotional experience of a song that I always look for in an album. But you know, recently Revolution Saints released “I Wouldn’t Change a Thing” and as a rock ballad critic, lover and ultimate enthusiast, I can firmly state that this might possibly be my favorite rock ballad of 2017 so far. The song was just what I was looking for and not to mention that it pointed my attention to a strong melodic rock force that was about to arrive on the horizon. After the ballad that knocked my socks off, I couldn’t but have high expectations for Revolution Saints’ new album – “Light in the Dark” and now when I finally had the chance to listen from start to finish, I realize how much I needed this album in my life.

I’ve been following the career of prominent drummer Deen Castronovo since I became fan of Journey and eventually Hardline and Bad English back in the day. On top of it all, he’s a stunning vocalist and it was only natural for him to go for it. Thankfully, an opportunity for him to explore his vocal talents was soon on the horizon. Frontiers’ President, Serafino Perugino assembled Revolution Saints with Deen fronting a strong team of A-players, including Doug Aldrich (The Dead Daisies, ex-Whitesnake, DIO) and Jack Blades (Night Ranger, Damn Yankees). After a 2015 debut that fans and rock communities still talk about and listen to, the band is back with a sophomore release full of surprises, bold moves and exceptionally well written and produced melodic rock music, courtesy of producer/songwriter Alessandro Del Vecchio (Hardline, JORN), who was also there for Revolution Saints’ debut album. Now, the whole dream team is back and the result is more than satisfying. “Light in the Dark” is an absolute manifestation of high quality rock music. Fans are expected to dive into a world of classic melodic rock style, colored by meaningful and emotion-stirring moments, proving that indeed the age of rock is back!

“Light in the Dark” opens up with an inspiring title song with a lot of personality! Having a bad day? Needing that extra push or motivation? Look no further – this song is the thing you’ve been waiting for. Superb hooks and uplifting lyrics that put an instant smile on your face! Couldn’t have picked a better opener! “Freedom” brings in a little bit of weight and tons of class into the album atmosphere. Watch out for Doug Aldrich’s spellbinding riffs and those surprisingly well-fitting keyboards that make the song one of the most interesting ones from the album. “Ride On” picks up the album’s speed and once again showcases what these guys are made for – pure talent. Deen Castronovo is killing it on every song but I am especially enjoying his powerful howls on this one. We move on to the star of the show and my favorite song from the album, “I Wouldn’t Change a Thing”. This track is not just a ballad – it’s an epic 6-minute piano journey, accompanied by Deen’s soul-touching vocals, after which you can’t even take your breath. Arguably, this is the best song from the album when it comes to impact. Musically, it’s simple, yet elegant; gentle, yet heart-breaking. What a masterpiece! The other ballad – “Can’t Run Away from Love” is equally fulfilling and only solidifying Deen’s vocal strengths. Songs like “Take you Down”, “Don’t Surrender” and “Running on the Edge” are all solid rockers showcasing two things – first of all, rock will never die as long as we have passionate artists like Revolution Saints and second of all, “Light in the Dark” is an album that certainly has a lot to bring to the table!

What a year for rock music! I thought it was over, but the rock&roll waves are getting harder and stronger with each release this year. Revolution Saints“Light in the Dark” takes a respectable place on this year’s long list of remarkable releases. The quality, class and impact of this album are beyond expectation and I am proud to be here to witness the making of such releases. The greatest thing about “Light in the Dark” is its ability to draw newer and older generations of rock fans together and simply make them feel good about life and being here right here, right now.  The album is out on October 13, 2017! Don’t forget to get your copy!

Tracklist:

  1. Light In The Dark
  2. Freedom
  3. Ride On
  4. I Wouldn’t Change A Thing
  5. Don’s Surrender
  6. Take You Down
  7. The Storm Inside
  8. Can’t Run Away From Love
  9. Running On The Edge
  10. Another Chance
  11. Falling Apart
  12. Back On My Trail (live, bonus track on deluxe edition only)
  13. Turn Back Time (live, bonus track on deluxe edition only)
  14. Here Forever (live, bonus track on deluxe edition only)
  15. Locked Out Of Paradise (live, bonus track on deluxe edition only)

 


“Freedom”

“Light in the Dark”


References:
THIS BLOG claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please E-mail with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.

October 2017 Rock Music Highlights

(by Velina of “My Rock Mixtapes”)

You thought September was a strong rock&roll month? Well, I have some news for you, guys – October is going to be even more mind-blowing! There are just so many great stuff to watch out for this month and I don’t even know where to begin with!! From legends, like Europe, to new generations of hard rockstars, like Dextress, the fall season kicks in with a blast and waits for you to experience it. I am pleasantly surprised at the numerous comebacks this year and it seems like many of those well-known bands chose October as their “comeback month”. For example, Autograph who are releasing their first full-length album since their official reunion a few years ago; veterans Europe are here with their eleventh studio album “Walk the Earth” which I think will absolutely demolish every heart and chart out there. I am very very excited for the debut album of progressive metal supergroup Sons of Apollo which formed earlier this year. Don’t you even get me started on Revolution Saints which I think has every chance of becoming one of the best melodic rock albums this year. If you thought that it’s all about comebacks and old-school hard rock you are wrong. I was so happily surprised by Canadian hard rock band Dextress, composed of four immensely talented guys my age!! There is still hope for the future and when you play their debut album you will get what I’m saying. Who says younger generations of hard rock bands don’t know a thing?

This and so much more…

I have gathered a list of albums that I cannot wait to get my hands on and which I firmly believe will pleasantly surprise rock music fans from all over the world. Let me show you~


Dextress Dextress (06/10/2017)

dextress - album art


Bigfoot – Bigfoot (13/10/2017)

bigfoot bigfoot album


L.A. Guns – The Missing Peace (13/10/2017)

la guns


Revolution Saints – Light In The Dark (13/10/201)

Revolution Saints Cover - Frontiers


Europe – Walk the Earth (20/10/2017)

europe


Autograph – Get Off Your Ass (6/10/2017)

Autograph – Get Off Your Ass


Sons of Apollo – Psychotic Symphony (20/10/2017)

sons of apollo


Robert Plant – Carry Fire (13/10/2017)

robert plant new album


Whitesnake – Whitesnake: 30th Anniversary Edition (06/10/2017)

whitesnake 30

 


References:
Album artworks retrieved from
http://teamrock.com/news/2017-07-27/europe-announce-new-album-walk-the-earth /

https://www.amazon.com/Get-Off-Your-Ass-AUTOGRAPH/dp/B071XHWSHB / http://www.frontiers.it /
https://www.insideoutshop.de/Item/Sons_Of_Apollo_-_Psychotic_Symphony_-Standard_CD_Jewelcase-/16368 /
http://www.nme.com/news/music/robert-plant-announces-new-album-carry-fire-and-uk-tour-2126046 /
https://www.amazon.com/Whitesnake-20th-Anniversary-1987-2007-WHITESNAKE/dp/B000NOKERM
THIS BLOG claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please E-mail with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.

Album Review: Steelheart – Through Worlds of Stardust (2017)

(by Velina of “My Rock Mixtapes”)

 “You Got Me Twisted”

Is there anything worthy and meaningful you can possibly say after hearing such song? Well, it’s great if you can, because I am having difficulties with turning the whole spectrum of emotions and feelings I have towards this glorious track and album into words. I will try my best, though, because Steelheart‘s “Through Worlds of Stardust” is an enormous contribution to the powerful rock music scene of 2017 and because it’s THAT good! I had high expectations and I think the majority of rock fans throughout the world had them too; that’s why when “Through Worlds of Stardust” was released and it shattered my world to its grounds, I was able to feel that sweet sweet relief and scream to everyone “I told you so!”

Rockstar veteran and one of the most powerful and praised voices of rock music Miljenko Matijevic is back with a brand-new release, proving that you can never put out a fire in a heart burning with so much determination and courage. Mili – the soul of Steelheart has been through a lot – we almost lost him during that well-known Halloween night and the horrific accident that took place. Fortunately for the world, he rose from the ashes and with him, a revived version of Steelheart that penetrated the music world with a mighty rock&roll punch and is here to stay. The future belongs to Steelheart!

steelheart cover - frontiersSpeaking of future, “Through Worlds of Stardust” does really sound like it was made in another dimension, somewhere in 2020. I mean, I do really like to use the term “modern-day rock” but that saying can’t really do much justice to this album. Yes, it’s edgy, it’s heavy, mighty, versatile and it combines all the necessary old and new elements to captivate any generations of fans, however I feel like it carries a sound that will echo in the years to come and will remain memorable, current and stylish after 5, 10 and more years. In that sense, what Steelheart crafted can be referred as timeless – an adjective I don’t really use that much these days for current releases. That should tell you something.

I honestly see myself listening to songs like “You Got Me Twisted” in 10 years for example because that kind of power and spirit in a piece of music is something that just sticks with you. The song is pure manifestation of Mili‘s vocal capabilities and musical skills, allowing him to put emotions and feelings into sounds. I’m praising the music video and his obvious dedication to this project – just look at him pouring his heart all out on those choruses. I will jump right into the orchestrated ballad, “Lips of Rain”, which was love-at-first-listen for me. The melody gently touches your soul and reminds you that only beautiful music like this can make us feel alive. The opening track “Stream Line Savings” brings me back to the ’70s with that heavy Led Zeppelin feel. Definitely a solid opener with unique ups and downs, keeping the listener on edge till the very end. I love how Mili just comes in, fills in the room with passion and confidence and by the end of the song you are still trying to collect the jaw you dropped on the floor. On “My Dirty Girl” you learn how rock screams can entirely transform your musical experience and how they should be done the right way in a rock song! “My Dirty Girl” is full of attitude and rock&roll spirit – the kind of song you just need in your life! “My Word” is referred to as one of the highlights according to many fans and critics and I can totally relate. The sound is very contemporary; drums, vocals, riffs – they all instantly grab you by the throat before you even know it.

Final verdict: “Through Worlds of Stardust” is an album overcoming many challenges – challenges of the mind, body and soul and most importantly, of time. With so many songs being released at any given second, imagine how hard it would be for an artist to stand out and craft something that would stand against the test of time, digitization and the constant rotation of millions and millions of new tracks!? Thankfully, Steelheart, led by Mili have what it takes to make an album that just stands out from the crowd and offers gems for your personal playlist that will never ever get old. I highly enjoyed it and recommend it to music lovers who are ready for something serious and real for the long term.

“Got Me Runnin'”

“Come Inside”


References:
Album artwork, retrieved from: http://www.frontiers.it/album/5403
THIS BLOG claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please E-mail with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.

Concert Experience: Marillion Live at Ancient Theater, Plovdiv, Bulgaria (24/09/2017)

(by Velina of “My Rock Mixtapes”)

With so many unique rock bands out there, each bearing their own distinctive style of sound, appearance and approach to music, no wonder people can never get tired of live music and crave for more and more. I’ve always been a fan of live musical events, not just because I’m a fan of a certain band but because that’s the most genuine way to touch the heart and soul of the artists and turn it into a distinctive piece of memory you can always carry with you. There are bands out there that devoted their entire career to making spirit-lifting music, full of encouragement, excitement and confidence. Their concerts are usually filled with tons of action and fire, leaving the fans tired but satisfied to the bone.

There are also of course, the bands that make music with deeper, more complex meanings, complemented by more sophisticated sound and instrumentation. We refer to this type of rock as progressive, so I will just stick to this term for now. I’ve been a fan of progressive rock for a long long time but honestly, I’ve never attended a concert by a progressive rock band. I’ve had my ideas and expectations but once you actually witness it in front of you, you see how little you know and how much more you have yet to understand and experience. In that sense, I am quite proud and privileged to have the legendary British neo-progressive rock band Marillion come to not just my country, but to my hometown and reward me and their fans over here with not just a concert but an impossible manifestation of audio and visual techniques, creating one of the most spine-tingling and arousing musical journeys of my life so far. I must say, I’m not the most devoted fan of the band but I was never in a million years going to miss the chance to see their life-changing show. I hope to inspire you with my story and do justice to Marillion because believe me, those guys know how to deliver a striking not just musical but theatrical performance and you just gotta go see it while you still have the chance.

I should start by saying that Marillion challenged every norm and standard I had in my mind about rock concerts. The entire evening was one endless stream of sensual audio and visual provocations, topped with a magical artistic performance by vocalist Steve Hogarth. To many it was probably just a different kind of concert but to me it was way more than that – it was a beautiful theatrical presentation, incorporating compelling singing, melodramatic gestures and body movements and irresistible audience interaction, all decorated with stunning visual effects and videos that perfectly complement every song and the lyrics. I’ve never seen anything like this before. Marillion certainly put a lot of effort to make a “heavy” show; I say heavy but I don’t necessarily refer to the music. The show itself required a lot of attention and sweat from the viewer. We were assaulted with many different show pieces, all challenging each and every one of our senses; The concert put me to a test – it’s been a while since I last felt so uptight but definitely in a good way.

I’ve been talking so much about the excellent visuals and now it’s time to actually show you. The venue here also played a huge rule in the atmospheric progressive experience. My readers might be familiar with it from my Nazareth concert experience article a few months ago as it’s the same one – The Roman Amphitheater in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

Marillion Plovdiv Venue

Marillion Plovdiv Venue 2

marillion live in plovdiv

marillion live in plovdiv 2

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You could clearly see how much time and effort were put into the making of those videos that were accompanying each performance. The lyrics perfectly matched the scenes and it provided the audience with another treat to watch out for. To me, the most appealing aspect of the show was when they performed “King” and the video behind them showed famous artists and musicians who have passed away, including Bon Scott, Elvis Presley and of course, my Steve Clark who I miss so much. It was unbelievable!

marillion live in plovdiv 5

marillion live in plovdiv 4

Steve Hogarth was undoubtedly the star of the evening. The man doesn’t know any limitations and once in character, nothing or no one can stop him. His performance was a work of art. I cannot specifically talk about his singing or acting or stage presence, because it’s just one whole and you don’t know where Steve the actor and Steve the singer merge. It was a pleasure to observe how he becomes one with the music, the stage and the audience. He delivered many unique performances but I gotta say the way he did “The Invisible Man” stood out the most to me. Maybe because it was the first encore and the audience sensed that we are about to wrap things up, the air around us became thicker. That’s something I will never forget. One more thing I have to acknowledge is his keyboard skills – the man is an alien!

marillion live in plovdiv 7

marillion live in plovdiv 8

marillion live in plovdiv 9

As a young fan, who saw Marillion for the very first time, all I can say is that those guys changed a lot of perceptions I had for artists’ stage presence and musical delivery. I met new songs and learned new lyrics, which I guarantee will become an inseparable part of my life (“You’re Gone” and “Power” for example, both impeccable rock pleasures). I am delighted that I had the chance to witness this other type of concerts – the ones that make you think and observe carefully. I was so used to the crazy rock&roll vibes that make you jump around and party hard so I really needed this refreshing art experience. Thank you, Marillion


Band Members:

Steve Rothery – Guitars
Mark Kelly – Keyboards
Pete Trewavas – Bass Guitar
Ian Mosley – Drums
Steve Hogarth – Vocals

Setlist:

1.El Dorado
2.You’re Gone
3.The Leavers
4.Fantastic Place
5.Mad 
6.Afraid of Sunlight
7.Sugar Mice
8.Real Tears for Sale
9.Sounds That Can’t Be Made
10.Power
11.Man of a Thousand Faces
12.King
13.Neverland

1st Encore

14.Invisible Man

2st Encore

15.Three Minute Boy

Event management: Radio Tangra Mega Rock


P.S. This publication expresses my personal thoughts and opinions, based on actual experiences. All the photos are taken by me. Please be kind and considerate and make sure you don’t just save and use the written and visual content without my permission! Rock on!

References:
Cover photo and concert poster, retrieved from http://www.radiotangra.com/en/news/read/29005.html
Setlist, retrieved from http://www.radiotangra.com/guide/read/30293.html

Album Review: Wayward Sons – “Ghosts Of Yet To Come” (2017)

(by Velina of “My Rock Mixtapes”)

I’ve been listening to Wayward Sons“Ghosts of Yet to Come” for a little bit over a week now and am super eager to share my thoughts with you on that. I do my best to give the spotlight to artists and albums that truly deserve it so no surprises that this one found its way on this blog and in my heart – “Ghosts of Yet to Come” is an album of immeasurable class and something I truly wasn’t ready for! The good news is that it’s here, it’s ours and we can enjoy it! Let’s dive into the band and the music; I guarantee that one song is enough for you to understand how different this album is from the rest of its genre category.

Wayward Sons is a new name on the block but don’t get fooled – the members of the band have been making music and enriching people’s lives for many many years. Vocalist and band leader Toby Jepson made a name for himself as a prominent producer of acts like Saxon, Toseland and Fastway; not only that but he also fronted the popular UK hard rock act Little Angels that rose to stardom in the mid-80s. Now, he’s back with a promising new project, aiming at reviving the importance of not just recording good rock music, but music that can be enjoyed best if played live. Wayward Sons is a band, built to play live so don’t get confused if the moment you crank up this album, you start imagining being in a big arena, attacked by the energizing waves of a powerful live guitars and strong real vocals, penetrating the air like a razor.

Let’s talk music!

“Ghosts of Yet To Come” rewards the listener with a playlist of 10 hard-hitting high-quality rockers, proving that Mr. EverythingToby Jepson is back and ready for another career breakthrough; with a sharp rock&roll statement like this album, he sure as hell is getting it! I love bands that that incorporate new methods and technologies to craft a modern-day sound but still somehow manage to put in a little bit of that classic flavor, reminding everyone that old is…well gold. To me, the perfect representative of that combo can easily be traced in tracks like “Don’t Wanna Go” – a killer classic hard rock sound and one of the songs that stood out to me at first album listen. The opening track “Alive” blew me away. You are certainly not getting out of this song alive – lyrics, riffs, vocals and hooks are assembling into a charged-up ear-worm, impossible to get rid of. “Until the End” takes pride in being the catchiest song in the album with yet again themed, quite memorable lyrics. The third track, “Ghost” is another spirited groovy tune, pouring confidence. “Killing Time” is a personal favorite – I love the laid-back, Friday-night-at-the-rock-bar feeling.

All in all, this whole album could easily be viewed as just one endless river of positivism, energy and encouragement – just what we needed to meet and greet the new fall season of 2017. “Ghosts of Yet to Kill” masterfully combines modern-day melodic rock feels and ’70s classic vibes into a brilliant, pleasingly enslaving musical experience, suitable for all ages. I highly recommend it!

P.S. We had tons of gorgeous album covers this year, but when it comes to memorability and affect, Wayward Sons’ are absolute winners. I’m simply in love with the colors, comic book style, message and uniqueness of this artwork and urge other bands to take notes – this is how you do it!

wayward sons

 


“Until The End”

 

“Ghost”

“Alive”

“Crush”


References:
Album artwork retrieved from http://www.frontiers.it/album/5401
THIS BLOG claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please E-mail with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.