Melodic Times – AOR and Melodic Rock News Monthly




Stuff by Woody

BOOM! HRH AOR 2 has announced a fresh batch of bands to be added to the bill of the Festival with more still to come. The festival takes places between March 20th -23rd 2014 at Hafan Y Mor, North Wales. Tickets are available from

So joining the Festival is, UFO as headliners, Robin Beck, House Of Lords, La Paz, Logan, Dynazty, Bonafide, Coldspell, Dante Fox, Newman, Curran, Lawless, East Of Eden, The Kix and No Hot Ashes.

They join the previously announced Graham Bonnett, Tyketto, Love/Hate, Kee Marcello, Chasing Violets, Bonfire, Pink Cream 69, Tigertailz, White Widdow, Summers and Hell To Pay.


The team behind the Firefest Festival have officially announced they have decided that the 2014 festival will be the last. Stating industry apathy towards the festival and a lack of corporate sponsors amongst a myriad of reasons for the team’s decision to call time on the festival. They already have a few bands lined up for 2014 and hope for the festival to go out with a bang in Nottingham next year.

Tickets have gone on sale now for Firefest 2014, which takes place on the 24/25/26 of October at Nottingham Rock City! You can find payment details over on the Firefest official website.

Danish melodic rockers FATE return with a new album If Not For The Devil and it will be released via Avenue of Allies on November 22nd. You can check out some sound bytes below!


It’s tragic and heartbreaking to report that Vixen guitarist Jan Kuehnemund who passed away following a fierce battle with cancer on October 10th, she was 53. I managed to see Jan perform with Vixen many years ago at JB’s in Dudley and was mesmerised by her, she will be greatly missed, R.I.P Jan.


Iconic AOR act Boston return at last with a new album Life, Love and Hope due out on Frontiers in December. This is the first album since the tragic death of Brad Delp and will feature the following tracks, ‘Didn’t Mean To Fall In Love’, ‘Sail Away’, ‘Someday’ and ‘Love Got Away’.


Iconic vocalist Sebastian Bach is teaming up with Duff McKagan, John 5 and Steve Stevens on his next solo album. The follow up to Kicking and Screaming is due in early 2014 via Frontiers Records.


Black Country vocalist Lee Small is reuniting with the Band Of Brothers for some shows in the New Year. This band reunites Lee with Native Cain band mates Connor Emms and Dez Wotton and also includes guitar wiz Carl Anthony Wright, who’s played with Lee on his recent solo album and was also a part of the SHY band at the tribute show for Steve Harris. There is lots of talk of upcoming live shows, but the only show confirmed is headlining the Rock 4 Spon charity gig at The Robin next year. They are slowly working on new original Band Of Brothers songs and also they will be performing Lee’s solo material, Native Cain and maybe even some Pride from way back when!

JUST ANNOUNCED! Band Of Brothers will support Graham Bonnet at The Robin in Wolverhampton on 17th March.

Lee Small has also issued a massive update which shows the Black Country man is in for a very busy year. He has announced that the SHY – Steve Harris memorial show at The Asylum in Birmingham was filmed and will be released on DVD in the New Year. He’s been filming a video for a track for the much delayed Skyscraper project with guitarist Tor Talle and bass man David Boyce. Lee has joined the reformed 80’s band United Nations he will be recording a new album with them as well as live shows to be announced soon. He’s also hard at work on the second album from Norwegian rockers Snowfall. Lee has also written nine tracks towards a new melodic rock solo album! It’s fantastic to see the man so busy!


British epic melodic rockers TEN have signed a multi album deal with Rocktopia Records. Gary Hughes has stated that work on the 11th album is about to start and is enthusiastic about the future of the band with the label. Rocktopia Records is a brand new European label headed by Bruce Mee and Kieran Dargan, names whom many will be familiar with from Firefest. Ten’s 11th album will be the first release on the fledgling label; more details will be released soon.


Place Vendome has released a lyric video for the track ‘Power Of Music’. It’s lifted from their album Thunder In The Distance which is out on November 4th!


Niclas Olsson of Sapphire Eyes has revealed a few song titles from the upcoming second album Breath Of Ages from the Swedish AOR group. They include ‘One In A Million’, ‘Into Paradise’ and ‘I Don’t Wanna Be Alone’.


Prophet have released a best of album entitled Asylum via Z Records on the 21st of October. The cult act has just played at this year’s Firefest!


UK rockers Skin & Bone have published a behind the scenes video of the recording of their new album which features snippet’s of a few tracks – check it out! I’m really looking forward to this one…


Jimmy Martin has a new video out for ‘Love Don’t Live Here Anymore’ which is taken from his new album Wild At Heart which is out now. Cracking stuff and a nice modern AOR singer songwriter feel to it!


American rockers Mom’s Rocket have released their album Red in Europe via Z Records on the 21st of October.


Escape Music have announced a few of their forthcoming releases. The new album from Lover Under Cover with Mikael Erlandson on vocals is due in January. The brand new solo album from Overland entitled Epic will hit us in February. Another album from Scandinavians Edge in March. The welcome return of UK pomp rockers Saracen with a new album in April – they are also set to perform at Rock 4 Spon at The Robin in Bilston in May. And also releases from Ozone (featuring Chris Ousey and Steve Overland), Final Frontier, Shadowman and Chris Ousey to follow later in the year.


Tigertailz have issued a video for their new song ‘The Shoe Collector’, it’s taken from their recently released EP Knives which features new vocalist Aussie Jules Millis. Tigertailz are playing HRH AOR next March but also closer to home they are playing Wolverhampton Slade Rooms on 27th November.


The under rated and underappreciated AOR singer song writing legend Clif Magness has posted a bunch of new songs on his reverbnation page that all melodic rock fans need to check out! Clif may have been more successful writing songs for others including the likes of Avril Lavigne, but he is also a cult AOR icon and no self respecting AOR fan doesn’t have his 1994 album Solo in their collection. Let’s hope these new songs lead to a new solo album from the man. In the meantime I’m going to crank up ‘It’s Only Love’ and ‘Jenny’s Still In Love’!


Midlands AOR’sters Dante Fox have re-issued their third album ‘Under The Seven Skies’ due to demand for the 2007 album had seen copies being sold for as much as £200. The re-issue sees the album complete with original artwork and booklet. The Fox have just completed a successful tour supporting Romeo’s Daughter across the UK and have also announced appearances at Planet Rockstock in Great Yarmouth in December and HRH AOR 2 next March in North Wales.


Little Angel’s front man Toby Jepson hits the road again this autumn on a solo acoustic tour including shows at Birmingham O2 Academy on 1st December and The Basement in Nottingham on December 11th. Toby will also have a brand new EP out for the tour which will include Q&A sessions!


Escape Music will issue the physical edition of Kick’s fourth album Memoirs in November.


The Poodles have issued a new video from their album Tour De Force; check out ‘Shut Up’ below.


A few gigs coming up at the Robin in Wolverhampton that have just been announced include – Stonewire + Four Wheel Drive on January 12th, Snakecharmer – January 24th, The Quireboys acoustic – February 2nd, Uriah Heep – February 8th and Edenbridge on 16th February.


Escape Music have announced that Diesel have started recording their debut album in the UK, the band features vocalist Robert Hart (Bad Company / Manfred Mann), Guitarist Jim Kirkpatrick (FM), drummer Jimmy Copley and bassist Pat Davey with an early 2014 release date planned.


Ex Dragonforce front man ZP Theart’s new outfit I AM I will release a new single ‘See You Again’ on November 11th. Tour dates are currently been arranged for later this year and next spring. The band line-up now features ex-Powerquest men guitarist Andy Midgley and drummer Rich Smith.


Glam metal comedy rockers Steel Panther hit the road in the UK next March including shows at Nottingham Rock City, Lincoln Engine Shed and Wolverhampton Civic Hall

Check out their latest video below, but viewer discretion is advised expect nudity and copious amounts of drugs…. ‘Party Like Tomorrow Is The End Of The World’


Seventh Key which features Billy Greer and Mike Slamer have released a video to accompany the track ‘I Will Survive’ from their forthcoming album out on November 4th in the UK. Check it out below.


Christian rockers Stryper have also released a video for the title track of their new album No Hell To Pay out on November the 4th in the UK.


Alcatrazz the band that featured vocalist Graham Bonnet are having four of their eighties albums re-issued! No Parole For Rock N Roll, Live Sentence, Disturbing The Peace and Dangerous Games will see the light of day on November 11th. All albums will feature bonus tracks.


Bonrud, fresh from their appearance at MelodicRockFest in Chicago, have released a brand new video for the song ‘We Collide’. Check it out below.


Bonfire guitarist Hans Ziller’s band EZ Livin are working on their second album. They have just announced David Reece (Bangalore Choir) will be their new singer!


Swiss female fronted hard rockers Roadfever will release their second album Wolf Pack via the Avenue of Allies record label. The album will feature tracks like ‘Wings Of An Eagle’, ‘Magic Sun’, ‘On The Other Side’ and ‘Red Horse’, as well as featuring guest musicians Mat Sinner and Oliver Hartmann. Check out the album teaser below.


Swede’s Colorstone have just issued the first video for the lead track ‘Never Too Late’ from their forthcoming second album.


Tony Harnell has officially announced he is back with Norweigan melodic hard rockers TNT, he states with next year being the 25th anniversary of the Intuition album he felt it was the right time to return and celebrate this landmark with the fans.


Swedish vocalist Stefan Berggren returns with a new project for Avenue of Allies, Revolution Road. The Snakes in Paradise front man is working closely with Alessandro Del Vecchio on the album which is out at the end of November. Tracks include, ‘Wings Of Hope’, ‘Hold On’, ‘Ain’t Gonna Give My Heart Away’ and ‘Take Your Love To Town’.


Dogface are back at long last with a new album Back In The Street which will be released via AOR Heaven on November 29th. Martin Kronlund and Mats Leven are joined by drummer Per Johansson and bass man Mikael Carlsson. The album includes the tracks, ‘Footsteps on The Moon’, ‘Higher’, ‘Start A Fire’ and ‘Freaking Out’.


AOR (the band), which is Frenchman Frederic Slama’s principal project for his song writing are back with a new album The Secret Of LA which is unleashed via AOR Heaven in late November. Again Slama has assembled an array of AOR luminaries including guest vocalists Jeff Scott Soto, Jim Jedhed, Robin Beck and Bob Harris.


Guitarist Axel Rudi Pell returns with a new album in January, Into The Storm will be released on SPV/Steamhammer and will once again feature vocalist Johnny Gioeli (Hardline). Tracks to be included are, ‘Tower Of Lies’, ‘When Truth Hurts’, ‘Touching Heaven’ and ‘High Above’.


Re-issue label Rock Candy has another batch of new tasty goodies available now. Zebra – S/T, Zebra – No Tellin Lies, New England – Explorer Suite, Charlie – Good Morning America and Stepson – S/T.


Founding member of Stratovarius drummer Tuomo Lassila will join old band mate Timo Tolkki on the second album from Avalon. Lassila will record all drums and percussion on the forthcoming album due out on Frontiers Records in early 2014.


David Readman is re-releasing his self titled 2007 debut album on November 1st. It features brand new artwork, different running order and bonus tracks.


Well that’s all the juicy bits of news from the past month; I’ll be back in a month’s time with even more news and gossip from the world of AOR and melodic rock.

I always welcome your feedback, so do leave a comment below.