MELODIC TIMES – Melodic Rock / AOR round up – Oct 2013


Firefest 2013Stuff by Woody

Firefest Friday has now completely sold out, and less than a hundred tickets remain for the Saturday and Sunday. In further news you can now buy this year’s official t-shirt in readiness for the festival itself, check out the merch page on

Fergie Frederiksen is unfortunately battling cancer again, Fergie has therefore had to pull out of his autumn European tour with Legends which included a headline show at this year’s Firefest. We wish him all the best.

Guitarist Tommy Denander the man behind the Legends’ live shows has drafted in Bobby Kimball to cover for Fergie, replacing one Toto singer for another! In related news Joe Lynn Turner who was also scheduled to be part of this Legends tour has had to pull out due to some important recording commitments. So Tommy has drafted in another ex-Rainbow front man Graham Bonnett to cover for him this autumn.

Fergie Frederiksen has also issued a second video to promote his latest album Any Given Moment, check out ‘Angel Don’t Cry’ below.


Billy Greer and Mike Slamer team up again for the first Seventh Key album in eight years. I Will Survive will be released via Frontiers Records in November and will include the songs ‘I See You There’, ‘Sea Of Dreams’, ‘When Love Sets You Free’, ‘The Only One’ and ‘What Love’s Supposed To Be’.

If you cast your mind back to last month’s round up you may remember me mentioning a new country rock band Dark Horse. Now the main reason they are of interest to us is the fact that the lead singer is Paul Laine and it’s produced by Danger Danger legend Bruno Ravel. The album is slated for a 2014 release, but you can check out their first official video for ‘In The Country’ now!


Lita Ford will release a new twelve track live album The Bitch Is Back….Live at the end of October through her current European label SPV/Steamhammer. It includes ‘Hungry’, ‘Can’t Catch Me’, ‘Dancing On The Edge’ and of course ‘Kiss Me Deadly’!

American vocalist David Reece will release his latest album Compromise in late October via AOR Heaven. The album features ‘End Of It All’, ‘Someone Beautiful’ co-written with Tom & James Martin of VEGA, ‘Where My Heart Belongs’ and ‘Evil Never Dies’.

The melodic rock project Place Vendome fronted by popular vocalist Michael Kiske return with a new album in November via Frontiers Records. Thunder In The Distance features song contributions from the likes of Alessandro Del Vecchio, Magnus Karlsson, Timo Tolkki, Soren Kronqvist and Tommy Denander. You can check out some sound samples below.


British AOR’sters Serpentine have parted ways with their singer Matt Black. The official statement states musical differences as the reason behind Black’s departure. Serpentine, who are currently hard at work on their third album with Gary Hughes contributing to the writing, are actively searching for a new singer to take the band forward. Interested parties can contact them via

Shortly after this statement Matt Black announced he is now the lead singer with Derbyshire based Fahran, who had recently parted company Nick Whitcroft. Plenty of live action is scheduled and a new album slated for early 2014 with Black on vocals.

Another live music venue bites the dust – well sort of – Moochers in Stourbridge whom I recently mentioned because they were having a poop load of bands coming there including Tygers Of Pan Tang, Tuff, Knockout Kaine, I Am I, Enuff Z’nuff, Sister Sin and a few others who have escaped my memory have ALL been cancelled. This came to my attention via Tygers Of Pan Tang who alerted us to the gig cancellation because the venue is now under new management and they wish to take the venue in a different direction, so that means no rock and metal bands. A Real Shame!

Impera bounce back quickly with their second album following the positive reaction the debut album Legacy of Life received last year. The album Pieces of Eden will be release via Escape Music in October. Impera features Vocalist Matti Alfonzetti and guitarist Tommy Denander.

You may know Angelica as the voice of symphonic metallers The Murder Of My Sweet. Well she has an upcoming album on Frontiers Records out on November 29th entitled ‘Thrive’. It will see Angelica perform songs in a more traditional melodic rock vein, with song contributions from all the usual Frontiers suspects although many of the songs were written or co-written by Angelica, so not a stereotypical Frontiers project album. There will be a video for the track ‘Breaking My Heart’ out soon and I’m sure it will have all red blooded dudes dribbling! I’m a total sucker for female vocalists so I can’t wait to hear this one, especially as I know from Murder of My Sweet what a great voice Angelica has!

The ever prolific Anglo American rock act Legion is back again with yet another album their fifth album in four years. V will be released via Z Records at the end of September. Guitarist Vince O’Regan and vocalist Phil Vincent’s song writing partnership has dished up new songs like ‘Satisfy Me’, ‘Every Beat Of My Heart’, ‘Take You Away’, ‘Not Fooling Anyone’ and ‘Lose Yourself’ which will all be featured on their latest opus. Check out some sound bites below. You can also read my interview with Phil right here.


Israeli new kids on the block Chase The Ace have a European scheduled for November. They are playing Rock Zombie in Dudley on November 22nd

Gary Schutt has a tenth solo album ready for release Moving Parts, but has no fixed release date as he shops the album round for a good record deal. The album features songs like, ‘Gonna Die Trying’, ‘Fuel To The Fire’ and ‘Invisible’.

Royal Hunt will release their Twelfth studio album A Life To Die For in late November via Frontiers Records. The news is we should expect this album to be even grander and heavier symphonic and classical emphasis. Tracks include ‘Hell Comes Down From Heaven’, ‘A Bullet’s Tale’, ‘Running Out Of Tears’ and ‘A Life To Die For’.

For his upcoming solo album Ron Keel has set up a Pledge campaign. The album Metal Cowboy has been described by the man himself as hard and heavy with a southern vibe and will feature tracks like ‘Wild Forever’, ‘3 Chord Drinkin’ Song’ and ‘When Love Comes Down’. Once the campaign is complete 10% of what is raised will go to the Wounded Warriors charity.

German rockers Love.Might.Kill have released another video to promote their second album 2 Big 2 Fail. Check out ‘Too Big To Fail’ below.


Ex-Talon and Outloud vocalist Chandler Mogel has a new band Iron Bridge. The Classic rock influenced band have their debut album Road Not Taken out at the end of September.

Z Records have signed US rockers Mom’s Rocket and will release their album RED in Europe at the end of October. You can check the video for their lead track ‘By A Thread’ below.


Swiss rockers Sideburn return with a new album Electrify in October. It will be released via AOR Heaven and will include the tracks, ‘Bite The Bullet’, ‘Never Get Down’ and ‘Bad Reputation’.

Austria’s Sergeant Steel have a new album out new entitled Man On A Mission, you can check out their catchy as hell track ‘Cry Your Heart Out Baby’ below.


Wolfpakk the band featuring German vocalists Michael Voss and Mark Sweeney have just released their latest album Cry Wolf. They have released a video to accompany the track ‘Cold Winter’ which also features a guest appearance by respected female vocalist Amanda Sommerville.


Danny Vaughn has spoken publicly a few times about a Spanish band he’s been working called Burning Kingdom. To be honest I wasn’t sure what to expect from this even with Vaughn on vocals, but I’m delighted to say after hearing the video for ‘Watching As It Burns’ I’m really impressed and anticipating the album when it’s released!


Eden’s Curse have unveiled the video for the track ‘Evil and Divine’ from their forthcoming album Symphony Of Sin to be released via AFM records. Check out the video below which features new vocalist Nikola Mijic and keyboardist Steve Williams (Powerquest).


Actor / Singer Michael Des Barres will see his 1986 album Somebody Up There Likes Me re-issued via Yesterrock / Universal on September 20th.  This is the first time this rare album has been released on CD so; it’s going to be a real treat for collectors to get their hands upon.

Starship have just release their album Loveless Fascination, which has been a long time coming and it’s good to see Mickey Thomas back in the game, especially fronting Starship. They have released a lyric video for the track ‘It’s Not The Same As Love’.


Europe will release their latest live DVD Live at Sweden Rock – 30th Anniversary Show in the UK via earMusic on the 21st of October.

UK rock band Kick is back with a fourth album Memoirs released on September 20th via Gem Music and Escape Music. Principal song writer Mikey Jones has brought this album to us almost a decade after the last Kick album, the band also featured Nick Workman (Vega) on vocals. Nick is not back this time and Mikey himself has taken on lead vocals. Songs included are ‘Urban Refugee’, ‘Radio’ and ‘Thrill Seeking Junkie’.

A new limited edition re-issue series has been set up by respected journalist Rob Evans. The ‘Lost UK Jewels’ Collection series will be limited to 500 copies per album and bands scheduled for a release include Graffiti, Geneva, Torino, Voyager UK and Tokyo. The first two releases Strutz – Through The Ages and Peroux – Wheels Keep Turnin will be available on October 11th.

To accompany the recent release of their third album Frozen Paradise, Coldspell have unveiled a video for the track ‘Paradise’, check it out below!


Maxx Explosion the band that features House Of Lords members Jimi Bell, BJ Zampa and Chris McCarvil, have just released their debut album through Kivel Records have issued a promo video for the song ‘Devil’s Locomotive’.


Swedish female fronted rockers Nubian Rose have made a new video for the track ‘Ever See Your Face’ the opening cut from their debut album Mountain. You may have witnessed them live at HRH AOR this year, enjoy the video below.


Little Angels singer Toby Jepson is taking to the road in November / December for a solo acoustic tour. These intimate acoustic storyteller nights are a popular concept at the moment, can’t say I’m particularly a fan of them but I understand why other like other like to get up close and personal with their idol’s in a relaxed environment. Jepson plans to have those attending submitting questions via mobile internet, good old text and EVEN on paper at the merch desk for those who like to do things old school! He’s playing the O2 Academy in Birmingham on the 3rd December and The Basement in Nottingham on the 11th.

The Almighty’s forthcoming re-issues of ‘Blood, Fire and Love’ and ‘Soul Destruction’ has been held back until January 2014 when they’ll see the light of day via Spinefarm Records. We are told the delay is so they can spend more time on the re-issues. There is also a lot of talk about live shows to accompany the re-issues featuring original members of the band.

Midlands AOR’sters Dante Fox have just announced they will be playing at Planet Rockstock this December. The weekend Festival takes place on 6th-8th December at the Vauxhall Holiday Park in Great Yarmouth.

The Robin in Bilston have just announced a new show that will interest many of this column’s readers, female fronted blues edged classic rockers Stonewire and raucous rock n rollers Four Wheel Drive from the AC/DC school of rock, will play a double headliner there on January 12th. I’m sure this will kick start the year with a bang!

Swedish rockers Crucified Barbara have just unveiled a video for ‘The Crucifier’. It’s taken from the ladies latest album The Midnight Chase and is a tad scary but I’ll watch anything for a quick glimpse of drummer Nicki Wicked!


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.