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It was a big surprise last year to hear HAREM SCAREM signed to Frontiers Records, and wanted to release a new album in the style of their early 'melodic' rockstyle. Well, now it is time to discuss the new album, because next month the official comeback CD of these legendary Canadian rockers will become reality. The new CD is titled 'Weight of the world' and included are 11 songs, with a playing length of only 38 minutes. Of course HAREM SCAREM didn't make a complete return to their classy AOR/Melodic Rock debut (such a classic album you only make once!), but this new CD sounds somewhere between 'Mood swings' and their more recent work with RUBBER.

I have to admit that some of the songs really sound great, but it's not as good as their debut. On the other hand, especially the first 5 songs are really fantastic songs that will be loved by every melodic rockfan. The melodic rock on this new HS album sounds updated for today's radio market, but the catchy choruses are just so pure HAREM SCAREM, very very melodic and memorable. Songs like the uptempo rockers "Weight of the world", "Killing me", "Outside your window" and "All I want", and the melodic rockballad "This ain't over" are all fantastic songs and show a really great side of HAREM SCAREM, actually different than ever before, but still featuring those catchy melodic choruses.

Strangely enough not the whole album continues in this quality melodic rockstyle, because after track 6, which is an instrumental interlude for the second part of the CD, the band gives a very 90s approach to their rocksongs, which results in average songs like "You ruined everything" and "If you". Happily, uptempo melodic rocker "Charmed life" and closing track "Voice inside" with it's super strong chorus make it all up. This new HS album is a must for every fan of the band, and also anyone who want to hear melodic rock with a modern edge will appreciate this high quality release definitely. Now we have to wait until the 25th of March before the album is officially released. This album might become one of the best selling records for FRONTIERS RECORDS I think, because HAREM SCAREM are a very popular band within the rockscene, and I think they deserve it, because this new album proves they can still make quality melodic rock without ever repeating themselves…

Rating: 8,5/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



Drummer/keyboardplayer JEFF AUSTIN has been working on this project for over a decade now and FRONTIERS RECORDS has got the guts to release this pure 80s AOR bliss. I am not saying it is a classic, but can surely mention that this album of the JEFF AUSTIN PROJECT is a great 80s AOR type of record that can be put next to releases of bands like AVIATOR, WHITE SISTER, AVION, WRABIT and the 80s NIGHT RANGER. Other involved musicians besides Jeff include the fantastic lead singer Mark Roebuck, guitarist Marc Severns, bassist Rex Alan and even John Albani (LEE AARON, WRABIT).

The CD has a playing length of only 36 minutes, but happily all included 9 tracks are very good. Highlights are opener "Lisa" (great pure 80s 'big Arena-Rock-AOR' a la AVIATOR, WHITE SISTER), "Too late for love" (huge keyboardsound, pure 80s AOR a la WRABIT), "Forever" (great semi AOR ballad) and the ORION cover "So you ran" (unmistakable AOR Classic). There is also a VAN ZANT cover included, "I'm a fighter", and that's the second time someone covers this song, because I remember a band called PETER STEVENS BAND whom also recorded this midtempo rocker that was written by COBRA members JIMI JAMISON (later SURVIVOR of course) and MANDY MEYER (ASIA/GOTTHARD). Concluded, this is a very good AOR release, and highly recommended if you like pure 80s AOR a la AVIATOR, WHITE SISTER, AVION, RPM, VAN ZANT…

Rating: 8,5/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



This is the second album of the Danish/British all-star band CORNERSTONE, that features on vocals DOUGIE WHITE (RAINBOW) and bassist/keyboardplayer STEEN MOGENSEN (ROYAL HUNT). The new CD is a bit rockier than the first album, and in general, I also think it's better. The music of CORNERSTONE is progressive melodic rock, a bit like LION'S SHARE, STORMWIND, MAGNUM and TEN, so a lot of pleasant melodies can be heard throughout the CD. There's not a single weak moment on the album, because all 10 tracks are very impressive. The best songs are "Some people fly" (strong uptempo melodic rocker), "Singing alone" (lovely powerful melodic rockballad), "House of nevermore" (lovely midtempo melodic rockballad), "Midnight in Tokyo" (strong tough 80s uptempo melodic hardrock, a bit like SAXON, VICTORY) and "Resurrection sympathy" (great midtempo melodic rock/AOR a la MAGNUM, SURVIVOR circa 1989). This new CD of CORNERSTONE is one of the best releases on MASSACRE RECORDS. Very soon an interview with CORNERSTONE.

Rating: 9/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



This is already the third album of the German band (with a very good singing Greek lead vocalist). 'Deception of vain' is a very strong melodic heavy rock/power metal album. There are 13 tracks on the CD (including the hidden track), and the only weaker song was the NEVERMORE orientated "In your head". All the other tracks are very impressive, and definitely show that VALLEY'S EVE is a strong melodic metal band. Highlights on their new CD are "Point of no return" (great chorus), "Mirror in your eyes" (great midtempo melodic heavy rocker), "Kingdom of pain" (strong uptempo melodic heavy rocker), "Dark room" (lovely semi melodic rockballad) and "Open the gates" (very strong chorus). A lot of highlights can be found on the new CD of VALLEY'S EVE, partly due to the fantastic lead singer Roberto Dimitri Liapakis, who also produced the CD. This album is highly recommended to fans of quality melodic heavy rock/metal with a slight progressive and power metal touch.

Rating: 8,5/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



I have always admired the work of multi-instrumentalist JEFF CANNATA. His best recording will always be ARC ANGEL's only release from 1983, an instant AOR/Pomp Classic and maybe one of the best releases of all time! Songs like "Stars" and "Sidelines" are unforgettable classic tunes from the highest music quality you can get. Anyway, after releasing two solo CDs, of which his latest 'Watching the World' was released through NOW AND THEN RECORDS, it became quiet around this talented man. Until now, because Jeff has finally released a new CD.

The new album consists of 7 new songs and 7 classics. The old songs are songs taken from his two solo-albums and a re-recording of the ARC ANGEL classic "Stars" on this 70-minutes counting CD. Of course those old songs are all classic AOR/Pomp tunes, such as the fantastic "Stars", "When It's Love", "Watching the World" and "Sailing Ships". But let's talk about those new songs, because I found them very interesting. Especially the first two songs ("Tamorok" and "Prisoner in the Holy Land") are great exciting Sympho-AOR songs with lots of calmer parts, but both with a super strong melodic chorus in the style of classic ARC ANGEL.

The hi-tech AOR song "Big Life" comes close to stuff ZAPPACOSTA, BODY ELECTRIC and of course Jeff himself did in the late 1980s, but the song itself isn't as strong as the first two new songs. "Calling to You" is another new song, put between a bunch of old tunes, and it's the only new song that didn't appeal to me that much. The other 3 new tracks are then again very impressive. "Dangerous Game" is a good hi-tech AOR song with a hookline a la RUSS BALLARD. The lovely AOR ballad "Stay" follows, and is yet another new masterpiece from Jeff. The CD closes nicely with the great Symphonic AOR rocker "Kings of nations".

Although some might have hoped for a full-new CD in the style of ARC ANGEL, I can still recommend this new CANNATA CD to every fan of the man's work, because 6 of the 7 new included tracks are really fantastic and close to pure classic 80s AOR. And if you never heard the man's earlier recordings, then this is a total must to check out, as you get some of his old classics as a bonus. Very soon you can read an interview with JEFF CANNATA, but for now, check out his site at:

Rating: 8,5/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



'Send me an angel' is the second CD of the Italian Power Metal band VISION DIVINE. I think this band will not only attract fans of Power Metal, because they have more to offer, such as interesting keyboardwork on most of the songs and also some very melodic material (close to melodic hardrock) on their new album. Highlights on the new album are "Taste of a goodbye" (classy uptempo melodic rocker like PC'69, EDGUY…), "Nemesis" (instrumental progressive metal with fantastic keyboardwork), the 3 melodic power metal songs "Away from you", "Black and white" and "Apocalypse coming" and finally, the cover of the 80s AHA song "Take on me". Every fan of melodic power metal should own this record, but also melodic rockfans might like this a lot (as long as you don't mind that VISION DIVINE turn up the tempo sometimes).

Rating: 8,5/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



MONTANY is an exciting band from Holland, and definitely not a new band, because they have been active ever since the late 1980s. Now, finally after all those years of only releasing demo tapes, MONTANY has released their official debut CD entitled 'New born day'. The album has a fantastic sound, thanks to the production by Uwe Lulis (former GRAVE DIGGER guitarist). MONTANY is playing melodic progressive heavy rock mixed with power metal, kinda like EDGUY, AT VANCE, VISION DIVINE, HEAVENLY and some NARNIA. This band has released the perfect album in this genre, as it clearly stands out between all the other releases done the past few months.

The album has a lot of highlights, such as "Back from the sky" (fast paced melodic power metal a la EDGUY, HELLOWEEN, HEAVENLY, with a super catchy memorable chorus), "World of dreams" (uptempo melodic rocker with again a very strong chorus), "Higher and higher" (excellent melodic progressive power metal, with strong chorus yet again, this time a lot like AT VANCE) and the melodic rocker "Pyramid of cheops" (a la PINK CREAM 69). There's something for everyone on this album (prog, power and melodic), so go check out this band, especially if you're into any of the mentioned bands. Yet another quality release by LIMB MUSIC!

Rating: 8,5/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



'Hero nation chapter three' is the third CD of the German band METALIUM. This time, the band has been backed up on keys by none-other than DON AIREY (WHITESNAKE) and KEN HENSLEY (former URIAH HEEP and a solo CD due out soon). The band sounds now more melodic than ever before. Still, the fast power metal is present on songs like "Revenge of Tizona", "In the name of blood" and "Odyssey". The best songs however are "Rasputin" (very catchy melodic chorus can be heard in this fast melodic metal song), "Odin's spell" (great slow tempo progressive melodic heavy rocker), "Infinite love" (epic ballad duet with a great female German Soprano singer called Carolin Fortenbacher, who won an award) and "Hero-nation" (your typical faster melodic heavy rocker a la PRETTY MAIDS, AT VANCE).

There's also a hidden track, a few minutes after the final track "Hero-nation" has blown out of your speakers. This song was recorded especially for some famous German Boxing legend, and strangely enough it is my favourite track! The song is called "Behold of the tiger", a great uptempo AOR song, with lots of keyboards and reminding me a bit like a softer PINK CREAM 69. So that was quite a surprise, hearing the best as last! But the whole album just sounds great, and is highly recommended to people who liked the first two albums of the band, and to anyone into melodic progressive/power metal.

Rating: 8,5/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



The German band AT VANCE has released their finest album so far. 'Only human' is the third CD, and the first produced by Sascha Paeth (RHAPSODY, LUCA TURILLI). The new CD contains 13 fantastic songs that remind me a bit of acts like NARNIA, TEN, old EUROPE, RAINBOW… The music of AT VANCE is very melodic, due to the superb vocal qualities of singer Oliver Hartmann and the catchy melodic sing-a-long choruses in almost every song. In general, I found this excellent melodic rock/metal album to sound very Swedish, just listen to opener "The time has come", a great uptempo melodic power metal song with a deadly catchy chorus that reminds me of the very early days of EUROPE. There's not a single weak song to be found on the CD.

Highlights are "Only human" (super strong hooks and chorus), ”Hold your fire" (STORMWIND, LION'S SHARE, MALMSTEEN style), "Take me away" (the absolute winner, a classy piece of fast fantasy melodic metal with a super melodic chorus), "Time" (a bit like TALISMAN), "Sing this song" (epic progressive melodic rocker a la VANDENPLAS), "Witches dance" (another fast melodic piece), "Wings to fly" (beautiful semi melodic rockballad a la WHITESNAKE) and finally the RAINBOW cover "I surrender" (very good remake, although the song has been redone more than a 1,000 times by
now). Do I need to add more to this review, because I guess there's only one thing to do for you: BUY THIS EXCELLENT CD A.S.A.P.!

Rating: 9/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



'A work of art' is the third album of the Swedish band MIND'S EYE. Their debut 'Into the unknown' was released on the American label LASER'S EDGE/SENSORY RECORDS back in 1997, but the band decided to release their second CD 'Waiting for the tide' independently which resulted in a lot of good press and interest from many labels. Now, their third CD 'A work of art' has been released through the German label RISING SUN RECORDS. And I have to say that this is their finest album so far, an outstanding high quality melodic progressive rock/metal album that mix up the sounds of bands like YES, JADIS, RUSH, VANDENPLAS, SHADOW GALLERY into one exciting style. The lead singer (Andreas Novak) has a very good strong voice that reminds me of GLENN HUGHES.

There are 13 tracks on the CD, and actually, the whole CD is a highlight. My favourite tracks are "Courage within" (progressive melodic rocker like YES meets VANDENPLAS), "Roll the dice" (calmer relaxing semi prog ballad), "Shallow water" (midtempo prog aor a la VANDENPLAS), "An eye for an eye" (semi prog/aor/melodic rock), "Hands of time" (uptempo progressive melodic rocker) and "Your world" (progressive melodic rockballad). This is a high quality release, and a must for everyone into classy progressive melodic rock like VANDENPLAS, ENCHANT, SHADOW GALLERY, YES, RUSH…

Rating: 9/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



KAIPA was a legendary Swedish band that released 5 LPs between 1975 and 1982. They could easily be called the Swedish YES, yet with their own brand of progressive rock. Now, 20 years after their last album release, they are back with a new CD entitled 'Notes from the past'. The band features among others original members Hans Ludin on keys and vocals, and guitarist Roine Stolt, whom we know from THE FLOWER KINGS. Also featured on this new KAIPA album is Jonas Reingold, who also plays in THE FLOWER KINGS. It's hard to disagree about the fact that this record also sounds a lot like THE FLOWER KINGS. The songs are all very relaxing 70s type of progressive rocksongs that sound like a cross between YES and THE FLOWER KINGS. The band leaves a lot of space open for their impressive instrumental qualities.

The CD almost counts 80 minutes, and with 11 songs, a real progressive rockfan should get a copy of the album a.s.a.p. (although the release is planned for late March, so better wait until then!). Most impressive tracks are "Mirrors of yesterday" (pure 70s Prog a la THE FLOWER KINGS), "The name belongs to you" (another FK type of song), "A road in my mind" (great calmer prog ballad duet with a strong singing female vocalist, the song itself has an interesting rock part halfway that also included a pure 70s hammond solo) and closing track "Notes from the past - part 2". This album is highly recommended to every Progrock fan!

Rating: 8,5/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



There are quite a few bands out there that do want to play progressive metal, but try to bring something new within their songs, which is interesting for some people, but on the other hand, if you put Industrial and Alternative influences into your music, I guess for the real progfan there's a lack of interest. PAIN OF SALVATION is one of those bands, although they did some great stuff as well on their new CD. One of the latest new bands in this so-called NU-PROG METAL genre is the American band DEAD SOUL TRIBE. They just released their debut on the German label INSIDE OUT MUSIC.

The band features Buddy Lackey (now under a new name), who used to be the singer for PSYCHOTIC WALTZ (one of the first bands that wanted to play some sort of New Progressive complex/techno Metal style). Anyway, this is DEAD SOUL TRIBE's debut CD. The first track "Power trip" shows rightaway you're not listening to your standard prog metal act here, no, this band is mixing up Industrial and Prog metal. Slightly better is "Comin' down", on which we can hear that the lead singer really can sing very well, without using some sort of megaphone.

Anyway, the real highlights on the CD are "The haunted" (great progressive melodic rocker a la VANDENPLAS), "Once" (great semi-ballad) and bonustrack "Into the spiral cathedral". However, this album is only recommended if you want to hear prog metal with a lot of influences from other music genres (such as Industrial). I rather had heard some more melodic prog metal, like the band does on the song "The haunted", but maybe they can do that next time, who knows!

Rating: 7,5/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



Out of Sweden comes this new project, SILVER SERAPH, a band formed around Richard Andersson (MAJESTIC) and Pete Sandberg (ALIEN, MIDNIGHT SUN). The band has come up with a rather great release, containing melodic heavy rock and AOR, somewhere along the lines of fellow countrymen like STORMWIND, ALIEN, MALMSTEEN, LION'S SHARE, yet also with clear PURPLE/RAINBOW influences, and on the other hand, some pure AOR material. In general, this CD is quite diverse, and that makes it very interesting to a lot of people. Opener "Aftermath" is a great faster uptempo melodic heavy rocker with 70s PURPLE/RAINBOW influences.

Next track "7th day of Babylon" is a very good midtempo progressive melodic rocker. From the following 5 tracks only "Desperate heart" is interesting, as this is a lovely AOR ballad with some interesting keyboardwork. The other 4 songs are a bit weak, such as "Cry from hell" and "Nosferatu", while two songs are also instrumental ("Shadowland" and "Shadow"). The band has kept the best until the end, because the last 3 tracks are the best ones on the CD. "In the dark" is a lovely midtempo progressive AOR song with a superb chorus. "Black rain" is a fantastic uptempo progressive melodic rocker like STORMWIND, ALIEN, LION'S SHARE…

And finally, closing track "Loving you" is a lovely semi AOR ballad, with a very strong chorus. Although not all songs are convincing, there are some very sensational tracks on the debut CD of SILVER SERAPH. Yet another winner with Pete Sandberg on vocals, go check it out!

Rating: 8,5/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



Wow, this is really an awesome band! Z come out of Redondo Beach, California, USA and their debut CD 'Keepers of the sign' is an excellent full-length release. The sound and production is very impressive, and the heavy music of Z is very melodic and sounds like a mixture between today's Progressive Metal and 80s Melodic Heavy Rock. The lead singer (Robert Anthony) has a very powerful voice, quite close to RONNIE JAMES DIO. Most of the included 11 tracks are very good. Highlights are "Strangers in fantasy" (fantastic progressive melodic heavy rocker with a catchy chorus), "Fire in her eyes" (excellent pure 80s uptempo melodic metal a la ROUGH CUTT, with again a catchy chorus), "Keepers of the sign" (midtempo melodic metal), "Shadows of love" (classy uptempo 80s melodic heavy rocker), "Troubles of the heart" (another uptempo melodic metal piece) and "Enemy eyes" (excellent melodic hardrock). Well, this Z is definitely a highly recommended band, especially if you like to hear strong melodic metal! More info at: and e-mail them at:

Rating: 8,5/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



MYSTERY BLOOM is a hot new band from New Jersey, and they play awesome late 80s inspired American orientated melodic rock in the style of acts like TYKETTO, TRIXTER, WHITE LION, DAMN YANKEES… There are 10 tracks on the CD, which they are going to release on the new American AOR/Melodic Rock label CHAVIS RECORDS. The production is very good, and some of the songs are quite sensational. Highlights on the debut CD of MYSTERY BLOOM are "Lifetime in the heart" (classy 80s fun uptempo melodic rocker a la FIREHOUSE, WHITE LION, DANGER DANGER), "Adore" (great semi melodic rockballad with a very strong chorus, a la DAMN YANKEES, VELOCITY, NIGHT RANGER), "Face the world" (uptempo catchy 80s melodic rocker with again a strong chorus, reminds me a lot of the first HAREM SCAREM classic), "Soulmate serenade" (great strong melodic rocker like early NELSON, TRIXTER) and the closing track "Life" (uptempo melodic rocker).

There's also some groovy Hardrock on the CD, such as the songs "Frame of mind", "Pray another day" and "Idol dream". The only tracks I haven't mentioned yet are the tough straight-ahead melodic hardrocker "beyond the real" and the BEATLES cover "Paperback writer". This CD is highly recommended to fans of classy late 1980s/early 1990s American mainstream Melodic Hardrock a la FIREHOUSE, TRIXTER, DANGER DANGER… More info at:

Rating: 8/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



This isn't a new release of the Swedish Progkings, but some sort of compilation. The CD contains 8 tracks, selected from the band's first 4 releases, including two unreleased re-recorded versions. You can hear that FLOWER KINGS sounded slightly different than their latest effort 'The rainmaker'. I mean that this compilation CD contains 7 (the 8th song is a short instrumental) tracks that show the best you can get in Progressive Rock. If you don't owe anything of THE FLOWER KINGS, or you only have their last CD, then this is the perfect CD to pick up, as it contains superb classic Progressive Rock. You'll get 70 minutes of classic high quality progressive rock (with some AOR and 70s Hardrock influences), and an extended CD booklet on just one regular CD.

Songs like "In the eyes of the world" (great uptempo progressive melodic hardrock), "The flower king" (new version, excellent progressive AOR with a lovely chorus), "There is more to this world" (another superb Progressive AOR song), "Stardust we are" (beautiful ballad a la KANSAS) and the semi prog ballad "Compassion" (lovely keyboardsolo) are just a few examples of how the perfect progressive rockband should sound. If you never checked out THE FLOWER KINGS, then this is the best album to buy first, as you'll get the very best songs of this fantastic Swedish band all together on just one CD!

Rating: 9/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



Rick Wakeman is like a Keyboard-God, not only on the YES albums, but also on his solo releases. 'White rock 2' is one of his solo-releases. It's the follow-up to 'White rock', which sold very well back in 1976. That album was the musical score to the movie that was made that year about the Olympics in Innsbruck. Now, Rick has re-recorded the various themes from that movie and released it as 'White rock 2'. And the album is filled with high-class relaxing typical movie-music, with lots of bombastic rhythms and of course beautiful keyboardwork from Rick. If you're a fan of instrumental keyboardwork, and enjoy Rick Wakeman's music, then this is a total must for you!

Rating: 8/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



Guitarist ALAN LOO has released a great instrumental album called 'Memories'. The album is a very nice mixture of AOR, Progressive Rock and Melodic Rock, primarily based around the keyboard and guitar. The best songs are "Over the hill", "Old man" (fantastic midtempo AOR), "Memories", "Napoleon way" and "Angela". Without any doubts, a must to everyone who likes instrumental quality rock.

Rating: 8/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



GONG, the band led by former BRAND X drummer PIERRE MOERLEN, recorded this album back in 1988 in Bremen, Germany, but now MUSEA RECORDS has released those recordings officially. The musicstyle of GONG is original calm instrumental jazzy/fusion progressive rock, and it's something you really need to like, otherwise you can better not check it out. It's different than any other band in the Progressive Rock genre. GONG stand on it's own, but still it's very relaxing to listen to the instrumental laid-back progressive rhythms on this GONG CD. Hard to put into a specific genre, but still nice to listen to as background music. Only recommended to the GONG fans!

Rating: 7,5/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



This band has been active the past 25 years and released quite a lot albums during that period, and also the line-up changed from time to time. PHIL COLLINS was in the band for some time, and you can even hear him on this CD. The reason for that is the fact that 'The X-files' is not a new album of BRAND X, but it's a compilation of unreleased songs, live recorded tunes, demo's and all sorts of rare material. It's a double disc that will be loved by every BRAND X fan. You can also hear the slight changes in style of BRAND X through the years, as they even did a few Hardrock songs ("Saladin" and "Animal"). But most of the time they present the instrumental jazzy progressive rock like they did on all their other releases. Highly recommended to fans of BRAND X!

Rating: 7,5/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



PULSAR is considered to be one of the most popular Progressive Rockbands from France, and are often compared to PINK FLOYD. Well, I can also admit that's a good comparison, but I also have to say that I didn't think PULSAR was that good. This album was recorded back in 1980, and the instrumental qualities are pretty good, especially the keyboardwork on such songs like "Precautions oratoires", "Croisiere" and "Melodie boreala". On the other hand, the band has a speaking lead vocal,
and everything's in French. That's not a big problem, but the speaking words are not really interesting. Still, if you're keen on such original music then you will like this a lot, especially recommended to those of you who are into early PINK FLOYD.

Rating: 6/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



This is not the famous US melodic rockband AUTOGRAPH. This band is the Russian AUTOGRAPH, and 'Stone land' is their 2nd CD. Their debut (released under the moniker AVTOGRAF) sold 4 million copies (!!!), so they were very popular in Russia back in the late 1980s I think. Anyway, MUSEA RECORDS has re-released their 2nd 1989 recorded album 'Stone land'. Just like on their debut, also this album contains about 5 pure AOR songs, and 5 poprock tunes that are disturbed by a saxsolo. I'll just talk about the interesting tracks here, because these are really good tunes that need to be heard by fans of pure AOR.

"I need you" is a great AOR ballad, right into LOVERBOY territory. And "Demon" is an excellent uptempo AOR rocker. Up next is another great song, namely the good semi AOR ballad "The bell". Following track "Master" is even better, as this is a fantastic midtempo AOR. Closing track "World inside" is also a great semi-AOR ballad. These 5 tracks are really terrific, but unfortunately the other 5 songs are all disturbed by a sax, so these are not that interesting. Those songs are also poppier in approach, and move more in the direction of AGENT, ARROWS, MR. MISTER, ADRENALIN… This could have been a really classic in the AOR genre, but the sax kills about 5 tunes,. Nevertheless, there's still plenty of good material on AUTOGRAPH's CD.

Rating: 8/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



Every year in LA, the Progfest is held, one of the biggest Progressive Rock events of the year, with many progressive rockbands from all over the world, old and new bands. The CD Musea has released gives you a good idea how Progfest 2000 sounded like. These are two CDs with excellent live performances by the bands KENSO (from Japan, excellent instrumental quality progressive rock, lots of keys), SUPERSISTER (70s Dutch band with high class 70s Progressive Rock, a la early GENESIS), MONA LISA (classy French Prog), SPOCK'S BEARD (only one song included), ROCKER SCIENTISTS (the excellent band formed around keyboardwizard ERIK NORLANDER), CODICE (classy Latin prog, mainly instrumental) and TEMPUS FUGIT (the best band, their 3 songs are excellent Neo-prog songs a la JADIS, IQ, PENDRAGON, with very good vocals and lovely keyboardwork on "Goblin's trail"). This CD is highly recommended to fans of pure Progressive Rock.

Rating: 8,5/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



RAISON DE PLUS is a very impressive French Neo-Progressive Rockband. Although they sing in the French language, still this is a highly recommended band to fans of high quality Classic Neo-Prog a la ARENA, PENDRAGON, MONA LISA, ANGE… There are 10 songs on the latest CD of the band, and the highlights are "Renaissance" (instrumental, superb keyboardwork), "Le roi du temps gris" (great Neo-prog a la ARENA), "Une autre chance" (superb keyboardwork, and a lovely Neo-prog song, very much like ARENA) and the classy 70s progressive rocker "Enterre vivant". Apart from the fact this band is singing in their own language, which I don't consider as a problem, this RAISON DE PLUS CD is highly recommended to fans of Neo-prog a la ARENA, PENDRAGON, MONA LISA, IQ…

Rating: 8,5/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



This is a very good melodic band from Switzerland, and actually, they have an own style on their debut mini-CD. There are 6 tracks on the CD, which was released in 2000. The first 3 songs are definitely the best tracks of PESTICIDE. "In the middle of the night" is a great melodic rocker (with an 80s twist) a la BONFIRE, WHITE LION… Next track "Sleepless" is a nice semi melodic rocker (bit proggy). And the best song of the whole CD is the progressive melodic heavy rocker "Dreamer" with it's very impressive super melodic chorus. The other 3 songs are less interesting, such as the groovy "I know I'll try" and the melodic rockballad "For everyone I cry" (nice, but nothing sensational here). The ballad is also featured in an acoustic version that closes the CD. The band had a very good start on their CD, but the last 3 songs were a bit disappointing. Nevertheless, PESTICIDE is yet another interesting melodic rockband from Switzerland. More info at: and e-mail them at:

Rating: 8/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



'Slaughter prophecy' is the fourth CD of the German band SACRED STEEL. I haven't heard their earlier releases, but on this album I hear yet another band playing melodic progressive US Power Metal, with a mixture of melodic vocals and death grunts. That's really a pity, because when the melodic vocalist is singing, you really hear a great band, such as on the melodic 80s type of US Progressive Power Metal songs "Sacred bloody steel", "Pagan heart" and "Lay me to my grave" that remind me of bands like early FATES WARNING, HELSTAR, RUSSIANS, LIZZY BORDEN… These are really good songs, but a lot of the other songs are disturbed by death grunts, such as on "Slaughter prophecy" and "The rites of sacrifice". Some people may like this kind of mixture (especially if you liked the WOLVERINE album), but I had rather heard the melodic singer on all songs. Nevertheless, it's a good power metal release, only with the occasional death grunts.

Rating: 7,5/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



DESTRA is another Brazilian band playing high quality progressive metal. Their CD 'Sea of doubt' is very impressive, with good melodic vocals of lead singer Douglas Vancchi and some really fantastic songs. You can compare this band to SHADOW GALLERY. There are 12 tracks on the album, and note one of them does sound weak or average, it's all quality melodic progressive rock/metal what we get to hear. Highlights are "Looking for tale", "You should believe", "Show me the way" (AOR!), "Sea of doubt" (excellent keyboardwork) and "Try or leave" (best song, great uptempo progressive melodic rocker with a lovely chorus). Fans of quality progressive rock/metal with a lot of good melodies will find this a very interesting band. More info at:

Rating: 8,5/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



SCENARIO is a hot new band from Italy, and guess what, their debut CD 'A fearful symmetry' is yet another excellent melodic progressive rock/metal release in the style of SHADOW GALLERY, BALANCE OF POWER, VANDENPLAS… There are so many quality bands in that style at the moment, they pop up from everywhere, although the best bands come out of Italy, Brazil and the USA. Anyway, SCENARIO is playing this melodic form of progressive rock/metal very well, and the album does not only have great songs, but also a huge production, so everything seems perfect for this Italian band. I don't have any complaints really, and can only add here my favourite tracks, which are "The fall" (very much like SHADOW GALLERY, BALANCE OF POWER), "I'm not insane", "My pride", "Message" and closing track "Tin soldier" (best song, great progressive melodic rockballad). SCENARIO is highly recommended to fans of mentioned bands.

Rating: 8,5/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



The Norwegian band MIKROMIDAS recorded their debut CD live in the studio, just to show to the public who have never seen them live on stage how they do sound at a live performance. I must say I am impressed, because MIKROMIDAS does sound pretty good. They play quality melodic progressive rock, and they sing in their own language. Don't let that put you off, because MIKROMIDAS has some great songs on their first CD that should be heard by any progressive rockfan. The best songs are "Incognito day", "Dvergenes palass", "Jublende rekker" (very impressive) and the THE FLOWER KINGS orientated 70s Progressive Rocker "Nostradamus". This band is recommended if you like pure Progressive Rock that is primarily based around the guitar, and of course you don't mind Norwegian lyrics!

Rating: 8/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



SALMON is a Dutch band, and their CD 'Decade of reference' is a superb high class progressive rock album with elements from all decades, and very impressive melodic vocals of lead vocalist Jan Jaap Langereis, who also plays keyboards and does that very well. The CD contains 9 tracks, with both shorter and long songs. Not only the music sounds terrific, but also the production and instrumental qualities of SALMON are right up there with the best progressive rockbands at the moment. There's not a single weak moment on their album, and I can easily put this band next to JADIS, early GENESIS, PFM, THE FLOWER KINGS, CAIRO, SHAKARY etc.

There are a lot of highlights on the CD, such as "Avoid" (9 minutes of superb 70s prog, super melodic, but also very proggy, reminds me a lot of THE FLOWER KINGS), "Trespassing" (good midtempo neo-prog), "Dancing bird" (a great calmer prog/aor ballad duet with a female singer), "A second life with heart and soul" (a prog rock dream, a song with a playing length of 21 minutes, a lot like CAIRO and SJAKARY), "Houses on the voorde banks" (great semi AOR/Neo-prog ballad) and finally, "The observer" (another prog rock dream, very impressive keyboardwork). Well, what more can I say! This CD, with a playing length of almost 70 minutes, is a total must if you're a symphonic/progressive rockfan. More info at: and e-mail them at:

Rating: 8,5/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



There are unfortunately only two songs on the demo CD of the Italian guitarist Massimo Bianchi. On the other hand, both songs are very impressive. First is the great AOR/Melodic Rockballad "Angel of my life" that reminds me a bit of JADED HEART. The other song is the acoustic ballad "Lost lady". The production is also very good, and apart from the fact that there are only two songs included, this guitarist and his music is a new hope for Italian AOR/Melodic Rock. More info at: and e-mail him at:

Rating: 8/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



This is another new Brazilian band playing Progressive Power Metal. This band's debut CD could've been much better if they had included more songs, because with a playing time of only 38 minutes and 7 real tunes, the album can more be seen as a mini-CD. Secondly, a few songs are disturbed by the so-called 'Death-growls', and that's a pity because lead singer Diogo Marins has a great melodic voice. Musically they are comparable to PAIN OF SALVATION, although FACES OF MADNESS is a bit closer to Power Metal at times. The best songs are "Rusted memories" (great melodic progressive power metal), "Illusions" (definitely the best song, a great melodic progressive metal song a la BALANCE OF POWER, with a lovely catchy chorus), "Twilight kingdom" (faster melodic power metal) and "Justice is written in blood" (MAIDENish 80s melodic metal, a bonustrack from a 1998 demo). Not bad, but also some clear negative marks can be made about this band. However, if they drop some of those death growls, and put out a longer record next time, then we can easily welcome another quality band from Brazil in this genre. More info at:

Rating: 7,5/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



Singer/songwriter Brad Mormino comes out of Illinois, USA and his debut CD contains poppy aor/poprock that sounds like a cross between RUSS IRWIN, DANNY WILDE, NELSON and a soft version of early MICHAEL MORALES. I had hoped for some rockier stuff, because Brad has got a perfect melodic 'rock' voice, and even the songs are quite good, but I still miss some of that electric guitar. Nevertheless, there's still enough to enjoy for fans of melodic poprock, just go check out songs like "What does it take?", "Bleed" and "If this wasn't my town".

Brad is at his best however on songs like "All over again" (great midtempo AOR ballad, very strong tune) and the NELSON orientated uptempo melodic rocker "Stupid again" (very catchy). Those are really great songs and show Brad in a rockier mood. I can't say that about the popsong "I am alone" (a la GEORGE MICHAEL), the groovy "Been so long" or the EXTREME type of acoustic "Think of you", these are not the kind of songs a fan of melodic rock is waiting for. On the other hand, you can't deny that Brad is doing a good job writing as many various styles on one CD as possible. But hopefully next time he can do some more rock orientated songs like "Stupid again". Highly recommended to people who are into KYLE VINCENT or the very early THE BABYS stuff. More info at:

Rating: 7/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



This New Jersey settled band is playing high quality instrumental progressive/symphonic rock a la RUSH, 70s KANSAS, 70s GENESIS and JOURNEY (all without the melodic vocals!). The band has released 2 great albums, of which their debut 'Gravity' is the best album. Highlights on 'Gravity' are such excellent perfect progressive rockers like "Prelude", "Gearth", "Space and time" and "A dying wish". Just listen how perfect everything sounds, with the keyboards and guitar riffs taking an important part in 4FRONT's music. The other CD, 'Radio waves goodbye', is a bit weaker and poppier, but still also that new album contains some great instrumental progressive rcok like "Tunnel vision", "Special patrol group" and "Descent". There's also a cover of the DAVID BOWIE classic "Space oddity 2001", and that's the only song that features vocals, and I must say that guitarist/keyboardplayer Zak Rizvi has a good voice, maybe a side-project with vocal songs would be an option? Anyway, if you're into quality instrumental progressive rock, then look no further, here's 4FRONT at: and e-mail them at:

Rating: 8,5/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



ESCAPE MUSIC has a new interesting compilation out, containing a lot of new and unreleased material. This year looks set to be very promising for the UK label. On this double CD you can already hear some previews of things to come. New bands signed to ESCAPE MUSIC include TOTAL STRANGER (the melodic rockband that released a CD on LONG ISLAND RECORDS and further back in the past a mini-LP in the 1980s), MECHANIX (they sound a lot like TOUR DE FORCE), FURY (their included song here, which is called "Higher ground" is a lovely CLASSIC AOR tune a la 80s NIGHT RANGER, BRIAN MCDONALD GROUP, and THE highlight of this double CD!) and finally, BODY ELECTRIC (how did they trace this 80s hi-tech band?).

There's also a lot of unreleased songs of bands like HEARTLAND, PHANTOM'S OPERA, GRAND ILLUSION, FIRST SHOT (their included song is a very PRISM tingled poprocker), STRANDED, NEWMAN and INTRUDER, some released as Japanese bonustrack, others will be included on the upcoming releases of the bands. And if you missed some releases on ESCAPE MUSIC, this is a good opportunity to hear some of the label's more obscure releases, because there are tracks included from acts like JESTER, ASHES TO ASHES, ARIES, MESSAGE, TURI, ROULETTE and many more. This double disc offers 31 tracks of quality AOR and Melodic Rock. The next release due out on ESCAPE MUSIC will be TOTAL STRANGER, which should be a very interesting release I think. For now, go get yourself a copy of this compilation!

Rating: - (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



Out of Denmark comes INAVOID. They sent me a 3-track demo CDR that sounds quite good. Opener "In a void" for example is a good progressive melodic rock/metal song a la ENCHANT, SHADOW GALLERY (without the keys). Also the two other included songs here ("Brindisi" and "Forgave") are great uptempo progressive metal songs, with an own identity. This band is quite interesting, as they offer some good new stuff in the ever-growing progressive melodic rock/metal scene. Go check them out at: and e-mail them at:

Rating: 7,5/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



BEYOND DARKNESS is a new Japanese band, and their 3-track CD 'Deep inside of you' is their official debut demo. Although the music sounds good, I think the vocals are produced too much to the back, and the guitars are too much upfront. A pity, because the songs of BEYOND DARKNESS are quite good, such as the good midtempo melodic metal pieces "Ebbing tide" and "Moisten me". Maybe a next demo CD will be better, but still you can check out this band, as they do offer nice melodic metal (not by the numbers this time!). Website: and e-mail them at:

Rating: 7/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



These Texan rockers' CD was produced by BOBBY ROCK (NELSON, SKULL). Musically we have to deal here with 80s type of Hardrock. The best songs on their debut CD are "Hearts on fire" (classy 80s melodic rock), "Love ride" (uptempo melodic hardrock) and "Mind trip" (classy 80s uptempo melodic rocker). Most of the time, the band reminds me of EVERY MOTHER'S NIGHTMARE and SKID ROW, especially on the melodic heavy rockers "Devil's line" and "Divine intervention". Recommended if you're into that type of hardrock. More info at: and e-mail them at:

Rating: 7/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



The New York settled band THIS is playing 90s type of Poprock with a 70s Punk influence here and there. They do sound fresh and radio-ready for the US market (bands like GREENDAY, CREED and MATCHBOX 20 come to mind). This is not the kind of band our readers will check out, but nevertheless, I can't deny that these guys don't write catchy melodic rockin' tunes, such as "Human" and "Sucka". Only recommended to fans of mentioned acts. More info at: and e-mail at:

Rating: 6,5/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



It's a pity this Progressive Melodic Heavy Rockband also uses 'Death-grunts' here and there on their debut CD, because they have an excellent melodic singer and their songs are very impressive, but like I said a few songs are completely spoiled by those additional death grunts. I am talking about the songs "The dance of the little ones", "Behold the horned king" and "Finganfor", all 3 disturbed by those annoying death metal type of vocals, just like we have heard from other bands like WOLVERINE and EVERGREY more recently. And those 3 songs could have been very good, if they had left out the Death Metal vocals.

Happily, there's also enough material that only features the real singer (Bruno Maia), who has a very good voice and those tunes prove that we can really do without the additional death metal vocals. I really love those songs, such as "The battle song" (a la BLIND GUARDIAN), "Tan pinga ra tan", "Vercingetorix" and "Some tunes to fly" (with very good additional female vocals, great semi-ballad). Those songs show that TATHA DE DENANN is a very good Brazilian band, but still the score could have been much higher, if they had left out those Death Metal grunts, and also the silly song "Tin gara la tin ga dun" just doesn't work between the rest of the CD.

Still, people who liked the recently released album of WOLVERINE will love this album as well. Last thing I would like to add is a positive point and that's the fact that this band is quite original with their fantasy lyrics and additional use of instruments like the Flute, which gives their music a slight folk and medieval touch, and this sets them apart from any other band in this genre. Now if they only would leave out the Death grunts next time… More info at: and e-mail at:

Rating: 7,5/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



HOUSEBREAKERS is an Italian band, and they have a good singing female lead vocalist. Musically they play a somewhat updated melodic heavy rockstyle. There are 4 songs on their debut CD, and especially the first two songs are pretty good. These are the melodic heavy rockers "The everlastin' voice" and "My hands on this world". The other two songs are a bit weaker, but not bad at all. Check out this Italian band at: and e-mail them at:

Rating: 7/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



'Forever' is the official debut CD of PERPETUAL DREAMS, a Brazilian progressive melodic rockband. I have to admit that this is a very good band. The album has a great sound, and all included 7 tracks are excellent straight-ahead progressive melodic rockers. Especially the keyboardwork by Richard Manzke is quite stunning on most of the songs. The best tracks are "Perpetual dreams" (great uptempo progressive melodic rocker), "To live forever" (very good uptempo melodic rocker like MALMSTEEN circa 1988), "Dark way", "Souls dreaming", "Symphony", "Just a nightmare" and "A reason to live". Yes, indeed all the 7 tracks are the best songs, so this band is very sensational and all their tunes are impressive. Now, go check out their site at: and e-mail at:

Rating: 8,5/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



Here's yet another interesting quality band from Brazil. BEFORE EDEN is playing very impressive progressive rock/metal and their CD has a great sound quality. The only pity is that the CD has a short playing time, only 33 minutes. Nevertheless, the songs are quite good, such as "Fallen angel" (good progressive rock/metal, lots of interesting keyboardwork), "Between love and glory (Part 2)" (great faster uptempo progressive melodic rocker, with again excellent keyboards) and closing track "Before Eden" (great melodic progressive metal). So, BEFORE EDEN is another good Progressive band from Brazil. For more info, go to their site at: and e-mail them at:

Rating: 8/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



Out of Trier, Germany comes multi-instrumentalist Thomas Thielen and his latest CD is one that will be loved by fans of experimental progressive music. A few songs like "She said", "Tuesday night blues" and "About us" are really good calmer semi Neo-prog ballads that remind me a lot of FISH and MARILLION. The rest though is quite experimental and is more akin to the recent stuff MARILLION and RADIOHEAD put out these days. Especially the songs "A night out", "A day like any other day" and "Nothing more" are a bit too experimental for the average progrock fan. It's not a bad CD at all, but some more real Neo-prog like T does on "She said" and "About us", two 10-minutes counting epic Neo-prog songs. For now, it's only recommended to fans of the recent MARILLION and RADIOHEAD.

Rating: 7/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



This is the debut CD of the French band SOMBRE REPTILE. They play instrumental progressive rock, with a lot of experimental and poppy parts, to make it more attractive to different people. On the other hand, they take a few steps away from progressive rock on a couple songs, so this band may not appeal to everyone, unless you don't mind something else. Nevertheless, they play their music quite well on songs like "Orient/song", "Mandoline Noire" and "Naja". Only recommended to fans of instrumental experimental progressive rock.

Rating: 7,5/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



LOCAL 7 is a French duo and their debut 'Substrat' sounds very impressive. This band is playing HIGH QUALITY instrumental Progressive Rock. The whole album contains some of the best instrumental work I've heard in years. Songs like "Plasmodium falciparium", "Marin sideral", "Un lapin sure le bateau", "Caprice de bebe" and "La Chapelle" are quite superb instrumental prorgressive rock. Without any doubts, this is highly recommended to every fan of Progressive Rock.

Rating: 8,5/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



KOTEBEL is a Spanish band, and this is their second release. They play instrumental progressive rock (for the main part), but every now and then there's a female epic voice. The CD sounds pretty good, and especially songs like "Prologue", "Transition", "Meditation" and "First heaven…punishment" are quite sensational instrumental progressive rockers. These songs are actually parts of one song called "Mysticae visiones", a 35-minute counting progressive rock song. The other song on the CD, "The river", has a playing length of 15 minutes, but is less interesting, as it is a very calm instrumental prog song with some elements of other peaceful music genres. Anyway, this is still another recommendable instrumental progressive rock piece.

Rating: 8/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



Here's another quality release on MUSEA RECORDS. SEVEN REIZH is a French duo that mix up neo-progressive rock (MARILLION) with celtic/folk music (female vocals a la ENYA), and blended together it does sound pretty good. Highlights are the rockier songs, such as "Selaou", "Naer ar galloud", "Tad ha mamm" and "Mail eo monet de ys". Sometimes, the CD gets a bit too calm, though it all sounds quite relaxing and it really clears the mind. The Scottish bagpipe gives a nice twist in the song "Tad ha mamm", and a lot of other instruments are used in most of SEVEN REIZH' music, so this all together makes them sound unique and interesting for people who are looking for an original band, without losing the basic ground, which is always progressive music.

Rating: 7,5/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



AZAZELLO is a Russian band, and 'Upstairs' is a recommended piece to fans of classic 70s Progressive Rock (a la RUSH). There are only 7 songs on the CD, but a few are quite long, with everything that is needed to make up a good quality progressive rocksong, such as the very good tunes "Upstairs", "The word" and "By daybreak" (instrumental, with many tempo changes). I can really recommend this band if you want to hear non-commercial pure 70s Progressive (Hard) Rock a la RUSH.

Rating: 7,5/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



Yes, here they are again. A week ago I did a review of DOMINOE'S comeback CD-single "Here I am", a song that stood in the German Charts for 25 weeks and went to number 4 about 13 years ago. The remake was quite horrible, as the original version was a real Classy AOR tune, very 80s, the new version though sounded like some cheap poprocker, and then I even haven't sad a word about the included Grunge or Dance version! Anyway, here's the new album of DOMINOE. Remember that their first two albums were great pieces of Classic AOR, and belong to some of the best in German rock history. This new CD however is very disappointing, because it has nothing to do with the Classic AOR DOMINOE played over a decade ago.

'No silence…no lambs' is a very average poprockalbum, with occasionally an aor/melodic rocksong. The few highlights are "We stand together" (good AOR ballad, but not as classy as DAYTONA's superb version!), "Senses" (the only really good song, this is a great semi-AOR ballad with a very strong chorus), the GOTTHARD type of songs "Sad songs" and "Let it rain" and the semi melodic rocker "Lorraine". I had really expected something much better, especially considering the fact that DOMINOE was one of the best AOR bands from Germany. Well, this is only recommended to people who like the recent stuff BRYAN ADAMS and BON JOVI have released, and don't expect anything rockier than that!

Rating: 7/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



'Secret thought' is the third demo of the Greek band SECRET SHOW. This band is playing very good progressive melodic heavy rock, with some Power Metal influences. There are two songs on the CDR, namely "Another way" (a la EDGUY, HELLOWEEN) and "Symptoms of the past" (uptempo melodic hardrock). The band has a good singer (Thodoris Gourlomatis) who has a high-pitched voice. This band is quite good, and highly recommended if you're into melodic progressive heavy rock/metal. More info on SECRET SHOW at: and e-mail them at:

Rating: 8/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



This is a French band, and although their demo has a good sound quality, the music is less interesting. ICE CAKE has 2 songs on their new demo CDR, and both are close to Nu-Metal, with Death grunts, although the melodic chorus of "Paradox" sounds pretty nice and reminds me of MENNEN. Hopefully next time more melodic vocals like the chorus of "Paradox", which proves that this band can do much better, and are better off without the death grunts. More info on ICE CAKE at: and e-mail them at:

Rating: 6,5/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



This is a hot new band from Milan, Italy, and their demo CD contains 3 great songs. The band is mixing AOR, Melodic Rock and Progressive Rock into one exciting new style, which is very melodic all the way. The band has a fantastic lead singer, Rob Akenz, and their CDR sounds HUGE! Opener "Aileen" is a lovely AOR ballad, with an interesting progressive rock edge. Next track "Close to me" is a good progressive melodic rocker. Closing track "I could cry" is a great semi prog/aor ballad that has a very nice progressive rock break with excellent keys by piano/keyboardplayer Marco Tardini. So, REFLEX is another great new band from Italy, highly recommended to fans of both AOR and Progressive Rock. More info at: and e-mail them at:

Rating: 8,5/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)



Here's another Italian band, this one comes out of Bologna. Their debut CD 'The spirit of radio' has a good production and sound quality. Musically MARKONEE grabs back to an 80s Melodic Metal sound, which can be heard right from the start on "Every beat of my heart". This song is a nice uptempo melodic Hardrock/Metal tune that reminds me of such acts like RATT, ACCEPT, KEEL, ROUGH CUTT. Things get really RATTish on the following track "Loved land", a great song that has the same drums/bass sound as RATT's classic record 'Back for more'. The following 3 songs are all nice midtempo pieces, but don't hold the level as high as that second track. Last song is the QUIET RIOT type of Party Melodic Hardrocksong "Modern time clockwork". This band has some nice stuff to offer, especially if you're into RATT. More info at: and e-mail them at:

Rating: 7,5/10 Gabor Kleinbloesem)(Review by



DALTONIA is a band out of Chile and they sent me their debut CD. The album has a very good sound and production, while musically they play instrumental progressive rock. It's not completely instrumental, because the band uses in most songs a spoken word vocal, so no real vocals, but more speaking out some sort of poem, because that's where they got their influence from. Anyway, the best songs are the pure Neo-prog tunes "Es hora?" and "Kine we mapu ta ni yalalun", with some interesting
keyboardwork. Fans of instrumental progressive rock (with spoken word lead vocals) will enjoy this a lot, although I hope the band can also include some songs with real lead vocals next time. Anyway, it's a quality band that you can check out at: and e-mail them at:

Rating: 7,5/10 (Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)