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It is pretty clear that TIMESCAPE will belong to the better sounding progressive rockbands very soon. The debut CD of this Swedish band contains only 8 tracks, but these are from a high quality. Besides that, the progressive hard rock of the band has much more to offer. Just like the somewhere else reviewed band ACCOMPLICE, also TIMESCAPE is using AOR/Melodic Rock melodies to give their sound a unique mixture of diverse styles.

Two tracks of their CD show TIMESCAPE at their best in their own style. "My lonely stare" and "Colors of the fall". The first one is uptempo melodic rock with only little progressive influences and I think even fans of bands like PANGEA, AMAZE ME will enjoy this hookladen rocker. The chorus in the song is very catchy indeed. The other song ("Colors of the fall") is a melodic rockballad with some very good lead vocals of singer Mikael Moberg. These two songs sound very good and if the band would continue the style created on these songs, I can guarantee them a long career ahead.

The rest of the CD is also nice to hear, such as "Silent room of time" and "Whispering shadows" but these songs have more the DREAM THEATER feeling so many other progressive bands also have. Nevertheless this band is recommended to both progressive rockfans and the open-minded melodic rockfans. Visit the WebSite of the band at: and e-mail them at: or write to their postal address: Johan Berlin, Skogvaktaregatan 4, 602 08 NORRKOPING, Sweden. 

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


This is a compilation of some of the artists/bands on the English/Italian AOR Label NOW&THEN/FRONTIERS RECORDS. The CD features 17 tracks from 16 different bands/artists (TEN is featured with two tracks of their new 'Spellbound' album). This CD gives you a good idea how the AOR scene looks like these days. There are 8 tracks that are at this moment unreleased, and will be featured on the upcoming release of the performing artist/band. And all these 8 tracks are fantastic. For example HUGO is featured with "Can't stop lovin' you", a brilliant AOR song that sounds like a mixture between JOURNEY and the only VALENTINE album. This song is a sneak preview of the upcoming second solo release of HUGO, which is expected later this year. Also the new NORWAY song "Givin' it all" is really fantastic AOR in the best 80s tradition, a fantastic sound and production included. Their second album and first one through Frontiers is set to be a winner for every AOR fan, it will be released at the end of this year.

Also the new tracks of MILLENIUM, JOHNNY LIMA, LOST WEEKEND, DANTE FOX and VINNY BURNS are all great AOR/Melodic Rock orientated songs that give us a very good first impression of things to come. The upcoming releases of these bands through FRONTIERS RECORDS shortly look very promising when hearing their new tracks. Besides all these new tracks, there are also some songs that have already been released on the album of the performing artist/band. If you didn't had enough money to buy all FRONTIERS releases, this 'Union' compilation CD is a good opportunity to hear some tracks of the releases. Good examples are the DRIVE SHE SAID classic "Look at what you got" and STAN BUSH & BARRAGE "Joanna". I can recommend this compilation CD to every AOR/Melodic Rockfan out there, because what you'll get is a both a good preview of the upcoming releases of this fantastic label and some great songs of releases from the past few months you may have forgotten about or could not buy.

(Points: 8.5 out of 10)


CRYSTAL BALL is a Swiss band and probably named after the STYX song/album, but that's the only reference to STYX, because the music of this band is late 80s typed commercial US Melodic Hardrock. The sound is pretty heavy sometimes, but always very melodic and especially the harmonyvocals are making this CD a winner for the fans of bands like JOHNNY LIMA, FIREHOUSE, BIG BAD WOLF, SHY TIGER… It is pretty clear that VICTORY producer Tommy Newton produced the CD. The sound on the CD is pretty much in the VICTORY style.  There are 10 tracks on the CD and there's no weak one between them. Best tracks are "Shake me" and "A million tears" that are both classic 80s uptempo melodic rockers that sound very cheerful. They remind me of the mentioned bands with some 80s DEF LEPPARD harmonyvocals. Other memorable tracks are "Magic" (big time chorus like old LEPPARD/BIG BAD WOLF), "Take me down" (they keyboards make this is a great song with its very heavy AOR sound) and "Leave me alone" (midtempo melodic rock like JOHNNY LIMA).

This CD may be too heavy for the AOR fan, I can still give it a big recommendation if you want to hear good old US Commercial Melodic rock in the style of bands like FIREHOUSE, WHITE LION, SHY TIGER, JOHNNY LIMA, BIG BAD WOLF… Available through AOR HEAVEN at: 

(Points: 8.5 out of 10)


These Finish rockers are on a major label, Sony Music. This is their second CD. The 14 tracks on their CD contain a lot of different musicstyles which will attract people from all genres. .First there is opener "Going underground" which is average rock like STAGE DOLLS. The next track "I can't dance" is more sounding like ROLLING STONES. "Heart and soul" is a nice poprocker/aor like BRYAN ADAMS in his heydays. The band is sounding like a pure AOR band on the tracks "Under our sky" and "Guitarslingers song and dance". The first one is great midtempo AOR like SNAKE CHARNER/PETE SANDBERG. The other one is a great AOR Ballad. Of course these two tracks show GUITAR SLINGERS at their best. Weak songs are "Love and beer" and "Changing my mind" (funky). I hope track 9 ("9, 10, 11 years ago") is a joke, because this is a stupid country boogie rocker that really sucks! The last 4 tracks on the CD are all covers of which only the BOSTON cover "Amanda" is worth mentioning because it damn sounds very good. This CD is available through Lion Music which you can find at the Web at: 

(Points: 7.5 out of 10)


Another melodic hardrockband from Japan. Exactly two years ago this band released this debut album. The CD contains 13 tracks. After an average start with the faster HELLOWEEN styles melodic rocker "Soldiers of the pain", the band jumps on a more melodic rockstyle with the songs "Magic in your eyes" and especially "Judgment day". The latter is a great uptempo aor/melodic rocker with a catchy AOR chorus and a great guitarsolo. This song sounds pretty good. The following 4 tracks are unfortunately more like the opening track, so you'll get a bit average faster melodic heavy rock like HELLOWEEN. The best part of the whole CD are tracks 9, 10 and 11. These 3 songs are great AOR rockers with some nice keyboards and a sound like TERRA NOVA. I would describe AZRAEL as a mixture between TERRA NOVA and HELLOWEEN. Visit their WebSite at: (Japanese only) and e-mail them at: or write to their postal address at: Takehiko Yasuda, 49-5-103, Ichinotsubo, Nakahara-ku, Kawasaki-city, Kanagawa,      211-0016 JAPAN.

(Points: 7.5 out of 10)


This is the 7th (?) CD release of this Finish guitarist/bassist/keyboardist/songwriter/producer. 'Obsession' contains 12 tracks. Although the style is not so AOR orientated as his great releases as LARS ERIC MATTSSON'S VISION, the music on 'Obsession' still is nice melodic rock in the RAINBOW style. Especially the first couple of tracks reminded me of RAINBOW and other newcomer bands such as HUMAN RACE. But the best tracks can be found in the middle of the CD. These are the songs "Time and again", "Mother forgive" and "Eyes of a child" which are all very good AOR orientated songs. There isn't a weak song on this album and can be recommended to fans of RAINBOW, although a song like "Time and again" will also be enjoyed very much by AOR fans. For more info on Lars and other products on his new label Lion Music you should visit the WebSite of this Finish Record label at:

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


DIRTY WOMAN is a Brazilian Melodic Rockband. In one of earlier issues we reviewed their first demo tape and now the band has just finished their second demo tape titled 'Red moon'. The band has made a progress in both production and sound. There are 4 tracks on this demo tape. The first track on the tape is a good example of their progression. "Lords of fire" is good midtempo melodic rock that even has some influences of CITA/GUILD OF AGES. The next track "Cheap trick" is a bit average melodic hard rock. Third track "Never bury your fdreams" is a nice ballad and the closing track of the tape is the titletrack "Red moon". This song is a good uptempo melodic rocker.

For more info you must visit the website of this Brazilian band at the following address: and you can e-mail them at: or write to their postal address at: Emerson Mello, Av. Francisco C. Pereira 302, Brasilandia, Volta Redonda, RJ Brazil, CEP 27292-280.

(Points: 7.5 out of 10)


This is the third release of this American band. Leader of the band is guitarist/songwriter Bill Sullivan. He and bassist/keyboardist Keith Messner produced the 14 tracks on the CD. The music is melodic poprock that reminds me a bit of The Rembrandts sometimes, but there are more references. My favourite track is "Call it a night" which is a great uptempo hookladen aor/poprocker that reminds me of the early 80s on artists like EDDIE MONEY and TOMMY TUTONE (a lot). Other nice melodic poprockers are "Use me", "Miss you most" and "Lost boys". Most of the rest of the CD does sound more like the 90s based poprock which brings us into The Rembrandts territory. Not a bad release, but I rather had heard some more aor/poprockers like "Call it a night". Visit the WebSite of the band at: and e-mail at: or write them at: Bill Sullivan, 2141 G N. West Bay Drive, Greenfield, IN 46140, USA.

(Points: 6.5 out of 10)


They come from New Jersey/Philadelphia and are playing the kind of rock'n'roll that was popular in the USA for a short time at the end of the 80s with bands like CINDERELLA, BRITNY FOX, LE COMPT, TANGIER… A bit bluesy Melodic Hardrock. There are also similarities to bands like JAILHOUSE, HERICANE ALICE, HURRICANE, JAGGED EDGE… The CD was produced by Don Train and Joe DeLuca and contains 13 tracks. Mostly uptempo rockers in the style of mentioned bands. The best ones are "Anything goes in heaven", "For you" and "Rising star" that all sound a bit more melodic and are moving more into the style of LOUD'N'CLEAR. A nice CD. I also received a great Baseball Cap of the band. For more information contact the band at: George Rumbol/ Dead End Kids®, 1498 Manduit Street, Thorofare, NJ 08086-3128, USA or e-mail them at:

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


This is a classic AOR release without any doubts. INTRUDER is a band from the New Jersey area again and plays the kind of AOR everyone loves. The band is formed around guitarist/songwriter GEORGE KARAK who formed this 'project' with 3 members of SHOTGUN SYMPHONY. Lead vocalist Tracy White already showed his brilliant performance on the albums of SHOTGUN SYMPHONY, but on this CD of INTUDER he is singing at the top of his lungs! George is the leader of the band and is a well-known person in the music business. He wrote many songs, including "Runaway" for BON JOVI. INTRUDER is following this style on their debut. There are 11 tracks on the CD that was produced by ARCARA guitarist Stephen DeAcutis. It was recorded at Sound Spa Recording Studios, which you can visit at the Web at:

 Just listen to the first few seconds of opener "Hearts on the loose" and you know you are in 'AOR Heaven'. "Hearts on the loose" is sounding like a cross between SURVIVOR (if you know their song "Jackie don't go", you'll get the picture) and BON JOVI ("Runaway"). This is really fantastic AOR in the best 80s style. The quality is as high as all those other New Jersey AOR bands like NORWAY, AIRKRAFT, STONE SOUP, TOUR DE FORCE… Those keyboards make this song a true winner for every AOR fan. The chorus will never get out of your head, so do the great AOR hooklines! Next track "Yesterday's gone" is fantastic AOR with some Pomp overtones and sounds as good as STONE SOUP, RESTLESS…

After the nice semi AOR Ballad "Deep inside our hearts", you're back in 'AOR-Heaven' again with the following two tracks. These are "Surprise attack" and ""Only make believe". The first one is classic uptempo AOR (with hooklines) and sounds like one of those 80s movietracks! "Only make believe" on the other hand is probably the best song George Karak has ever written in his musical career. This is really a wonderful classic AOR ballad like SURVIVOR in their heydays. This song is one of the best AOR ballads I have heard the last couple of years. It is so incredibly beautiful. This is the kind of song that would have reached the number one position in the US Billboard charts 10 or 15 years back. Sadly this kind of music is ignored by the radio/press at the moment, but I'll bet if ordinary people would hear this song often, they would love it and the song would reach high chart positions worldwide! When you buy this CD (which is a must!), you must first have a listen to this song and you will be stunned!

To get back to the CD I can mention that the following two tracks ("Behind closed doors" and "Love emergency") are a bit average aor/melodic rock after having the trip to 'AOR-heaven' with the previous two songs. Happily, the last 4 tracks are all great AOR songs with "Will I see you in my dreams" as best one. This wonderful semi AOR Ballad sounds like a mixture between FAIR WARNING and GIANT.

Concluded I can only say that this CD is one of the top AOR releases of the past few years and you should buy this right away if you haven't done it already. INTRUDER is the latest new AOR sensation that you can add to the list of bands like ARTICA, STONE SOUP, NORWAY, STUN LEER, RESTLESS… They all show that pure AOR is still alive. In next issue (issue 14) an interview with George Karak about his band and all the other stuff he has done in the past.

(Points: 9.5 out of 10)


'In the name of rock' is the title of the upcoming second CD of this American band from the state of Georgia. They play 80s based melodic hardrock in the tradition of all those L.A. rockbands of that period. Opener "Give it up" is a good example of their sound. This song is tough melodic hard rock like KEEL/RATT. The next track "In the name of rock" is very much reminding me of BLACK'N'BLUE. Things are getting much more melodic and pretty good actually on the songs "Goodbye", "One look in your eyes" and "You and me". These three songs are all good melodic rockballads. "Mirror mirror" and "Cold sweat" are nice uptempo melodic rockers in the style of bands like FIREHOUSE, RECKLESS, ZALT, CRYWOLF… I heard some 70s rockinfluences of bands like STARZ and  KISS in the song "Anyway (that you want me)", I believe this is a cover. The only average song on the Tape I heard was the last track "Heaven's on fire". My conclusion is that this band is just another good melodic hardrockband. Visit their WebSite at:   and e-mail them at: or write to their postal address at: Mad Margritt, PO Box 960034, Riverdale, GA 30296, USA.

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


Not related to PHIL VINCENT is the first thing I would like to add here. KYLE VINCENT has already released some CDs in Japan under his own name and with the band CANDY. This solo-CD titled 'A night like this' is very hard to get and was first released in 1993. It has now been available again through AOR Heaven. I think a lot of AOR fans will be glad to hear this, because this CD is an AOR killer. Some of the 10 tracks were co-written by CLIF MAGNESS and STEVE KIPNER and are actually the best tracks of this great pure AOR CD. Opener "A night like this" is fantastic cheerful uptempo AOR/FM-rock in the style of STAN BUSH, PHIL CHRISTIAN, TIM FEEHAN… The next song "Never say die" is one of the best on the CD. This is classic AOR in the style of SIGNAL, FAKE I D, BAD ENGLISH, 1st MARK FREE… From the following three tracks, only "Something to remember me by" is an interesting uptempo aor/poprocker. "Trust" and "Maybe it's better this way" are pure Pop like KURT HOWELL or the 2nd MITCH MALLOY. But the rest is again pretty good. "What am I gonna do" for example is classic AOR like the old MICHAEL BOLTON songs. A very strong song that is similar in style to "I found someone" and "How can we be lovers". The following two tracks "Change the world" and "For all the wrong reasons" are nice poprockers in the GREGG ROLIE style. "Wherever you are tonight" is a very calm sweet ballad that has TOP 40 Hit Potential. This song would have been a big hit in the US in the 80s. It reminds me of that JIMMY HARNEN hitsingle 'Where are you now" from ten years back. The closing track of the CD is "Now I know" which is just great midtempo AOR.

Conclusion is that this is just a wonderful CD that should be in the collection of every AOR fan. Recommended if you like JACK WAGNER, JIMMY HARNEN and TIM FEEHAN. It is available through  AOR HEAVEN

(Points: 9.0 out of 10)


SHY is back! Original lead vocalist Tony Mills appears on this new studio album. It is not a real new album, because lots of tracks are quite old, but most of the 15 tracks did not appear on any of the 5 previous albums of SHY. The first two songs "If it ain't love" and "When you're bad you're better" both sound like the (later) heavier SHY and remind me both of WARRANT in their old days. The third track "When you need someone" is a re-recording of the old SHY classic, a fantastic classic AOR ballad with lovely keys. The next track "Only you" is a pure classic AOR track in the best SHY tradition. Without any doubts, this song is one of the best songs SHY ever recorded and maybe also belongs to the Top British AOR songs! It was only available as B-side to the single "Break down the walls" from 1987. But can now also be found on this new CD of SHY. The song has it all to become a favourite of every AOR fan. It captures beautiful hooklines, wonderful keys, a killer AOR chorus, and is just an incredible song.

Also the next track "Someday" is classic AOR (with hooklines) and in the beginning we can hear some pleasant AOR keys. The sound is comparable to SURVIVOR or INTRUDER nowadays. An also the following song "Blind rage, blind fury" is the SHY we want to hear. This is fantastic uptempo AOR with some great keys. The following 5 tracks are all nice melodic rockers that can be compared to KISS during their 'Crazy nights' album. At the end of the CD we are surprised by some more great AOR stuff in the best SHY tradition. "Lonely man" is a nice AOR ballad in the style of the SHY song "Just love me", although not as good. "Changing" was co-written by Duane Hitchings (KING KOBRA, WHITE SISTER) and is great uptempo 80s AOR in the style of King Kobra, White Sister… The last track of the CD "She's too dangerous" has a great AOR chorus like FM.

This is just a great CD that should be bought by every AOR fan and is also recommended to the SHY fans who were disappointed after the band's last two releases. Now we can only hope the band will release in the future more albums like these. At the moment, the band is planning a concert in Hamburg, Germany this summer. If you can't find this CD, you should visit the WebSite of NEAT RECORDS at:

(Points: 8.5 out of 10)


Besides a new studio-album, Neat Records has also released at the same release date of 12th of April this Live-CD of SHY. It contains recordings of concerts from 1989. They took place in Toulouse. The 14 songs are a nice example of the best of SHY. Tracks like "Telephone", "Can't fight the nights", "Talk to me", "When the love is over", "Young hearts" and "Emergency" are pure AOR classics that are performed well live, although I must mention that the studio versions are better. Especially the version of "Can't fight the nights" (the ultimate SHY song) is not as good as the studio version. The only song of their debut is "Chained by desire". This song is also classic AOR and belongs to the better songs of this CD. At the end of this Live-Cd are songs of their 1989 CD 'Missphent youth'. It is pretty clear that these tracks are less interesting than their old songs. Still a nice live-CD recommended to all the SHY fans out there.

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


This was the debut album of PHIL VINCENT, the multi-instrumentalist/vocalist/producer from , USA. The CD contained 12 tracks that has elements of 80s AOR music, sometimes guitar-orientated, but there are also plenty of keyboards in the songs. The music on this debut album reminded me very much of BOB WHEELER, but I don't think anyone has heard of this Canadian rocker that released a brilliant album in the mid eighties. The whole CD is pretty good, only the track "S-212" is a bit weaker. The songs "Without you", "Lost" and "Something to believe in" are all pure AOR songs and these are also the best songs on the album. Also very good is the semi AOR ballad "I remember you". I heard great keys in the AOR song "Trapped". The rest of the CD is more melodic (hard) rock based and here we can find some good tunes in the tracks "Save me" and "All in the name of love". 'Rising' proves PHIL VINCENT can only make good music. For contact details see review below.

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


This was the second release of PHIL VINCENT. 'Life is a game' was released in 1997 and contains 15 (!) songs. Phil did everything on his own, just like his other three releases. The first two songs on 'Life is a game' are a bit more Hard Rock based and a bit weak. But the following 13 tracks are all in the aor/melodic rock style. "Undertow" for example is a great semi AOR ballad like 80s DOKKEN. Also in the 80s DOKKEN style is "Walk away" which is fantastic midtempo melodic rock. "New tomorrow" is a great pure AOR song.

The song "No one's there" is very impressive and the sound on this song is (what I call) 80s movie-AOR that is very much in the style of ROBERT TEPPER (like his song "No easy way out"). Also in this style is the titletrack "Life is a game" which is probably the best song Phil has ever done, this is classic uptempo 80s AOR with fantastic keys, a superb chorus, beautiful hooklines and a wonderful sound. This song is a real winner for the AOR fans. The song could also have been on the classic releases of BEAU GESTE ('Another night in the city') and ARC ANGEL (Jeff Cannata). Besides this song, the other best tracks on the CD are "Don't leave me waiting" (fantastic midtempo pure AOR like a cross between 80s DOKKEN and NORWAY, very impressive harmonyvocals and a classic AOR sound!) and "Can we say goodbye" (superb uptempo AOR, very melodic with lovely keys, choruses, harmonies, another winner for the pure AOR fans).

The song "Separate ways" (not the Journey song) has some beautiful AOR/Pomp keys, but sadly the chorus is a bit weak. The rest of the CD is filled with good melodic rock such as "Let me live again", Head-in-vice", "Fly's eye" and "Distress call". I can inform you that this album of PHIL VINCENT is not only a must for the people who bought one of his other albums, but also is a recommendation for the fans of pure AOR. If you like NORWAY, you will also love this CD! You get 15 songs on one CD, what more do you want! For contact details see review below.

(Points: 8.5 out of 10)


In our next issue you can read an interview and below are two other reviews of Phil Vincent. Phil Vincent is one of the hardest working people around the world. He is a talented AOR performer who does everything on his own. This is his 4th CD release in nearly 3 years and he has made now around 50 songs and a lot of them are really fantastic AOR songs. Musically PHIL VINCENT can be compared to bands like NORWAY, 80s DOKKEN… On the other hand his music is also similar to ARC ANGEL (Jeff Cannata) and BEAU GESTE (Bryan Hughes), because keyboards play an important part in the music of Phil. This is his latest release and I think his best one. The first couple of songs on this CD are very good. Opener "Between here and there" is uptempo 80s AOR/Pomp influenced melodic rock that reminds me of ARC ANGEL, only the keys are pushed a bit more to the background. The next track "Alone" is impressive and fantastic pure AOR/Pomprock like ARC ANGEL again, but this song also has classy Pomp-era keys. "Alone" is an incredible song with hooklines here and there, keyboard/piano/guitar domination and even a touch of FORTUNE/HARLAN CAGE can be heard!

"Missing you" is a semi AOR ballad/rocker that sounds like the classic AOR of STAN BUSH&BARRAGE/PHIL CHRISTIAN/BIG MOUTH… The following track "She" is just a nice AOR song that is similar in style to THE BRYAN HUGHES GROUP. The following three tracks are not so good as the mentioned songs, but still are nice aor/melodic rock songs. Then we come to the track "Blink of an eye", a fantastic song, even ARC ANGEL would have been proud if they had make a song like that. Just listen to the wonderful piano-keys, this is high class 80s AOR/Pomprock. This song contains also a lot of ROBBY VALENTINE influences. The next track "No turning back" is great midtempo melodic rock. The only weak song on the album follows and is titled "Chasing shadows" and sounds like something Gene Simmons could have done with KISS in the 90s.

The closing two tracks both have very melodic and impressive choruses. "Never enough" is a very experimental song with a bunch of music styles, but the chorus is so catchy and melodic AOR orientated that you can't ignore it. And finally "Undone" is fantastic midtempo AOR that is similar in style to NORWAY, 80s DOKKEN… This CD is a must for the AOR fans. I would describe the music of PHIL VINCENT as an impressive mixture of NORWAY, ROBBY VALENTINE, and ARC ANGEL with a tiny bit of JOURNEY thrown in for good measure. I think you then get a good idea how the music sounds.

Without any doubts, we can conclude that PHIL VINCENT is a very talented artist who deserves to become famous for all his hard work. His music is often very impressive and the AOR fans should be glad that a guy like Phil is making the real music in this 'alternative' world.
Contact PHIL VINCENT at the following address: New Tomorrow Music, PO Box 3682, Cranston, RI 02910, USA or e-mail him at: and visit his WebSite at:

(Points: 9.0 out of 10)


There are still a lot of melodic hard rock bands in the USA. PRIZONER is one of them. They come out of Cleveland, Ohio and their debut CD 'Modern world' contains 9 tracks that were produced by Joe Viers. The style can be described as a bit groovy melodic hardrock, combining a heavy guitarsound with very melodic choruses and harmonyvocals. The band sounds somewhat like other independent bands from the USA like TEER, SURE CONVICTION and JYNX. You also may pick up similarities to HOLY SOLDIER, NOVELLA and FIREHOUSE. Opener "Waiting out the storm" has a very melodic chorus with lovely harmonyvocals and this song is good melodic hard rock like FIREHOUSE used to make. The next two songs "Bring you to your knees" and "Johnny" are nice melodic hard rock songs, but the real good songs are the following three. "Modern world" is a great melodic rock song that has a beautiful first chorus (unfortunately not repeated) and very melodic harmonyvocals that sound very good. The song sounds quite like SURE CONVICTION (their last CD '54 and change'). "Sweet princess" is a great melodic rock ballad. "Follow me" is straightforward uptempo melodic rock/aor and sounds somewhat like BLUE RAIN during the chorus. These three songs show PRIZONER at their best. The last three songs are just nice melodic hardrock songs, with the semi ballad "Never say goodbye" being the best one. I recommend this CD to fans of melodic hardrockacts like FIREHOUSE, JOHNNY LIMA and perhaps if you liked the latest SURE CONVICTION, try this one too. PRIZONER is a good band and if they can make a progress on their next album, which they are working on at the moment, the future looks bright for this band. The band told me their next album will be heavier, let's hope they will keep their melodic rockstyle.

Contact the band at: PRIZONER, c/o Craig Indoe, 1609 Ardoyne Ave, Cleveland, Ohio 44109, USA or e-mail them at: 

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


STALKING HORSE is actually Sean R. Kerns. Just like PHIL VINCENT (see elsewhere on this page), Sean does everything on his own. He wrote, performed and produced the three songs on his CD 'Half in shadow'. Also musically Sean sounds a bit like PHIL VINCENT, which means basically we can hear 80s-aor/melodic rock. It's a pity that there are only three songs on the CD, because this makes it hard to give a good opinion, but I think the future will prove that. Anyway, opener "Fear" is simple and short, but is a good melodic aor-rocker that sounds like a cross between PHIL VINCENT and BLUE RAIN, a great guitarsolo too! The next track "Half in shadow" is just nice 90s melodic hardrock. The final track "On the wall" take things into AOR territory with nice keys, a good calmer AOR song that sounds quite like PHIL VINCENT (also the lead vocals are very similar). A good effort, but I look forward to hear a full-length CD to get a better opinion.

Contact Sean at: STALKING HORSE, 2682 Grosvenor Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45231, USA or e-mail him at: and visit his website at:

(Points: 7.5 out of 10)


She is only twenty-one years old and released this CD in 1997. JANINE STANGE is coming from Long Island, New York. Besides she looks very good, she can also make good music. Mike Tamer basically did everything on her first CD, Janine sang all the vocals. On her CD, she has created an own sound in which she combines the rhythms and heaviness of today's rockmusic with the melodies of the 80s melodic rocksound.

Opener "One way" is a very good start and one of the better sounding songs. This song is heavy midtempo aor/melodic rock with some very strong vocals of Janine. Unfortunately, the following two songs are a bit too much leaning towards the 90s alternative rock and I pick up the track "Waiting" that is again more melodic rock orientated. A nice song, but it gets better with the following track "How many times". This is the best track of the whole CD. This song has a very strong melodic chorus and reminds me strangely enough very much of an old song of the French band HEADLINE (their song "Tell me why"). The following 4 tracks are more like the mixture I told you earlier on about, 90s rock with the melodic vocals of Janine, these songs actually sound quite like the second release of TC KROSS, who also comes out of the New York area.

Anyway, the CD closes with the track "Be the one", a good midtempo aor/melodic rocker like the opening song. Janine Stange has a good voice, but with a few uptempo songs and a more polished rocksound, she could release a much better release. Songs like "One way" and "How many times' are good examples in which Janine is at her best. But too many of the other songs are based on the 90s rock in which she takes her voice to a different direction, which is a pity. She is already working on a new project and let's hope we can hear more songs in the style of the mentioned better tracks of this CD.

Contact Janine at: JANINE STANGE, PO Box 249, East Islip, NY 11730, USA or e-mail her at: and visit her WebSite at:

(Points: 7.5 out of 10)


RESTLESS SOULS is a Californian Rockband that has a very good female vocalist. She is called Paige Woron and her voice gives the music a melodic touch. RESTLESS SOULS play a kind of music that nowadays is hardly made. Opener "Come on home" is 70s Hard Rock like a mixture of a heavy HEART, 1994 and THE RUNAWAYS. It is quite unique to hear a band playing this kind of musicstyle. Maybe it sounds a bit dated, but it is well played and some songs are quite good. "Please help" is a nice 70s HEART semi ballad. The third track "Burning the night" is pretty nice late 70s Rock'n'Roll like 1994/HEADPINS/AXE (their heavier stuff).

The song "Glowing embers" is a bit weak epic ballad. Unfortunately, the song "Spectacular" has male vocals that are not as spectacular as the female vocals. The song itself is just a nice early 80s heavy Poprocker in the style of JAY FERGUSON. The following song "Midnight train" is without any doubts the best song of this CD. This song is uptempo melodic poprock in the style of PAT BENATAR (her first few albums), SHEILA, and WIDOW… If the band had put more songs in the style of 'Midnight train' on their debut, it would have been a huge album. Still the CD is good enough to check out and I would further like to add the wonderful cover of the PAT BENATAR classic "Heartbreaker". The band has played several covers of other bands in their live performances, they covered songs of AXE and DOKKEN. Hopefully these covers end up on their next album.

Contact the band at the following addresses; Postal address: Restless Souls, P.O. Box 390327, Mountain View, CA 94039-0327, USA or E-mail address: and visit their WebSite at: 

(Points: 7.5 out of 10)


PROMOTION is a Swedish band that released their debut 'Not for sale' in 1997. The musicstyle can be described as poppy AOR with loads of hooklines and beautiful lead and harmony vocals. I had my doubts when I saw that there was both a saxophonist and trumpetplayer in the line-up of the band. But after listening to the whole CD, I barely heard these instruments happily. PROMOTION can be compared to BOULEVARD (very much!), TOTO (when they play AOR!) and ADRENALIN.

A lot of the songs on this CD are pure AOR and sound fantastic. Opener "One in a million" is a very good start, this is catchy uptempo AOR-rock in the style of MIKAEL ERLANDSSON, THOMAS VIKSTROM… The song has a wonderful guitarsolo and impressive harmonyvocals. The next track "Wanted dead or alive" is nice midtempo AOR like DAKOTA. The third track "After all" is a fantastic semi AOR ballad like BOULEVARD and OUTRIDER. This song is a winner for the fans of pure AOR. The following track "On my own" is a nice calmer AOR (ballad) a la TOTO. The next two tracks are again from a high class. "Higher love" is good cheerful uptempo AOR, but is slightly disturbed by the saxsolo. "Make a turn" is a very impressive semi AOR ballad like a mix between BOULEVARD and DAKOTA. Just listen to those wonderful harmonyvocals! The following song "Pack of lies" is just nice midtempo AOR.

Next track "Rollercoaster ride" is a straight ahead guitar orientated pure uptempo AOR rocker with a lovely guitarsolo and a harmonyvocal typed classy AOR chorus. The closing two tracks are unfortunately the least interesting tracks. But mostly this CD is filled with high quality pure AOR that can best be heard in the songs "After all", "Make a turn", opener "One in a million" and "Rollercoaster ride". I recommend this CD if you like bands such as BOULEVARD, HIGHER GROUND, OUTRIDER, SHY TALK, TOTO, and ADRENALIN…

If you can't find their CD visit the website of PROMOTION at:

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


Somewhere else you can read the review of the debut album 'Not for sale' of this Swedish band. The band signed with AOR Heaven and released their second album. The album is titled 'Yeah, yeah' and contains again some great AOR songs. On the other hand I must inform you that there are more Saxophones on this CD. Also at the end of the CD, the music gets a bit too poppy for the pure AOR fan. Bassist/Keyboardist/Guitarist Anders Rydholm produced the CD. There are 12 songs on the CD.

Opener "Trampoline" is good midtempo pure AOR (great guitarsolo by the way). The next track "The hunter and the fox" is a bit poppy and the drumcomputer is also not really impressive. But I must admit that the chorus in this song is huge AOR and very impressive indeed. AOR all the way in the following track "Conscience calling", this is a fantastic semi AOR ballad right up there with the 80s ballads of SURVIVOR and JOURNEY. "All the best ones are taken" is much softer, but still a nice calmer AOR song that sounds like the British band HIGHER GROUND. The next two tracks ("My daughter's eyes" and "Heaven must be a place somewhere") are a bit too poppy for the average AOR fans, nevertheless they are very suitable for the European Hitcharts.

Just as I thought the album would get into a poppy direction, the band jumps over to a pure AOR sound on the track "Premonition". This is a very impressive and great uptempo AOR rocker like SURVIVOR and very much in the 80s tradition. But this is the only uptempo AOR rocker on the CD, after this song the album gets a bit too poppy at times and with the use of the Trumpets they more sound like CHICAGO sounded in the 80s. Also a comparison to JOHN ELEFANTE can be made in some songs. It's not bad, but I rather heard some more pure AOR songs like they did on their debut or on this CD in songs like "Conscience calling" and "Premonition". Still I recommend this CD to fans of calmer AOR in the BOULEVARD style. If you can't find their CD, visit their WebSite at the address mentioned above in the review of their debut CD.

(Points: 7.5 out of 10)


This is a nice opportunity to get to know some of the independent recording acts. This CD of the progressive/pomprock record company Dregs Records is filled with material of independent recording bands that can also be found on the internet. This CD gives you the chance to hear these bands easily. 12 bands are included, each band one song. Two bands (FACADE and CLOCKWORK) released a CD through the same recordlabel, but both their songs on this compilation disc are new. "Light years" of FACADE sounds pretty nice and is Progressive AOR, while the CLOCKWORK song ("Reflections") is pretty good Progressive Pomp Melodic Rock with a great chorus and better than their 4-track mini-CD. The other 10 are all new and unknown for most of you.

The best independent bands are HAPPENSTANCE and MIRROR.  HAPPENSTANCE is featured with the song "Seeing is believing", a great uptempo AOR/Radiorocker with only a bit symphonic influences. This band from Robesonia, PA, USA reminds me of THE PROMISE in a lot ways, there are some great harmonyvocals in the catchy AOR chorus. Definitely a band I want to hear more of. You can visit their website at:

The New York based band MIRROR (not the Melodic Hardrockband featuring Jeffry Rients) has a good Pomprockballad titled "Foolish shadows" on this CD. The song has a nice keyboardsolo. Visit their website at: The material of the other bands is very diverse. Bands like COLD FRONT, 3250, SPIRAL, PSYCHEDELIC LULLABIES have nothing to do with Progressive Rock, 3250 does even sound like METALLICA! The material of the Progressive Rockbands THE AGE OF REASON, NAKED is nice, but nothing special.

Concluded it is hard to recommend this CD, but it gives you an idea of how the independent rockscene nowadays sound like. I am interested in hearing more of the bands HAPPENSTANCE and MIRROR, these two acts sound good and are a promise for the future. The rest of the bands have to work harder to get some attention. You can get a copy of this CD through

(Points: - out of 10)


This is a Progressive Rockband that mixes today's 90s Progressive Rock with elements of the 70s Pomprock. This can be heard very good on their track "A world of difference" that also has some KANSAS orientated harmonyvocals during the chorus. The other 3 tracks on their debut (mini) CD sound quite more Progressive, recommended if you like Progressive Rock. For more info check their website at: 

(Points: 6.5 out of 10)


FACADE is a band out of New Jersey, USA that released this CD in 1996 on the label DREGS Records. This Progressive Rocklabel is managed by Steve Lehrfield. Steve is also leader of FACADE, he played all the instruments and arranged, produced and engineered the CD. Jon Paradise and Ravi Raman did the lead vocals.  No surprise that this CD contains Progressive Melodic Rock, yet with an edge. Opener "You" is one of the better sounding songs on the CD, a good Progressive Melodic Rocker. From the other tracks I would like to add "Take this" (a nice midtempo Melodic Rocker with some SAGA and HARD RAIN references) and the closing track "Done before it's over" (great AOR ballad with some nice keyboards). Get more info at:

(Points: 6.5 out of 10)


This is not the Now&Then/Frontiers recording band that is about to release a new CD soon. This MILLENIUM is a Christian AOR band from Bulgaria! On their first (?) self-produced CD are only 6 tracks. 2 of them are instrumental and 1 is a popballad. The remaining 3 tracks ("Change your life", "New generation" and "New life") are all cheerful uptempo AOR rockers with some great keys, harmonyvocals and choruses. The sound of these 3 songs is a mixture between TERRA NOVA, ZINATRA, BAD HABIT and DAVINCI. This is the first band I ever heard out of Bulgaria and it was quite a pleasure to listen to their CD, let's hope there will come a follow-up and maybe there are more AOR bands in this country, who knows! Get a copy by contacting Don Palmer at his e-mail address:

(Points: 7.5 out of 10)


Do not confuse this band with the same named American AOR band that released a great album in the 80s in the style of 8084. This EQUINOX is coming out of Panama, Latin-America I believe and play Progressive Pomprock with many Pomp keys like the 70s. I think Pomprock fans will like this band a lot, although the songs are a bit more leaning towards Progressive/Symphonic Rock. Still the keyboards and some of the vocal harmonies are quite close to the 70s Pomprock of bands like STYX (note the bandname reference). Some of the songs have very long instrumental passages, such as in the song "Lonely in my heart" which begins with a 10-minute instrumental part, before we can hear the actual song. The best songs according to me are "Hearts of illusion" (70s Pomprock based like STYX) and "Angel of passion". EQUINOX is sounding like a mixture between the progressive material of bands like IQ/SAGA and the more 70s Pomprock of bands like STYX/ CITADEL/JIM STEEL… Get more info of the band by visiting the website of their recordcompany at:

(Points: 7.0 out of 10)


HANGMAN JURY is a Norwegian band that is playing Canadian orientated AOR/Poprock like HAYWIRE, SHY TALK… Only not as sensational, and there are some heavier guitars. Still, a song like "Who do U think U R?" is a pretty nice uptempo AOR/Melodic Poprocker like early HAYWIRE, IDLE EYES and a bit JIMMY HARNEN. Also pretty good are the AOR/Melodic rockers "Living a dream" and "Alive". Nice are "World of my own" (midtempo AOR), "When life was easy" (AOR Ballad) and "Like an angel" (melodic rocker like early WINGER). But it never gets really sensational, on the other hand there are not many weak spots, except "Reach inside" (90s average rocker). Concluded a nice CD. When you can get it cheap, you can buy it. But it's not a must!

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


Alan White and Billy Sherwood from YES have helped this American band. Musically TREASON is reminding me of WORLD TRADE, which means they play Progressive AOR. There are 12 tracks on their debut CD, which was produced by lead vocalist Brian Michalski and keyboardist Ted Stockwell. Take away 4 instrumental songs and you have 8 songs to listen to. The first couple of tracks sound pretty nice with "Too late" as best one with it's great melody line during the chorus. This song can be compared to FOR ABSENT FRIENDS. "Truce (flyin' blind)" is nice YES influenced progressive melodic rock/aor, while the best tracks of TREASON are "The road" and "Push". These songs are good AOR based songs, including some great keys in "Push". TREASON is a good band that should have a record deal in no time, because their sound is very professional and up-to-date. I think both progressive rock and AOR fans will enjoy this band. Visit the website of the band at: and e-mail them at: or write to their postal address at Treason,15600 NE 8th PMB #A634,
Bellevue, WA, 98008,USA.

(Points: 7.5 out of 10)


This band is coming out of Texas, USA and the line-up consists of both a female and a male lead vocalist. Musically it is very much AOR/Melodic Rock orientated, although the production (especially the drums) and the vocals are not so good. There are 5 songs on their EP cassette. All the songs were written by Kevin Bennett (Guitars, keys, male vocalist) and Joey Green (female vocalist, keys). Opener "Anywhere but here" is instrumental pure AOR (the keys, guitars) and features the female vocals, but the chorus is not so strong here. Comparable to STARSHIP in a few places. Next song "The storm" is much better and features male vocals. This song is a semi melodic rockballad similar to a band like SUNTOWER or BLUE RAIN. This is the typical independent melodic rocksound.

Then we can hear a calmer AOR ballad titled "Still" with Joey (the girl) on lead vocals. The last two tracks are definitely the best ones on this tape. "Don't come cryin'" is taking us back to the mid 80s keyboard based AOR sound that was used for so many movies. Maybe not as good as FIONA, but quite similar in style, listen to the great pure AOR keys in this song, nice relaxing chorus too! Last track "Blue fire" is much rockier with Kevin on vocals. This song is straight-ahead uptempo melodic rock with good harmonyvocals and a sound like the early 80s, similar in places to HEAD EAST and ZEBRA. The best song on this tape for sure.

Pretty clear also that the songs with the male vocals are in the rockier MHR style, while the ones with the female vocals are more AOR/Poprock based. Still, both styles are played well. Only negative points are the average production, the average female vocals and the short length of the songs. If the band would improve these things, they would sound much better. Contact LYDIAN GYPSY at: LYDIAN GYPSY, 1901 W. Kingsley #518, Garland, TX 75041, USA or e-mail them at:, while you can visit their website

(Points: 7.5 out of 10)


Vocalist Chris Ousey and guitarist Kenny Kaos are back with the second CD of their project THE DISTANCE. Kenny Produced the CD and Paul Dean (LOVERBOY) mixed it. There are 11 tracks on the CD. Musically it is a continuation of the band's debut release from last year. It is pure AOR that is nice to hear, but never really sensational. Still, a great CD with not a weak song. Memorable tracks are "Twisting the knife", "It's you" (like SIGNAL, BAD ENGLISH), "Dancing on the edge of the world" (co-written by Rick Springfield) and "Wildest dreams" (co-written by David Rosenthal from RED DAWN, RAINBOW). This CD is a welcome to all the AOR fans, and a must for fans of HEARTLAND.

(Points: 8.5 out of 10)


In one of our older issues of the magazine we did a review of the debut of the DON LEWIS BAND. It didn't get a rave review as I remember. The new CD of DON LEWIS (BAND) is better than their debut, although the style hasn't changed much. On the new CD 'Angels cry' we still can hear nice Poprock with a mixture of acoustic and electric guitars. Don himself with help of N.S. Brundage, Peter Moshay and Tom Delfavero produced the CD. There are only 8 tracks on the CD.

Opener "Without you" is a nice calmer semi AOR Ballad with the addition of acoustic guitars, this shouldn't have been the opening song. The following track "Nothing left" is more like the Poprock I want to hear. This song had to be the opener. "Nothing left" is great uptempo AOR/Poprock like the first couple of albums of artists like DANNY WILDE, BRIAN SPENCE, BRYAN ADAMS, STEVE STONE and very much the first TIM KARR album. In a lot ways Don Lewis sounds like TIM KARR and also BRYAN WHITE & JUSTICE. If you like any of these acts, this CD is a must to have.

Anyway, the following track "The angels cry" is again like the opening track, which means a nice moody semi AOR/Poprockballad. The acoustic ballad "The nights" is nothing special. Followed by the best track of the CD, which is called "Who made up these rules". This song is a great uptempo AOR/Poprocker that is a mixture of JIMMY DAVIS and the JOHN BONGIOVI 'PowerStation' albums. The last 3 tracks are "Emotional refugee" (bit weak 90s pop/rock like BRIAN WHITE & JUSTICE latest album), "I'll be fine" (nice chorus and melodic guitarsolo in this rather laid-back aor/pop/rocksong) and "A little strange" (like the 'Blaze of glory' album of JON BON JOVI).

Conclusion is that this Poprock CD is very much recommended if you're into TIM KARR and BRYAN WHITE & JUSTICE. Though I would advise DON LEWIS to put some more uptempo Rockers like "Nothing left" and "Who made up these rules" on the CD. Then it would be a much better CD. Visit the WebSite of DON LEWIS at:http://www.DONLEWISBAND.COM and e-mail him at: or write to their postal address at: Don Lewis, PO Box 222, Slate Hill, NY 10973, USA.

(Points: 7.5 out of 10)


This new Swedish band has an American sound. I haven't read anything on M.O.B. on any of the AOR Publications. However the band should not be ignored, because they have some good songs on their debut CD. The CD is titled 'Loony tunes' and although the CD-artwork is basic and simple, the production is very good for an indie release. There are 9 tracks on their CD. Opener "See me, hear me, hate me, fear me" is a bit rougher than the rest of the CD. I found this song a bit average melodic hardrock like Y&T. Happily the following track "Paradise on earth" is totally different and sounds very good. "Paradise on earth" is a great uptempo AOR-rocker that sounds like TERRA NOVA/RUNAWAY. The following "Easy to be cold" is again a bit average 90s MHR.

"Stolen moments" is a nice semi-ballad in the AOR/Rock style. "Are you ready" is nice faster uptempo MHR song. The next two tracks are again leaning more to an AOR sound. "The game of love" is just a good AOR song and "My girl" is nice melodic rock that sounds very much like the GARBO TALKS that was released on MTM Music last year. The last 2 tracks are faster melodic rockers that are just nice, but are not really something special. However some songs (like "Paradise on earth") show that this hot new Swedish Rockband can make some good music. If they would continue to make songs in this style, they could become a very interesting AOR band. Now they are a nice Melodic Hardrock band with an occasional (great) AOR song.

Visit their WebSite at: and e-mail them at: or write to their Postal Address at: M.O.B., PO Box 1016, S-141 21 Huddinge, Sweden.

(Points: 7.5 out of 10)


'Queen of the ocean' is the fourth studio-album of LANA LANE. And it is almost unbelievable, but with the release of every new album, this girl is getting more and more into AOR/Melodic Rock. This new CD is probably her most AOR orientated album and very melodic at times. There are 11 tracks on the new CD that was produced by Erik Norlander (ICEBREAKER). The CD starts with "Night falls", a great uptempo AOR/Melodic Rocker that is in the 80s HEART/VXN style. The titletrack is a pleasant semi melodic rockballad. "Let heaven in" and "Souls of the mermaids" are two beautiful AOR songs, while the semi AOR Ballad "Without you" (co-written by Davy Vain from VAIN) also belongs to the best tracks on this CD.

"Frankenstein unbound" is a heavier, but melodic rocker that has some Pomp Rock influences in the spacy keyboardsolo's by Erik Norlander. There is not a weak song on this CD. Also the 3 bonustracks on this European version are very nice to hear, these include 2 live versions of old LANA LANE songs and a new version of "Through the rain". Concluded, a must for the fan of female fronted AOR/Melodic Rock!

(Points: 8.5 out of 10)


At first sight I thought this German band was another pure Prog. Metal band, just look at the frontcover and the label (Limb Music), but after listening to their whole CD, it came clear to me that MOB RULES is a Melodic Hardrockband with the occasional faster HM song. Actually some song son their self-produced debut CD are pretty melodic, partly due to the fact that the lead vocalist Klaus Dirks has a pretty good and melodic voice. The melodic rockstyle of MOB RULES is quite similar to PINK CREAM 69.

The best tracks are "Hold back the light" (midtempo MHR like a mix between VICTORY and 80s DOKKEN), "Savage land Part 3 (No reason why)" (midtempo melodic rocker), "Coast to coast" (best song, very nice and pretty melodic uptempo rocker like a mix between PC'69 and BONFIRE), "Pray for sunlight" (melodic rocker like PC'69) and closing track "End of all days" (melodic rockballad). The other tracks are mostly faster and heavier Melodic Heavy Rock, without losing the melody lines. Limb Music has lately released more melodic rock based material with LANA LANE, KENZINER and now this MOB RULES. Let's hope the label will continue in this style.

(Points: 7.5 out of 10)


DOUBLE DEALER is a brand new Melodic Hard Rock band from Vancouver, Canada. Leaders of the band are vocalist David Steele (songwriter for Cher, Loverboy, Bon Jovi…) and guitarist Kenny Geatros. Completing the line-up are Randy Booth on bass and Rick Feyk on drums. Kenny and David produced the 11 tracks on the CD. Moving over to the music, I would first like to mention the closing track "Freedom". Without any doubts, this is the best song and also the only AOR orientated track on the album. "Freedom" is a classic midtempo pure AOR song that is similar in style to early JEFF PARIS (like his song "Cryin'"). The song was featured on a very well known TV-show in the USA. If the whole CD was as good and AOR orientated as "Freedom", DOUBLE DEALER would have been a must for every AOR fan, but unfortunately the rest of the CD is totally different.

The first 5 tracks are all groovy MHR songs that sound like a cross between LYNCH MOB, MR. BIG and EXTREME. Nothing for the AOR fans over here. It's track 6 "In my arms again" which as first comes a bit in the AOR style. This song is a great midtempo AOR/Melodic Rocker. The following 3 songs ("Passion", "Cries of love" and "Hot shot") are just bluesy and groovy MHR songs that are really not sensational and are only recommended to fans of bands like MR. BIG or LYNCH MOB.

"Heaven's on fire" is a nice melodic rocker, but for the AOR fans only the closing track "Freedom" is interesting. Why didn't the band put more of these songs on their CD instead of average songs such as "Jammin' in the jungle", "Keep your hands to yourself" or "Show some mercy". AOR fans will only like the closing track, while fans of MR. BIG can enjoy almost the whole CD. I had higher hopes of this release.

(Points: 7.5 out of 10)


APHASIA was formed in Tokyo, Japan back in 1994. It's an all-female rockband that so far released 3 demo tapes, this third one was released last year. It features 4 songs that doesn't sound sensational, but also doesn't sound bad. I guess you can say that the melodic hard rock of APHASIA is sounding nice. The sound and production is very good for a demo recording act and I would like to mention the tracks "Cold blue moon" and "After glow" as best and most melodic tracks. The band does sound a bit like SHOW-YA, an other all-female melodic rockband from Japan. Visit the website of the band at:  and write the band at: Aphasia, c/o Sumiko Ishikawa, Estate Denen A-201, 1-17-1 Somechi, Chofu-shi 182-0023, Tokyo, Japan

(Points: 7.0 out of 10)


A band out of North Carolina, USA. Their debut CD contains 10 tracks. The production is not very good, but musically they have something to offer and that's what is important. The CD starts with a nice 80s typed melodic rocker titled "You've got a lot to learn". The next track is the best one on this CD and is sounding also different than the rest. "Tell me why" is great uptempo AOR/Radiorock in the style of bands like TANDYM, THE PROMISE, and LOST WEEKEND… If the band would put more songs in this style on their CD, then they could be much more interesting. And together with a good production this HEAVENS SAKE could end up as a very good band.

"I am man" is a bit 70s KISS kinda rocker that sounds a bit average. Also the following track "She's got what it takes" has some 70s influences. This song also has some nice harmonyvocals during the chorus and it reminds me a lot of a band called ROX (I don't think anyone remembers that melodic rock band, but they recorded a couple of mini-LPs in the early 80s).

The rest of the CD of HEAVENS SAKE is melodic rock that is not really sensational, except for the nice piano-ballad "Raintree". The band is working on some new material, let's hope they make more songs in the style of their song "Tell me why, because that is a pretty good song and recommended to hear if you like bands such as THE PROMISE, BLUE RAIN, TANDYM… Also a stronger production would work well.  Mainly this band is recommended if you like bands such as LE COMPT, CRYSTAL TEAR, TANGIER…

You can contact them at the following postal address: Heavens Sake, PO Box 361, Pfafftown, NC 27040, USA or e-mail them at: and visit their website at:

(Points: 7.0 out of 10)


This band is based on Iowa, USA. The musicstyle of DOKTOR MAXX is heavier MHR, somewhat like BLACK'N'BLUE and MONSTER. The 15 songs on their debut CD have been very well produced. The CD starts with a nice MHR song titled "Feel it comin'", the following 3 tracks are a bit average and have a bit too many guitar riffs. Happily, the track "Fun in a bottle" is much better sounding and sounds a bit like 80s RATT. After this song, we can hear the best and most melodic song on the CD. The song is called "Cryin out for love" and with such a great title, you can't possibly go wrong. And indeed this song is the classic 80s uptempo melodic rock in the style of bands like DOKKEN, MASS… There are some great harmonyvocals and a lovely chorus can be heard over here. More of such melodic rockers and the band is a must.

The following tracks are again a bit weaker MHR songs, but still we can hear a couple of nice songs such as the RATT rockers "Fate of the pawn" and "Wild ones". Closing track "Embrace the shine" is a good melodic rocker with some light progressive influences. For more info, check their website at:  or e-mail them at: and write them at: Rick Von Lienen, PO Box 5994, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52406, USA

(Points: 7.0 out of 10)


I got this CD of the Canadian band THE RESISTANCE in my mail box the other day. It was mailed to me by Pete Burnside from Pacemaker Entertainment. There are 7 tracks on the debut of this band and the sound and production is very good, probably due to the fact TERRY BROWN (TILES, FATES WARNING, FIFTH ANGEL) mixed the album. Musically we have to deal here with a Melodic (Hard) Rock band. The lead vocals of both the guitarist Trevor Horstfall and the bassist John Burkitt are not really impressive, maybe they should look for an apart lead vocalist.

Anyway, the CD opens with "Runaway" which instrumental is sounding like a classic melodic rocker (in the TRIUMPH style), but due to the average lead vocals, the song is just nice. The tracks "Kick start,  "Cock of the rock" and "Working girl" are a bit average MHR, but the song "Time is right" is a nice ballad. Closing two tracks "Eye on you" and "Easier said than done" are also good melodic rockers. Not really something to scream about this band, but if you like MHR you can always try it. But I would recommend the band to look for a melodic singer that would improve the whole sound of the band. I heard the band is working on new material, I hope they have improved. You can contact the band at the following e-mail address: FOGJOHNNY@HOTMAIL.COM

(Points: 7.5 out of 10)


American Melodic Hard Rock band with an independent release from 1996. They remind me a bit of 80s underground bands like CHARON, FISC, BLACK'N'BLUE, NO TROUBLE, VYPER, ST. ELMO'S FIRE and LIQUID MIRROR… What you'll get is mostly guitar-orientated uptempo melodic hard rock. The beginning of the CD is not really sensational, but the uptempo rockers "Golden girl" (a cover), "Leadin' me on" and "Fantasy girl" sound pretty nice and remind me a lot of mentioned acts. There are also some NWOBHM influences and guitar riffs in the heavier songs. Not a sensational release, but if you want to hear straight-ahead 80s guitar-orientated melodic hard rock, you can easily try NITEWOLF. Contact the band at the following postal address: Nite Wolf, 78 Lagarto Rd., Tijeras, NM 87059, USA and e-mail them at: and visit their website at:

(Points: 7.0 out of 10)


This is the second CD of JESTER and it took some time to release this follow-up to their 'It's time' release on MegaRock Records some years ago. They released their new CD through GBI RECORDS and also musically they have changed a bit. Opener "Tales from the boogieman" is namely good old 80s uptempo melodic rock. A very energetic opener, same goes for the song "Ain't what it used to be". Most of the CD is filled with such good melodic (Hard) Rock. "Let it go" is sounding like a mixture between SILOAM and TRIXTER, where as "Can't stop the world" is similar in style to WILD FRONTIER. A mixture between TYKETTO meets TALISMAN is the song "To the fire", just great melodic hardrock. But the best song is "All out of tears", a lovely melodic rockballad that sounds very much like the old WARRANT, 1987 BON JOVI and JOHNNNY LIMA ballads. The only weak songs on the CD are "Caught in the middle" and "As you were". But what you basically get is a good Melodic Hardrock CD that contains elements of the lost 80s.

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


We already discussed the second album of this Brazilian Melodic Progressive Rockband, but never discussed their debut. So, here is the review of their debut that was released independent. And I found this CD pretty nice to listen to, so a review is necessary. The CD starts with a progressive MHR song, but then we can hear some more Melodic Rock orientated material in the songs "New life", "Distant voice" and "Rock'n'roll forever". "New life" has a really great melodic chorus with beautiful harmonyvocals and is a fine melodic rockballad. "Distant voice" is the best song on the CD, a great AOR Ballad like WESTWORLD, old TNT with some Pomp/Progressive influences at the end of the song. "Rock'n'roll forever" is a nice ballad and because of the use of piano-keys it has an AOR sound. The epic ballad "Freedom" also sounds very melodic and is more moving into the old DREAM THEATER style. Concluded, this is a nice CD that will please both progressive and melodic rockfans. Available through

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


This is the second release of SAVANNAH, the best band on the English Recordlabel Z-RECORDS. Their new release is a live-recorded concert, which is mostly acoustic/keyboard oriented, yet with drums. The concert was recorded on February 5, 1999 at Giles Cafe in Salem, Massachusetts, USA. This also explains the title of the CD. 8 tracks are played from their fantastic debut and 2 completely new tracks, which will also appear on their next studio album. What we get to hear is a very impressive performance and very much AOR Ballad orientated. Sometimes SAVANNAH even reminds me of the classic JOURNEY and SURVIVOR AOR Ballads. It doesn't matter which track you listen to, because they are all superb. Just listen to those classic AOR choruses and harmonyvocals in fantastic songs such as "Never let it go", "Two young hearts", "Left out in the rain", "Last to know" (one of the new songs), "Useless alibis" and "Never too late". This CD is only available in a limited version, so be fast to get your copy of this fantastic release.

(Points: 9.0 out of 10)


This Canadian AOR artist has already had some success in the past, including being number 3 in the famous Rock Homegrown Contest. Now ROGER LAPOINTE has released his first solo-album titled 'Handle with care'. There are 12 tracks on the CD that was partly produced by Roger himself. The other producers are Matthew Gerard and David Hines. The production is a bit average and also the music is not really heavy. Still there are a few great tracks on the CD. Opener "Handle with care" is a great relaxing AOR ballad a la GARY HUGHES, only pity is the saxsolo in this song.

The following two tracks are the best ones on the CD. "Tie you up" and "Matter of time" are both Classic AOR rock orientated and are similar to PHIL CHRISTIAN/BIG MOUTH, STAN BUSH… These two songs sound very good and impressive, more of these songs and you have a great album. Unfortunately these are the last rockers on this CD, because after these songs the CD turns into a uncertain direction. There are some AOR songs like "Confusion" (pretty good semi AOR Ballad 80s styled, classic AOR keys at the start and a great guitarsolo) and "Go on and dream" (STAN BUSH kinda midtempo AOR, only the saxsolo should not be there). But especially the last 4 tracks have really nothing to do with AOR, because songs like "Be my balloon" (rockabilly influences) and "Prodigal girl" are pure popsongs.

Conclusion is that this is not a sensational release, because the CD is not AOR all the way. I would advise to Roger to record more material in the style of his great uptempo AOR rockers "Tie you up" and "Matter of time", because the material is now a bit too diverse to recommend to the AOR fan only. Still, the AOR fan will enjoy at least a couple of tracks that sound rather good. For more info visit the website of Roger's recordlabel Crown Musicworks at:

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


CHARADE is an American band coming out of Wheeling, Illinois. On their CD 'Avoiding reality' are only 5 tracks, so you can consider this as a mini-CD. Guitarist Jim Norris produced the CD. CHARADE is playing melodic rock, although there are also influences of both AOR and Hard Rock. The first track "Believing" is a nice calmer AOR Ballad. Next track "Charade" is a bit in the 90s sound, but all in all a melodic hardrocksong. Without any doubts, the following track "Nothing's changed " is the best track on this CD. This song is a very strong semi-AOR Ballad. If the band would follow this style and direction, they could be much better. "Nothing' changed" is a fantastic track and in the style of bands like DANGER DANGER, BLUE RAIN…

The closing two tracks "Better days" and "Last call" on the other hand are more melodic hardrock orientated and reminding me of the old SKID ROW. Conclusion is that this is a nice CD, but could be a whole lot better if the band would make more songs in the style of "Nothing's changed" and also a few uptempo songs could improve their sound.

Write the band at: Charade, 690 Lakeside Cr., Wheeling, IL 60090, USA or e-mail them at: Their website is down at the moment, but you can also get a copy of their CD if you visit the website of WILDSIDE IMPORTS

(Points: 7.5 out of 10)


Another independent release that contains some great material. HALIFAX is a German band that play the typical German AOR/Melodic Rock in the style of bands like DOMINOE, DAYTONA, AIDEAN, KARO, CRAAFT, NO CREDIT… The chorus of opener "Love's got a hold on me" grabs you right away and doesn't get out of your head after hearing it once. Extremely catchy, very cheerful and pure AOR. The sound is as heavy as a Melodic Hardrockband, but the chorus is AOR all the way. Just before the guitarsolo, there can be heard some fantastic AOR keys. This song is a definite winner for fans of CRAAFT, KARO, DOMINOE and NO CREDIT.

The other 8 tracks on this CD are not as strong as the lovely opener, but still quite enjoyable and a must for the fans of mentioned German AOR Bands. "It's not enough" is more AOR based and with some great hooklines this sounds a lot like NO CREDIT. "Ticket to the moon" is a nice midtempo AOR/Melodic Hardrocksong that mixes ZENO with CRAAFT. HALIFAX can also write gorgeous ballads, because "Anymore" is a very good pure AOR Ballad from a high quality and reminds me of ROKO on his last album. "Let's dance" has a nice AOR Chorus like FAIR WARNING.

"Ain't gonna cry" is a calmer semi AOR Ballad like the last GOTTHARD album and is very suitable for radio airplay. The following two tracks "Wild night" and :"Bad blood" are a bit simpler, heavier and average rockers that sound like V2 mixed with SADO. Not really impressive and these songs keep the points a bit down. Happily, closing track "Should I believe" makes a lot good, because this live performed track is cheerful uptempo AOR/Melodic Rock like KARO, DOMINOE and especially CRAAFT. Some great keys can be heard in this final track.

Concluded an interesting release and recommended if you like German AOR. I don't have any information of this band, so this will be hard to get outside Germany. If you e-mail Robert Pancur through he might be able to help you getting a copy of the CD of HALIFAX.

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)

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