Friday, September 25, 2015


Tinkara Kovac and Max Navarro

The countdown to the inaugural edition of the Royal Gala Rock Festival - the music contest for rock and metal bands to be held on Friday, September 25 in Pantianicco (UD, Italy) – has started. Excellent names for the jury that will evaluate the bands in the race. Two international rock stars of the caliber of Tinkara Kovac and Max Navarro, singer Sasha Torrisi (Timoria), rock producer Nick Mayer and DJ Ugo Falcone.

The fourteen finalist bands will compete on the festival stage to win the first prize, consisting of 30 hours of recording, for a value of over 1200 Euros, in the newest Angel's Wings Recording Studios, the only American structure in Italy, which boasts two mixers Solid State Logic.

The event is organized by record label AW Recordings and the local Pro Loco, and will be presented by actress Erica Alberti. Here is the list of the fourteen bands in the race: Noetic, Simone Piva & i Viola Velluto, Alchemy, Painting Noise On The Ground, Alba Caduca, Paz Man Era, Sonia G., The Gangsters, Blue Alpaca, Party Animals, Cinqueinpunto, Dont'try This At Home, Fist Of Rage, Afterglow.

Thursday, September 24, 2015


Stryper are back to reclaim their throne in the hard rock/heavy metal world with the latest song from their upcoming 9th studio album, Fallen. The title track “Fallen” can be heard via YouTube at the following link: The original lineup comprised of Michael Sweet (vocals/guitars), Oz Fox (guitars), Tim Gaines (bass) and Robert Sweet (drums) return with an album of all new material showcasing the musicianship that garnered them a huge fan base in the mainstream world and the Christian market. From the opening choral refrains of “Yahweh” to the signature vocal scream at the end of “King Of Kings,” it is apparent that Stryper is back with their heaviest and most inspired work to date that is scheduled for release on October 16th via Frontiers Music SRL. Fallen is available for pre-order via digital retailers and can be ordered via iTunes at and via AmazonMP3 at It is also available in various physical configurations at Fallen was produced by Michael Sweet.

“Fallen is about Lucifer before he became Satan. It’s the story of how he got kicked out of Heaven. He tried to overthrow God and take over,” describes Michael Sweet. “The song talks about how beautiful he was. When he walked, there was music. He was the angel of worship and this incredibly powerful and beautiful being.”

The latest song comes on the heels of the album teaser track, “Yahweh,” that was released last month and has been listened to over 135K times since it went live. “Yahweh” was a musical writing collaboration between Michael Sweet and Sevendust’s Clint Lowery. Tracks like “Pride,” “Big Screen Lies” and “Til I Get What I Need” show that Stryper is back and better than ever. Stryper offer their unique interpretation of the Black Sabbath classic “After Forever.” The band flexes their softer side on the instantly memorable “All Over Again” which continues the journey Stryper fans began almost 30 years ago when “Honestly” was released to mainstream success.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Joel Hoekstra has announced the release of his new melodic hard rock studio album “Dying To Live” from his electrifying new side project, Joel Hoekstra’s 13. Hoekstra is best known to rock fans as the currrent guitarist for Whitesnake, and also known for his work with Night Ranger, Trans Siberian Orchestra and the show Rock of Ages.

Dying To Live features an all-star cast of rockers including Jeff Scott Soto (vocals), Russell Allen (vocals), Tony Franklin (bass), Vinny Appice (drums), and Derek Sherinian (keyboards), and will be available via Frontiers Music SRL on Friday, October 16th.

Hoekstra took charge of the creative process by handling the production, song writing and arranging (music and lyrics). The end result could best be described as hard, melodic, classic rock that is Dio'ish at its heaviest and Foreigner'ish at its lightest.

“Years ago, I released three solo albums that were mainly instrumental guitar music. I wanted to put something out that showcased my production, writing and playing in the genre that I'm known for, which is melodic, hard rock’’, explains Hoekstra. ‘’That’s when I decided to start what I consider to be my rock side project, Joel Hoekstra's 13. Dying To Live focuses on struggles, potential pitfalls and the art of overcoming obstacles in life to finally arrive where we are meant to be.’’

Dying To Live was conceived before Hoekstra joined Whitesnake. David Coverdale gave the album his full blessing. “David wants his players to spread their wings and fly and of course be ready to rock when Whitesnake needs them, which obviously won't be an issue.”

Excited how the new album turned out, Hoekstra is looking forward to the overall reaction from fans and media. “I hope everyone will give it a listen. I feel it showcases my production, writing and playing in the genre I’m best known for thèse days. The line-up of musicians is stellar! I want to thank everyone for any support in advance. Life is good!”

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Baroque Metal Stars Royal Hunt to return with brand new album "Devil’s Dozen"

Frontiers announce the release of the brand new studio album from ROYAL HUNT entitled “Devil’s Dozen” on August 21st in Europe and North America.

With keyboardist and songwriter André Andersen still at the helm, ROYAL HUNT have once again created an album that combines the basic sound and core values of classic rock with progressive rock and more current musical elements. After selling approximately 1.7 million albums globally and touring the world numerous times, the band’s still going strong…and now gets to release their 13th studio album entitled “The Devil´s Dozen”.

André Andersen says: “We´re very pleased to be able to present our new, thirteenth studio album. While staying on course with all traditional Royal Hunt´s musical values this one contains quite a bit of variety – from an up-tempo, double kick driven “May You Never (Walk Alone)” to the bluesy “Heart On A Platter” and probably our best ballad to date – “Until The Day”. Counting in Royal Hunt´s usual attention to details – playing wise as well as production wise – I´m sure that any fan of symphonic/melodic yet hard rocking music will be pleased with our latest offering.”

The new recording stays true to the original, larger-than-life Royal Hunt sound, with imaginative instrumentation, intricate arrangements, soaring vocals and catchy, massive choruses. Yet, the addition of classical musicians/instruments and contemporary, modern day production elements move to twist the outcome into a unique sonic palette. The album is chock full of carefully crafted songs, recorded and mixed by a team who combined crystal clear sonics with a weighty punch.

Featuring once again the talents of the awesome US singer DC Cooper – who, after numerous requests from fans and promoters worldwide decided to reunite with the band in 2011 – Royal Hunt features – besides André Andersen on keyboards - long time member Andreas Passmark on bass, Jonas Larsen on guitar and new drummer Andreas Habo Johansson (ex Narnia). Royal Rock… no substitutes!

“Devil’s Dozen” tracklisting: So Right So Wrong; May You Never (Walk Alone); Heart On A Platter; A Tear In The Rain; Until The Day; Riches To Rags; Way Too Late; How Do You Know (bonus track).

Monday, September 21, 2015

Rock History: U2 - The Joshua Tree (Album Review)

Time for Rock History: U2's The Joshua Tree. This week's choice is an easy one. The numbers on this album and this band are through the stratosphere. This one is rated #27 on Rolling Stones top 500 albums of all time and also went 12x Platinum here in the states and 9x platinum in the UK. This was by far their biggest selling album of their career.

It went to #1 on The Billboard 200 and stayed there for 2 weeks. It spent 103 weeks altogether on The Billboard 200 after that. U2 had 4 Top Ten singles from this record, "With or Without You", "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For", "Where The Streets Have No Name" & "In God's Country".

The album sold well over 25 million copies globally and solidified their superstar status. Ladies and Germs, from the emerald isle of Ireland, recorded in Ireland and released by Island records. Produced by Brian Eno and released on March 9th, 1987, U2 "The Joshua Tree" (Johnny Hardcore)

1. "Where the Streets Have No Name" 5:38
2. "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" 4:38
3. "With or Without You" 4:56
4. "Bullet the Blue Sky" 4:32
5. "Running to Stand Still" 4:18
6. "Red Hill Mining Town" 4:54
7. "In God's Country" 2:57
8. "Trip Through Your Wires" 3:33
9. "One Tree Hill" 5:23
10. "Exit" 4:13
11. "Mothers of the Disappeared" 5:12

Total length: 50:11

• Bono - lead vocals, harmonica, guitar
• The Edge - guitars, backing vocals, piano
• Adam Clayton - bass guitar
• Larry Mullen, Jr. - drums