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This new issue includes reviews and interviews of Primal Fear, Inglorious, Nordic Union, Last Aurumn’s Dream, Signum Regis, Shakra, Wigelius, Avantasia, Diviner, Rick Springfield, Last in Line, Resurrection Kings and more!


Page 1: Melodic Rock Fanzine #72
Page 2: Melodic Rock Fanzine #72
Page 3: Melodic Rock Fanzine #72

CONTENTS04_Primal Fear

06_ Inglor ious

07_Nordic Union

08_Last Autumn’s Dream

09_Signum Regis




16_Tobias Sammet’s Avantasia


18_Rick Springfield

20_Last in Line

22_Resurrection Kings

Melodic Rock Fanzine

The official Frontiers Music s.r.l. magazine

Year #12 - Nr. 1 / Issue #72

Editor-in-chief: Elio Bordi

Concept, Graphics & Design: Elio Bordi

Writers: Bruce E.J. Atkinson, Duncan Jamieson, Barry McMinn, Vitale

Nocerino, Rob “Ezy” Bone, Primo Bonali.

Headquarters and general contacts:

Frontiers Records - Via Gonzaga 18

80125, Napoli - Italy

Tel: +39.081.2399340/7753

Fax: +39.081.2399794

E-mail: [email protected]




Editor and publisher: Frontiers Records s.r.l.

Copyright©2016 Frontiers Records. All rights reserved.

Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is pro-


Printed in Italy.

Page 4: Melodic Rock Fanzine #72

Band: Primal Fear

Interview with: Mat Sinner

Interview by: Bruce Atkinson

Page 5: Melodic Rock Fanzine #72

MRF | 5

Question: With your last album, we

heard you push the envelope, and

this time around you pushed even


Answer: “Delivering The Black” was a

really successful album and we toured

it around the world. We saw and heard

what the fans really wanted to hear

from Primal Fear and wi th th is

impression we started the songwriting

for the Rulebreaker album. It was time

to cont inue s traight in to the same

direction with some li t t le modifica-

tions and not making extreme changes

or musical experiments. But from the

first riffs and melodies there was fab-

ulous flow and the vibe was great. So

all the pressure on our shoulders went

early and we knew we had a really

nice and creative time with the song-


Q: Tel l us what i s behind

“Rulebreaker”? What was the inspi-

ration towards these sessions?

A: We are free thinking persons and

most of the lyrical content is about

that – rockers, rebels, l ive free and

not let any people dictate you what

you have to do and where to go – polit-

ically and with any religion. We are

artists who take their responsibility

very seriously. That’s the message of

Rulebreaker , but the lyr ics have

always to fit with the music.

Q: Now, being on the scene for such

a long time, it most likely is tempt-

ing to put out a “safe” set of songs,

but not Primal Fear, as mentioned,

you continue to push the envelope!

The motivation of each member must

be high…

A: That has always been our target

from the beginning of the songwriting

until the mastering in the studio or the

last shot of the video clips in the mid-

dle of the night. The first reactions

and reviews from the media are phe-

nomenal and we hope this will contin-

ue. We wanted to write and record the

best Primal Fear album with a lot of

motivation and ambition. We pushed

ourselves in the s tudio and Jacob

Hansen did a killer job mixing the

album. Overall I think the production

and sound really developed on this

album to the next level. We‘re really

sure that we did our job and now the

fans will decide.

Q: And not only motivation, but the

well you draw from must be deep as

on this album each and every piece is

fresh and vibrant! Can you go

through your creative process?

A: We’ve found a nice set-up how to

write and record and it works. This

time we’ve recorded for the first t ime

more parts in Jacob’s s tudio in

Denmark. For example it was a really

cool move to record the drums with

our new drummer Francesco Jovino

out there. This gave us a lot of basic

help to make the music sounded fresh,

natural and raw. With this basic set up

it was really cool to record the other

ins truments and vocals . Not over-

loaded, but always powerful.

Q: What about the production?

A: We produced a lit t le differently this

time, because we’ve learnt again from

the last production. We’ve recorded

the drums and some more s tuf f a t

Jacob Hansen’s studio in Denmark,

then we’ve recorded the guitars @

Magnus Stuntguitar Studios in Sweden

and Vocals in Ralf’s studio, then I was

going back to Jacob’s studio to mix

the a lbum wi th h im in Denmark.

Finally we found a way to improve and

took some right decisions. We’re very

happy with the final result and in my

opinion th is i s the most powerful

sound and excellent of Primal Fear so

far. You can listen to the album on a

cheap or an expensive system and it

always sound really fat and kicking.

Q: I really enjoyed the song “We

Walk Without Fear”.. .

A: Magnus and me are two guys who

work really hard and peacefully all

over the years with great results. This

time we had the idea to write our

longest song ever, with a lot of rhythm

changes, harmony changes, big hook

and real place for guitar duels. We’ve

worked for about 6 months until we

were both happy wi th the f inal

arrangement.You can imagine that you

are recording and mixing a song which

is three times as long as a regular

song, but in the end it’s all worth it .

Q: Let’s talk about the new band

member. Can you please introduce

him to us?

A: We have been knowing Francesco

since 10 years now and we’ve played a

lot of concerts and shows with his for-

mer band Udo. We really like his style

of drumming and he’s a really pleas-

ant and peaceful guy. When we heard

that he left Udo we were already play-

ing with Aquiles Priester from Brazil

but we had some problems with the

travel and logistics. So we played a

show with Cesco to check him out on

stage with us and he was just fantas-

tic. He really loved to join the band

and that was our story!

Q: How long after the ‘Delivering

The Black’ tour did you start

recording? By the sound of

“Rulebreaker”, it seems not long as

the energy level is so high!

A: Very soon – there was no time for a

break. We were really ambitious and

motivated to start writing and reflect

all the moments we’ve brought back

from all over the world.

Q: I’m sure that with this effort, as a

group, you will break new ground

and I hear another world tour is in

the offing?

A: We will tour Europe in Feb. 2015,

then 3 guys of the band are busy doing

the huge arena tour Rock Meets

Classic like every year in March &

April, Primal Fear will go on a huge

US / Canada tour in May/June, then

Japan, then Open Air fes t ivals ,

September we will rock South America

and then a second round of shows in

Europe in October. Busy times ahead.

And if some promoter from Italy gives

us a good offer, we will of course be

happy to come back and play a crush-

ing show for you guys with the best

Primal Fear line up and album ever!

Page 6: Melodic Rock Fanzine #72

6 | MRF

Questions: I would like to begin with a lit-

tle background. Being such a young group,

that is recently formed..but with veteran

musicians, it must have been a long process

in picking the membership?

Answer: That was the hardest thing. Finding

people that fit the bill in every respect and

have the same influences. Guys that are nice,

great musicians and performers, that want to

be in a rock band in a world of bedroom play-

ers that wanna be session guys…

Q: Obviously, you had a specific vision and

one that seems to be fulfilled. So, with the

band being formed in 2014, did you spend

most of 2015 polishing that vision, and

obviously recording the first album…

A: Yep. It wasn’t smooth by any means. We

had a few hiccups with guitarists but as soon

as we had the line up I had dreamed of it was

full steam ahead! Very quick easy process

making this album. We recorded it in less

than a week.

Q: In reading other articles about

“Inglorious”, I see that you have a great

organisation behind you… Effective man-

agement and a strong work ethic. As you

were moving forward, how did you connect

with Frontiers?

A: We are managed by an awesome team,

QEDG. They look after such greats as Asia,

ELP and Yes. They introduced us to Derek

Shulman who signed Bon Jovi, Nickelback

and Dream Theater to name a few…he was

very keen on us and between Derek and

QEDG they thought it would be a great idea

to show the band to Frontiers. They flew over

to see our sold out debut show and signed us

that that week. Its great that a label is signing

young bands in our genre and making to pos-

sible for us to get our material out there for

rock fans to enjoy for many years and inspire

the next generation of fans too!

Q: Upon listening to selected tracks off the

new lp, one can tell that you guys love play-

ing live! It is almost a “jamming” feel to it.

Would you care to comment?

A: That is exactly right. We don’t use click

tracks, autotune etc. We like it to sound real

and live. So people feel like they are at a

show. That also says a lot of the musicianship

of this band I think. If people like the album

they will like us live. We wanna do great

shows, exciting shows, entertain people!!!

That’s whats missing for me in todays scene.

Proper rock and roll shows!!!

Q: So, keeping with the new record, when

it became time to write, how did that

process begin? Does everyone in the group

write, or is it one or two individuals?

A: The whole band writes. It was my first time

writing to be honest with you and the final

track on the album is the first song I ever

wrote. It was on tour in the US at the time

with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and the

boys were sending me demos and riff ideas

and in my bunk every night on the tourbus I

would write melodies and lyrics. When I

returned we had about 20 songs including

some co writes from Joel Hoekstra [Night

Ranger, Whitesnake], Al Pitrelli [Megadeth,

Alice Cooper], John Mitchell [It Bites] and

Neil Fairclough [Queen].

Q: With such experience from each and

everyone one, is it harder to write togeth-

er… Or do you find that the creative

process is much more energetic?

A: It is so easy. We wrote Holy Water, track

4, in 45 minutes. And Until I Die, the opening

song, in the same day. It’s easy when we are

all together. Our method is honesty, if some-

thing sucks we say it sucks and move on. No

time to be precious.

Q: Relating again to what we are going to

hear on the debut, as a group, you are not

afraid to share your influences, and from

such a strong point. Do you feel that this

may limit you in any way? Personally I

think “Inglorious” is such a breath of fresh

air, and breathing new life in the tried and

true Rock & Blues standard…

A: Why thank you! In a word, No. This is

what we do and its very natural for us all and

hopefully people will see that and appreciate

it for what it is… Good classic hard rock

played by people that really care and can

play live.

Artist: Inglorious Interview with: Nathan James Interview by: Bruce Atkinson

Page 7: Melodic Rock Fanzine #72

Band: Nordic Union Interview with: Erik Martensson Interview by: Duncan Jamieson

Question: The new album sounds like a

perfect marriage of Eclipse and Pretty

Maids. How did you get together with


Answer: I’ve been doing a few projects

for Frontiers records during the past

years and they contacted me and asked if

I was interested to do an album with

Ronnie Atkins, singer from Pretty Maids,

and I said yes immediately. Pretty Maids

is a great band and I love Ronnie's voice.

We got in touch and Ronnie instantly

liked the first couple of songs I sent to


Q: How did the song writing differ

from the approach in Eclipse?

A: Well, one difference is that I wrote

most of the songs all by myself. With

Eclipse I always write together with

Magnus Henriksson (guitar). And I also

tried to find a little different approach

compared to Eclipse. I wanted it to be

really melodic but a little more dark and

moody. Both melodies and lyrics. It’s

absolutely not a theme but I wanted the

album to have that over all feeling.

Q: How did you record the album?

A: All music is recorded it in my own stu-

dio in Sweden, (Blowout Productions),

but we recorded Ronnie’s vocals in

Denmark at Jacob Hansen's studio. The

whole recording went really smooth and

Ronnie did a fantastic work singing the

album. He always gives 100% and so do

we all.

Q: There are a number of more sombre

topics touched on that differs from the

useful kind of boy meets girl rock

lyrics. Can you tell me a bit about the

ideas behind 'The War Has Begun',

'When Death Is Calling' and '21


A: As I said, I wanted the album to touch

a little more serious themes and

melodies. “The War Has Begun” is about

how we treat each other and mother

earth. We’re crossing over a line and

there is soon no way to turn back and

repair all we destroyed. “When Death Is

Calling” is about we’re all facing death

alone. There’s no escaping it and when

death is calling you gotta answer whether

you want it or not. “21 Guns” is about all

the pointless wars that’s going on around

the planet. People with power send poor

men to fight for them. They will not do the

fight themselves but they don’t hesitate to

send the expendable youth. When they’re

sent home in a box all they get is 21 gun


Q: Do you think this is a one off project

or will there be more from Nordic


A: It’s all up to the music fans really. If

people like the album and if people have

interest in the project I would love to do

another album of course. I really like the

way it turned out.

Q: You collaborate with a lot of artists.

What is it you like about working with

other artists?

A: I see it as a way of doing stuff I can

not do with Eclipse. Not that they sound

miles apart in style but still there are

many small differences. And it’s also a

privilege to be able to work with such

great singers. But I write for many differ-

ent artists and bands. I also produce, mix

or master many albums every year. All

from Country to Death Metal.

Q: Is there anyone else you'd like to

work with?

A: Oh, there are so many great singers

out there. And so many bands I would

love to work with. Actually, Joey Tempest

would be a dream singer to work with as

I listened a lot to Europe as a kid.

Q: When can we expect to hear new

music from Eclipse and Pretty Maids?

A: I know that Pretty Maids are writing

for a new album right now. And Eclipse

will release a new album in February

2017 if everything goes as planned. But

we will also participate in the Swedish

qualifications to Eurovision with a song I

wrote so there is actually a brand new

Eclipse single coming out very soon!

Q: Any chance of you performing these

songs live?

A: Absolutely. If there is an interest for it

we’ll do it. We haven’t closed any doors

with Nordic Union.

MRF | 7

Page 8: Melodic Rock Fanzine #72

Band: Last Autumn’s Dream Interview with: MikaelErlandsson Interview by: Barry McMinn

Quest ion: So what ’ s the s tory

behind the new album’s t i t le?

Answer: We knew that this t ime peo-

ple would think that we got to have a

number 12, but no no no no, we had

this idea of these songs and of course

every song that should be l ike “musi-

cal paint ing” in a way. Sounds l ike a

crazy thought but i t sui ts me perfect

because I see al l songs in my mind as

a picture. So, paint ings i t i s .

Q: This i s the bands 12 s tud io

release, not bad for a band that

only been around s ince 2003 , so

what makes Last Autumns Dream

such a prol i f ic album band?

A: Just because we're not so much on

the road with LAD, we al l have proj-

ects and bands beside this . Hopeful ly

someone wil l pick up the phone and

of fer us some gigs or tours . We are

al l busy wri t ing songs between the

other gigs .

Q: Are you sort of person whose l i fe

is ref lected in their art or do you

take your inspirations from differ-

ent things?

A: My inspirat ion comes from l i fe

experiences and classical music . In

my case I go t ideas when I hear

trains goes by, a door with a cracke

noise or sound, or a baby crying with

beaut i ful harmonies . I don' t wri te my

songs with an instrument , they al l

come up in my head, sometimes in my

sleep or lately , when I took a show-

er. . . Then I record al l my ideas in my

own studio.

Q: Andy Malecek unfor tunate ly

decided to leave the band in 2014

because o f persona l reasons and

was rep laced by Pe ter “Pac”

Söderström, was Peter the obvious

choice to replace Andy?

A: Yes , he was a l ready in th i s

progress 6 albums ago, but not as a

ful l member. Peter did and do al l

rhytm gui tars on every album, Andy

did al l the solo parts . But sadly Andy

got weaker and in the end he just

could ' t del iver his master bri l l iant

gu i tar so los anymore . . . So , w i th

blessing from Andy we asked Peter to

join us . And he fol lowed the classic

style and sound of LAD.

Q: Also we see producer Ul f

Wahberg join the band as keyboard

player, how did he go from produc-

er to keyboard player?

A: Ulf is s t i l l the producer, but he is

also a keyboard player . We asked him

IF he would l ike to play keyboards

when we are appearing l ive . I t ' s only

a " l ive thing" I s t i l l do al l the key-

boards and ar rangemen t s on the

a lbums . Some t imes Ul f adds some

small keyboard things, just for the

product ion.

Q: The band played Rockingham

Fes t iva l in Not t ingham in 2015 ,

what was i t l ike to play in the UK in

front of a die-hard Melodic Rock


A: We were more than happy! This

must happen more of ten in the future.

I t was truly magical to perform our

songs l ive and the audience was awe-

some. Highl ight of the year for me, I

must say!

Q: The album is due for release in

February , so are you taking the

band on the road to promote the

album in 2016?

A: We are doing our best to promote

this and the older albums too. Firs t

of al l we're gonna release a radio

single from this album, "Take i t on

the run". A cover and a bri l l iant song

from REO Speedwagon, hope you al l

wi l l love i t - we do.

8 | MRF

Page 9: Melodic Rock Fanzine #72

Duncan Jamieson: On your last album ‘Exodus’ you had different

singers on the songs but this time you’ve settled on one singer,

Mayo Petranin. Can you tell us about him and how you decided he

was the one you wanted for the job?

Ronnie König: The 3rd album Exodus was done with 10 or 11 different

singers and Mayo was one of them. He was quite a well known singer

on the Slovak metal scene, so Filip (guitarist) suggested to invite him

too. This was the trigger for everything that followed. We have known

each other before, but after this little cooperation, we became friends,

we started rehearsing together, we even started playing live together.

Later we decided to really start anew as a band with fixed line up, with

Mayo behind the microphone. We are very happy with this decision and

with the direction that we are heading.

DJ: The songs are tied by a theme. Can you explain the idea behind

the concept of the record?

RK: I have to correct this a little bit. It is not a concept album per se,

every songs stands on it’s own. On the other hand, you have to find an

album title and a theme for the artwork. We thought, the song Prophet

Of Doom could work. There is a line that says: “if you do not like the

message, do not blame the messenger”. That’s basically, what you can

see on the front cover. There is this figure showing people, that there is

a big evil cloud coming, he is trying to warn them. And what do the peo-

ple do? They blame the messenger and want to lynch him. That's the

way it usually goes. In ancient times and also in today's politics.

DJ: How have you written the songs? Is it lyrics initially or do you

come up with guitar parts first?

RK: In our case, the music and the melody come always first. The lyrics

are written according to an existing melody.

DJ: Which artists do you listen to?

RK: The recent weeks, I’ve been listening to Primal Fear, House Of

Lords, Meat Loaf, Lord (Australia) and Gamma Ray. My all time

favorite bands are Megadeth, Yngwie Malmsteen, Gamma Ray, John

Fogerty, Dio, Helloween, Impellitteri, Rod Stewart, Grave Digger, Iron

Maiden, Judas Priest.

DJ: What’s the music scene like in Slovakia?

RK: The one thing, that I can definitely say is: it’s getting much better.

The bands in the underground keep on getting better, there is some

international recognition of some of the bands going on. In addition to

that, there is no lack of metal events anymore. You have all sorts of

bands coming here to play. From Iron Maiden to Dream Theater,

Avantasia, you name it.

DJ: With a permanent singer now, does this mean you’re likely to


RK: It’s possible. It’s also about how you define touring. We have been

playing live shows regularly for 2 years, but it was a show here and a

show there. If we are talking about the traditional meaning of the word

(being on the road for 3 months without a break), well let’s see.

Anything is possible, but for the next 3-4 years, it is more realistic to

keep on doing short, mini-tours 3-4 shows in a row, booked around a


Page 10: Melodic Rock Fanzine #72

Question: You sound re-energised on

“High Noon”.

Answer: Thank you very much! Yeah, I

was very motivated to work on this album

when it was clear that Mark will rejoin

the band. I was writing almost day and

night, so in the end we could choose from

more than 30 songs. Thom also did a

great job on the production. We’re really

happy how everything turned out!

Q: Mark Fox is back. What is like hav-

ing him back in the band? How is it

different now?

A: Well, we had a lot of problems back

then in 2009. There were different rea-

sons why we splitted up finally. First

thing we had to do after all those years

was to talk about all that shit that hap-

pened in the past. We did a lot af mis-

takes back then and so he did. I think it

was very helpful, that he had his solo

band in the last few years. He learnt that

success doesn’t come easy just because

his name is Mark Fox. I mean, he has a

great, very distinctive voice, but he also

needs a real band as we are to make

things complete. So the main difference

actually is: we talk about whats’s going

on, with a lot of honesty and respect now.

Q: So what happened with John


A: He called us one day in summer 2013

and said: Boys, I need to talk to you. I

immediately knew what it was all about.

We felt that he wasn’t really happy any-

more. It wasn’t his world, the rehearsal

room, the studio and the stage.

Sometimes I think he thought that every-

thing would be much easier. But to play

in a rock band doesn’t only mean to have

fun all the time, first of all it means a lot

of work. And he wasn’t willing to put all

the required effort in the band.

Q: Did the difficulties with line-up

changes inspire the music?

A: A lot people asked me in the past

where the inspiration and energy is com-

ing from. And my answer has always

been the same: I have no idea! As I said

before, surely I was very motivated to

work on new material when Mark came

back. But on the other hand, I was always

very motivated when we were working on

a new album in the last 20 years!

Q: It is a great melodic rock record,

with some great riffs and some of your

catchiest songs to date. How much time

did you spend in the writing and

recording of the disc?

A: Thanks man! It took us about 12

months to write these songs. As men-

tioned before, we did demos for more

than 30 songs. Chris von Rohr from

Krokus helped us a bit to choose the right

tracks for the album this time. I mean we

do not work with an external producer –

Thom, our lead guitarist, produced the

album once more – so sometimes it‘s

good to have an opinion of someone

who’s not actually involved in the song-

writing process. It often happened that I

sent a new song idea to Chris and he just

said: “Sorry, not good enough. You can

put this song on the album if you want,

but I wouldn’t”. Well, you know what I

did next? I just wrote a new song. Until

Chris said: “Well done, Thomas”. Haha,

that’s why it finally took us one year to

write these 12 tracks.

Q: What plans do you have for tour-


A: We start playing in Switzerland in

March. Then we will play some shows in

Germany, France and hopefully Spain.

And a lot of festivals then in Summer. I

hope we make it to Italy also sometime

this year!

Band: Shakra Interview with: Thomas Muster Interview by: Duncan Jamieson

10 | MRF

Page 11: Melodic Rock Fanzine #72
Page 12: Melodic Rock Fanzine #72


“Rulebreaker” (Frontiers Music s.r.l.)Eleven shining pieces of Metal populate the group’s lat-est release. “Rulebreaker” is aptly titled, as ‘PrimalFear’ have broken some rules while successfully push-ing their own borders. From track one; there is renewedenergy from every corner of the group. The result isharder hitting anthems for the heavy soldiers of ‘PrimalFear’s legions of heavy metal’lers! “Delivering TheBlack” solidified the group’s premium position in theMetal musical galaxy, and now-“Rulebreaker” has justelevated them that much higher! Any and all releasesfrom this juggernaut of musicians’ is a celebration, buta little extra celebrating is in order here. “Rulebreaker”marks the return of founding member Tom Naumannback to the studio, along with his blistering guitar work!And it is all here, the scorching vocals, twin guitarattack and the high octane back rhythms and lighteningfast percussion. All wrapped up in an unrelenting per-formance, song after song after song! Already thisalbum is being touted as ‘Primal Fear’s strongest yet…Hey! I remember reading that very statement abouttheir last release, and, I wrote it myself in the previousrelease! Obviously, the group have outdone themselvesonce again and so it seems that ‘Primal Fear’ hold nofear, and are limitless in their collective creative pow-ers! A toast to these six masters of music… Germany’sforemost Heavy Metal’lers: “Primal Fear” BA (98/100)

LAST IN LINE“Heavy Crown” (Frontiers Music s.r.l.)

Vivian Campbell, Vinny Appice and Jimmy Bainwho played together on Dio’s Last In Line record(hence their name) are back together and they'redoing a great job of keeping the Dio sound alive.Andrew Freeman is the man who has the unenvi-able task of filling Ronnie James Dio’s shoes.Freeman is a strong singer and wisely doesn’t tryto do an impression of Ronnie, so the band despitetheir obvious debt to the Dio sound, add enough oftheir own character to create something special.The best songs tap into the spirit of classic Dio butadd some modern oomph thanks to Freeman’svocals and Jeff Pilson’s excellent production job.It's great to hear Campbell really rocking hard andheavy here. The strident ‘Devil In Me’, the brood-ing ‘Starmaker’, the more modern ‘I AmRevolution’ and the title track all would be worthyof a DIo album. Lyrically deeper than you mightexpect, the fight against illness, that plaguedRonnie and now Vivian, crops up metaphoricallyin ‘Already Dead, ‘The Sickness’ and on ‘BlameIt On Me’ cancer is overtly mentioned. Dio’s lega-cy lives on. DJ (94/100)

INGLORIOUS“Inglorious” (Frontiers Music s.r.l.)

Hell! what can I say!? This debut will simplyblow you away! From the power of lead vocalist;Nathan James to the organic rivers of sound cre-ated by guitarists’ Andreas Eriksson on lead, andWil Taylor on rhythm. The command of‘Inglorious’ is absolutely underlined by the pul-sating Sonics driven by bassist Colin Park andPhil Beaver on drums! Now, these five musi-cians are all graduates from the grand OldSchool of Rock. They play with passion, spiritand harmonise to the nth degree and… Don’tpull any punches! Just one listen and you willhear what Blues-Rock needs to and should soundlike! Each song was recorded live, and containvery little over-dubs. What you hear is whatyou’ll get in a live concert performance! Therange of vocalist Nathan James is unbelievable awhiskey throated soulful singer that can alsoreach the highest of registers. OK, so what aboutthe music? Glad you asked! You’d better strapyourself in. ‘cause as I said ‘Inglorious’ willabsolutely blow you away! Powerful, rhythmicand melodic, full throttle Rock n’ Blues, withmolten lead licks and organic undertones. RealRock, with soul, muscle and melody, a group ofmusicians that live it and breathe it! BA (92/100)




“Scary Creatures”

(AFM Records)‘Scary Creatures’ is the fifteen

album from German

Powermetal giants Brainstorm

and follows their 2014

‘Firesoul’ album. The band

are back with an album that

once again sees the Germans

showing how Powermetal

should sound. Also on this

new opus the band have

expanded their sound to bring

in a more heavier anthemic

sound and you can feel this

from the opener and first sin-

gle from this release ‘The

World To See’. It’s a prime

example of what this album is

all about, big licks power-

driven rhythms and of course,

the mighty vocals of Andy B.

Franck. The albums takes the

Powermetal bull by the horns

and shakes it for all its worth,

with the likes of ‘We Are’, the

pounding ‘Where Angels

Dream’ and the title track

‘Scary Creatures’. It may have

been two years in the making,

but the wait was well worth it.

Brainstorm are back and big-

ger and better than ever. BM




(Nuclear Blast)This goes where previous

Avantasia records have gone but

there are new musicians swelling

the ranks as well as those who

have shaped the sound of

Avantasia in the past. Old stal-

warts like Jorn, Bob Catley,

Ronnie Atkins and Michael Kiske

are back because what they bring

complements Sammet’s vision

perfectly. The characterful Dee

Snider joins the ranks this time as

well as Marco Hietala, Robert

Mason and Geoff Tate. Across

twelve tracks, the album tells a

complicated story of a spiritual

awakening of a life lived in the

modern, materialistic world and a

story of corrupt scientists.

Sammet uses every trick in his

musical arsenal to keep the whole

enterprise engaging. The Mystery

Of The Blood Red Rose’, which

opens the record, is the illegiti-

mate child of Meat Loaf. There

are a couple of other very melodic

moments in the melodic metal of

‘Babylon Vampyres’, the uber

catchy ‘Unchain the Light’, ’A

Restless Heart and Obsidian

Skies’. There’s power, symphonic

and goth metal too. Diverse

enough to take multiple listens to

fully appreciate. Sammet’s rest-

less creativity is well realised on

‘Ghostlights’.DJ (92/100)


“Into The Legend”

(AFM Records)Seven years of recordings in fourdifferent studios, incredible classicorchestral parts, several symphon-ic choirs, and an exclusive use oforiginal instruments make “IntoThe Legend” probably RhapsodyOf Fire' most extensive and ambi-tious piece of work ever. Epic,majestic, orchestral, cinematic andpowerful, the new album is a 70minutes-long kind of Power Metalsoundtrack that will make any fanof the band happy and proud. In acertain way, “Into The Fire”marks the return to the roots of theband, stylistically recalling ele-ments off their first four albums,with double bass-driven anthemslike “Distant Sky”, “Into TheLegend” and “Realms Of Light”being clear examples of it. Add tothis a couple of authentic gemslike the beautiful ballad “ShiningStar” and the 17 minutes-long“The Kiss Of Life” that closes thealbum in a grandiose way andyou'll have a picture of “Into TheLegend”. Fabio Lione's dramaticand powerful voice matches per-fectly with all the majestic orches-trations that Keys-wizard AlexStaropoli has written for thealbum. Like them or not, you can-not deny that Rhapsody Of Firehave an unique sound and thatthey really know how to write andperform an epic, dramatic andsymphonic Metal album. PB(85/100)


“Tabula Rasa”

(AOR Heaven)The sophomore album from the

Swedish AOR band is more var-

ied than the first and perfectly cap-

tures that mid to late 80 sound of

US AOR. Anders Wigelius puts

in an impressive vocal perform-

ance throughout, although I think

it’s fair to say his voice is at times

more pop than rock. The well-

arranged opener ‘Do It All Again ’

has an eighties sounding slap bass,

twinkly keyboards, a good hook

and a tasty guitar solo that all

combine to leave you in no doubt

this is a quality act. The rockier

guitar on ‘Long Way From

Home’, the ludicrous catchy trio of

‘Time Well Wasted’ ‘Run With

Me’ and ‘Please, Please, Please’

are all highlights. It veers into pop

territory on ‘These Tears I Cry’,

the early Nelson-sounding ‘ 9 Out

Of 10’ and the Richard Marx-like

ballad ‘My Cherie’ which may

prove too lightweight for some of

the rock crowd. This is a more

mature sounding album than their

debut. Eric Wigelius’s production

has the polish to give it that million

dollar studio sound despite, one

would imagine, a much more

modest budget. Overall this is a

classy disc at the lighter end of

AOR. DJ (92/100)


“A New Dawn”

(AOR Heaven)Although formed in 2007, “Grand

Slam” are just celebrating the

release of their debut: “A New

Dawn”. Founded by drummer

Andy Swaniz, Sweden’s “Grand

Slam” was positioning them-

selves to be a recording unit and

exploring the vast spectrum of

Melodic Rock from the comforts

of a studio. “A New Dawn” is

the result, and a complete package

as this album features some of the

group’s older material as well as

new creations. A line-up that has

been solid since 2014, containing

both Andys’ plus bassist Henrik

Hansson and keyboardist Daniel

Gronberg Svensson and lead gui-

tarist Andreas Gullstrand, this

debut is a spirited affair.

Performed to perfection, “A New

Dawn” is immersive, uplifting

and soars with melody.

Appealing choruses and ener-

gised songs, this record should

certainly turn heads. Each track

builds upon the previous, continu-

ally climbing higher and gather-

ing more energy. The older mate-

rial just seems to be re-energised

as well, just listen to “Waiting For

Tomorrow”. High calibre all the

way, ‘Grand Slam’s debut “A

New Dawn” certainly is for these

five! BA (89/100)


“Bridge to Mars”

(Pride and Joy)Over the past couple of years

there has been resurgence in

the 70’s Hard Rock sound and

another band making waves in

that direction are Swedes

Bridge To Mars, with their

self-titled debut. Take a clas-

sic sound of Led Zeppelin

with a dash of Cream and stir

gently, and that’s what they

bring to the table. The album

has that 70’s feel, but with all

things coming out of Sweden

at the moment, they have

managed to take that classic

sound and make it their own.

Take the likes of ‘Soulshine’,

it has more groove than a pile

of vintage vinyl and ‘Mirror

Magic Spirits’, which is pure

Psycodelia Rock at its finest.

‘In The Light’ carries on that

dream state feel while

‘Jupiter’s Dream’ brings the

best of those two worlds and

combines them in one melting

pot of 70’s groove infused

funk. This might not be an

album for the younger rock

fans out there, but the fans of

a more, shall we say more

mature elk, will really enjoy

this release. BM (80/100)

Page 13: Melodic Rock Fanzine #72

NORDIC UNION “Nordic Union”

(Frontiers Music s.r.l.)Fancy a band that is a cross betweenSweden’s Eclipse and Denmark’sPretty Maids? Well, that’s exactlywhat you get when you pair Eclipse’swunderkind Eric Matensson andPretty Maid’s gravelly voiced RonnieAtkins. The big melodic rock soundand huge hooks of Eclipse are here inabundance while Atkins distinctivevocals add character. Atkins’ lived-invoice adds gravity to the more sombrelyrical content of ‘The War HasBegun’, ‘The Other Side’ and theexcellent ‘When Death Is Calling’.Despite the serious lyrics on ’21Guns’ it is an infectious, hummablemelodic rocker and ‘True Love AwaitsYou’ is a ballad with an impressivedynamic performance from Atkins.'Falling' and 'Point Of No Return' aretypical of Mathiesson's output with anenergy level that's off the scale. Noduffers, this is an album chock full ofgreat songs, expertly performed andalthough it’s one of the first releasesof the new year, it will figure highly inmany people’s list of favourites at theend of the year. DJ (96/100)


Science” (Frontiers Music s.r.l.)‘Rocket Science’ is the 18th studioalbum from the multi-talented RickSpringfield as he returns with anotherstunning album in ‘Rocket Science’.The album is pure Springfield as hemixes the obvious country influenceswith hard rock in what is his bestalbum to date. The album opens upwith the single ‘Light This Party Up’,a fitting title to get this rock n’ rollparty started. The album continueswith the excellent mid-tempo ‘Down’,which again is pure Springfield, as isthe wonderful ‘One’. The album is 13tracks for pure ear-candy, with someof the best tracks Springfield hasreleased in years. The phase “allkiller, no filler” should be come withthis album as standard. Take thebluesy ‘Miss Mayhem’ mixed with theCountry & Western infused ‘CrowdedSolitude’ and the hard rocking ’WeConnect’, all songs from differentspectrums of Springfield’s influences,but all excellent examples of the manssuperb craft. Like I said before, one ofSpringfield’s finest album to date andhis fans will just love it. BM (98/100)


Kings” (Frontiers Music s.r.l.)The term supergroup has been aboutfor sometime now and everyone hastheir opinion on them, but when youput the names of Craig Goldy, SeanMcNabb, Vinny Appice and ChadWest together, then throw in producersongwriter supreme Alessandro DelVechio and the supergroup mantratakes on a whole new meaning.Because these guys have produced onehell of a hard rock album to kick of2016 in their self titled debutResurrection Kings. With four stellarmusicians and an acclaimed producerinvolved in the project you’d expectgood things and you’d be right.Resurrection Kings is a great HardRock album and worthy of allinvolved from the opener ‘DistantPrayer’, right through to the closer‘What You Take’, this is one hell ofway open 2016. Chas West has thepower and might to bring the best outof the songs, with the Goldy deliver-ing some sublime licks and the power-house rhythm section of McNabb andAppice, this without a doubt, one ofthe most anticipated albums in recentyears. BM(95/100)


“Paintings”(AOR Heaven))When it comes to consistency andgreat albums, you can look no furtherSweden’s Last Autumns Dream.Album after album, MikaelErlandsson and co. have producedsome of my favourite albums and intheir new opus ‘Paintings’ this contin-ues. This is melodic rock of the high-est calibre. The band have taken thegenre by the scruff of the neck and willshake its very foundations once morewith this stunning release. This is thebands 12th studio album and showcas-es the band at their very best. They’vetaken the canvas of Melodic Rock andcompletely painted over the cracks toproduced one of their best albums todate. Erlandsson is just sublime andwith the backing of Peter PacSöderström’s superb guitars, plus withJamie Borger on drums, NallePåhlsson on bass and Ulf Wahberg onkeyboards, this is L.A.D. at their verybest. Check out the likes of ‘Rock StarCrazy’, ‘Bring Out The Heroes’, thesuperb ‘Too Late’ and the cover ofReo Speedwagon’s ‘Take It On TheRun’ if you don’t believe me. BM(96/100)


“When Patsy Cline Was...”

(Nuclear Blast)Ricky Warwick is definitely no

stranger to fame and success, hav-

ing started his career as guitarist of

UK Punk/Folk band NEW

MODEL ARMY, to then going to

form THE ALMIGHTY, with

whom he enjoyed ten Top 40 sin-

gles and four Top 20 albums in the

UK and shared the stage with such

iconic bands as THE RAMONES,


CA. Although extremely busy

with his main band, Warwick

found in between the time to write

some songs, not really in the clas-

sic style of BSR, so he decided to

record and to release them as solo-

project. The result is a 20-songs

double album, the beautiful

acoustic album called “Hearts on

Trees” and the electric one called

“When Patsy Cline Was Crazy”.

With a lot of acclaimed musicians

guesting on the album, such as Joe

Elliot (DEF LEPPARD), Damon


ERS), Andy Cairns (THERA-

PY?), Ginger Wildheart, Richard

Fortus (GUNS N’ ROSES) and

more, this is a no-frills Rock album

that tells the experience of growing

up coming from the Greater East

Belfast area. Not something that

every MRF reader will like, yet a

very personal effort containing

some good songs (my personal

faves being “Celebrating Sinking”

and “When Patsy Cline Was

Crazy”)... PB (85/100)


“My Way”

(Nuclear Blast)An outcry went through the

metal scene, when Peter

„Peavy“ Wagner and Victor

Smolski declared the end of

their musical collaboration

in the beginning of

February 2015. Peavy made

it clear over and over again

in interviews that the new

line-up was already com-

pleted... An d so here we

are with the new members

and a new release. For this

scribe, “My Way” is an

unexpected release from

Rage. With only four

tracks-powerful as they are

- this can only be viewed as

an ‘Ep’. I’m hoping that

this is just a taste of what is

in store for this revitalised

power outfit. “Rage” still

have loads of life, ascer-

tained by newer versions of

“Black In Mind” and “Sent

By The Devil”. The newer

material has much poten-

tial, and leaves us wanting

to hear more. ‘Ep’ or not

‘My Way’ at least gives us

a glimpse at what is brew-

ing with these heavy rock-

ers! And by the sound of it

‘something heavy is coming

down!’ BA



(Nuclear Blast)“Nucleus”, “Witchcraft’s fifthalbum can be reviewed with onlya few descriptive terms: A mas-terful, absolute awesome soundexperience! However, I can’t helpmyself and must write a littlemore about this unique power-house from Sweden. Out of thecreative genius of MagnusPelander, “Witchcraft” took formsome sixteen years ago. Thispower-trio, (as it stands now),have forged a sound that isunique, touching upon variousexpressions of music including:‘classic-rock’, ‘hard-blues’, ‘psy-chedelic’ flourishes and evenatmospheric currents! Magnus isaccompanied by RageWilderberg on drums and Tobiasnger on bass. Magnus’ own fretwork is so fluid and matches hisvocal style. Combined, the mas-sive talents of all three weave amystical tapestry of sonic bril-liance! As we travel through“Witchcraft’s ‘Nucleus’, we areconfronted with some very darkand far reaching lyrics, that pro-pel over the brooding rhythmsinto the most melodic vistas ofsound. Sounds that completelyenvelope our senses. We will findourselves totally immersed and attimes totally lulled into thegroup’s musical spells!“Nucleus” should bring“Witchcraft” forth to the masses,and out of their ‘cult’ status. Whatis next for this musical master?Perhaps it’s World domination!BA (90/100)


“High Noon”

(AFM Records)Like some marriages that split

up, those involved realise after

the fact that they can’t live with-

out each other and this is sort of

the case with Austrian band

Shakra on their tenth studio

album. Despite recently having

made two albums with lead

singer John Prakesh , Mark Fox

who left the band in 2008 is back.

The result is a re-charged Shakra

whose mixture of tough riffs

(harder than your average melod-

ic rock band), big hooks and the

love ‘em or loathe ‘em vocals of

Fox combine to make this one of

the band’s strongest albums to

date. Hummable rockers like

‘Hello’, ‘The Storm’ and the title

track are great examples of

European melodic rock. ‘Around

the World’ throws in an unex-

pected, but tasty bluesy solo.

The ballad 'Life Is What You

Need' shows Fox can handle the

slower material as well as the

vocal shredding up-tempo tunes.

Songs like ‘Raise Your Hands’

and ‘Watch Me Burn’ are simple

and direct but no less enjoyable

for that. The band and Fox's time

apart seems have rejuvenated

them and they've come back

hungrier and more focussed.

Welcome back. DJ (92/100)


“On The Outside”

(Pride and Joy)Comprising of well known musi-

cians from the Hard Rock and

Heavy Metal world, such as

drummer Mark Cross

(Helloween, Firewind, Outloud),

bassist Pontus Egberg (The

Poodles, Lions Share) and gui-

tarists Ian Nash (Lionheart, Steve

Grimmett) and Joel Peters, along

with above-mentioned Pete

Newdeck (Eden's Curse, Grim

Reaper, Blood Red Saints),

TAINTED NATION play a mix-

ture of modern Hard Rock and

melodic Metal. After the nice

debut "F.E.A.R.", and some live

appearances in UK and Europe,

here comes the second Work

called “On The Outside”, follow-

ing basically the same path style-

wise: 13 tracks of melodic Metal

with some catchy melodies and a

modern production, something

that sits between The Poodles,

Sixx:A.M. and late Ozzy

Osbourne. Featured as special

guests on the album we have

Pontus Norgren (of Hammerfall),

who wrote three tracks and pro-

vided a couple of guest solos,

Nick Workman (of Vega)

appearing as backing vocalist on

the title-track and Issa performing

a duet with singer Pete Newdeck

on “Pulling Me Under”. An

album worth checking out. PB




Anticipation” (AOR Heaven)Theander Expression is the AOR

project put together by Swedish

guitar-player and songwriter

Andrée Theander, who debuted in

2013 with an album called

“Strange Nostalgia”, a perfect

blend of lite Melodic Rock, AOR

and West Coast music. Two years

later and here's the follow-up,

“Wonderful Anticipation”: AOR

at its best, played with class,

amazingly arranged and written

with heart and passion. Listening

to the opener “You Always Ran

Away” (after the “Anticipation

Anthem” intro) bands like Work

Of Art and Houston come to my

mind, and the title-track follows

the same path, with a

Toto/Foreigner-influenced ballad

of epic proportions. Apart Andrée

Theander, who produced and

recorded the album and playedall

the guitars, most of the bass and

keyboards, some percussion, and

vocals, other musicians featured

on the album are Erik Martensson

(Eclipse, W.E.T), Herman Furin

(Work of Art), Bengan Andersson

(NIVA), Kristofer von

Wachenfeldt (Care of Night) and

Björn Lundqvist (Sunstrike,

Twilight Force). A superb lite

melodic rock affair that will defi-

nitely please any fan of the genre.

PB (88/100)

Page 14: Melodic Rock Fanzine #72

Question: The new record sounds like

your sound is evolving and is very var-


Answer: Thanks! That was what we where

aiming for. We wanted the sound to feel

really fresh and a step up compared to our

last album.

Q: The sound of the record is heavily

influenced by the rock music of the 80s.

What is it about that particular music

that speaks to you, as you were too young

to experience it first time round?

A: Well, simply it just appeals to us. We all

grew up listening to 80’s rock music among

a lot of others, so of course that has influ-

enced us in a lot of ways, but we can’t

specifically say its that thing or that song.

Our music is the result of everyone in the

band’s own story.

Q: There are a lot of ideas on the record.

It sounds like a lot of care and attention

was given to the record. How long did it

take to write and record?

A: Well, some songs are actually quite old,

some are even from the Reinventions

record or right after it was released, so this

has been a working project for about 3 - 4

years. Basically we wanted to make sure to

release a damn great record.

Q: Which songs on the record best sum

up what Wigelius are all about?

A: Well if we have to give an answer it

has to be the whole complete album, it’s

impossible to pick just one or few since

it is the whole record that sums it up.

Q: Erik Wigelius does a great job

with production. It has that big, pol-

ished 80s sound. Who has influenced

him as a producer?

A: CLA and Bendeth among the few,

also his friends, music, life and all that

surrounds him.

Q: Patrik Janson has joined the band

as the bass player. What difference

has that made to the band?

A: Patrik is a genuine person and a

heck of a bass player that we all known

for some time and that Erik have had

several rock bands with. Platitude is

one of them where also Wachen was

playing keys, who started Care of

Night. Picking Patrik for the bass was a

very natural choice for all of us. He is also

a killer graphic designer and has made the

covers for our singles and the "Tabula

Rasa" record.

Q: The album rocks but you're also not

afraid to dabble in more pop territory.

A: Thanks, yes that's true! We feel that the

mix of good quality AoR music with pop

influences sounds really good. Also it is

available not only for the hardcore AoR

fans, but also for the pop audience.

Q: Do you have plans to tour?

A: We have some plans touring with some

other bands, but it is in the idea stage right


Band: Wigelius

Interview with: Erik Wigelius

Interview by: D. Jamieson

Page 15: Melodic Rock Fanzine #72
Page 16: Melodic Rock Fanzine #72

Question: Can you talk about

“Ghostlights” and what is about?

Answer: It’s about spiritual questions of a life

lived in a materialistic world. Questions that

can’t be answered in school books. The twelve

songs are twelve different views of different

aspects of the lives of the protagonists, who

are me to some extent. It’s about a young

agnostic scientist who interacts with entities

that throw him onto a spiritual path. It’s about

the pace of modern life that is thrust upon us.

The story is that there are scientists who are

trying to align society by building bridges to

get people closer together but there’s a suspi-

cion about them, that there’s something sinis-

ter behind it. It’s actually a tool to control

society. As the young scientist gets deeper into

it, following his profession, he kind of

unlearns what to think, and he starts to think

about what really is important in life.

Q: The initial thing that strikes you about

the new album is the first song “The

Mystery Of A Blood Red Rose” which,

unless I’m mistaken, sounds a lot like Meat


A: It’s not an accident. There was a realistic

chance to get him involved in the project. We

had the chorus which was like Avantasia

meets ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ and ‘Bat Out Of Hell

2’ and then we worked on the song and it

came out like Meat Loaf. It wasn’t pushed or

forced. I contacted his management but they

want him to do a record and not get distract-

ed by other things. The management keeps it

away from the artist. It is blatantly screaming

out Meat Loaf. It’s a tribute.

Q: There have been a number of metal

projects since the advent of the internet has

made recording with multiple artists more

of a viable proposition but most of them

never get to play live. Avantasia is an

exception. Was it always your intention to

make this music to play it live?

A: At the beginning I thought it would never

happen. I made the music just to make myself

happy. Then we got the financial back up in

2008 to try it live. When you’re offered to

headline the biggest heavy metal concert in

front of 100,000 people you shouldn’t say no.

If there is a God, and you said ‘No’ then he’d

say ‘What’s that guy doing? I’m never giving

him that chance again.’ I’m happy that we did

it. That’s what’s made the difference. People

make various attempts at this genre of rock

opera. What we do though is very unique.

When I talk to my agency about what

Avantasia is, calling it a project, downsizes

what we do. This is a phenomenon in conti-

nental Europe. Any musician can say they’re

not going to buy themselves that new car this

year and instead pay for 6 singers to sing on

their record about dragons, dwarves and

witches but what we’ve done on a stage and

in arenas, getting Eric, Michael and Bob up

there is something I’m really proud of.

Q: How much of the song is done when you

give it to the singers or other musicians?

A: In all cases they get a version of the song

with me doing it; drums, rhythm guitars and

bass. Jorn and Michael come to my studio.

Sometimes people take it the way it is. Some

situations it changes. The melody Dee Snider

sings, his phrasing was unique and the mood

changed completely. That’s the great thing

about collaborating.

Q: Do you always decide who you want to

sing the songs in advance or does it happen

more spontaneously?

A: Both. The song Geoff Tate sings ‘Seduction

Of Decay’ started as this epic song, oriented

in the direction of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Black

Dog’. I could have got Jorn to do it in a

Zeppelin or early Whitesnake way but

Zeppelin have done that. There’s nothing

more to say that way, Zeppelin said it all. In

my basement, that magical place, which looks

like the Castevet’s building in Rosemary’s

Baby, I’m not saying I worship the devil

though, the song started to remind me of an

early Queensryche type song that could be on

their ‘Rage Of Order’ album. It’s got a heavy

metal and almost progressive edge and Geoff

does it his way. It was something I couldn’t

have predicted or foreseen at the beginning of

the song. That’s the great gift of Avantasia for


Band: Tobias Sammet’s Avabtasia Interview with: Tobias Sammet Interview by: D. Jamieson

16 | MRF

Page 17: Melodic Rock Fanzine #72

Question: How did the band get together and

can you tell me a little about the other mem-


Answer: I'm more than thankful for your com-

ment on "Fallen Empires" my friend! Diviner are

actually a dream come true to me, since I had the

whole concept in my mind for a long time now

and it's finally time I see it all come to life! My

dear friend since childhood, Thimios Krikos,

with whom I've shared many musical journeys in

the past was the first one to join me on this

attempt, while he also continues to play the gui-

tar for Innerwish. We soon began working on the

songwriting and pre-production and pretty

quickly the rest of team was completed, formed

by well-known musicians of the local metal scene

who also happened to be friends and willing to

try bringing the classic roots of heavy metal to

meet the current requirements of modern sound

and approach. Diviner's team is adapted by

George Maroulees on the second guitar

(4Bitten), Herc Booze on the bass (SixforNine)

and Fragiskos Samoilis on the drums


Q: It’s a very metal album, classic in spirit but

with a heavier darker, modern edge. Which

bands would you say have influenced your


A: My friend I cannot express how happy I am to

hear you say that! It was a great challenge, to

combine the original heavy metal mentality with

a modern feel, without counting any losses in

atmosphere. Diviner share plenty of obvious

influences, but also some not obvious ones, most-

ly those coming from quite "fresh" and more up-

to-date backgrounds, such as Iced Earth,

Megadeth, Annihilator, Amon Amarth, Bruce

Dickinson and Halford solo projects. Among the

"old time classic" influential bands for Diviner, I

could never avoid mentioning Dio, Accept, Judas

Priest, Metallica and Iron Maiden as well.

Q: The band has been together for a while.

How long has it taken to write and record the

album in total?

A: Truth is, from the day songwriting began till

the day we had the entire album fully ready,

mixed and mastered, a good four years must

have gone by. There are absolutely no regrets,

though, given the fact that we were in no need to

hurry for any reason, there were no deadlines of

any kind but only our strong urge to never stop

until we would reach the desired outcome. Much

of the total time spent was dedicated to trying to

come up with the most appropriate production to

best bring out Diviner's sound, which was quite

of an accomplishment of Thimios, who is also

responsible for the album's production. The good

thing is also the fact that "Fallen Empires" has

sunk so deeply into us by now, that we feel more

than ready to share it with everyone and give our

100% on stage!!!

Q: Who or what influences your lyrics?

A: Like I said, the entire conception of Diviner

was very dear to me for many years now, and

lyrics were definitely one aspect that concentrat-

ed all my attention and care. In "Fallen Empires"

Diviner are story-tellers of fictionary tales, full of

symbolisms and allegories, bringing out themes

taken from the eternal battle between Good and

Evil. Our inner struggle to overcome obstacles

that keep our human nature from excellence is a

sure inspiration, as is the mind journey we need

to take, to make it through dangerous traps and

manage to evolve, always through positivity and


Q: How did you get Peter In de Betou who’s

worked with Arch Enemy, Opeth and Amon

Amarth involved for the mastering?

A: Like you said, we were no strangers with

Peter In de Betou's work, in fact we had been fol-

lowing his amazing contribution on the albums

of major bands, like the ones you mention above.

It clicked from the very beginning that his

approach was the one we had in mind for

Diviner and, of course, we were more than con-

fident that we would get the result we needed. So

we reached Peter and sent him over our work,

hoping for a positive feedback which, indeed, we

received, and luckily everything fell right into

place after that. We feel we could not have done

a better choice, working with an expert like him-

self was a great privilege and an extra reason for

us to fall in love again with "Fallen Empires"!

Band: Diviner Interview with: Yiannis Papanikolaou Interview by: D. Jamieson

MRF | 17

Page 18: Melodic Rock Fanzine #72

Question: What part of your life do you

think ‘Rocket Science’ reflects most?

Answer: What’s going on inside my head.

It deals with love, lust, the world round

us, human nature but the songs are about

how that all resonates in me obviously as

the writer. Its definitely from my positive

side. Much more so than “Songs 4 the end

of the world”. I figured the only way to

help begin to heal all the crap is to start

it within myself. Clean up your own back-

yard kind of thing. I sit and bitch ad

moan with friends but it doesnt really do

anything but make you more depressed

and angry. Trying to change that.

Q: You obviously have a love for

Nashville as you’ve brought some

Country elements into the album.

A: Yes its really where real playing and

good pop has gone. It’s still the only

music town where it matters than you can

really play your instrument. Not that

computers arent music, they are and some

of what I listen to and like is that comput-

er pop but as a guitar player myself I love

the real thing more. My first hit single

'Speak to the Sky' had me playing a banjo

as the lead instrument (1972), so its not a

giant stretch to have banjo resurface on

my album 40 years later.

Q: This is your 18th studio album, so

have you found it easy to keep produc-

ing great albums while still pursuing a

successful acting and writing career?

A: Yes, don’t sleep. I love what I do 83%

of the time and have a lot of energy for

all these things. I dont watch TV or play

video games so I have a lot of free time.

And Im on planes and hotels a lot, so

more free time and I better put it to good

use becauase this life is it baby. Unless

the Buddhists are correct. I sometimes

have to reschedule concerts and stuff

around acting or other projects that come

up, but so far its been pretty painless

Q: The mix between Hard Rock and

Country works really well on the

album, but are there any particular

songs that you feel particulary proud


A: Well they're all your babies so its hard

to draw lines but I think Best Damn Thing

and Down work as the rock/country thing.

Where as We Connect is pretty much

straight ahead rock. We didnt force it and

if it didnt fit we blew it off for traditional

rock instrumentation. I like the mix

though and the banjos fiddles pedal steel

adds nice touch and colors to the music

for me.

Q: You’ve already showcased some of

the new songs live, what has been the

fans reaction to the new material?

A: They hate them. No just kidding.

They're already signing along so thats a

good sign. The new songs work really

well with the older one live because we

have always played the older stuff with a

little more muscle that they had on the

original recordings.

Q: What keeps Rick Springfield moti-

vated in a world where music is seen a

disposable commodity?

A: The same thing that motivated me

when I was 14. I LOVE this shit! I consid-

er myself fortunate to be doing what I

basically love, for almost 50 years (how

old is this guy anyway??).

Q: You’ve done the acting, the writer

and the rock star thing, is there any-

thing you’d really like to try you hand


A: Broadway musicals. The first music I

was ever aware of was Oklahoma,

Carousel, South Pacific, Oliver all those

amazing musicals. We didnt have a TV

growing up in the country in Australia so

my parents and my brother and I would

stand around the old player piano at

night after dinner and sing all the songs

my mom and dad liked. I still love them

and they are amazingly crafted works.

Both lyrically and musically. I think I

really noticed the lyrics were clever when

I was a kid which makes me sometimes

spend days on a lyric.

Artist: Rick Springfield Interview with: Rick Springfield Interview by: Barry McMinn

18 | MRF

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Band: Last in Line

Interview with: Vinny Appice

Interview by: Duncan Jamieson

Page 21: Melodic Rock Fanzine #72

Question: The new album is a great

mix of Dio and your own identity.

Why did you decide to get the 'Last

In Line' line up back together and

why now?

Answer: Last in Line got back togeth-

er the first time just to jam together

without a singer. It went so well we

decided to do another jam. At that

point I invited Andy down to come sing

some Dio songs that led to the thought

of “let's do some gigs”. Which we did

and that led to a record contract with

Frontiers Records offering for us to do

an album which we accepted.

Q: What's it like working with the

others again? Did it feel different

this time round?

A: It's really great playing with Vivian

and Jimmy again. It felt like it did

back in the Holy Diver days. We enjoy

each other’s company and we enjoy

playing together. This just a certain

magic about it.

Q: The collaboration between you,

Vivian and Jimmy I think works

with perfection really on this album.

Do you agree?

A: Yes as I said before there is magic

between Vivian Jimmy and myself

when we play, we just lock in. We have

the same feel , the same soul. The

music comes out naturally when we

play together and most of all we enjoy


Q: How did you decide on Andrew

Freeman to front the band? What

did he bring to the band?

A: I asked Andrew to come down and

sing on one of the early jams and he

did. He blew Vivian and Jimmy away I

knew we could sing great but he really

nailed it and we were all f loored.

Since he's such a nice guy we asked

him to join the band and go further


Q: How were the songs written?

A: The songs were written as they

were previously on Holy Diver and

Last in Line we jammed alot recorded

the jams the riffs the melodies and

then we picked out what we like and

continued to work on those with more

detail and structure. Everyone had a

part in the writ ing of this album,

everyone had ideas and it was a really

a creative process that worked so very


Q: This new album was recorded in a

relatively short amount of t ime.

What was the recording process

like? How does that differ from what

you’ve done in the past with writing

and recording music?

A: We wrote this album as we did Holy

Diver album. We went into rehearsal

and tried different ideas and different

riffs and started to put songs together.

Everyone had an open mind and was

willing to try different ideas just like

the f irst record Holy Diver. The

rehearsal and recording sessions were

done in different blocks of time over a

period of a year and a half. The writ-

ing was very easy ideas were flowing

creativity was flowing and it was quick

to come up with some great songs. The

recording side of it was equally as

easy plus we had the help of our pro-

ducer Jeff Pilson who had many many

ideas and directions that really helped

us pull the songs together.

Q: There are some quite serious

lyrics on the likes of 'Devil In Me',

'Already Dead', 'Blame Me' and

'The Sickness'. Can you elaborate on

these songs?

A: The lyrics to these songs where

written by Andy and a few ideas by

Vivian. I am NOT a lyric guy, I am a

music rift structure guy, so I cannot

elaborate on the lyrics for you.

Q: You're all busy with other bands.

Do you see Last In Line being able to


A: Yes we intend to tour as much as

possible with this band and support

the release of heavy crown due Feb

16th. We will make all the schedules of

everyone work, so we're out there

playing this great music.

Q: You've got a headlining slot at

the third Frontiers Rock Festival.

What can we expect from you there?

A: We are very excited to headline the

Frontiers Rock Festival, we're going

to play a great set of songs with lots of

energy and excitement. Should be

amazing! We are also very excited to

meet everyone from Frontiers Records

who have been so supportive in the

making of this album and believe in

this album.

Q: What was it like working with

Ronnie James Dio in Dio?

A: I've worked with Ronnie for many

years from 1980 and we became like

brothers. We shared a lot of interests

together we had the same musical atti-

tude. He's the most amazing person, so

talented an incredible vocalist and he

loved his fans and his music. He

always had time to sign an autograph

or take a picture to his fans even

remember names years later when they

would meet again. No one will ever

sing the way Ronnie sang he lef t

behind a very high standard of Rock


Q: Do you have regrets about those


A: I have no regrets other than maybe

some business decisions that could

have been better for the band.

Musically it was fantastic.

Q: What's next for Last In Line?

A: Last in Line looks forward to tour-

ing and playing around the world and

supporting the new released album

“Heavy Crown” and building up a

great fol lowing of die hard fans

including new fans and older Dio fans.

This music is very much alive 30 +

years later. The Last in Line show is a

combination of great playing energy

fun. we're going to play all the clas-

sics from the first three albums we

made. We will now also incorporate

two songs from the new album. It's

going to be an amazing show and peo-

ple that love “Holy Diver” and the

last in line album this is the show for

them to see.

MRF | 21

Page 22: Melodic Rock Fanzine #72

Question: How did The Resurrection

Kings come together? What was the

main concept of the band and its


Answer: It all started with an email that

I got from Serafino the President of

Frontiers Records asking me if I would

be interested in being part of a record-

ing project that involved other players

who’ve also made a name for themselves

in the ‘80’s and steering the music

towards Whitesnake, Dio and Rainbow!

I was more than happy to be a part of

something like this so I agreed to pro-

ceed further! I was also invited to sub-

mit some original material that they

would consider utilizing for the album.

The first song I thought of was the song

that Chas West and I wrote together

called “Livin’ Out Loud”! Then the

whole thing just kinda snowballed from

there! The vocalist they had in mind also

played bass… When he fell through I

thought of Chas West and Sean McNabb!

Fortunately, they were both interested

and available! Then the drummer

Frontiers had in mind fell through…

And since Vinny Appice and I stayed

friends from the Dio days, he and I were

doing a recording session at the time the

drummer fell through… So I asked Vinny

and he was both interested and avail-

able! To the naked eye, this project was

falling apart at the seams… But in real-

ity it was becoming stronger and more

powerful than it ever would’ve been


Q: The term supergroup has been

thrown about by many, but do you see

yourselves as this, or just like-minded

musicians doing what they believe in?

A: A little of both actually! In the eyes

of the fans initially it would seem like

just another “Super-Group” with guys

from the 80’s but in reality, not only did

it become like-minded musicians doing

what they believe in mostly because of

the material that we were going to be

recording and the record company

involved, but we all were friends, had

either recorded and performed together

at one point in the past or had per-

formed together and wanted to form a

band at some point in the past! We liked

each other which is extremely important

for any kind of chemistry to develop for

a new project and we all respected each

other’s gifts and talent’s so that no one

individual was calling all the shots!

Q: Do you see this as just a studio

project, or would you like to take

Resurrection Kings on the road as a

full on live band?

A: Actually we all are so impressed with

how this album came out, we are cur-

rently in negotiations with managers

and agents to put together a tour in sup-

port of this record and we all would like

to do another album afterwards!

Q: Are there any songs off the album

you are particulary proud of, if so

which ones and why?

A: Definitely! The song “Livin’ Out

Loud” is one that I am particularly

proud of, because it really is a strong

song musically, melodically and lyrical-

ly, with all the elements that I mentioned

in the previous question! I like the mix-

ture of tough, sexy and dark rolled into

one song….and that one has it! Plus it’s

one of my favorite riffs that I’ve written!

Same for “Falling for You”. Alessandro

and I wrote that one together, and this

song definitely brings to life the favorite

elements I spoke of before! The ballad,

“Never Say Goodbye” that one

Alessandro wrote and I think it’s a very

strong song for a ballad, but he gave me

a chance to “paint” with my guitar on

that song, which is something I haven’t

had a chance to do in quite some time!!

Each song on this album, in my opinion,

has the “favorite element mixture” that

I mentioned above and I am very fortu-

nate, grateful and proud to be a part of

this album!

Band: Resurrection Kings Interview with: Craig Goldy Interview by: Barry McMinn

22 | MRF

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