RIP Yordan Ivanov / Sky Empire

yordan ivanov**Horrible News**
Just received confirmation that Yordan Ivanov, the fantastic singer for Sky Empire, has recently died in a fire at his work.

When the band and I got in touch, they insisted we’d meet personally to work out the details. So they came over from the UK and on a Saturday afternoon we had a coffee together. Tom, Drazic and Yordan from Sky Empire, and me, at the table in the studio.
We had a great chat, from the off it was clear we were all lovers of music so time flew by. I was really happy to help the band with their album, which I think is a highlight in progmetal. Fantastic album, with awesome musicians who turned out to be great people.
Just cannot believe he has gone and that this will be his last album…

I wish the band and Yordan’s family strength and want to encourage you to check their album if you have not yet done so. For the next few weeks I will put it on sale on our website, so hopefully more people show their support.
https://rockcompany.nl/shop/sky-empire-the-dark-tower/

Rest in Peace mate, you will be missed 😢

Reviews 2019-6

Cranston II

stamina live

Slug Comparison - When You Were Living Herelegion - risingbattersea - arguments & sentimentsPhil Vincent - Hypocrite

And now time for the next round of reviews, as well as an extensive interview. So let’s start quickly with all the reviews:

  • first is Dutch site Rockportaal writing about the Legion Album. Writer Maurice calls it a tasty album, playable on every moment of every day.
  • The next is also from Maurice on Rockportaal, but this time it concerns the Stamina live album Live In The City Of Power. He thinks it is a great way to get to know the band and surely worth listening to. Also compliments for us for continuously delivering quality releases. Thanks man!
  • next another Dutch site, Progwereld. They write about Slug Comparison‘s WhenYou Were Living Here. they regard Doug as one of those talents roaming the world that deserve a much bigger audience.  Great voice, extensive musical skills and strong songs. Reviews like this will surely help attract more interest in this awesome release.
  • Then the inimitable Dmitry Epstein delivers another one of his fine reviews on DMME. He hands Legion‘s Rising a whopping 4.2 / 5 stars! With describing it as alluring and hitting the mark, who needs more recommendation?
  • Maybe the first time we hear back from Poland, and it are MLWZ writing about the Battersea release Arguments & Sentiments. Lots of compliments too, highlighting the catchy choruses and many tracks suspected of being able to become a summer hit. Well, fingers crossed then!
  • On to Italy then, where MetalItalia write about the just as Italian Stamina.  “A good opportunity to get to know and appreciate the band”. We couldn’t have said it better.
  • On to France now, and another amazing 17/20 for Phil Vincent and his latest album Hypocrite! No wonder writer Laudrome ends with “a very very good album”…
  • And it seems this sentiment is shared by Rockportaal. They conclude their review of Hypocrite  with “even when this album will not turn the world of rock upside down, it is a great album that is at least as good as many of the more well known names”. Thank you very much!
  • fireworks-SC interview is what it says, the full 2 pages of the interview that Doug from Slug Comparison did with Nicky Baldrian of Fireworks.
  • battersea - rock tribune some very kind words for Battersea in metal magazine Rock Tribune.
  • And last but not least, below more cracking words for Cranston, reviewer Paul Woodward from Fireworks calls it one of the best albums in the whole of Phil’s career!

cranston - fireworks

New Legion video

Now the long awaited return of Legion is final, let’s celebrate with another video! Enjoy How Does It Feel:

Reviews 2019-5

Sunrise Auranaut - InserterCranston IIThe Essential Claudio Delgiftfred mika - withdrawal symptomsLots of reviews have been coming in, and I am late sharing them. So let’s start with the ones dealing with releases from last year!

  • first up a review of Sunrise Auranaut’s Inserter album on Sea Of Tranquility.  Revieuwer Michael Popke rates it with 3/5 stars.
  • been a while since Melodic Rock dot com have done reviews, so happy to report that the second Cranston album got a 78% score. Andrew says: “If American melodic hard rock with a pomp touch and a heavy Winger influence is your thing, then look no further”.
  • Dutch site Progwereld review Claudio Delgift’s The Essential here. They praise his talent and think the collection is a good way to introduce yourself to Claudio’s music.
  • another Dutch site, Background Magazine, gives the same album a 3/5 star rating. Read the review here. They think the album is great, but do not like the vocals much.
  • DPRP on the other hand, beg to differ and find lots more positives, read their thoughts here.
  • and our friends from Rock Hard Slovakia rate Fred Mika’s album with 4/5 stars. Read here why writer Erik calls it a pleasant and varied melodic hard rock album.

Review round 2019-4

sky empire - the dark towerchinawhite - differentD'Ercole - Made To BurnCranston II

Phil Vincent - HypocriteSlug Comparison - When You Were Living Herestamina liveThe Essential Claudio Delgift

 

 

 

At the moment the reviews keep coming! So for the people who are still pondering on how to spend their cash, maybe here some motivation to support our artists. As usual follow the links to read the full story (few exceptions below):

  • DMME give Sky Empire a 4/5 stars for The Dark Tower. Dmitry says “British progressive metallurgists debut on a large scale – with no reason to cut it down” and is sure that while they’ve set the bar high for themselves, they will be able to rise to the challenge
  • Sea Of Tranquility writer Steven Reid hands Chinawhite’s Different album 3.5/5 stars claiming “Hopefully Different finds Chinawhite fighting fit and reinvigorated, because having to wait nine years between albums isn’t ideal. That said, it has been worth the wait”
  • Next up is Rock Hard (SK). Writer Erik Nadudvari shows his appreciation for the Different album from Chinawhite with a 4/5 star review, saying “we have a vibrant new album with pounding guitars and dense bass, plus even more guitars and keyboards to enhance the mood of the entire collection”
  • That same Erik and Rock Hard give D’Ercole’s Made To Burn a 3.5/5 star rating. Lots of positives vibes on this one!
  • Mr. H from UK site The Rocker writes about Cranston – II:The first CranstoN record saw Phil Vincent team up with Paul Sabu and I reckoned “If you’re the kind of persons who yearns for the likes of classic Aerosmith and Foreigner, albeit with a harder edged sound then this is the record for you. Now I’m not going to claim it’s up there with the classics but it is a very good album.”Which saves me the bother of writing a new review for the follow up album as exactly the same applies to this one. There are a couple of variations on the theme with some boogie licks on ‘Always On The Run’ and a more metal tinge to ‘Throwin’ Down’. There are a couple of fillers weighing down the middle of the record (say hello to ‘One Track Mind’) but given the sheer number of releases that Phil Vincent and company punt out every year there’s bound to be some slips in quality control.Strange to say, this time around, the best track is slightly anomalous as it moves away from the early eighties melodic rock into more seventies fey territory. ‘Wish I Had More Time’ is the tune in question, a lovely slice of acoustic pop which would have seen some US chart action circa 1976. Pound for pound I think this just shades the debut and is well worth a listen for fans of the genre.
  • Heavy Paradise rate the latest solo album Hypocrite by Phil Vincent with an 8/10 and tells us that “Hypocrite is yet another strong sample of his really admirable career. Some killer tunes in it, great guitars, an overall tight sound with the necessary modern vibe and some Winger ‘pinches’ here and there makes “Hypocrite” a must ‘listen’ for all the fans of the modern hard rock scene (…and not only)”
  • Next one for Hypocrite comes from Dangerdog. Another 4/5 rating. Craig says  “Needless to say, Hypocrite finds the multi-talented Phil Vincent in fine form delivering another solid album of his melodic hard and heavy rock. Recommended.”
  • One of those awful illegal download sites calls that same album “Strong, varied and interesting”
  • Next one from The Rocker is for Slug Comparison:Some Canadian prog via the Netherlands as a Dutch record label brings us the latest offering from vocalist/guitarist Doug Harrison of Canadian progressive rockers Fen. Truly it’s a global village.Now I’ve never heard of Fen or Doug Harrison. He has released a previous solo album and EP and this one sees him collaborating with the likes of guitarist Sam Levin (Fen), bassist Mike Young (The Devin Townsend Band), Randall Stoll (Congenital Fixation, KD Lang), Jeff Caron (Fen), Nando Polesel (Fen) and, Dave Young (Devin Townsend). So that’s a lot of Fen and a lot of Devin Townsend. But not a lot of prog.It’s proggish in the way that King’s X were (and are) proggish. But it has just as much in common with mainstream modern rock bands and post-grunge outfits. Which doesn’t really float my boat. Steven Wilson fans will probably take to it though and as there are a helluva lot more of them than there are of me, then this could do well for him. If they get past the awful band name. He has got a great voice which really comes to the fore when he aims for the jugular with the modern day version of a power ballad. Which is why ‘Fine With It’ is utterly magnificent. It has space to breathe, an impassioned vocal and some glittering guitar. A gem.

    A couple more like that and he would have had me. But this is a sound that is hugely attractive to modern ears. If they get to hear it this could be big.

  • Next Jason Ritchie from Get Ready To Rock, also on Phil Vincent’s Hypocrite album. A very decent 3.5/5 stars because “not as instant as many of Phil Vincent’s solo albums, ‘Hypocrite’ certainly holds its own musically and is another enjoyable melodic hard rock album”
  • Next one is for Cranston – II, this time from German Metal zine Crossfire: an 8/10 rating placing the album somewhere between Giant and Thunder with praise for the compositions!
  • GloryDazeMusic rate Hypocrite with a 7/10 and applaud it’s diversity even though writer George does not think every song is of the same high calibre
  • then on to the first review of the coming Stamina live CD/ DVD Live In The City Of Power. Metalwinds give it a mesmerising 90/100 rating! No shortage of superlatives in the review
  • the next ultra fresh review is for the coming release of Legion; Rising. GloryDazeMusic writer George is pretty happy with the return of the band and rates the album with 8.5/10!
  • then on to Spain and This is Rock and their March 2019 edition. First one is for Claudio Delgift – the Essential. Translated:I can’t think of a better way to get into the work of this exceptional Argentine guitarist than through this compilation. With such exquisite class and taste, each song is an ode to Progressive Rock with Blues and melodic influences. He’s in charge of all of the instruments except drums. He has the ability to create great expectation with his music. That can be seen in the unfolding of the songs, which instead of boring us to death with solos and technical parts, it makes us keep our attention on, asking to ourselves if the next section will be just as good as the previous one. “The World As A Whole” sums the album up perfectly. A portent of guitarist and songwriter that will be a big surprise for you.Enrique Gallardo
  • Second one is for Cranston – II:Behind this pretty much warrior-like name hides a duet of prolific Hard Rock artists: Paul Sabu and Phil Vincent. Style-wise it reminds us of Sabu’s “In Dreams,” so if you liked that record, this one won’t disappoint you. The first three tracks are spectacular. “Always On The Run” is catchy and powerful. “What’s It Gonna Take” is reminiscent of Sammy Hagar’s best solo moments. And “Wrong Side Of Town” has a distinctive Celtic touch in its chorus that makes your ears prick. The rest maintains the level, though the impact isn’t as immediate. “I Wish I Had More Time” sounds a bit like Southern Rock and “One Track Mind” distils Sleaze Rock, while “Throwin’ Down” is built around a mastodon riff. They still make quality Rock.Enrique Gallardo
  • And we end this time with Dutch site Lords Of METAL:
    * a 72/100 for Slug Comparison
    * a 60/100 for Claudio Delgift
    * and a 70/100 for Cranston!

Legion Pre Order!

legion - risingAfter the release of opening track Nothin’ To Me on video last week, now is the time to open the CD pre order! You can get the album in our webshop or in our Bandcamp store. Bandcamp is also the place to go if you want a digital format.

When the album releases on April 17, it will also become available on all other platforms. And as is usual, during pre order, you can get it for a reduced price!

So fans of melodic metal…. you know what to do! Thank you for your support!

 

Legion are back!

legion - risingAnd the releases just keep coming! Next up is the brand new Legion album Rising! Their video for opening track Nothing’ to Me will premiere Wednesday March 13, 20:00 CET on YouTube.
But you can already have a look at the artwork.
A must for fans of melodic metal
Album release is April 17, pre order starts March 20!

Stamina Pre order

stamina liveIt is now possible to pre order the coming Stamina live album Live In The City Of Power. Recorded September 2018 om Zgierz, Poland, this CD / DVD combi shows you what a remarkable live force they are! On it you will find 9 tracks of their premium power / progressive metal sound.

Find the album here, or on bandcamp. Official release is March 27.

And start with watching Breaking Another String:

Battersea Pre Order!

It’s a busy day today! So let’s start with announcing the pre-order for the new Battersea album Arguments & Sentiments. You can hear the track To Ithaca on Bandcamp and our website, but you might wanna look out for the absolutely fab video for it below, starring the band and someone who looks vaguely familiar 😉

CD ships from next week! As usual the pre-order comes with a discounted price.
#pop #rock #fun #video FFO Kings Of Leon, Foo Fighters, Coldplay, Muse

Order at Bandcamp

Order here.

reviews roundup 2019-3

Cranston IISlug Comparison - When You Were Living Herefred mika - withdrawal symptomsD'Ercole - Made To BurnThe Essential Claudio Delgift

 

 

 

 

Lots of new reviews headed our way recently. So time for another roundup:

  • Dutch site Rockportaal were happy with the second Cranston album and describe it as “tasty melodic hardrock in a modern jacket, inspired by older work. Fans of Eighties rock can buy this on sight”.
  • the second Rockportaal review concerns Slug Comparison. Writer Edwin says that “Doug Harrison shows himself an accomplished writer with songs that both lyrically as well as musically are of high calibre. An album that deserves your attention”
  • French site Metal Integral next. First Cranston – II gets 17/20 points! “an album that will energise your days”
  • Another 17/20 for last years effort from Fred Mika – Withdrawal Symptoms and as they put it “it is never too late to showcase who are both gifted as passionate!”
  • Mr. H. from UK site The Rocker did not like all of the D’Ercole album Made To Burn, but did say that what he likes “will be a treat for fans of eighties styled melodic rock” Find the review dated February 12 here
  • on to German site Musik Reviews. First a 12/15 for Cranston! Their conclusion is “Above average good, ultra-conservative and therefore surprise-free AOR or melodic rock of two absolute professionals in this field”
  • no rating for Claudio Delgift’s The Essential, but they do say it is “likely to appeal to prog rock to metal listeners and friends of virtuously played electric guitars”
  • Alas they were one of the few so far not totally impressed by Slug Comparison album When You Were Living Here (10/15). Reading the comments however, I am not sure were the comparisons to Rush and prog-light are coming from?
  • Then Brazil, a staggering 9.5/10 for Fred Mika coming from Roadie Metal!
  • Then back the UK’s The Rocker. Lots of praise from Mr. H for Claudio Delgift in the February 19 edition of reviews. “There are complex arrangements but it’s all underpinned by a strong sense of melody that keeps you hooked. He’s certainly worthy of being better known so fingers crossed this does its job”. We hope so too!

A big thanks to all the writers!

%d bloggers like this: