The First Swedish AOR Convention Takes Place May 31 - June 2, 2019

Swedish AOR Convention [31 May - 2 June, 2019]
Founded by Johan “DrAOR” Nylén to give the AOR community a happening beyond the usual
AOR Festivals, together with his trusted team of music lovers – we want to bring you not just
another festival, but a happening to remember.
This is the first AOR Convention of its kind and we wish you all very, very welcome.
After last year's success with MelodicRock Fest Scandinavia, the Swedish team felt that they
had so much more to give and took some time off to decide on what to do next. After some time,
Johan approached Anders “Theo” Theander with the idea to do something that has never been
done before - a convention with all the trimmings: meet & greet, signing sessions, AOR
lectures, a live radio broadcast and of course bands (8 showcase bands, two unplugged & two
So once again Johan (PlanetAOR) teamed up with Theo (RoastingHouse) and gathered their
trusted team from our earlier festival arrangements.
We are proud to present the first eight showcase acts:
Shape of The New Sun (Skara), making their very welcome international debut at Swedish
AOR Convention.
Ozukaru (Göteborg), after frequently touring overseas, they’ve finally found their way back to us
in Malmö.
Age of Reflection (Västerås), after their huge success at Rockingham festival in 2018, the
Swedish audience will finally get to see their insanely strong live act.
Coastland Ride (Sundsvall), doing only their third gig after a massive and impressive 15 years
together. First time this far south, too.
Sapphire Eyes (Helsingborg), finally making their Swedish debut with Finnish singer Kimmo
Blom (Urban Tale).
Creye (Malmö), continuing their very successful festival run and making a welcome return to
where it all began.
Care of Night (Skåne/Blekinge), returning from overseas gigs such as H.E.A.T. festival, we
proudly announce another Swedish debut gig.
State of Salazar (Malmö), after releasing their super(hero) strong second album, the Malmö
audience are finally going to be able to see them on a festival stage.
Two more Headliners and two showcase unplugged acts are still to be announced.
Johan “DrAOR” Nylén:
The founder of PlanetAOR, is mainly known for his involvement in Firefest, Rock Weekend AOR
and MelodicRock Fest Scandinavia, and is also the A&R for the label Sharp Music Sweden
(who released the Grand Design “Idolizer” remaster last year).
What Johan doesn’t know about AOR is not worth knowing and he is considered to be an
AOR connoisseur. Not only a DJ,/booker but he is also a manager who worked with artist such
as Philip Lindstrand, Creye, Sapphire Eyes and State of Salazar, to name a few.
Anders “Theo” Theander:
Has been in the music industry for 30 years but started out as a drummer.
In 1988 and 1989, he worked as a professional drummer in LA for music creators Gene Page &
Sterling Radcliff (Barry White, Jackson Five, Michael Jackson etc), among others. In 1990 Theo
was contacted by the former owner of RoastingHouse Recording Studio and hired him to play
on an album they worked on and Theo never looked back.
Up to date he has recorded and produced 140+ albums with both upcoming and well known
bands and artists for major and independent companies, and he’s behind albums with artists
such as Urban Tale, Spin Gallery & Jim Jidhed and many more.
Today, Theo is the owner and managing director of RoastingHouse AB (Music Publishing - 12
Studio Complex - Record Labels - Production House)
representing multi Platinum and Gold awarded collaborative Songwriters/Producers who have
several cuts on various million selling albums world wide.
Thanks to his background as a drummer, he still has a soft spot for AOR and
wishes to keep contributing to the scene to keep it alive and well.
Follow us at Facebook:
For more info please contact Johan Nylén at
Phone: +46 731 450957
MRR is proud to be associated with this event and will be represented in the merch department with all the label’s current releases.

FIRST SIGNAL Announce New Album ‘Line Of Fire’ Out May 17

Friday, May 17, 2019
After two critical and fan acclaimed albums, First Signal are returning with a new studio album, "Line Of Fire". First single, "Tonight We Are The Only" has been released today with an accompanying video. 
First Signal is the musical union between Harem Scarem band vocalist Harry Hess and Swedish drummer/producer Daniel Flores. Of their third collaboration together, Hess says, "once again it was a pure pleasure to be working on these songs. Daniel made it easy on me...just concentrating on being the singer is a luxury that I enjoyed immensely." Flores adds, "as a huge fan of Harem Scarem, I'm still asking people to pinch me to see if I'm still awake. Harry and his band made some of the most classic AOR and rock records ever, so I feel a responsibility to give the fans as close as possible to the quality that Harry continuously delivers with either his own solo work and Harem Scarem. Something the audience has certainly come to expect by now. I think the fans will love this one.”
Of the song songs on the record, Hess tells "there were three songs that I recommended to be included on the record. The first was “Born To Be A Rebel," which was a co-write that I did with Stan Meissner way back in 1989 and the other two were Stan Meissner songs “Walk Through The Fire” and “Never Look Back”. I have always loved these two songs and thought they were perfect for this project. Between Serafino (Perugino, President of Frontiers), Daniel, and myself we chose the rest of the songs from many great writers, whose songwriting fit perfectly in the First Signal vision." Flores says, "once again Harry and I worked closely with Serafino to find the perfect songs. It took about four months to find these gems. The writers are from all over the world and they all gave us their best songs. Harry's legacy had everyone, let's say, working at their best.”
Flores concludes, "there is more depth and structure now. The feel was right on the last record, but we hadn't found our groove yet. On this one Harry sings, in my opinion, like he has never done before. The audience will be surprised and delighted with his range and charisma here. The overall sound is heavier, but at the same time more melodic and more organic. I'm for sure really proud of the outcome.”
First Signal was first brought to life in 2010 when Frontiers President Serafino Perugino presented Harem Scarem singer Harry Hess with some melodic rock songs he thought would be a perfect fit for Harry to put his inimitable vocals on. The tunes specifically harkened back to the magic of the Harem Scarem sound, who at the time were on a hiatus. The project's self-titled debut was greeted with excellent reviews and enthusiasm from the melodic rock crowd, planting the seed for this to be more than a one-off.
Harem Scarem started up again after the release of the First Signal debut, but Harry was still wanting to go back and sing some excellent melodic rock songs that he had from various songwriters under the First Signal banner. The idea of a second First Signal album started to become realized and with the help of Swedish producer Daniel Flores (FIND ME, THE MURDER OF MY SWEET, etc.), the second record, "One Step Over The Line" started to take shape. Once again, the album was greeted with enthusiastic responses and acclaim from the fans and press alike upon release. So, it was a no-brainer to decide to release a new record and once again Daniel Flores teamed up with Michael Palace (guitars) and Johan Niemann (bass) and provided the basic tracks which Harry Hess and Darren Smith (background vocals) completed in their studio in Canada.
First Signal's third album “Line Of Fire” is once again a total delight for AOR and melodic rock fans and a contender for AOR album of the year! And be sure to follow First Signal on the newly launched Facebook page here:
PRODUCED BY : Daniel Flores
Harry Hess - lead vocals
Daniel Flores - drums and keyboards
Michael Palace - guitars
Johan Niemann - bass guitar
Darren Smith - background vocals

RESTLESS SPIRITS Announce Debut Album Out May 17

Friday, May 17, 2019
Lords Of Black​ guitarist Tony Hernando​ is one of the most exciting guitarists, writers, and producers in the European metal and rock scene today. With his many talents, it was a natural next step for him to stretch out and work on a solo album after the promotional cycle for Lords of Black third album, “Icons of the New Days” wrapped up. Hernando has always been passionate about melodic hard rock music, so the idea of pairing him with some of the best singers from his fellow labelmates' bands to lay their vocals over his songwriting seemed not only logical, but destiny. Thus, Restless Spirits​ was born and the self-titled debut will now be released on May 17, 2019.
Aside from Hilli, guest vocalists include none other than Johnny Gioeli​ (Hardline, Axel Rudi Pell), Deen Castronovo​ (Revolution Saints​, ex-Journey), Dino Jelusic​ (Animal Drive​), Alessandro Del Vecchio (Hardline​, Jorn), and Diego Valdez (Dream Child​ and now, the new vocalist for Hernando's main project, Lords of Black). In addition to vocal duties, Deen Castronovo also takes care of drums on every track.
Hernando says, "Restless Spirits is a melodic hard rock record featuring several singers that showcases some different sides of my playing and songwriting. We have rockers, ballads, and everything in between. I had the opportunity to work and co-write with some of the best guys in the business. I hope everyone can enjoy this album as much as I did recording it!”
Restless Spirits is an album that showcases some of the most outstanding vocal talents operating in the melodic hard rock scene right now, while also offering truly exciting and adventurous melodic hard rock songwriting. Enjoy!

1. Stop Livin' To Live Online (Johnny Gioeli on Vocals)
2. Unbreakable (Deen Castronovo on Vocals)
3. I Remember Your Name (Kent Hilli on Vocals)
4. 'Cause I Know You're The One (Dino Jelusic on Vocals)
5. Nothing I Could Give To You (Johnny Gioeli on Vocals)
6. Calling You (Deen Castronovo on Vocals)
7. Live To Win (Deen Castronovo on Vocals)
8. You And I (Alessandro Del Vecchio on Vocals)
9. When It Comes To You (Alessandro Del Vecchio on Vocals)
10. Lost Time (Not To Be Found Again) (Dino Jelusic on Vocals)
11. In The Realm Of The Black Rose (Diego Valdez on Vocals)
PRODUCED BY: Tony Hernando
MIXED BY: Dani Luna
Tony Hernando: All Guitars, Bass, Keyboards except where noted.
Deen Castronovo: Drums, Lead vocals on 2,6,7
Johnny Gioeli: Lead Vocals on 1, 5
Alessandro Del Vecchio: Lead Vocals on 8, 9, Background Vocals on 2,6,7
Diego Valdez: Lead Vocals on 11, Background Vocals on 2,3,6,7
Kent Hilli: Lead Vocals on 3
Dino Jelusic: Lead Vocals on 4,10
Victor Diez: Piano and Keyboards on 2,5,6,11
Leif Elhin: Keyboards on 3

FIREWORKS Issue 86 Out Now

Issue 86 is our biggest issue EVER!! 148 pages hard copy plus additional 207 extra pages on our free CD/download. That’s a total of a mind-boggling 355 pages ─ PLUS ONE HUNDRED free mp3 songs!!
All for the ludicrously low price of £5.99 (plus postage) or £3.50 download.
So what do we have to tempt you? Cover star David Coverdale talks in depth about the trials and tribulations of making the new Whitesnake album, and how it was writing with guitarists Reb Beach and Joel Hoekstra.
Then we get down with Bon Jovi original members Tico Torres and David Bryan to discuss their past and upcoming UK tour.
I’m sure many of you will have seen Danny Vaughn’s impassioned online Youtube video explaining the mess Pledge Music has become, and how it has affected him, and many others. We thought this was a really important industry story, so we phoned up Danny for a more detailed look at what has been going on, and how his solo album project is coping with this financial disaster.
Geddy Lee might have retired Rush, but has been hard at work on his new book, detailing many of the bass guitars in his collection and possible future musical output!
Elsewhere we have interviews with Doug Aldrich on the new Burning Rain album and his reasons for leaving Whitesnake, Dream Theater, Francis Rossi, Avantasia, Tesla, Queensryche, Hardline, Yngwie Malmsteen, Delain, Jim Peterik, Todd Rundgren, Last In Line, LA Guns, Steve Hackett, Jordan Rudess, Mike Tramp, Eden’s Curse, Mute Gods, Leverage, Beast In Black, From The Fire, Cats In Space, Symphony Of Pain, Fortune, Leverage and many more!! Definitely a case of something for everyone!
This issue’s Enthusiast’s Guide take a look at all versions of Bad Company, Bannds That Time Forgot sees Dave Reynolds shine a spotlight on Franke & The Knockouts and Zon, while Sisters In Rock covers Beth Hart, Tori Amos, Karen Lawrence and The Girls From Rouge.
The Old Curiousity shop takes a look at the might Hulk Hogan. Yes, really!! Even I didn’t know my friends the late Ralph Santolla and Todd Plant (both Millenium) played on his album
Unsung Heroes is a four page, in-depth look into the career of Chris Thompson.
And, of course, our usual 50+ pages of the best reviews around!!
So what are you waiting for!! The BEST, and most Value For Money, Rock reading out there!!

MIKE MACHINE Release Debut Album ‘Alive’ April 26

Friday, April 26, 2019
MIKE MACHINE was formed in November 2017 in Piteå, Sweden by front man and songwriter Michael Löfqvist (Cryonic) plus Crazze Crantz and Johnny O’dee from the new line-up of Cryonic. The band was previously known as the power metal band Cryonic who’ve released several albums through the years.
MIKE MACHINE now is inspired by more 80s rock/glam styles in a modern way and boiled down the band to four members. The group had been working on a couple of new songs which were released as an EP in May 2017. The Swedes has made really good experiences with their live performance and love to kick ass and blow your brain out on stage. MIKE MACHINE also appears on a heavy metal sampler album released in Europe 2017 with the song called “No More”.
The plan was to release a full album as soon as possible. Mike Machine produced the album "Alive" in Piteå North of Sweden in a village called Sikfors in 2018. The band recorded all songs, mixed and mastered "Alive" in the studio "ITG Studio" with Tommy Eliasson. Finally, they signed a record deal with AOR Heaven from Germany in November 2018.
Line-up: Mike - Lead vocals; Mikael - Lead guitar; Crazze - Bass; Johnnny O’dee - Drums
Mike Machine’s "Alive" video on Youtube:
Soundfiles in advance:
MIKE MACHINE - Fight To Survive (Edit)
MIKE MACHINE - In Your Dream (Edit)
MIKE MACHINE - It's My Life (Edit)

MIDNITE CITY announce UK tour dates; Atlas support act!
MIDNITE CITY with supports: Devilfire & Atlas
01.06. UK-Bradford, Trash
06.06. UK-Stoke, Eleven
07.06. UK-Nottingham, Alberts
14.06. UK-Cannock, The Station
15.06. UK-Crumun, The Patriot
22.06. UK-Grimsby, The Yardbirds
16.03. UK-HRH AOR Festival
Current album: “There Goes The Neighbourhood” (2018, AOR Heaven)


Apologies for the lack of updates....I've been sick with a shitty cold that knocked my on my ass. Getting back into it now. Get ready for a bunhc of updates and some new MRR announcements and pre-orders!

THE RADIO SUN Beautiful Strange UK Headline Tour



Australian melodic rockers The Radio Sun will launch their recently released album 'Beautiful Strange' with a U.K headline tour in March. The boys will begin their shows with a date at HRH AOR Fest 2019, their fourth appearance at the festival in a row. The Radio Sun will then play a special one off London date at The Water Rats venue where they will perform two sets, acoustic (in the tradition of their VIP HRH unplugged sessions) and then a full electric set. Next, are dates at Trillians in Newcastle, the Underground in Plymouth & Dreadnought Rock in Scotland. Dates & tickets information on the flyer below.





Foreign Music CDJapan