product: The Soul Exchange - Edge Of Sanity

release date: 15.06.2018

territory: world

formats: CD & digital

The Soul Exchange is a band that mixes Classic Hard Rock with a contemporary Metal sound. They have taken influences from the 70’s Hard Rock scene and created their own unique style of Metal infused, guitar driven hard rock, with great attention to the melodies and grand vocal arrangements. The lyrics deals mostly with subjects from the darker side of life such as insanity and evil in various forms.

The Soul Exchange found their formula and sound with the line-up consisting of Daniel John (vocals & keyboards), Hans von Bell (guitars), Thomas von Bell (guitars), Patrik Ekelöf (bass), and Benny White (drums). Although mostly unknown to the wide public, all band members have long careers in the music business. They released the critically and likewise publicly acclaimed debut album “Bloodbound” in March 2017 on the Mervilton Records label and the five Track EP “Vow Of Seth” in December 2017 on the Pride & Joy Music label.

In the fall of 2017, the Swedish group began working on their 2nd full length release titled “Edge Of Sanity” that is penned for release on the Pride & Joy Music label on June 15th, 2018. It’s not a theme album per say, but lyrically all the songs have a common theme with lyrics that are metaphorical and treats the dark side of the human psyche. Musically the record is hard hitting and dark themed but not hard listening. Sonically ”Edge Of Sanity” is harder and darker than anything The Soul Exchange have produced in the past, but the trademark vocal arrangements and choruses are predominant, and grander than ever before.

In contradiction to the 2016 debut ”Bloodbound”, that was mainly written by Hans & Thomas von Bell with lyricist Jens Joel Evaldsson over a two year time span, all nine songs on the new effort were written in a very condensed period of time and a true team effort by Hans & Thomas von Bell, Daniel John and producer Magnus Ljungqvist with Daniel John taking over the full responsibility as the band’s lyricist. This has resulted in a much more coherent effort compared to the debut.

product: Crying Steel - Stay Steel

release date: 15.06.2018

territory: world

formats: CD & digital

Crying Steel were founded in Bologna in 1982 from the ashes of the Hard Rock group WURDALAK. The founding members were Alberto Simonini (guitar) and Angelo Franchini (bass), who were joined by Luke Bonzagni (vocals) and in 1983, and after various line-up changes, by Luca Ferri (drums) and Franco Grandchildren (guitar). After a couple of demos, the Italians released their debut EP “Crying Steel” in 1985.

During the next two years the group intensified their live activities throughout Italy including a performance at Heavy Metal Festival in Bologna in June 1986 with Motörhead and Twisted Sister. After more demo and promo releases, the debut LP “On The Prowl” came out in 1987. This was a revolutionary album - at least for the Italian New Wave of Heavy Metal (NWOIHM), as it was the first to be also released on CD. In September 1988 the line-up changed again. Simonini and Bonzagni left Crying Steel and were replaced by Michele Vanni and Lisa Bisognin. In March of 1990 Michele Vanni also left when Francesco Di Nicola joined the group. In the same year, the band performed some gigs in Russia with Massimiliano Merlini as new singer in the line-up. Some more gigs followed in 1994 and 2003 - reunions which saw Crying Steel perform with the classic line-up (Simonini / Grandchildren / Bonzagni / Franchini / Ferri). In 2006, Crying Steel were signed by Italian label My Graveyards Production and began to record the new record “The Steel Is Back” which was released in 2007. Shortly after the album came out, Simonini unfortunately decided to leave the group. Max Magagni stepped in for the release party. Luca Bonzagni then had to leave the band due to differences with the other members until Crying Steel announced their new singer Stephen Palmonari in November 2009. Another series of concerts followed and included a performance at the British Fest. The follow-up album, “Time Stands Steel”, was released in April 2013. In June 2013, Crying Steel parted ways with singer Palmonari who was immediately replaced with Ramon Sonato and Luigi Frati. Before the concert held in Reno in February 2014, Friars Luigi replaced Max Magagni who had to leave due to increasing work commitments. After this line-up change, the group intensified it’s touring schedule once more and also represented Italy at Wacken Open Air’s 25th Anniversary. In 2015, they played the Greek festival "Metal Rites" in Athens with Jag Panzer and signed a record deal with local label No Remorse Records before playing with former Iron Maiden singer Blaze Bayley in 2015. In 2016, Crying Steel celebrated their 30th Anniversary with a live show at Lokomotiv Club in Bologna with their friends Rain, Markonee and later on supported the American band Riot. A special box set containing a reprint of "On The Prowl" + a DVD with the performance at Wacken Open Air 2014 was released in 2016, and Mirko Bacchilega became the new singer. In 2016, Crying Steel announced that the coming studio release will feature Tony Mills (Shy, TNT), one of the greatest voices in the international rock scene, on vocals. Crying Steel also played Paris Metal Fest in 2017.

Crying Steel during the recent years have also shared the stage as well with Twisted Sister, Motörhead, Grim Reaper, Demon, Diamond Head, Girlschool, Angel Witch, Gotthard, Praying Mmantis, Vanadium, Raven, Satan, Killer, Jag Panzer, Behemoth, Razor, Riot, Blaze Bayley, Decapitated, Van Canto, Hammerfall, Hatebreed, Black Star Riders, Carcass, Children Of Bodom, Hellyeah, King Diamond, Arch Enemy, Amon Amarth, Kreator, Accept, Megadeth, Saxon, Skid Row, Slayer, Sodom, Steel Panther, Wasp and more…

product: Hartmann - Hands On The Wheel

release date: 18.05.2018

formats: CD, vinyl & download

territory: world

The history of HARTMANN started in 2005 with the debut 'Out in the cold', often reviewed as 'Album of the month' in a wide range of rock magazines all over the world. With their successful followers 'Home' (2006), '3' (2009), 'Balance' (2012), the live & acoustic DVD/CD 'Handmade' (2008) and the compilation 'The Best Is Yet To Come' (2013) the band has meanwhile worked out their status as being one of Germany’s best modern hard rock bands that is offering international high-class melodic rock. The band also enjoys the good reputation as an outstanding live band and has been called to tour with rock legends as Toto, The Hooters, Uriah Heep, Edguy, Mother’s Finest, Y&T and others. Their latest album ’Shadows & Silhouettes’ (2016) has been accompanied again with a club tour and many festivals last summer.

Now the forthcoming new album ’Hands On The Wheel’ – way more rough and rocking and than its predecessor - will be released May 18th 2018 on the artist’s label Sonic 11 Records in cooperation with Pride&Joy Music/Soulfood, again co-produced by Sascha Paeth (Avantasia, Beyond The Black, Kamelot).

Including the participation of guest musicians as Jimmy Kresic (The Roots, Rock Meets Classic), Karolina Galbavà & Irena Morisakovà (Hans Zimmer), the album will contain the catchy singles/videoclips ’Don’t want back down’ and the very special duet ’Simple man’ feat. Mr. Big vocalist Eric Martin, accompanied by a huge promotion-/video-campaign of Germany’s No 1 rock radio station Rockantenne and a special Facebook & online campaign.

Since the late 90’s founder Oliver Hartmann is known as a highly respected singer and guitarist on the international music scene due to four albums with the band At Vance, studio work for hard rock and metal acts as Hammerfall, Rhapsody, Helloween or Edguy, as a long time studio and live member of top sellers as Avantasia and as part of 'Rock Meets Classic' that is featuring the big names of the international rock scene: Alice Cooper, Ian Gillan, Uriah Heep, Status Quo, Thin Lizzy, Paul Rodgers, Eric Bazilian, Jimi Jamison, Midge Ure, Steve Lukather, Chris Thompson, Bonnie Tyler and many others.

Besides that Oliver Hartmann is also fronting the successful Pink Floyd Tribute Echoes that climbed up to No 20 of the German charts in 2015 with their acoustic live DVD ’Barefoot To The Moon’ and received outstanding critics world wide.

product: Crystal Tears - Decadence Deluxe

release date: 18.05.2018

territory: world

formats: CD & download

"The world's a stage, we plug & play"! With a steady evolution from the band's first demos to its latest instalments, Crystal Tears have managed to leave their mark as one of the most qualitative heavy metal acts, proven to be a persistent, innovative & unstoppable force. Their previous testimony "Hellmade", with music videos involving Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal (ex-Guns N' Roses, Sons Of Apollo) & actors Lew Temple (of The Walking Dead fame) & Lou Taylor Pucci (Evil Dead) - initiated their first European tour (with Mystic Prophecy), followed by their own headline Greek tour & a few more extended shows with Firewind/ ex-Ozzy Osbourne's Gus G.

Having gained a formidable reputation for delivering the goods on stage & via their honest and sing-along anthems, Crystal Tears strike back with the massively anticipated new, 5th album "Decadence Deluxe". With producer R. D. Liapakis (Mystic Prophecy, Devil's Train, Suicidal Angels etc.) on the front again, the quintet delivers high quality heavy metal dedicating heart & soul, managing to sound constantly inspired & fresh. The record includes a stunning cover version of Judas Priest’s “Heart Of A Lion”.

Crystal Tears have always been original. And this unique blend of dynamics in aggressiveness & harmony has been introducing 'em continually to new audiences all over the world. And as good ol' friend Ryan Roxie (Alice Cooper, ex-Slash's Snakepit) says... "all is rock"! And the story continues...

The artwork for “Decadence Deluxe” was designed by Caio Caldas (Dragonforce) and guest musicians include Ryan Roxie (Alice Cooper, Slash's Snakepit), Karis Charisma (Deadsquad), Julien Nutz Deyres (Gorod) and Fidel De Jesus (Xeno Devata Project).

product: Universe - Universe

release date: 13.04.2018

territory: Europe

formats: CD & digital

UNIVERSE started in 1982 in Upplands Väsby, Sweden, where hard rock ruled the streets. The members hailed from several different local bands. After leaving the band Moon, lead guitarist Michael Kling, who founded the band WC in the late 70's with John Norum, became one of UNIVERSE’s founding members. Bassist Hasse Hagman, who played in Joey Tempest's first band, along with drummer Anders Wetterström and guitarist Per Nilsson, all came from the band Twilight. Once UNIVERSE got their hands on keyboard player Fredrik Kriström and singer Kjell Wallen, the band was complete. They played diligently for a couple of years all over Sweden, opening for Nazareth, among many other gigs. In 1985, the band released its self-titled debut album with songs like "Rollin’ On", "Stories from the Old Days", and "Strong Vibrations". In 1986, Kjell Wallen left the band on good terms following creative differences and was subsequently replaced by Janne Åström. With Janne as the new frontman, the band focused fully on a follow-up to their debut album. Several demos were recorded but never ended up in the right hands. The band dissolved in early 1988 and then had a short reunion for a final show in the ice hall in Upplands Väsby later that year.

The band members went their separate ways, each showing up here and there in different contexts with connections to music. Everyone maintained occasional contact and eventually Per Nilsson reached out to the others to see if they were interested in playing together again. In 2002, all the members met up together for the first time in 14 years. They immediately knew they wanted to play again, and became convinced that the old material still had potential. Everyone agreed that a new album had to be released, but also that they were being pulled in different directions. For several years they kept continuous contact, waiting for the time when recording an album became inevitable. At first, UNIVERSE lacked a singer, but suddenly one day he was just there. Andreas Eklund (ex-House Of Shakira) became the new front man, his narrative lyrics and tasteful melodies opening the door to another dimension, so the band could take a bigger step into the galaxy. Now, finally, UNIVERSE is back as UNIVERSE INFINITY with “Rock Is Alive”, a powerful album that is a tribute to the music of the 70’s and 80's, and to their youth in Upplands Väsby.

Also on April 13th, 2018, Pride & Joy Music in co-operation with Universal Music Sweden AB will re-release the UNIVERSE’s classic self-titled album from 1985. Ltd. on 1000 copies only, the re-issue will be remastered and come with an extended 12 page booklet.

product: Universe Infinity - Rock Is Alive

release date: 13.04.2018

territory: world (excl. Asia)

formats: CD & digital

UNIVERSE started in 1982 in Upplands Väsby, Sweden, where hard rock ruled the streets. The members hailed from several different local bands. After leaving the band Moon, lead guitarist Michael Kling, who founded the band WC in the late 70's with John Norum, became one of UNIVERSE’s founding members. Bassist Hasse Hagman, who played in Joey Tempest's first band, along with drummer Anders Wetterström and guitarist Per Nilsson, all came from the band Twilight. Once UNIVERSE got their hands on keyboard player Fredrik Kriström and singer Kjell Wallen, the band was complete. They played diligently for a couple of years all over Sweden, opening for Nazareth, among many other gigs. In 1985, the band released its self-titled debut album with songs like "Rollin’ On", "Stories from the Old Days", and "Strong Vibrations". In 1986, Kjell Wallen left the band on good terms following creative differences and was subsequently replaced by Janne Åström. With Janne as the new frontman, the band focused fully on a follow-up to their debut album. Several demos were recorded but never ended up in the right hands. The band dissolved in early 1988 and then had a short reunion for a final show in the ice hall in Upplands Väsby later that year.

The band members went their separate ways, each showing up here and there in different contexts with connections to music. Everyone maintained occasional contact and eventually Per Nilsson reached out to the others to see if they were interested in playing together again. In 2002, all the members met up together for the first time in 14 years. They immediately knew they wanted to play again, and became convinced that the old material still had potential. Everyone agreed that a new album had to be released, but also that they were being pulled in different directions. For several years they kept continuous contact, waiting for the time when recording an album became inevitable. At first, UNIVERSE lacked a singer, but suddenly one day he was just there. Andreas Eklund (ex-House Of Shakira) became the new front man, his narrative lyrics and tasteful melodies opening the door to another dimension, so the band could take a bigger step into the galaxy. Now, finally, UNIVERSE is back as UNIVERSE INFINITY with “Rock Is Alive”, a powerful album that is a tribute to the music of the 70’s and 80's, and to their youth in Upplands Väsby. “Rock Is Alive” was produced by Michael Kling and Per Nilsson at Kling Studios, and mixed and mastered by Stefan Helleblad; drums were recorded in Standstraight Studio One Scandinavia. The artwork was created by Sylvain Lucchina at Razor Images.

product: Innfight - Black Dog

release date: 13.04.2018

territory: world

formats: CD & digital

The story of INNFIGHT started at the end of the year 2013 in Mannheim, Germany with a line-up consisting of Sascha Wagner (guitar),
Michael Heck (keys) und Frank Widderson (vocals). About a year later and after writing songs together they began to record their debut CD „Boulevard Of Pain“ in Rolf Munkes’ Empire Studios in Bensheim (Hessia), Germany.

INNFIGHT later on were joined by the new members Udo Boppré (drums), Eugen Leonhardt (lead guitar) and Thomas Klesius (bass). After they were complete, they began to play live to bring INNFIGHT and the album into the focus of their fans.

In October 2017, INNFIGHT started to record their second album „Black Dog“ which is now set for a release on Pride & Joy Music on April 13th, 2018. During the recordings, bass player Thomas Klesius died due to serious illness. Tommy Schmitt, bass player of RED CIRCUIT, stepped in to help in these hard times and completed the bass recordings.

Impulsive rhythms, loaded with energetic guitar riffs, combined with spherical keyboard melodies and the distinctive voice of
Frank Widderson are the major trademarks of the band’s Alternative Rock/Metal sound – always with their own kind of interpretation. The songs themselves deal with emotions, experiences, impressions and topics such as human interaction and the daily struggle with the world both around and within us. “Black Dog” was once again produced by Rolf Munkes at Empire Studios.

 

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