CD Reviews

Frontline - 'The State Of Rock' / 'Heroes' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     November 06, 2018    
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This truly epitomises the meaning of classic Melodic Rock.

Having formed in 1989, it took Frontline five years before they were ready to release their debut 'The State Of Rock'. Sadly by 1994, the days of AOR and Melodic Hard Rock in the mainstream were over, this was the time when Seattle ruled the airwaves, but Frontline did manage to garner strong support in mainland Europe and Japan, mainly on the back of the single 'Another Love'.

In guitarist Bobby Boebel and singer Stephan Kaemmerer, Frontline did indeed steal a march on most of the opposition. Boebel, an excellent guitarist and composer with a keen ear for melody, and Kaemmerer with the silky voice that at one time earned him the nickname "the German Steve Perry", proved to be quite proficient at writing songs that the rest of the musical world had turned their back on. The opening pair of 'Heaven Knows' and 'The Night Comes Over You' nail the band's colours firmly to the mast; big, powerful, up-tempo and hugely melodic. 'Dangerous Game' and 'Endless' continue to ram home the melody, while 'Over And Out', possibly the band's most well-known track, is another masterpiece of power, passion and melody with just enough fluffiness to keep the girls and boys equally happy. The ballad, 'Another Love' has continued to introduce Frontline to new fans on a weekly basis, genuinely seeping into the bloodstream of AOR fans to the point that it is spoken about in almost reverential tones. Frontline would go on to record a further seven studio albums, but in terms of sales and popularity, the fact they fail to match 'The State Of Rock' is more a testament to changing musical times rather than a changing musical style. However, as it has now been re-issued and re-mastered, if you missed this first time around or are looking forward to hearing it with that extra little bit of fairy dust, it's been worth the wait. In addition, there are the two original Japanese bonus tracks in 'I'm Fallin'' and 'Alone'.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Following a three year enforced hiatus, during which time the band's European label went out of business, Frontline delivered the Japanese-only 'Two Faced' acoustic album in 1995 before returning with 'Heroes' in 1997 which is possibly the finest of their eight studio efforts. Not completely abandoning the lessons learned from 'Two Faced', the band set about once again toughening up the sound, but retaining the little nuances that proved to be such a hit on the previous album and led to decent success in Japan. The opening salvo of 'Our Love', 'Heroes' and 'Moving Closer' are utterly indispensable Melodic Rock that's sublimely crafted and delivered. The soul-searching 'Break My Heart Again' should have been a huge hit if anyone would've given a damn in 1997, but it still retains its place as a resident in the All-Time Top Ten ballads list.

The poppy 'Out On The Run' and 'I Must Be Dreaming' are also masterpieces of laid-back Pop Rock à la Nelson or Venice, both of which have hugely singable choruses. 'Tonight We Set' and 'Man In Motion' bring proceedings to a halt, but what a ride. This truly epitomises the meaning of classic Melodic Rock. If you have not been a fan of the band previously, then picking up these two albums is simply a must. No self-respecting fan should find themselves without one. I believe both of these re-issues are limited to a thousand copies of each, so don't hang about if you want to secure one of these for your own personal pleasure.

Kieran Dargan

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  • SeaDog57 : just an observation. I just got Issue 89 at the Bookstore and when i looked at the spine of the magazine it says "Fireworks Issue 85 Winter Jan - Mar 2019" Was this a misprint? The rest of the Magazine is Issue 89. Was just wondering did anyone else notice this?
  • Berny : Apologies! Magazine can now be accessed from your download section. Best wishes, B.
  • Berny : @Martykelly: We're sorry
  • Martykelly : Just purchased issue 89 hoping its going to be in my download soon.
  • Johns Band : Will "Watch & Listen" music videos make a comeback. Just order H.E.A.T. "Live In London" CD.
  • Berny : @the trapps: Apologies for the delay in processing your order. The magazine is now available in your downloads section.
  • the trapps : waiting for the issue 89 which we purchased to be in our downloads section ???
  • Berny : @tomandpam: Many thanks for your purchase. The download instructions were sent yesterday, please contact me at «email» should you haven't received the email.
  • tomandpam : I paid for a download on issue 89 and didn't receive the download. Please let me know when I can get it. Thanks
  • Berny : @zom414: Fireworks Magazine #89 will be available at selected UK based newsagents on December 16th. The digital version can already be purchased in our Download Store.
  • zom414 : When's the next mag due for release?
  • Berny : @el nowy: Apologies for the delay in processing your order. Pls. check your mail!
  • el nowy : Hi, how long does it take for my download license to be available? I purchased it 3 days ago. Thanks!
  • Rocktopia Te : @l.thijs: Apologies for the delay, your digital copy can now be downloaded from your "My Downloads" section.
  • l.thijs : Hi Fireworks Magazine. I made a purchase on 10 nov and I paid by Paypall. I bought the #85 fireworks mag download for GBP3,50. But I didn,t receive anything. Please can you find out what's going on?
  • kazooba : I have digital versions of every issue from 27 thru 88, any way I can get issues 1 - 26 with cd's digitally?
  • Berny : @SeaDog57: The links are in the Fireworks menu. Have you tried scrolling down? Maybe your screen size is too small...
  • SeaDog57 : Berny; there are only links up to Fireworks 86. Which is kinda strange because i already downloaded CD 87 but i'm looking for the link to CD 88...Chris
  • Rocktopia Te : @Johns Band: Can you please contact us here: «email»
  • Johns Band : Fireworks Magazine 88 did not arrive by post. paid by PayPal. Any Suggestion.
  • Berny : @bpomper: Can you pls. contact the Rocktopia team here: «email»
  • bpomper : i found the problem..old email i can not access.i have tried to change it by editing my info but it wont allow. any suggestions
  • Berny : @bpomper: A reply was sent yesterday, We recommend checking your spam/junk mail to see if our message was filtered there. The magazine was already sent to your shipping address. Please let me know if you do not receive it within the next couple of days. Thanks for your patience!
  • bpomper : Thanks didnt of that. I still have not heard about fireworks 88 was it sent out. Thankyou
  • Rocktopia Te : @bpomper: For security reasons, we removed your previous message. Please do not post your private e - mail address. Many thanks for your understanding.
  • bpomper : Thanks for the reply. I see download but can you confirm that hardcopy was or is sent ou .thanks.the email i used is inder the contact me info of the website
  • Berny : @bpomper: Apologies for your troubles. Where did you send the email to? We haven't received anything. I will send you a longer reply via mail. Also, you can download the free CD from the "Fireworks" menu on top, but the CD links are only shown if you are logged in.
  • bpomper : 3rd email inquiring about my purchase of fireworks #88. i purchased on the 2oth of sept and today is the 24 with no response...paypal has taken the payment. should i have a down load of the cd for mu usa magazine. Looking forward to an answer
  • bpomper : hello i purchased fireworks #88 through paypal on9/23 and have not recieved an email from rocktopia. purchase is for a hard copy of the mag. should i have cd download instructions.when should i expect it
  • Berny : @Johns Band: I've just sent you an e - mail. Best regards, B.

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