Second Story – Second Story [1998]

Country USA

Style Progressive/Melodic Rock

Rating 76/100

Band Members Danielle Capoferri – Vocals,flute, Mark Gollihur, Scott Lewis, Tom Bardsley, John Lewis

Tracks 01. No One Really Knows, 02. Empty Dreams, 03. Wake, 04. Return To Youth, 05. Sometimes, 06. Don’t Know, 07. Voices, 08. Drifting Away, 09. Angry Men, 10. Never There, Wind

Profile Vocalist / flutist Danielle Capoferri fronts the five-member Second Story, a New Jersey based band whose material is laden with Lilith-Fair leanings — misty lyrics in a moor of moody, minor-key melodies. The accomplished group capitalizes on Capoferri’s haunting vocals, while the record has uncanny similarities to the album “Naked Against The Knight” by the AOR band Signature. 

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Aka Lance – Carousel [1996]

Country USA

Style Melodic Rock/Lite AOR

Rating 75/100

Band Members Lance Matthew – Vocals,guitars,organ, Stick Schiff – Bass,cello,organ, John Snider – Drums,percussion

Additional Musicians Rick Sailon – Violin, Keith Malone – Steel guitars, Donna Michelle – Backing vocals

Tracks 01. Gave To You, 02. Carousel, 03. Savior, 04. In Your Eyes, 05. Oh Yeah – Oh No, 06. Never Surrender, 07. Feel It in the Air, 08. Break Down the Silence, 09. True by Yo, 10. Breathe Again

Profile a.k.a. Lance is none other than Lance Matthew. For the uninitiated, Lance Matthew was originally in a band called Eyes Of Wise, which was fantastic (and sadly only cut one album). He then worked with Monty Byrom of Billy Satellite and New Frontier fame on the equally excellent ‘While The Giant Sleeps’ released under the band name, Lance. ‘Carousel’ is the third album to be graced by Lance Matthew’s talents. Long out of print and rare it takes a slightly different route than his previous two efforts but still retains a strong melodic rock approach.

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Leather Zen – A Taste of Blood & Wine [1993]

Country Australia

Style Melodic Rock/AOR

Rating 77/100

Band Members Majella Frick – Vocals, Jake Stobie – Drums, James Cresswell – Guitars, Jason Ronsisvale – Guitars,backing vocals, Michael Woodrow – Bass,backing vocals

Tracks 01. Let It Out (3:15), 02. Livin’ the Lie (4:47), 03. In the Rain 3:55), 04. Boulevard (5:04), 05. Burning Bridges (5:08), 06. Sweet Mother (6:02), 07. Take What You Want (4:28)

Profile An Australian based rock band circa 90s with a music style in the vein of Baby Animals, The Superjesus, Rage N Rox, Saraya amongst others. A powerful mix of guitar driven music with great female vocals from this Victoria based rock band where the production and musicianship are absolutely stunning. The song “Let It Out” released as a video.

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Ontray – C’mon, Taste It [1988]

Country USA

Style Glam/Hard Rock

Rating 77/100

Band Members Steve Gagnon – Vocals,guitars, Mark DeShong – Bass, Bobby Haan – Drums

Additional Musicians Stanley Palmatier – Guitar, Scott Barker – Keyboards, Lance Fountain – Guitar, The Thugs – Backing Vocals

Tracks 01. What Do You Want?, 02. Back For Round 2, 03. None Of Your Business, 04. You Make Me Feel Like Dancin’, 05. Night, 06. Bad For Me, 07. Black Lace, 08. Go For It, 09. Wastin’ No More Time

Profile A sadly overlooked and underrated Melodic Hard Rock album from this Michigan-based band originally released in 1988 on Purple Quack Records. This is true 80s commercial rock with a foot in Glam and the other in AOR, with hooks galore, plenty of big vocals and smokin’ guitar work, that has become a top rarity nowdays. The cover on this one says it all.  If you like your metal served up with a ton of cheese, then check it out if you find it in normal prizes.

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The Drift – The Drift [1995]

Country USA

Style Melodic Hard Rock

Rating 77/100

Band members

Tracks

Profile This rare 4 track mini album was released in 1995 on a small US indie label. Another cool discovery that needs to be added to every collector’s want list who luvs melodic hard rock/AOR. This band is awesome and features very catchy, melodies with a super punchy production. It reminds of bands like Honeymoon Suite, Hyper and The Max. Superb vocals and ultra tight musicianship with a huge production. It’s only 4 tracks but it’s AOR bliss.

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Majestic – Majestic [1990]

Country USA

Style Hard Rock

Rating 78/100

Band Members

Tracks 01. Party for the Weekend (3:46), 02. Love Bleeds (3:28), 03. Where are you Now (4:51), 04. Shake Down (3:10), 05. VB-1 (4:47)

Profile Hailed from Phoenix, Arizona released this demo tape back in 1990. Majestic is a smooth five piece band with great guitars and fantastic songs. They did three tapes, where two released in 1990 and one in 1991. led by the three Jiminez brothers out of Glendale. Another great band who had all the right stuff that never came.

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Thick As Thieves – Thick As Thieves [1998]

Country Canada

Style Hard Rock

Rating 78/100

Band Members

Tracks 01. Kings of the Radio, 02. Summer of Love, 03. Makes no Difference, 04. Jaimie, 05. Cain, 06. Place of you, 07. Where you Leave me, 08. This is This, 09. If I Should Forget you, 10. Life, 11. Nothing Funny About This, 12. End of History, 13. Revolution Now

Profile Another Canadian band on the melodic hardrock label Magada. This label means quality as this is very good melodic hadrcok with great songs and strong refrains. Very FM friendly tunes. The band hails from Quebec and they deliver a passionate collection of 13 Hard Rock tracks with elements of AOR sprinkled in. Very rare album nowdays.

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Vice Versa – Vice Versa [1994]

Country Canada

Style Hard Rock/AOR

Rating 77/100

Band Members Brian Pierre

Tracks 01. Ortni, 02. Tresors Disparus, 03. Cri Du Coeur, 04. La Chambre, 05. Cauchemar D’Antan, 06. Ani-Hi-Ya, 07. Clairvoyance, 08. Seul Dans Les Rues, 09. Dans Son Chateau, 10. Eh Toi!, 11. Pourquoi, 12. Ouvre Tes Yeux

Profile Female fronted band from Quebec release this indie back in 1994 through Air Musik in limities copies. The band formed by Brian St-Pierre in early 90s under the name Oasis which subsequently became Vice Versa in 1994. They play a mix of hard rock and melodic rock tunes with some poppy elements and lots of backing vocals. They gain some popularity and play in many clubs in around area and being active till 1996.

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Kaskad – My Way [1987]

Country Russia

Style Hard Rock

Rating 84/100

Band Members Sergey Shipilov – Vocals, Vladimir Taranenko – Guitars, Vladimir Belenko – Bass, Alexander Kosorunin – Drums, Kirill Lesipov – Keyboards

Tracks 01. Мой путь, 02. Я бегу, 03. Поиграй со мной гроза, 04. Иней на стекле, 05. Звёздный путь, 06. Свечи, 07. Я иду к тебе на встречу, 08. Осколки разбитой любви, 09. Незнакомка, не уходи, 10. Белые птицы, 11. Разве не так?

Profile Kaskad hailed from Pskov formed in 1979 by Kirill and Vladimir who played together since 1978. The band played a very interesting Hard and Heavy tunes with strong vocals, lots of harmonies and penetrating keys. Many concerts, often under painful conditions from Moscow to the far end of Siberia, will be right because of the cohesion of the group that separates. In 1982 they released their first work with a heavier approach than the 1987 release melled to be the band’s last work. In 1988 member of Kaskad formed the band Academia.

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Spitting Feathers – Spitting Feathers [2016]

Country Sweden

Style Melodic Hard Rock

Rating 77/100

Band Members Marcus Heinonen – Vocals, David Svensson – Guitars, Sebastian Åsenlund – Guitars, Thomas Berggren – Bass, Oliver Farkas – Drums

Tracks 01. Embrace The Chaos (1:04), 02. Angeline (3:36), 03. Crash Landing (4:35), 04. Bleeding Concrete (4:08), 05. My Inherent Vice (5:48), 06. The Ulterior Motive (4:14), 07. Mistreated (4:18), 08. Wildcat Strike (3:07), 09. Dance Of Thwack (3:00), 10. Wild Enough (5:07), 11. Thunder Of The Night (3:06), 12. Nowhere (7:15)

Profile Spitting Feathers is a melodic hard rock band located in Malmö formed in 2015. Spitting Feathers plays traditional heavy metal alá NWOBHM infused with melodic influences from the late 80s. Rough riffs, punk song and cynical lyrics are mixed with sing-along choruses and harmonies. The music is much appreciated live, the pure energy fills the entire venue up and leaves no one untouched, escape is futile. Their self-titled debut album was recorded the old-school way in only 3 weeks. At the moment they are writing material for their next album.

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