AOR Heaven [Release date 28.10.16]
Tony Niva is the former Lion’s Share vocalist and also released the enjoyable Oxygen ‘Final Warning’ on Escape Music back in 2o12. On this album he is joined by Lars Chriss (who has played and produced on many melodic rock albums including Overland, Seven and Radioactive), Kay Backlund (Lion’s Share) on keys and bassist Andy Loos (Covered Call/Seven), plus Nigel Bailey (Lifeline/Three Lions) adds backing vocals.
The Lion’s Share connection appears not only in the musicians involved but in the reworking of that band’s B-side ‘I’m On A Roll’, complete with a Dio-era Rainbow keyboard intro. This one and ‘Deja Vu’ reminded me of Treat, another band who seem to produce melodic rock gems at the drop of a hat.
The hooks keep on coming in the songs be it the instant melody on ‘Evil Rose’ or the keyboards-led AOR of ‘The Mountain’. I am a sucker for a harmony filled chorus and this song hits the spot nicely.
Despite the press release saying Tony Niva wanted a heavier sound and less emphasis on the keyboards, they still play an important role in the majority of the songs.
Another fine melodic rock album featuring the vocal talents of Tony Niva. It has the songs and musicianship to make this one go to the top of melodic rock fans’ shopping lists. ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
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09:00-12:00 TAO Prophecy (Tarot Label Media)
12:00-13:00 LEVERAGE Above The Beyond (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 JOE TILSTON Tightrope (Our Records)
Power Plays w/c 18 October 2021 (Mon-Fri)
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