CHINA SKY : CHINA SKY II

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Release Date: 20th February 2015
Catalogue Number: ESM272
Bar Code: 5 03128100272 3

China Sky is:

Ron Perry: Lead vocals, acoustic guitars, and electric guitars
Richard Smith: Bass, backing vocals
Steve Wheeler: Lead guitars, and slide guitars
Tim McGowan: Keyboards
Bruce Crump: Drums  ex-Molly Hatchet

Produced by: Ron Perry
Mastered by: Mike Lind

Track list:

1- One Life 3:32 / 2-The Road Not Taken 3:52 / 3-You’re Not The One 3:17 / 4- I Believe In You 4:17 / 5-I Wish I Could Fly 4:40 / 6-Enemy 3:52 / 7-I’m Survivor 4:23 / 8-The Richest Man In The World 3:51 / 9-You’ll Get Yours 3:10 / 10-The Darkness 3:00 / 11-Give It Up 3:42 / 12-Dreams I’ll Never See 4:13

A lot can change in 25 years. Countless fashion trends have come and gone. The Soviet Union ceased to exist. MTV stopped playing music videos. People began to explore a whole new universe called "the internet", and a forgotten album by a group called China Sky became a cult classic.

With its soaring melodies, lush harmonies and flawless production, China Sky seemed destined to be a rock classic from the word go. Grammy winning Bee Gees producer Karl Richardson headed up a production team that also featured celebrated composer Frank Wildhorn, and a young Bob Marlette, who later went on to work with Black Sabbath, Marilyn Manson, Seether, Shinedown, and dozens of others. How could it go wrong? All of the pieces appeared to be in place: the players, the producers, the music, the management, the record label… Upon release, the album's first single, "The Glory," immediately began to receive radio airplay all over the US and Canada. Records were flying off the shelves in Europe and Japan. Derek Oliver raved in Kerrang Magazine. When the second single, "Some Kind Of Miracle," was released, more and more radio stations began to add China Sky.

Success seemed just around the corner, but six weeks later the band China Sky was no more.

Just what happened was never completely clear to anyone, it happened so quickly and members of China Sky decided to cut their losses and bail out, leaving the promise of everything for which they had worked so hard unfulfilled.

Guitarist Bobby Ingram went on to join Jacksonville southern rock outfit Molly Hatchet. Singer Ron Perry spent fifteen years recording and touring with his band, The Ron Perry Connection. Bassist Richard Smith did studio work and played with several popular regional bands in the southeast. No one looked back. China Sky became a distant, painful memory marked with the scars of what might have been… until sometime in the late 2000s, when Perry began to receive strange emails. Requests for China Sky pictures, CDs, and memorabilia started to become an increasingly regular occurrence. Collectors started to inquire about unreleased China Sky material. "I thought it was a friend pulling pranks," said Perry, about the renewed interest in a band that had been all but forgotten by its original members, “But the messages kept coming in from all over the world.” People started posting China Sky songs on the internet and they were racking up tens of thousands of hits. "The ball just started rolling on its own," chuckles bassist Richard Smith, "and there was no getting out of the way." With the resurgence in popularity of what is now called "Melodic Rock" in Europe, Japan, and South America, Perry and Smith began to sense an opportunity to finally bring the early promise of China Sky to full fruition. The pair decided the time was right to take what they had started a quarter century earlier and make it right. That haunting feeling of having important unfinished business needed to be addressed. China Sky would be re-born.

New guitarist Steve Wheeler was hired he seemed the natural choice for China Sky. The pieces were starting to come together, but things were not yet complete. Drummer Bruce Crump was next to join, a seasoned veteran with numerous gold and platinum records to his credit, Crump spent 15 years pounding the skins in southern rock band Molly Hatchet, with whom China Sky shared management in the 80’s. By 1988, Hatchet’s original members had pretty much had enough, and with the end of that situation looming, Crump actually did a few rehearsals with China Sky amid talk of joining the band. Management, however, wanting to squeeze every last dime out of Molly Hatchet, talked him out of it. Now, with the re-birth of China Sky, it seemed the next logical step would be for the boys to put in a call to their old friend Bruce, who, as it turned out, was itching to get involved in a serious project, and was quick to come on board. It was a perfect fit, but there was still one piece of the puzzle missing.

"Keyboards were an essential part of the China Sky sound in the 80s. They provided the atmosphere and the ambience that made for such a rich sonic landscape," says Richard Smith. "We couldn't trust just anyone with such an important component of our music." The search was on for a keyboardist who could tie the whole package together. After much networking, scouting, and a couple of disastrous auditions, guitarist Steve Wheeler remembered a Scottish piano player with whom he had played a few pickup gigs. Tim McGowan was a crack keyboardist and an actual China Sky fan. "From the very first time we played with him, we knew he was the guy," said Wheeler. McGowan had played with several popular bands all over Europe, and had etched out a respectable solo career in the world of New Age instrumental music, having released no less than twelve albums of original material. It seemed he was, indeed "the guy."

With all of the pieces firmly in place, China Sky has entered the studio to begin production of their second album. Ron Perry sums it up: "Being back in China Sky feels as comfortable as putting on an old pair of sneakers. We're incredibly lucky to have an opportunity to go back and set things right. We feel the new material is better than anything on the first album, and we're incredibly excited about taking the band in the direction we had originally intended. We are in control of everything this time, and that makes all the difference".

A lot can change in 25 years!

 

 


 

 


IMPERA : EMPIRE OF SIN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Release Date: 23 January 2015
Catalogue Number: ESM271
Bar Code: 5 03128100271 6

Track List:

1 THE BEAST IS DEAD 03:35
2 EVIL (BECOME A BELIEVER)  03:11
3 DON´T STOP  04:31
4 HOLE IN THE SKY  04:48
5 END OF THE WORLD  05:29
6 THUNDER IN YOUR HEART  04:36
7 LIGHTS IN THE SKY  04:51
8 DARLING  05:27
9 LOST BOY 04:38
10 FLY AWAY  04:14

Impera is: Matti Alfonzetti – vocals (JAGGED EDGE, SCOTT GORHAM, SKINTRADE, ROAD TO RUIN, RED WHITE & BLUES) / Tommy Denander – guitar (TOTO, PAUL STANLEY, MICHAEL JACKSON, ALICE COOPER) / J.K. Impera – drums (BRUCE KULICK, GRAHAM  BONNET, VINNIE VINCENT, JOHN CORABI, BRIAN ROBERTSON) / Mats Vassfjord - bass (VINNIE VINCENT, JOHN CORABI, SCAAR, GRAND DESIGN)

Special guest lead guitar John Leven on “Thunder in your heart”

All songs written by Tommy Denander, Matti Alfonzetti, Johan Kihlberg
Except THUNDER IN YOUR HEART written by Johan Kihlberg, John Levén, Matti Alfonzetti  
All songs published by Copyright Control  

Produced by Johan Kihlberg
Co-produced and mixed by Lars Chriss
Cover artwork & booklet design by Carl-André Beckston
Mastered by: Mike Lind

Impera are a melodic rock “supergroup” that consists of a guitar player who, seemingly effortlessly, delivers stunning solos and riffs of that classic, timeless grit you thought were killed off by grunge coupled with a pounding bass that will put you through the wall. Add blistering drumming that’s as solid as it is technically challenging and on top of all that, add a vocalist that sings circles around the competition. There’s no keyboard player, no nonsense, no fuzz - just rock and roll!

The whole band consists of solid musicians who have earned their wings through hard work with an impressive number of world-class stars over the years. Their combined CV reads as a who’s who in today’s rock. In various constellations they have played with Vinnie Vincent and Bruce Kulick from KISS, Brian Robertson from THIN LIZZY, John Levén from EUROPE (who guests on this new album) and many more. Guitarist Tommy Denander alone has played with almost everyone. His track record is jaw-dropping, having made solo albums with key members of TOTO and performed on albums with Michael Jackson, Paul Stanley, Alice Cooper and Ricky Martin. His own Project “Radioactive” has recorded some fine melodic rock songs.

“We all started to play because of KISS”, J.K states. We’re huge KISS-fans and collectors and even good friends with them. KISS is the reason we discovered how great rock and roll is.  And following their tradition, you can count on a stage show that will take your breath away, complete with fireworks, smoke, fire and all hell’s breaking loose! The amount of powder used in a single show would put the defence of a small European country to shame.

When “Legacy of Life” (ESM244) hit the streets back in October 2012 everyone was so excited with the fresh sound these four guys had injected into the melodic rock industry. The follow up “Pieces of Eden” (ESM259) was a grand extension from this powerful foursome and so it leads us into 2015 and a new album “Empire of Sin” will be unleashed upon us. This time Impera turn on some real feisty hard rock with songs like “The Beast is dead” and “Don’t stop”. It’s nice to see John Leven make a guest appearance on “Thunder in your heart”, a song he co-wrote and it’s a song that really hits the spot.

Impera have matured and honed their sound to perfection and this is their best outing yet.