NEVENA – Nevena

Serbian vocalist Nevena Dordevic came to the attention of Frontiers Records via her friendship with The Big Deal’s guitarist Srdjan Brankovic, whose own band released their debut album on the label in May 2022. Seemingly, his championing of Nevena was met with a huge amount of trust which was not misplaced.

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REAL GONE GOES OUT: FM – Booking Hall, Dover, Kent 27/11/2022

When FM appeared at the first Ramblin’ Man Fair in 2015, they played an excellent set. Despite a low down billing on the main stage, they played with the professionalism and intensity of a headline act. Apparently, their London show on the 2022 ‘Thirteen’ tour – featuring Grand Slam in support – was similarly strong, so it was always likely fans on the Kent coast could surely rely on a typically enthusiastic set at the tour’s end.

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ARC OF LIFE – Don’t Look Down

An impressive side project for Yes men Billy Sherwood (bass/vocals) and Jon Davison (vocals), Arc of Life formed during the pandemic lockdown of 2020. Using the new band as a vehicle to combine strong melodic structures with some classic prog expansiveness on occasion, the band would quickly make an impression among Sherwood’s many fans. With the presence of Pink Floyd obsessive Dave Kerzner on keys, Sherwood’s old World Trade mate Jay Schellen on drums and his Circa colleague Jimmy Haun on guitar, the band would quickly take on the mantle of “old friends together”, but for lovers of melodic prog rock, their self titled debut LP (released in February 2021) presented a great blend of musicianship and song-based ideas.

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ABOUT US – About Us

Hailing from India, About Us play a variety of rock styles, but often centre their songs around hard edged melodic rock with proggy flourishes. Despite their desire to give AOR a kick, the proggy moments won’t be enough to win over the average prog fan, and might be a little distracting for the melodic rock purist. However, if you’re able to get your head around their sometimes very busy and occasionally quirky sound, their debut album presents some very strong melodies and great songs.

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GRAND – Grand

A new band for 2022, Grand was formed by session vocalist Mattias Olafsson with the desire to pay tribute to the big, shiny sounds of 80s melodic rock. Enlisting drummer Anton Martinez Matz and Wigelius guitarist Jakob Svensson, he quickly set to work on making his musical dream a reality. Having Svensson on board from the early stages would obviously be a major boon, since Wigelius were one of those bands, along with Work of Art, who just managed to pitch an 80s AOR sound pretty much perfectly, decades after most of the world stopped craving the sounds of Survivor and Robert Tepper for their biggest musical thrills. Having worked wonders with his own band, there was every chance that his guitar tones and musical talents would be a key ingredient within Olafsson’s musical vision.

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