Frontline: The State of Rock (1994/2018)

Written by: Kev Rowland

Formed in in 1989 by Robert Böbel (guitars, keyboards; Evidence One, Phantom V), Stephan Kämmerer (vocals), Thomas Riess (bass) und Stephan Bayerlein (drums), their debut album ‘The State Of Rock’ was released in 1994. It reached # 10 in the rock sales charts in Japan, and they toured Europe with the likes of Gotthard, Crash Test Dummies, Bonfire, Tyketto and Casanova. However, due to line-up and record label issues they never really capitalised on this and their final album was released in 2006. But now, more than 20 years after it was originally released, AOR Heaven have reissued the debut with two additional songs, in a limited edition 1000 pressing.

I didn’t hear this when it first came out, which is somewhat surprising to me, as what we have here is an amalgam of Shy (‘Excess All Areas’ period), Journey, Bon Jovi and classic Bonfire in an album that is melodic hard rock at its finest. Kämmerer has the perfect vocals for this, not afraid to go high when the need is there, while the band produce the bubblegum hard rock that grunge was convinced it had consigned to the grave. This a class hard rock album, and one wonders what would have happened if everything had gone right for them, as here is a band that is full of enthusiasm, power and hooks. Mind you, Shy suffered a similar experience in that they never again reached the heights of their third album although they kept pushing for years afterwards. Still, thanks to AOR Heaven the album has again been made available, albeit in quite a limited fashion. If you enjoy great melodic hard rock, and like me this one passed you by when it was originally released, then this is essential. ‘Nuff said.

Rating: 8/10


Track list:
1. Heaven Knows
2. The Night Comes Over You
3. Another Love
4. Heaven Can’t Wait
5. Endless
6. Over And Out
7. Dangerous Game
8. Hold On
9. I Have To Be Strong
10. Victom Of Madness
11. It’s Not Over
12. I’m Fallin
13. Alone



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