Sjak : The German A.O.R.-outfit Frontline was founded in 1989 by guitarist/keyboard player Robby Boebel and singer Stephan Kämmerer, who found the necessary like-minded soulmates in bass player Thomas Riess and drummer Stephan Bayerlein to form the rhythm section. It took about five years before the debut album ‘The State Of Rock’ was released, but that one was absolutely worth the long wait! Despite of the fact that the band also released a number of beautiful records in the period between 1994 and 2006, the high quality level of ‘The State Of Rock’ was never equalled anymore and therefore this album is by many A.O.R. fans seen as one of the best releases from 1994 and rightfully so.
Nowadays this beautiful A.O.R.-piece is quite rare and hard to get and therefore the German label AOR Heaven re-releases the album in a limited edition of a thousand pieces, with as an extra the two only in Japan released bonus tracks ‘I’m Falling’ and ‘Alone’. All those of you who have missed this record in the middle of the nineties, should get this re-release because ‘The State Of Rock’ has everything that the fan of this music style is looking for. The song material is very strong and is carried by the lovely guitar riffs of Robby Boebel, but they’ve also explicitly taken care of the very well succeeded balance between the guitars and the keyboards. As such a beautiful full sound is created and the songs on offer really provide singer Stephan Kämmerer the opportunity to excel, a chance that he grabs with both hands.
That accounts for a great sounding album with very catchy song material, beautiful hooks and melodies, heavy yet melodic guitar work and as already mentioned great vocals. Best examples of this are in my opinion opening track ‘Heaven Knows’, ‘Another Love’, ‘Dangerous Game’ and Éndless, but as a matter of fact the whole album proves tob e a high-quality affair. Also sound-wise there’s nothing to complain about and as such we can conclude that ‘The State Of Rock’ anno 2018 still is a very worthwhile album which hasn’t lost anything of its original charm. Therefore it’s a great move of AOR Heaven to bring this gem to market again…because every A.O.R.-fan with a little bit of self-respect should have this album in his collection.