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Outloud is a charting, arena-styled hard rock band from Greece, fronted by New York-based singer Chandler Mogel. Unapologetically rooted in the late-'70s and early-'80s riff-and-hook-based guitar rock, their songs are more often than not infectiously catchy, recalling the days when bands like April Wine, Boston, Whitesnake, Skid Row, and the Scorpions ruled the airwaves. Despite being together since 2008, they have recorded only sporadically, issuing a handful of albums including the celebrated debut outing We'll Rock You to Hell & Back Again! and 2014's Let's Get Serious.
Former guitarist Tony Kash was taking lessons from Firewind guitarist Bob Katsionis in 2007. In early 2008, the pair's relationship had developed into a songwriting partnership and they decided to start a band. The first person they contact was New York-based singer-for-hire Chandler Mogel, whom Katsionis had met during a Firewind tour of the U.S. They finalized the lineup with the addition of Greek bassist Jason Mercury and Firewind's British drummer Mark Cross. Katsionis flew Mogel over to Greece and the quintet began to jam and work on song ideas, all in search of a sound. In September 2008 the band entered Basement Studio in Athens and recorded their debut album, We'll Rock You to Hell & Back Again!, mixed and mastered by Tommy Hansen (Helloween, TNT, Pretty Maids). Issued by Frontiers Records in August of 2009, it drew raves from the hard rock and metal press, who noted its reliance on hook-driven melodies, clean singing, and glossy production aesthetic. It ended up on critics' Top Ten lists by year's end. By the end of the year, Mercury left the bass chair and was replaced by Sverd T. Soth (Bare Infinity). The video for the single "We Run" was directed by Katsionis and ranked number three in Greek Metal Hammer's 2009 annual reader's poll in the Best Video Clip category as well as being in regular rotation on MTV in Greece. They followed it with a headline tour of Greece and appeared on national television. In 2010, the band inked a new deal with AOR Heaven and re-entered the studio with Katsionis producing and engineering and mastering again handled by Hansen. A painstaking process of recording followed and in 2011, Love Catastrophe appeared to critical and popular acclaim. The video single "Waiting for Your Love" was placed in regular rotation and racked up over a hundred thousand views on YouTube in short order. Their Greek tour found them opening for Twisted Sister; the single "We Came to Rock" was chosen for the July issue of Classic Rock magazine compilation AOR - Raised on Radio. Additionally, the band was featured on the front cover of Greek Metal Hammer Magazine that August. Outloud closed out the year with the internet-only single "The Last Days of December."
In 2012, the band, deep in the midst of touring, found time to issue the More Catastrophe EP, which garnered interest across Europe. For 2014's Let's Get Serious, Kash left and was replaced by metal guitarist Jim Scordilis (as Jim Kyritsis) and new drummer George Kollias was added. The album, again produced by Katsionis and mixed and mastered by Hansen, drew positive reviews across the globe, creating the opportunity for the band to tour outside Greece. They played the summer metal festivals and made it over to the U.S. to play shows. The tour lasted more than a year, and the band took a long, well-deserved break afterwards. Their new label, Roar! Rock of Angels Records, issued a stopgap best-of compilation entitled Destination: Overdrive - The Best Of Outloud with one unissued track: a playful yet infectiously catchy cover of the Pointer Sisters hit "I'm So Excited."
Outloud didn't re-enter a recording studio until 2017. They got to work and issued the single "Virtual Heroes" in early 2018, followed by "I Am the One." Issued in September, the album Virtual Hero Society drew more positive reviews and accomplished better sales than their previous records combined, due to its cheerful abundance of melodic hard rock and AOR crossed with tinges of Europop. It was the final outing for Sverd, who was replaced in the bass chair by Nick Mavrommatis, and for Kollias, who was replaced by Thanos Pappas. The recording did so well in Greece and in parts of Europe that it was issued in the U.S. in the spring of 2019. ~ Thom Jurek