Blue Embrace Rising

Written by on December 9, 2010 in December 9, 2010, Interviews, Music and DVD Reviews, Music Reviews - Comments Off on Blue Embrace Rising

Premiere Hollywood Band Releases Hard Rock Inspirational New CD ‘Fenix’

By: Denise Ames, Host of “Focus in the Mix with Denise Ames” TV Show

Blue Embrace

Combine old school experimental rock with dynamic modern metal and you’ve got the electrifying Blue Embrace! Self-described as rock meets fusion meets progressive, and recently opening for huge bands like Korn and Maylene & the Sons of Disaster, playing the Key Club on the Sunset Strip and touring South America, have all paved the way for their growing popularity across the globe.

The well-rounded musicians bring uniquely different styles of music to the table. Between them they have studied jazz, tango, orchestra, funk, punk, techno, even musical theater.

A native of Argentina, Oz Chiri, guitarist and founder of Blue Embrace, studied at a music conservatory for six years before relocating to the U.S. over a decade ago.  “I came to America to form a band with talented musicians mixing different genres and decades,” he notes.  “I wanted to include the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s, while being original and audible for music lovers from those eras.”

Blue EmbraceChiri and company have just released their latest labor of love, ‘Fenix’ on the international label Tarot Records.  They have acquired deals with Walmart where the CD is available as well as online at iTunes and

“The story of the CD is based on the famous Greek tale of the Phoenix,” Chiri explains, “a bird that turned to ashes and was reborn more beautiful and powerful than before.  A lot of people expected this band to fall when some of the old members left, but we worked really hard, found the right formula and made a ‘rebirth’ of our own with high quality musicians.”

Drummer Mick Hanes, who acquired his first drum kit at the age of 10, started as a percussionist at six.  Upon graduating high school he worked as a session player throughout So Cal.  “Blue Embrace is all about playing honest music,” he says, “like how bands used to do it back in the day!”  Hanes has also been shooting ‘webisodes’ on mini dv and posting them on  “We wanted to document the process of becoming a kick ass band and all it entails to do so.”

Blue EmbraceRounding out the Hollywood rock band are rhythm guitarist Mike Mikesell, who started out playing sax (reluctantly), then switched to guitar performing in Florida punk bands prior to moving to L.A., and bassist Billy Thompson, plucking since he was a teenager from Orange County, Ca.

According to Chiri, after trying out singer after singer, the band continued on their quest for those key powerful rock n roll vocal cords.  Enter Chris Wray.  He picked up singing bored and bedridden while recovering from a major injury and brought with him a background in acting.  Wray mixes his theatrical experience with his music wearing his heart on his sleeve putting every possible emotion into belting out the lyrics on the ‘Fenix’ tracks.

The band recorded in their brand new state-of-the-art Salamanca Studios in So Cal; the mystical cover artwork was designed by Eric Colorbender.  Here’s a taste of what you will find within the musical chapters on ‘Fenix’ (you can also listen at

The radio friendly release bursts open with “Doomsday Machine” showcasing the vocal range and talent of Wray along with Chiri’s kick ass guitar licks within the first few seconds.  Later in the track there’s a moment reminiscent of Rush’s Alex Liveson/Neil Peart chemistry.  Power from beginning to end defines “Doomsday”.

Calming things down a bit (so you can catch your breath after the assault from “Doomsday”) “Lady” contains lyrics speaking of what most of us have been through relationship wise (but wish we didn’t!) with good advice given during the song along with Mikesell’s and Chiri’s wicked guitar playing.

BLUE EMBRACE :30 second commercial spot for ‘Fenix’ from Denise Ames on Vimeo.

“Fenix” (the title track) provides an anthem worthy intro then forces you on a crusade with interchanging bass lines, slithering vox, throbbing drums complete with hailing chants.

“A Tale Twice Myself” comes in with perfect precision, allowing one to reflect on life and the world around with Wray also on acoustic guitar.  Chiri plays classical guitar so beautifully that it seems to sing along becoming one with Wray as he carefully displays the song’s heart through his awe inspiring heartfelt vocal work.

Blue Embrace“The Battle For Hell” sounds just like its name.  Cord changes, marching drums and Wray’s voice yet again supply a (pleasant) assault on your ears. The musically complicated sounding track showcases the band’s talent as a whole; altogether tight and precise.  Chiri’s guitar solo is my favorite on the entire release.

Continuing the journey “Consume Without Haste” blasts its followers with a good old fashioned dose of pure rock n roll, then “Blind Before My Eyes” wraps things up providing a scathing, epic extended ending to an awesome sounding CD.  So much soul and so much talent are evident throughout the entire ‘Fenix’ release.

A DVD is also available featuring the tracks in highest quality 192 format and special video footage of the band.

Follow the band, check for tour dates and watch webisodes on, and  Contact them at or (323) 747-5056.