Brazen Abbot is a Finnish Rock band. Originally a studio project of Bulgarian guitarist, Violinist, producer and songwriter Nikolo "Nik" Kotzev, who is a Finnish resident, the band has since made several live performances.
One of the defining aspects of Brazen Abbot is the employment of multiple singers; every album features three or four singers, with Göran Edman, (Yngwie Malmsteen) and Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow) having appeared on most Brazen Abbot albums. Nikolo Kotzev originally intended to use only one singer; original singer Göran Edman could only commit to recording two songs for the first album due to contractual obligations. Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple) was then supposed to record the remaining songs; however contractual obligations hindered him from recording more than three songs, at which point Nikolo Kotzev brought in Thomas Vikström (Therion) to record the remaining songs. He was so pleased with the result that he decided to keep using multiple singers for future albums. When performing live, however, Joe Lynn Turner is typically the only singer.
Several of the band members have also appeared on Nikolo Kotzev's ambitious rock opera Nostradamus (2001); Brazen Abbot was on hiatus during the time Nikolo Kotzev was working on the rock opera (1998–2001).
Former members include Mic Michaeli, John Levén and Ian Haugland, all members of the famous rock band Europe.
Baltimoore - Double Density (1992)
Baltimoore - Thought For Food (1994)
Live and Learn (1995)
Eye of the Storm (1996)
Bad Religion (1997)
Nikolo Kotzev - Nostradamus (2001) / (2017)
Guilty as Sin (2003)
A Decade of Brazen Abbot (live) (2004)
My Resurrection (2005)
Nikolo Kotzev - guitars, violin, production, mixing
Göran Edman - vocals
Joe Lynn Turner - vocals (1996-present?)
Tony Harnell - vocals (2005-present)
Erik Mårtensson - vocals (2005-present)
Nelko Kolarov - organs (2005-present)
Wayne Banks - bass (2004-present)
Mattias Knutas - drums (2005-present)
Glenn Hughes - vocals (1995)
Thomas Vikström - vocals (1995–1997)
Jørn Lande - vocals (2003)
Mic Michaeli - keyboards (1995–2003)
Lars Pollack - keyboards (2004)
Svante Henryson - bass (1995)
John Levén - bass (1996–2003)
Ian Haugland - drums (1995–2003)
Thomas Broman - drums (2004)
Nikolo Kotsev, born June 6, 1961, is a Bulgarian guitarist, violinist, songwriter and producer, perhaps most famous for his 2001 rock opera Nostradamus and his band Brazen Abbot.
Nikolo Kotzev was born in Pazardzhik and started taking violin lessons at the age of five. While in his teens he took an interest to Rock music, and started playing the guitar.
Nikolo worked as a session musician and played the guitar in a Bulgarian rock group Impulse. While touring with the band in Europe in the late 80s, Nikolo met Swedish singer Björn Lodin. When Nikolo relocated to Mariehamn, Åland, Finland in 1989, he joined Lodin's band Baltimoore, with whom he recorded two albums: "Double Density" (1992) and "Thought For Food" (1994).
Creative differences led to Nikolo's departure in 1994, at which point he started working on a solo project under the Brazen Abbot moniker. The result was "Live and Learn" (1995), which featured singers Göran Edman (ex-Yngwie Malmsteen), Glenn Hughes (ex-Deep Purple, ex-Trapeze) and Thomas Vikström, (Therion) keyboard player Mic Michaeli (Europe), bassist Svante Henryson and drummer Ian Haugland (Europe). Kotzev played the guitar, produced, mixed and wrote all the songs for the album.
The follow-up album, "Eye of the Storm" (1996), featured mostly the same people, with Joe Lynn Turner (ex-Rainbow,ex-Deep Purple) replacing Hughes and John Levén (Europe) replacing Henryson. The same line-up also released "Bad Religion" (1997).
Brazen Abbot was put on hiatus when Nikolo Kotzev started working on a rock opera about Nostradamus. Due to a string of setbacks, including scheduling conflicts and Kotzev's record company, USG Records, going bankrupt, the album wasn't completed until 2000 and was finally released as Nikolo Kotzev's "Nostradamus" in 2001 on SPV Records. The album featured most Brazen Abbot members, in addition to singers Jørn Lande (Masterplan), Alannah Myles and Sass Jordan. Fifteen years later, it premiered at the State Opera of city of Ruse, Bulgaria, for the 450th anniversary of Nostradamus's death.
Nikolo resumed work, with Brazen Abbot in 2002, releasing "Guilty as Sin" in 2003. The line-up was mostly the same as for "Bad Religion", with Jorn Lande replacing Vikström. Michaeli, Levén and Haugland departed Brazen Abbot to rejoin Europe. Temporary replacements filled in during a short tour in Bulgaria, recordings of which were released on the live album "A Decade of Brazen Abbot" (2004). "My Resurrection" followed in 2005, and featured four singers: Edman, Turner and new members Tony Harnell (TNT) and Erik Mårtensson and a new backing band consisting of bassist Wayne Banks (ex-Sabbat, Blaze), organist Nelko Kolarov (Impulse) and drummer Mattias Knutas.
In addition to being a recording artist, Kotzev has also produced and mixed albums by other bands, such as Saxon, Molly Hatchet, Rose Tattoo and Messiah's Kiss.
In 2011 Nikolo Kotzev started a band in Sofia, Bulgaria, named Kikimora, which plays hard rock with Bulgarian lyrics.
He received criticism from his former colleague Joe Lynn Turner in 2015 when he released a twentieth-anniversary compilation CD/DVD of Live And Learn material, which Turner condemned as a 'homemade bootleg.
Nikolo Kotzev's Nostradamus
Nikolo Kotzev's Nostradamus is a Rock opera in three acts written by Nikolo Kotzev about the life and times of Nostradamus. It was released in a 2-CD set in 2001, and in 2017 again, Several members of Kotzev's main project, Brazen Abbot, also appear on this album. And performed live, but only in Bulgaria, 2 concerts. The world premiere of the work was on November 18th and 19th, 2016 in the hall of the State Opera - Rousse, Bulgaria, in conjunction with Maestro Nayden Todorov.
Overture" (Instrumental) – 2:58
Pieces of a Dream" – 5:41
Desecration" – 5:39
Introduction" – 4:47
Home Again" (Instrumental) – 1:29
Henriette" – 5:11
Caught Up in a Rush" – 4:50
The Eagle" – 5:19
Plague" – 5:49
Inquisition" – 5:03
The King Will Die" – 4:33
I Don't Believe" – 4:32
Try to Live Again" – 3:58
War of Religions" – 3:09
The Inquisitor's Rage" – 2:48
Chosen Man" – 6:21
World War II" – 5:39
World War III" – 5:14
Because of You" – 6:05
The End of the World" – 5:34
I'll Remember You" – 6:36
All songs were written by Nikolo Kotzev.
On the initial pressing of the CD, the tracks "Introduction" and "Home Again" were accidentally switched. While the mistake was corrected on later pressings, the mishap has resulted in some confusion, particularly as most of the promo versions sent to the media are from this initial pressing. The track list left is the correct track list.
Nikolo Kotzev - production, mixing, composition
Joe Lynn Turner - Nostradamus
Alannah Myles - Anne Gemelle
Sass Jordan - Queen Catherine of France
Glenn Hughes - King Henri II of France
Göran Edman - Soldier/Ghost
Jørn Lande - Inquisitor
Doogie White - Storyteller
Nikolo Kotzev - Guitars, Violin
Mic Michaeli - Organ
John Levén - Bass
Ian Haugland - Drums
The Sofia Strings Symphonic Orchestra conducted by Nelko Kolarov