REVIEWS 2020 - Page 5

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(Frontiers Music Srl)
TOKYO MOTOR FIST play melodic hard rock in the same style as DANGER DANGER, TRIXTER, DEF LEPPARD, BON JOVI, CHEAP TRICK and similar acts. The band features Ted Poley (DANGER DANGER), Steve Brown (TRIXTER), Greg Smith (Ted Nugent, RAINBOW, Alice Cooper) and Chuck Burgi (RAINBOW, BLUE ÖYSTER CULT, Joe Lynn Turner). So they are hardly any young kids, but they still know how to make good songs anyway. Fans of melodic hard rock from the 80s should be happy to hear this.
Published: Aug. 11, 2020

RÜCKWATER: Supernova - Album
(Inverse Records)
These Finnish stoner rockers started to play in 2010, and have released 3 EPs. Now their first full length is here, which gives us a good mixture of heavy rockers and more mellow tunes. The guitars are heavy, and they have 2 lead singers. 10 songs is what we get from this power trio, and there's lots of good songs on this album, so you should absolutely check them out.
1 of my favorites is "Once More With Feeling", where the singer almost sounds like Kurt Cobain (NIRVANA).
Published: Aug. 11, 2020

RITUALS: Invicta - 7" EP
(Sleeping Church Records - Release date: Aug. 14, 2020)
Australian death metallers RITUALS formed in June 2017, and are influenced by Swedish pioneers like AT THE GATES and DISSECTION. After a self produced single, "Benumbed", in 2017, their debut EP, "Neoteric Commencements", was released in October 2018. And now their second EP, "Invicta", is here.
What we get is 2 pretty short (3 and 3:23 minutes) songs, but they are both damned good. So if you like your death metal with guitar melodies, then this is something that you just must check out.
This EP is also available digitally.
Published: Aug. 11, 2020

TERRA ATLANTICA: Age Of Steam - Album
(Pride & Joy Music - Release date: Aug. 14, 2020)
TERRA ATLANTICA was founded in December 2014 when 2 guys wanted to fulfil their dream of playing in a classic power metal band in the same style as their idols in EDGUY, AVANTASIA and RHAPSODY. Soon the idea of singing about the saga of Atlantis and other nautical myths developed, and their debut album, "A City Once Divine", was released in 2017.
Their songs are catchy and melodic, with choruses that are easy to remember. There's also epic orchestral parts here and there on this album, so this is a very majestic record, but very good stuff. So good that I think that they should be in the top league of power metal. Simply a must for any fan of this genre.
Published: Aug. 10, 2020

SEASON OF DREAMS: My Shelter - Album
(Pride & Joy Music - Release date: Aug. 14, 2020)
SEASON OF DREAMS was founded by Jean-Michel Volz, the main composer in the band A TASTE OF FREEDOM, when he wanted to create a heavy/power band with power metal influences. And a funny thing is that when he was looking for a singer with a powerful voice, he first asked Pasi Humppi (FRETERNIA, IRON WARE etc). And what's so funny about that you ask now? Well, I met him at school when we were young once upon a time, so I know him a little. But Pasi was unfortunately too busy, so he introduced Volz to a other Swede, Johannes Nyberg (ZONATA), who also play keyboard. Nyberg's brother John also joined the project as solo guitarist on most of the songs, while Mr. Volz took care of all the other instruments.
This debut album is absolutely not bad at all, because this is really good stuff. People who like Scandinavian heavy/power metal should like this a lot, as this album is full of great songs. I wouldn't say no to another album sometime in the future.
Published: Aug. 10, 2020

The SPEEDWAYS: Radio Sounds - LP
(Beluga Records/Alien Snatch Snap! Records/Hurrah!)
Very melodic punk rock on the border to pop, even though it's good pop songs. I guess we can label this as pop punk, but let's call this power pop.
The SPEEDWAYS is a British band who has just released their second album, "Radio Sounds", which has 12 tracks. And as I said, this is good stuff (at least the 3 tracks I got). And I don't have much else to add..
Published: Aug. 8, 2020

GÖSTA BERGLINGS SAGA: Konkret Musik - Album
(InsideOut Music)
Instrumental, electronic progressive rock that sounds like it would have been made in the Swedish woods in the 60s or early 70s. And they are actually from Sweden, but hardly from the woods, as they live in the largest city Stockholm. And this band has already been around for almost exactly 20 years. They are heavily influenced by old prog rock and art rock, but also electronica and avant-garde.
And you can really hear all these influences on this album. This doesn't sound like any other band. They are definitely going their own way, and seems to prefer to look back instead of forward. A other thing that is different with this band, is that they don't have any song that last for an eternity. Most songs on this album are approximately just 2-3 minutes, even though there are a few longer than that, but also 1 that is just a minute.
Published: Aug. 7, 2020

(Mighty Music)
Man! This is great! It makes me think of a band like RIVAL SONS for example, but also early LED ZEPPELIN. This is absolutely something for people who like 70s hard rock with soul.
This song is actually a remixed radio edit of the album track "Bermuda Blues", so it's not really a new track. But you simply need this song, because it will make you feel good. And that's it.
Published: Aug. 7, 2020

DIAMOND DOGS: Honked All Over Again - Album reissue
(Wild Kingdom Records)
Swedish label Wild Kingdom Records is re-releasing the first 5 albums (1993-2003) with Swedish rock n roll band DIAMOND DOGS. These reissues will also include singles and EPs from the same period.
The group formed in 1991 in Katrineholm, and were influenced by British 70s R&B rock like Rod Stewart and The FACES, Frankie Miller, Dr FEELGOOD etc. In 1992 all members moved to Stockholm, and recorded their debut album, "Honked" (this album).
Old man rock n roll in the same style as ROLLING STONES, which they are doing a cover of, is what we get from this band. And what can I say? They are probably 1 of the best rock n roll bands that we have here in Sweden, even though they seems to be more popular in Spain, so you should definitely check them out.
DIAMOND DOGS will record a new album, their 13th, this year.
Published: Aug. 7, 2020

DETHLEHEM: Maelstrom of the Emerald Dragon - Album
(Self released)
"Maelstrom of the Emerald Dragon" is the 4th full length album from the American melodic death metallers DETHLEHEM. This is a pretty modern product, and absolutely not any old-school death metal. The music is also technical and progressive. And they do this really good actually.
The album is available in 2 different versions - on the LP you just get the music, but on the CD you get the whole story with theatrical interludes that interwines with the musical tracks.
Published: Aug. 7, 2020

BLACK CROWN INITIATE: Violent Portraits Of Doomed Escape - Album
(Century Media - Release date: Aug. 7, 2020)
BLACK CROWN INITIATE formed in Reading, Pennsylvania in 2012, and has previously released 2 albums - "Wreckage of Stars" (2014) and "Selves We Cannot Forgive" (2016) - and 1 EP, "Crippled Bull" (2013). For their third album they have now taken the next step in their career, and signed with Century Media Records.
This is a band for those of you who like both progressive metal and death metal, because that's what BLACK CROWN INITIATE play. They are brutal, ambitious and epic at the same time.
Published: Aug. 6, 2020

Morse/Portnoy/George: Cover To Cover Anthology - Triple Album
(InsideOut Music)
3 albums full of covers from all kinds of genres, and there's lots of songs here that I don't even think I have heard before. There's both good and bad songs among these 36 tracks, but I would guess that they had a lot of fun when they recorded this.
But even though there's 3 albums, main focus is on the third and latest album, "Cov3r To Cov3r", which is also available as a single album. On that album we get songs by YES, JETHRO TULL, David Bowie, KING CRIMSON, Tom Petty etc. And on the 2 previous albums they have done songs by U2, CREAM, The MONKEES, The WHO, CHICAGO, Elvis Costello, The POLICE, STYX, The BEE GEES, Joe Cocker etc. So yes, it's a wide range of different artists and genres.
The men behind this are Neal Morse (TRANSATLANTIC, SPOCK'S BEARD), Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER, SONS OF APOLLO, TWISTED SISTER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, ADRENALINE MOB etc) and Randy George (AJALON). So we talk about experienced and professional musicians here.
Published: Aug. 5, 2020

Michael Grant & The ASSASSINS: Always The Villain - Album
(Frontiers Music Srl)
This album has been in the works since 2018, but now the debut album with Michael Grant & The ASSASSINS is released at last. And this is actually a solo adventure, as he take care of everything by himself, except for drums on 5 of the songs, where Shane Fitzgibbon play. He have a band though, and have already played shows in the States.
Prior to this project Michael Grant was the creative driving force behind ENDEVERAFTER, an alternative/hard rock band from San Francisco, who released 2 albums before they split up in 2012. After that he joined L.A. GUNS as guitarist for 5 years. But now it's all in on The ASSASSINS.
How do I describe the music on this album then? Well, hard rock with elements of alternative rock and metal is a good description to this. And he have many good songs here, so it could actually be worth a try. There might not be anything that is extra good, but on the other hand nothing really sucks either.
Published: Aug. 4, 2020

ENUFF Z'NUFF: Brainwashed Generation - Album
(Frontiers Music Srl)
The BEATLES is what I most of all think of when I hear this album. So catchy and melodic rock with pop hooks is a very good description. Pretty good, but I think there is too little variation between each song in the first half of the album, which makes it sound more or less almost the same. But then comes stuff like "Strangers In My Head" and "Drugland Weekend" for example, which are a little heavier and different from the rest.
The band was originally formed in Chicago, IL back in 1984, and their big break came in 1989 when they signed to Atco/Atlantic Records. They have released over a dozen albums through the years. The only original member left in the band is vocalist/bassist Chip Z'nuff.
Among the special guests on this album are Ace Frehley, Mike Portnoy, DAXX "Cheap Trick" Nielsen, and a few others.
Published: Aug. 4, 2020

BLOODY HEELS: Ignite The Sky - Album
(Frontiers Music Srl)
BLOODY HEELS comes from Latvia, and they play sleaze/hard rock with nods to the 80s. It's catchy and driving, and the choruses are big. Fans of something like CRAZY LIXX or CRASHDÏET should be interested in this band, because it's something similar to them.
The band formed in 2012, and have previously released the EP "Summer Nights" (2014) and the album "Through Mystery" (2017). They have also played shows all over Europe.
Published: Aug. 4, 2020

SCARS: Predatory - Album
(Brutal Records - Release date: Aug. 7, 2020)
SCARS is a thrash metal band from São Paulo, Brazil, who was founded in 1991. They released 3 albums between 1994 to 2008, and after a 10-year hiatus they were back again in 2018.
Their sound is based on the traditional sound of the Bay Area, so they are hardly doing anything new. But they are just as good at this as the more famous bands are, even though they might not be in the top league when it comes to their songs. There seems to be more heavy/mid-tempo tracks on this album than fast tracks.
I think that fans of the heavier stuff with SLAYER and KREATOR will like this band. But if you want it fast, try something else.
Published: Aug. 3, 2020

SANITY CONTROL: War on Life - Album
(Seeing Red Records in North America/Selfmadegod in Europe - Release date: Aug. 7, 2020)
From Warsaw, Poland comes this new crossover thrash band. This is their debut album, where they deliver fist after fist loaded with hardcore infused old school thrash metal. Just like it was something like 1985 again, but with a modern production then. They also have a message against social injustice, oppression, and racism, so this could be something for both thrashers and punks.
As most of these tracks are just around 2-3 minutes, this is over pretty fast. But it's very good as long (or short) as it last.
Published: Aug. 3, 2020

ICE: The Ice Age - Album
(RidingEasy Records - Release date: Aug. 7, 2020)
Just imagine how many lost recordings there must be with old bands from the 60s/70s. The "Brown Acid" collections (10 volumes so far) has given us many of these lost recordings with various heavy psych and proto-metal bands. But on those collections we usually just get 1 song with each act, while many of them probably recorded more songs.
This album was actually recorded 50 years ago (1970) in Chicago. ICE came from Indianapolis, but broke up shortly after the recording. 2 songs was eventually released as a 45 rpm single in 1972, but for some reason under a different name: ZUKUS. The A-side of that single was featured on "Brown Acid: The Ninth Trip", and that's when RidingEasy Records discovered that there was an entire album with the band.
This album is full of great rock songs. This is simply something that you have to check out. And especially if you are into stuff like GRAND FUNK RAILROAD, The GUESS WHO, The MOVE, The BYRDS and VANILLA FUDGE. Some songs rock a little harder, while some are more melodic.
Published: Aug. 2, 2020

METZ: A Boat to Drown In - Single
(Sub Pop)
A pretty long single as this song is 7:37 minutes. And this song is actually not interesting enough to be that long. It's like it never will end. And that's just very irritating.
On October 9 the Canadian band METZ will release their 4th full length album, "Atlas Venedig", and this is the first single. And if the rest of the songs on that album sounds like this, then I guess that this is not a band for me.
For some reason they put this in the punk genre, but I'm not so sure about that. To me this is just another alternative and weird rock band.
Published: July 31, 2020

L.A. WITCH: Gen-Z - Single
(Suicide Squeeze Records)
Californian rock trio L.A. WITCH share a new single from their upcoming album, "Play With Fire", which will be released on August 21. This is a heavier song that should have fit better as a b-side. In other words not so good. So why they decided to release this song as a single is a mystery. I hope there's better songs than this on the album, because otherwise there won't be any bigger succees.
How do I describe the music then? Well, let's say that you put a pinch each of the psychedelic 60s, early punk rock of the 70s and the art rock of the 80s in a blender. What you get is some kind of dark garage rock with lots of reverb.
Published: July 31, 2020

GRILLIJONO K.O.: Mä Oon Sun Koira - Single
(Secret Entertainment)
Imagine TURBONEGRO with a Finnish crust punk on vocals, and you are close to what GRILLIJONO K.O. sounds like. They call it "turborock", and I guess it's not so bad.
I translated the title of this song just for fun, and it turns out that it means "I'm a Sun Dog", hahaha! What the hell does that mean? Seems to be funny guys in this band, who comes from Vaasa, Finland. Their first release was "Nyrkkipyykki EP" in December 2015. And their music is a combination of different elements from fast punk rock to black metal, and even melodic pop, defined by harsh and powerful vocals. Among their influences are KVELERTAK, The HELLACOPTERS, GLUECIFER and SLAYER, and not TURBONEGRO as I would have expected.
This is the first single from their upcoming debut album, which I currently have no title or release date for. But it will be released later this year anyway.
Published: July 31, 2020

Fred Lee and The RESTLESS: Who Do You Wanna Be? - Single
(Luftslott Records)
This is a solo project with the Swedish musician Fredrik Lindkvist, who has been screaming his throat to pieces in hardcore/punk bands like TOTALT JÄVLA MÖRKER, RIWEN and SISTA BRYTET, to name a few. This is something totally different than those bands though. It's more like very kind power pop. Catchy and nice, and not a bad song. I like this and wouldn't say no to some more.
This is said to fit fans of Frank Turner, Brian Fallon, Billy Liar and similar artists.
Published: July 31, 2020

DEATH VALLEY GIRLS: The Universe - Single
(Suicide Squeeze Records)
O.k., this is described as "punky space gospel and feminist DIY" and "dystopian punk/occult glam rock". I would say that when it comes to this song it's some kind of dark alternative rock with a touch of psych rock, post-punk and possibly a pinch of jazz because of the saxophone, as well as a pinch of gospel because of the choir.
This L.A. band will release a new album, "Under the Spell of Joy", on October 2, and that's where this song comes from. And after listening to this song a few times, I would guess that the album will be a different experience.
Published: July 31, 2020

RAVENED: From The Depths - Album
(JONO - Release date: Aug. 7, 2020)
RAVENED is a hard and heavy band from Jönköping, Sweden, and this is the debut album from this young band (age 19-24 if you want to know). Guitarist Olle Liljegren is the son of Simeon Liljegren (MODEST ATTRACTION, AUDIOVISION), and nephew to Christian Liljegren (NARNIA, The WAYMAKER, AUDIOVISION, DIVINEFIRE, GOLDEN RESURRECTION etc). Drummer Oliwer Svensson is son to Kent Svensson (HELLFUELED).
The music that these boys create is metalcore. The riffs are heavy, but they seems to do this with all of their heart. And yes, I usually don't like this genre so much, but this is actually not so bad. I hear much thrash metal in their songs, and that might be a reason why I like this band better.
Published: July 30, 2020

Peter Carlsohn's The RISE: Out of the Blue - Album
(JONO/PCM Music - Release date: Aug. 7, 2020)
Peter Carlsohn is the bassist of Swedish Christian hard rock veterans JERUSALEM. But he has also played or still play with artists like XT, Rune Edvardsen & RED BAND, Carola Häggkvist, VENI DOMINE, Phil Driscoll, Ulf Christiansson, and many more. He started to play bass in the 70s, but this is his first solo album, where he get help from Michael Ulvsgärd (JERUSALEM), Stephen Carlson (CarlsMo, Gil Edwards, Hilde Halseth, CHAKRA), Svenne Jansson (GLAM, GOLDEN RESURRECTION, JERUSALEM), Cutta John Kåre Gullestad (Cutta, CRUSH, Rune Edvardsen & RED BAND, STEVEN K BAND, HEARTLESS), and his brother Lars Carlsohn.
The music is melodic hard rock, with lots of hooks and choruses with harmonic vocals. Peter handles the lead vocals for the first time, and on some songs he sings along with Cutta.
It's a very variated album, and he have some good stuff here. And even though I might not like everything, nothing is so bad that it sucks anyway.
Published: July 30, 2020

(Release date: July 31, 2020)
TURKEY VULTURE is a duo from Connecticut, and this is their second EP.
The first track, "Lost at Sea", opens with a mournful melody on cello before the action begins. And their music is a wild mixture of punk, metal, alternative rock and blues.
4 tracks is what we get here, and this is not so bad. I would like to call it alternative metal, because they sure have their own style.
Published: July 29, 2020

KING GORM: King Gorm - Album
(Release date: July 31, 2020)
Debut album from a San Diego band who play some kind of classic rock with fantasy lyrics. But there can just as well be progressive rock, proto-doom or something psychedelic. Be prepeared for some powerful riffing and hammond organ. And if I'm going to name any bands that might have inspired them, then it would be DEEP PURPLE, Dio-era RAINBOW, LED ZEPPELIN and PINK FLOYD for example. But here and there I can also hear a more modern band like GHOST. They have their own sound though, and are not an exact copy of anything.
Even though this is KING GORM's debut, these 4 guys are not new in the music business. The members have experience from various bands like OLD MAN WIZARD, DREAD CREW OF ODDWOOD, KIRBY'S DREAM BAND, BEEKEEPER, EUKARYST, WHITE WIZZARD and a few more.
Published: July 29, 2020

(H42 Records/Ripple Music - Release date: July 31, 2020)
2 American hard rock/metal bands doing a cover each of a QUEEN song. MOS GENERATOR is on the first side, with their version of "Son & Daughter", which I don't think that I have heard before. And on the other side of the vinyl we find VOID VATOR, who play "Tie Your Mother Down". Both bands are doing a good job.
MOS GENERATOR formed during 2000 in Port Orchard, Washington from the ashes of a 10-year off and on collaboration between it's 3 members, all of which are long time veterans of road and studio. They released 4 full length albums between 2002-2007, as well as a collection in 2008. 2008 was also the year when they decided that they needed a well deserved break. But now they seems to be back on track again.
VOID VATOR are based in L.A., and formed in 2014. They have released 2 EPs if I got it right. And I don't have much more information than that about them.
Well, this is worth checking out of course. It will be released in a few different editions on colored vinyl.
Published: July 28, 2020

STARBLIND: Black Bubbling Ooze - Album
(Pure Steel Records - Release date: July 31, 2020)
This is something for old farts like me, who think that IRON MAIDEN was much better in the 80s. There's many more bands like this around the world, who try to re-create the IRON MAIDEN sound of the 80s. Most of them are doing a really good job, and STARBLIND are definitely 1 of them. The twin guitars are there, as well as the Steve Harris bass and the great melodies. And the singer, Marcus S. Olkerud, is not far away from a young Bruce Dickinson.
This Swedish band has previously released 3 albums, and with this 4th album they should get some new followers, because this is a fantastic album.
Published: July 27, 2020

ATTAXE: 20 Years The Hard Way - Album reissue
(Pure Steel Records - Release date: July 31, 2020)
From Cleveland, Ohio comes the U.S. metal band ATTAXE. 1 of many bands who released several demo tapes in the 80s. This seems to be a collection that was originally released in 2006, which includes 15 songs from those old demo recordings.
Some of the members on these tracks are Juan Ricardo (RITUAL, SUNLESS SKY, WRETCH, DARK ARENA) on vocals, as well as guitarists like Scott Stage (ex-LIZZY BORDEN), Greg Perry (PURTAGORY), Steve McDonald (ex-BORN RUDE), and Paul Konjicija (ANTITHESIS, DARK ARENA), just to name a few of all members that came and left.
Well, all I can say about this is that it sounds like they were a really good band. So fans of 80s heavy metal should not miss this collection. They really knew how to make great metal songs, no doubt about that.
Published: July 27, 2020

STORMZONE: Ignite The Machine - Album
(Metalapolis Records - Release date: July 31, 2020)
Northern Irish heavy metal band STORMZONE formed in 2004, and "Ignite The Machine" is their 7th full length album, which features 12 tracks of strong songs, sometimes with a touch of power metal. Many of these songs are catchy and melodic, but yet powerful metal anthems. This is a band that you must check out.
I don't think I have to say much else than that..
Published: July 26, 2020

Mark Spiro: 2+2=5, Best Of + Rarities - Triple CD
(Frontiers Music Srl)
Mark Spiro is many things - songwriter, producer, recording artist and accomplished musician for example - with a career that spans over 2 decades. Among his many accomplishments are 45 Gold and Platinum records, and 9 solo albums. His songs and productions have been represented on records that have sold over 100 million copies worldwide.
Here he have collected his best solo material from 1996 to 2012. Also included are his songwriting collaborations with Dann Huff (GIANT), Michael Thomson (MTB), Jim Vallance (Bryan Adams) and Tim Pierce, as well as 13 previously unreleased songs. And as this is a collection, it features 700 songs. Well, there's 37 at least, which is pretty much too, which is spread of 3 CDs.
Too many ballads, and some songs are actually silly radio pop. But I guess there's some good stuff too among all these songs. Yes guess, as it's a bit hard to remember everything. And listening to all tracks at once is (obviously) a little too much, so this is probably just for the real die hard fans. But if you like melodic rock with a touch of the 80s, then you should at least give him a try.
Mark is currently working on a new solo album.
Published: July 25, 2020

LONELY ROBOT: Feelings Are Good - Album
(InsideOut Music)
John Mitchell is both musician/vocalist as well as songwriter/producer/mixer. Some bands he has been working with are ARENA, FROST*, KINO, IT BITES and this band LONELY ROBOT, to name a few. He also has his own studio back home in the UK, where he have been working with such diverse artists as YOU ME AT SIX, ENTER SHIKARI, ALTER BRIDGE, ASIA, Don Broco, FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND, McFly and many more.
"Feelings Are Good" is the 4th album with his progressive rock band LONELY ROBOT. John take care of vocals, guitar, bass and keyboards. Craig Blundell play drums.
Well, what can I say? To me this sounds like most other bands in this genre, but it wouldn't surprise me if I'm totally wrong. I have seen that some people call this neo-progressive rock, whatever that means? But I can at least say that this is absolutely not the worst prog band that I have heard, so I would guess that people who are into this stuff will love it. So let's give it a try.
Published: July 25, 2020

LEFTOVER BULLETS: Tell Mama We're OK - Album
(Sold Out Music)
This is the second album from the Greek hard rockers LEFTOVER BULLETS, who formed in 2013.
They have some good stuff here, no doubt about that. Just listen to the singles "Wasted Silence" and "Confused" for example. Simply really good hard rock without any excuses. And there's more good songs here to have a beer to.
If I would try to guess their influences, then I would say GUNS N' ROSES, alternative rock and sleaze rock. That's just a wild guess though, but that's what I can hear a touch of here. And it's a very American sound that they have, with 1 foot in the 80s and the other in the 90s.
This is, as you might understand, a band that you should check out. And I don't really have that much else to add.
Published: July 25, 2020

ANGELES: Hell On High Heels - Album
(Dark Star Records/Sony)
Here's a band that will take you back to Los Angeles in the 80s. Catchy party/sleaze hard rock just the way it's supposed to be. But this is not some young dudes from Scandinavia who wants to pretend that they are from L.A. No, this band actually is from L.A., and they actually existed back in the 80s and played at the clubs that are legendary nowadays. Their debut album, "We're No Angels", was recorded in 1984.
ANGELES is probably more well-known in the States than here in Europe though. Over there a number of their songs have been played on nationwide radio stations, and they seems to be very popular. 12 albums has been released through the years. Their last album, "Fire It Up", was released as late as in September last year, and now in July they have released another album. Talk about energy!
This is an album with many great songs to have a drink to. They really seems to know how to make a catchy party anthem. But then we have a odd number like "Run", which is a little heavier than the rest and have a other attitude, but it's absolutely not bad at all as it's 1 of my favorites on this record.
At the moment the album is available on CD, but will also be available as a vinyl LP later in the year. It's also available on digital platforms of course.
Published: July 24, 2020

DECREPID: Endless Sea of Graves - Album
(Xtreem Music)
What was started as a thrash band in 2005 has become a violent old school death metal act filled with rage. These UK guys are full of adrenaline. They deliver a powerful but unpolished production, which just makes it more raw and old school. So if you want your death metal to be modern and/or melodic, then this might not be the band for you.
Their debut album, "Devoted to Death", was released in 2011. "Endless Sea of Graves", is their third album, where we get 6 really good tracks. Most songs are around 4 and a half to 5 minutes, but the last song (the title track) is 14:21 minutes.
Published: July 24, 2020

LIONHEART: The Reality of Miracles - Album
(Metalville - Release date: July 31, 2020)
LIONHEART was founded in late 1980 by Dennis Stratton (ex-IRON MAIDEN), Steve Mann (MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST) and Rocky Newton (ex-MSG), with Clive Edwards (ex-UFO) completing the lineup a little later. The band played many shows, and in 1984 CBS Records offered them a record contract. The lineup changed a few times, and some of the members they have had include Phil Lanzon (URIAH HEEP) and Keith Murrell (AIRRACE, MAMA'S BOYS). The band disbanded in 1985.
In 1999 a double album with old demos was released, and in 2016 they were invited to play a reunion show at Rockingham Festival in Nottingham, UK. The 4 founding members said yes, and brought the former SHY frontman Lee Small on board as lead singer. After that they decided to continue, and recorded a new album, "Second Nature", which was released in 2017.
LIONHEART play a powerful but very melodic kind of hard rock, sometimes on the border to AOR. But these songs are really good, so all fans of more melodic stuff should absolutely check this out.
Published: July 23, 2020

SEPULCHRAL CURSE: Only Ashes Remain - Album
(Transcending Obscurity Records - Release date: July 31, 2020)
SEPULCHRAL CURSE is said to be "Finland's best kept secret", and they play classic death metal in the same style as underground bands such as DEMILICH, ADRAMELECH, CONVULSE and DEMIGOD. But they put their own twist on it, like some black metal influences for example. And towards the end of the record, it's more like doom/death metal instead.
If a bear could sing, this is probably what it would sound like. The singer bark and roar, while the rest of the band keep it together with an underlying groove. This is not bad at all. You should absolutely give these guys a chance.
Published: July 22, 2020

DRACONIS: Anthems For An Eternal Battle - Album
(Brutal Records - Release date: July 31, 2020)
DRACONIS are from Argentina, and are according to their record label legends. I know nothing about that, but they play death metal the South American way, and attack us with raw and relatively technical riffs. And it's of course fast and heavy too, just as death metal use to be.
I should like this, but I must say that I have heard better bands actually. They are not totally hopeless though, and hardly the worst I have heard this week. Sometimes they even have a nice guitar melody to show us, and there's also variation between each song.
Published: July 22, 2020

LAS HISTORIAS: Las Historias - Album
(Electric Valley Records - Release date: July 24, 2020)
This is totally freaked out! They just play something for a very long time, no vocals at all. The first track is very psychedelic and atmospheric.
The second track is more like guitar-driven, psych rock. And after something like 2 minutes there's actually some vocals. Not that much though, so this song is more or less instrumental too.
The third song is a softer piece. After about 2:20 minutes he start to sing a little before it's instrumental again.
Then they suddenly start to rock a little bit more, and there's suddenly a lot more vocals than in any of the previous songs. Almost a little like Jimi Hendrix with all that guitar solo. But there's also a softer part in this song.
The last tune is almost as heavy as BLACK SABBATH, but with a psychedelic twist then. Much vocals here too.
LAS HISTORIAS comes from Córdoba, Argentina, and is a young power trio who play heavy psych/doom. They formed in 2018, and among their influences are Jimi Hendrix, BLACK SABBATH and ELECTRIC WIZARD. 4 of these songs has previously been released as a EP on Bandcamp. Now they have added 1 song and release it as their debut album.
Well, if you like something that sounds like heavy psychedelic jamming, then this could be something for you.
Published: July 21, 2020

BLACKBALLED: Elephant in the Room - Album
(Metalville - Release date: July 24, 2020)
This is a rock trio from Manchester with NEW MODEL ARMY guitarist Marshall Gill among the members. The band was founded in 2012, and combines hard rock riffs, dirty blues grooves and a shot of psychedelic soulfulness. A self titled EP was relesed in 2013, and was followed by their debut album, "Collosus", in 2015.
"Elephant in the Room" is their third album, and I would describe this as heavy rock, to make it easier. It's a catchy kind of heavy rock though, and it's not so bad. That's all I have to say though..
Published: July 20, 2020

SATANICA: Resurrection of Devil's Spirit - Album
(Iron Shield Records - Release date: July 24, 2020)
SATANICA was founded in 2002, and they play classic heavy metal in the good old tradition, but with occult lyrics. Their debut album, with the silly title "Knights In Satanic Service", was released in July 2004. Since then they have released 2 more albums. "Resurrection of Devil's Spirit" is the first album in 10 years.
9 tracks is what we get here, and it doesn't sound so bad. Some tracks are even really good. Fans of New Wave of British Heavy Metal should check this out, because it's those bands that I mainly think of when I hear this, even though there's an American touch too.
Published: July 19, 2020

BLAZING RUST: Line Of Danger - Album
(Pure Underground Records - Release date: July 24, 2020)
BLAZING RUST comes from St. Petersburg, and this is their second album. But even though they are from Russia, it sounds very British. Like they would have been 1 of all the "legendary" New Wave of British Heavy Metal bands. Their songs are both melodic and riff-based. And this is absolutely not bad my friend. I think you have to check this out.
Published: July 19, 2020

(Pure Underground Records - Release date: July 24, 2020)
ANGBAND is a power/prog metal band from Teheran, Iran. They released their debut album, "Rising From Apadana", in 2008. But since the release of their third album, "Saved From The Truth", in 2012, it has been quiet. Until now..
On this new album PHARAOH- and CONTROL DENIED singer Tim Aymar take over the microphone partly. And when it comes to the music, progressive power metal meets Persian folklore. To me it's mainly good old heavy metal though, and this is very good stuff. You should absolutely check them out.
Published: July 19, 2020

PURO ODIO: Puro Odio - EP
(Sentient Ruin Laboratories)
Spanish band PURO ODIO play a raw and heavy kind of hardcore/punk that reminds me of the 90s and a band like HIATUS (if anybody remember them?). This is not exactly the same though, as PURO ODIO add hateful blackened vocals and primitive d-beat drumming to the sound. Not bad at all, even though I have heard more interesting stuff. Still worth a try.
These 2 songs was released as a 7" vinyl EP last year already, but have now thanks to Sentient Ruin got a physical release in North America on cassette from the label's Bandcamp page, which means that it's also available digitally.
They also plan to re-release the band's debut demo from 2018 on 10" vinyl. New music is also in the works.
Published: July 18, 2020

NONEXIST: Strictly Sadistic Intent - Single
(Mighty Music)
"Strictly Sadistic Intent" is the first single from NONEXIST's new album, "Like The Fearless Hunter", which will see the light on August 28. It's best described as a thrasher with a catchy chorus, or possibly melodic thrash metal. A pretty o.k. song, but not much else to be honest. That could change when I hear the whole album though, so just wait and see.
Published: July 17, 2020

IRON ANGEL: Sacred Slaughter - Single
(Mighty Music)
IRON ANGEL is a German speed/thrash metal band, who released their debut album, "Hellish Crossfire", back in 1985. They started as METAL GODS in 1980, but changed the name to IRON ANGEL in 1983, and was active until 1986. They returned in 1997, but split up once again in 2007. Since 2015 they are back for another attack.
This song is taken from their upcoming album, "Emerald Eyes", which will be available on October 2. And this is a really good song! If they have more songs like this on that album, then I'm already looking forward to hear it.
Published: July 17, 2020

DEMOLIZER: Cancer in the Brain - Single
(Mighty Music - Release date: July 17, 2020)
"Cancer In The Brain" is the first appetizer taken off the new album, "Thrashmageddon", which will be released on September 11.
It seems like Danish thrashers DEMOLIZER took their first steps in 2014, but it took 4 years before their first EP, "Ghoul", came out. Now they are getting ready to release their debut album.
Well, this sounds really good to me, and it's absolutely worth checking out for all you thrashers out there. And especially if you like it the good old way.
Published: July 17, 2020

BOYS FROM HEAVEN: Green Fields - Single
(Target Records - Release date: July 17, 2020)
BOYS FROM HEAVEN is a Danish rock band with as much as 7 members, who will release their debut album, "The Great Discovery", later this year. And "Green Fields" is the first single from that album. It's said to include "unforgettable saxophone hooks, soaring guitar riffs, and lead vocals that could give many an AOR singer a run for their money". They have tried to capture the sound of the 80s in a modern studio.
I don't really know what I should say about this song. It sounds a bit different to what I usually listen to. I guess it's supposed to be some kind of AOR/Westcoast rock, which I actually use to listen to. But for some reason this sounds even softer and different somehow.
A o.k. song. Not much else.
Published: July 17, 2020

STARMEN: Kiss The Sky - Album
(Melodic Passion Records - Release date: July 24, 2020)
It seems like this Swedish hard rock band has developed since their debut album, "Welcome To My World", which was released in February this year. Then it was more like melodic 80s hard rock. But now it's more variation. Still much 70s and 80s, but sometimes they sound more funkadelic, like ELECTRIC BOYS. And sometimes it's more like before: VAN HALEN and 80s KISS, but I can also hear some DEEP PURPLE and RAINBOW.
They have many good songs here, but I'm not really sure why they have done a cover of Bob Dylan's "All Along The Watchtower", which Jimi Hendrix did a damned good version of a hundred years ago. Because this version is actually not so good. But now I love Jimi Hendrix's version, so I guess that this song is a little "holy" for me. And 1 bad song out of 10 is not so bad.
Published: July 16, 2020

VEGA: Grit Your Teeth - Album
(Frontiers Music s.r.l)
"Grit Your Teeth" is the 6th album from melodic hard rockers VEGA, and it's said to be the beginning of a new chapter in their career. It has a modern production anyway, and the songs doesn't really sound like they were made in the 80s, like so many other melodic hard rock bands use to sound like. And if that is something positive or negative is up to you, but fact is that this is really good. They have many strong songs on this album, and that is always the most important to me.
Published: July 15, 2020

SMACKBOUND: 20/20 - Album
(Frontiers Music s.r.l)
Some kind of modern hard rock/metal. Sometimes it's powerful, but most of all melodic. Absolutely not bad, but I don't really get why they have to have so many soft songs, more or less ballads. In those moments they reminds me of EVANESCENCE. But in their better moments they reminds me of something like KOBRA AND THE LOTUS and similar for example.
SMACKBOUND is a Finnish band, who began their journey in 2015. Singer Netta Laurenne has been working with bands like AMORPHIS, LORDI, BLACK ELVENKING etc. While the other members has been a part of WINTERSUN, STRATOVARIUS, The DARK ELEMENT and TRACEDAWN. So this is hardly their first band.
Published: July 15, 2020

SERPENT OMEGA: Land of Darkness - Single
(Icons Creating Evil Art)
New single with Stockholm, Sweden-based band SERPENT OMEGA, who blend sludge, doom, metal and crust to a headstrong and macabre mourn. This song is more like death/doom though, and it's taken from their first album in 7 years, simply titled "II", which will be released on September 4. It's a grotesque and brutally heavy piece. This is definitely not a nice little lullaby, even though there's a softer part too.
Published: July 15, 2020

ICE WAR: Defender, Destroyer - Album
(Fighter Records - Release date: July 21, 2020)
This is punk, man. The guitar sound, the chords he play, the fast songs - Almost everything point at that direction. But there's also a touch of New Wave of British Heavy Metal and speed metal here. But still, those faster songs actually makes me think of something like early BAD RELIGION for example, and the singer reminds me of a young and hungry Paul Di'Anno (ex-IRON MAIDEN).
ICE WAR was formed out of the ashes of IRON DOGS in late 2015, with the frontman Jo "Steel" Capitalicide as the only member. In a few months he released several cassettes and 7" singles, before it was time for the self titled album debut in 2017. Many more cassettes and singles has been released, but also a few albums now and then. "Defender, Destroyer" is his 4th full length.
If you like the debut album with IRON MAIDEN, but would like it to be faster and more punk, and without all those progressive elements and slow parts, then this could be the album for you.
Published: July 15, 2020

What a stupid name of this project. Just because you play adult music doesn't mean that it's more intelligent. There's no doubt about their experience though, as this project features people like Simon Phillips (TOTO, PROTOCOL, Mike Oldfield, The WHO), Ronnie Romero (RAINBOW etc.), John Payne (ex-ASIA) and Richard Grisman (RIVER HOUNDS).
"Life Motion" is the fifth album from INTELLIGENT MUSIC PROJECT, which is led by Bulgarian author/producer Milen Vrabevski.
What about the music then' Well, it's very melodic rock/AOR for all the money. Many good songs among these 12 tracks. People who like high quality AOR should be happy to hear this.
Published: July 14, 2020

DEEP PURPLE: Nothing At All - Single
Rock legends DEEP PURPLE deliver another single from their upcoming album, "Whoosh!", which will be released on August 7. It will be their 21st studio album (but there's probably just as many collections and live albums too).
"Nothing At All" is a little softer and more thoughtful song, but it's not bad. Maybe not as good as any of their classics, but I think I have written about that before already, so let's not go there again.
I'm actually not really sure what to expect from the new album, but so far it looks like it will be a little different.
Published: July 14, 2020

Bob Mould: American Crisis - Single
(Merge Records)
Bob Mould is an American singer/songwriter, but this time his angry and provocative, so this song sounds like melodic punk rock. Not bad for a man who is going to release his 14th solo album, "Blue Hearts", on September 25. And that's where this song comes from (of course).
"American Crisis" is said to be a tale of 2 times: Past and present - The parallels between 1984 and 2020. Then it was HIV/AIDS, now it's COVID-19.
Bob Mould formed the punk band HÜSKER DÜ with Grant Hart and Greg Norton. When the band split up in 1989, Bob started a solo career. He also led the band SUGAR between 1992-95.
Published: July 14, 2020

ACCIDENTAL PRESIDENT: Accidental President - Album
ACCIDENTAL PRESIDENT formed in 2015, and are based in Sydney, Australia. This is their debut album. And the music they play is alternative rock mixed with goth and metal influences. They then top that with a theatrical flair. It sounds modern to me, but it's not so bad.
What I miss here is something that is extra good, because I can't find anything that sounds like a hit among these 9 tracks. But this is just their first album, so maybe next time?
Published: July 14, 2020

BROWSING COLLECTION: Broken Bones Blues - Single
(Icons Creating Evil Art/Ditto Music)
"Broken Bones Blues" is an o.k. song from their latest album, "Cyber Space Buffet" (out now). For some reason we also get 2 remix versions here, and I have never really figured out what that is good for, and it has nothing to do with rock music. But that's obviously just my opinion.
Funny that they sing "I never be on MTV" in the chorus, because that's probably something like 20 years too late as MTV, as far as I know, is not much Music Television anymore (I could be wrong though as I don't even have that channel since many years). But if MTV would have been like it once was (80s/90s), then BROWSING COLLECTION would have fit perfect for that channel. But once again, just my opinion.
No matter what, this Swedish rock chicks are worth checking out (but I guess I have said that a few times by now).
Published: July 13, 2020

WILDERUN: Veil of Imagination - Album
(Century Media Records - Release date: July 17, 2020)
This band start with a song that is 14 and a half minutes, and end the album with a track that is almost 12 minutes. Between those 2 songs we get 6 songs that are between 3 and a half to 9:22 minutes.
It's very silent in the beginning, and takes 3 minutes before there's any action. There's all kinds of emotions on this album. Progressive and ambitious is the least you can say about this band. Sometimes it's very epic and cinematic music that they give us.
"Veil of Imagination" is the third album from this Boston-born quintet, and it's a very varied album.
Published: July 13, 2020

SERENE DARK: Enantiodromia - Album
(Release date: July 17, 2020)
Some kind of death/black metal with orchestral parts. Fast and hateful parts are mixed with atmospheric elements. This is really boiling! It's not full speed all the time though.
SERENE DARK comes from Canada. They began under the name ENDEMISE, and released 2 records - "Far From The Light" (2013) and "Anathema" (2016) - under that name. So this album is their first under the new name SERENE DARK.
The album is said to "explore the confrontation between the shadow aspect of the personality and the integration of it into the self to create wholeness. Influenced by philosophy, stoicism, hermeticism, and the occult. The album, lyrically, is a journey towards individuation by the exploration of human darkness and transforming that pain into something tangible and meaningful. In essence- to lose one's self entirely to reach perfection".
This is something that fans of bands like SEPTICFLESH, ABIGAIL WILLIAMS, BEHEMOTH, WATAIN, DISSECTION, FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE and similar should try.
Published: July 13, 2020

CARTHAGODS: The Monster In Me - Album
(FDA - Release date: July 17, 2020)
CARTHAGODS were actually one of the first metal bands founded in Tunisia in the late 1990s, and are therfor seen as pioneers of heavy metal in their home country. They are nowadays also the longest surviving metal band in Tunisia.
Their self titled debut was released in 2015, but already on the next album they decided that the sound should become more powerful and symphonic.
"The Monster In Me" could have been released in 2019 already, but then the label boss left his company, and there they stood with no record label. But they didn't let a thing like that stop them, but instead they looked for a new partner.
The first time I heard this album, it was almost like listening to a new album with EVERGREY. It's melodic and symphonic heavy metal, but yet powerful and heavy.
They also have 2 guest singers on the album: Mikael Stanne (DARK TRANQUILLITY) and Mark Jansen (EPICA, MaYan).
Published: July 12, 2020

MY HEAVY MEMORY: Clarity - Album
(Self released on July 17, 2020)
MY HEAVY MEMORY is a US metal/hard rock band from the Bay Area in California. They have previously released a self titled EP in 2013, but now their full length debut is ready to be released.
What we get from this band is well produced songs with melodic vocals. It has a touch of the Scandinavian melodic metal from the 80s, but also some parts of the classic 70s/80s acts. It might actually make you think of the heavier and darker stuff with bands like RAINBOW, DEEP PURPLE and EUROPE for example. In other words, good stuff.
Published: July 11, 2020

MIMIKRY: Jag Måste Härifrån - Single
(Krypton Records)
Mimikry at Sticky Fingers in GBG
In January Swedish melodic punk rock veterans MIMIKRY started their mission to deliver 1 single every month during 2020, which will result in a new album sooner or later (probably next year then?). This is single No. 7, which is a fast and short punk song, and not really how they use to sound. I really like what I hear though, so you should absolutely give this a try or 15.
I don't have much else to say, so try to find this song now instead of reading this shit.
Published: July 10, 2020

Sasami: Toxicity - Single
(Domino Recording Co)
This cover version of SYSTEM OF A DOWN's "Toxcity" is so soft that I start to wonder if it's the same song, or if I even have heard this song before. It's a very stripped and acoustic version that reminds me more of a lullaby than SYSTEM OF A DOWN. It might work when you want your kids to sleep.
This cover is part of the Soccer Mommy & Friends Single Series. Proceeds from the charity series will be going to Oxfam's Covid Relief Fund and National Bail Out.
Published: July 9, 2020

PARALYDIUM: Worlds Beyond - Album
(Frontiers Music s.r.l.)
This is a melodic, rythmical and powerful affair of progressive metal. They have real songs, and are not just showing us how good they are. That gives them some extra points from me.
PARALYDIUM comes from Sweden, and started as The PARALYDIUM PROJECT, which released a EP in 2015. Among their influences are SYMPHONY X, PAGAN'S MIND, SEVENTH WONDER and DREAM THEATER. "Worlds Beyond" has been in the works since the EP was released.
What else can I say? Not bad for being a progressive band.
Published: July 8, 2020

Magnus Karlsson's FREE FALL: We Are The Night - Album
(Frontiers Music s.r.l.)
Magnus Karlsson seems to be a busy man who is involved with many different bands. In March he participated on an album with Allen/Olzon. In June he released this album. And on July 24 a new album with PRIMAL FEAR, where he play guitar, will be released. This Swedish guitarist/songwriter/producer has also been involved with STARBREAKER, Bob Catley and Kiske/Somerville, just to name a few of all bands and projects.
Magnus Karlsson's FREE FALL was launched in 2013 as a solo project. On this album he play guitars, bass, keyboard and sing. Drums are played by Anders Köllerfors. But the album also features some well-known vocalists, like Noora Louhimo (BATTLE BEAST), Dino Jelusick (ANIMAL DRIVE, DIRTY SHIRLEY), Ronnie Romero (RAINBOW), Renan Zonta (ELECTRIC MOB), Tony Martin (ex-BLACK SABBATH), and Mike Andersson (CLOUDSCAPE).
The music is best described as melodic heavy metal. Sometimes very epic, and sometimes just damned good heavy metal. Yes, this is a really good album that you absolutely should check out.
Published: July 8, 2020

HOUSE OF LORDS: New World, New Eyes - Album
(Frontiers Music s.r.l.)
HOUSE OF LORDS released their self titled debut album back in 1989, which makes them veterans. It didn't last for too long back then though, as they went separate ways in 1992. But in 2000 the original lineup was back again, and they have been rocking ever since.
This is the 10th studio album from this melodic hard rock band. Up-tempo and mid-tempo songs are mixed with power ballads. Most of the songs have been co-written with Mark Spiro (GIANT, BAD ENGLISH, CHEAP TRICK etc), but they has also worked together with Tommy Denander, Chris Pelcer, and Richard Hymas.
"New World, New Eyes" is a good rock album, even though everything might not be of interest to me. Those up-tempo songs are the most interesting stuff here.
Published: July 8, 2020

ELECTRIC MOB: Discharge - Album
(Frontiers Music s.r.l.)
ELECTRIC MOB is a young band from Carituba, Brazil. They deliver a mix of powerful vocals, mean riffs and heavy groove, with influences from the 70s, 80s and 90s. Think AEROSMITH and GUNS N' ROSES mixed with AUDIOSLAVE and a bluesy touch on top of that.
"Discharge" is their debut album, but it sounds like they would have released a few albums already. That's how good they are. So you should of course give them a try at once.
Published: July 8, 2020

LCTRISC: Sword & Serpents - Single
(Despotz Records)
LCTRISC seems to be a Swedish synth pop duo, and they have been away for 5 years now. On this single they deliver what they call dark fantasy rock, with a touch of the 70s, flickering video footage and a dark fantasy dream. And yes, the music is just as strange as that description. It goes in through 1 ear and out through the other. Maybe they should go back to the synth pop instead?
Published: July 7, 2020

JET JAGUAR: Endless Nights - Album
(Pride & Joy Music - Release date: July 17, 2020)
JET JAGUAR was formed in 2014 and hails from Cancun, a city located in the Mayan region of Mexico. The band's name was inspired by the Jaguar, a sacred animal for the Mayan civilization and for the areas inhabited by the Mayans. Their first EP, "Zero Hour", was released in early 2016. And now their debut album, "Endless Nights", is ready to be released.
Well, this album is great. So if you like classic heavy metal that is both powerful and melodic, then this is something that you have to check out.
Published: July 7, 2020

DOMINATION BLACK: Judgement IV - Album
(Pride & Joy Music - Release date: July 17, 2020)
DOMINATION BLACK has existed since 2003, and they released 3 albums and a MCD between 2005 and 2012. After a single, "Master Of Deception", in 2014 there was a break for a couple of years before they started to rock again. And now a new album is here.
This is really great stuff! So if you like heavy metal with melody, but yet powerful, then this is something that you have to check out.
Published: July 7, 2020

BLUE ÖYSTER CULT: iHeart Radio Theater - CD/DVD, 2LP, Blu-ray
(Frontiers Music s.r.l.)
This live performance took place in New York on December 17, 2012 in an intimate setting for a lucky audience of 200 fans. This special show was arranged in celebration of the band's 40th anniversary, and the release of a then new box set, "The Columbia Albums Collection". The original core duo of vocalist and lead guitarist Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser and vocalist and rhythm guitarist Eric Bloom were joined by Richie Castellano on guitar and keyboards, and the rhythm section of bassist Kasim Sulton and drummer Jules Radino.
Well, they play both classics that I have heard several times lately, as well as some stuff that I don't think that I have heard before. It sounds good anyway, and that's all I have to say about this..
Published: July 6, 2020

BLUE ÖYSTER CULT: Curse of the Hidden Mirror - Album reissue
(Frontiers Music s.r.l.)
This is probably not 1 of the best albums that these old veterans have made through the years. Not that it's bad, but it's hardly as great as their previous achievements. This is also a bit more melodic and softer, so this could be something for those of you who like that side of the band better. There is some harder stuff too though, and it's no doubt that it's a BLUE ÖYSTER CULT album that we have here.
"Curse of the Hidden Mirror" is the 14th studio album from BLUE ÖYSTER CULT, which was originally released through Sanctuary Records in 2001. The album has been out of print for quite some time now, and this will also be the first time it's officially available on vinyl (2LP).
Published: July 6, 2020

IGNITED: Steelbound - Album
(Voice Music)
IGNITED was born in 2017 to create energetic heavy metal with great melodies. They soon released a EP, and now their first full length album is here.
And sure, this Brazilian band are energetic, but also hard and heavy. I think of a band like JUDAS PRIEST when I hear this. Maybe not as good as them, but they are on the other hand in a totally different league, and this is absolutely not bad at all.
I don't really know what else to say, but give them a try mate.
Published: July 4, 2020

STORMZONE: Tolling of the Bell - Single
(Metalapolis Records)
This is the first single from the upcoming album, "Ignite The Machine", which will be released on July 31. And so far that is all I know. But it sounds very promising anyway. So if you like melodic heavy metal in the traditional way, then this is something that you should check out.
Now I will listen to that album, and probably get some more details about this band.
Published: July 3, 2020

PARALELUM: Under The Roots - Album
(Label and release date unknown..)
This group is described as bastard sons of metal, rock and hardcore. They have existed as a band since 2013, but this is their first full length album. And this album gives you a little bit of everything - clean and guttural vocals as well as screams, melodic as well as heavy guitars. The music is mainly hardcore, even though there is much metal and some rock too.
Well, what else can I say? This band have both good and bad moments. Among those better moments are "Castle Thunder" and "Absenta". Some of the other songs are either noisey hardcore, a bit heavier or more or less metal. It's not much on this album that is extra good. It's not that much that really sucks though.
Published: July 2, 2020

NEKROKRAFT: Witches Funeral/Return of the Kvlt - Singles
(The Sign Records)
Swedish black metallers NEKROKRAFT have for some reason re-recorded 2 songs from their 2018 EP "Witches Funeral". These 2 songs will be released as separate digital singles. "Witches Funeral" was released on June 5, and "Return of the Kvlt" will be released on August 21.
"Witches Funeral" is a melodic black metal song, but yet hard and aggressive. "Return of the Kvlt" is a little heavier, but just as hard and aggressive. I guess that fans of a band like WATAIN could like this.
The band comes from Linköping, and formed in 2012. They are currently working on their second long player.
Published: July 2, 2020

MERIDIAN DAWN: The Fever Syndrome - Album
(Seeing Red Records - Release date: July 10, 2020)
MERIDIAN DAWN is a duo with Antony Hämäläinen (ARMAGEDDON, NIGHTRAGE, CRYSTAL TEARS) on vocals, and Nick Ziros (INTO THE MOAT, REMEMBERING NEVER) on guitars and bass. Session drummer on this album is Johan Nunez (NIGHTRAGE, KAMELOT, Marty Friedman). The band was founded in December of 2012 as a side project, and has previously released a EP, "The Mixtape EP", in 2014. So it has taken some time, but now their debut album is ready to be released.
And what these guys have created is a melodic death metal record that will take you back to the late 90s/early 2000s, even though they have added a modern touch to it. And this is absolutely not bad at all. I think that you should check this out as soon as possible. That's how good this is.
Published: July 2, 2020

L.A. WITCH: I Wanna Lose - Single
(Suicide Squeeze Records)
Californian trio L.A. WITCH will release their new album, "Play With Fire", on August 21. "I Wanna Lose" is the first single from that album. And the music they play is described as "reverb-heavy, grunge, punk rock'n'roll". I would rather describe it as garage rock.
It might not be the most brilliant song that I have ever heard, but it doesn't suck anyway. I guess it's a little odd and strange somehow. And I actually don't have much else to say about this song.
Published: July 2, 2020

KANSAS: The Absence Of Presence - Album
(InsideOut Music - Release date: July 17, 2020)
O.k., these veterans have been around for nearly 5 decades, and released their debut album back in 1974. Their catalogue includes 16 studio albums (with this one included) and 5 live albums.
"The Abscence Of Presence" is their first album since 2016s "The Prelude Implicit", and it's what we could call a progressive adventure of classic and melodic rock. But what makes this band a little different is the use of a violin. I mean, how many rock bands use violin'
They have some good songs here, so this is worth a try if you like progressive rock.
Published: July 2, 2020

GEEZER: Groovy - Album
(Heavy Psych Sounds)
Psychedelic blues metal or simply stoner rock as we use to call it? 1 thing is for sure though, this is groovy. Sometimes heavy, sometimes trippy. And there's different tempos and moods all the way.
They have some really good stuff here, so this can be worth a try. No matter if you are a fan of heavy rock, psych rock or stoner rock, you will probably find something that you like here. And if you happens to like them all, well what are you waiting for then?
GEEZER is based in Kingston, NY, and formed in 2012. This is their 4th full length album.
Published: July 2, 2020

DISABLED: The Final Exhumation - Album
(XENOKORP Kvlt Series - Release date: July 10, 2020)
DISABLED was a French death metal band who existed 1991-1998. This album features raw versions of songs that would later end up on their "Faith Ablation" EP, and never-heard-before "studio" versions of songs they were exclusively performing live back in the day.
These recordings were found 6 years after the release of their discography compilation "When All Is Slayed...". It quickly sold out when it was released on good old cassette, but now it will be released on CD as well (limited editon of 500 copies).
DISABLED are nor better or worse than any other death band from the same era. So in other words they are totally o.k. according to me. You should absolutely give them a try.
Published: July 1, 2020

CLIFFORD: Bränn En Mast - Single
(Despotz Records)
Well, the music is good anyway, but I can't really take their lyrical subjects seriously. But it's not impossible that they actually have some deeper message that I have not understood yet. Or maybe it's just entertainment.
Their first single was a salute to the Swedish State epidemiologist Anders Tegnell, and this time they want us to burn down a 5G mast because they think that it will spread the Corona virus. I don't have a clue if that would even work, but they obviously like conspiracy theories, and if there's any truth at all doesn't really matter as long as there's a good story.
Published: July 1, 2020

BLOODHUNTER: Bloodhunter (Reissue 2020)/Live In Madrid - Double Album
(CDuque Producciones S.L. - Release dates: Online July 3, 2020 / Physical Sept. 4, 2020)
BLOODHUNTER is an extreme metal band formed in Galician lands (Spain) in 2008. After a demo, "The First Insurrection", in 2013, they released their self titled debut album in May 2014, which is now being re-released with 6 live tracks recorded in Madrid, Spain during "The Tour Of Faith" (2018-2019). The album also features a guitar solo by Marios Iliopoulos (NIGHTRAGE) on "Bring Me Horror".
The music is mainly brutal, no matter if it goes fast or heavy, but there's also room for guitar melodies and solos. This is actually not so bad.
A second album, "The End Of Faith", came out in October 2017. The band is currently recording their third full length. And their singer, Diva Satanica (as she call herself), is nowadays also a member of the Brazilian band NERVOSA.
Published: June 30, 2020

Steve Hackett: Genesis Revisited, Live At The Royal Albert Hall - Album
(InsideOut Music)
You would think that out of 18 songs by GENESIS I should at least have heard a few of these songs. But fact is that nothing sounds familiar to me here, so I can't tell if he is making good versions or not (like I would know that anyway). To me (as an amateur of progressive rock) it sounds like this will fit the fans like a glove though. So why not give it a try at least?
This album was recorded live in October 2013 at the legendary Royal Albert Hall in London, UK. We get guest appearances by Ray Wilson, John Wetton, Amanda Lehmann and Roine Stolt.
I'm not sure if this album has been released before, but now it will be available as a triple LP and 2CD set, as well as 16bit and 24bit digital album. This new edition has been remastered, and is said to offer you a whole new experience of this show.
Published: June 29, 2020

ONE DESIRE: Midnight Empire - Album
(Frontiers Music s.r.l.)
ONE DESIRE formed as OD in 2012, and spent a couple of years writing songs and recording demos. Many musicians came and left before their first self titled album finally was released in 2017. The follow up, "Midnight Empire", has been in the works for 2 years, but now it's finally here.
This is absolutely not bad at all. Fans of more melodic hard rock should love this band. Just listen to the opening track, "Shadowman", for example, just to name one really good song on this album.
Published: June 27, 2020

FM: Synchronized - Album
(Frontiers Music s.r.l.)
O.k., these British veterans are obviously in the top league of melodic rock, because this album is full of great songs and passion. "Synchronized" is their 12th studio album.
FM was founded in 1984 and toured with artists like MEAT LOAF, Tina Turner, FOREIGNER and Gary Moore before they released their debut album, "Indiscreet", in September 1986. After that they succeeded to be support act for BON JOVI on their "Slippery When Wet" tour. They continued to tour and release albums until 1995. In 2007 they returned for a one-off headline performance at Firefest IV in Nottingham Rock City. And since then they have been back again touring and recording.
And as I said in the beginning, this album is full of great songs, so you should not miss this record. Simple as that!
Published: June 27, 2020

Dennis DeYoung: 26 East, Volume 1 - Album
(Frontiers Music s.r.l.)
I read somewhere that this man is over 70 years old. But that doesn't stop him from rocking. Not that he rock that hard, as this is melodic rock/AOR, but anyway..
You might know Dennis DeYoung from an American band called STYX, who formed as long ago as 1962 in a basement in Chicago. This is his 6th solo album, and "26 East" is actually the address where DeYoung grew up (it was his basement they formed STYX in by the way). Most of these songs are soft and melodic rock songs. But it's absolutely not crap because of that. Sure, there might be some weak moments here and there (the ballads for example), but it's mainly a good album that fans of melodic rock/AOR should enjoy.
Any favorites then? Well, "With All Due Respect" is the strongest card here. But a song like "Damn That Dream" is worth to mention as well.
This was actually meant to be his last album, but he had so many songs written that they decided to divide it into 2 albums instead of 1. So you can take it easy and just sit and wait for volume 2.
Published: June 27, 2020

THESE STREETS: Stay Awake - Single
(Upstate Records/Blood Blast Distribution)
California band THESE STREETS will have their album "Expect The Worst" released on August 21 via Upstate Records on CD and Blood Blast Distribution (Nuclear Blast Records) digitally. And yes, "Stay Awake" is a taste of what to come. The song is about a long night that the band had on tour with SKARHEAD and BRICK BY BRICK.
Well, what else can I say? This is definitely hardcore without any doubt at all. And this song is o.k., but not much else actually. It could be worth a try though.
Published: June 26, 2020

SISTER: Bring Out The Dead - Single
(Flick Records)
Swedish hard rockers SISTER has during the last 10 years released 3 albums and toured all over Europe. Now they are getting ready to release their 4th album, and "Bring Out The Dead" is the first single from that record. 4 more singles will be released before the album finally will be released on January 22, 2021.
Well, this sounds really good to me. I think of other Swedish bands like CRASHDÏET and HARDCORE SUPERSTAR for example. So, sleazy hard rock in the heavier league then. You should check this out.
Published: June 26, 2020

I'LL BE DAMNED: Through The Walls - Single
(Mighty Music - Release date: June 26, 2020)
I'LL BE DAMNED began their journey in 2010. The 5 members comes from different backgrounds, but are all deeply rooted in the Danish rock- and metal scene. Their music is said to fit fans of BLACK SABBATH and DOWN. It's really heavy rock n roll with a metal edge.
When I reviewed their last album, "Road To Disorder" (2018), I had a little problem with the vocals in some of the songs (not all of them). But in this song he sounds good anyway.
"Through The Walls" is the first single from a new album with the boys, that will be released sooner or later.
Published: June 26, 2020

HAKEN: Virus - Album
(InsideOut Music)
Just because the album is titled "Virus" doesn't mean that it's about the current situation. They have been working on these songs since their last album, "Vector", which was released in 2018. While the last album was an origin story, this album portrays an ascent to power, tyranny and subsequent endgame.
Their sound have many different influences, but the genre that we put this band in is progressive rock/metal. It's very ambitious and melodic. And I'm sure that fans of that will find lots of interesting stuff on this album. Like the 17-minute "Messiah Complex" for example, which is a 5-part suite.
This album also comes as a limited 2CD mediabook, which includes instrumental versions.
Published: June 24, 2020

BLACK SWAMP WATER: Showdown - Single
(Mighty Music)
This is the first single from southern rockers BLACK SWAMP WATER's third album, which will be released in late 2020. The band is not from the American south though, but from Denmark. And what we get here is old school hard rock/heavy metal in the heavier league. It's said to fit perfect for fans of bands like BLACK SABBATH, CORROSION OF CONFOMITY and LYNYRD SKYNYRD.
Published: June 23, 2020

NINTH CIRCLE: Echo Black - Album
(Pure Underground Records - Release date: June 26, 2020)
It looks like this US metal trio released 3 albums between 2000 and 2014, but now they are back again. And it's often a more melodic kind of heavy metal that we get here, but it's really good. And they can be more epic or powerful once in a while too. Their songs are good, so I don't have anything to whine about (not much else to say either).
"Tokyo Nights" sounds like a melodic (hard) rock hit from the 1980s, but I don't know if it's a cover or a original song. "Then & There" is something in the same style.
Published: June 22, 2020

KENZINER: Phoenix - Album
(Pure Steel Records - Release date: June 26, 2020)
This Finnish band released 2 albums in 1998 and 1999. After that no album was released until 2014, and now 6 years has passed since that album.
KENZINER play a mixture of neo-classical metal, progressive metal and power metal. And I think they do it really good. There's not much to complain about here. Well, that would possibly be that I don't have much else to say then, but that's all.
Published: June 22, 2020

BLACK KNIGHT: Road to Victory - Album
(Pure Steel Records - Release date: June 26, 2020)
This is a veteran band from The Netherlands, who formed back in 1981. They released 2 demos in the 1980s and early 90s. Their debut album, "Tales From The Darkside", was released in 1999, and a second album, "The Beast Inside", in 2007.
Now the only remaining original member, drummer Rudo Plooy, return with a new team and a new long player. And the result is classic 80s heavy metal with twin guitars and a powerful singer. Absolutely not bad. You should check this out.
Published: June 22, 2020

TUPLE: Wooden Box - Album
(AOR Heaven - Release date: June 26, 2020)
Some Finnish man talking and a zynth. But after about 50 seconds there's finally guitars.
Tommie "Tuple" Salmela is a singer born in Kuopio, Finland in 1969. He is known from bands like TAROT, LAZY BONEZ and RASKASTA JOULUA. But he has also singing background vocals for Finnish bands like AMORPHIS, TWILIGHTNING, CARDIANT and many more. "Wooden Box" is his first solo album, which is a concept album telling the stories of his life. His musical influences comes from JOURNEY, KANSAS, FM, URIAH HEEP, BOSTON, CHICAGO, STRANGEWAYS, BLACK SABBATH, DIO and lots of other bands in the same style. And the music that we get here is something similar - AOR/melodic hard rock.
This album is full of great songs. Almost every song could be a single. I really like this record!
Published: June 21, 2020

Chris Rosander: King Of Hearts - Album
(AOR Heaven - Release date: June 26, 2020)
Christian Rosander is a young man from Örnsköldsvik, Sweden, who have studied music for about 11 years, and been writing songs in the AOR/melodic rock and Westcoast rock genre since he was 14 years old. His main influences include TOTO, H.E.A.T., QUEEN, CHICAGO, DEF LEPPARD and many others in the same style. And his musical work includes artists such as Michael Ruff, Paulo Mendonza, Frank Ådahl and X-ROMANCE.
Now the time has come for his first solo album, "King Of Hearts". And what we get here is hardly something new under the sun. It's simply very soft and melodic Westcoast rock. And this man is nor better or worse than any others in this genre, so if it sounds like something that you like, then you should check him out.
Chris himself play all keyboards, guitars, drum and percussions programming, as well as all vocals. P-O Sedin (PERFECT PLAN) play bass, and Anton Frengen is doing a guest guitar solo on the title track.
Published: June 21, 2020

WITHERING SURFACE: Meet Your Maker - Album
(Mighty Music - Release date: June 19, 2020)
In the mid-90s melodic death metal came mainly from Gothenburg, Sweden with bands like IN FLAMES, AT THE GATES and DARK TRANQUILLITY. But from Næstved in Denmark came a band called WITHERING SURFACE, who formed in 1994, and was strongly influenced by the Swedish bands. They released 4 albums and some EP, single and demo releases before they took a break in 2005.
Now they are back again with a new album, and this sounds really good. This is exactly as I want melodic death metal to sound like. They have a good combination of faster and heavier pieces.
They are still mainly inspired by the Gothenburg bands, but I would also like to mention ARCH ENEMY, which at least I can hear in some of these songs.
Published: June 19, 2020