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REVIEWS 2021 - Page 2

Page 1   Index

DAYEATER: Sweet Earth - Single
(Self released on March 5)
DAYEATER originates from Austin, Texas and formed in the spring of 2014. Their music is built around the riffs of BLACK SABBATH, the harmonies of The ZOMBIES, and Jimi Hendrix inspired guitars. A true powertrio in the old school coming up from the underground to give us all a new single.
They have previously released 2 albums, in 2016 and 2018. The band have a new album ready to go, and plan to release 1 single at a time and through a sustained promotional effort break through to the right audience and explode.
This is a really good hard rock song that is very catchy. But it also have a element of the heavy 70s. And towards the end it's a bit psychedelic. An interesting song you could say. And every heavy rocker should check it out.
facebook.com/dayeaterband
Published: March 5

HALLUCINATION: Hallucination - Demo reissue
(Sentient Ruin Laboratories on March 5)
This is the debut demo from Philly-based d-beat hardcore/punks HALLUCINATION, which was first self released in 2020. It will now be released again on cassette and digital.
The sound of HALLUCINATION is raw and noisey. I think of stuff like DISORDER and the Japanese bands in this genre when I listen to this recording. So people who like that should check this out of course.
They deliver 5 tracks in just under 8 and a half minutes. Just about enough for me.
hallucination.bandcamp.com   sentientruin.com
Published: March 5

INTELLIGENT MUSIC PROJECT: The Creation - Album
(Intelligent Music on March 5)
This is the 6th album from INTELLIGENT MUSIC PROJECT, which is the brainchild of the Bulgarian businessman, philanthropist and patron of arts Milen Vrabevski. And what we get is more of what the previous albums has given us - melodic rock/hard rock with top singers like Ronnie Romero (Ritchie Blackmore's RAINBOW, MSG, VANDENBERG, LORDS OF BLACK), John Payne (ex-ASIA), Carl Sentance (NAZARETH) and Richard Grisman (RIVER HOUNDS). And on drums we find 2 new faces, Bobby Rondinelli (Ritchie Blackmore's RAINBOW, BLACK SABBATH) and Todd Sucherman (STYX).
"The Creation" is an album with variation. We get everything from melodic rock to hard rock, as well as almost progressive or symphonic songs. High quality straight through more or less, except for a couple of slow songs then. So this is not so much to think about - Just get it!
The last album, "Life Motion", was released last summer, so it seems like Milan is a very productive man.
intelligent-music.com
Published: March 5

IVY GOLD: Six Dusty Winds - Album
(A1 Records/Golden Ivy Records on March 12)
IVY GOLD play a bluesy and funky kind of hard rock that is not so hard. Or contemporary blues rock as they describe it themselves. Which means that this is not just another retro band.
The group is fronted by female vocalist Manou, which gives us all kinds of vocals here - emotional, rough, sensual, melancholy, wild etc. She is backed up by Tal Bergman (Joe Bonamassa, Billy Idol, B.B. King, Roger Daltrey, SIMPLE MINDS, Sammy Hagar, LL Cool J. etc.), Sebastian Eder (AVALON), Kevin Moore (The PERSUADERS, Jennifer Rush etc.) and Anders Olinder (Glenn Hughes, Peter Gabriel, Amy Winehouse etc.) - All experienced musicians.
The music is just like the vocals a wild mixture of different emotions, so there's lots of variation here. Some songs have more energy, some are heavier, while others are deeper and more laidback.
ivygold.net
Published: March 5

Jason Ringenberg: Rhinestoned - Album
(Courageous Chicken on March 5)
O.k., when they say it's supposed to be rock, then I don't really think about a soft dude like this. I would not really say that it's bad though. He has his bright moments, and the album grow the more I listen to it. And there is at least a few songs that rock a little bit more.
They say that Jason since the beginning of the 80s has combined his love for the traditional American roots with the attribute of rock and the attitude of punk. But I hear some kind of roots/folk music and country here. It sure ain't rocking like STATUS QUO, if we put it that way. This is more adult music.
youtu.be/x4VVeBPou4Y
Published: March 3

WITHERFALL: Curse of Autumn - Album
(Century Media on March 5)
WITHERFALL is a dark melodic heavy metal band from Los Angeles, and "Curse of Autumn" is their third album. The band features members of SANCTUARY, ICED EARTH, CHON and The ARISTOCRATS, which might give you an idea about their sound.
Let's just say that they are very skilled musicians, and there's clearly a progressive nerve in their music. The songs are really good though, even if some of them are a little too long - 1 is as long as 15 and a half minutes. But skilled as they are they succeed to keep even the long songs alive, so there's no dead moments. And yes there's some short pieces too, in case you wonder. But most of these songs are of a normal length.
If you want more adult heavy metal (or whatever I should call it?), then this is something for you.
witherfall.com   centurymedia.com
Published: March 3

STARMEN: By The Grace Of Rock 'N' Roll - Album
(Melodic Passion Records on March 12)
Swedish hard rockers STARMEN formed in 2018, and released their debut album, "Welcome To My World", in February 2020. Already in July the same year they released their second album, "Kiss The Sky", and now their third album, "By The Grace Of Rock 'N' Roll", is ready to be released. That's what I call passion! Not many bands have worked that hard since the 70s.
Those of you who liked the 2 first albums won't be dissapointed when you hear this album, because they have once again created a masterpiece. The music is the same brilliant mixture of melodic and heavier hard rock, plus some melodic rock/AOR. Fans of the big bands of the 80s should absolutely check this out.
starmen.se   smarturl.it/STARMEN03
Published: March 3

SISTER: Vengeance Ignited - Album
(Flick Records - Out now)
I have previously compared this band with Swedish party hard rockers like HARDCORE SUPERSTAR and CRASHDÏET. But now that I have heard the whole album, I can tell you that this is something different than that. SISTER are much harder, heavier, darker and more aggressive, and maybe not exactly what I would call a party band. But they deliver their songs with style and powerful choruses, so don't be afraid that it would be too hard or too dark.
Their music is some kind of hard rock/metal with punk attitude. Most of these 10 tracks are good stuff.
sisterofficial.com   flickagency.se
Published: March 3

DINOSAUR JR: I Ran Away - Single
(Jagjaguwar - Out now)
New single with these veterans. This song is taken from their upcoming album, "Sweep It Into Space", which will be released on April 23. It will be their first new album since 2016.
It's a pretty soft pop/rock song that we get here. You could say that they take the ingredients of rock, but turn it into pop music with their melodies. In the 90s they called this indie pop or indie rock, but I don't think anybody use that term anymore. Possibly alternative rock then, which can be more or less just about anything actually.
But enough of my bullshit. If you want a nice little song, then check this out.
youtu.be/JGXxFSWewmw
Published: March 2

The DARK OVERLORDS: I Am The Dark Overlords - EP
(UPRISING! Records - Out now)
3 tracks of Scandinavian black metal, that is said to fit fans of ANAAL NATHRAKH, IMMORTAL, ENSLAVED and BEHEMOTH. There's not much information about this mysterious trio, but the music kicks arse anyway. Melodic guitars is mixed with hard and heavy guitars, and sometimes the riffs reminds me more of melodic death metal (in the first song at least). The harsh vocals is raw and brutal screaming on the border to growl. Very catchy for being so brutal you could say, but damned good.
facebook.com/TheDarkOverlords
Published: March 2

DANGEROUS TIMES FOR THE DEAD: Queen of the Night - Single
(Self released - Out now)
Oh, this was really good! A catchy and melodic heavy metal song with both a good verse and a good chorus. This is a band that I would like to hear more from. You have to check them out!
DANGEROUS TIMES FOR THE DEAD is a Dutch band, who sounds like they would be a forgotten treasure from the 80s. In other words a classic sound, but yet part of the new wave.
"Queen of the Night" is about the misfits and misunderstood; those who dare to be different (or just are different). Those who don't fit in, or don't want to.
facebook.com/dangertimedead
Published: March 2

The BEAUTIFUL LOSERS: Bar - Album
(Self released - Out now)
Dirty hard rock n roll from France is what we get here. And this is a guitar-driven tribute to all things that are rock n roll.
I don't know much about this band, but most of these 12 tracks sounds good anyway, and that's actually all I need to know. But even though it's pretty good, I don't think that they will get any bigger succees. They will probably be the underground band playing at dark bars and release an album once in a while. But that's better than nothing, and people will like them when they hear them. Step by step more and more people will listen to them, but never any bigger audience.
Well, they play rock anyway, and that's a damned good thing to do of course.
thebeautifullosers.org
Published: March 2

BUTTERFLY: Doorways of Time - Album
(Petrichor on March 5)
BUTTERFLY features 4 veteran musicians, who share a broad background of influences and experiences. And with "Doorways of Time" they serve us a wild mixture of hard rock and heavy metal, as well as rock and psychedelic elements. It sounds a lot like the 70s and 80s, with a steady rythm section, twin guitars and good vocals. Among the influences are NWOBHM as well as classic acts like KISS, AC/DC and LED ZEPPELIN.
I don't really know what I should compare them with, but they have many great songs among these 9 tracks, so you should absolutely give them a try.
butterflypetrichor.bandcamp.com   hammerheartpetrichor.com
Published: March 1

Alice Cooper: Detroit Stories - Album
(earMUSIC - Out now)
Alice Cooper with doll at Getaway Festival
Well, this might not be the best album that Alice Cooper (73 years old) have made through the years, but it sure ain't bad. Most songs are good here, and nothing is so bad that it sucks. Except for some original songs, he is also doing covers of VELVET UNDERGROUND, OUTRAGEOUS CHERRY, MC5 etc.
In 1970 the band ALICE COOPER moved from L.A. to Detroit, where their guitar-driven hard rock sound fit much better. They met producer Bob Ezrin and got their big breakthrough. The time in Detroit made such a big impact that Alice now presents a hommage to the motor city and its music. And he has invited the surviving members of the original band to the party - Dennis Dunaway (bass), Neal Smith (drums) and Michael Bruce (guitar), as well as some local people like Wayne Kramer (MC5), Johnny "Bee" Badanjek (DETROIT WHEELS) and MOTOR CITY HORNS. The album is of course produced by Bob Ezrin and recorded in Detroit.
Now I'm not really sure what version I got of the album, because there's as much as 15 tracks here, which without a doubt is 5-6 songs too many. "Detroit Stories" is actually available in as much as 5 different editions.
alicecooper.com
Published: March 1

ACID MAMMOTH: Caravan - Album
(Heavy Psych Sounds Records on March 5)
This is the third full length album from ACID MAMMOTH. It's a heavy and dark journey into the unknown, that will definitely leave an imprint on you. These 5 songs are between 5-11 minutes long, which normally is a bit too much. But for some reason it actually works here. The music is like a riff-based thunder storm.
Fans of doom metal and sludge should be interested in this album.
ACID MAMMOTH comes from Athens, Greece, and was formed in 2015.
acidmammoth.bandcamp.com   heavypsychsounds.com
Published: March 1

SPELLJAMMER: Abyssal Trip - Album
(RidingEasy Records on March 5)
SPELLJAMMER is a Stockholm, Sweden based sludge trio. They have had a 5-year break since their last album, "Ancient Of Days", but are now back to entertain your ears. And it's said that this album "bridges the band's earlier desert rock leanings and their later massive, slow-burning riffs".
We get 6 songs in 44 minutes. Some of them are around 6-7 minutes, while others are as long as 10 to 10:39 minutes. 1 track is just 2:22, and can be seen as an intro to the last song, or a soft piece before the next attack if you prefer that description instead.
This is very heavy and played so loud that the speakers are shaking. So if that sounds like something for you, then you really should give this album a try.
Published: Feb. 28

TERROR: Trapped In A World - Album
(Self released on March 5)
On this album long-running L.A. hardcore outfit TERROR revisit their first 2 records - "Lowest Of The Low" (2003) and "One With The Underdogs" (2004) - together with their former guitarist Todd Jones (NAILS), who will also be producing the band's next album. Now I have not heard those 2 albums, but to me these re-recordings sounds really good. It's hard and heavy, as well as metallic and angry. In other words, just the way hardcore is supposed to be nowadays.
We get 12 tracks brutally delivered in less than 24 minutes. The album will be available on 12" vinyl and digital.
sticktight.la
Published: Feb. 28

WARSIDE: The Enemy Inside - EP
(Self released - Out now)
WARSIDE comes from Lyon, France, and has existed for 2 years. Their first EP, "The Enemy Inside", was released in December 2020, and features 6 brutal death metal songs. Influences comes from both death metal - ABORTED, MISERY INDEX, VOMITORY etc. - and grindcore - ROTTEN SOUND, MUMAKILL etc.
This is a raw in your face product without any excuses. They deliver their songs with lots of energy and aggression. So if you like it hard and fast, then this is the perfect record for you.
The members have experience from several other bands in the French extreme metal scene.
warside1.com
Published: Feb. 28

REINA NEGRA: Aquelarre - Album
(Fighter Records - Out now)
REINA NEGRA was founded in Palafrugell (Girona/Spain) back in 1981. They recorded 2 demos, and split up in 1987. Some members continued with other bands, such as FUCK OFF, KIRLIAN, INVASIÓN, BARBARIAN, HAMLET and LOS RODRÍGUEZ. Bassist Dani "Pato" Zamora died on November 29, 2007.
This album is obviously a collection of those old demo recordings from the 80s, as well as some live recordings (only on CD). And the sound is raw, but they had a good taste for melodies and catchy songs. All lyrics are in Spanish, but I would guess that they were inspired by the NWOBHM bands. So if you like classic heavy metal from the 80s, then this is something that you really should check out. But couldn't they have cut all the crap in the live tracks? It's definitely not funny to listen to some drunk bullshit like "eh........eh........eh.....eh". Totally useless and just irritating.
b.link/reinanegra   fighter-records.bandcamp.com
Published: Feb. 27

GOLGOTHA: Remembering the Past, Writing the Future - Album
(Xtreem Music on March 2)
"Remembering the Past - Writing the Future" is GOLGOTHA's first release after the addition of Samuel Morales (ex-HELEVORN) on second guitar, and features the new song "Don't Waste Your Life", plus 4 re-recorded tracks from previous works, where they have been given a more current touch. Really good doom metal with a dark atmosphere, and a touch of extreme metal once in a while. So it's a good mixture of soft and hard parts. And the vocals is varied too.
GOLGOTHA is a band from Palma de Mallorca, Spain. They existed between 1992-2005, and in 2014 they were back again.
golgothaofficial.com
Published: Feb. 27

CAPTAIN NAYSAYER: Captain Naysayer - EP
(Self released - Out now)
This Belgian band was born when Daan and Evert, both from the rock band The DeVILLES, wanted to play 70s inspired rock n roll. They soon found some other guys who shared the same interest, and the vocalist came all the way from Brazil to join the band. Now their debut record is here.
CAPTAIN NAYSAYER play a bluesy kind of hard rock n roll, sometimes with a psychedelic element. And this is absolutely something for those of you who like rock from the late 60s/early 70s. Because this band is hardly aiming at a modern sound.
A good debut that you should give a try.
captainnaysayer.com
Published: Feb. 26

CANCERVO: 1 - Album
(Electric Valley Records on Feb. 26)
Why don't we just play the same thing over and over again for something like 7 minutes? And no vocals at all, that's overrated! And then we continue with a couple of songs that are around 6 minutes, before we give the bastards a 7:42-minute adventure that they never will forget. Then we can end the party with a song that is 5 and a half minutes and 1 that is just 4 minutes. Yeah, and let's make it sound more or less the same all the way. And absolutely no vocals at all!
Great idea, huh? No, honestly not such a good idea at all as I'm actually getting a bit tired of all these heavy bands who think they are so cool and hip. Can any of them make a real song at all? I mean something catchy that kicks arse. Because this sure ain't kicking arse.
CANCERVO is an Italian band, who play heavy psych/prog. This is their debut album.
facebook.com/cancervo   electricvalleyrecords.com
Published: Feb. 26

BAEST: Necro Sapiens - Album
(Century Media on March 5)
Healthy and alert boys with lots of energy.
BAEST comes from Aarhus, Denmark, and formed in 2015. They are said to be one of the country's most promising metal acts. Their music is deeply rooted in classic death metal without any bullshit, think of legends like DISMEMBER, ENTOMBED, MORBID ANGEL, DEATH and BOLT THROWER, but with a modern production. They have previously released 2 albums: "Danse Macabre" (2018) and "Venenum" (2019).
Even though their influences are classic death metal, this is not just another old school band. They add their own touch, and make it sound modern, but not too modern (if you get that). And the result is a varied death metal album of the best kind.
This is much more interesting than all these progressive and/or heavy bands that we seems to have too many of nowadays. I think that what we need is more action. And you can start with BAEST for example.
baestband.com   centurymedia.com
Published: Feb. 25

TROUBLE: Psalm 9 / The Skull / Trouble / Manic Frustration - Album reissues
(Hammerheart Records - Out now)
TROUBLE have never reached any bigger succees from a commercial point of wiew. But they were, and still are, very important to the metal underground scene. The band played an interesting kind of doom metal that you absolutely should not miss. All of these albums are really good stuff, so it's nice that they have been re-released (during last year as far as I can understand).
"Psalm 9" is the debut album, which was released in 1984. It's said to be a doom metal classic. This band did not necessarily go the same way as other doom bands did. They had their own sound somehow, even though it's familiar anyway (nowadays at least). They have a really good combination of slow and fast parts here, and throw out riff after riff. The songs are constantly on the move.
Their second album, "The Skull", was released in 1985, and is another important album for fans of doom and anything heavy. On this album TROUBLE "emerged from a NWOBHM/thrash doom cocoon and blossoming into a soul destroying depressive machine", as the press release says. Simply more of the first album, but a bit heavier, you could say.
The 1990 self titled album is said to be a pinnacle of their career. 6 years after their debut they had developed. This is their most mature album. But it's still the riffs that makes the songs, topped with Eric Wagner's vocals of course. This album is more catchy than the second album was. Fans of Ozzy-era BLACK SABBATH should like this a lot, even though it's not exactly the same thing.
It's said that "Manic Frustration" from 1992 was another pinnacle with its combination of BLACK SABBATH meets The BEATLES. At this time in their career they jumped from Metal Blade to Rick Rubin's American Recordings. This album might not sound as heavy as doom use to do, but is more like catchy hard rock with heavy guitars.
As far as I can remember I had not heard TROUBLE before, so this was an interesting adventure to get through. And it looks like there's more reissues on the way..
hammerheart.com
Published: Feb. 24

PARASITE: Deep Into The Dark - Album
(Rising Nemesis Records on Feb. 26)
PARASITE are fast and brutal, but can at the same time just as well be hard and heavy. It's luckily not too much of anything, so their songs are good, even though I have heard better. 15 tracks of this is way too much though. 8-10 would have been better.
It seems like this German band has been around for 10 years already, and "Deep Into The Dark" is their third full length album. It's a concept album that "deals with the idiosyncrasies, mysteries, abysses and threats of the omnipresent internet, especially the deep web and the dark net". Their music is brutal death metal, but also technical. This is combined with lots of groove and slam, as well as breakdowns and blastbeats.
They recomend this for fans of DYING FETUS, MISERY INDEX, DESPISED ICON, SUFFOCATION and The BLACK DAHLIA MURDER.
linktr.ee/parasiteinfestation   risingnemesisrecords.bigcartel.com
Published: Feb. 23

3.2: Third Impression - Album
(Frontiers Music Srl - Out now)
Yet another progressive band. This little group is built around Robert Berry, and is a continuation of a band called 3, which Mr. Berry had together with Carl Palmer and the late Keith Emerson. "Third Impression" is despite the title the second album from 3.2 (but I guess they count the album as 3 as album number 1).
This is said to be something for fans of the legendary keyboard player Keith Emerson. It's an re-energized and updated version of his style, which also includes some melodic rock/AOR. Very epic stuff for the progressive nerds.
robertberry.com   frontiers.it
Published: Feb. 22

SIMULACRUM: Genesis - Album
(Frontiers Music Srl - Out now)
Another progressive metal band. Another adventure. Another band who doesn't take the easy way to get through a song. This just makes me tired. It's way too advanced for me, yet they're pretty o.k. somehow. I guess that this should just be consumed in small parts, like 1 or 2 songs at the time. But I don't have the time and energy for that, so I guess I have to continue being tired of the whole progressive genre.
As you might have figured out by yourself, this is very good musicians. Maybe a little too good for me, but don't let that little problem stop you. Their songs are melodic, with heavy guitars. If you're a fan of progressive metal, then you give these guys a try. O.k.?
simulacrum.fi   frontiers.it
Published: Feb. 22

The NOVA HAWKS: Redemption - Album
(Frontiers Music Srl - Out now)
Oh, this was something different from Frontiers Music. A British blues rock n roll band, which is centered around vocalist Heather Leoni and guitarist Rex Roulette. And it seems like this debut album was written between London, the West Midlands, New York, and Los Angeles. Where they found their musical path by binding the styles of each unique location where they wrote, adding the roots of British rock, the desert sounds of California, the rawkus leads of New York City, the smokey ambience of London, and then spiced up the mixture by looking to the gospel roots of the blues.
"Redemption" is a very good album that could be something for fans of Janis Joplin and BLUES PILLS for example, as well as any kind of blues rock act of course. It sounds like they focus more on emotions than energy, but it seems to be done with lots of passion.
facebook.com/thenovahawks   frontiers.it
Published: Feb. 22

KREEK: Kreek - Album
(Frontiers Music Srl - Out now)
KREEK is a new band fronted by former BIGFOOT frontman Antony Ellis, who formed the band in the summer of 2019 after he had parted ways with BIGFOOT, who would eventually disband. He soon found a group of musicians in Nick Clarke (guitar), Lee Andrews (bass), and Seb Sweet (drums) who were ready to join him, and KREEK was born.
This self titled debut is deeply rooted in the UK hard rock scene. The heavy guitars and the melodic vocals gives them a powerful sound. And most of these 10 songs are pretty good, so I think you should give it a try.
facebook.com/KreekUK   frontiers.it
Published: Feb. 22

Joel Hoekstra's 13: Running Games - Album
(Frontiers Music Srl - Out now)
Joel Hoekstra is best known as the guitarist for WHITESNAKE and TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA, as well as NIGHT RANGER and the Broadway show Rock Of Ages. But he also have this solo project called Joel Hoekstra's 13, where he deliver classic 70s/80s hard rock, even though it's with modern technology. And this sounds really good to me. This is an excellent album! Well, except for the last song, the title track, which is a slow half ballad (or however I should describe it).
"Running Games" features an all-star cast of musicians, including Russell Allen (vocals - SYMPHONY X, ADRENALINE MOB), Tony Franklin (bass - ex-The FIRM, BLUE MURDER), Vinny Appice (drums - ex-BLACK SABBATH, DIO), and Derek Sherinian (keyboards - SONS OF APOLLO, DREAM THEATER, BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION). And just if that wasn't enough, Jeff Scott Soto (SONS OF APOLLO, TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA, ex- Yngwie Malmsteen) also lends a helping hand with background vocals.
joelhoekstra.com   frontiers.it
Published: Feb. 22

INGLORIOUS: We Will Rise - Album
(Frontiers Music Srl - Out now)
"We Will Rise" is the 4th album from British hard rockers INGLORIOUS. It's also their first official recording with new members guitarists Danny Dela Cruz and Dan Stevens, and bassist Vinnie Colla, who join original members vocalist Nathan James and drummer Phil Beaver. That has not affected the music that much though, as it's still really good stuff that they give us here. Classic hard rock with melody and soul.
I would say that more or less everything is good here, but there is a few slow moments here and there that doesn't really impress me. I'm a rocker, not a pop fan.
inglorious.com   frontiers.it
Published: Feb. 22

DURBIN: The Beast Awakens - Album
(Frontiers Music Srl - Out now)
American singer/songwriter/guitarist James Durbin is most well-known for fronting QUIET RIOT for a few years, and maybe also his apperance on Season 10 of American Idol. But he also have a solo career.
This album is very heavy metal! There's no doubt about that. He goes all in for 80s heavy metal, and among his influences are JUDAS PRIEST ("British Steel" to "Defenders Of The Faith"), early DIO, 80s BLACK SABBATH and classic US metal. And who can say no to that and still be my friend? This is really good stuff!
facebook.com/DurbinRock   frontiers.it
Published: Feb. 22

ARC OF LIFE: Arc Of Life - Album
(Frontiers Music Srl - Out now)
I guess that I'm really getting tired of progressive rock. Because sometimes when I listen to this I just wonder "What are they doing?". It reminds me of the stuff with GENESIS and some of their solo adventures that a "friend" has played for me (against my will of course). Good musicians, sure, but not much of interest to me. Even though there is a few exceptions from that hard rule. But ARC OF LIFE is not 1 of them.
ARC OF LIFE is a new supergroup, which features 3 members of the current YES line-up: vocalist Jon Davison bassist/vocalist Billy Sherwood, and drummer Jay Schellen. Completing the lineup are Dave Kerzner (ex-SOUND OF CONTACT) on keyboards and Jimmy Haun (also featured on YES albums in the past) on guitars.
People who like YES, GENESIS and similar crap will probably love this.
frontiers.it
Published: Feb. 22

ONE AND A HALF DOG: Falling Down - Single
(Self released on Feb 26)
This Norwegian hard rockers say that they have tried to lay down a 70s glam rock feeling, like SLADE and SWEET, and mixed that with more modern choruses, like GREEN DAY and FOO FIGHTERS. But I don't know if this song sounds like any of that. Not the songs that I have heard with those bands anyway. I hear more of a dark blues vibe instead. A very special song anyway, but not so bad.
Published: Feb. 21

The ROAD: John Henry - Single
(Mighty Music on Feb. 26)
"John Henry" is the second single from this international hard rock band's upcoming album, which will be released later this year. The band is based in Copenhagen, Denmark, and was formed in 2017 by Per Møller Jensen (ex-The HAUNTED, ex-INVOCATOR, ex-KOKHRA), Michael Skovbakke (ex-KONKHRA), Andreas Holma (ex-HYPOCRISY, ex-SCAR SYMMETRY, former session live musician for SOILWORK and PAIN) and Josh Tyree. Their self titled debut album was released in 2018 under the band name ROAD TO JERUSALEM.
The decision to change the band name to simply The ROAD was taken in 2019 and, after a quiet period, the band resurfaced in 2020, announcing a record deal with Danish label Mighty Music.
"John Henry" is a heavy hard rocker that reminds me of the 70s, but with a modern sound. It's a very good song that you should check out. Simple as that!
facebook.com/theroadcph   mightymusic.dk
Published: Feb. 21

The AGE OF ORE: Trying Times - EP
(Self released - Out now)
The AGE OF ORE is a young heavy metal trio from the Philadelphia area. The band was formed in 2016, and the members are 13-16 years old. Their influences comes from legends like IRON MAIDEN, Jimi Hendrix and DIO, as well as more modern acts like ALICE IN CAINS, TOOL and SYSTEM OF A DOWN.
These 3 tracks are powerful and heavy compositions. And just like their influences says there's 1 foot in the old and 1 foot in the new. Check it out.
theageofore.bandcamp.com
Published: Feb. 20

GRIZZLE: Fly You Fat Bastard - Album
(Dead Games Records on Feb. 26)
Funny album title!
Back in the 90s 2 guys from New Jersey and New York City formed a punk and metallic inspired hardcore band. This is the only album that came out with that band, through long defunct label J-bird Records. Now it will be re-released on digital platforms with the help of Dead Games Records.
The music is actually pretty slow for being hardcore, but very heavy instead, which makes it sound more like metal. Not bad though. Well, maybe not fantastic either, but absolutely good enough to listen to.
I don't really know what else there is to say about this, but give it a try at least.
grizzlephx.bandcamp.com   deadgamesrecords.com
Published: Feb. 20

COFFIN MULCH: Septic Funeral - Mini Album
(Redefining Darkness Records on Feb. 26)
These Scottish death metallers released a self titled demo 2 years ago. Now it's time for their debut mini-LP, "Septic Funeral". And if you like it the good old way, and have nothing against a few heavier songs, then this is absoluteley something for you. There's no doubt about that. And I don't think that I have to tell you what they sound like, because you have probably already a pretty good idea.
It looks like the band self released this album in September last year, but now it will be released on both CD and LP in both North America and UK/Europe.
coffinmulch.bandcamp.com   redefiningdarkness.com
Published: Feb. 20

The VEITH RICARDO PROJECT: Storm Warning - Album
(Pure Steel Records on Feb. 26)
It looks like the story of this project started back in 2005, when singer Juan Ricardo (DARK ARENA, RITUAL, SUNLESS SKY, WRETCH, ATTAXE) and keyboardist Vincent Veith (GHOST SHIP, VELVET VOYAGE) thought that they needed yet another project in their lives. They were joined by guitarist Neil Zaza, bassist Doug Johns, drummer Chris Ceja and Jerry Brightman on pedal steel (why?). The music was based on an American prog rock and metal sound, with much keyboards. But the material they recorded was left incomplete as a demo, and it wasn't until 2020 and the shutdown due to the pandemic that Vincent and Juan finally had the time to go back to the studio and finish what they started 15 years earlier.
Now you might know that I'm not always such a big fan of progressive music, but I have actually wrote some positive reviews about it through the years. And this is actually not so bad, even though nothing is exactly excellent either. But why did they have to destroy it with those stupid piano ballads? It's just irritating! The only time that piano is o.k. according to me is when you play good old rock n roll. Fans of progressive rock and metal will probably like this a lot though, so if you are one of those then give this a try.
By the way, "The Green Tractor" must be the most funny song title so far this year.
puresteel-records.com
Published: Feb. 19

ATTIKA: Metal Lands - Album
(Pure Steel Records on Feb. 26)
ATTIKA comes from Melbourne, Florida, USA. They were active from the mid-80s to the mid-90s, and released 2 full length albums during that time.
Now they are back again with a brand new album, where they deliver classic US metal that is hard as steel. It's a fine mix of hard and heavy, as well as powerful melodies. Simply damned good heavy metal with many ingredients, like it should be.
Not that this is exactly the same, but I think you should give this album a try if you like bands like IRON MAIDEN and JUDAS PRIEST. Because I'm sure that you will like what you hear.
attikametal.com   puresteel-records.com
Published: Feb. 19

WEHRMACHT: Shark Attack / Biermächt - Re-issues
(Hammerheart Records on Feb. 26)
WEHRMACHT was a crossover/thrash band from Portland, Oregon, who existed between 1985-1991, and 2008-2019. Now their 2 full length albums will be re-released through Hammerheart Records.
The debut album, "Shark Attack", was originally released in 1987. It's said that it was way ahead of its time and has been highly regarded as the release that influenced many bands in the grindcore and black metal genres. Fact is that with this album they were actually considered the fastest heavy metal band in the underground. Yet they play extremely tight and precise. Why they had to include the sound of somebody puking is a big mystery though. It's not funny at all. But otherwise it's a really good album, and I actually think that this could be something for fans of faster punk (hardcore, crust etc) as well, and not just metal fans.
The CD version of "Shark Attack" gives you a extra disc with the "Thrash Metal" demo and live tracks from 1986. It's also available as LP and cassette (with 1 bonus track).
"Biermächt" was the second album, and it was originally released in mid-1988 (1989 according to Metal Archives). It has a slightly cleaner production than the debut album, but also something they describe as "funny bit songs", which I think is total crap. But I guess that this was one of those young party bands, who just wanted to have fun. Well, the more normal songs are absolutely worth listening to though, as they are very good at what they are doing here. Fans of a band like D.R.I. and similar, as well as the American thrash bands from the 80s, should enjoy this a lot.
And if you get the CD version of "Biermächt" you will get a second disc with the "Beermacht" demo, a rehearsal from 1986 and some live tracks from 1989. It's also available as LP and cassette.
hammerheart.com
Published: Feb. 18

MICROLAXX: Världens Bästa Magmedicin - EP
(Grönpeppar Records - Out now)
This is a new and very young Swedish punk band. Their songs are short, mainly half a minute to 1 and a half. The last song is 2 and a half though, but it's a cover of CHARTA 77. The music is fast and raw, and the recording is cheap and raw, like it was here in Sweden in the early 80s. It actually sounds like they have recorded this in their rehearsal room, which is very punk of course.
This could be something for those of you who want young and angry punk. And it's absolutely not bad at all.
These 6 tracks are available both at Bandcamp and as CD.
gronpepparrecords.bandcamp.com
Published: Feb. 18

STATE OF MIND: State Of Mind - EP
(Misanthropik Records - Out now)
The story of this Texas band goes all the way back to 1994, when 4 friends decided to start a band. Their influences were old school metal like DIO, JUDAS PRIEST, BLACK SABBATH, QUEENSRŸCHE, IRON MAIDEN, PANTERA, LED ZEPPELIN etc. Their first recording was a 6-song cassette in 1995, and their latest recording came out in 2019.
Now I'm actually not sure if this EP is those first 6 songs from 1995 or new songs (that kind of info was probably too much to ask for, so it should be new songs I suppose). But even though their influences was the classic acts in the beginning, this sounds more like a product of the 90s with a touch of METALLICA around the black album, "Load" and "Re-load". But you could say that they mix the old with the new.
It's good stuff anyway, so check them out.
linktr.ee/AStateofMind   misanthropikrecords.com
Published: Feb. 17

PRESSURE: What You See - Single
(Self released on Feb. 19)
New single from this Stockholm, Sweden based trio. But this time it's not a Christmas song, but something that is more in the way that they use to sound. And that sound is some kind of heavy metal with their own twist. Or story metal as they call it themselves, which is a combination of traditional heavy metal and elements of melodic metal, with a lot of focus on the vocals. Add some heavy guitars to that and you might have an idea about their sound.
"What You See" is taken from their upcoming album, which will be released sometime in late April/early May. Check it out!
pressure.band
Published: Feb. 17

The NORSEMAN COMPANY: The Coming of the Chord - Album
(Perris Records - Out now)
The first song sounds like DEF LEPPARD in the 80s, the next like DIO around the same era. And it continue like that, sometimes more melodic, sometimes heavier, but always some kind of hard rock anyway.
The man behind this group is Norwegian drummer/songwriter/manager Geir Arne Dale (HUMBUCKER). Many musicians and vocalists were brought in for this project, like Aage Sten Nilsen (WIG WAM, AMMUNITION), Rowan Robertson (ex-DIO), Martin Steene (IRON FIRE) and Tor Erik Myhre (Jorn Lande), to name some of them. And the album was mixed and mastered by legendary producer Beau Hill (WARRANT, RATT, WINGER, EUROPE, Alice Cooper etc.).
This is absolutely something for fans of 80s hard rock of the catchy and melodic kind, because that is mainly what we get here.
facebook.com/The.Norseman.Company.Official   perrisrecords.com
Published: Feb. 17

Mike Tramp: Everything Is Alright - Single
(Target Records - Out now)
On March 6 the former WHITE LION and FREAK OF NATURE frontman Mike Tramp will participate in the Dansk Melodi Grand Prix (the Danish contest that gives access to Eurovision Song Contest) with this song. And it sounds just as he use to - melodic soft rock that should fit perfect for that kind of audience. So if you like his previous solo works, then you will enjoy this little song too.
trampthology.com   targetgroup.dk
Published: Feb. 17