REVIEWS 2021 - Page 7

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CroMagnum: Born Free
King Metal Records on Sept. 17 - Digital EP
5-track EP with a trio from Montreal, Quebec, Canada. They released a self titled EP in 2014, and now their second EP is ready to be released.
The music is heavy metal, and is said to fit perfect for fans of BLACK SABBATH, DEEP PURPLE and JUDAS PRIEST. I can possibly hear a pinch of the last band, but nothing of the 2 other bands. This is almost like hard and heavy thrash metal actually. Pretty o.k. though.
There's also a comic book that shares title with the EP, written and illustrated by guitarist/vocalist Maximus Rex.
Published: Sept. 6

ABORTED: ManiaCult
Century Media on Sept. 10 - CD, Deluxe Box Set, LP/CD, Digital
Don't let the first track fool you into believing that they have become epic. Because after that it's full speed ahead as usual, even though they slow down for a few seconds once in a while. This is just as raw and brutal as they use to be, so you should not be dissapointed if you like them. Perfect music to scare the shit out of your neighbours with.
And just if their lyrics wasn't scary enough, there's suddenly a piano piece that sounds like it could come from a movie.
Even though these songs are very intense, they succeed to be catchy as well. So it's absolutely not just noise.
Belgian death metallers ABORTED has existed for 26 years, and this is their 11th full length album. The only original member left in the band is singer Sven de Caluwé.
Published: Sept. 6

Steve Hackett: Surrender Of Silence
InsideOut Music on Sept. 10 - CD, 2LP/CD, Deluxe CD/Blu-ray Mediabook, Digital
No and once again no, this is absolutely not my kind of music. This time the former GENESIS guitarist is more over ambitious than aver before, with a whole symphony orchestra and choirs. It sounds more like a classical piece than rock music in the beginning, and I don't like classical music. But after a few songs it sounds more like world music instead, and I don't like that either. After that it's jazz instead, with a horror organ, before the song becomes a soft and melodic prog rock song. Later on we get some Chinese tones, and then some..
But there's at least a couple of o.k. songs towards the end of this weird album, and that's "Fox's Tango" (which is not a tango) and "Day Of The Dead". The ballad "Scorched Earth" could possibly go as o.k. too, but 3 good songs out of 11 tracks is not enough. Better luck next time old man.
Published: Sept. 6

DAWN AFTER DARK: Maximum Overdrive
Self released - Digital single
DAWN AFTER DARK are back after more than 30 years. Who? Yes I know, I had not heard about them before either.
This Birmingham-based rock band is fronted by former Kerrang! writer Howard "HoJo" Johnson, and the original version of this song was produced by AC/DC guitarist Stevie Young back in 1989. It's also the first track from their debut album, which will be released in December.
This is what I call a real beer anthem! Good old hard rock n roll with melodic vocals. Guitar-based and catchy as hell. You must hear this!
If they have more great songs like this on the album, then I really look forward to hear it.
Published: Sept. 5

Self released - Digital single
Not much info about this song or the band. But the short info I got is that this song is supposed to be "a punk anthem to rock spirit (buried) deep in the heart of Singapore". It's been getting a bit of attention, and was the top reviewed track on Bandwagon's Hear 65 FM.
To me this sounds like a very catchy rock song, but with the energy of punk. So let's call it catchy punk rock then. It's a good song though, so maybe you should give it a try?
Published: Sept. 5

DAILY INSANITY: Chronicles Of War
Self released on Sept. 10 - CD
DAILY INSANITY was founded in 2015 in Berlin, Germany. Most of the lyrics are autobiographical, while their music is thrash metal with catchy melodies and gripping epic passages. The trio has released 1 EP, "Conspiracy", in 2018, and is now taking the next step with their first full length album, "Chronicles Of War".
Most of these songs are powerful and heavy, but not slow. A couple of them are faster though. This is very good stuff, so you should absolutely give them a try. I would guess that people who like the heavier stuff with MOTÖRHEAD could like this band.
Published: Sept. 3

CENTENARY: Death...The Final Frontier
CDN Records on Sept. 10 - CD, (cassette at a later date)
CENTENARY is a US old school death metal band. And this new album "is a reflection of their old-school death metal influences. Heavy HM-2 riffs with pummeling low-end bass and punishing drums. Sick guttural vocals ranging from highs to lows. The album has blasts, solos, and grooving headbanging rhythms." I couldn't have said it better myself..
The first song is fast and intense, and it really kicks ass. After that you would expect that the next song would be heavier, and it actually is, even though there's faster parts too. But it's still good stuff. The vocals commutes between growl and wicked screams.
It's a good mixture of fast and heavy here. Fans of old school death metal should like this.
Published: Sept. 3

BLACK MASS: Feast At The Forbidden Tree
Redefining Darkness Records on Sept. 10 - LP, CD, Digital
BLACK MASS is a thrash/speed metal band from Boston, who is playing like it would be 1985 again. And nothing wrong with that, because this is good stuff. Their sound is raw and mean with echo (or is it called delay or maybe reverb?) on the vocals. You should absolutely check out these guys!
If you miss what thrash and speed metal sounded like in the 80s, then this is definitely something for you.
Published: Sept. 3

TURN COLD: Break Your Faith
Self released on Sept. 10 - Digital EP
TURN COLD began with living room demos and remote track trading between the members during the pandemic. The result is this 3-track EP of crossover thrash. Influences comes from both metal and hardcore, like METALLICA, SLAYER and CRO-MAGS for example. And I can really hear hardcore in these songs. To me it sounds more like hardcore than thrash actually, but there's definitely pieces of both genres.
Published: Sept. 2

Emanzipation Productions on Sept. 11 - CD, LP, Digital
This band call their music "Southern death/grind", and is led by guitarist Ivan "Meathook" Gujic (BLOOD RED THRONE). The group was started in Kristiansand, Norway in 2015 as 1-man band. The debut album, "Mexican Standoff", was released in 2017. On that album he got help from members of MAYHEM, BREED, CHROME DIVISION and MOTORFINGER. In 2018 SON OF A SHOTGUN became a real band, featuring members from BLOOD RED THRONE, DAMNATION and YOU SUFFER.
Some of these songs are pure rubbish to me, and not good for my nerves. I can count the good moments on this album on just 1 hand, because most of the material is honestly pretty useless. A mix of extreme metal, grindcore, Southern groove metal, hardcore, hip hop etc. is not a succees according to me, but somebody else might like it?
Published: Sept. 2

Self released on Sept. 10 (iTunes pre-release Sept. 3) - Digital
This is the debut album from this American death metal trio, which also gives us a horror story about The Dark Web. The music is extreme and technical, and on the border to being too much for me. But if you need an album that is brutal, hard and heavy, but also fast and advanced, then this could be what you're looking for.
As people who like really extreme music have a tendency to take their music (and sometimes themselves) way too seriously, I better not say anything else.
Published: Sept. 2

REPLICANT: Malignant Reality
Transcending Obscurity Records on Sept. 10 - LP, CD, Digital
Technical, dissonant and groovy death metal is what we get from these Americans. If you like it fast and brutal, then this could be something for you. Unless you have something against their technical, almost progressive, elements then.
To me this is like an extreme roller coaster ride. And I don't like roller coasters. But if I would have to choose, I guess I would prefer REPLICANT after all.
They are obviously very good at what they are doing, and set a new standard when it comes to modern death metal. They might not be doing anything totally unique, but I would guess that it's not too many bands that play death like this trio does.
Published: Sept. 2

Petrichor on Sept. 10 - CD, LP, Cassette
From this band you get hardcore for all your money. They combine their NYHC with modern elements of the genre, including metal. It's just as intense and aggressive as hardcore use to be though, and the riffs are just as hard and heavy as they should. So fans of hardcore should not be dissapointed when they hear this band.
PERFECT WORLD formed in Brooklyn in March 2018, and released a 4-track demo in August the same year. "War Culture" seems to be their debut album, and it seems like it has been available on digital platforms since September last year.
Published: Sept. 1

JOY/DISASTER: From Stars To Angels
Self released on Sept. 10 - Digital
Sometimes this band sounds like indie pop/rock, and sometimes goth rock. But it's supposed to be post punk/alternative rock. It's a more melodic kind of post punk then, and not as dark as most bands in this genre use to be. I would not say that it's any happy songs though.
For some reason they have pressed in as much as 14 tracks on this album, which is a little too much at once. Most of it is good though, so it could be worth a try for fans of post punk, goth and indie rock.
Published: Sept. 1

MUTANT BLAST: Detonation
WormHoleDeath Records on Sept. 10 - MCD, Digital
MUTANT BLAST is a pretty new band, who formed in Finland about a year ago. They call themselves a metallic death n roll band. "They strive to create a harsh and distinctive sound combining old school tones with a modern approach", as it says in the info. And their influences range from classic heavy metal to extreme metal.
Now their first release, the 6-track EP "Detonation", is here. And a detonation is exactly what it is. This is another thrash band that kicks ass. I really like this record!
Published: Sept. 1

The MAGIC BUS: To Kastro
Self released on Sept. 1 - LP, Digital
They should have chosen a other band name when they started the band in 2017, because it's almost impossible to find this Greek band on the web among all kinds of other stuff with the same name (other bands and a bus in a movie for example).
But anyway, this is their debut album, where all songs are in Greek. Which sounds a bit odd in the beginning, but it actually works just fine. And the music that they play is probably best described as traditional 70s hard rock or possibly proto metal.
Well, they do this very good, so it could be worth searching for their songs.
Published: Sept. 1

Peter H. Nilsson: Sign Of Myself
AOR Heaven on Sept. 10 - CD
The debut album, "Little American Dream", with guitarist Peter H. Nilsson was released in 2019. Now the next chapter is here in the form of "Sign Of Myself".
Peter has once again teamed up with American singer Chris Biano and Swedish bassist Patrik Adiels. New drummer is Darrell Nutt from Florida, and there's also a horn session group, BLÅSEMAFFIAN, from Olso, Norway. We also get some keyboards from Antonio Morales on some of the songs.
How about the music then? This is actually on the border to pop very often, which is not so cool of course. In other words pretty soft and melodic rock, but actually not so bad anyway. It's like the softest parts of the 80s drinking tea with 2021.
If you're a fan of AOR, then this could be worth a try.
Published: Aug. 31

NEWMAN: Into The Monsters' Playground
AOR Heaven on Sept. 10 - CD
Singer Steve Newman formed his melodic rock band NEWMAN in 1997, and has produced 13 albums (this one included) with the band since 1998. The latest was released in March 2020, and here's already another album. But what else could they do when they could not play live? So after just a few months they decided to start working on yet another album.
What we get is not such a big differance to what we use to get from this band. So it's more of that catchy and melodic rock, and it sounds good to me.
Published: Aug. 31

M.ILL.ION: Back On Track
AOR Heaven on Sept. 10 - CD
It's 30 years since the first album with M.ILL.ION was released, and now the Swedes are back again to show us that they still can deliver like in the early days. This is not just done for nostalgic reasons, but for the pure joy of rocking.
Maybe there was a bit too much of that joy, as they gives us as much as 15 tracks here. But then this is an album filled with much old material. Only 3 of the songs are brand new. The rest is 2 re-recordings/re-arrangements of tracks from the debut album, rare recordings, remixes and remasters of songs from the first 3 albums.
The music is classic melodic hard rock like it was back in the 80s, and there's nothing to complain about as this is done very good.
Published: Aug. 31

VETERANS: Fake Quiet And Peace
Self released - Digital
VETERANS are based in Singapore, and this is their debut album. They play a hard and heavy mixture of metal, punk, sludge and hardcore. In the end I would say that it's some kind of heavier hard rock/groove metal that they play here. Sometimes there's even elements of thrash metal. And these 8 tracks are not so bad.
If you like it heavy, then give these guys a try. That's all I have to say..
Published: Aug. 30

Tommy Stewart's DYERWULF: Doomsday Deferred
Black Doomba Records on Sept. 3 - CD, LP, Cassette
The journey of this project began with the release of "Clef Doom" in 2015. It was originally a solo project, but has grown to a band with various members. Their music is supposed to be doom metal, but this is so much more than just that. Sometimes they are pretty far away from doom according to me. It's almost like I think of psych rock in a few songs, and sometimes I'm actually not really sure what they are doing (experimental circus maybe?). So everything is not so good here, but they have a few good songs at least that they can be proud of, like "Shadow in the Well" for example.
Published: Aug. 30

The PICTUREBOOKS: The Major Minor Collective
Century Media on Sept. 3 - CD, LP/CD, Digital
This album is a bit odd. It's hardly the usual stuff. I would guess that their roots are in old blues rock from the South, even though they seems to add their own twist to it. Interesting somehow at least. And to twist it a extra turn, they have invited guest vocalists like Dennis Lyxzén (REFUSED etc), Neil Fallon (CLUTCH), Chris Robertson (BLACK STONE CHERRY), Elin Larsson (BLUES PILLS), Lzzy Hale (HALESTORM) and a few more. And that results in extra variation here. And just if that wasn't enough, Ryan Sinn (The DISTILLERS) and Dave Dinsmore (Brant Bjork) play bass on the album.
When this is as best it's raw and dirty. When it's not I don't really know how to describe it, but a little too soft for me. Most songs are cool though.
"The Major Minor Collective" is the 4th full length from this duo, which features Fynn Grabke (guitar/vocals) and Philipp Mirtschink (drums/percussion). And just to show us how funny they are (or nice), the last song is instrumental and just called "Song 12". Because they want you to write your own lyrics and sing to it, and then they will create a playlist with all the different versions of the song - Brilliant!
Published: Aug. 30

Argonauta Records on Sept. 3 - CD, Digital
Italian stoner rockers SOLAR MANTRA are ready to release their first full length album (they have previously released a EP). The band formed in 2017, and are described as "a wild fuzz rock trip into a psychedelic wonderland". A better description is that their music is catchy, yet powerful, and heavily groovy, because to me this is not so psychedelic. Simply a perfect album for any fan of the stoner rock genre.
Published: Aug. 29

MYSTERIZER: The Holy War 1095
Rockshots Records on Sept. 3 - CD
What we have here is something for every fan of traditional heavy/power metal. The riffs are hard and heavy, but can also produce melodies. The choruses are catchy and strong. And the songs are just as good as anything else in this genre. So there is not much to doubt, just check this out.
MYSTERIZER comes from Finland, and released a EP in 2018, which was followed by their full length debut in 2019. And now their second album is ready to be released.
Published: Aug. 29

DUST PROPHET: The High Capital
Self released - Digital single
DUST PROPHET is a trio from from Manchester, New Hampshire. Here they gives us a song inspired by John Milton's "Paradise Lost", which is 7 and a half minutes long.
Their musical inspiration comes from heavy bands like BLACK SABBATH, KYUSS, ELECTRIC WIZARD, TOOL and CLUTCH. So the genres that DUST PROPHET is lurking around in are stoner and doom metal.
This is a o.k. song. It's both heavy and melodic. But even though it's a long song, it doesn't have any chorus.
Published: Aug. 29

Self released - Digital EP
"Guru Of Hate" is a conceptual EP that sheds light on several events that took place during WWII in the form of 5 powerful metal tracks. They want to call this power metal, but I would rather say that it's powerful, almost thrash (the title track) or groove metal. Not bad at all. It's hard and heavy, as well as catchy and melodic. The best song must be "Behind The Wall". You should really give these people a chance.
Not much else to add there..
Published: Aug. 29

Reaper Metal Productions on Sept. 3 - CD, LP
LADY BEAST is a heavy metal band based in Pittsburgh, PA. Among their influences are cool acts like MOTÖRHEAD, THIN LIZZY and MERCYFUL FATE. It seems like they have been around for 11 years, so they have already released a few records.
Now we get a new EP from them. And except for 4 of their own songs, they are also doing a pretty good cover of RAINBOW's "Kill The King". The music is pretty traditional heavy metal, and they are doing it really good here. Check out!
Published: Aug. 28

LOTAN: Angelus Pestis
UPRISING! Records on Sept. 3 - Digital EP
..then it was fast and intense again. With a raw energy they produce good old melodic black metal without any extra decoration. And that they do very good. This is definitely worth checking out!
LOTAN features 2 members of VANIR - Phillip Kaaber and Martin Rubini. They are joined by live members; Lasse Guldbæk (ABSCISSION, VANIR), Christian Haystack (FALL OF PANTHEON), and Jon Schmidt (NORTHFALL). They are from Denmark, and has previously released a EP, "Nihil Sacrum", in January 2021.
Published: Aug. 28

BLOODPHEMY: Blood Sacrifice
Emanzipation Productions on Sept. 3 - CD, LP, Digital
This death metal band take pieces from Florida, Sweden and their own country, the Netherlands. It's both old and modern influences in their aggressive style. There's a good mixture of more brutal and heavier parts. And this is very good. I would guess that most fans of death metal will like this.
"Blood Sacrifice" is the 4th album from BLOODPHEMY, which is a concept album about an American priest in the 1800s, who is obsessed by the sins of the people around him.
The band was started in 2000, and is based in Amersfoort, the Netherlands. Their debut album, "Section 8", was released in 2002. Shortly after that they disbanded, but was back again in 2015.
Published: Aug. 28

One Eyed Toad Records - Digital single
This London band call their music sparkly metal, but I don't know.. This sounds more like modern rock to me. Anyway, this is said to be their most epic song to date. It's melodic and full of enthusiasm.
The band formed in November 2017, and have so far released a few singles. 1 of them became No.1 on the UK iTunes chart, and another one was No.1 on the UK metal chart. So these 4 guys obviously seems to be popular in their own country at least.
Their debut album, "Unintenional", will be released early next year.
Published: Aug. 28

CRASHTIME: Valley Of The Kings
Self released - CD
Swiss band CRASHTIME formed in 2007, and released a self titled EP in 2011. In 2017 their second EP, "Today's World", was released. And now their full length debut has been released.
This band celebrates classic heavy metal from the 80s and 90s. And it's not bad at all, even though it might not be a masterpiece either. Some songs are simply better than others. But I would guess that most fans of the traditional sound could find something that they like here. So why not give it a try?
Published: Aug. 27

Electric Talon Records - CD, Cassette, Digital
Heavy shit from both bands on this split release. AGE OF THE WOLF comes from Costa Rica, and play sludge. TEL are from the States, and they play melodic doom. These 2 bands found each other through social media in late 2019. They had both released their debut album, and shared a love for heavy and dark music. So they soon decided to do a split record.
Now that split has been released. AGE OF THE WOLF gives us 2 tracks, and TEL gives us 3 tracks. It's hard to tell which band is the best here, as they play different kinds of heavy music. AGE OF THE WOLF is more loud and fuzz-driven, while TEL is more atmospheric. They combine well together though.
Published: Aug. 27

LUCER: White Lies
Mighty Music on Aug. 27 - Digital single
What?! This sounds like a pop song! The chorus is rock though. Not my cup of tea, even though it's not totally useless. People who like more modern rock with a touch of pop might like this.
This is not logical to me though, as they released an album, "L.A. Collection", just a few weeks ago, which was pure Danish dynamite that reminded me of good old AC/DC. So what happened there? What went so wrong? Because this sounds like a completely different band.
Big dissapointment! And it looks like they already have a new album coming out in the winter..
Published: Aug. 26

ALTZI: You Don't Believe In Love
RA Music - Digital single
What can I say about this then? I have reviewed a few singles now, and it's still that damn good melodic hard rock. So in other words something that you really should check out.
Not much else to add than that a debut album, titled "All Eyes On Me", will be released in February next year. And that will probably be a really good record according to what I've heard so far.
Published: Aug. 26

THYRFING: Vanagandr
Despotz Records on Aug. 27 - CD, LP, Digital
After 8 years, Swedish viking/pagan metal band THYRFING return with a new album. It's epic, brutal and melodic. Sometimes almost folk music or black metal, but just short pieces of that here and there. The songs are both good and bad, but nothing is excellent or suck. More or less what I expected after hearing the 3 singles that preceded the release of this album.
I don't really know what else I should say about this..
Published: Aug. 25

SPIRIT ADRIFT: Forge Your Future
Century Media on Aug. 27 - MLP/CD, Digital
There's just 3 tracks here, but they are from 5 and a half to 7 and a half minutes long, which gives us 19 minutes of music.
SPIRIT ADRIFT was started in 2015, and is an American duo with Nate Garrett (vocals, guitar) and Marcus Bryant (drums). But even though they are a duo, they play live (probably as a band then). They have so far released 4 albums.
These guys has created their own kind of heavy metal. It might not have such big hit potential, but after listening a few times it's absolutely not bad at all. So I think that you should check this out and listen a few times. You might actually like it you too.
Published: Aug. 25

DARK ARENA: Worlds Of Horror
Pure Steel Records on Aug. 27 - CD, LP
Leader and guitarist Paul Konjicija died in 2019, but DARK ARENA actually recorded an album in 2018, before Paul left this world. Now that album is being released, and it's a crazy hybrid of American progressive and thrash metal. They are doing a really good job though. But I guess that doesn't come as a surprise when you decide to play this kind of music. Everything is very powerful and very metal. And the vocals, from Juan Ricardo (RITUAL, SUNLESS SKY, WRETCH, ATTAXE), is brilliant!
Fans of US metal, progressive metal and even thrash metal should give this band a try.
Published: Aug. 24

LOWER 13: Embrace The Unknown
Pure Steel Records on Aug. 27 - CD
This was something different for being a record from Pure Steel Records, who use to deliver mainly old school hard rock and metal. Because this band sounds very modern.
LOWER 13 (which sounds like the name of a criminal Latino gang) is a trio from Cleveland, formed in 2006. They have previously released 3 albums. Their music is a combination of modern and traditional heavy metal, but the result is a modern sound. Heavy grooves and massive riffs are mixed with some almost progressive elements. The vocals is both harsh and clean, aggressive and soaring.
I would guess that fans of a band like SYSTEM OF A DOWN could like this, even though it's not exactly the same thing, and not as good as they was (not bad though).
Published: Aug. 24

GrönPeppar Records on Aug. 25 - CD, Digital
Folk metal is nothing unusual here in Sweden, we have a few of those bands. Folk punk on the other hand is a genre that is living in the shadow. Sure, we have some really good Celtic punk bands, like SIR REG and FINNEGAN'S HELL for example. But that's not really the same thing, even though it's something similar at least.
This band seems to be a side project for Mathilda Sundin (FUCK FRANKIE), and this is their debut album. ELVIRA BIRA mix Swedish and English for some reason, but I prefer when she sing in Swedish. They also blend in instruments like ukelele, flute etc., and their influences seems to come from diffrent countries, and not that much from Swedish folk music. In 1 of the songs I hear elemnets of reggae, and sometimes I think of gypsy music.
I really like this! So now I'm going to listen some more..
The latest that I heard is that this album is so popular that it almost sold out on CD before it even was released. But more copies is on the way.
Published: Aug. 24

SPEKTRA: Overload
Frontiers Music Srl - CD, Digital
SPEKTRA deliver the finest kind of melodic hard rock like it still would have been 1987.
Frontiers Music seems to have a thing for Brazilian artists at the moment, and this is another band from that country. "Overload" is their debut album, and the goal seems to be to deliver stadium rock melodies and high driven hard rock vibes with music aiming straight for the heart. The album was produced and overseen by the legendary singer Jeff Scott Soto and Italian musician Alessandro Del Vecchio.
Well, this is a damn good album that you really should give a try or 14. Not much else to add there..
Published: Aug. 23

Frontiers Music Srl - CD, LP, Digital
What can I say about this then? Not bad for being their 12th album anyway. There's still some action in these old men. They are definitely no old farts. I would rather say that this is a pretty vital album full of good rock songs. You should absolutely check this out if you want a good hard rock album that is full of energy and good songs.
The title "ATBPO" is short for "And The Band Played On".
Published: Aug. 23

MAYANK featuring Gui Oliver: Mayank
Frontiers Music Srl - CD, Digital
..and what do you think this can be then? Oh yes, more melodic rock of high quality.
MAYANK is a new melodic rock band centered around Brazilian vocalist Gui Oliver (LANDFALL, AURAS), who is joined by Swedish guitarist Rolf Nordström (PERFECT PLAN), keyboardist/producer Alessandro Del Vecchio (everywhere), and drummer Nicholas Papapicco. Yet another project created by Frontiers Music president Serafino Perugino.
Well this is just as good as any other band in this genre. And I don't have that much elese to say..
Published: Aug. 23

Frontiers Music Srl - CD, Digital
What we have here is melodic hard rock similar to something like RAINBOW after Ronnie James Dio (rip) for example. The sound of the classic 70s/80s hard rock. And it's absolutely not bad at all. I like what I hear here, and I think you will like it too.
LONG SHADOWS DAWN is a new musical alliance featuring Scottish vocalist Doogie White (RAINBOW, MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST, ALCATRAZZ, Yngwie Malmsteen) together with Swedish guitarist Emil Norberg (PERSUADER). And the idea came from a vision that Serafino Perugino, President of Frontiers Music, had.
Published: Aug. 23

CRUZH: Tropical Thunder
Frontiers Music Srl - CD, Digital
This is actually a bit like they would have tried to make an album full of potential singles with all those strong choruses. And you can really hear that the inspiration comes from the hard rock bands of the 80s. So in other words lots of great material.
On this album, which is their second, they introduce their new singer Alex Waghorn for real (fans could first hear him with the band on an acoustic version of "Aim For The Head" in 2019).
Well, fasten your seatbelt and get ready for a cavalcade of swinging melodies.
Published: Aug. 23

CIRCUS OF ROCK: Come One, Come All
Frontiers Music Srl - CD, LP, Digital
The circus has come to town. But it's not the ordinary circus, but a new melodic hard rock band led by drummer Mirka Rantanen (KING COMPANY). And the list of other people who have been involved in this project is long. But some of them are Rick Altzi (MASTERPLAN), Johnny Gioeli (HARDLINE), Marco Hietala (ex-NIGHTWISH), Elize Ryd (AMARANTHE), Danny Vaughn (TYKETTO), and a few more..
Mirka Rantanen has a long career in the Finnish hard rock scene. He has played on more than 30 albums during his 30-year career, including releases by KING COMPANY, RASKASTA JOULUA, KOTIPELTO, WARMEN, NORTHERN KINGS, REVOLUTION RENAISSANCE etc. In addition, 10 years ago he created the very popular heavy rock band for kids called HEVISAURUS, for which he was awarded the Emma Award in 2011 (the Finnish equivalent of a Grammy).
Good stuff. Simple as that.
Published: Aug. 23

Frontiers Music Srl - CD, Digital
Catchy melodic rock with a big dose of the 80s. Many of these songs reminds me of good old BON JOVI. They really have some good stuff here, no doubt about that.
"Undisputed" is the band's 4th album, where they return to Italian label Frontiers Music, who released the debut album with BLOOD RED SAINTS in 2015. They also go back to that first album when it comes to the sound.
Published: Aug. 23

Alirio: All Things Must Pass
Frontiers Music Srl - CD, LP, Digital
Those ballads (yes, there's not just 1 but 3, and 2 of them are way too close to each other) sounds more like pop music. And that's not what I want to hear. But the other 7 songs are not so bad, some kind of melodic hard rock with all the right ingredients. Absolutely worth listening to if you are into that genre. But less ballads next time, please.
Alirio is a Brazilian singer and actor. When it comes to rock he has fronted the band KHALLICE. He was also a member of the metal band AGE OF ARTEMIS. And more recently, he joined the band SHAMAN as a replacement for the late Andre Matos. This album is his international debut as a solo artist.
Published: Aug. 23

LEPROUS: Aphelion
InsideOut Music on Aug. 27 - CD, 2LP/CD, Digital
This Norwegian band have been active for 2 decades. And they are another band that is best described as a progressive adventure. Their goal has always been to make music that sounds like nothing else. And they have succeeded with that on several albums.
It's mainly soft and melodic with a lot of emotions. And it's delivered with passion. But as this is a prog band, anything can happen, and will happen. It can just as well suddenly be hard and heavy instead, or something else that keeps you awake.
This is the kind of band that have many different kinds of fans, from old school prog rock fans to metal heads.
Published: Aug. 22

NMB: Innocence & Danger
InsideOut Music on Aug. 27 - 2CD/DVD, 2CD, 3LP/2CD Box Set, Digital
The NEAL MORSE BAND has become NMB. But the music is just the same as before - A progressive rock soup that will make you think of the legends of the 70s and 80s.
While the previous 2 albums both were concept albums, these songs are unrelated. But in true prog style they could not make just 1 single album, but had to make their third double album in a row. The first disc consist of 8 songs, and the second disc of 2 really long songs - 19 and a half minutes and 31:23 minutes.
There's variation between the songs, and most of the songs are o.k. to me, except for the acoustic piece "Emergence" and their version of "Bridge Over Troubled Water". But most of all it's a good old prog album that fans of that should like a lot.
Published: Aug. 22

Century Media/Relapse Records - CD, LP, 2LP, Digital
WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM was formed in 2002 by the Weaver brothers Aaron and Nathan. They has always gone its own way, but I guess that we can put these Americans in the atmospheric black metal genre. It's black as the night, but yet melodic somehow. Hardly the fast kind of black metal, even though there's some faster parts too now and then.
This is the first time that the band (which also includes guitarist Kody Keyworth) has done everything themselves in their own studio, Owl Lodge Studios. And on this album they presents influences from death metal together with symphonic black metal. They have absolutely found their own unique sound.
An adventure for the fall maybe?
Published: Aug. 22

Transcending Obscurity Records on Aug. 27 - LP, CD, Digital
When you call it death/doom metal, then this is not exactly what I expect. Because this is mainly pure doom metal to me, even though there's some small parts with male growl once in a while. It's slow and heavy, as well as atmospheric. The vocals is mainly clean and female, except for the last song, where it's growl all the way. And the 4 songs last for an eternity each - 10:28-19:39 minutes. This is like listening to an album full of extremely long ballads.
Published: Aug. 21

OXYGEN DESTROYER: Sinister Monstrosities Spawned By The Unfathomable Ignorance Of Humankind
Redefining Darkness Records on Aug. 27 - CD, LP, Digital
Couldn't they have had a even longer and more complicated title than that?
OXYGEN DESTROYER hailing from Seattle, which is probably most well-known for grunge. This is something totally different than that though. They seems to take inspiration from monster movies, and their soundtrack to that is death/thrash metal on highest volume and highest speed. They are no amateur musicians, and keep it together very well. I like what I hear.
There will also be a cassette version through Headsplit Records soon..
Published: Aug. 21

Nick Mantoan: Raw
Sliptrick Records - CD
Italian hard rocker Nick Mantoan deliver as much as 13 tracks of big riffs, open choruses and rock n roll attitude mixed with modern sounds and flavours. Even though it might sound familiar, he has his own sound. The variation between each song is big. Sometimes it's elements of blues or alternative rock, and sometimes almost punk rock or action rock.
These songs are just great! So you simply have to check this out.
Published: Aug. 21

MYSTERY: Live Life Loud
Metalapolis Records on Aug. 27 - CD, Digital
Australian hard rockers MYSTERY formed in 2010. Their debut album, "2013", was released in 2013, and another one, "From Dusk Till Dawn", in 2014. Since then no album until now. Not sure why, but I guess that doesn't really matter.
"Live Life Loud" is a very strong album, and filled with good songs, often with a party vibe included. The music is mainly melodic hard rock, but there's both heavier and softer material too.
MYSTERY seems to have big plans, and with this album they are ready for the world.
Published: Aug. 21

STEW: Earthless Woman
UPRISING! Records on Aug. 20 - Digital single
Swedish retro hard rockers STEW return with a second hint of what's to come on their upcoming album. And this sounds really good to me. I really like this kind of old stuff.
This is a power trio from Örebro, who began jamming together in late 2017. They take their inspiration from the bluesy, hard rocking bands of the 70s, where it was all about making unpretentious music. Their second album, "Taste", will be released in November. That album can be really interesting!
Published: Aug. 20

PITCHBLACK: Slaughter Of The Soul
Emanzipation Productions on Aug. 20 - Digital single
To honour death metal legend L-G Petrov (ENTOMBED, FIRESPAWN), who passed away in March, PITCHBLACK recorded their first ever cover, "Eyemaster" by ENTOMBED, earlier this year. Now it's time for another tribute cover, "Slaughter Of The Soul" by the legendary AT THE GATES.
This was recorded live in their rehearsal room, and filmed by 2 iPhones. No advanced shit, but it sounds really good to me anyway.
Published: Aug. 20

From The Vaults on Aug. 20 - Digital single
The beginning of this Dansih band's story goes all the way back to 1982, when they started to play under the name ZEYKING, which released the single "Get It Out". In 1985 they became ALIEN FORCE and got signed. After a couple of albums and many changes (members, style and even the name) they decided to stop playing. But the story didn't end there, as they reunited in 2008. Unfortunately their guitarist, Michael Wenzel, lost his life to cancer, and it was a great blow for the band.
But 10 years later it was time for another come back at German festival Keep It True. And in 2020 they entered the studio to start working on a new album, "We Meet Again", which will be released in October. "Set Me Free" is the second single from the upcoming album, and it's a heavier but yet catchy song that is really good. I look forward to hear the album.
Published: Aug. 20

Playground Music - Digital single
KNIGHTS OF THE REALM is a new heavy metal band from Sweden, and this is their first single. The band features the powertrio Larry "The Hammer" Shield (Lars Sköld - TIAMAT), Magnus "Megalomangan" Henriksson (ECLIPSE) and Mean Machine (Marcus von Boisman - WINDUPDEADS, STORMEN). And the music that these people gives us is classic 80s heavy metal, even though it's a modern production.
Their self titled debut album will be released on November 12. Write that down, because this is really good.
Published: Aug. 19

Jackson + Sellers: Waste Your Time
ANTI- Records - Digital single
After the first single, "The Devil Is An Angel", there was hope for this female duo. After this second single, "Waste Your Time", there's not so much hope anymore. Where's the raw energy from that first single? This is softer and more melodic. More like indie pop/rock instead of cool garage rock. Not bad, but not as good as last time. I'm a bit dissapointed actually.
Their debut album, "Breaking Point", will be released on October 22.
Published: Aug. 19

Danny Elfman featuring Trent Reznor: True (remix)
Epitaph Records - Digital single
Danny Elfman and Trent Reznor have joined forces to deliver a brand new version of "True", which is a song from Elfman's new double album "Big Mess".
This song melt together vocals from Reznor and Elfman with vicious industrial percussion, cinematic piano flares and walls of feedback. Not sure if that gives you any idea of what this sounds like though. Let's just say that this is something special. It's absolutely not what I use to listen to, but not totally worthless. But on the other hand not so good either, just weird.
Published: Aug. 19

Dan Lucas: 1985
Pride & Joy Music - Digital single
This was a really soft song without much action. Maybe not total crap though. But what do I call this? Laidback singer/songwriter rock maybe? It's up to you if you want to check this out. But I would guess that people who like the softer kind of melodic rock might like this.
"1985" is taken from Dan's upcoming solo album, "The Long Road", which will be released on October 22. He has previously been the frontman of different German rock groups, and has also been a member of the hard rockers KARO and toured with MEAT LOAF. In the early 90s he started his solo career, and has released a few albums through the years.
Published: Aug. 19

Grönpeppar Records - 7" EP
This band is hardly so wrong..
WRONG BAND could have been just a rock band. But with their drive and attitude they are a punk rock band or possibly a pop punk band. Because they seems to be inspired by pop too, which a cover of the Swedish pop band GES (here called "She's My Friend", originally titled "Hon Är Min") is proof of. They give it some more energy and attitude though.
It seems like people use to compare this Swedish band with The OFFSPRING and NO DOUBT, but I don't know.. There's a pinch of those 2, but this is dirtier. These 4 songs are really good stuff anyway, so you should absolutely give them a try.
WRONG BAND is pretty new, as they formed as late as last fall/autumn. They have previously released 3 singles, and this is their first EP, which is available in a limited edition (act fast if you want 1, they are soon sold out).
Published: Aug. 18

Black Lodge Records on Aug. 27 - CD, 2LP
After being nominated for several awards for their last album, "Nattarvet", Swedish black metallers WORMWOOD return with their third album, "Arkivet" (which I think was the name of a night club here in Borås, Sweden in the 90s, but that's a other story). This is a conceptually themed album about humanity's destructive force, the inability to adapt to our nature and our inevitable and well-deserved death (their words).
As you might have figured out for yourself already, the music is raw and often fast. But there's also parts where they don't play so fast, and even something we could call melodies. There's also elements of folk music here and there. I really like what I hear anyway.
The first vinyl versions will include a novel written by author Mikael Strömberg (in Swedish and English).
Published: Aug. 18

Mighty Music on Aug. 27 - LP, CD, Digital
TRANSPORT LEAGUE continue to deliver their heavyweight metal with a hell of a swing. But even though it's pretty hard and heavy, there's still some room for catchy melodies too. And they have yet again succeeded to produce a strong material. As they say in the press release: "The album has a TRANSPORT LEAGUE signature all over!".
As so many other records that comes out these days, this was recorded during the pandemic last year. That didn't stop them from inviting some guests though. We can hear Sal Abruscato (ex-TYPE O NEGATIVE, A PALE HORSE NAMED DEATH) in 1 song, and Christian Sture (HEAL) in the title track.
Conclusion: Strong, hard, heavy, groovy, energetic, catchy and just brilliant.
Published: Aug. 18

NUNSLAUGHTER: Red Is The Color Of Ripping Death
Hells Headbangers on Aug. 27 - CD, Cassette, Digital
I always thought that a band called NUNSLAUGHTER would be some kind of noise, like grind or noisecore. But it turns out that they are a good old death metal band in the faster legaue.
This American veterans have been around since 1987 actually. And I read somewhere that they have released hundreds of various records through the years, but just a few full length albums. Somebody even said that they have released more records than Japan's SABBATH and AGATHOCLES from Belgium (whom the band has done splits with of course). Well here's a new full length anyway. And it kick ass! 14 tracks in 35 minutes. A must for every true fan of old school death metal. It's just as simple as that!
Published: Aug. 17

ENUFF Z'NUFF: Never Enuff - Rarities & Demos
Cleopatra Records on Aug. 27 - 3CD Box Set, 4LP Box Set
Well, this must be like a wet dream for the true fans. Because it's just like the title says a collection of old rarities and demo recordings from the 1980s. Everything is previously unreleased, original material written by bassist Chip Z'nuff and vocalist Donnie Vie. And it was recorded before their self titled debut album came out in 1989.
The music is just the same melodic glam rock with a touch of The BEATLES, that they have become famous for. So if you like this band, then you won't be dissapointed. But I guess that you really have to like them if you are going to dig your way through as much as 40 tracks. Let's just say that it takes a while to listen to all these songs. Most of it is really good though.
ENUFF Z'NUFF was formed in Blue Island, Illinois, USA in 1984. They have released lots of records through the years. And if you have not heard them before, then this might not be something to start with. But there is a few compilations that you can check out to begin with.
Published: Aug. 17

Confused Records on Aug. 27 - CD, Digital
CONFUSED was originally formed in Texas' Rio Grande Valley in 1988. They draw influences from classic acts such as M.O.D., AGNOSTIC FRONT and D.R.I. We talk crossover thrash/hardcore/punk here. But I actually see the first few songs here as mainly punk, possibly with elements of kind thrash metal. After a few songs there's more thrash metal and hardcore in the brew though, and those songs are often a little bit faster than those first tracks.
There's as much as 17 tracks here, but most of them are no longer than approximately 1-2 minutes, and most of these songs are good.
Both punks and thrashers could find something that they like on this album. And if you like both, even better.
Published: Aug. 16

CEMETERY ECHO: Come Share My Shroud
Petrichor on Aug. 20 - MLP, MCD, Digital
What we get here is some kind of goth n roll/deathrock with a band from Buffalo, NY. They started the band in 2019, and released their first EP, "Come Share My Shroud", on digital platforms the following year. And now it will be available on vinyl and CD as well.
Why they waste time on a useless intro (that last for 1:51 minutes) is a mystery. But o.k., I guess that they want to build up a horrifying atmosphere or something like that. After that comes the title track, which is pretty soft goth rock. That is followed by "Youth Disease", which is a bit more energetic. And the last track is called "Transylvanian Moon", and is more of the same stuff as the previous 2 songs.
This is really good stuff that fans of 80s goth rock should like a lot.
Published: Aug. 16

STRAYTONES: Magic Green River Swimmin' & Stunning Tarzanka Experience
Robustfellow on Aug. 27 - CD, Cassette, Digital
This is the 4th album from Ukranian psych/garage rockers STRAYTONES. The trio gives us a vibrant blend of 60s garage, psychedelic and surf rock. Their sound is absolutely not modern in any way. That a country like Ukraine could have a hidden tresure like this was news to me. Now I think that some more people should find their music, so give them a try, it won't hurt you.
Published: Aug. 15

OCEANHOARSE: Dead Reckoning
Noble Demon on Aug. 20 - LP, CD, Digital
Finnish band OCEANHOARSE play a modern kind of heavy metal on the border to groove metal, and this is their debut album. Or their first studio album, as they actually released a live album last summer. And how many bands start their career with a live album? That was very brave of them to do.
The band features members who play or have played with AMORAL and WARMEN. They have already been touring widely in Finland, Japan and Europe.
The sound of OCEANHOARSE is powerful, hard and heavy, but yet catchy and melodic (feels like I use that description for many bands). The songs might not be any future classics, but they are absolutely good enough to give a chance or 3.
Published: Aug. 15

Black Lion Records on Aug. 20 - LP, CD, Digital
This band might not have anything new to come up with, but it's really good, so there's no reason to complain.
What we get is the traditional Swedish old school death metal. A sound that should be familiar. The production is modern though.
DAEMONICUS are from Sweden, and formed in 2006. They have previously released several demo EPs and 2 full length albums. Their third album, "Eschaton", is their first in 9 years.
Published: Aug. 15

Self released on Aug. 18 - Digital EP
WINTER NIGHTS is a 4-piece melodic death metal band from Brooklyn, New York, formed in the winter of 2007. The sound and lyrical themes of their music is said to portray loss, pain, grievance and darkness.
These 4 tracks is a darker form of death metal, with guitar-driven melodies. And it doesn't sound like another band inspired by the Gothenburg scene, as they have their own twist somehow. They do it very good though, so you should really give them a try.
Published: Aug. 14

TROLD: Havets Bund
Mighty Music on Aug. 13 - Digital single
Folk metal in Danish was a new experience for me.
"The storytelling and melodies are in focus when playing with different instruments and heavy guitar rhythms to create the perfect atmosphere. The stories grow, hiss, and are sung, while the listeners/audience are taken on a host of adventures", as they say about the band. The members comes from bands like DAWN OF DEMISE, SVARTSOT, PREVAIL and KUNGAN, and their debut album will be released next year.
I would guess that people who like humpa-humpa stuff like FINNTROLL and similar will like this a lot. I have absolutely heard worse than this in my life.
Published: Aug. 13

TIMECHILD: Haze Of The Dawn
Mighty Music on Aug. 13 - Digital single
Danish band TIMECHILD will release their debut album in November, and here's a taste of that. This third single is said to show us a more energetic and uptempo side of this heavy rock band. And sure, this song is full of energy and is really rocking hard and heavy in the good old tradition. Very good stuff!
Published: Aug. 13

SAIL: Flood
Self released on Aug. 13 - Digital single
Here we have another song that I can not really grasp. It's supposed to be sludge metal by an underground band from the UK, and "Flood" is their third single.
This is more than the usual sludge though, as they blend in punk and hardcore, as well as pop and post-rock. They are obviously going their own way, and really uses the expression "artistic freedom". You have to hear this for yourself to know if you like it or not.
For being active since November 2016, they are not working fast if this is just their thrid single?
Published: Aug. 13

Self released on Aug. 13 - Digital single
Yet another single from this Norwegian band. This time they describe it as more prog oriented, while the end of the song is hard rock/metal. And I guess that I can agree. The beginning is softer and slow, and is building up to the chorus, which is more alive. A o.k. song.
ONE AND A HALF DOG comes from the industrial docklands of Trondheim, and consist of 5 gentlemen with a common interest in rock n roll music. Their influences comes from all kinds of rock and metal, from the 70s until today.
Published: Aug. 13

Despotz Records on Aug. 13 - Digital single
I was just wondering where this band went, and then a new single pop up just like that. Things like that is pretty funny.
DONNA CANNONE released their first single, "Cross The Line", last year, and the band features former members of THUNDERMOTHER, as well as Björn "Speed" Strid (SOILWORK, The NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA). Now their second single, "Nothing To Do", is here. And it sounds like a catchy glam rocker actually. I like it.
What happened to the album then? Wasn't it supposed to be released in early 2021? We obviously have to wait some more..
Published: Aug. 13

CASKET ROBBERY: The Hidden... The Hideous
Self released on Aug. 13 - Digital single
On their new single, CASKET ROBBERY blend harsh death metal with an unstoppable groove. This is topped with horror and occult themes. It's delivered with an intense energy, and it tickles deathly beautiful. And if you don't believe me, just listen for yourself.
Published: Aug. 13

ANIMS: God Is A Witness
Self released - Digital
Italian band ANIMS is led by former DANGER ZONE and CRYING STEEL guitarist Francesco Di Nicola, and this is their debut album. They call the music hard n heavy for some reason, but I would call these 10 tracks hard rock instead. And this my friends sounds very good to me. This album is great, so this is a must.
I guess that the reason why they call this hard n heavy is because the music is just that, while the female vocals by Elle Noir is melodic and powerful. And isen't there a touch of blues here and there as well?
How this band can not be signed already is a mystery! Frontiers Music Srl, Pride & Joy Music, Mighty Music - Wake up!
Published: Aug. 12

ZITTER: Intoxicated World
Vulture Nest Productions - Digital
This Swedish hard rock duo have been very creative lately. "Intoxicated World" is actually ZITTER's third release in 51 weeks.
This album is said to point at a heavier direction, but with the vocal lines and the riffs intact. And that's correct. But you can still hear that it's ZITTER and nothing else that you're listening to. Because not many others sounds like them.
9 tracks is what we get this time. And even though it's a bit heavier, it's still catchy and done with attitude and passion. The title track is actually a bit harder than usual. Good variation and good songs.
Published: Aug. 12

UNDEAD: Existential Horror (reissue)
Redefining Darkness Records - LP, CD, Cassette, Digital
UNDEAD is a Spanish death metal band, and "Existential Horror" is their debut album from 2019. Their music is very true to the old school sound, so don't expect any modern stuff here. They are not interested in reinventing the genre for the next decade. This is a tribute to good old death metal, just as it was meant to be. And as they say so perfectly in the press info: "If fans really were hungry for something super different there wouldn't be hundreds of ENTOMBED clones that are doing well."
This is simply done with a true passion for what they love.
The CD of this new version of the album features 2 live tracks as a bonus.
Published: Aug. 12

SON OF SAM: And The Monster Awoke...
Self released - CD, Digital
Here's a band from my hometown Borås, Sweden that I had never heard of before. It turns out that it's the duo from the black metal band RIMFROST who is going in a new direction, playing heavy metal instead. The press release mention death n roll and death metal as well, but I don't know, possibly melodic death metal then.
The songs are hard and powerful, as well as melodic and aggressive. The first track, "Son Of Sam", is totally useless, but after that it's more action. Some songs are melodic death metal, while some are more like heavy metal instead. But mainly it's a little bit of both.
This is a pretty good album.
Published: Aug. 12

Self released? - Digital
Israel's PREY FOR NOTHING play a death metal that is both melodic and technical. They formed the band in 2006, and released the debut album, "Violence Divine", in 2008. After that they released 2 EPs and 2 more albums. So "Kivshan" is their 4th album, which is said to be their most creative album so far.
Aggressive vocals is mixed with melodic and technical guitars. They are not too extreme when it comes to the technical parts though, so this is absolutely listenable. You should give it a try at least.
Published: Aug. 11

MegaSnake: Shame On Me
Inverse Records - Digital single
This is the second single from these Finnish hard rockers, which features members from LENINGRAD COWBOYS, PEER GÜNT and KINGS OF MODESTY among others. It's a cool song with heavy guitars and melodic vocals. A catchy little bastard. Absolutely not bad at all. I think you should check this out.
Published: Aug. 11

Jeff Black: Silence
Self released - Digital single
Talk about taking the idea of a 1-man show to the next level! Power metal musician Jeff Black has undertaken the ambitious offering of releasing a single each month for an entire year, featuring guests from premiere power metal and traditional heavy metal acts such as: ADAMANTIS, LYCHANTRO, SEVEN SISTERS and GREYHAWK. He is heavily inspired by classic bands such as HELLOWEEN, BLIND GUARDIAN and AVANTASIA as well as progressive metal like FATES WARNING, VOLA and QUEENSRŸCHE, so you can expect each single to take a different turn.
"Silence" features LYCHANTRO vocalist James Delbridge, and sounds more like a combination of hard rock and heavy metal. Some parts are a bit softer, while others are more powerful. A pretty good song anyway.
Published: Aug. 11

Self released - 7" EP, Digital
What we have here is 2 songs recorded and mixed on a Tascam 4-track Cassette machine. Their first demo, "First Contact", was released in February this year, and it was o.k. The sound here is more or less the same heavy mess.
I don't really know what I should say about this 2 tracks though. They definitely have their own distinctive sound, which is a very heavy sound. The songs are just o.k., and not great as they should be.
Published: Aug. 11

BIRTH: Birth
Tee Pee Records - Digital EP
This sounds so retro that you could think that it was recorded back in 1972 or something like that. Which I think is really cool.
These 3 tracks is their debut EP, which is available for free download from their Bandcamp page. They have just signed to Bad Omen Records though, and their first full length album should be out in the first quarter of 2022.
I guess that we can describe this as vintage prog/psych rock. And they are absolutely not the first band to sound old, but they doesn't really sound like everybody else.
BIRTH is an American band, who was born when 2 members of San Diego's ASTRA teamed up with 2 members from PSICOMAGIA.
Published: Aug. 11

ANDY ROCKS: Look What We've Done
Soman Records - CD, Digital
The singer sounds a bit odd, like a adult baby or something. But she can at least sing, no doubt about that. But she need some better songs to work with, because this doesn't impress an middle-aged man like me. They are not totally worthless, but it just doesn't give me that much to listen to this album.
What about the music then? Some kind of catchy and melodic modern classic rock. Pretty straightforward and a little dirty in the corners. Maybe something like that?
Published: Aug. 11

Alfa Bravo: Zulu
Self released - Digital single
In the NATO Phonetic Alphabet A is Alfa, B is Bravo and Z is Zulu.
Alfa Bravo also happens to be the name of an artist from Stoke-on-Trent in the English Midlands, which is holy ground for worshipers of DISCHARGE. A year ago this musician began posting anti-racist, pro-animal rights, and pro-straight edge content on his Instagram profile. And a year later he finally published the first song. "Zulu" is the first official song to be released though. The song features the TikToker TexanDeathVocals.
Alfa Bravo and TexanDeathVocals spread their message against racism with hardcore and deathcore. It's raw, hard and heavy, and actually not so good as it sounds more like deathcore than hardcore. Luckily the song is pretty short, 2:25 minutes.
A EP, called "SXE", will be released later this year.
Published: Aug. 11

Alberto Rigoni: Metal Addicted
Self released on Aug. 15 - Digital EP
This is a covers EP with Italian bassist/composer Alberto Rigoni (BAD AS, NATURAL BORN MACHINE, VIVALDI METAL PROJECT etc). He presents covers of songs with thrashers like PANTERA, MEGADETH, METALLICA, SLAYER and ANTHRAX. Not much to complain about here, as he and his band mates is doing a good job with these songs. They are simply true to the original versions.
The EP also features female singer Ira Green (Winner of "The Voice" as Rock singer in 2015), drummer Marco Minnemann (The ARISTOCRATS), guitarists Tommy Massara (EXTREMA), Loida Liuzzi (soloist) and Albert Marshall (soloist, session man).
Fun to listen to a few times and a good mix for your next party.
Published: Aug. 11

Saeko: Holy Are We Alone
Pride & Joy Music on Aug. 20 - CD
SAEKO was originally formed in 2003 in Germany by a Japanese singer, Saeko Kitamae, who flew to Germany to find a heavy metal band to join, with the help of well-known German musicians, such as Lars Ratz and Michael Ehré (both METALIUM), Sven Lüdke (MOB RULES) etc. Their debut album was released in 2004 and another album in 2006. But it seems like it wasn't as succeesfull as she had expected to combine the European and Japanese cultures, so she was forced to fly back to Japan.
But Saeko didn't give up that easy, and went back to Germany again a few years ago to form a new band with members from Italy and Germany. A crowdfunding campaign were launched in 2020, and was a real succees. And now they have signed with Pride & Joy Music for their new album, "Holy Are We Alone".
As you might have figured out, SAEKO is a combination of Japanese and European heavy metal and its sub-genres - power metal, symphonic metal, melodic metal etc. You can simply expect anything from this band, and they definitely have their own unique sound. Most of it is powerful and melodic, both when it comes to vocals and music.
Published: Aug. 10

MENTALIST: A Journey Into The Unknown
Pride & Joy Music on Aug. 20 - CD
Melodic power metal from Saabrücken, Germany is what we get here. The band was founded in 2018, and consist of Peter Moog, Thomen Stauch (ex-BLIND GUARDIAN), Kai Stringer (ex-STARCHILD) and Swedish singer Rob Lundgren.
After their debut, "Freedom Of Speech", which was released in 2020, they now return with their second album, "A Journey Into The Unknown". And with influences such as IRON MAIDEN, HELLOWEEN and BLIND GUARDIAN you just can't go wrong. This is really good!
On this album we also hear Oliver Palotai (KAMELOT) on keyboards and Mike LePond (SYMPHONY X) on bass, as well as Henning Basse (METALIUM, FIREWIND, LEGIONS OF THE NIGHT) on backing vocals and a duet.
Published: Aug. 10

Pride & Joy Music on Aug. 20 - CD
LEGIONS OF THE NIGHT were founded by Jens Faber (DAWN OF DESTINY, MALEFISTUM, EXOS) in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic. Soon DAWN OF DESTINY drummer Philipp Bock and singer Henning Basse (METALIUM, ex-FIREWIND, MAYAN) completed the group. The band's main influence comes from the early works of US power metal veterans SAVATAGE, as well as from their early 2000s releases. As a natural result, the album "Sorrow Is The Cure" features a cover of the classic tune "Sirens" as an homage to SAVATAGE.
LEGIONS OF THE NIGHT manage to create their own sound though, and with these 11 tracks they prove that they are professional enough to stand on their own feet. This album has lots of strong material that every fan of epic and progressive heavy metal should like.
There might be a few too many slow songs here, but 1 that I really like is the fantastic ballad "Rescue Me".
Published: Aug. 10

Pride & Joy Music on Aug. 20 - CD
BOOK OF NUMBERS are based in Phoenix, Arizona, USA, and the band was founded in June 2019 with the vision to take the listener on a journey that has elements of classic heavy metal, opera, and movie soundtracks, all tied together with great songwriting and musical performances.
And now that their debut album is ready to be released, it's time to show us how good they really are. And man, they have nothing to fear, because this is brilliant! Except for 7 of their own songs, we also get a really good cover of the BLACK SABBATH classic "Children Of The Sea".
Their music is a powerful mixture of doom and heavy metal, with all the ingredients that you can expect from some old classic album from the 70s or 80s. This kind of album is hardly ever made anymore. This is a must for every true fan of classic heavy metal! And especially if albums like "Rising" by RAINBOW and "Heaven And Hell" by BLACK SABBATH is among your favorites. Then you should have another favorite in this album.
Published: Aug. 10

Metalville Records on Aug. 20 - CD
DRUNKEN SWALLOWS is a punk rock band from northern Germany, who have been around for 11 years. This is not their first release, but the first where they have done everything by themselves. All songs are sung in German.
Well, these 4 guys have been so creative that they have made as much as 15 tracks. But most songs are no longer than approximately 2-3 minutes, so it works. It's a catchy and melodic kind of punk rock that they play. No, they are not doing anything unique. But with good songs like this you can get far. I have nothing to complain about anyway.
Published: Aug. 9

Mighty Music on Aug. 20 - LP, CD, Digital
BLACK SWAMP WATER comes from Denmark, and play old school hard rock with references to BLACK SABBATH (which they also do a cover of), CORROSION OF CONFORMITY and Ozzy Osbourne. But there's also elements of southern rock.
"Awakening" is their third album, which contains of 9 tracks. It's a variated album with many good moments, and it's absolutely worth checking out.
Published: Aug. 9

ROT AWAY: Nothing Is Good
Last Mile Records on Aug. 13 - LP
"Nothing Is Good" is ROT AWAY's debut album. They have previously released a EP. It's said that they "have undergone major changes in expression and songwriting" since the EP. Their earlier influences, GRIEVED, NO OMEGA and TRAP THEM can still be heard, but we can now add BRUTALITY WILL PREVAIL, END and POWER TRIP. The lyrics are the same though - tales of failure, anger and honesty.
This Danish hardcore/metal band have a good combination of faster and heavier songs on this album, which I like. All songs might not impress me, but most of them are good anyway. So if you like hardcore with some metal, give this a try.
Published: Aug. 9

Batcave Records on Aug. 13 - Digital EP
REBEL PRIEST play a raw and energetic kind of hard rock n roll that I really like to hear. They blend NWOBHM with sleaze rock and thrash metal, which I think gives it some punk attitude. These 4 tracks makes me want to hear more of them in the future.
The band formed in 2015, and comes from Canada. They have released a few digital records through the years, which you can find on their Bandcamp page.
Check out!
Published: Aug. 9

Bongo Boy Records - Digital single
The NEW BARDOTS features veterans from the New York City rock scene: Gar Francis (The DOUGHBOYS), Wayne Olivieri (The ROCKIDS, OLIVIERI'S TWIST), Dan Skye (OLIVIERI'S TWIST), Johnny Rago and John Croot. Maybe not any well-known names (not to me anyway). They are dedicated to good old rock n roll from the 50s and 60s, and have recorded both covers and own material.
"On Our Own" is a cool rock song that makes me think of something like 70s AEROSMITH. Absolutely worth checking out if you like good old rock n roll.
Published: Aug. 8

KILLING: Face The Madness
Mighty Music on Aug. 13 - CD, LP, Digital
KILLING comes from east Jutland, Denmark, and formed in late 2013 to play thrash metal in the good old way. I don't think I have to mention any names here, because you should be able to figure it out yourself who have inspired them. So let's just say that if you like the old bands, then you will like this band too. That's how good they are.
KILLING released a EP, "Toxic Asylum", in 2018, and now it's time for their full length debut.
Published: Aug. 8


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