TREAT: The Endgame
Frontiers Music Srl - CD, 2LP, Digital
Swedish hard rock veterans TREAT are hardly doing anything wrong, but deliver a stable album. It's as usual melodic and strong songs that they give us. Not bad for a band that's been around since the 1980s sometime.
This is their 9th studio album, where we can find 12 tracks of uptempo rockers, ballads and 80s melodic rock in general. Timeless and fresh might be a good summary.

Frontiers Music Srl - CD/DVD, Blu-ray, LP, Digital
British hard rockers INGLORIOUS has released their first live release. The performance was captured in September 2021 at Exeter Phoenix in Exeter, UK. We get a mixture of songs from their 4 studio albums as well as the covers album, "Heroine" (2021). And they deliver with passion and energy after being locked up due to the pandemic, and the audience give back with the same passion and energy.
This live album might not go to history as a classic, but it sure ain't bad. If you like melodic hard rock, then you should give this a try.

FORTUNE: Level Ground
Frontiers Music Srl - CD, Digital
It took as much as 34 years between album number 1 and 2. We did not have to wait that long for the third album though, as it's already here.
For some reason this band sounds more interesting to me than many others in the melodic rock genre. I guess it's something with their sound, which is a little darker somehow. But I'm actually not really sure what it could be that makes me like this better.
Excellent songs anyway, and therfor a must to listen to. Not much else to add there..

FIRST SIGNAL: Closer To The Edge
Frontiers Music Srl - CD, Digital
This is the 4th album from the musical union between Canadian vocalist Harry Hess (HAREM SCAREM) and Swedish drummer/producer Daniel Flores (The MURDER OF MY SWEET, FIND ME). And they continue with what they started, so in other words AOR/melodic rock of the highest quality. So yes, I don't think that any fan of this genre will be dissapointed when they hear this new album. The musicians are good, and the songs are good too. What else can you ask for?

BLACK SWAN: Generation Mind
Frontiers Music Srl - CD, 2LP, Cassette, Digital
The supergroup BLACK SWAN are vocalist Robin McAuley (McAULEY SCHENKER GROUP), guitarist Reb Beach (WINGER, WHITESNAKE), bassist Jeff Pilson (FOREIGNER, The END MACHINE, ex-DOKKEN), and drummer Matt Starr (Ace Frehley, Mr. BIG). "Generation Mind" is their second album. And it's a powerful hard rock package that we get here, which is both heavy and melodic. I like what I hear. No doubt about that. But then it's professionals that we are dealing with here. Veterans who knows how it's supposed to be done. Not that that's an guarantee for succees, but these gentlemen have succeeded to make a great album anyway.

SLEAFORD MODS feat. Amy Taylor: Nudge It - Live From Nottz Arena
Rough Trade - Digital Single
British duo SLEAFORD MODS has released a digital live EP, "Live At Nottz Arena". And yes, that's where this single comes from, which is a duet with Amy Talylor from AMYL AND THE SNIFFERS.
These 2 boys play a original and alternative kind of British rock, topped with a punk attitude. Sometimes it's almost punk rock, sometimes just some kind of rock, and in the worst case more like hip hop or something electronic. And then we have a song like this then, which is somewhere in-between all that. This is one of their better songs though.
The EP features 6 tracks, and was recorded at Nottingham Arena in 2021 during their biggest show ever. The guys has just kicked off their first North American tour in 5 years. Some shows are already sold out.

LIV SIN: The Process
Mighty Music - Digital Single
Liv with Sister Sin
So, Swedish metal band LIV SIN (with singer Liv Jagrell from SISTER SIN) are back with a new single. The band was formed in 2016, and the debut album, "Follow Me", was released in 2017. A second album, "Burning Sermons", came out in 2019. Both was released by Swedish label Despotz Records. But now they have signed to Danish label Mighty Music, and a new album should be released later this year. While we wait for that, they give us a first single, "The Process".
I don't really know what I should think of this song. It sounds like some kind of modern heavy metal. It's both heavy and melodic, as well as powerful. Not bad, but you might have to give it a few chances.

Neurot Recordings on May 6 - LP, CD, Digital
Oh, this was really interesting to listen to. Brilliant! Excellent! No, I'm just joking. It actually takes 3 minutes into the first track, which is as long as 10 and a half minutes by the way, before they finally start to play. And then they just repeat the same thing over and over again, and no vocals at all. I really don't understand this shit! But if you want to waste your life on something useless, then why not waste it on this?
How do I describe the music then? Instrumental long jam sessions, heavy and psychedelic. Every song is not instrumental though. Other things that come to mind are monotonous and repetitive. One thing is for sure, if you want variety and action, this band is not something I recommend.
This is the 9th studio album from this Italian psych/doom trio.

STÖNER: totally...
Heavy Psych Sounds on May 6 - LP, CD, Digital
Brant Bjork (ex-KYUSS), Nick Oliveri (The DWARVES, ex-KYUSS etc etc) and Ryan Güt (Brant Bjork's solo band) are back with the second album from their new band STÖNER. Their first album, "Stoners Rule", from last year was really good. But this is not as good as the debut was. This is more like a solo album with Brant Bjork or something, which is not so bad either. But I liked the combination with Nick's punk attitude on the debut, which I can't hear much of here. Now every song is more or less the same thing, which is o.k. but boring after a while. I would not say that it's totally useless, but I expected it to be much better than this after such a good album as "Stoners Rule".
The music is a wild adventure of smoked desert rock and psych rock.

SEVERE: Brainstorm
No Dust Records (EU)/Animated Insanity Records (USA) - CD
SEVERE hailing from Albany, NY, USA. This anthology features 18 tracks recorded between 1990-2005, even though the band was just active from 1990 to 1995. But in the early 2000s 2 of the members recorded several new songs, which are also included here.
The guitars are heavy and powerful, while the vocals is melodic. There seems to be influences from both PANTERA and RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, as well as alternative rock. It really sounds like a product of the 90s. But these guys could really sing and play. They also had lots of good songs, which this collection will show you.
I don't really know what else there is to say, but this is worth a try anyway.

CHERRY ST.: Cherry St. (reissue)
Perris Records - CD
This is a re-release of the very first release on Perris Records, and it came out in 1992. This CD will be available in a limited edition of 500 copies only.
CHERRY ST. was formed in California in 1989 by some boys from Michigan. It's said that they sold as much as 8000 units of their first 3-track demo, which was distributed worldwide by Important/Relativivity. And in 1992 this self-titled debut album was released. After this album they signed to JRS/BMG, who released their second album, "Squeeze It Dry", in 1993. Then they went back to Perris Records, and released 3 more albums between 1996 to 2001.
Well, if you like the street sound of the 80s, then this is absolutely worth a try. It's a catchy and melodic kind of sleaze rock/hair metal, often with a party vibe. I would say that they are somewhere between MÖTLEY CRÜE than POISON, possibly with a touch of GUNS N' ROSES now and then.

THROWE: Forfald
Deathbird Records on April 29 - Digital (LP later)
THROWE formed in the end of 2018, and the members comes from England, Holland, Argentina and Denmark, but they are based in Copenhagen, Denmark. They have previously released 3 singles, and are now ready to release their debut album, which consist of 7 tracks in 28 minutes.
The music is best described as hard hitting blackened hardcore. This is hard and heavy hardcore as it's done nowadays. Which means metal guitars and darkness. They do it really good though, so this could absolutely be worth a try.
The album will be released digitally on their own label to begin with. A vinyl version will be co-released through several other labels later this year.

SPACE VACATION: White Hot Reflection
Pure Steel Records on April 29 - CD
SPACE VACATION gives us melodic vocals and powerful heavy metal. And there's as much as 13 tracks on this album, so it last for almost an hour. Luckily it sounds really good, so why complain? Musically it sounds like something that could have been released in the 1980s, and I guess I'm a little weak for that.
But then comes "Sleep Tigh", which is just a guitar solo. Totally useless to listen to! But otherwise no more big mistakes.
American band SPACE VACATION released their first self-titled album in 2009, and it's 4 years since their last album, "Lost In The Black Divide", was released. This album was supposed to be recorded and released in 2020 already, but we all know what fucked that up. Now it's finally here though.

Sneakout Records/Burning Minds Music Group on April 29 - CD
This Italian band play the kind of hard rock that they call hair metal, and the title "T.M.T.T.80" is short for "Take Me To The 80s". So now you probably have a pretty good idea of what to expect from these guys. Influences comes from many different genres, even though it sounds most of all like something from the States in the mid-80s. Sometimes it's party, sometimes more fast and raw, sometimes softer, and there's even a slow one as well. However, their English pronunciation reveals that they are not from the United States.
Most of these 12 tracks are really good stuff, but the lyrics are probably not on the more intelligent level, but more like entertainment. Many of these songs are about women, but that's on the other hand nothing unusual when it comes to this genre.

KAIPA: Urskog
InsideOut Music on April 29 - CD, 2LP/CD, Digital
O.k., then they serve progressive soup again.
This band start with a song that last for an eternity, well 18:53 minutes at least. Then they go down to 10 minutes, which is followed by songs that are from 6 to 9 minutes, before they end the whole thing with a song that's 15:20 minutes.
They know how to entertain you though, because this is a wild ride. And it's hardly the most easy journey, as you might have figured out already. That the instrumental parts are much longer than the vocal parts is nothing unusual here. Fans of progressive rock will probably love this.
Swedish band KAIPA are veterans, and are seen as legends in the progressive rock scene. "Urskog" is their 14th studio album. And since last time they have a new drummer: Darby Todd from London, UK. The album is said to take the listener "on a breathtaking journey through the Swedish wilderness and the changing seasons".

BLACK PAISLEY: Don't Call Me A Liar
Black Paisley AB - Digital Single
"Don't Call Me A Liar" is the first single from BLACK PAISLEY's upcoming 4th album. There will be a new single every month until the album is released later this year.
On this song the Swedes combine their roots in melodic rock with a heavier side, yet it's very catchy, especially in the chorus.
For some reason I though that BLACK PAISLEY was a silly band. But with this song they prove to me that they are not. So I look forward to hear some more.

KISS THE VYPER: Hope You Like It
Metalapolis Records - Digital Single
KISS THE VYPER is an Australian band, who play melodic hard rock/AOR. Their album "Hope You Like It" will be released on June 24. And what we have here is the first single, which is the title track then.
Even though this is a pretty good song, there's 1 problem with it: The song does not get any better just because you repeat the same 4 words over and over again. That's just irritating after a while. Otherwise nothing to complain about.

VARNAGEL: Ensamvargtimmen
Beat Butchers - Digital Single
Swedish trallpunk band VARNAGEL are back again, and here comes the second single from their upcoming album. Another really good song in the old tradition. I already look forward to hear some more from this band.
If you're a fan of traditional Swedish trallpunk from the 90s, then this is a must to check out.
I don't have anything else to add..

TYSONDOG: Midnight
From The Vaults on April 29 - LP, CD, Digital
It's 7 years now since TYSONDOG returned with their first new album in almost 3 decades. And now the time has come for yet another album. As usual they deliver NWOBHM, but with their own twist and a modern production. This has all the ingredients that you can ask for from a heavy metal album - the guitars are hard and heavy, it's powerful without losing the important melody, and the songs are not bad at all. So if you like a band like JUDAS PRIEST for example, then you should give these guys a try.
TYSONDOG released 2 albums, 2 singles and an EP in the 80s. Music journalists thought they would be the next big thing. That didn't happen, and the band disappeared after a few years. In 2012 they were back again with a new EP.

VULCANO: Stone Orange
Emanzipation Productions on April 29 - CD, LP, Digital
This Brazilian band got together back in 1982, which means that they were among the first extreme metal bands in South America. They has released 13 studio albums, 4 live records and 2 7" EPs. Their music is a mixture of thrash, speed and old school black metal, and they move freely between these genres like it was the most obvious thing to do. And why not? They do it really good, so there's no reason to complain.
Their sound is raw and intense. The songs are around 2 to 3 and a half minutes. No bullshit, just in your face metal.

THORIUM: Danmark
Emanzipation Productions on April 29 - LP, CD, Digital
Danish death metallers THORIUM have been around for almost 25 years, and this is their fifth album. Except for vocalist MHA and guitarist JP, the whole crew is new. And they deliver an old school album without anything to complain about. They have managed to capture a raw sound, which makes it sounds like it could have been recorded in the early 90s. I like that.
This is of course something for every fan of true death metal.

INTROTYL: Adfectus
Emanzipation Productions on April 29 - CD, LP, Digital
INTROTYL is an all-female death metal band from Mexico, who are ready to take up the fight with NERVOSA and CRYPTA. They have been listening to bands like MONSTROSITY and DECIDE, and are just as good as them when it comes to playing technical and brutal. I think this is a band that you will hear more of in the future.
They are completely ruthless, and bursts like dynamite. This is simply crushing!
INTROTYL played their first shows in 2010, and released 3 EPs between 2013-17. Their first full-length was released in 2018, and this is their second album.

Antichrist magazine/Grand Sounds PR - YouTube

MOTÖRHEAD is one of my favorite bands, and what we have here is a tribute to the legendary band, with as much as 29 underground bands from all over the world. Some are doing good versions that are pretty true to the original version, while others are doing their own thing. And when they do their own thing, it's like I don't know what the hell they're doing, as it doesn't sound like the original version of the song at all. I might be boring, but I want it to sound more like the original version without any kind of own ideas. Especially as this is a tribute, and not a competition of who can do the most strange thing with a MOTÖRHEAD song.
Luckily most of these bands are doing it the right way (even though some of them should get a better singer), and just a handful are doing it the wrong way. But as this collection is only available on YouTube, it's like when you listen to an old cassette - To find your favorite songs you have to wind and guess where it is. Not so funny. But making real/physical records is expensive, and this is not even worth that money anyway as most bands are not good enough.
The songs that these bands covers comes from MOTÖRHEAD's whole career - from their self-titled 1977 debut to the last album, "Bad Magic" (2015). And we don't just get the typical classics here, but all kinds of songs.
Best song must be "Born To Raise Hell" by the American band MUDD FLUX, with a woman who sing the shit out of all the men on this compilation. That's so cool! I really like that! But there's some more good stuff here - like MYHOLT from Norway, WYV85 from Italy, IRONTHORN from Italy, HATEFUL AGONY from Germany, SUNLESS SKY from USA, TYRANNO from Brazil, PERFECT NME from Norway, ARCHED FIRE from Finland and WAIL from Norway for example - so this is not totally hopeless.

Forever Reigning - A Tribute To Slayer
Satyrn Studios on April 29
Kerry Burger King with Slayer at Lisebershallen
Even though they split up a few years ago, SLAYER is still one of the greatest thrash metal bands. And this album is a tribute to them, where some underground metal bands are doing their versions of a few SLAYER songs. Most of them are doing a good job, so there's not much to complain about there. This will probably hit you as hard as an album with SLAYER. But a weird thing with this compilation is that some bands just appear 1 time, while some appear 2 or even 3 times.

SILVER DUST: Lullabies
Escudero Records/Fastball Music on April 29 - CD
This was a very boring album the first times I heard it. But after something like 3-4 listenings it's suddenly a little bit better than before. So I guess this isn't as hopeless as I first thought it was.
This is the 4th album from this Swiss band. And the music is probably best described as a wild journey through progressive rock, melodic metal and electronic music. Sometimes there's also pieces of goth. 1 song is even in French. They are hardly here to make hit songs, but go their own way instead, with well-arranged songs and all.

Black Lion Records on April 29 - CD, Digital
Brazilian band RF FORCE are getting ready to release their debut album. "Old School Metal" is the title of the second song here, and that's exactly what you get on this album. I think of DIO and JUDAS PRIEST among others when I listen to this, so fans of traditional heavy metal from the 80s should not be dissapointed when they hear this band, because it's very good.
If they succeed to make such a great debut as this, how excellent will the next one be then? That will be very interesting to hear..

GUNASH: All You Can Hit
Go Down Records/Golden Robot Records on April 29 - LP, CD, Digital
Italian trio GUNASH play some kind of alternative rock/post-grunge, and they have succeeded to get some help from people like Derek Sherinian (DREAM THEATER, Billy Idol, Alice Cooper, SONS OF APOLLO) on keyboards and piano, Nick Oliveri (STÖNER, The DWARVES, ex-QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, KYUSS) on vocals, Marco Allocco on cello, and Tom Harp Newton on harmonica.
I don't really know what I should write about this record. Some records just are like that. I have been listening a few times now, but nothing.. It's not bad though, they have some sweet songs here, which makes it even more weird. But I'm obviously not normal (in case you wonder), so don't be surprised.
There's nothing wrong with this band though. So I recommend you to give this a try and listen for yourself. Especially if you're into the Seattle sound of the 90s and heavier rock music.

CELL 9: Second Coming
Melodic Passion on April 29 - CD
CELL 9 sounds like a name of a Swedish punk band to me. But this is not really any punk. No, it sounds more like some kind of dark rock with heavy guitars, and it's not that funny to listen to if I'm going to be brutally honest with you. They simply don't have any song that get stuck in your head like a virus. It's more like background music to me.
The trio started to play in 2015, and comes from Stockholm, Sweden. Their debut album was released in 2016.

The DARTS: The Darts
Beluga Records/Adrenalin Fix/Dirty Water Records/Ghost Highway Recordings - 7" EP, Digital
The DARTS was formed in 2016 by 4 American women who wanted to make great garage rock. Within the first 6 months they released 2 self-produced EPs and signed with Dirty Water Records, who released their first full-length album, "Me.Ow". The EPs was later re-released as their second full-length. In 2018 former DEAD KENNEDYS singer Jello Biafra signed the band to his label Alternative Tentacles Records. But now some other labels has teamed up for a co-release of a 3-track EP.
These songs are great! Noisey and raw garage rock just like it should be. It sounds like a forgotten treasure from the 60s. You should absolutely check out this band!
I'm not sure if the vinyl is out yet, but it's available digitally anyway.

WE ARE LEGEND: Only God Forgives
Metalapolis Records - Digital Single
After almost 9 years German prog/power metal band WE ARE LEGEND will release a new album, "Fallen Angel", on July 29. But before that we get a first taste of what to come in the shape of this single.
It's modern, progressive, melodic and metal. But most of all it's catchy and powerful. I like what I hear, so there's definitely hope for this band.
2 more single releases are planned before the album release.

HEAD OF CLAY: Until Tomorrow
Head Of Clay - Digital Single
I actually don't know much about this band, but while I described their last single as Southern blues rock, I would describe their latest single as some kind of melodic rock with a touch of blues. It sounds like they deliver this song with passion. It's a little softer and more emotional. This is actually not so bad at all.
I guess that both fans of melodic rock and blues rock could enjoy this.

GET SOME: And Then You Die
WTF Records - CD, Digital
"And Then You Die" is the full-length debut with this band, who comes from The Netherlands. But even though this is their first album, it all started in 2012 already. They have previously released a couple of EPs.
Anyway, their music is a crossover between hardcore and thrash metal. But most of all I hear metallic hardcore. It's heavy, fast and angry. They have many good songs here, so I think you should check this out.

The SKULL GURU: Sofar Nofar
The Skull Guru on April 30 - Digital
The SKULL GURU play 70s psych/stoner rock, and is a new project from SLAP GURU, but with some new members, and therefor the sound has changed a bit. It's now said to be darker and heavier. And that could be possible. I would say that it's catchy too. Heavy, bluesy and a little psychedelic and hypnotic might be a good description to this band's sound. It's also very old school.
This album should be released on LP, but will only be available on their Bandcamp page.

SCARLATA: Power Through
Scarlata on April 22 - Digital
Multi-instrumentalist John Scarlata hailing from Boulder, Colorado, and started to compose songs in 2016. His first EP, "Metal-Baby", was released in the summer of 2020, and this is his first full-length, which is a compilation of songs created between 2017-2021. The music is said to be classic skate punk metal, but the album is all instrumental except for 1 long song, so it's hard to tell what kind of music it actually is. Let's just say that I'm not impressed. But then I'm not such a big fan of instrumental music.
This is like listening to guitar solos that last for an eternity. So this was a big dissapointment, as I was looking forward to hear some skate punk.

Lövely Records on April 29 - LP, Digital
Swedish band PERSHAGEN is getting ready to release their third album. Their music is described as "colorful instrumental rock music that mixes psychedelic rock with indie, grunge and alternative rock", and have once been described by Swedish music site Festivalrykten as "Pine forest-rock". It's laidback, and sometimes even dreamy and cinematic. So hardly any action rock, but more like an adventure in different soundscapes.
Sometimes it's o.k., but sometimes they seems to repeat the same thing for way too long, and that's never funny to listen to.

DEAF LINGO: Lingonberry
Lövely Records on April 29 - LP, Digital
This band reminds me of something that I have heard before, but I can't remember exactly what band it could be. A wild guess is that it could be something Swedish from the 90s or early 2000s, but that probably doesn't say that much either (no name pop up in my brain anyway).
DEAF LINGO comes from Italy, and this is their second album. While I call it power pop/indie rock, the label describe them as a combination of melodic punk, lo-fi garage, and bittersweet indie, that showcases a unique blend of alternative rock.
But no matter what you decide to call it, this is really good stuff. They sing about alienation, separation, and apathy, and the music is catchy and energetic.

SATOR: Cleansing Ritual
Argonauta Records on April 22 - CD, Digital
Well, there's a Swedish rock band called SATOR that's been around since the 80s, and they are legends here in Sweden. So why did this Italian band think that it was a good name of their band? That's just weird and confusing.
This band play heavy, and the vocals is hardly any lovely melodies, but rather harsh screaming. Sludge/doom metal inspired by old and new acts in the doom, kraut-rock, sludge and post-metal scene. A blend of all that is heavy you could say.
"Cleansing Ritual" is their third studio album, which consist of just 4 tracks. But these songs are from 8:26 to 12:09 minutes, so you still get lots of noise for the money. The album is said to be their heaviest and most psychedelic so far.

IF I DIE TODAY: The Abyss In Silence
Argonauta Records on April 29
IF I DIE TODAY was born in northern Italy in 2007. They blend post-hardcore with sludge and rock n roll (according to the info I got), and this is their 4th studio album.
This is hard and heavy, with aggressive vocals. Mainly heavier hardcore with a touch of sludge, and I can not hear that much rock n roll here.
If you like it hard and heavy, then these 8 songs could be something for you.

BLUES WEISER: Obey The Booze
Argonauta Records on April 29
BLUES WEISER is a Spanish power trio, who mix heavy fuzz rock with power blues. It's some FU MANCHU and NEBULA here, some fuzzy blues jams and Jimi Hendrix wah-wah solos there, some 90s rock riffs and big grooves as well as psychedelic moments. But most of all it's a heavy rock album. Or stoner rock if you prefer that.
This is their third full-length adventure, and most of these 8 tracks sounds good to me anyway. "Clit Eastwood" was a very funny title by the way.

BBF: I Will Be Found
Argonauta Records on April 22
This is mainly some kind of psychedelic heavy rock that is not so interesting, as I have heard much better. After the second track the songs are getting longer and longer, until we comes to the last track, which is suddenly acoustic singer/songwriter, which last for as long as 9:13 minutes. Not so good.
BBF was formed in 2016, and is an Italian trio who share a passion for the sound of the 60s and 70s. This is their third album.

SCAR FOR LIFE: Strike Down
Pride & Joy Music - Digital Single
Portugese hard rockers SCAR FOR LIFE has released the first single from their 5th album, "Sociophobia", which will be released on July 22.
It seems like it's almost 6 years since they did anything last time, but now they are back again, and have recruited Marc Lynn (GOTTHARD) on bass. Among the guests on the new album are Tobbe Jonsson (The LIGHTBRINGER OF SWEDEN) on drums and Darrel Treece-Birch (TEN) on keyboards.
This is a very good melodic hard rock song, so if they have more of this stuff, then I look forward to hear some more from them in the future.

PIRATES OF METAL: Cuts From The Deep
Pirates Of Metal - MCD, Digital
UK heavy metal band PIRATES OF METAL has released their first EP in 14 years. The band formed in Reading in 2003, and released a demo album and a EP before they went separate ways in 2008. In 2019 they found each other again in London, and since then the band have been back.
Their music is traditional and raw heavy metal, while the lyrics have a pirate theme. So it might make you think of something like RUNNING WILD for example. But even though PIRATES OF METAL might be something similar to them, they are definitely not a copy.
I really like these songs! They are sing-along friendly and easy to remember.
Best tracks then? "Give Me Grog (Or Give Me Death)" and the bonus track "Battle On The High Seas".

The NEW BARDOTS: (Just) Another Dance In The City
Bongo Boy Records - Digital Single
New Jersey rockers The NEW BARDOTS continue to tribute The ROLLING STONES. And this latest single really sounds like the British legends. Really cool rock n roll and a great song. You should really check this out of course! And there's not much else to add there..
On this track we also get a guest apperance from Myke Scavone (The YARDBIRDS) on harmonica.

The LINDA LINDAS: Growing Up
Epitaph Records - Digital (Physically in June)
The LINDA LINDAS hailing from Los Angeles, and features 4 teenage girls (well, 1 is just 11) who play melodic punk rock, power pop or pop punk (whatever you like to call it). Sometimes they can be a bit more raw as well, but it's mainly very catchy and melodic songs that we get here. Most of these 10 tracks are really good. It's just "Cuantas Veces" that is weaker.
It's nice that the kids start to play punk instead of something stupid like pop or hip hop like everybody else. And when it's as good as this, then it's even really nice to hear. So let's just hope that this is not just a phase that will be over soon, and that they can continue to be this good.

Hellcat/Epitaph Records - Digital Single
American band The INTERRUPTERS will release their 4th studio album, "In The Wild", on August 5. "In The Mirror" is the first single from the album.
Their music is a mixture of rock, ska and punk. I really liked their last album, "Fight The Good Fight" (2018), and I have been waiting for something new ever since. Finally the wait is over!
"In The Mirror" is a catchy and melodic rock song with a touch of ska, and it's very good. You should absolutely check this out!

FATAL VISION: Time Keeps Slipping Away
Pride & Joy Music - Digital Single
La, la,, na, na. Very soft, melodic and sugar sweet. Hardly a cool rock song for the hard boys. I hope that they have better songs than this, otherwise I'm not interested.
It seems like this Canadian band formed back in the 80s or 90s sometime. Among their influences was ASIA, JOURNEY, EUROPE, SURVIVOR and VAN HALEN. So simply melodic rock then. I'm not sure how long it last, but in 2019 one of the members got an unexpected birthday gift: to record at a local studio. So he decided to record some of the band's old songs.
An album, titled "Once", will be released on July 22.

SPECKMANN PROJECT: Fiends Of Emptiness
Emanzipation Productions on April 22 - LP, CD, Digital
30 years after the debut album was released, SPECKMANN PROJECT return with a new album.
Extreme metal pioneer Paul Speckmann co-founded MASTER in 1983, and 2 years later he joined DEATHSTRIKE. When MASTER was recording their debut album, their record label Nuclear Blast wasn't satisfied with the sound. So a new line-up re-recorded the album, but that was not good enough either. So Nuclear Blast decided to use the first recordings anyway. So what to do with the re-recordings then? Release it as SPECKMANN PROJECT! That's the story behind the so-called debut album.
30 years later we don't have a story like that though. Now he has teamed up with another death metal pioneer, the fully occupied Rogga Johansson (PAGANIZER, RIBSPREADER, REVOLTING etc etc etc). So you could say that this is a continuation of their JOHANSSON & SPECKMANN project.
Thrashing crust punk is a big ingredient on this album, which they mix with an old school death metal sound. It's really raw and dirty, the vocals is more harsh and brutal than growl, which I like somehow. Everything might not be excellent here, but nothing is bad anyway, so you just have to check this out.
..and no, we will not have to wait another 30 years for the next album, as they have signed for 2 releases. SPECKMANN PROJECT plan to return with another album in 2023. I look forward to hear that.

MÄRVEL: Graces Came With Malice
The Sign Records on April 22 - LP, CD, Digital
Marvel in GBG
Swedish masked rock trio MÄRVEL celebrate their 20-year anniversary this year. The celebration includes a new album, "Graces Came With Malice", which is their 9th studio album.
This album is not such a big surprise for old fans, as it's still high energy rock that they deliver. They have developed the sound through the years though, and I would say that it's more classic rock nowadays as well. Which is a good mixture according to me. It's catchy and melodic, but yet electrifying guitar rock.
So yes, MÄRVEL are good as usual, even though I don't really know what to think about a softer piece like the title track.

CALIBAN: Dystopia
Century Media on April 22 - CD, LP, Digital
German metalcore veterans CALIBAN gives us their 13th studio album. While their last record, "Zeitgeister" from 2021, was in German, this album is all in English.
The album is full of advanced guitar work, but at the same time they succeed to be both aggressive and melodic. It's mainly hard and heavy, but reminds me of nu metal actually. And I guess that they are doing a really good job here, but it's not really my thing. Sure, it's not so bad as long as it's hard and heavy. But then comes a melodic part and destroys it. I guess I prefer more hardcore than some modern melodic metal?

SOLITARY: XXV - Live At Bloodstock
Metalville Records on April 22 - CD/DVD
On Sunday, August 11, 2019 SOLITARY took to the stage at the Bloodstock Open Air festival in the UK to celebrate their 25-year anniversary. And now we get the chance to see and hear this performance. As a bonus we also get a remixed version of the "XXV" EP from 2019, which includes re-recordings of some fan favorites. And on the DVD there's also a pre-show interview and all their promo videos. And just as that wasn't enough for you, there's also a deluxe booklet. In other words a real thrash party.
How about the music then? Well, they might not be in the top league of thrash metal, but they sure ain't bad at all. They play just as good as other bands that are 25 years old. It's hard and heavy, as well as fast and aggressive. So in other words not much to complain about.

Metalville Records on April 22 - CD, LP
MEIN KOPF IST EIN BRUTALER ORT means "my head is a brutal place" in German. And the album title means "clay stones are dying". Thanks Google Translate.
This band formed in 2012, and a first EP was released in March 2013. 2 albums (in 2015 and 2018) has been released since then. And now it's time for their third full-length.
The music that they play is some kind of thrash/metalcore hybrid, and all lyrics are in German. It's hard and heavy, and seems to be a way to let out their aggression. I would not use words like brutal or extreme to describe this though. On the other hand it's hardly catchy and melodic either.
Why they begin to rap in the last track is a good question though.. That's a sin!

EREB: Aeon
Silent Future Recordings on April 22 - CD, LP, Digital
This French band takes us on a progressive post-metal journey. You get complex arrangements and a multi-layered approach. It's very pretentious, but it's obviously talented musicians that we are dealing with. So if progressive soup is your favorite dish, then order this from the waiter.
Now I'm not an expert, but they are compared with bands like OPETH, The OCEAN, KARNIVOOL, KATATONIA and The CONTOTIONIST, if that says anything to you.
Bon Appetit!

Brown Acid: The Fourteenth Trip
RidingEasy Records on April 20 - LP, CD, Digital
14 volumes and still strong. As usual we get some long-lost vintage 60s-70s proto-metal and stoner rock that was actually made back then, and not some new bands trying to recreate the sound. Fans of heavy psych, blues rock, garage rock and hard rocking in general must check this out. All volumes!
The artists this time are: The LEGENDS, Mijal & White, LIQUID BLUE, TROLLEY CO., BLUE CREED, TRANSFER, APPLETREE, COX'S ARMY and RAVEN (no, not the heavy metal band).

DESECRESY: Unveil In The Abyss
Xtreem Music on April 19 - CD, LP, Cassette, Digital
Finnish band DESECRESY was originally formed in 2009 as a death metal duo. Nowadays it's a 1-man band with Tommi Grönqvist on all instruments and vocals.
"Unveil In The Abyss" is the 7th album. The music is as usual inspired by the bands from the early 90s, but with a dark and eerie atmosphere as his own little twist. It's often in the heavier league, and the growl is very deep and almost more like a extra instrument than vocals.
7 tracks is what we get here, but that's enough for me. Because this is hardly a masterpiece. But if you want something darker and deeper than the usual old-school death metal, then you could always give this a try.

MIRAGE: In The Days Of Rama
From The Vaults on April 15 - Digital Single
Dansih heavy metal band MIRAGE was supposed to release their second album in the late 80s, but they had to quit because the English record company sent their royalties to their Danish record company, who pocketed the money and filed for bankruptcy. So the album was never released, even though all the songs were written.
An eternity later the album will finally be released, and this is the first single from that album. "In The Days Of Rama" is the song that they used to open their live shows with in the 80s. And this is a good heavy metal song with 1 foot in the 70s and the other in the 80s. You should check it out.
The album is titled "The Sequel", and will be released in the second half of 2022.

Marco Mendoza: Take It To The Limit
Mighty Music on April 15 - Digital Single
Mr Mendoza with Black Star Riders at Sticky Fingers
This is the first single from bassist Marco Mendoza's 4th solo album, which will be released later this year. Mr. Mendoza is famous from bands and artists like THIN LIZZY/BLACK STAR RIDERS, WHITESNAKE, JOURNEY, Ted Nugent and The DEAD DAISIES, just to mention a few of them all.
"Take It To The Limit" is a catchy and energetic little bastard that you just have to like. High hit potential! It actually reminds me of the Danish guitar rockers ELECTRIC GUITARS, which is not so weird as Soren Andersen from that band also play guitar in Marco's band.

ELECTRIC BOYS: Into The Midnight Sun
Mighty Music on April 15 - Digital Single
Electric Boys at Holmens Rock
Swedish hard rock veterans ELECTRIC BOYS released the single "Favorite Hello, Worst Goodbye" in February, and now another single, "Into The Midnight Sun", is here. Both songs were recorded during the sessions for their latest album, "Ups!de Down".
This song is described as "a classic, psychedelic Bloom-riff over a hard shuffle beat". To me it's a catchy rock song, and it sounds really good. More of this stuff and the next album will be more interesting to me.

NWOTHM: New Age Of Steel Vol. 1
No Dust Records - CD, Digital
NWOTHM stands for "New Wave Of Traditional Heavy Metal", and this compilation was originally released digitally in August last year. Now it has also been released on CD, for those who want a physical copy.
This is a compilation where all 13 bands want to sound like they were from the late 70s/early 80s. And nothing wrong with that, as it was a golden era for heavy metal. The quality of these bands are really high, and it's also nice that there's so many women on this record. The variation between each band is also good - some are more powerful, while some are more melodic for example. I really recommend you to check this out.

LOVELL'S BLADE: Deadly Nightshade
No Dust Records/Animated Insanity Records - CD
LOVELL'S BLADE was formed in 2016 by former members of Dutch hard rock/heavy metal band PICTURE. Their debut album, "Stone Cold Steel", was released in March 2017, and the second album, "The Nightmare Begins", in early 2019. Now they have come to their third album, "Deadly Nightshade".
I would say that it's a powerful but yet melodic kind of hard rock that they deliver. And this sure ain't no lazy old men, they still have energy left and know how to make good songs. They also have the good taste to vary the material. Sometimes there's a softer or a harder song for example. And in the last songs it's more rock n roll. So this is fun to listen to.

Century Media on April 15 - CD, LP/CD, Digital
They call these UK vetarans progressive metal. And sure, it's not the most easy music to listen to. But to me it sounds more like modern metal rather than prog metal. So let's say that it's a little bit of both and then some.
MONUMENTS have been around for more than a decade, but this is just their 4th album. Since last time Andy Cizak has taken over the microphone.
I think you should have pretty strong nerves if you're going to listen to this. Especially when they play as most advanced. Otherwise they play hard and heavy, while the vocals is either harsh screaming or melodic. They seems to be very skilled at what they are doing, and there's both good and bad moments here. But as a whole I would say that this is not really my thing.

MANO DE MONO: Chameleon Tongue
Electric Valley Records on April 15 - LP, Digital
This is the debut album from this Sardinia, Italy-based heavyweight band, who has taken their name from a song with CORROSION OF CONFORMITY. They blend the fuzziness of the late 90s Palm Desert scene with the aggression of NOLA and the expressiveness of Seattle's first wave, and then top that with a punk spirit with vibrancy, melody and harmony.
These guys are not just heavy, beacuse I would say that they are also a little melodic. It's not just riff on riff, but actually a clear song structure. Fans of the alternative rock scene from the 90s should give this a try.

The TROOPS OF DOOM: Antichrist Reborn
Alma Mater Records/Blood Blast Distribution on April 15 - CD, Cassette, Digital (LP later)
The TROOPS OF DOOM are described as a Brazilian death metal supergroup, and features former SEPULTURA guitarist Jairo "Tormentor" Guedz alongside bassist/vocalist Alex Kafer (ENTERRO, EXPLICIT HATE, ex-NECROMANCER), drummer Alexandre Oliveira (SOUTHERN BLACKLIST, RAISING CONVICTION), and guitarist Marcelo Vasco (PATRIA, MYSTERIIS, and acclaimed graphic artist for the likes of SLAYER, KREATOR, MACHINE HEAD, SOULFLY and HATEBREED). They have previously released 2 EPs, so "Antichrist Reborn" is their full-length debut.
This band revisits the essence of 80s-style death metal, it's old school but yet fresh. It's full speed ahead, but not all the time. It's also very professional, so every fan of good old death metal should be happy to hear this.

BAD BONE BEAST: Bone Beast Extravaganza
Drakkar Entertainment on April 15 - LP (CD out already)
This trio released an EP, "Water Into Wine", in 2019. "Bone Beast Extravaganza" is their debut album, which was released as CD on December 31, 2021. Now it will also be released on vinyl.
Their sound is somewhere between grunge, stoner and melodic heavy rock. Sometimes it might remind you of QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, other times something more melodic with FOO FIGHTERS or maybe even ELECTRIC BOYS, other times something else. I guess that power rock is a pretty good description to this, so let's call it that.
They are very good at what they are doing here, and most of the 13 songs are good, so check 'em out.

ALUNAH: Strange Machine
Heavy Psych Sounds on April 15 - LP, CD, Digital
ALUNAH are from "Sabbath City" (Birmingham), UK and play hard rock/doom. They formed as ALUNA in 2006, but changed the name to ALUNAH in 2008. This is their 6th full-length album.
Their doom rock has a retro feeling that I really like, which makes this band fit fans of both doom and retro rock, as well as some fans of classic heavy metal. The material is very strong, so it's hard to choose a favorite out of these 9 tracks.

VULTUS: Sol Invicto
Iron Shield Records on April 15 - MCD
VULTUS were founded as a death/thrash band in Guadalajara, Spain called SADISTIC. After changing the name to VULTUS, the duo moved to Berlin, Germany. "Sol Invicto" is their first release, where the music is a mixture of heavy, thrash and black metal.
7 tracks is what we get, and the beginning is pretty soft. But then they put the pedal to the metal and become aggressive. They mix fast and hard parts with more melodic parts, which is a combination that I really like. Not bad at all.

H.E.A.T: Back To The Rhythm
earMUSIC - Digital Single
Oh shit, another fantastic single from Swedish hard rockers H.E.A.T! I might actually have found a new favorite band here. It reminds me of how great EUROPE was back in the 80s. So if you miss that, then this is the band for you. It's not exactly like them, but very similar at least, so you will like them a lot.
This is the second single from the band's 7th full-length, "Force Majeure", which will be released on August 5. I really look forward to hear that album!

SOULBOUND: Towards The Sun (re-issue)
Metaville Records on April 15 - CD
"Towards The Sun" was originally released in 2012, but is not available anymore. So Metalville decided to re-release the album with 6 bonus tracks (live tracks and covers). The music is modern and dark industrial/gothic metal with catchy melodies, and dystopian and socially critical lyrics.
These Germans are not extremely industrial or gothic according to me, but more like a modern melodic metal band with elements of industrial and goth. That's how I hear it anyway. And this is actually not so bad.

Black Lodge Records on April 15 - CD, LP, Digital
Very strange record this. Probably because I usually don't listen to atmospheric folk music, which this is. It's like listening to sweet little lullabies.
URFERD is a 1-man band with Daniel Beckman (TWILIGHT FORCE, AGES). And with this debut album he gives a new perspective to Nordic folk music. This is darker and more atmospheric/ambient than the folk music that I'm used to hear. Sometimes it's a more cinematic sound, and except for some choirs only 1 or 2 songs have vocals. The rest is instrumental.

GrönPeppar Records - CD, Digital (LP later)
This is the third full-length album from Swedish punk band KARDBORREBANDET. They mix seriousness and humor in their lyrics, while their sound is both melodic and energetic. They proudly (or unconsciously) carry on the legacy of old Swedish punk, and thus should not pass you by completely unnoticed. This is like listening to an old demo tape from the 90s.
Sometimes they add some extra ingredients, like ska or a violin for example. And the last track is acoustic.
14 tracks is almost always a little too much, but in this case it actually works just fine. It might not be something totally unique, but they have brilliant songs all the way, so why complain?

DeVicious: Black Heart
Pride & Joy Music on April 14 - CD
This German-based international band released 3 albums in 3 years, and now their 4th album is ready to be released.
"Black Heart" is said to be "their most melodic, heaviest, most angry yet freshest and most unique album to date." The album contains influences from traditional hard rock, metal, melodic metal, progressive rock and even EDM sounds. But in the end it's mainly a melodic hard rock album. And it's a very strong album that they have made. I can't hear many bad moments here.

BIBLE BLACK: The Complete Recordings 1981-1983
Louder Than Loud Records on April 14 - CD
I guess that you can figure out from the title that this is not any modern band that might happens to call themselves BIBLE BLACK. This East Coast American band was formed by former ELF and RAINBOW musicians Gary Driscoll and Craig Gruber, along with Andrew "Duck" McDonald. They had 3 singers through the years, which they recorded this material with: Jeff Fenholt (JOSHUA, and a very brief stint with Tony Iommi/BLACK SABBATH), Eric Adams (MANOWAR) and Joey Belladonna (ANTHRAX).
This CD collects all their demo recordings, and is a piece of hard rock and heavy metal history. It also fits as a tribute to Gary Driscoll, Craig Gruber and Jeff Fenholt, who have all passed away. And then the music is really good too, so now you just have to check this out.

SHINING BLACK: Postcards From The End Of The World
Frontiers Music Srl - CD, Digital
SHINING BLACK features vocalist Mark Boals (Yngwie Malmsteen, RING OF FIRE, ROYAL HUNT) and guitarist Olaf Thorson (LABYRINTH, VISION DIVINE). Completing the lineup are Oleg Smirnoff on keyboards and piano, Nik Mazzucconi on bass, and Matt Peruzzi on drums. Their self-titled debut was released in 2020, and now their next album is here, which follows in the same steps as the debut. In other words it's melodic hard rock/metal for all the money. And this is not bad at all.
Not much else to add there..

Frontiers Music Srl - CD, Digital
SHEWOLF is based around the Greek singer Angel Wolf-Black (BARE INFINITY, VIVALDI METAL PROJECT etc), who have teamed up with some people who call themselves stuff like The Hunter, The Predator and The Alpha (very funny names). They mix symphonic elements and folk vibes with heavy/power metal riffing, and try to make something bombastic out of that. Let's just call it symphonic metal to make it easy for ourselves. The vocals is melodic, while the guitars are heavy. And once in a while they also add a flute in some of the songs.
SHEWOLF have many good songs on this album, so it could be worth a try.

Ronnie Atkins: Make It Count
Frontiers Music Srl - CD, 2LP, Digital
Ronnie Atkins is the singer in Danish hard rock veterans PRETTY MAIDS, as well as the Scandinavian project NORDIC UNION. His first solo album, "One Shot", was released about a year ago, and now his second album is here. And it's a natural follow up with the same group of musicians as last time. The music is more or less the same too, so in other words melodic rock with pop melodies. It's very catchy.
Those who liked the first album should not be dissapointed.

FM: Thirteen
Frontiers Music Srl - CD, 2LP, Digital
The veterans in FM are mainly a good melodic rock band. But once in a while they seems to add something that I would describe as soul or rnb to their songs here. And at least 1 of these songs is more or less soft rock according to me. Mainly a good album, but not always you could say.
This is as the title says their 13th studio album. The band was founded back in 1984, and they released a few albums and toured until the mid-90s. After a 12-year break they were back again in 2007, and the current line-up have been the same since 2008.

Chip Z'Nuff: Perfectly Imperfect
Frontiers Music Srl - CD, Digital
Hm, doesn't this sounds even more like The BEATLES than ENUFF Z'NUFF use to do? As you probably know, Chip Z'Nuff is co-founder and bassist of Chicago's ENUFF Z'NUFF, so it doesn't exactly come as a big surprise. The songs are very melodic rock with pop melodies. The kind of stuff that should make you happy. But unfortunately most of these song have no hit potential, and the vocals is more or less the same all the time. So this is neither good or bad. It just is there. And that's almost a little irritating actually.
Among the guests on this album are Joel Hoekstra (WHITESNAKE, TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA), Steven Adler (ADLER'S APPETITE, ex-GUNS 'N ROSES), Daxx Neilsen (CHEAP TRICK) and Daniel Hill (ENUFF Z'NUFF).
Fans of ENUFF Z'NUFF and the more melodic stuff with The BEATLES will probably like this anyway, no matter what I think about it.

WASTELAND VIPER: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Wormholedeath - Digital (CD on May 27)
So, where's the party? Because here's the music. But o.k., every song might not be a good party anthem. For some reason already the second track is weaker than the rest. But otherwise it's damn good explosive hard rock n roll, and not much to complain about. Absolutely worth checking out.
WASTELAND VIPER is a band from the Netherlands, who formed in 2016. "Dead Men Tell No Tales" is their full-length debut.

ASKARA: Lights Of Night
Fastball Music on April 8 - CD
I don't really know what these people are doing. It's like there's no structure at all. They just throw in all kinds of ingredients and think that it will work, but it doesn't work for me. While somebody play piano, there's both clean vocals and growl at the same time. But if they aim at making their own sound, then they have succeeded.
ASKARA is a melodic dark metal band from Switzerland, who have been active since 2013. Their debut album, "Horizon Of Hope", was released in 2016, and "Lights Of Night" is their second album.

SKARA: We Slave Our Days
Impure Muzik/Samuel Records/SM Musik/Bouwvakker on April 13 - LP, Digital
O.k., a funny thing for Swedish people like me is that Skara is a small town/village here in Sweden. I find it hard to believe that this Norwegian band are named after that though.
The members met each other in Poland when they shared some gigs there in 2004. But the band SKARA wasn't born until 2019. It didn't take long before they entered the studio to record their first 8 tracks, and now a LP with those songs is here.
The music that these 4 guys play is hardcore/punk, and it's said to fit fans of TRAGEDY, FUGAZI, NEUROSIS and MAJORITY RULE. Not any bands that I use to listen to, but this record sounds good. A little detail though, a hardcore song should not be as long as 5 and a half to 6 and a half minutes. But that's just my opinion. All songs are not that long, just a couple. But the reason why some songs are long is because they are a little experimental (or however I should describe it) sometimes.

RIOT ACT: Closer To The Flame
Global Rock Records - 2CD
This is the debut album with RIOT ACT, which was initially formed by former "classic era" RIOT members Rick Ventura and Lou Kouvaris. The album also features a 12-track bonus CD of classic RIOT tracks from 1979-81 recut. These tracks features the final ever recordings of Lou Kouvaris, who tragically passed away of Covid-19 in early 2020.
The current line-up of the band is guitarist Rick Ventura (RIOT 1979-1984), Don Chaffin on vocals, Paul Ranieri on bass and Claudio Galinski on drums.
If you like that early era of RIOT, UFO and other similar bands from the same era, then you just have to check this out. But any fan of good old classic hard rock should enjoy this, because this is really good stuff.
Bonus info: RIOT were a successful US metal band from 1976-2012. Founding member Mark Reale passed away in 2012. The surviving members continued as RIOT V (Riot 5), while original guitarist Rick Ventura continued with RIOT ACT. There is no friction between the 2 camps, in fact quite the opposite - RIOT V guitarist Mike Flyntz is playing a solo on 1 of the tracks here.

PRESSURE: Barb Wire Love / Just Undress
Xing Records - Digital Singles
Swedish "story metal" band PRESSURE surprise me by being better than ever before. It's especially the single "Barb Wire Love" that is good, while the other single, "Just Undress", is just a o.k. b-side.
"Barb Wire Love" is sung by a man, and just the thing that he sing in English instead of his Swedish dialect makes it better than the rest of their songs. This is actually almost a hit, but just almost, we shall not go too far yet.
"Just Undress" is mainly sung by a woman, their latest member Olli Violet from The Republic Of Belarus, who joined the band in 2021. She is doing a really good job, but please give her a better song than this.
Even though they call it "story metal", I prefer to call this hard rock.

MUSTASUO: Hiljaisuus
Off Records/Suspected of Arson Records - CD, Cassette, Digital
"Hiljaisuus" is the third album from these blackened crust punks. The band formed in Oulu, Finland in 2015. They pass on the Finnish heritage of hardcore/punk, but add a dark and metallic touch to it, as well as other things that makes their sound fresh and unique. The main ingredient is pure raw and agggressive hardcore/punk though, and it sounds really good to me. You should absolutely check this out!

Inverse Records on April 14 - CD, Cassette, Digital
Finnish hardcore/punk band AIVOLÄVISTYS return with a new album after 12 years. This is the fifth album from the Jyväskylä-based band, and there's not much to complain about. 12 tracks of good old hardcore/punk. No modern stuff like metal and darkness, just hardcore the way it's supposed to be.
Check out or fuck off!

MACERATION: A Serenade Of Agony (reissue)
Emanzipation Productions on April 15 - CD, LP, Digital
MACERATION was among the first Danish death metal bands, and formed in the late 1980s. In 1992 they released their only studio album, "A Serenade Of Agony", which is now being re-released. And if you buy the CD, you will get as much as 11 bonus tracks (rehearsal tape and demo from 1990, and live tracks from 1992 and 1993) as well.
A funny story with this album is that vocalist/guitarist Rune Hansen had left the band a few months before they entered the studio, so they contacted Dan Swanö (BLOODBATH, EDGE OF SANITY, NIGHTINGALE etc), who recorded the vocals under the pseudonym Day Disyraah. This may sound like an odd thing to do, but they were old friends and hardly any strangers to each other.
What we get from this album is death metal with thrash influences. It's brutal and violent, but not too brutal and violent to also be skillfully performed. In other words as it used to sound back then. So every fan of 90s death metal should enjoy this record.
MACERATION are by the way back again, and are currently working on a new album, which they plan to release in late 2022 or early 2023.

Heavy Metal Rock Vol. 1
From The Vaults on April 8 - LP
This compilation show us all that heavy metal is still alive and well. But it also gives us an insight into the Danish scene of today, including both young and old reunited bands. And many of these songs sounds very familiar to me. Not just because I have heard some of them before, but because they sounds like a hundred other bands. That should not stop you from checking out an album with any of these bands though, because that might be a different story. And I would not say that any of these bands are bad, because the quality is really high here.
Who are these bands then you might ask now? Well, we get the chance to hear acts like EVIL, STEEL INFERNO, WASTED, STREET FIGHTER, MERIDIAN, ANOXIA, METAL CROSS, PECTORA, MIRAGE, ALIEN FORCE, WITCH CROSS and ATRO CITY.
Some of them play pure classic heavy metal, some of them are more melodic. Some songs are exclusive for this record, some are taken from the band's latest album.

HEIDRA: To Hell Or Kingdom Come
Mighty Music on April 8 - LP, CD, Digital
HEIDRA are based in Copenhagen, Denmark, and they play a mixture of melodic, black, and power metal with folk-themed undertones, powerful choruses, and growl. "To Hell Or Kingdom Come" is their third album, and it takes the band in a more aggressive direction, drawing inspiration from classic melodic death metal, while at the same time having the HEIDRA's melodies and clean singing at its core.
It's most of all that last thing that I really can hear here. There's both harsh and melodic vocals, as well as hard and more melodic moments. Simply a very good combination of everything. You should really give this album a chance.

AOR: L.A. Suspicion
Perris Records on April 8 - CD, Digital
Frédéric Slama has since 2000 released as much as 21 albums with AOR. More or less everybody who is something worth in the Westcoast and melodic rock scene has been involved on those records, and this new one is no exception. Among the musicians and vocalists this time are people like Tommy Denander (Alice Cooper, Steve Walsh), Steve Overland (FM, The LADDER, OVERLAND), Paul Sabu (John Waite, SILENT RAGE, LITTLE AMERICA), Robbie LaBlanc (FURY, BLANC FACES, FIND ME), Bill Kelly (DAKOTA), Steph Honde (HOLLYWOOD MONSTERS, SCREAM TAKER), Markus Nordenberg (COASTLAND RIDE, PEARLS & FLAMES) and Michael Stosic (solo artist).
If you want classic 80s AOR like SURVIVOR, JOURNEY, FOREIGNER, TOTO and similar, then this is absolutely something for you. The only thing I can complain about is that the drums sounds a bit strange, and that I have to increase the volume to hear anything (might be a digital/MP3 problem though).

Henning: Skymningsmusik För Dagdrömmare
Gaphals on April 8 - LP, Digital
Hm, this was something different. If it wasn't for the modern production, you could almost think that this would be something Swedish from the 60s or 70s, and the whole album is instrumental. It's pretty casual music, and it doesn't rock that much, but is more like a mixture of jazz, indie, rock and folk music, topped with a dreamlike atmosphere. Yet it's pretty nice to listen to somehow.
This is the 4th album from Swedish singer/songwriter and guitarist Henning, and it's very different from his previous records, which was more inspired by DIRE STRAITS and pop music. He will actually release another album, "Blå Lotus", on the same day as this album.

MORS PRINCIPIUM EST: Liberate The Unborn Inhumanity
AFM Records on April 8 - CD, 2LP
For this album singer Ville Viljanen called in the original guitarists and co-founders Jori Haukio and Jarko Kokkoo, bassist Teemu Heinola rejoined the band as well, and new drummer is Marko Tommila. And what they have done here is to pick some songs from their first 3 albums - "Inhumanity" (2003), "The Unborn" (2005) and "Liberation = Termination" (2007) - plus the second demo, "Valley of Sacrifice" (2001), and simply re-recorded them.
This melodic death metal band has been active for over 20 years now, so this is definitely not any amateurs. 13 tracks is what we get here, and this is definitely not bad at all. This is how it's supposed to be done! Simply a must to check out for every true fan of melodic death metal.
Now I have not heard the original versions of these songs, so I can't compare.

DECASIA: An Endless Feast For Hyenas
Heavy Psych Sounds on April 5 - LP, CD, Digital
DECASIA is a heavy/psych rock trio from Nantes, France, who are nowadays based in Paris. "An Endless Feast For Hyenas" is their debut album, but they have previously released 2 EPs.
This is a cocktail of stoner rock with psychedelic elements and a touch of kraut rock. It's heavy and adventurous music. You have clearly heard worse, I can promise, because this is absolutely not bad at all.

DECRAPTED: Bloody Rivers Of Death
Xtreem Music on April 5 - CD, LP, Cassette, Digital
DECRAPTED is another side band with Vicente Payá (UNBOUNDED TERROR, GOLGOTHA, BIS·NTE) on guitar and bass, and Dave Rotten (AVULSED, HOLYCIDE, CHRIST DENIED) on vocals. The project was started in the spring of 2021, and now their debut album will be released. Camilo Pirata guest on guitar solos and Miquel Angel Riutort "Mega" on drums. Lyrics on the album were written by Rogga Johansson (PAGANIZER, PUTREVORE, MASSACRE).
This is not my favorite style of death metal, but I'm sure there's lots of other people who will enjoy this a lot more than me. I would not say that it's totally useless though, as it gets a little bit better after a few listenings.
Even though the music is heavy, it's also fast and brutal. The vocals is mainly deep guttural growl, but yet he varies his voice.

DAYS OF WINE: My Last Kiss
Pride & Joy Music - Digital Single
This sounds like something from the 70s. And those choir girls adds even more to that impression. Simply what they call classic rock. A good song without a doubt, and there's not much else to say about that.
DAYS OF WINE are based in Norway, and consist of some friends from the Oslo scene, with a past in bands like BRONX, 21 GUNS, SONS OF ANGELS, STONEFLOWER etc. Their self-titled debut album will be released on May 20, and that can be interesting to hear.

ARKNESS: Tales From The InBetween
Arkness - Digital
ARKNESS is a French prog metal collective founded in 2019, and this is their debut album. They mix progressive rock with cinematic music, electronica and metal in an experimental fusion, which gives them their own special sound. You better get ready for a wild ride of all kinds of things, because they are obviously not afraid to blend in whatever they want to. I would say that they do it with style though, so it's not just a mess but actually music. It's not the most easy music to listen to though, so it might fit better for those who like more adventurous music than fans of straight rock n roll.

PROUSTED: Demo 2021
Sentient Ruin - 7" EP, Digital
I really thought that you could get a better sound quality than this nowadays. That bad sound quality makes this extra noisey and chaotic. And this is not how I want my hardcore/punk. But we are all different and have different taste. And I know that this is just the way some people want it. So who am I to judge?
PROUSTED is a 1-man band from Argentina, who play a raw and dark kind of hardcore/punk. Blackened hardcore/punk you could say. This is (as the title says) his debut demo from 2021, which will now be released as a 7" EP and digital.

SILVER DUST: There's A Place Where I Can Go
Escudero Records/Fastball Music - Digital Single
Swizz band SILVER DUST will release a new album, "Lullabies", on April 29. And that's where this song comes from, which is some kind of dark, soft and melodic prog rock/metal. Hardly a hit song but o.k. if you want something softer.
Not much else to add there. I might let you know more about them in my album review.

Cross Eyed Lover - CD, Digital
CROSS EYED LOVER brings the legacy of Australian hard rocking forward with a melodic twist. Which makes it sounds more like American hard rock from the second half of the 80s than bands like AC/DC, ROSE TATTOO or AIRBOURNE. But that works just fine with me, so no problem.
The band was formed in Perth, Western Australia by Jason Rigoli (drums) and Sal Truscello (guitars), who co-wrote music for 20 songs over a 2-year period. They have now become a 4-piece band with the addition of Andy Smith (BABY JANE, SISTER SWITCHBLADE) on vocals and Simon Whyte (OUTRAGE, JUDGEMENT DAY, OTPHEUS) on bass.
"Blonde Zombie" is their debut album, which features 11 tracks of pulsating and vital hard rock. You should give them a try.

WARWOLF: Daywalker
Metalapolis Records - Digital Single
Oh, this sounds like IRON MAIDEN around the "Powerslave" era. Possibly mixed with some good old 80s JUDAS PRIEST. In other words definitely not bad at all. You have to check this out! And there's not much else to add there..
If I get it right, this is the first single from this Cologne, Germany based band, and I really look forward to hear some more. The members have previous experience from a band called WOLFEN, which you might have heard of before. Their new album, "Necropolis", is produced by GRAVE DIGGER singer Chris Boltendahl, and will be released on July 29.


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