«December 2023 | Index | February»

SLOPE: Freak Dreams
Century Media Records on Feb. 2 - LP, CD, Digital
Well, this was something different to what I use to get for review. Some kind of funk metal/rock with rap vocals. It's like they have taken their favorite parts from bands like RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, AUDIOSLAVE, BEASTIE BOYS and RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, and then put it in a blender with a twist of their own funky spices.
This is funky and groovy, but there's also some heavy riffing. The material is diverse, and sometimes experimental. You should not get bored when you listen to this album, as it's very catchy and energetic. Probably a good party album. |

Royale Lynn: Six Feet Deep
Epitaph Records - Digital Single
Somehow a mix of country and hard rock sounded interesting. Unfortunately it sounds more like modern pop mixed with metal guitars here and there. She succeed to rock a little in the chorus though, and it's not a totally hopeless song. But less pop and more hard rock would have fit better to me.
They describe this song as hard country rock, and that',s a pretty good description.
Singer/songwriter Royale Lynn hailing from Nashville, and have somehow succeeded to get signed to Epitaph Records. |

Rogue Records - 7" Single, Digital Single
Here's another garage rock band, which I don't know much about actually.
The A-side, "Lately", of this vinyl release is spiced with windmilling 12-string Rickenbacker guitars, and a heavy Hammond organ drive the track along to the Mellotron. The flip side, "Quit Bazaar", is more up-tempo with fuzz guitar and Farfisa organ. Both songs are catchy and really good, but I think I like the more wild B-side best after all.
Not much else to add there..

Rogue Records - 7" Single, Digital Single
The MIKE BELL CARTEL hailing from Helsinki, Finland. They have previously released 1 7" (2021) and 1 album (2022). Their music combine different moods of 60s garage rock, from happy pop to wild garage punk. And they have really suceeded to capture the sound of that time, because this actually sounds like it could have been recorded in the 60s.
The A-side, "Ain't No High", is more up-tempo, while the B-side, "Like No Other", is a softer pop song. Both are really good.

Marco Cusato: Untamed Souls
Sleaszy Rider Records - Out now digitally, CD on Feb. 2
Marco Gabriel Cusato is the singer and main man of Chilean gothic rock band SOMBERWIND and The FALLACY. On this solo album Marco blend the classic gothic style from the 80s and 90s scene with elements from modern gothic rock/metal. And the difference between his bands and this, is that there's just 1 voice. This is also darker, and the lyrics are deeper.
Well, there's no reason to mention any favourites as most of these 11 songs sounds really good to me. But sure, some songs are a little extra good, and some less good. But if you like darker rock and metal, which is also melodic, then you should really give this man a try. And I don't have much else to say.. |

GHOUL: Noxious Concoctions
Tankcrimes on Feb. 2 - MCD, 12" EP, Digital
This EP is the first release with these splatter thrashers since 2016's full-length "Dungeon Bastards". We get 4 original songs and a cover of FUNEROT's "1-900-DTH-LINE".
Now I can't really remember if I have heard them before, but I expected them to be much better than this. Some songs are luckily a little better though, so everything is not so hopeless. It's most of all the first track, "The Eyes Of The Witch", that is not so good. It's 7:41 minutes long, and have an intro that last for a minute. Most of the other songs were not so bad, even though "Ratlicker" was not so exiting either.
This band have created their own thrash sound, yet it's familiar somehow. All lyrics have a horror theme. |

ARTILLERY: Raw Live (At Copenhell)
Mighty Music on Feb. 2 - CD, LP, Digital
Danish thrash veterans ARTILLERY have been around for over 40 years, but have just released 1 live album before. That is about to change, as they will now release another live album. It's a recording from their appearance at the Copenhell festival in the summer of 2022. Sadly, it was also one of the last live appearances by drummer Josua Madsen, who was killed the next year in a car accident. It also marks a turning point for the band, who recently said goodbye to vocalist Michael Bastholm Dahl and guitar player Kraen Meier.
This is a raw and authentic recording without any extra stuff. Simply a true live recording. ARTILLERY is a damn good thrash metal band. They have the material, and they also know how to deliver it live. Their songs are both raw and powerful, as well as melodic once in a while. This is absolutely worth to get. | |

Mighty Music - Digital Single
BLACK SWAMP WATER return with a new single after more than 2 years. And the reason is that the band has been through some lineup changes. But now they are ready to deliver again.
This Danish band take the best parts of old school hard rock and heavy metal, as well as some Southern rock, and create something own out of it. Be prepeared for some heavy riffing, strong hooks and groovy vibes.
When it comes to this song you can also add melody to the list. Because to me it sounds like a melodic heavy rocker. And this song is absolutely not bad at all. So if you like good old hard rock, give this a try. |

Russell - Guns: Medusa
Frontiers Music Srl - CD, Digital
As you might know already, this is a collaboration between Los Angeles hard rockers Jack Russell (GREAT WHITE) and Tracii Guns (L.A. GUNS). The other members are Johnny Martin, Shane Fitzgibbon and Alessandro Del Vecchio.
Their sound is both old school and modern at the same time, and the songs here are not so bad. It's both melodic and rock. This could be worth a try if you like good old hard rock with a modern production.
Now I don't really know what else to say about this record, so let's end it there. | | |

Neal Morse: The Restoration - Joseph: Part Two
Frontiers Music Srl - CD, 2LP, Digital
Part 1, titled "The Dreamer - Joseph: Part One", was released last year. And now part 2, titled "The Restoration - Joseph: Part Two", is here as well.
The Nashville based prog rocker continues where he left on the last album. So what you get here is more of everything you got last time. In other words another progressive rock opera with all that you can expect. Both the story and the music is dramatic and adventurous. So fans of his last album, and any fan of progressive rock, will like this album. Fans of rock musicals like "Jesus Christ Superstar" should also like this.
Among the guests this time are Nick D'Virgilio (SPOCK'S BEARD), Ted Leonard (SPOCK'S BEARD, PATTERN SEEKING ANIMALS), Matt Smith (THEOCRACY), Ross Jennings (HAKEN), Jake Livgren (PROTO-KAW, KANSAS) and Alan Morse (SPOCK'S BEARD). Neal himself take care of lead vocals, and also get help from members of NEAL MORSE BAND, such as Bill Hubauer and Eric Gillette, among others.. | |

Jim Peterik & WORLD STAGE: Roots & Shoots Vol. 1
Frontiers Music Srl - CD, Digital
This is a collaboration between artists and friends, both from the 80s and more modern, led by Chicago based artist Jim Peterik. This latest album features people like Kelly Keagy (NIGHT RANGER), Don Barnes (.38 SPECIAL), Mark Farner (GRAND FUNK) etc.
The music is rooted in the melodic rock from the 80s. It's melodic but pretty catchy as well, and I don't think it's a too crazy guess that fans of AOR will like this a lot. Because the songs are just as good as you can expect them to be when it comes to that genre. In other words a pretty high quality and a varied material. | |

Earache Distro - Digital Album
Tampa, Florida should be a legendary place for fans of death metal. And that's where this band comes from. But instead of old school death metal, they play progressive thrash/death metal.
This album is an ambitious project that tells a thought-provoking story. Sound effects and spoken dialogue accompany the music, immersing the listener into the world of the main character (a man lost in depression and heartache). It's a very adventurous and complex journey that we get. They don't exactly make it easy for themselves, but seems to prefer to take the hard way through a song. I'm pretty sure that fans of progressive metal will love this band. |

The MAGIC BUS: Σε Αγνωστα Νερá
The Magic Bus - Digital EP
This is a band from Greece, formed in 2017. Their first album was released in 2021, and they sing in Greek.
The first track here is a poem, and the second is a cover of a traditional Greek folk song. The 2 last are completely their own songs though.
When I reviewed their album, I described them as 70s hard rock or possibly proto-metal. And sure, there's some of that this time too. But I would rather call this progressive rock actually. And these guys seems to know how to play and make a song, because it's not bad at all. Give them a try.

GUN: Take Me Back Home
Cooking Vinyl - Digital Single
Here's another single with Scottish rockers GUN, taken from their upcoming new album "Hombres", which will be out on April 12. They have also announced 3 Scottish dates in April and a Spanish tour in May.
Well, this song is absolutely not bad at all. It's on the border to good old hard rock, but with more rock n roll (or however I should describe this?). A catchy and damn good song anyway, and you should really check it out.
"Hombres" is their 9th studio album, and it's their first new album since 2017. |

Mighty Music on Jan. 26 - Digital Single
Yes, KICKIN VALENTINA are back with a new song! And I can tell you that they still kicks ass.
This song is a taste of the American's upcoming album, "Star Spangled Fist Fight", that will be released on April 19. And if you like good old hard/sleaze rock from the streets with a party vibe, then you should really check out this band. Because they are damn good. I really look forward to hear the new album.
KICKIN VALENTINA have been around for 20 years now, and there have been a couple of EPs and albums since then. |

VR SEX: Real Doll Time
Dais Records - Digital Single
Noel Skum (aka Andrew Clinco of DRAB MAJESTY) have expanded VR SEX into a fully collaborative 5-piece band, and a new album, "Hard Copy", will be released on March 22.
This song is actually a little irritating somehow. Not all the time, but towards the end at least. It's like it never will end. But before that it's o.k. anyway, as it's a very catchy and energetic song. Maybe it should have been just 3 minutes instead of 4:41?
The music that this band deliver is psychedelic post-punk. The songs seems to be about sex dolls and sniffing glue. |

Uprising Records on Jan. 26 - Digital Single
No, you don't begin a song with piano if you want to impress me. But after that we get progressive metal, and that works better for me. This song show us both their technical and melodic side. But they also succeed to be good, which is almost something unique. Because it's actually not many bands that are good when they play technical. But this band is not extremely technical, and don't fuss about it unnecessarily.
VICINITY is a Norwegian band founded in 2006, and this is the first single from their next album, which will be released within a few months. But also the first song with new vocalist Erling Malm, who is doing a really good job.
So, a progressive metal band worth checking out. |

Livewire/Cargo on Jan. 26 - CD
Swedish melodic rockers NUBIAN ROSE was active in the early 2010s and released 2 albums. But after a long hiatus, they are now back again with a new album, called "Amen". And this time they show us a more progressive side, but their trademark sound is also there of course. So what you can expect is nothing else but strong melodies, great hooks, big guitars, and a powerful voice.
Why they decided to begin the album with a half ballad is a good question though. But I guess we can see that as a long intro, which last for 2 and a half minutes. After that it gets heavy, progressive and dramatic. It doesn't really sound like the melodic rock that I'm used to hear, which is almost always rooted in the 80s sound. No, this is something completely different my friend, but still very good stuff. These songs are beautiful! And I'm pretty sure that both fans of melodic rock and fans of progressive rock will enjoy this album. But I think that fans of hard rock and heavy metal should also give this a try (not so sure that all fans of that will like this though).

NAKE: Nake
Nake on Jan. 26 - LP, Digital
This Danish band play a cinematic and progressive kind of rock, and sometimes it's almost post-rock. All songs are instrumental. And this is another musical adventure to listen to for all you fans of progressive rock. They mention influences like TOOL and GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR. as well as Ennio Morricone and jazz when they describe this band's sound. So if that sounds exiting to you, then I think you should give these guys a try.
It's cool that these guys are doing everything by themselves. Because it's not just self released. It was also recorded, produced and mixed by the band's keybord player, Poul Høi.
NAKE will have a release party at Basement in Copenhagen, Denmark on January 27, where they will play live.

JUNTA: Junta
Sentient Ruin Laboratories on Jan. 26 - LP, Cassette, Digital
This NYC hardcore/punk band is hardly doing anything new on this full-length debut, and they reminds me of several other bands from the 80s/90s in the same genre. But they do it just as good as all those other bands, so there's no reason to complain.
Their lyrics are both in Spanish and English, and are a battlecry against imperialism, genocide, capitalism and social injustice. The soundtrack to that is energetic and raw, just like it should be. So if you like that, then you should really check out this band.
They burn off 11 tracks in approximately 20 minutes. Short and sweet, and no unnecessary shit.

HELLMAN: Born, Suffering, Death
Black Lodge Records on Jan. 26 - CD, LP, Digital
HELLMAN hailing from Chile, and is like a wild mixture of MOTÖRHEAD, ENTOMBED, PANTERA, ANTHRAX, NAILBOMB and SEPULTURA. A punky kind of death n roll you could say. But you could just call it thrash, becuase there's lots of that too of course. It sounds really good anyway, so you should definitely check out this band.
The songs are both catchy and energetic, and very easy to like. This album and a 6-pack of beer is probably a good start of the weekend.
This is their debut album, which also features a tribute to Swedish death metal legends ENTOMBED, a cover of "Out Of Hand".

Art Gates Records on Jan. 26 - CD
This industrial metal band mixing 3 different languages (German, English and Spanish) and a diverse range of vocal styles. The band was formed in 2011, and "The Void" is their 4th studio album.
MIND DRILLER combine electronic elements and metal, as well as hard and heavy moments with more melodic parts. The 3 vocalists complete each other very well. The sound is modern and fresh without being plastic.
This might not be what I usually listen to, but I must say that it's actually pretty good for being industrial metal. Probably because it's pretty kind music and not industrial noise. |

Mighty Music on Jan. 26 - CD, LP, Digital
Danish metal band MANTICORA began their journey as a power metal band in 1997. They have through the years grown to something completely different, which also includes thrash, prog, black, death and pure heavy metal. And as you probably understand, this gives them their own unique sound.
They are said to be less symphonic and more angry this time. It's simply a more raw album that we get. Which might not say much, but doesn't it tease you to give this album a try?
But even though it's a wild mixture of genres and a unique sound, I would say that this is heavy/power metal. The sound is both powerful and melodic, and they have some good material among these 10 tracks. | |

CRUCIBLE: The Savage Weapon
From The Vaults on Jan. 26 - Demo Cassette, Digital
It's not that often that I get a demo for review nowadays. I got a few when I did a punk fanzine (Taskigt Drag) in the 90s and in the early days of Hard Rock Info (the early 2000s).
Anyway.. CRUCIBLE is a new speed metal band from Denmark, with members from IMPALERS and PECTORA. Inspiration is taken from the NWOBHM movement and bands like RIOT CITY, SKULL FIST, RACER X, JUDAS PRIEST and MOTÖRHEAD. But the result is not in the same league as any of those bands. It's not bad though, but it took a few listenings to figure that out. It sounds like something from the 80s, with loud vocals and all.
This debut demo will be available in a limited run of 100 cassettes, but will also be available digitally. The band is now working on their debut album, which can be interesting to hear.

COBRA 1981: Yön Salamat
Inverse Music - Digital Single
Finnish heavy metal veterans COBRA 1981 has released the second single from their upcoming debut album. And with this song they showcases its faster and more fierce side. And just like the first single, "Vanha Kuoma", this song was written back in the 80s and is sung in Finnish. So it sounds like heavy metal from that time of course, with double guitars and all. It's powerful and melodic at the same time, and it sounds really good.
The album will be released in the spring. |

BYRON: Chapter II - The Lotus Covenant
The Goatmancer on Jan. 26 - CD, Digital
Soon after the Finnish heavy doom band CHURCH OF VOID ceased to exist in 2017, drummer Johannes Lahti (aka Byron V) started planning the release of a few songs he had made during the years. But at the same time he had also joined a band called NEON ANGEL, and finished recording drums for their debut album, "Neon Light District" (Sliptrick Records 2020), when he felt the time was right to get his songs to be heard. He also started composing some more material in late 2019, and what started out as a studio project EP, first became 2 EPs and finally formed as a full-length album. A band called BYRON was born.
The debut album, "The Omega Evangelion", was released in 2020. And now the second album is here, where they continue to deliver their own mix of NWOBHM, doom metal and occult rock. But you could say that it's melodic doom metal, even though occult heavy metal is their own description to their sound.
This album sounds very good, so you should absolutely give it a try. | |

ANCIENT VVISDOM: Master Of The Stone
Argonauta Records on Jan. 26 - CD, Digital
This was an interesting discovery. If you like occult rock and doom metal, then I can really recomend you to check out ANCIENT VVISDOM.
It's said that American duo Nathan Opposition and Michael Jochum have created their most comprehensive work to date, with songs that are from earlier writing stages and some as new as a few weeks before recording them. The album was recorded with their friend Noah (NUNSLAUGHTER), and features guest apperances from people like Vanek (MIDNIGHT) and Matt Sorg (RINGWORM, SHED THE SKIN). Noah also played guitar on a few tracks.
This album features a good mixture of heavy songs and hard rockers, as well as a couple of acoustic numbers. And no matter in what direction they decide to go, it sounds really good. | |

RIBSPREADER: Reap Humanity
Xtreem Music - CD, Digital
This is the 10th studio album from this Swedish death metal band, which features the legendary Rogga Johansson (PAGANIZER etc etc etc), as well as Taylor Nordberg and Jeramie Kling.
They begin heavy. But that's just the calm before the storm. Soon it goes over to the traditional old school Swedish death metal that we are used to get from this band. But maybe a little more brutal with a touch of MASSACRE this time. It sounds good anyway. There's no doubt about that. This is simply a band that you can trust.
Safe death metal for old and young. |

JENNER: Prove Them Wrong
Fighter Records on Jan. 24 - CD, Digital
JENNER is an all-female trio from Serbia, who play a mixture of heavy, speed and thrash metal. "Prove Them Wrong" is their second full-length.
The band formed in 2013, and released their debut album, "To Live Is To Suffer", in 2017. A EP, "The Test Of Time", was released in 2020.
Well, the first album was really good stuff. And this second album is absolutely not bad either. It',s actually just as good as the first one, so there's really no reason to not getting this album.
All 9 songs are great, and they are very good at what they are doing. |

SLIFT: Ilion
Sub Pop - 2LP, CD, Digital
"Ilion" is like a psychedelic trip filled with heavy guitars and atmospheric elements. It can sometimes be massive and intense, other times atmospheric and dreamy. It's mainly heavy though.
SLIFT is a trio from Toulouse, France, and this is their third album, where they blend psychedelic rock with post-rock and metal. Probably not an album for everyone. But those of you who like it heavy could always give them a try. The record label mention bands like GODSPEED! YOU BLACK EMPEROR, ...AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF DEAD, LED ZEPPELIN's psychotic blues-rock mysticism and GOAT to describe the sound of this album. I don't know if that gives you any idea of what it sounds like, but I can promise you an adventure anyway.
We get 8 tracks and as much as 79 minutes of music. So in my world this album last for an eternity. 2 of the tracks are around 12 and a half minutes long, while some are approximately 9 and a half to 11 minutes. The shortest song here is 5 minutes, and it's the last track, a true psychedelic trip for sure. |

ARMAGELION: Armagelion
Armagelion - EP
ARMAGELION is an American hard rock and heavy metal artist. I have reviewed the singles from this 5-track EP, but now we have them all in one place.
And what we get is mainly melodic hard rock, that sounds like it would still be 1985. I think of a band like BON JOVI, and possibly a pinch of SCORPIONS as well. It's a very strong material and definitely worth checking out.
There's not much else to add there..

OXIDIZE: Rockstar
Oxidize - Digital Single
This Swedish melodic metal band has released a few singles now, and here's another one. This time it sounds more like heavy metal, even though it's still melodic. It's a more powerful song anyway, that pays homage to the journey of a young dreamer who rises to global fame as a rock sensation. Definitely something for the weekend. So add it to your playlist, raise a glass of juice (or whatever you may like) and rock like there's no tomorrow. |

Art Of Melody Music/Burning Minds Music Group - Digital Single
This is the debut single from this Italian AOR group. It's also a first taste of their debut album, which will be released on March 22.
The journey of NIGHTBLAZE began in 2021 as the brainchild of composer, multi-instrumentalist and producer Dario Grillo (PLATENS, VIOLET SUN), with the intent to create a solid, up-to-date sound with deep 80s melodic rock influences. Damiano Libianchi (PERFECT VIEW) was hired on vocals, and the lineup was completed by the involvement of Dario's brother, Alex Grillo (PLATENS, VIOLET SUN, VERDEMELA) on drums and Federica Raschellà (STEEL TYRANT, EVIL EYES) on bass.
This song sounds very familiar, so it's nothing new that we get here, but the good old 80s melodic rock. It sounds really good though, so this is a band that you really should check out. It will be very interesting to hear if they have more songs of this quality. | |

NEW MODEL ARMY: Coming Or Going
earMUSIC - Digital Single
This is the second single from an upcoming album with the veterans NEW MODEL ARMY. The album is titled "Unbroken", and will be released in a few days (Jan. 26).
The album is said to be "full of guitars but with the emphasis, as ever, on the rhythmic power of bass and drums, as the band continue to push the boundaries of their signature sound while staying true to their heart". Now I can't really remember if I have heard this band before, but this song is not so odd anyway. I would call it a pretty straight rock song, and it sounds o.k. but doesn't leave any deeper impression.
The band will be touring in Europe and UK from February 27 to April 27.

BLAZING ETERNITY: One Thousand Lights
Mighty Music - Digital Single
This is the first new song with this band in 20 years. Well, welcome back then.
BLAZING ETERNITY are one of the pioneers in Denmark when it comes to the melodic doom/goth metal genre. Their sound is catchy, melodic, raw and melancholic, almost a bit dramatic actually. It might sound very sweet in the beginning, but then comes the harsh and brutal vocals, and it's not so sweet anymore. A pretty o.k. song that last for 7 and a half minutes.
The band was formed in Copenhagen in 1993, and released 2 demo tapes in 1996 and 1998, as well as 2 albums in 2000 and 2003. In 2004 the band fell asleep, but woke up for 4 concerts in Denmark and Germany in 2011 and 2012. After that they fell asleep again, until 2019, when they secretly started to work on new material.
This song is the first taste of a new album, which will be released later this year. |

Scarlet Anger on Jan. 20 - CD, Digital
SCARLET ANGER hailing from Luxembourg, and formed in 2007. The music that they play is classic thrash metal, and "Martyr" is their third full-length album (they have also released 2 EPs).
Well, these guys seems to know what they're doing. Which means that it sounds good and just like it should. It's powerful and heavy, and sometimes fast as well, with some melodic guitar melodies.
They might not be among the best in their genre, but they're definitely worth a try anyway. So give them that. |

Despotz Records on Jan. 19 - Digital Single
PIRATE QUEEN is the first all-female pirate metal band from the Bermuda Triangle, and this is their second single from their upcoming debut album (with the same title as this song). It's a dramatic and eerie conceptual song with a story about a séance where 5 ladies unleash demon pirate ghosts. And that is backed up by powerful riffs and guitar melodies. It might not be as good as the first single, but I'm still pretty sure that the album will be interesting to hear though, because it's absolutely not a bad song.
The album will be released in the spring. |

Per Wiberg: Dead Sky Lullaby
Despotz Records - Digital Single
Swedish multi-instrumentalist Per Wiberg (OPETH, SPIRITUAL BEGGARS, CANDLEMASS, CLUTCH/The BAKERTON GROUP, SWITCHBLADE, KAMCHATKA) will release a new album, "The Serpent's Here", on March 15. And this little song is a taste of what you can expect from that album.
His own description of the song is traveling music and kraut/space rock. He mention bands like HAWKWIND, SONIC YOUTH and KILLING JOKE. So this is something different you could say. It's divided in 2 parts, with different choruses. The first part is a bit more wild, while the second is more epic and melodic instead. So you could say that this is actually 2 songs in 1 (but then it last for 7 minutes). One thing is for sure though when you listen to Per Wiberg, it's a musical adventure.
And if you need more information than that, then just listen to the song. |

Mike Tramp: Ham Vi Vil Være
Target Records on Jan. 19 - Digital Single
Danish singer Mike Tramp will release his second album in Danish, titled "Mand Af En Tid", on March 15. And that's where this song comes from, which is just as soft as the songs were on his first album in Danish, "For Første Gang" (2022). It's some kind of singer/songwriter thing and not much action. But if that sounds interesting to you, then go ahead and give this a try. It's pretty far away from his 80s hard rock band WHITE LION though.

FIREWIND: Fallen Angel
AFM Records - Digital Single
Another single from FIREWIND's upcoming album, "Stand United", which will be released on March 1. And what can I say? Another great song, another melodic power metal anthem. You check this out, and that's it.
"Stand United" will be the Greek band's 10th studio album, and I look forward to hear it. The album release will be followed by touring around the world, so keep an eye on their website. | | |

GENGIS KHAN: Masters Of My Sins
Gengis Khan - MCD, Digital EP
What we have here is an Italian heavy metal band, who also blend in a pinch of speed and epic metal. Think of the bands from the 80s, and you get the picture I guess.
5 songs is what we get on this new EP. And even though it might not be the strongest material that I have heard, it's not bad anyway. They seems to be very good at what they are doing, and will certainly make some heads bang wild.
This could be something for those of you who like more epic heavy metal.

Sub Pop - Digital Single
PISSED JEANS will release a new album, "Half Divorced", on March 1. It will be their first new album since 2017, and "Moving On" is the first single from the album.
How do I describe this American band's sound then? I'm actually not completely sure about that, but to me it sounds like they're somewhere on the border between noisey indie rock and punk. It sounds alternative, but it's rocking anyway. A catchy and energetic song. | |

HAYSTACK: Doomsday Goes Away
The Dogma Repertory Institute/Threeman Recordings - Digital Single
HAYSTACK is a Swedish rock band featuring members from bands like ENTOMBED, ALPHA SAFARI and A-BOMBS, just to name a few. A new album, with the same title as this single, will be released on February 9.
I would describe this band's music as a raw and noisey mixture of alternative rock, noise rock and post rock. It sounds more American than Swedish. I get vibes of the 90s actually. This is much better than their last album. | |

AUTUMN'S CHILD: Tellus Timeline
Pride & Joy Music on Jan. 19 - CD
AUTUMN'S CHILD have some really good songs here, that all fans of melodic rock should give a try. But unfortunately they also have these songs that sounds like something very melodic and happy with The BEATLES ("Around The World In A Day" and "I Belong To You"). Those songs are almost a little too sugar sweet for my taste. But otherwise not much to complain about.
This is the fifth album with this Swedish AOR/melodic rock band. And the material here is in the same vein as their previous albums, so no fan should be dissapointed. But some songs have a harder edge though, and 1 song is simply good old glam rock. |

CORVUS: Immortals
Pride & Joy Music on Jan. 19 - CD
CORVUS is a melodic rock group from the UK, formed in 2012. They released their debut album, "Chasing Miracles", in 2015. Why it has taken so long to finish their second album is unknown to me, but now it will finally be released anyway.
And what we get here is a collection of very melodic but swinging pieces. The songs are very good, and they have that 80s touch as so many other melodic rock bands use to have, but with a modern production. So I guess it's not so hard to figure out that this is something that I really recomend, because no fan of this genre should be dissapointed when they hear this band.
But you could of course always ask yourself how hot it is with a Christmas song in the middle of January? It's probably meant to be a bonus track though, as it's the last song and a remix. But it's a really good song, so listen to it anyway, and don't forget to play it next Christmas (it's so catchy that even your grandma will like it). | |

LAZARUS DREAM: Imaginary Life
Pride & Joy Music on Jan. 19 - CD
"Imaginary Life" is the third album from German hard rockers LAZARUS DREAM. The 3 members play or have played with acts like BARNABAS SKY, DOMAIN, Cherie Currie etc.
This album is spread in all directions they say. 1 song can remind you of PINK FLOYD for example, while another sounds more like AOR, and of course there's a ballad too. And then we also have a synth-hooked up-tempo rocker and an epic ending of the album. But to me it's mainly a hard rock album that we're talking about here, and it sounds good.
Stephan Lill (VANDEN PLAS) play a guitar solo on the title track. | |

NOTÖRIOUS: Marching On
Pride & Joy Music on Jan. 19 - CD, LP
This is a hard rock band from Bergen in Norway, and "Marching On" is their second album, where they deliver a more raw, honest and less polished live sound. Pure rock n roll with attitude you could say. That doesn't stop them from blending in various other influences too, even though this is probably best described as glam metal I guess.
It sounds really good anyway, and is definitely worth checking out for fans of American bands from the 80s. Because that's what this reminds me most of. Almost every song on this album is an anthem. |

RESIN TOMB: Cerebral Purgatory
Transcending Obscurity Records on Jan. 19 - CD, Cassette, Digital
After a couple of EPs, Australian band RESIN TOMB will release their debut full-length.
Here it's full speed ahead and a lot of screaming, yet technical at times, which makes it sound a little chaotic. It's a wild mix of dissonant death metal, blackened sludge and grindcore. Hardly something for people with a weak heart. But if you feel healthy and strong, and want someting brutal, then you could always give these guys a try. It will probably be an experience that you will not forget.
The band consist of members from bands like CONSUMED, SIBERIAN HELL SOUNDS and DESCENT. |

ADVOCACY: The Path Of Decoherence
UPRISING! Records on Jan. 19 - Digital Album
Danish progressive metal band ADVOCACY go all in on their full-length debut, "The Path Of Decoherence". It',s a wild mixture of metal, jazz and progressive rock influences. Add 3-part vocal harmonies to that, and I guess that you can figure out that this is something else. These compositions is best described as a musical journey, as it has all kinds of ingredients. So in other words a typical progressive metal album according to me.
This is said to fit fans of DREAM THEATER, HAKEN and THRESHOLD. Why it's just going to be released digital is a mystery to me. Because I get a feeling that fans of this stuff want it on vinyl. But it's of course much cheaper to just release it digitally.
The band was formed in Aarhus in the spring of 2015, and have previously released 2 EPs (in case you want more after hearing this). | |

F.K.Ü.: Harvester Of Horror
Despotz Records - Digital Single
FKU at Henriksberg
Another single with our Swedish horror thrash veterans F.K.Ü. And it's a heavy mid-tempo thing that sounds just like it should. This is a band that you really should check out if you like good old thrash metal. And there's not much else to add there..
This song is taken from their new album, "The Horror And The Metal", which will be released on February 9. That's an album that I really look forward to hear.
The story of this band goes all the way back to 1987. But it took 10 years before they actually became creative and started to make some music. Since then they have made 5 albums and countless of live shows. Their sound have one foot in the Bay Area thrash metal and the other in the East Coast crossover metal. Add a horror theme to that and you have F.K.Ü. (which is short for Freddie Krüger's Underwear). |

The RODS: Rattle The Cage
Massacre Records on Jan. 19 - CD, LP, Digital
American heavy metal veterans The RODS return with a new album. Founding members David "Rock" Feinstein (vocals, guitars) and Carl Canedy (drums) are joined by new bassist Freddy Villano (QUIET RIOT, WIDOWMAKER). The songs are said to be "rhythmically tighter, yet more musically unbound, the grooves heavier, and the melodies more dynamic". I think I'm willing to agree.
It might not have the same class as an old album like "Wild Dogs" (1982), but it's yet a powerful album with a modern production that we get here. So it's not like I have anything to complain about, as the songs are alright. Some are even really good actually. So if you like good old heavy metal, which is the main ingredient here, then this is worth a try or 4. |

METALITE: Expedition One
AFM Records on Jan. 19 - CD, 2LP
Swedish melodic metal band METALITE was formed in 2015, and this is their 4th release.
They gives us an album that's full of diverse compositions, which they top with a sci-fi story. But16 tracks is a lot of music to take in at once, and I get full after half of all these songs. It's not bad though, as there's lots of good moments here. The weaker moments are luckily few, but there is some of that too.
The members seems to be very good at what they're doing here, so you can't complain about that anyway. What we get is a modern, powerful and melodic kind of metal. So if that sounds like something that you would like, then you should really give this album a try (there's already a few singles available, so you don't have to wait until the album is released).
The theme of "Expedition One" is a fictitious story about life on our planet in the year 2055. |

SILVERA: Death Of Me
Mighty Music on Jan. 12 - Digital Single
SILVERA is a modern melodic hard rock band from Denmark. They are said to be something for fans of VOLBEAT, NICKLEBACK and ALTER BRIDGE. Their debut album, "Edge Of The World", was released in 2020, and a new album will be released later this year. "Death Of Me" is a first taste of the new album.
When I look back at my review of the debut album, it seems like I didn't like the singer's voice. And I also thought it was too modern for me and a pretty hopeless album.
So, are they better this time? Well, the sound is still modern, but this song sounds like something old as well, which actually makes it a little better according to me. Fans of melodic hard rock should give it a try. |

Target Records on Jan. 12 - Digital Single
For some reason this Danish band have chosen a softer song as the first single from their upcoming album, "Heathen Gospels", which will be released on March 29. It might work for fans of West Coast rock, and possibly some pop listeners as well. It sounds very American actually. But with that said, it's a o.k. song anyway.
This is said to fit fans of The EAGLES, FLEETWOOD MAC and The BAND. Not something that I use to listen to. |

PsychoWard: Committed
Battlegod Production on Jan. 12 - ?
UK born John "Wardi" Ward spent the 80s living in L.A., when heavy metal was dominating Hollywood. He has worked with the likes of Slash, MADAM X and HURRICANE, and his former band, SHAME, was managed by Gene Simmons up until 1992. In 1994 Wardi took over vocal duties in SHY for a time, after the departure of Tony Mills. When the grunge movement became big in the States, Wardi returned to the U.K. to continue recording and touring with OLIVER DAWSON SAXON (who actually did 2 gigs in this little shithole called Borås, Sweden, where I live - I saw them once).
In 2015, Wardi relocated to Spain, where he crossed paths with the local 6-string legend Miguel Angel Lopez Escamez, and the story of PsychoWard began. Miguel has played on over 50 recordings, including projects with artists like EDGE OF THE BLADE, Rowan Robertson, Gene Allen, Dave Marshall and more.
The other members are Gonso on bass and Tony Montana on drums.
The music that this band gives us is a pretty traditional heavy metal, like it was done in the 80s. They might not have any future classics here, but it's absolutely not bad anyway. Some tracks are more powerful, while some are more melodic.

Battlegod Production on Jan. 12 - ?
NOBODY'S FOOL are said to play "unapologetically dirty rock n roll in the vein of AC/DC, SKID ROW and LED ZEPPELIN". They comes from Sydney's underground scene, and formed in 2002. "Time" is their 4th studio album.
So, do they deliver then? I would say yes, as this is not such a bad hard rock album. Because this is rather hard rock than dirty rock n roll according to me. There's lots of great songs on this album, and they end the whole thing with a cover of the JUDAS PRIEST classic "You've Got Another Thing Coming". Just that gives them some extra points.
So, worth checking out if you like 80s hard rock.

The HANGMEN: Stories To Tell
Acetate Records - LP, CD
The HANGMEN is like a ROLLING STONES with a bad hangover. Old-man rock as we call it here in Sweden. Instead of making fantastic anthems, they seems to play on half speed. There's a couple of good songs here and there, but most of these songs are just o.k. So a few songs with some more action wouldn't have hurt. The only song here with some more energy is the opening track, "Broken Heartland".
These veterans hailing from Los Angeles, and formed in 1986. Their self titled debut was released through Capitol Records in 1989. At that time their music was a mix of punk and sleaze rock, which sounds more interesting than what we get here.
"Stories To Tell" is their 7th studio album.

FAST EDDY: In Too Deep
Beluga Records - Digital Single
This is the second single from the upcoming album "To The Stars". A melodic thing on the border to pop/rock, even though I guess it's supposed to be power pop. Pretty good though, so no reason to complain. It should fit perfect for those who want something catchy and positive. Because that's the vibe I get from this song.
FAST EDDY formed in 2014, and they are from Denver, USA. The band features members from bands like DIRTY FEW and ITCHY O, and they have released 1 album so far.

ENGAGE THE ENEMY: Falling Into Insanity
Engage The Enemy - Digital Single
ENGAGE THE ENEMY is a Portuguese heavy metal band, and this seems to be their second release. But even though they play heavy metal, it's not really the traditional sound but more modern instead. This song is powerful and heavy, and it's absolutely not bad at all. It could be something for those of you who like your metal hard.
As this seems to be a pretty new band, there's not much else to say. But it will be interesting to hear some more with this band in the future. |

Out now digitally, and via Long Legs Long Arms Records/Shove Records on Feb. 5 - CD, LP
SVDESTADA is a crust punk/black metal band based in Madrid, and this is their third album. I like that there's so much crust punk in their sound, because that's a genre that I really like. And that extra element of black metal makes it even more aggressive and hateful.
As you probaby can figure out for yourself, this is really raw and energetic stuff. All songs are sung in Spanish, and I can really recomend you to check out this band. It will obviously work for both crust punks and black metallers.

The DAHLMANNS: All Dahled Up (re-issue)
Beluga Records/Ghost Highway Recordings on Jan. 16 - 2LP
Long time since I heard anything with this Norwegian power pop band last time. And this is not a new album, but a re-release of an album from 2011 with an extra disc of 13 bonus tracks. So what's up with this band? Would be nice with something new, as they are damn good. Which they really prove with this double sandwich. Yes, they might even be the best Scandinavian band in this genre. That's how good it is. So you should of course check them out at once.
These 25 songs are very catchy and melodic, but yet more punk rock than pop or rock. It also sounds very American and far away from modern (rather timeless). Think of the more melodic stuff with RAMONES for example. It's simply a sound that always works, and it actually makes you feel happy for a little while. |

GOTHONY: Gothony
Inverse Records on Jan. 12 - CD, Digital
It seems like this Finnish band was founded back in 1993, but it's not until now (after 30 years) that they are ready to release their full-length debut.
After a 20-year break the band decided to hit the stage to play some of their old songs. And now they have also recorded an album, with both old and new material (if I get it right). Their music is described as drama metal, but sounds more like some kind of melodic death metal to me, but with a gothic twist (or however I should describe it?). The music might not always be melodic death metal as it's not fast enough, but the vocals is the same anyway. And they have the same guitar melodies as melodic death metal use to have as well.
Well, they have some good songs among these 8 tracks, so why not give it a try?
Release show at Skenesali in Vantaa, Myyrmäki on January 27. |

SAEVUS FINIS: Facilis Descensus Averno
Transcending Obscurity Records on Jan. 12 - CD, Digital
This is another band that can be seen as noisey and chaotic. But it's actually not just pedal to the metal all the way here. Sometimes they slow down and play heavier instead, even though it's just as brutal as the faster parts. So I would not recomend this for those who want melodic stuff. But if you want something hard, this could be it.
SAEVUS FINIS hailing from Portugal, and this is their debut album. Their music is a dark and blackened kind of death metal. |

JONESY: Doppelgangbanger
Heavy Medication Records - 10" EP
This band hailing from Montreal, Canada, so it's not the 70s prog band with the same name. No, this is more like raw and dirty, yet catchy and melodic, punky rock n roll. And this is definitely not bad at all. The lyrics are not always so clean and politically correct, but are more about fun stuff like girls and rock n roll.
I like the song title "(If It's Not Rock N Roll) Go To Hell" - That's the right attitude! It's probably the best track of these 4 songs. But the other songs are not bad either.
This is definitely worth checking out.

TRINTA & UM: Granada No Charco
Hell Xis - CD, LP
This is a Portugese hardcore/punk band, which have been active since 1995. After a 8-year hiatus the classic line-up reunited in 2018. And in late October last year they returned with this new album, "Granada No Charco", which is their 4th album.
We get an explosive and what I would call melodic hardcore album, yet it's just as hard and heavy as it should be. And this is more punk than metal actually. It's not really a full-length though, as most of these 7 tracks are just 2 and a half to 3 minutes. That gives us approximately 20 minutes of music, which is a EP. But short and sweet is better than long and boring. And these songs are not bad at all, so it could be worth a try.
TRINTA & UM sing in Portugese.

FEAR THE FATE: Fight The Fear
Fear The Fate - Digital EP
This is a heavy metal duo from Sweden. Ivan Castro play all instruments and Belinda Blomqvist take care of the vocals. "Fight The Fear" is their debut EP, which features 4 tracks.
They have a powerful sound, with both melodic and groovy elements. It's dark and heavy, and not the traditional heavy metal that we talk about here, but rather something modern and alternative I would say (in lack of a better description). It sounds good anyway, so you should give them a chance.

Echo Splinter - Digital EP
ECHO SPLINTER is an online collaboration with members from Switzerland, USA and Sweden. The music is a genre-crossing mixture of hard rock, post-hardcore and alternative metal. Inspiration comes from bands like ALTER BRIDGE, TREMONTI, PERIPHERY, FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE and BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE.
What we get is an ambitious sound journey. It sounds alternative and features all kinds of different moods. But in their best moments it sounds mainly like hard rock with some metal guitars, while the vocals is melodic and passionate. So it's not as a wild ride as you might think. Not in the beginning at least. Because after 2 songs it's more of those other ingredients, but still with the right passion, and still very good.
A wild guess is that fans of progressive and experimental metal could like this band. But fans of hard rock, alternative metal and post-hardcore should give it a try too.

DUST MICE: Archimedes Death Ray
Epictronic Records - Digital Single
This song is taken from DUST MICE's second album, "Room Within A Room", which will be released on January 26. They're said to be a dark and heavy trip into space rock, psych rock and garage rock, with layers of distortion and repetition. This song sounds more like pop, even though it has some of those other ingredients too. Pretty catchy and melodic actually.
DUST MICE hailing from the Pacific Northwest, and have previously released 2 EPs and 1 full-length album. | |

LASTWORLD: Beautiful Illusion
Perris Records on Jan. 5 - CD
"Beautiful Illusion" is LASTWORLD's fifth album in 5 years. Not many artists are that active nowadays, when it's nothing unusal if it takes 5 years between each album.
Jim Shepard (all instruments) and David Cagle (all vocals) continue their mission to give us melodic "hard" rock. 11 tracks is what we get this time, and it sounds just like it should. So this is of course good stuff, and therfor worth checking out.
And fact is that I don't have much else to add.. | |

SPRINTS: Letter To Self
City Slang on Jan. 5 - LP, CD, CDR, Digital
Dublin based SPRINTS are mainly a garage punk rock band. But once in a while they play something that sounds more like rock or indie rock instead. It's a varied material at least. Some songs are better than others, but nothing is a total disaster anyway. And even though this is not the exact same thing, I get a feeling that fans of something like AMYL AND THE SNIFFERS could like this. I think it's a good album anyway.
"Letter To Self" is the band's debut album. They have previously released 2 EPs.

PALACE OF THE KING: Friends In Low Places
Reckless Records - LP, Digital
This is an Australian hard rock band, who spice their sound with powerful riffs and fuzz-filled hooks. It's a little bluesy sometimes, but not always. And it's also pretty energetic. They have previously released 2 EPs, 3 albums and a live EP, as well as a string of singles. And a few weeks ago they released a brand new album, "Friends In Low Places".
Headbangers and more soulful pieces goes hand in hand on this album together with some more fuzzy numbers. Simply a classic hard rock album with the right ingredients, you could say. And most of these 10 tracks sounds good to me, so I recomend you to give them a try.

DESCENT: Burning Babylon
Wormholedeath Records - Digital EP
I'm not really sure when this metal band was born, but they seems to be from Dallas anyway, and were inspired by bands like METALLICA, NIRVANA, GREEN DAY and The OFFSPRING when they began. So I would guess the 90s then. Anyway.. In 2002 life took them on seperate paths. But in 2018 they were back again.
On this 4-track EP they used both classic and modern recording techniques to get their sound. We get 4 tracks, and I thought it was going to be heavy metal. But to me this is almost more like metalcore or something similar. It's hard and heavy anyway, even though there's melodic moments too.
The material is obviously not that strong though, as I sit there like a question mark and wonder what I just been listening to. I can't remember anything. So they should really work some more on their songs before they release anything else. | |

Cassidy Paris: New Sensation
Frontiers Music Srl - CD, Digital
This is the debut album from this young Australian rock lady. Among her idols are names like Lzzy Hale, Joan Jett, Pink, Pat Benatar and Avril Lavigne. She has previously released 2 EPs (both sold out).
To call your first full-length a new sensation might be a bit cocky and a bit exaggerated. But fact is that this is really not bad at all. And hopefully she can make some more young girls pick up a guitar and start to sing, instead of just sitting there with their stupid phone without doing anything creative at all. Cassidy also want to deliver a strong message with her songs, which is another reason for young people to listen to this album (old people should not be afraid to try this though).
So, what about the music then? Well, it's some kind of modern and melodic rock/hard rock that we get here. Yet it reminds me of the stuff from the 80s, but still sounds fresh and today. | |

Frontiers Music Srl - CD, Digital
The first times I heard this album, I didn't really like it because of some opera/soprano vocals here and there. But after listening some more, I figured out that there wasn't that much of that vocals after all. And then the songs suddenly became much better than before. So in the end this is absolutely not bad at all for being sypmphonic metal.
This album is full of great songs, but there's at least 1 small problem - There's too many tracks here! For some reason they were a little too eager and included as much as 14 tracks. And 1 of them is as long as 12:44 minutes. So the album actually last for a little too long. Sure, a luxury problem, but anyway..
EVERDAWN is a band from New Jersey, formed in March 2014 under the moniker MIDNIGHT ETERNAL. Their self titled debut album was released in 2016. After a North American tour, they brought in Russian born vocalist Alina Gavrilenko, who was living in Canada at the time. She took the band to the next level, and they decided to change the name of the band to EVERDAWN. The first album under that name, "Cleopatra", was released in March 2021. | |

Frontiers Music Srl - CD, Digital
Who might FIFTH NOTE be then? Well, it's a hard rock band from India, and this is their debut album.
The band formed in the middle of 2019, and their influences comes from progressive metal and classic old school hard rock. In the beginning they played covers, but soon began to compose their own original material.
Well, this is most of all a classic hard rock album, even though there's some progressive adventures here and there as well (sometimes more, sometimes less), and it sounds really good to me. If you don't check out this band, then you must be stupid. But that kind of stupidity can be cured, just do the right thing. | |

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