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REVIEWS 2018 - Page 3

SIR REG: FOOL (Fight Of Our Lives) - Single
SIR REG are a Celtic punk rock band from Köping, Sweden, with a Irish man on vocals. They are not a new band. They have been around for many years now, and I have reviewed some of their albums before, but it was a few years ago now. Their 5th album, "The Underdogs", will be released in the fall, and this is the first single from that record. Let's just say that people who like DROPKICK MURPHYS, FLOGGING MOLLY and The POGUES should definitely check this out. Because this band are among the better in their genre here in Sweden.
(Despotz Records)
MAY 31, 2018

SKALLBANK: Avfällingsvals - Single
SKALLBANK comes from Karlstad, Sweden, and are said to combine classic rock n roll with scream vocals. They are also said to sound like KVELERTAK, TURBONEGRO and The HELLACOPTERS. But people say so much, but there actually is some truth in that description (for a change). But while those bands sing in English, this band scream in Swedish. And it's a pretty good song, even though I seems to forget it too soon.
(Big Balls Productions)
MAY 31, 2018

SLOMATICS/CONAN - Split Album (reissue)
CONAN: 3 shit heavy, slow and boring sludge/doom songs between 1-11 minutes. Crap!
SLOMATICS: 3 heavy sludge/doom songs between 5,36-6,37 minutes. A little better, but not much.
You don't need much intelligence to listen to this. But I must say that both bands have a cool sound (much distortion and the speakers on highest volume). I want it to be more catchy though, and not just the same riffs over and over again. More melody.
This is a re-release on limited edition ogre green vinyl. I don't have a clue when it was originally released though.
Release date: June 1, 2018 (Black Bow Records)
MAY 31, 2018

SVEDERNA: Svedjeland - Album
This is the second full length from this Swedish black metal band. Their roots are in the Scandianvian 90s, but I can also hear influences from folk metal. The music is hard, but yet with melody. And they are not the fastest black metal band, even though it's hardly slow. Clean vocals is not something for this singer though (luckily he usually uses his harsh voice instead).
SVEDERNA formed in the summer of 2012, and they immediately started to work on their debut album, "Äntra", which came out in June 2013 on homemade cassette. "Svedjeland" will be released on both CD and LP though.
(Carnal Records)
MAY 31, 2018

AGGRESSION: Feels Like Punk, Sounds Like Thrash - Album
This is the 4th album by this Canadian thrash metal band, but fact is that they existed in the 80s already. In 2016 they released their first new album in 29 years, and I guess they have been active again since then, because now another album is here.
Well, if you're looking for true old-school thrash, then you don't have to look any further - This is the band for you! You could almost think that this would have been a re-release of some old forgotten album, but it's obviously not.
Release date: June 1, 2018 (Dissonance Productions)
MAY 30, 2018

TOLEDO STEEL: No Quarter - Album
Debut album with a British band from the so-called "New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal" scene. They have been rocking since 2011, but their influences comes from the high energy heavy metal bands of the 80s. They make their own songs though, and doesn't just copy a bunch of other bands straight off. Even though it's hardly something unique that they are doing. And yes, I know that there's hundreds of similar bands out there. But I must say that they deliver the British metal heritage with pride. Because they have a lot of really good songs here.
This is something for fans of classic bands like JUDAS PRIEST and IRON MAIDEN.
Release date: June 1, 2018 (Dissonance Productions)
MAY 30, 2018

NOCTURNAL BREED: The Whiskey Tapes Germany - Album
After a too long and useless intro, we get something that sounds like demo recordings of several covers. Some of them are well-known to me - W.A.S.P., TWISTED SISTER, ANTHRAX - while some are not. And they are hardly doing anything unique with these songs. And it's also pretty clear that the original versions are done by bands that are much better musicians. But I wouldn't say that it sucks. No, it's o.k.
When they start to play some kind of primitive, thrashy death/black metal after half the album, then it's not so funny anymore. But then the production is not that good either, so it's actually hard to tell if the songs really are that bad or not.
I find it hard to believe that anybody but a few fanatics look forward to this collection. If I would have had to pay for this, then I would have felt cheap and cheated.
NOCTURNAL BREED are a Norwegian band, who seems to have a loyal fan base in Germany. "The Whiskey Tapes Germany" is an exclusive compilation of previously unreleased material just for them. Further versions for other countries are planned.
Release date: May 31, 2018 (Folter Records)
MAY 30, 2018

British band who blend "the chainsaw fury of Swedish death metal with UK hardcore's sledgehammer groove". And I have praised that combination before, and this band also know how to deliver it. I really like it!
This is still a pretty young band, as they formed in late 2016. But they have already released a self produced EP, "Venomous Tongues", and built a reputation for a blistering live show and hard nosed DIY (do it yourself) ethic.
This is the kind of band that should please both death metallers and crust punks. Well, I think that even the hardcore kids could like this.
Release date: June 1, 2018 (Hibernacula Records)
MAY 29, 2018

NOMAD: Feral - Album
Sludge/doom band from Manchester, UK that is recomended for fans of EYEHATEGOD, CROWBAR and CATHEDRAL. The band have been around since 2012, and this is their first full length. They have previously released 2 EPs - "The House Is Dead" in 2014 and a split with WORT in 2015.
If you want nice melodies and beautiful vocals, then this is not a band for you. It's dark and dirty. Some songs are pretty long, while others are shorter. Nothing is extra good though. It all just goes in and out. Not a band for me.
Release date: May 31, 2018 (APF Records)
MAY 28, 2018

WIEGEDOOD: De Doden Hebben Het Goed III - Album
Primitive and monotonous black metal, with a dark and cold atmosphere. But still aggressive and brutal.
This is the final part of the "De Doden Hebben Het Goed" trilogy, which started in 2015. We get 4 songs, who are between 6-12 minutes long. It might not be excellent, but it's definitely not bad at all. It's absolutely worth a try at least.
I don't really know what else there is to say..
(Century Media)
MAY 27, 2018

STONEFACE: Stoneface - Album
This band consist of 3 members from the Swedish band MOTHERLODE and the former singer of HOUSE OF SHAKIRA and MIND'S EYE. They get their inspiration from classic artists like BLACK SABBATH, Ozzy Osbourne, RAINBOW, DREAM THEATER and RUSH, as well as more modern acts like BLACK STONE CHERRY and BLACK LABEL SOCIETY. Their music end up in something like progressive hard rock/heavy metal. It's pretty melodic stuff and never too advanced to understand. This is their debut album. Pretty good stuff actually. So give it a try.
(Self released?)
MAY 27, 2018

SISTA BRYTET: Hjärtat I Handen - Album
The perfect combination of Swedish punk rock like the more melodic stuff with STOCKHOLMS NEGRER and British punk rock like The CLASH? Possibly something like that, yes..
Umeå in northern Sweden has given us a lot of good punk bands through the years. And here's another one. SISTA BRYTET started to play in 2010 when singer/guitarist Fredrik Lindkvist took a longer break from TOTALT JÄVLA MÖRKER. He had also played in the more melodic punk rock band KNUGEN FALLER (check them out, excellent!), and that was something he wanted to do again. They have previously released 1 EP, a split EP with POPTERROR and 1 album.
This album also includes guest vocals from Adam Nilsson (STILETT, ex-TYSTA MARI) on the song "Kolla På Mig".
(Luftslott Records)
MAY 27, 2018

JACK 13'S PANZERCROW: Nightmare Returns - Album
PANZERCROW is a solo project of Finnish horror punk band SCARECROW's frontman Jack 13, and the music we get on this album is not that much different from his main band - Horror punk with a touch of metal. It's not rocket science, but it's good. The music is dark and eerie, but consist of all kinds of feelings.
Well, I like what I hear anyway, so this can absolutely be worth a try.
(82 Records)
MAY 27, 2018

CROOKED LETTER: The Shivers - Single
Building up a song silently for an eternity might work just fine as an album-opener, but definitely not for a single. And single by the way.. When I was a kid a single song wasn't more than 3-4 minutes. This song is 6,46 minutes. But anyway.. I guess nobody cares about small details like that anymore.
Maybe I should say something about the music instead? For some reason they call this Swedish band's music alt HC, which I'm pretty sure is supposed to mean alternative hardcore. But I don't know if this has anything at all to do with hardcore, because they also say that the music has more in common with bands like SWERVEDRIVER, The CURE and CURSIVE. So now I sit here like a question mark and know nothing.. What are they really playing, man?
The band formed in 2013 and has released 3 EPs. Their debut album, "Sinnesro", will be released this summer. And that's where this song comes from.
(Label unknown..)
MAY 27, 2018

AxMINISTER: The Crucible Of Sin - EP
Why does so many recordings sound like a demo nowadays? I don't really get it.
But anyway.. This was said to be something for fans of legends like MEGADETH, IRON MAIDEN, MANOWAR and SLAYER. So I just had to check it out of course (who wouldn't?). But just because they say that it's something for fans of those bands, it doesn't mean that they sound exactly like those bands. It's definitely heavy and thrash metal anyway, but with a modern touch.
This trio comes from Ontario, Canada (many trios from that country by the way), and they have been around since 1999. They have released 3 singles and 1 album before this EP.
(Metal Nation)
MAY 27, 2018

Årrefest at Insikten/Kulturhuset in Jönköping, Sweden on May 26, 2018
Insikten was a pretty cool punk place. No important people or guards who tell you what you can't do. You can bring your own alcohol and just be yourself. I like that.
Now I'm not sure about what order the bands was playing in, because some bands didn't play in the order that they were supposed to. But the bands who played here was ABNORM, H-SQUAD, ÅTERFALL, RAJOITUS, GENERAL GENOCIDE, WELTSCHMERZ, SVAVELDIOXID and BOTTLE KIDS. They all played some kind of hard and fast hardcore/punk or crust punk, and they were all good.
ABNORM was the first band anyway. And I sing in that band, so I guess I should not say too much. But the audience seemed to like us, and somebody said that we was much better than on our old recordings. The only problem was that you could hardly hear when the drummer was singing. Not a big problem when it's just background vocals. But he sing lead vocals in 1 song, and then people seemed to be a little confused.
I'm pretty sure that the next band must have been H-SQUAD, and then it must have been ÅTERFALL. H-SQUAD had a really good mixture of really fast songs, a bit slower and mid-tempo songs. ÅTERFALL was what we call "käng" here in Sweden. Mainly fast songs. I got a record with them by the way, and it wasn't until I came home that I saw that it was their split with VANVETT, which I already had digitally. But it's always nicer with vinyl.
It must have been our friends in RAJOITUS after that. And it was a few years now since I saw them last time. Well, they kicked arse, even though the singer was a bit drunk (on the other hand there wasn't that many people who were sober there). Where I stood, it was hard to hear in what language he was singing though. They usually sing in Finnish, even though they are from Borås, Sweden like me.
Rajoitus  Rajoitus
After that I'm not really sure what band who was playing, but I think we saw 2 or 3 more bands before we went back home. But as I said earlier, all bands was good and it was also a nice evening.
MAY 27, 2018

PERFECT PLAN: All Rise - Album
More melodic hard rock.. And just like so many other bands in this genre, they reminds me a lot of the happy 80s sound. And I really like it! Fans of EUROPE, DEF LEPPARD and similar bands has yet another band to check out: PERFECT PLAN.
The band comes from Örnsköldsvik, Sweden, and formed in late 2014. This seems to be their debut album though.
(Frontiers Music Srl)
MAY 26, 2018

James Christian: Craving - Album
You should not expect the rock scene to take you seriously when you end the album with a song called "Amen". But before that we get some really good melodic rock. And that's something you should take really seriously. Because there's many good songs on this album.
James Christian is the singer in HOUSE OF LORDS, but he has also had a solo career since 1994, when his solo debut "Rude Awakening" was released. "Craving" is his 4th solo album.
(Frontiers Music Srl)
MAY 26, 2018

IssA: Run With The Pack - Album
Yet another very soft and melodic rock album. And this Norwegian woman is obviously very good at this stuff. We get 11 strong songs that will make most fans of this genre beg for more. You can find all the right ingredients: good vocals and good melodies. And on top of that, great songs. What else can you ask for?
This is her 5th studio album, and among the musicians on this record are Simone Mularoni (DGM) on guitar, Andrea ToWer Torricini (VISION DIVINE) on bass, Marco Di Salvia (KEE OF HEARTS) on drums and keyboard player/producer Alessandro Del Vecchio.
(Frontiers Music Srl)
MAY 26, 2018

SKINNED: Shadow Syndicate - Album
This band has been around for more than 20 years now, and this is their 5th studio album. It was produced by Dave Otero (CATTLE DECAPITATION, CEPHALIC CARNAGE), and features guest vocals by Josh Welshman (DEFEATED SANITY) on "As Their Bodies Fall", which also features guest lyrics by Paul McGuire (CEREBRAL BORE).
The band comes from the States and deliver a fist full of pure death metal straight in your dirty face. In other words, just the way that it has always been delivered. So don't expect any surprises here. That doesn't mean that it's bad though, or without any variation at all. Oh no, this is both good and full of variation. So don't you worry about that my child.
MAY 24, 2018

STRYPER: God Damn Evil - Album
O.k., I have not heard anything with these Christian Americans since the 80s, when I was listening to their albums "Soliders Under Command" and "To Hell With The Devil". That was a very melodic experience, but I liked them a lot. This is much harder and heavier than that. You can almost start to wonder if it's the same band? But there's some melodic songs too, so there's absolutely variation. And just because it sounds different doesn't mean that it's bad. No, this is actually pretty good stuff. Maybe not a new masterpiece, but good anyway.
This is the band's 10th studio album. The opening track, "Take It To The Cross", features a guest apperance from Matt Bachand (SHADOWS FALL, ACT OF DEFIANCE), who is growling. That has probably never happened on a STRYPER album before.
(Frontiers Music Slr)
MAY 24, 2018

MOTOR CITY MAYHEM: Shitfaced And Outta Luck - Album
Action rock is obviously still alive. And here's a band that really prove it. If you miss early The HELLACOPTERS and BACKYARD BABIES, then this is definitely something for you mate. Because that's exactly what this band sounds like.
From the ashes of the German band SHOTGUN EXPRESS comes this high-energy rock band, and this is their debut album. It contains 10 tracks, and most of them are very good stuff, even though some more variation between the songs wouldn't have hurt.
Release date: May 25, 2018 (Metalapolis Records)
MAY 23, 2018

IMPERIUM: Beyond The Stars - Album
Yet another very soft and melodic rock/hard rock band with that 80s feeling.
IMPERIUM is the solo project of drummer Mika Brushane, who have been playing drums and percussion in various bands since 1981, and in all kinds of genres, from jazz to metal. This project started in 2012 already, when Mika composed new songs for a album with STRIKE. IMPERIUM's debut album, "Dreamhunter", came out in 2016. Mika handle all drums, bass, keyboards and backing vocals, while lead vocals and guitars are performed by various musicians from the rock/metal scene.
This is very good stuff. So if you're a fan of melodic rock and hard rock, then you just have to check this out. That's how great it is.
Release date: May 25, 2018 (AOR Heaven)
MAY 23, 2018

FRONTLINE: Heroes - Album
FRONTLINE was founded back in 1989 already, and they are from Nürnberg, Germany. Their debut album, "The State Of Rock" (which I reviewed about a month ago), was released in 1994. In 1995 they released the all acoustic album "Two Faced", and "Heroes" was recorded in 1996. It was only officially released in Japan, as their European record label went out of business. A year later "Heroes II" was recorded, but it was never released. Since 2000 they have released several albums. The last record was "Circles" from 2006.
"Heroes" will finally be re-released worldwide in a limited edition of 1000 copies. And that's really good news of course. Because this is extremely good melodic hard rock that you definitely don't want to miss if you're a fan of that genre. My only question is why it's just available in 1000 copies? It should sell much more than that.
Release date: May 25, 2018 (AOR Heaven)
MAY 23, 2018

PARKWAY DRIVE: Reverence - Album
This is the 6th album from this Australian band. They have been around since 2002, and their most successful album seems to be their last album, "Ire", which was released in 2015, and has been certified gold in their homeland. Not bad for such a hard and heavy band.
We get 10 tracks of hardcore/metal with lots of variation. You could also call it metalcore with extra everything. There's hard and heavy parts, as well as more catchy and melodic parts, and everything in-between that. And it's not bad at all. This could actually be worth a try.
MAY 22, 2018

BABYMETAL: Distortion - Single
What can I say about this then? It's definitely a little different from what a fan of metal usually listen to. But then they often label this Japanese kid band as pop/metal.
The chorus is very catchy and melodic. It's not a bad song at all. So if you like the combination of hard and heavy with the more catchy and melodic, then this could be something for you.
MAY 22, 2018

TOMORROW'S EVE: Mirror Of Creation III, Project Ikaros - Album
What can I say about this then? Progressive metal. They can be hard and heavy, as well as catchy and melodic, just like any other band. But they are also a little more advanced sometimes. You won't get bored when you listen to this. Many songs are like a little journey, but it's still pretty good. So people who are fans of this genre should definitely give them a try or 4.
This is these Germans 5th album. Their debut album, "The Unexpected World", was released in 1999. The band consist of members who have played with Yngwie Malmsteen, SYMPHONY X and MEKONG DELTA.
Release date: May 25, 2018 (Baze Records)
MAY 21, 2018

Another solo debut. This time from DORO guitarist Luca Princiotta, who has also played with artists like Blaze Bayley (ex-IRON MAIDEN), André Matos (ex-ANGRA), Chris Caffery (SAVATAGE), Dennis Stratton (ex-IRON MAIDEN), Uli Jon Roth (ex-SCORPIONS) and Tarja Turunen (ex-NIGHTWISH), just to mention a few (many ex-members there by the way). And 1 thing that this album prove is that a solo album might not always be the best idea. Or the most funny idea for the fans at least. Luca seems to be a very good guitarist, but just because you want to show the world how damned good you are on your own, that doesn't mean that people actually want to hear it. It might sound hard, but I think that most people actually don't give a shit about solo albums. Unless the person is very famous then. And this guy is obviously not that famous.
This album is a mixture of instrumental songs and some songs with vocals (by Matteo Bertini) - 2 instrumental, 1 with vocals, 2 instrumental again, 1 with vocals again, 2 instrumental once again and 1 with vocals, which is followed by yet another instrumental number. The music is hard rock, often with a lot of melody, and a lot of solos of course. The songs with vocals are the most interesting to me on this album. The rest is probably just for guitar nerds.
Release date: May 25, 2018 (Metalville)
MAY 20, 2018

Nils Patrik Johansson: Evil Deluxe - Album
This is the first solo album from Swedish singer Nils Patrik Johansson (ASTRAL DOORS, LION'S SHARE, CIVIL WAR). The ideas for these songs has been created over a period of more than 10 years, and what we get is a album filled with epic heavy metal. It's like if you would try to blend good old DIO with SABATON, or something like that. But it actually works as it's never as over-bombastic as that last band can be sometimes.
Nils Patrik is a very good singer that reminds a little of the late Ronnie James Dio (r.i.p). And this seems to be a very honest tribute to his heavy metal roots. I really recomend you to check this out, because this is a very good album.
Release date: May 25, 2018 (Metalville)
MAY 20, 2018

ARCHITECTS OF CHAOZ: (R)evolution - Album
Last time I heard this band they had Paul Di'Anno (ex-IRON MAIDEN) on vocals. But that didn't last for too long. Breaking up is hard to do, as they sang in an old song from the 50s or 60s, but the band is now back with a new album and a new singer, Titta (which means look in Swedish). And they have also developed their sound. It's both more melodic and harder. But also more diverse. A mixture of many different kinds of metal you could say.
If this is a winning concept or not is hard to tell, but it's definitely not bad anyway. 13 tracks is a few too many for me though.
Release date: May 25, 2018 (Metalville)
MAY 20, 2018

SCIENCE OF DISORDER: Private Hell - Album
I think the singer in this Swizz band reminds me a little of a young and angry Dee Snider (TWISTED SISTER). And this could possible be what TWISTED SISTER would have sound like if they had formed today. But that's just a wild guess of course.
Their music is modern, heavy and dark metal. Very powerful, but also melodic once in a while. Everything might not be great, but they definitely have some really good songs here. So why not check it out?
It looks like this band was formed in 1989 already, under the name SOULLESS (which released 2 EPs and 2 albums). The first album under the name SCIENCE OF DISORDER came out in 2010.
Release date: May 25, 2018 (Fastball Music)
MAY 19, 2018

SALEMS LOTT: Mask Of Morality - Album
This album sound so familiar that I think that I must have heard it before. And after a little examination, it turns out that I reviewed a EP with the same title in November last year. And the songs that sound so familiar are obviously from that EP. Then I wrote that they sound like a more melodic ACCEPT or RAVEN, but with a American touch. And that is still what I hear from this Hollywood band.
This is their first full length album, and I really like it. This is a band that you have to check out if you're a fan of good old heavy metal with melody.
(Self released?)
MAY 19, 2018

SADISTIK FOREST: Morbid Majesties - Album
Finnish death metal band who borrow elements from doom as well as black metal. But in general it's just true pure death metal like it's supposed to be. It's said to be something for fans of FUNEBRE, GRAVE, BOLT THROWER, early AMORPHIS, CANNIBAL CORPSE etc. So if you like those kind of bands, then you probably don't want to miss this record.
Release date: May 25, 2018 (Transcending Obscurity Records)
MAY 19, 2018

QFT: Live In Space - Album
No, this is not a live album, in case somebody would think that. As you might know already, this is the solo band of THERION singer Linnéa Vikström.
Why they begin the album with the hard and heavy "End Of The Universe" is a mystery though. No, I would recomend you to start with the second song, "Big Bang", instead (which is my favorite). That song is the perfect bombastic opening track.
I'm not really sure how I should describe the music on this debut album. It's a little like a rock/metal opera somehow, but nothing like THERION (if anybody would expect that). Many good songs anyway. And the lyrics is hardly what you would expect from a young woman (but hey, it's 2018, not 1818). They spans all the way from current science to the eternal, philosophical questions regarding the beginning, the end and life beyond our own planet, as well as quantum physics.
Interesting that they end the whole thing with a cover of Björk's "Jóga". I actually liked her first albums a lot. But I have not been listening to her for many, many years now.
(Despotz Records)
MAY 19, 2018

AIRBORN: Lizard Secrets - Album
Ever since 1995 these Italians have been playing power metal. Their debut album, "Against The World", came out in 2001. It was followed by "D-Generation" in 2003. After a short hiatus they were back with a new lineup in 2009, when they released "Legend Of Madog". And let's just say that some more albums has been released since then. "Lizard Secrets" is their 5th album, which is the first installment in a trilogy.
Well, this is a very good band, and there's many favorites among these 13 songs (including a intro and a bonus track). So do yourself a favour and check this out as soon as possible.
(Fighter Records)
MAY 18, 2018

MORDOR: Darkness... - Album
MORDOR has existed since 1990, and have become one of the most respected Polish doom/death bands. They have been away for a long time, but are now back. This is their first new album in 21 years. It's said to be back to their roots. You can expect heavy riffs, deep vocals and a almost melancholy sound. So if that sounds like something that could be interesting to you, then check this out.
6 tracks between approximately 7-8 minutes is what you're going to get.
(Pagan Records)
MAY 17, 2018

LA LUZ: Floating Features - Album
4 women from L.A. playing a mix of melodic surf rock and garage rock. They have succeeded to get that typical 60s sound with lots of echo/reverb, and they all contribute with harmonic choirs. They are hardly the wildest band on the planet though, so I don't think that fans of a band like The SONICS will like it. This is more laidback and cool. Almost a little psychedelic. But sometimes they are on the border to pop. But then we talk 60s pop and not some modern crap.
This is their 3rd album, and I like what I hear.
(Hardly Art)
MAY 17, 2018

CAPTAIN BLACK BEARD: Struck By Lightning - Album
Very catchy and melodic "hard" rock. Not bad at all. They have several good songs here. No doubt at all about that. People who like AOR and melodic hard rock should absolutely check this out.
CAPTAIN BLACK BEARD was formed in 2009, and they are from Sweden. It seems like they have released 3 albums before, but those albums are not in the same direction as this album. And they also have a new lead singer, Liv Hansson.
(Melodic Rock Records)
MAY 17, 2018

20 WATT TOMBSTONE: Death Blues vs. The Dirty Spliff - EP
I want to call this stoner blues. But I guess it's supposed to be some kind of stoned Southern rock. Or maybe a mixture of both descriptions? They call it "death blues" though.
Anyway.. 20 WATT TOMBSTONE is a duo from northern Wisconsin. Their influences comes from modern acts like CLUTCH and The BLACK KEYS, as well as old legends like MOTÖRHEAD, but also country/blues musicians Junior Kimbrough and R.L. Burnside.
Pretty o.k. stuff. I don't have much else to say..
Release date: May 18, 2018 (Self released)
MAY 16, 2018

VILE CALIBER: Willpower - Single
Modern, melodic heavy rock from Helsinki, Finland. They are said to combine influences from rock legends like JUDAS PRIEST, IRON MAIDEN, GUNS N' ROSES, WHITESNAKE and KISS, and then they add a modern twist to it. But it might not be so obvious to hear that, even though this song is more heavy metal than heavy rock. A pretty good song anyway.
(Inverse Records)
MAY 16, 2018

Punk rock in Swedish with a pinch of metal. Pretty catchy and melodic. Almost trallpunk sometimes. But even though it sounds familiar, they have their own sound.
PASTORATET was formed in 2009, but the members have been playing since the early 90s in bands like The LIPTONES, SNUTJÄVEL and VÄNSTERNÄVEN to name a few. And those bands are really good (check them out!). This doesn't sound like any of those bands though. But if you don't have anything against punk rock with melody, then I think you should give this band a try, because they're not bad at all.
Too bad that it's just available digitally. This should have been released on 7" vinyl. But a digital release is always better than no release at all, as Dr. Rock probably would have said.
MAY 15, 2018

MÅSROCK: Måsrock - Album
Is it really supposed to sound like that? If they could have skip those stupid noises in some of the songs, then it would at least have been a little better here and there. After all it's an instrumental album, so how funny can it really be? And it doesn't seems to be made by anybody who wants us to know how excellent he is. Then I could at least have said that it could be something for future guitar heroes. But as it is now, I don't even think that they want to hear this.
No, listening to this doesn't give me anything at all. I actually don't even get why somebody want to release this. The only good song on this album that is worth an official release is the 5th song (yeah, I don't even know the titles, if there even are any).
This is a project by Björn Olsson (UNION CARBIDE, SOUNDTRACK OF OUR LIVES, Håkan Hellström etc). He is accompanied by Anders Johansson (HAMMERFALL, Yngwie Malmsteen etc) , Jens Johansson (STRATOVARIUS, Yngwie Malmsteen, DIO, RAINBOW etc), Gustaf Norén (MANDO DIAO, CALIGOLA etc), Charlie Storm (The HAUNTED, MANDO DIAO, BLUE FOR TWO etc), Strokkur and a whole bunch of seagulls (who take care of the "vocals").
(GMR Music)
MAY 15, 2018

GRIMNER: Dödens Dans - Single
Swedish vikings GRIMNER continue to deliver a mixture of metal and folk music. This song comes from their latest album, "Vanadrottning" (which you can read about here). It's catchy melodies mixed with heavy guitars and aggressive metal vocals. ..I think you know the sound by now.
A good song anyway. No doubt about that. But then the whole album was good, so that wasn't any surprise.
(Despotz Records)
MAY 15, 2018

This band comes from northern Finland, and was formed back in 1986 already. Their self-titled debut album was released in 1989 on EMI. And now after some breaks and change of members, they are back with a new album. The music is mainly thrash metal, but with a fresh sound and not just the old-school stuff. An interesting album that you should give a try.
2 of the songs are in Finnish, and there's also a cover of OVERKILL's "Blood & Iron".
Release date: May 18, 2018 (Iron Shield Records)
MAY 14, 2018

HARTMANN: Hands On The Wheel - Album
German hard rockers HARTMANN released their first album, "Out In The Cold", in 2005. It might be a modern band, but their sound is timeless. It's very melodic and easy to like. So if you like melodic hard rock, then this is definitely a album for you.
The band's mainman, Oliver Hartmann (vocals/guitar), has been a member of AT VANCE, and has also done studio work for artists like HAMMERFALL, RHAPSODY, HELLOWEEN and EDGUY. He is currently also a live member of AVANTASIA.
The album features a duet with MR. BIG vocalist Eric Martin on the song "Simple Man".
Release date: May 18, 2018 (Pride & Joy Music)
MAY 11, 2018

FOREIGNER: With The 21st Century Symphony Orchestra & Chorus - Several formats
I can't say that I know this band too well, but I reconized more songs than I thought I would, so they are obviously not total strangers to me. I'm not really sure where I have heard those songs though. But it could have something to do with the fact that when I grew up in the 70s/80s, the radio was always on. And maybe I heard some of these songs then. But I could just as well have heard them at a pub/bar that I been to.
I would describe their music as really good soft rock. But I guess that AOR is what these veterans and legends call their music.
This was recorded in Lucerne, Switzerland in May 2017 with a full orchestra and choir (including a total of almost 120 people). They play all their hits and then some, so fans of the band should not be dissapointed in this.
MAY 11, 2018

CRYSTAL TEARS: Decadence Deluxe - Album
Classic heavy metal just like it's supposed to be. This is their 5th album, and it sounds really good. My favorite song is "Heart Of A Lion", which is said to be a a cover of JUDAS PRIEST (I can't figure out from what album though). There's also 2 more covers - acoustic versions of "I'm 18" by Alice Cooper and "Tie Your Mother Down" by QUEEN - as bonus tracks.
Their own material is far away from bad though. This is really good stuff! This is something that you definitely should check out as soon as possible. That's how good it is.
Among the guest musicians on this album are people like Ryan Roxie (Alice Cooper, SLASH'S SNAKEPIT), Karis Charisma (DEADSQUAD), Julien Nutz Deyres (GOROD) and Fidel De Jesus (XENO DEVATA PROJECT).
Release date: May 18, 2018 (Pride & Joy Music)
MAY 11, 2018

COLTSBLOOD: Ascending Into Shimmering Darkness - Album
Just 5 tracks. But some songs are so long that this is a full length. And as this edition is released on vinyl, it's a double album (it was released last year on CD through Candlelight/Spinefarm). On the other hand, it doesn't really matter on what format they release this, because it won't be any better anyway. This is another one of all these shit boring heavy bands, that seems to invade the planet nowadays. Just rubbish! And if you don't believe me, go ahead and take a listen for yourself, if you think that will make you any happier.
Please, play faster! Or can you at least be a little happier now that it's finally spring? Sunshine and this kind of music is a weird combination.
Release date: May 15, 2018 (Black Bow Records)
MAY 11, 2018

EVIL HUNTER: Evil Hunter - Album
EVIL HUNTER is a Spanish heavy/power metal band formed by members of several other bands, artists and projects (WARCRY, NOVA ERA, LORDS OF BLACK etc). This is their debut album, where the main ingredient is traditional heavy metal. But there's also a pinch of power metal and hard rock as well.
This is really good stuff, so you should absolutely give it a try. I don't think I have to say much more than that..
(Fighter Records)
MAY 10, 2018

EMERALD SUN: Under The Curse Of Silence - Album
Power metal from Greece with a band who formed in 1998 already. This is their 4th album so far. And what we get is not bad at all. These guys really know how to deliver this kind of music. They are definitely not any amateurs. So if you don't give this band a chance, then you must be really stupid.
(Fastball Music)
MAY 10, 2018

DOKKEN: Return To East Live 2016 - Several formats
Why this band had to reunite the original lineup is a very good question. But a even bigger mystery is why they had to cheat people with this product. Don Dokken himself can't even sing the vocal melodies right, and that disturb me a lot. Favorites like "Kiss Of Death", "Breakin' The Chains" and "Tooth And Nail" are totally destroyed because of him. Very sad. Just like 1 of their song titles, "It's Not Love".
The other guys seems to know what they are doing though, and I guess that's always something. Maybe they should start their own band with a other singer? Because if I would have been to this concert, I would probably have been so dissapointed that I had to leave.
The only good songs are the 2 last, which are acoustic studio recordings. Not even the new song, that they for some reason begin the album with, is good. Tragic.
(Frontiers Music Slr)
MAY 10, 2018

The DEATH WHEELERS: I Tread On Your Grave - Album
What we have here is 1 of these bands who think that singers are overrated. 11 instrumental rock songs directly from the desert. If there's any jazz fans reading this, then they might be interested in this. Because to me it's like short jam sessions that lead to nowhere. But those who like real old-school jazz use to like that stuff.
What we have here is a Canadian quartet, who take their inspiration from old biker movies. For some reason they call it sleaze n roll. This is supposed to sound like the soundtrack to an old b-movie from the late 60s. It's raw and dirty, but yet powerful.
Release date: May 11, 2018 (RidingEasy Records)
MAY 9, 2018

ZARRAZA: Necroshiva - Album
Thrash/death metal band from Kazakhstan who formed in 2010, and are said to be one of the hardest working metal bands in Central Asia. Well, they seems to work hard on making a lot of noise anyway. But it's luckily the better kind of noise. I have definitely heard worse than this anyway.
They have independently released 2 EPs - "Bullets & Beliefs" in 2012, and "Cutting Meat, Fast & Loud" in 2013 - this is their first full length though.
Well, don't just sit there. Give them a try at least.
Release date: May 11, 2018 (Self released)
MAY 9, 2018

OLD MAN WIZARD: Blame It All On Sorcery - Album
You take some GHOST and OPETH, then you mix it with a pinch of JETHRO TULL. And there you go: a OLD MAN WIZARD ready to drink. What you really get is 10 tracks of progressive rock, hard rock and metal, performed by 4 guys from sunny California. And fans of the bands I mentioned in the beginning should not be dissapointed, even though OLD MAN WIZARD put their own touch to it. They have many great songs on this album, so you should not miss this.
Release date: May 11, 2018 (Self released?)
MAY 8, 2018

MADHOUSE: Metal Or Die - Album
A mature title that prove that this is serious stuff.
MADHOUSE was originally founded back in 1987, and comes from Germany. They released 2 demo tapes in the late 80s, and split up in 1991. In 2014 the members got back together again. Their music is described as Teutonic heavy metal. I would call it heavy/power metal done the German way.
Well, they have some good songs here, so why not check them out? Any fan of classic heavy metal and power metal should like this.
Release date: May 11, 2018 (Iron Shield Records)
MAY 8, 2018

PETRIFICATION: Hollow Of The Void - Album
Old-school U.S. death metal. This is their first full length. And those of you who kneel before old bands like AUTOPSY, NIHILIST, GRAVE, CONVULSE, FUNEBRE and similar stuff shall immediately check this out. I like what I hear anyway. And I like it a lot.
But if you want more modern death, then this is hardly the band for you (but I guess you have already figured that out).
(Sentient Ruin Laboratories/Dawnbreed Records/To The Death Records/Memento Mori)
MAY 6, 2018

TRACED BY ENEMIES: Where The Sun Turns Grey - EP
..and then we were back to the early 2000s when they played metal with all kinds of emotions involved. They call it metalcore. I call it nu metal. What's the difference? To me it's more or less the same. Melodic metal mixed with hardcore. Pretty o.k. for a while, but not much else.
This German band formed in early 2016, and this is their second release. Nice for them..
(Dedication Records)
MAY 5, 2018

TENGIL: Shouldhavebeens - Album
Eh? Some kind of dreamy and poetic indie rock? Hardly my kind of beer. The only reason I even gave this a chance is that I think they are from my hometown Borås, Sweden or nearby (I'm still not sure about it though, but they are from Sweden anyway). Well, that didn't make them any better. But in case you want a soundtrack when you "clean your snake", then this might work for you. Or else you can give it to somebody who like pop music, becuase this doesn't rock at all.
Why they even label this as post-hardcore is a big question to me. This is what happens when a hardcore band wants to develop their sound, and go in the totally wrong direction. Experimental garbage.
(Prophecy Productions)
MAY 5, 2018

SMASH INTO PIECES: Superstar In Me - Single
Hm.. I thought that this was a rock band, but this song sounds more like some totally uninteresting pop that you can hear on the radio. Not exactly what I wanted to hear.
The only positive thing I can say about this is that it seems to be a real band and real musicians, and not just something that a producer have made with his computer.
SMASH INTO PIECES are described as a Swedish alternative rock export. "Superstar In Me" comes from their next album, which will be released in the fall.
Not my thing, but I'm hardly the only person on this planet.
(Gain/Sony Music)
MAY 5, 2018

DE PROFUNDIS: The Blinding Light Of Faith - Album
Long-running death metal band from UK. This is their 5th album. It's mainly pretty straight forward and powerful death metal, but there's also progressive and melodic elements here and there. You will even hear real guitar solos too. This is not the kind of band who become boring because they sound the same in every song. And I like it! This is definitely something worth checking out.
Release date: May 10, 2018 (Transcending Obscurity Records)
MAY 4, 2018

DEAF WHALE: Lessened Shadows - Album
Here's another band that will take you on a journey. Their influences comes from 60s and 70s bands like QUEEN, The DOORS and BLACK SABBATH. But also more modern bands like QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE and MASTODON. So some kind of adventurous rock is probably a very good description to this. Sometimes a little progressive, sometimes almost psychedelic. They are definitely not limited to just 1 genre of rock. They go in all kinds of directions. An adventurous journey in rock you could say.
The band comes from Madrid, Spain, and released their first album, "From Wood And Stone", in 2015.
I suspect that people who like QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE would like DEAF WHALE too.
(Art Gates Digital)
MAY 3, 2018

ANGELUS APATRIDA: Cabaret De La Guillotine - Album
You could say that this is a mixture of everything good with thrash metal that has been released since the 80s until today. A combination of the hard and heavy, as well as the aggressive and melodic, and everything in-between. It's all there. And this band really know how to deliver it. But that doesn't mean that they sound like everybody else. Sure, you can hear well-known pieces here and there, but they have somehow succeeded to create their own sound out of their influences.
The band comes from Spain, and this is their 6th studio album. So they should be well-known to the thrash fans by now. But if you have not heard this band before, then you really have to check out this album. That's how good it is.
Release date: May 4, 2018 (Century Media)
MAY 2, 2018

BLACKSLASH: Lightning Strikes Again - Album
I reviewed a split with this band and WITCHTOWER last month, and here we get some more of their melodic heavy metal. They deliver 10 really strong songs, and most of them are really good stuff. So you should check this out of course. And especially if you are a fan of classic heavy metal with melody. Then there's no excuse to not listening to this band.
The band comes from Germany, and have existed since 2007. They have released a few albums and EPs through the years. This is their 3rd full length.
Release date: May 4, 2018 (Iron Shield Records)
MAY 2, 2018

The SLOTHS: Back From The Grave - Album
The story about this band goes back to 1965, when some teenagers from Hollywood decided to form a rock n roll band. They were inspired by British bands like The ROLLING STONES, The YARDBIRDS, THEM and THE WHO, as well as American blues and rythm & blues musicians who had inspired the Brits: Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker. The band played every venue in Hollywood and released the single "Makin' Love". They delivered the single to local radio stations, but it was considered to be too controversial for airplay. By the end of the summer of 1966 the group disbanded.
During the years that single have become something for collectors, who have to pay thousands of dollars for a copy. In 2011 some of the surviving members decided to get together again. And if I got it right this album consist of the same songs that they used to play in 1965. People who like garage rock and good old rock n roll should definitely check this out.
Release date: May 4, 2018 (Eternal Sound Records)
MAY 1, 2018

NEKROKRAFT: Servants - Album
Full length debut from a Swedish band who play blackened thrash metal. It's brutal stuff, but yet melodic, and never ever chaotic. The lyrical theme on the album is inspired by ancient mythology, both Babylonian and Scandinavian folklore.
9 really strong songs is what we get here, and it sounds really good. This is a band that you should check out.
Any favorites? Well, that would be the second track, "Lechery", then.
Release date: May 4, 2018 (The Sign Records)
APRIL 30, 2018

Muskelrock Pre-Party with MAIDAVALE, HONEYMOON DISEASE and DEMON HEAD at Klubb Undergrunden/Pumphuset in Borås, Sweden on April 28, 2018
DEMON HEAD had already started to play when I arrived, but I don't think I missed more then 2 songs with them. A pretty o.k. doom rock band from Copenhagen, Denmark who did a pretty good gig. I don't have much else to add..
Demon Head  Demon Head  Demon Head  Demon Head
Next band was HONEYMOON DISEASE. I have seen them a few times before, but it was long ago since the last time now, so it was nice to see them again. This band really knows how to rock, and they are a very good live band. They also have a lot of very good songs, so I have nothing to complain about. Their music is some kind of harder rock. Like a mixture of action rock and 70s hard rock you could say. You have to check them out if you have not done that already.
Honeymoon Disease  Honeymoon Disease  Honeymoon Disease  Honeymoon Disease  Honeymoon Disease  Honeymoon Disease
MAIDAVALE was the last band. And they played so damned late that I was a little drunk. So I don't exactly remember how good they really was. I know that I liked their debut album anyway. But it took a while before I started to like their latest album. Well, they played songs from both albums anyway. Their music is probably best described as psychedelic 70s rock.
MaidaVale  MaidaVale  MaidaVale  MaidaVale  MaidaVale  MaidaVale
APRIL 29, 2018

SVINTASK: Svinhugg Går Igen - Album
These Swedish street punks deliver a report directly from the gutter. And they declare war (more or less) against all and nothing. They don't like the police because they beat them up for no reason. And they don't like rich, greedy bastards (if it's because they wasn't born with a silver spoon in their hands, or if they actually want to make a differance is unknown to me). They don't like the system, who is built on working until you die. They even declare that punk is dead (even though they obviously play it). But they like to drink alcohol anyway.
Their music is really good, and there's actually some variation as it's not the same singer on every song. There's even a couple of slow songs. And even though there's a lot of anger, the music is pretty catchy. And they obviously have some humour as well. Or what do you say about a title like "Vårt Oi!-band Är Opolitiskt För Vi Vågar Inte Stöta Oss Med Våra Nazi-fans" (Something like "Our Oi! band is unpolitical because vi don't dare to offend our Nazi fans") for example?
There's as much as 20 tracks (which usually is way too much), but it's over pretty fast, so it never get boring.
Release date: May 4, 2018 (AMTY Records)
APRIL 28, 2018

DEPRAVITY: Evil Upheaval - Album
It's not that many Australian death metal bands that have impressed me. But on the other hand I guess I have not heard that many either. Those that I have heard are often very brutal and extreme. Not all of them though (I think I have liked 1 band at least).
I would place this band in the brutal and extreme category. This is definitely not something for people with a weak heart. It might not be excellent, but it's not that bad either. I have definitely heard worse in my life.
Release date: Apr. 30, 2018 (Transcending Obscurity Records)
APRIL 27, 2018

Tara Lynch: Evil Enough - Album
Tara Lynch is a female guitarist/vocalist. This is her debut album, which features an all-star lineup that includes people like Glen Sobel (Alice Cooper, Uli Jon Roth, HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES), Mark Boals (Yngwie Malmsteen, DOKKEN, DIO DISCIPLES), Vinny Appice (DIO, BLACK SABBATH, HEAVEN AND HELL, LAST IN LINE), Tony MacAlpine, Björn Englen (Yngwie Malmsteen, DIO DISCIPLES), Phil Soussan (Ozzy Osbourne, Billy Idol, LAST IN LINE) and Brent Woods (Vince Neil, Sebastian Bach). And as you might have figured out already, the music is heavy metal. Often very melodic heavy metal to be more exactly. And most of these songs are really good stuff, so it could be worth a try.
(Tarasuz Records)
APRIL 27, 2018

PÁNICO AL MIEDO: Formador - Album
Spanish death thrashers who have been around since 2013, and this seems to be their debut album. All their lyrics are in Spanish, so I don't have a clue what they are singing about. But it sounds aggressive and brutal anyway. So no problem.
They have succeeded to get James Murphy (OBITUARY, DEATH, TESTAMENT) to do a solo on the title track. And the same song is also included as a bonus track, but with a solo from Bobby Koelble (DEATH) instead. The album was produced and mixed by Juan Urteaga (VILE, TESTAMENT, CATTLE DECAPITATION, MACHINE HEAD, EXODUS, HEATHEN), and mastered by Jens Bogren (BLOODBATH, OPETH, AMON AMARTH, PARADISE LOST, KATATONIA, KREATOR). The cover was done by Ed Repka (MEGADETH, DARK ANGEL, 3 INCHES OF BLOOD, ATHEIST, DEATH, VENOM, MASSACRE, VIO-LENCE).
..and just if I have not mentioned enough bands already, this is something for fans of DEATH, CARCASS, TESTAMENT, SEPULTURA, OBITUARY and ATHEIST.
Release date: Apr. 27, 2018 (Cimmerian Shade Recordings/United By Chaos Records/Symbol Of Domination)
APRIL 27, 2018

THRUST: Harvest Of Souls - Album
U.S. metal band that started in 1981 already, but I don't think they have been around all the time since then. They have released a few records through the years anyway, and now a new album is here. What we get is 10 tracks of classic heavy metal without any modern tricks. No surprises. You know what you're going to get. But it's good stuff, so there's really no need to complain.
I don't know if I have to say much more than that..
Release date: Apr. 27, 2018 (Pure Steel Records)
APRIL 26, 2018

KRULL: The Black Coast - Album
KRULL comes from Brazil, and was founded in 1998 under the name ETERNAL FATE. The goal was to play heavy metal with fictional lyrics and themes from the Hyborian Age, Middle Ages, Medieval epic battles, occultism etc. Major influences were, and still are, IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST, ACCEPT, MERCYFUL FATE, EXCITER, MANOWAR, CHASTAIN etc. And I can definitely hear some of that when I listen to this.
3 EPs was released between 2003-2010. In 2014 they changed the name of the band to KRULL.
I'm not really sure if this band have 2 singers or if he's using 2 different voices, because once in a while there's a voice that sounds a lot like Udo Dirkschneider (U.D.O., ex-ACCEPT). Good stuff anyway. So check it out.
Release date: Apr. 27, 2018 (Iron Shield Records)
APRIL 26, 2018

HEARTWIND: Higher And Higher - Album
This Swedish band is hardly doing anything new at all. Fact is that they sounds very familiar. Like you have heard all these songs before actually. But that should not stop you from checking them out. Because if you like melodic hard rock from the 80s - like DEF LEPPARD, WHITESNAKE and JOURNEY - then you will definitely like this album. No doubt about that!
HEARTWIND features members from bands like CONSTANCIA, The POODLES, TOKEN, NARNIA and ESSENCE OF SORROW. But there's also guest apperances from people like Nina Söderquist (Björn Skifs/Badrock, CHAMPIONS OF ROCK), Janne Stark (GRAND DESIGN, MOUNTAIN OF POWER) and Tåve Wanning (The VOICE, ADRENALINE RUSH, PEACHES). The album was mixed and produced by Fredrik Folkare (UNLEASHED, FIRESPAWN etc) and mastered by Erik Mårtensson (ECLIPSE, AMMUNITION, W.E.T).
Best song: "Too Late For Roses".
Release date: Apr. 27, 2018 (AOR Heaven)
APRIL 26, 2018

FRONTLINE: State Of Rock +2 - Album (Reissue)
Sounds like something that I would have loved when I was a kid. Melodic hard rock with that typical 80s sound, done with feeling and passion.
This German band was actually founded back in 1989 already. And this is a re-release of their first album, "The State Of Rock", which originally came out in 1994. We also get 2 bonus tracks, and it's a limited edition of 1000 copies, so act fast if you want 1. And you should want a copy of this record, because it gives you the finest kind of melodic hard rock that you can find.
FRONTLINE have made many records through the years, the last studio album this band released was "Circles", which came out in 2006. I don't know if any of their other albums will be re-released, but if they are this good, then I really hope so.
Release date: Apr. 27, 2018 (AOR Heaven)
APRIL 26, 2018

CROSSON: Invincible - Album
This Australian band is called "Futuristic Theatrical Rock Warriors". But what they actually play is catchy hard rock with much melody and a lot of variation. The album was mixed by producer Duane Baron (Ozzy Osbourne, MÖTLEY CRÜE, Alice Cooper) and mastered by Dave Donnelly (AEROSMITH, KISS, WHITESNAKE). If that makes it better is hard to tell, but CROSSON deliver some really good songs here anyway. This could absolutely be worth a try.
Release date: Apr. 27, 2018 (Metalapolis Records)
APRIL 26, 2018

James Stevenson: 40 Years In The Rock 'n' Roll Wilderness - Double album
This man have been playing his guitar with many different artists through the years. And what we get here is a collection of some of his work with artists like CHELSEA, Charlie Harper (UK SUBS), GENERATION X, Kim Wilde, GENE LOVES JEZEBEL, The ALARM, Beki Bondage (VICE SQUAD), GLEN MATLOCK AND THE PHILISTINES etc. etc. And as you might guess, it's a wild mixture of rock music, but mainly different kinds of punk rock and post-punk. You won't get bored when you listen to this, because there's a lot of variation. And I actually like most of the material. The only song that I'm not really a friend of is Tricky's "Brand New You're Retro". Hip Hop? No thanks. That's not rock n roll.
James have picked his own favorite tracks for this collection, and we get as much as 32 tracks. Some were hits (such as "Water On Glass" by Kim Wilde and that Tricky shit), while others are more obscure (like a rare live recording of GENERATION X performing David Bowie's "Andy Warhol" and Henry Badowski's "Baby Sign Here With Me". There's also the previously unreleased "Big Tears" featuring Gary Holton on lead vocals.
This is something that you definitely should check out!
Release date: Apr. 27, 2018 (Pink Gun)
APRIL 25, 2018

RAVEN: Wiped Out - Album (Reissue)
This is the second album by this British heavy metal band, which was originally released in 1982. It's said to be their most energetic album. I say: Prepare yourself for a rock n roll party in the name of heavy metal.
There's many good songs on this album, and I can't really see why you should not check this out. Well, that would be if you already have this album. If you think that you can survive without the bonus tracks then. But even those tracks are good.
Release date: Apr. 27, 2018 (Dissonance)
APRIL 25, 2018

'77: Bright Gloom - Album
These Spanish boys has been rocking hard since 2006 (at least the Valeta brothers, the other members have changed through the years). And believe it or not, but from being a copy of Bon Scott-era AC/DC, they have actually developed into something that reminds me more of Ozzy-era BLACK SABBATH and other 70s rock (even though there's still a twist of AC/DC somehow). Both music and lyrics are darker and heavier than before. It will be interesting to hear what other people think about this new direction. I think it sounds o.k. anyway, so I have no problem with this.
1 thing is for sure, these guys love rock n roll. And especially from the 70s then. So if you also love that, then this is of course the album for you.
Release date: Apr. 27, 2018 (Century Media)
APRIL 25, 2018

Lee Aaron: Diamond Baby Blues - Album
In the 80s it was hard rock and heavy metal for the whole coin for this woman. Then it was jazz and blues for many years (if I got it right). Now it seems like she wants to rock again. Because what we get here is classic rock and heavy blues rock. Not bad. But if we compare this with her classic album "Metal Queen", and especially the title track from that album, then this is not so impressive. But I guess it's not so kind to compare this with something she did over 30 years ago.
As I said, not bad, but will the old hard rock and heavy metal fans like this? I'm not so sure about that. I guess some of them will anyway.
Question: Did we really need another cover of DEEP PURPLE's "Mistreated"?
Release date: Apr. 27, 2018 (Metalville)
APRIL 25, 2018

PERZONAL WAR: Neckdevils, Live - CD/DVD
Germany's answer to METALLICA? Even though this band have a more melodic side as well, I think they reminds me a lot of METALLICA in many of their songs. They have other influences too though.
This recording comes from their 20th anniversary in the end of 2016, at some small club somewhere in Germany, where they played a set list that included many rare tracks and some songs that they have never played live before. There's even 3 acoustic tracks on the DVD. And they also had a lot of guest artists on stage (no, I'm not going to mention any names here).
Well, most songs sounds good to me. So I don't have much to complain about as there's no boring solo shows or useless jamming, which are very common on live releases. But on the other hand, I don't think this band is big enough to get away with it. And thanks for that then. But they were obviously brave enough to play 3 acoustic songs in a row. How stupid. A real sleeping pill (luckily they are not included on the CD).
Release date: Apr. 27, 2018 (Metalville)
APRIL 25, 2018

DEMON HEAD: The Resistance - 7" EP
The first track is the best out of these 2. But why does the second song have such a bad sound quality?
This is an epilogue to the band's last album, "Thunder on the Fields". I guess the best way to describe their sound is to call it doom rock. Or why not the soundtrack to a walk in the forest in the middle of the night, with the full moon as the only light (what a poet I am).
The band comes from Copenhagen, Denmark, and formed in 2012. Their own description of their music is diabolical rock.
This could be of interest for fans of heavy rock.
Release date: Apr. 27, 2018 (The Sign Records)
APRIL 24, 2018

DENY: Parasite Paradise - EP
8 short hardcore/punk attacks straight in your face is what we get from this digital EP. Most songs are just 1-2 minutes, so it's over almost too fast.
This seems to be their first new release since 2000. And they have actually been around since 1995 already. The band consist of people who play or have played in Swedish bands like MÄHÄLIUM, FROST, SLAVERIET, FAN TA ER, ASTA KASK, MARTYRDÖD, SKITSYSTEM and WOLFBRIGADE.
This is really good stuff that should satisfy fans of a band like ANTI CIMEX for example. But any fan of crust punk should like this.
Release date: Apr. 27, 2018 (Cramada)
APRIL 24, 2018

The DAHMERS: Creepiest Creep - EP
I have seen the band's name here and there through the years, but I don't think that I ever have heard them before. Too bad for me, as this is very good stuff.
They call this horror punk, but to be more precise, I would say that it's a mixture of garage rock and power pop. Very catchy stuff. And their music might sound happy, but their lyrics are actually inspired by classic horror movies, as well as more emotional subjects like frustration, solitude and alienation amongst other things.
The DAHMERS comes from Sweden, and released their first album, "Demon", in 2014 via Farsot Records. It sold out very fast, and was released internationally through Lövley Records in 2015. They have since then released 2 EPs and a second album.
You check this out! And no questions about that..
Release date: Apr. 27, 2018 (Lövley Records)
APRIL 24, 2018

MÖRK GRYNING: Live At Kraken - EP
Live EP with Swedish black metal veterans MÖRK GRYNING, which was recorded at the underground club Kraken in their hometown Stockholm last year. What we get is a high-energy performance of 4 tracks from their debut album, "Tusen År Har Gått". The band reunited with the original lineup from the "Maelstrom Chaos" era this evening, and it might have been their last show ever.
Well, this is pretty good stuff, so I have nothing to complain about.
MÖRK GRYNING (Dark Dawn) released their first demo back in 1993, and their first album in 1995. A few more albums was released until 2005.
Release date: Apr. 27, 2018 (Black Lodge Records)
APRIL 24, 2018

SACRO ORDINE: Heavy Metal Thunderpicking - Album
True traditional heavy metal that should not dissapoint any fan of that.
It seems like these Italian's are doing a comeback. They released their first recordings in 2005 anyway. Their inspiration comes from classic bands like IRON MAIDEN, BLACK SABBATH, DIO, MANOWAR and CANDLEMASS. As I said in the beginning, true traditional heavy metal.
They have lots of good songs among these 9 tracks, so I can't really see why you should not check this out.
(Sliptrick Records)
APRIL 23, 2018

REVOLVD: Past And Present - Album
Debut album from a Finnish pop punk band. To me it sounds more like some catchy and very melodic rock that you can sing na-na-na to (if you get what I mean). And I can say it at once that this is not really my kind of music, so it's hard for me to say if this is any good or not. But it wouldn't surprise me if fans of GREEN DAY, BLINK 182 and similar bands would like this.
(Concorde Music Company)
APRIL 23, 2018

PISS RIVER: Piss River - Album
Debut album from a female-fronted high-energy rock band, who blend influences from bands like GIRLSCHOOL, L7, The GITS and ANNIHILATION TIME. But there's also a pinch of NWOBHM and also some punk rock here and there. And there's even a cover of the Larry Wallis song "Police Car" (Swedish people might have heard the Swedish version "Snutbil" with GATANS LAG for example). They rock anyway. No doubt about that. And most of these songs are really good. No doubt about that either.
I think that this could be something for all kinds of rockers. But mainly those who like action rock and punk rock I suppose. Fans of 80s GIRLSCHOOL will probably also like this band.
Release date: Apr. 27, 2018 (The Sign Records)
APRIL 23, 2018

NO BORDERZ: No Borderz - EP
How they can start with a half boring song like "House Of Cards" is a mystery. Some of the other songs are a little better though, even if it's not any masterpieces.
Their music is supposed to be blues rock. I think they reminds me of good old NAZARETH somehow. Unfortunately not any of their better songs though.
This is a brand new project with guitarist Manny Charlton (ex-NAZARETH) and Swedish singer Emil Hammeltoft (S.k.O.R). 4 songs is what we get on this digital EP.
(GMR Music)
APRIL 23, 2018

GAIN ELEVEN: Freaking You Out - Single
Swedish rock trio for fans of ROYAL REPUBLIC, FOO FIGHTERS and The HIVES. Very catchy and melodic stuff, but this is a o.k. song anyway. I'm not so sure that I would like to hear a whole album with this band though.
I don't really know what else I should say, but give it a try.
(Big Balls Productions)
APRIL 22, 2018

BLACK ROSE: A Light In The Dark - Album
Didn't I see this band live as a THIN LIZZY tribute band a few years ago? It's not impossible that it was this band, but there could be more than 1 Swedish band named BLACK ROSE.
Anyway.. What we get here is all original songs though. The music is hard rock and heavy metal with a lot of melody, and it sounds really good to me. They cover a wide range of styles, but it's mainly the sound of the 80s. I think you should check this out at once.
BLACK ROSE comes from Fagersta, Sweden, and has existed as a band since 1990 already. They released their debut album, "Fortune Favors The Brave", in 1993.
(Sliptrick Records)
APRIL 22, 2018

BAN BIANCA: Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is - EP
For some reason they call this their debut album. But there's just 7 tracks, and it doesn't last for more than approximately 23 minutes. So this is a EP, and not a album.
Anyway.. The music these Swedish gentlemen play is some kind of metal mixed with heavy rock (so, hard rock then?) and a modern production, but yet raw as a demo recording. Unfortunately they don't have anything new and exiting to come up with. It's good for as long as it last, but soon forgotten. They have to do much stronger material if they want to impress me.
Release date: Apr. 25, 2018 (Self released?)
APRIL 22, 2018

STORMZONE: Lucifer's Factory - Album
This is their 6th album, which consist of 13 tracks of powerful heavy metal. And with this album they have concentrated on the myths and legends of their homeland, Ireland, and each song represents an amazing character which has embedded itself in their folklore.
Even though 13 tracks is much, most of these songs are really great. So if you're looking for some classic heavy metal anthems, this is a album for you.
Release date: Apr. 23, 2018 (Metal Nation Records)
APRIL 20, 2018

LiV SiN: Devil's Plaything - Single
Liv in Sister Sin
A DANZIG cover that sounds very different from what they did on their debut album, "Follow Me", which was released last year. This song comes from their upcoming EP, "Inverted", which will be released on May 25. Will there be more surprises like this on that EP?
Now I have actually not heard the original version of this song, so I can obviously not compare this version with that. But to me it sounds more reserved/relaxed, and not so hard and heavy as it use to be. An interesting direction, but let's hope that the whole EP doesn't sound like this.
(Despotz Records)
APRIL 19, 2018

QFT: Big Bang - Single
A new single from THERION singer Linnéa Vikström's new band QFT (which is short for Quantum Field Theory). And as I said when I heard her first single, this is very different from THERION. I would describe this song as some kind of Schlager hard rock. It's majestic, catchy and melodic. Maybe something for fans of SABATON and similar bands? It's definitely not bad though.
The debut album, "Live In Space", will be released on May 4.
(Despotz Records)
APRIL 19, 2018

METHEDRINE: Built For Speed - EP
This band started when 1 of the first Italian hardcore/punk bands UPSET NOISE split up in 2016. In the winter of 2017 the 3 surviving members Bone (drums), Lou (vocals) and Mark (guitar) contacted Trampax (guitar) and Chainsaw (bass) to form the new band METHEDRINE. They took the name in honour of Lemmy's (MOTÖRHEAD) and Johnny Cash's favorite substance.
It didn't take long before they entered the studio to record this 4-track EP, which blend d-beat, fierce hardcore and poweful thrash metal. So crossover or punk/metal is probably the genre we should put this in. But no matter what you prefer to call it, it's not so bad. I think that people who think they would like a more punky MOTÖRHEAD, or why not a forgotten band like LOUDPIPES (does anybody remember them?), should definitely try this.
(Kornalcielo Records)
APRIL 19, 2018

CULT OF THE FOX: By The Styx - Album
Traditional heavy metal band from Sweden that have existed since early 2007. We have many good bands in that genre here in Sweden, and this band is no exception from that rule. They deliver their songs with a strong passion. It's powerful but yet melodic. In other words, just the way it's supposed to be. You check this out of course!
The group released 3 demo recordings between 2007-2010. In 2011 their first full length, "A Vow Of Vengeance", came out. Their second album, "Angelsbane", was released in 2013. But it's not until now that their third album will be released.
Release date: Apr. 20, 2018 (Iron Shield Records)
APRIL 18, 2018

ASCENDANT: A Thousand Echoes - Album
How often do you hear about any metal band from The United Arab Emirates? Well, that's where this band comes from anyway.
Work on this album began in late 2014 and was completed in 2017. The album was tracked and mixed at Playback Lounge studios in Dubai, and mastered at Studio Fredman in Sweden. 8 tracks and a useless intro is what we get on this album, and it last for over an hour. During that time they give us a mixture of heavy and power metal, with some progressive elements. And it's pretty good stuff, so give it a try.
Release date: Apr. 20, 2018 (Pure Steel Publishing)
APRIL 18, 2018

GRAND DESIGN: Viva La Paradise - Album
Swedish hard rock band with a lot of melody. People who like melodic hard rock from the 80s should give this a try, because I think you might like this band.
GRAND DESIGN was formed in 2006, and released their first album, "Time Elevation", in 2009. Some more albums has been released since then.
Well, 10 tracks is what you get here, and there's not much to complain about as all songs are good. And therefor I don't have that much else to say.
Release date: Apr. 20, 2018 (GMR Music)
APRIL 17, 2018

Brown Acid: The Sixth Trip - Album
There's obviously still a lot of totally unknown stuff to discover out there. This is the sixth volume of this compilation, which concentrate on long-lost vintage 60s and 70s rock. This is what some people would call proto-metal and stoner rock nowadays, or obscure hard rock, psych rock or heavy rock. No matter what you call it this is the real stuff and not any new bands trying to sound like the old bands. I don't think that too many of you have heard of North American artists like GOLD, HEAT EXCHANGE, TRAVIS, ENOCH SMOKY, BACKWOOD MEMORY, FLIGHT, TRUTH & JANEY, WEST MINST'R, PURGATORY, Johnny Barnes or ZENDIK. And if you have, it's probably some other band with the same name. Otherwise you must be a very dedicated and passionate record collector, just like the people who are doing these fantastic compilations.
Release date: Apr. 20, 2018 (RidingEasy Records)
APRIL 16, 2018

POMPEII: The Secret Sessions - Album
Super groups or all-star bands are nothing new. In the late 70s MOUNTAIN drummer Corky Laing founded POMPEII when his label Elektra/Asylum was preparing to bail on him. But before that they asked him to form a super group and record 1 last album for them. So Steve Wax, president of the record label, hooked him up with Ian Hunter to begin work on the album. Bob Ezrin was brought in to produce it, and they invited some of their friends from groups like The ALLMAN BROTHERS, CREAM, David Bowie and many, many more (the list of people involved in this project is very long).
They started to record and everything was fine. But then Bob went to the UK to produce PINK FLOYD's "The Wall" album. And after that they all left 1 by 1 to do other things, leaving Corky and Ian alone. But the duo continued to work on the album, and find some new members.
I'm not really sure if the record ever was released, but it has long been a lost secret at least. And when it was time for this new release of the album, Corky played it for some other musicians, and they wanted to re-record some of the songs. So except for the original recordings there's also some bonus tracks on this release. But there's also 1 new song.
If you like classic rock and the bands that I mentioned earlier, then this is definitely a hidden treasure to discover. There's many fantastic songs on this album.
Release date: Apr. 21, 2018 (Rogue Records)
APRIL 16, 2018

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