Facebook Like Hard Rock Info!

REVIEWS 2020 - Page 2

Page 1   Index   Page 3

SILVER: Let's Go - Single
(Target Records)
Huh? Pop music? Shit! Fuck! You have to excuse me, but I hate this kind of modern pop music. And that's all I have to say about this song..
I'm pretty sure that there was a good rock band named SILVER once upon a time, and I think they were from Norway. But this is not the same guys (that would have been even more tragic), because this band is from Denmark.
facebook.com/silvermusicdk   targetshop.dk
Published: March 28, 2020

Mike Tramp: Between Good And Bad - Single
(Target Records)
Oh, this was a little better than the usual stuff with this man. Almost a little touch of good old THIN LIZZY there, which is a band that I like a lot. Still soft and melodic rock as always, but somehow just a little bit better, so don't expect any miracles here.
This song is taken from Mike's upcoming new album, "Second Time Around", which will see daylight on May 1.
miketramp.dk   targetgroup.dk
Published: March 28, 2020

The DAHLMANNS/TOMMY AND THE ROCKETS: Scandinavian Affair - Split 7" Single
(Beluga Records/Ghost Highway Recordings - Release date: March 27, 2020)
The DAHLMANNS play a very catchy and melodic song here. Nothing unusual when it comes to this Norwegian power pop band, but I think they have done better songs than this. I would not say that it's bad though. Just not as good as they can be.
The Danish band TOMMY AND THE ROCKETS play a song that sounds like a cover. I'm not completely sure about that though, and I don't have a clue who the original artist would be. Also a very catchy and melodic power pop song.
It looks like it's about a year since any of these 2 bands released anything last time. But with this 7" they both show us that they are still alive and well. A full EP from each band would be a nice follow up to this.
facebook.com/thedahlmanns   tommyandtherockets.bandcamp.com   belugarecords.com
Published: March 26, 2020

CABLE TIES: Far Enough - Album
(Merge Records - Release date: March 27)
This album start soft with just vocals and guitar. But don't let that fool you. Because after 2 minutes they finally start to rock. And what comes out of the speakers is energetic garage rock and punk rock. We get raw and hard guitars, and the singer is not satisfied with just singing, but often yelling out the words instead. Now that doesn't really mean that she is screaming all the time, because sometimes she is singing very sweet too.
CABLE TIES is a trio who formed in 2015, and you could say that they are the new generation of the Riot Grrrl movement, as they are committed to an inclusive feminist and political outlook. Their self titled debut album was released in 2017, and "Far Enough" is their second full length. They have also self released 3 7" singles, which have all sold out.
Published: March 26, 2020

BROWSING COLLECTION: Cyber Space Buffet - Album
(Icons Creating Art/Ditto Music - Release date: March 27, 2020)
BROWSING COLLECTION serves a buffet of catchy "hard" rock with punk rock drive. And this is what I would call a delicious buffet full of variation. Now almost half the album has been released as singles already, so that didn't exactly come as a surprise to me, but if you have not heard this band before, then it's about time that you check them out.
"Cyber Space Buffet" is these Swedish women's second album, but they have been playing together for over 10 years already. During that time they have toured all over Sweden, but also in Europe and even South Korea. Their inspiration comes mainly from metal, punk and rock, but you can also hear some pop, hip hop, blues and country. When it comes to the lyrics, they want to write stuff that actually mean something, but with their own twist.
browsingcollection.com   icea.se
Published: March 26, 2020

BODY COUNT: Carnivore - Album
(Century Media)
BODY COUNT formed back in 1992, and skyrocketing to infamy thanks to the "Cop Killer" song controversy. "Carnivore" is their 7th album, which is said to be their most melodic album to date. But don't worry, it's still hardcore and metal with Ice-T's rap vocals. There's also a guest apperance from Amy Lee (EVANESCENCE) on "When I'm Gone", and from Jamey Jasta (HATEBREED) on "Another Level", while Riley Gale (POWER TRIP) guest on "Point The Finger".
And just if that wasn't enough, they have also re-done the 2 Ice-T rap cuts "Colors 2020" and "6 In Tha Morning" (only on LP and 2CD Box Set) as metal style anthems, with no other than Dave Lombardo (SLAYER) guesting on drums. Jello Biafra (ex-DEAD KENNEDYS) make a cameo here and there, and they also pay homage to MOTÖRHEAD with their classic "Ace Of Spades".
Usually I'm not such a big fan of rap music. But when you mix it with metal like this, then it's actually not so bad at all.
bodycountband.com   centurymedia.com
Published: March 25, 2020

HEAVEN SHALL BURN: Of Truth And Sacrifice - Double Album
(Century Media)
For some reason these Germans thought it was a good idea to release a double album with as much as 19 tracks. And what we get is more than just the usual hardcore/extreme metal. They take the chance to be much more creative here, especially on the second disc. By bringing in composer Sven Helbig (RAMMSTEIN, PET SHOP BOYS) and renowned conductor Wilhelm Keitel, HEAVEN SHALL BURN have added a string section to their sound. "Of Truth And Sacrifice" is HEAVEN SHALL BURN in their most playful mood, but it' also their most personal album. It's intense, insightful and adventurous at the same time.
The album last for more than 1 and a half hour, so you better be a true fan and have nerves of steel if you are going to bury yourself in this. It could be worth it though.
heavenshallburn.com   centurymedia.com
Published: March 25, 2020

KVAEN: The Funeral Pyre - Album
(Black Lion Records)
KVAEN is a solo project by Swedish musician Jakob Björnfot (The DUSKFALL, AUTUMN DEATH). He plays black metal with speed, pagan, and Viking metal influences. This is the debut album from KVAEN.
Even though this is black metal, there's lots of great guitar melodies on this album. And this is really good stuff.
The album also features contributions from various musicians, including Sebastian Ramstedt (NECROPHOBIC, ex-NIFELHEIM) and Perra Karlsson (IN AETERNUM, NOMINON, ex-DESTROYER 666).
Published: March 25, 2020

LYKANTROPI: Spirituosa - Album reissue/Deluxe Edition
(Despotz Records - Release date: March 27, 2020)
Feels like it was yesterday that I was listening to this like crazy, but it must have been something like last spring. However, it's still a favorite album. So that it now will get an international release is just about time, because more people have to discover this fantastic band.
The music that this Swedish band play is best described as melancholy vintage rock, with its roots in the 60s/70s. But there are also some influences from folk music. There's a mixture of harmonies, electric guitars and flute loops. It's like a dreamy journey delivered through old folklore in a magic landscape.
LYKANTROPI are currently working on their third album. I really look forward to hear that!
facebook.com/lykantropiband   despotz.se
Published: March 24, 2020

The OUTFIT: Viking - Album
(Pavement Music - Release date: March 27, 2020)
The OUTFIT is a rock band from Chicago. I guess that this could be something for fans of a band like FOO FIGHTERS. Feel good rock. Not something that I use to listen to that much, even though I have heard a few songs with FOO FIGHTERS here and there through the years, but this is absolutely not bad. I think they have many good songs on this album, so give it a try at least.
1 of my favorites are "Bleed In The Dark".
Published: March 24, 2020

JUSTIFY REBELLION: The Ends Justify The Means - Album
(Mighty Music - Release date: March 27, 2020)
Heavy/thrash metal is what we get from this Danish group. But even though I call it heavy/thrash metal, they actually take inspiration from several genres of metal. The result is a strong and powerful kind of metal, but there's also melodies and not just fat riffs.
This album is mainly centered on the darker aspects of humanity and society, with the topics on the record varying from greed, war, lust and drugs to vulnerability and self-realization. It's said that the riffs are heavier, the solos are faster, the drums are punchier, and the bass is rumbling its way to mayhem.
It's a damned good album anyway. No doubt about that. Fans of PANTERA and METALLICA's black album should give this a try.
facebook.com/JustifyRebellion   mightymusic.dk
Published: March 23, 2020

The GRENADINES: Band On The Radio - Album
(Target Group - Release date: March 27, 2020)
Suitable title. Because what is this? It actually sounds like some kind of pop/rock that you can hear on the radio. And unfortunately it's not any kind of good pop/rock either, so this really sucks. The music is very soft and stale. Something that you can listen to when you want to relax or sleep. Absolutely not a party album.
"Band On The Radio" is the second album from this Copenhagen, Denmark-based band. It's 3 and a half years since they released their debut album, so it seems like they work just as slow as their songs are. The music on this record is leaning towards big artists like Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, Mark Knopfler and similar stuff. Unfortunately they don't have a clue how to make a song that people actually can remember. And that's a really big problem.
thegrenadines.dk   targetgroup.dk
Published: March 23, 2020

DEN SYVENDE SØN: Trods - Album
(Target Group - Release date: March 27, 2020)
This is the third album from this Danish rock band, and it sounds a little different than what I'm used to hear. All songs are in Danish, which makes me think of GASOLINE and their frontman Kim Larsen (r.i.p). They mention bands like The KINGS, THEM and ALLAH-LAS & WOODEN SHJIPS though, which I have never ever heard of before. But that doesn't really matter, because they have some songs that I actually like among these 10 tracks. This is hardly something for the hardest rockers though.
facebook.com/densyvendeson   targetgroup.dk
Published: March 23, 2020

CHRONICLE: Demonology - Album
(Mighty Music - Release date: March 27, 2020)
CHRONICLE comes from the northern part of Denmark, and they play a mixture of old school thrash metal, melodic death metal and black metal, and then they top it with some Finnish melodies. It's often pretty fast and aggressive, but there's also room for guitar melodies and technical riffs.
This is a really good album, which is full of great songs. 1 of my favorites is the single track "They Have Returned". But that's just 1 of many fantastic songs here.
facebook.com/ChronicleOfficialBand   mightymusic.dk
Published: March 23, 2020

The RIFT: Edge Of Never - Single
(Self released on March 20, 2020)
Los Angeles hard rock trio The RIFT have just released their new single, "Edge Of Never". It's the first of several releases for the band in 2020, with plans for a tour coming together in the summer months.
It opens as a heavy in your face classic rock tune, and turns into a grooving progressive jam session towards its conclusion. "The meaning of this song is pretty in your face", says the band, and continues: "We wanted to make a song that really was gritty with rock and roll and chaos."
I guess that this can be something for those of you who like it hard and heavy, but yet not extremely hard or extremely heavy (it's hard rock and not metal we talk about here). A nice little song.
The band formed in 2009. Their full length debut, "Inventions", was released in 2016.
Published: March 20, 2020

Hulkoff: Ingvar - Single
(Faravid Recordings)
Hulkoff live with Raubtier
RAUBTIER frontman Pär Hulkoff will release his new solo album, "Pansarfolk", in the fall. The album will be release in both a Swedish and English versions. Therfor the first single, "Ingvar", is available in both languages.
This sounds a little like Hulkoff's mainband RAUBTIER, but with Swedish traditional folk music. This is a powerful song with Hulkoff's distinctive voice. The lyrics is based on the historical and famed Ingvar ("Ingvar the Far-Travelled") expedition, a Varangian Rus' ("Viking") war fleet that set out towards the East and the infamous Silk Road via the rivers of present-day Russia (then known as Gardariki). The Ingvar expedition set sail ca 1036-1041 from Svealand ("The Land of the Swedes") and reached all the way to the Caspian Sea. A large number of runestones have been erected over the men who participated, primarily in the Mälardalen area of Sweden.
Published: March 20, 2020

SILVERA: The Reckoning - Single
(Mighty Music)
SILVERA is a Danish hard rock band. They have had massive airplay on rock radio stations all over the world for their 4 singles, including A Rotation on myROCK (Bauer Media rock station in Denmark). All singles have over 300.000 plays on Spotify.
Does this make them any better? No, not really. It's just facts and numbers. But sure, they must do something right at least. And I have to admit that this song is actually not so bad for being modern hard rock. So maybe you should give it a try then?
facebook.com/silveraband   mightymusic.dk
Published: March 19, 2020

BLENDED BREW: Ancient Alien - Single
(Mighty Music)
This is the first single from the upcoming new studio album by Danish hard rockers BLENDED BREW. Their music is said to fit like a glove for fans of DEEP PURPLE, RIVAL SONS and AC/DC. So what we can call old school hard rock then. And this song is really good, so I would not say no to some more.
Their new album will be titled "Shove It Down", and will see the light in May. It will be their second full length.
facebook.com/Blendedbrew   mightymusic.dk
Published: March 19, 2020

CORNERS OF SANCTUARY: The Raid (For God and Country) - Single
(Exquisite Noise Records US/Vagabond Entertainment Group)
American heavy metal band CORNERS OF SANCTUARY have been very active lately. It wasn't long ago that they released their last EP, and now they have already released a new one, "For COS and Country" (released on March 13). But this time it's all brand new songs, and not old stuff like last time.
And by now you have probably figured out that this is a song from that new EP. And you are so right about that. Is it any different from what we use to get then? No, not really, but at least among their better songs, so it could be worth a try.
The new EP features the band's new singer, Stacey Lee, and contains 5 tracks.
CORNERS OF SANCTUARY were unfortunately forced to abruptly end and ultimately cancel their UK dates while only being 2 shows into the tour earlier this week. Due to the rising international pandemic of the COVID-19 virus, government-imposed travel restrictions and flight cancellations, the band faced the possibility of not being able to return to the States once the tour concluded on March 22. They plan to return to the UK once the global crisis is cleared and regular travel commences.
Published: March 18, 2020

ARKADO: Never Say Never - Album
(AOR Heaven - Release date: March 27, 2020)
This band took its first steps in Ödåkra (near Helsingborg), Sweden in 1983. At that time the band was named BB2 (Better Be Together). They recorded a vinyl single, which became the hymn of the local football club, and it's still played at every match.
In May 2018 BB2 did a reunion show in Helsingborg, which was totally sold out. That was a lot of fun, and the dream of being a band again took speed. So they teamed up with some new additional members, and ARKADO was born.
Now the debut album is here, and this will fit perfect for fans of Scandinavian melodic rock from the 80s, with just as much keyboards as guitars. Most of these songs are good, and have strong melodies.
arkado.se   aorheaven.com
Published: March 17, 2020

CROSSON: Rock N Roll Love Affair - Album
(MelodicRock Records/Galaxy Records - Release date: March 27, 2020)
"Theatrical glam rock" is how they describe this Australian band, but to me it's just good old hard rock and not that much glam. It sounds very American, and is actually produced and mastered by 2 Americans - producer Duane Baron (Ozzy Osbourne, MÖTLEY CRÜE, Alice Cooper, POISON) and mastering legend Dave Donnelly (AEROSMITH, KISS, WHITESNAKE).
Well, these guys doesn't seems to be totally gone in the head when it comes to making good music, because I can hear many good pieces on this record. So this could of course be worth a try.
Published: March 17, 2020

NEWMAN: Ignition - Album
(AOR Heaven - Release date: March 27, 2020)
In 1997 singer/songwriter Steve Newman formed his melodic rock band NEWMAN. And since 1998 he have produced several albums. But Steve has also been working with other artists through the years.
This is the first NEWMAN album in 3 years. It's very melodic, with catchy choruses. Something that fans of melodic rock and AOR should like a lot. Because he have many strong songs on this album.
Mr. Newman handle vocals, guitar and keyboards, while Rob McEwen take care of drums and percussion. They also get some help with background vocals from Dave Bartlett and Mark Thompson.
youtu.be/cb5wHRlNguY   aorheaven.com
Published: March 17, 2020

RETURN: V - Album reissue
(AOR Heaven - Release date: March 27, 2020)
Norwegian melodic hard rock band RETURN never got the same attention as fellow countrymen like TNT and STAGE DOLLS had outside of Norway. The band was founded in 1980, and had a wild combination of influences at the time, from punk to ska, disco to pop, as well as hard rock. British hard rock was the major inspiration though, so when they finally got signed and released their debut album, "To The Top", in 1987, they had become a melodic hard rock band. They released a few more albums, and was constantly on tour between 1987 to 1994. But after too much touring, and a thing called grunge, they decided to take a break in 1994, which led to a 6-year hiatus.
"V" is as the title says in Roman their fifth album, which was originally released in 1992. It will now be re-released as a limited edition of 1000 copies on CD, and only available via mailorder.
On this album they wanted to sound more American and international. This makes the music on this album sound more like melodic rock and AOR, instead of hard rock. But even though it's a very melodic album, I can't say that it's bad.
Published: March 17, 2020

REACTORY: Collapse To Come - Album
(Iron Shield Records - Release date: March 27, 2020)
REACTORY was formed in Berlin, Germany in 2010. The members had previously played in many different bands and genres, like surf, rock n roll, doom metal, hardcore/punk and power violence. But now they wanted to play thrash instead. So they released a demo the same year as they formed, and a EP in 2013. Their first full length album came out in 2014, and another album was released in 2016.
These Germans belong to "the new wave of thrash metal", and play it the old way - fast and aggressive like it was done in the 80s. It's not bad, but I have heard much better in this genre through the years. They seems to have the right passion though.
REACTORY have played more than 200 shows in Europe, but also toured in Brazil.
reactory-thrash.com   ironshieldrecords.de
Published: March 16, 2020

INTENSE: Songs Of A Broken Future - Album
(Pure Steel Records - Release date: March 27, 2020)
INTENSE are from the UK, and released their first EP, "Dark Season", back in 1997. 2 original members are left in the band, but the currentl line up has been together since 2004. Their last release, "The Shape Of Rage", came out in 2011, but now they are ready to release a new album again.
This is not another NWoBHM band, even though they have some of that too, but more like darker power metal in the same style as ICED EARTH and NEVERMORE. And I really like what I hear on this album. They give us 12 songs and almost an hour of music.
intense-uk.com   puresteel-records.com
Published: March 16, 2020

The JACK CADES: Perfect View - Album
(Beluga Records/Bickerton Records - Release date: March 21, 2020)
This band have so much reverb/echo in their sound that it sounds like it would have been recorded back in the 60s. But it's a cool sound, so no problem. It's a raw sound that is influenced by rythm n blues and 60s garage rock, but also a more modern band like The STONE ROSES. You should absolutely check this out!
This band formed in 2017 when their first mini LP was recorded at North Down Sound in Kent, UK. At this time there was no band name, no official members and no real thought about carrying the group on. It was just 2 people (Mike and Elsa) wanting to record a few songs they had written. They asked Mole (State Records, The EMBROOKS) to join them on drums and John Gibbs (The MASONICS, WILDEBEESTS) to join them on bass for the session. After hearing the results and generally having fun doing it they decided to carry on as a band. But then they needed a full time bass player, at which point they brought in Alexandra Cools (SPEEDBALL Jr.) and The JACK CADES were born.
Published: March 16, 2020

EXISTENZ: Meltdown - Album
(HepTown Records - Release date: March 27, 2020)
Once upon a time I had this Swedish punk band's 12" EP "Let's Get Drunk Before It's Too Late", which was released in 1984. Not really sure why I sold it, but I guess I needed money. I regret it now though.
EXISTENZ reunited a few years ago (same lineup as in 1984), and re-released "Let's Get Drunk Before It's Too Late" in 2018. They have also released a split EP, "They Can't Control It", with The NILZ. But now it's time for their first own full length, "Meltdown".
The members are older, and you can almost hear that, because this is like their own little tribute to their youth and the music they grew up with back in the 80s. Most of these 10 songs sounds like punk from the streets, and a bit more British than Swedish. I think of Swedish bands like CITY SAINTS and SMASH IT UP for example, who also sounds more British. Faster punk rock you could say.
This is hardly an album that will change the world, but it sounds really good, and that's enough for me.
facebook.com/existenzpunk   heptownrecords.com
Published: March 15, 2020

WITHERING SURFACE: Leaves In The Storm - Single
(Mighty Music)
WITHERING SURFACE released 4 albums in the late 90s/early 2000s, and established a name for themselves in the melodic death metal scene. After a long hiatus they have returned with a new single, taken from their upcoming album "Meet Your Maker", which will be released in June.
Well, this sounds really good, so I really think that you should check this out.
Not much else to add..
facebook.com/WitheringSurface   mightymusic.dk
Published: March 14, 2020

SPELL: Opulent Decay - Album
(Bad Omen Records - Release date: March 20, 2020)
This is a band with excellent songs! Just listen to my favorite tracks "Sibyl Vane" and "Dawn Wanderer" for example - Brilliant classic hard rock/heavy metal similar to a band like BLUE ÖYSTER CULT, but with their own dark, mystical and progressive twist. If you don't check this out you must be completely stupid!
SPELL are from Vancouver, British Columbia. "Opulent Decay" is their third album.
Published: March 14, 2020

LOST LEGACY: In The Name Of Freedom - Album
(Pure Steel Records - Release date: March 20, 2020)
I don't know if there's any idea to complain at all, because nobody seems to care. But I actually don't really know how they are thinking when they think that metal fans want to hear a useless piano piece as an intro? And as I have said so many times before, intros are totally useless! Why can't you once and for all just get that?
Now LOST LEGACY is not a bad band just because of that little mistake. What we get is classic US metal/power metal, which is said to be similar to METAL CHURCH and VICIOUS RUMORS. This album is full of heavy riffs, twin guitars and guitar hero solos. And they are doing a really good job.
LOST LEGACY are from Bronx in New York, and have already existed for over 2 decades. But it looks like their first album wasn't released until 2009. And it's not until now that their second album is ready to be released.
lostlegacyny.com   puresteel-records.com
Published: March 14, 2020

GRINDPAD: Violence - Album
(Iron Shield Records - Release date: March 20, 2020)
GRINDPAD is a Dutch thrash metal band, who formed in 2006. They have released some EPs through the years, but now it's time for their full length debut.
This band hardly re-invent the thrash wheel on this album. It's the same old school thrash metal that we have heard since the 80s. They are mainly influenced by the American bands, and believe it or not, but they even seems to be just as good as them. So there's absolutely nothing to complain about, unless you want some modern shit instead of course (I think this is more fun though).
grindpad.com   ironshieldrecords.de
Published: March 14, 2020

GORILLA: Rock Our Souls - Album reissue
(Go Down Records - Release date: March 20, 2020)
GORILLA is a trio from Hastings, England, founded in 1998. They have a really raw and dirty sound, which makes it sound really old, like it was from the 60s or something. What they use to call proto-metal. And it's rocking, man!
But then the third track, "Bludd Sucka", comes and sounds more like early MOTÖRHEAD instead. Still damned good though. Because who doesn't love MOTÖRHEAD?
After that they sound almost like early BLACK SABBATH instead. Which is also really good of course.
Then we get "Rock R Soles", which is rocking hard. Almost action rock. I get exhausted and sweaty just by listening, haha.
"Sand" is another song that reminds me of BLACK SABBATH, while "Hot Cars" sounds like MC5 and The STOOGES. And the final number, "High N Mighty", is more of the proto-metal.
GORILLA are influenced by BUDGIE, BLUE CHEER, GRAND FUNK and MC5. They are described as street punk like MOTÖRHEAD, PINK FAIRIES and CRUSHED BUTLER, with an authentic vintage feel and sound. "Rock Our Souls" is their third album, which was originally released in 2007.
facebook.com/GorillaRockin   godownrecords.com
Published: March 12, 2020

The ROOZALEPRES: The Roozalepres - Album
(Go Down Records - Release date: March 13, 2020)
Action filled rock in the same school as The HELLACOPTERS, GLUECIFER, RAMONES, DANKO JONES and NASHVILLE PUSSY. They rock hard with heavy riffs and a punk attitude. It's mainly full speed ahead. A really good combination of punk rock, hard rock and good old rock n roll.
The ROOZALEPRES is an Italian band hailing from the region of Tuscany. They have been rocking since September 2018, and this is their debut album.
This is damned good stuff! If you like action rock, then this is a must.
facebook.com/roozalepres   godownrecords.com
Published: March 12, 2020

FORMOSA: Danger Zone - Album
(Metalville - Release date: March 13, 2020)
FORMOSA consist of 3 German guys called Nik Bird, Nik Beer and Paris Jay, who think they are so sexy. Their first album was titled "Tight & Sexy" (2016), and their next "Sorry For Being Sexy" (2018). But can they really be more sexy than me? I let somebody else answer that question..
Now their third album is here, and what we get is simple hard rock without any extra garniture - Just guitar, bass, drums and vocals. Catchy and melodic, but with heavy guitars. I would guess that they take their inspiration from both old and new bands.
Published: March 11, 2020

ÅSKVÄDER: Åskväder - Album
(The Sign Records - Release date: March 13, 2020)
Debut album from a Göteborg, Sweden-based power trio. They combine bluesy licks with vocal harmonies, but they also pay homage to bands like The HELLACOPTERS and TURBONEGRO. They have their own sound of rock n roll though. And it's a very catchy and energetic sound, but yet melodic. Rock for the new decade you could say.
A funny thing with this band is that the drummer take care of the lead vocals, while the guitarist sings harmonies. Unusual (for me at least), but cool.
Well, they have lots of great songs on this album, so my advice is that you listen to this as soon as possible.
Oh yeah, and ÅSKVÄDER means thunderstorm. But even though they have a Swedish name, they sing in English.
Published: March 11, 2020

The GONERS: Good Mourning - Album
(RidingEast Records - Release date: March 13, 2020)
The GONERS is a Swedish quintet, and this is their debut album. The band features former SALEM'S POT vocalist/guitarist Nate Gone and former members of the Swedish band YVONNE.
This is something different though. Garage rock with that 60s sound that is so typical in this genre. But that's just the way it should be, so no problem there. They are also adding a psychedelic twist to some of the songs, while others are more or less straight rockers. Most of the songs on this album are good stuff, so I have nothing to complain about.
Published: March 11, 2020

GRIFT: Budet - Album
(Nordvis Produktion - Release date: March 20, 2020)
"Budet" is the third album from GRIFT, which is a 1-man band with the Swedish man Erik Gärdefors (he get some help with violin from Georg Börner (ColdWorld, Sangre de Muerdago) though). The music is some kind of atmospheric and laidback folk metal. But the vocals are not so calm. That's the only "wild" thing on this album though.
The 10-minute song "Väckelsebygd" is totally useless. The rest is o.k. but not much else than that. This is simply not an album for me, so I'm not going to waste any more time on this.
facebook.com/Griftofficial   nordvis.com
Published: March 11, 2020

EULOGY: Memento Mori - EP
(One Eyed Toad Records)
EULOGY is a Welsh hard rock trio, who gives us 4 tracks on this EP. And it's said to be more dynamic, but also heavier and darker while maintaining their melodic sound.
It sounds good when I listen to this, so I have nothing to complain about.
The band formed in Cardiff, UK in early 2017, and released their first EP, "Back To Life", in late 2017. "Memento Mori" is their second EP.
This EP is available on digital platforms. So go to your favorite and give this a try.
neiljt9.wixsite.com/eulogyepk   oneeyedtoad.co.uk
Published: March 11, 2020

EARTH DRIVE: Helix Nebula - Album
(Raging Planet - Release date: March 13, 2020)
EARTH DRIVE is a Portugese band, who formed in 2007. "Helix Nebula" is their second full length album, and their music is heavy psych rock. It can be raw and powerful, but most of all it's atmospheric and heavy.
This is hardly the hardest album you can find, but it's a very good album. And the female vocals is really good. So fans of heavy psychedelic rock should absolutely not miss this. Just listen to a song like "Sciene of Pranayama", just to mention 1 of all great songs here - Fantastic!
Published: March 11, 2020

DARK FORTRESS: Spectres From The Old World - Album
(Century Media)
It's 6 years since their last album, "Veneral Dawn", was released. But now the Germans are back with a new album, which is their 8th full length. And the music that we get here is black metal. But it's not just the good old pedal to the metal, even though it's often aggressive, there's also melodies and atmosphere.
This is actually not so bad at all. Some songs are better than others, but nothing is really bad. I think you should check this out.
darkfortress.org   centurymedia.com
Published: March 11, 2020

BLOWTORCH: Hangoverdose - Album
(Self released)
BLOWTORCH is a Finnish hard rock band founded in 2014. The band is known from it's energetic live performances, that are usually full of surprises. The line-up has changed a bit during the years, and the only original member left in the band is the bass player.
BLOWTORCH actually split up in 2018, but it didn't take that long before they were back again. And during the summer of 2019 they started to record the album "Hangoverdose".
What we get is 11 tracks of hard rock with a taste of alcohol. And they have some really good songs among these tracks, so it could be worth a try.
This is a digital release.
Published: March 11, 2020

ANI LO. PROJEKT: A Time Called Forever - Album
(Pride & Joy Music - Release date: March 20, 2020
So hard and brutal (almost industrial) they try to be there in the beginning. But that doesn't last for too long. This is mainly modern heavy metal with clean vocals. The guitars are always heavy though.
ANI LO. PROJEKT came to life in 2010, when Bulgarian singer Ani Lozanova (Ani Lo.) and her long-term musical partner, drummer Konstantin Dinev (Kossy D.), started a new project. And it didn't take long before their debut album, "Miracle", was released in March 2011. But in 2012 a major change took place, when Ani Lo. moved to Germany and Kossy D. to USA. The singer played some shows with musicians based in Münster, but not much else happened until 2018, when work on their second album, "A Time Called Forever", began. And in December 2019 the album was done, and now it will finally be released.
This is said to fit fans of LORDS OF BLACK, ALMANAC, The UNITY and WITHIN TEMPTATION. Not any bands that I use to listen to, but this group have many great songs on this album, so you should not be afraid to give it a try.
Published: March 10, 2020

BENEATH MY SINS: I Decide - Album
(Pride & Joy Music - Release date: March 20, 2020)
BENEATH MY SINS is a French symphonic metal band founded in December 2015. On this album (which I think is their second) they have teamed up with Fabio D'Amore (SERENITY), who has produced the album. And thanks to him they have also succeeded to get guest apperances from artists like Matteo Sisti (ELUVEITIE), Melissa Bonny (AD INFINITUM), Michele Guaitoli (TEMPERANCE, VISIONS OF ATLANTIS) and Fabio Lethien Polo (ELVENKING).
Most of these songs are good stuff, even though I get a little full after a few songs. But I'm damned sure that if you like this genre, then you like this band too.
Published: March 10, 2020

RE-MACHINED: Wheels Of Time - Album
(Pride & Joy Music)
RE-MACHINED is a German band, and this is their debut album. The music that they play is classic hard rock with catchy melodies, but yet not polished and sugar sweet. It's rough and heavy rock that reminds me of bands like SAXON and ACCEPT. And it's absolutely not bad at all. This is definitely worth checking out.
I don't really know what else I should write about them, but I guess you already have a good idea of what they sound like and if you might like it or not.
re-machined.de   prideandjoy.de
Published: March 10, 2020

ARCHON ANGEL: Fallen - Album
(Frontiers Music Srl)
ARCHON ANGEL is a new band project born from a meeting between producer/guitar player Aldo Lonobile (SECRET SPHERE) and former SAVATAGE and CIRCLE II CIRCLE vocalist Zak Stevens during the making of TIMO TOLKKI'S AVALON album "Return To Eden", of which Aldo produced and played guitar and Zak did some guest lead vocals. Aldo had some song ideas which were reminiscent of the classic SAVATAGE sound of records such as "Edge Of Thorns" and "Gutter Ballet". The 2 felt the magic and recorded a whole album, "Fallen".
So, this is obviously something for fans of SAVATAGE. Now I have to admit that I have not heard that much with that band, but this sounds really good anyway.
ARCHON ANGEL are currently working on booking some live shows in support of the album.
Published: March 9, 2020

BLACK SWAN: Shake The World - Album
(Frontiers Music Srl)
O.k., this is yet another one of these all-star bands, featuring a lineup of vocalist Robin McAuley (McAULEY SCHENKER GROUP), guitarist Reb Beach (WINGER, WHITESNAKE), bassist Jeff Pilson (FOREIGNER, The END MACHINE, ex-DOKKEN), and drummer Matt Starr (Ace Frehley, Mr. BIG). "Shake The World" is their debut album, and I think of a band like SCORPIONS for example (have not heard anything new with them, but they were great back in the 70s/80s), as well as some of the other bands on Frontiers Music. Powerful hard rock with lots of melody. Fans of the bands that these guys have been playing with should be pleased when they hear this, even though it might not be exactly the same.
Published: March 9, 2020

(Frontiers Music Srl)
HARDLINE's performance at Frontiers Rock Festival 2019 was filmed and recorded, and has now been released as "Life Live". Now I have just heard the show and not seen it, but it sounds like they did a great show anyway.
At this show they played hits from their debut album, with original drummer Deen Castronovo behind the kit on some of the songs, as well as a selection of more recent hits from the last 3 albums.
Well, this is mainly really good hard rock with much melody. And if you have not heard this band before, then I guess that this can be something for you.
Published: March 9, 2020

SEVEN SPIRES: Emerald Seas - Album
(Frontiers Music Srl)
SEVEN SPIRES is an American metal quartet specializing in melancholic tales and symphonic grandeur. Part bittersweet melodic metal anthems, part apocalyptic melodic death and black metal, and part Romantic classical poets. But also female vocals ranging from the beautiful to the demonic. This is emotional, dark, and theatrical at the same time.
"Emerald Seas" is their second album, and listening to this is actually not as adventurous as it might sound according to the description above. I'm pretty sure that fans of symphonic metal will like this a lot. But fans of traditional heavy metal and power metal should not be afraid of giving this a try.
sevenspiresband.com   frontiers.it
Published: March 9, 2020

WAITING FOR MONDAY: Waiting For Monday - Album
(Frontiers Music Srl)
What a stupid band name! Luckily their music is not so stupid though. Because what we have here is yet another melodic rock band that know how to do it right.
This is a new group from Los Angeles, which was discovered by no less than Jeff Scott Soto (SONS OF APOLLO, W.E.T., JOURNEY TALISMAN, Yngwie Malmsteen etc). Musically it's classic melodies in the same style as JOURNEY, STYX and FOREIGNER, but with a modern approach. And this is absolutely not bad for being a debut album. On the other hand, they are hardly new as musicians.
Published: March 9, 2020

GREAT WHITE: Stage - Double Album reissue
(Deadline Music/Cleopatra Records)
This is a re-release of American hard rockers GREAT WHITE's long out of print live album "Stage" from 1995. Disc 1 was recorded at the House Of Blues in Los Angeles in 1994. Disc 2 was recorded at The Celebrity Theatre in Anaheim in 1993.
GREAT WHITE released their first self titled album back in 1984, and according to the discography on their website they have released 12 studio albums and as much as 7 live albums.
I get this idea that I should have heard 1 or 2 of their songs through the years, because I'm pretty sure that somebody played them at a party in the late 90s. But when I listen to this I hear nothing that sounds familiar to me (except for a LED ZEPPELIN cover), so I have probably never heard them again since then. ..until now.
They begin the album with slow stuff like "Train To Nowhere" and "Sail Away". There should be more action according to me. It seems like the whole first disc is more laidback stuff, but the audience seems to love it, so who am I to complain? And it doesn't have to be bad just because it's a bit slower, does it? This is actually not bad at all.
The second disc is the better disc according to me. And especially songs like "Face The Day" and "Can't Shake It", which rock hard. There's also some bluesy numbers that are ok.
officialgreatwhite.com   cleorecs.com/store/product-category/record-label/deadline
Published: March 8, 2020

BENEATH THE MASSACRE: Fearmonger - Album
(Century Media)
..and then it was a hell of a noise again. But this band is also technical, but very demanding to me. This is the kind of stuff that can easily give you a headache, because it's a very intense kind of death metal that they play. But most songs are just around 2-3 minutes, so this is over in half an hour.
BENEATH THE MASSACRE are based in Canada, and this is their 4th album. This record seems to be their first sign of life in 8 years.
If you like it extreme and technical, then this is definitely something for you.
facebook.com/BeneaththeMassacreband   centurymedia.com
Published: March 8, 2020

VULCANO: Eye In Hell - Album
(Mighty Music - Release date: March 13, 2020)
VULCANO were one of Brazil's first metal bands of note. Coming into existence some time before the country's most famous metal export, SEPULTURA, VULCANO's albums were far too inaccessible to surface above the heavy metal underground with any regularity; and yet, alongside fellow Brazilians SARCOFAGO, MUTILATOR, and others, their primal, astoundingly violent blend of black and thrash metal has attained a worldwide cult legend. Now, for the first time in almost 39 years, they have signed a record deal with the Danish label Mighty Music.
I can hear both VENOM and SLAYER in this band's music. So a mixture of black and thrash metal is what we get from these veterans. It's fast and raw, but never chaotic or noisey. There's absolutely no reason to smile. You just sit there, shut the fuck up and listen. And you will like it!
vulcanometal.com   mightymusic.dk
Published: March 8, 2020

The GUILT: New Knives - Album
(HepTown Records - Release date: March 13, 2020)
Swedish duo The GUILT released their self titled debut album in 2017, and I described their music as "some kind of mixture of 60s garage rock, 70s punk rock and 80s post rock (or disco punk)".
"New Knives" is the second full length album, and what we get this time is an energetic kind of electro punk (also called lazer punk). Sometimes almost with an industrial touch. It's like the combination of a disco and a punk rock show - Violent dance music and punk at the same time, together with the beat of a machine. And that might not sound like something that the typical punk rocker use to listen to. But don't let that scare you away, because this is actually good.
This is the kind of band that probably have fans from many different backgrounds. I can imagine that punks, disco people and rockers all shake loose at their shows. And fans of zynth music and industrial music should also give this a try.
Published: March 8, 2020

Conny Bloom: Game! Set! Bloom! - Album
(Target Records - Release date: March 13, 2020)
Conny with the boys at Holmens Rock
Conny Bloom is most well-known for being the frontman of Swedish hard rockers ELECTRIC BOYS, but he was also a member of HANOI ROCKS in the 2000s. But what he is doing as a solo artist is something different from that. This is some kind of rock in Swedish, with a touch of the 70s. If I should compare these songs with something, then I guess you could say Pugh Rogefeldt, and possibly Stefan Sundström. They call it "storytelling folk rock with traces of psychedelia, funk and 60s pop". The lyrics blend both seriousness and humour, and he really knows how to tell a story.
He is doing this really good. Most of these 10 tracks are great stuff. So you should check this out, even though this kind of music might not be your thing.
facebook.com/ConnyBloomOfficial   targetgroup.dk
Published: March 8, 2020

BLACK HAWK: Destination Hell - Album
(Pure Underground Records - Release date: March 13, 2020)
This German band released their first EP, "First Attack", in 1989. They have released an album once in a while since 2005. "Destination Hell" is their 7th full length.
We get 10 tracks of traditional heavy metal anthems, that should work for most fans of this genre. This is very good stuff. This record is absolutely not going to hell.
I guess that this could be something for fans of legendary acts like ACCEPT, JUDAS PRIEST, IRON MAIDEN and similar.
black-hawk- music.de   puresteel-records.com
Published: March 8, 2020

PUTRID OFFAL: Dura Mater - Single
Not so bad for being death/grind. This kicks ass! I'm not so sure if I could take a whole album of this though.
"Dura Mater" is the first single from PUTRID OFFAL's new album, "Sicknesses Obsessions", which will be released on May 22. It's said to be "one of the many neckbreakers of the album with a seemingly unstoppable drive, surprising breaks and cuts, full of surprises". And that's actually a very good description of this song.
This single is available for free download from XenoKorp's Bandcamp page (link below), with an exclusive bonus track: a live version of "Organic Excavation".
Published: March 6, 2020

BROWSING COLLECTION: Pizza Slice Paradise - Single
(Ditto/Icons Creating Evil Art)
A few months ago they had a craving for sugar, and now it's pizza.
BROWSING COLLECTION is an all-female band from Sweden, who play rock with metal influenced punk attitude. They have already been playing together for more than 10 years, and are currently working on a new album, "Cyber Space Buffet", which will be released on March 27. And that's where this song comes from. A song about pizza, yes, but also about questioning older generations' way of looking at society (and food perhaps?).
This is another good song from this band, so I look forward to hear the new album. And there's not much else to add. You just order a pizza and give this a try, and that's it.
browsingcollection.com   icea.se
Published: March 6, 2020

WOLF: Feeding The Machine - Album
(Century Media - Release date: March 13, 2020)
Niklas with Wolf in Gothenburg a few years ago
The first album I heard with this band was "Evil Star" from 2004. The only member left in the band from that time is the frontman Niklas Stålvind. But they actually formed back in 1995 already, and were 1 of the earliest bands to revive the traditional heavy metal, which at that time was seen as more or less dead. And WOLF have always been true to that sound.
It's already 6 years since their last album, "Devil Seed", was released. And since then, well actually during the recording of this album, basist Anders Modd (ex-TAD MOROSE) and drummer Richard Holmgren (ex-APOSTASY) decided that they wanted to leave the band. So vocalist/guitarist Niklas Stålvind and guitarist Simon Johansson had to find new members for the band. And what they found was Pontus Egberg (KING DIAMOND, TREAT, TAINTED NATION, ex-The POODLES, ZAN CLAN, LION'S SHARE) on bass and Johan Koleberg (ex-THERION, LION'S SHARE) on drums.
It seems like this have given the band some new energy, becuse this is a damned good album. No doubt about that! So if you call yourself a fan of heavy metal, then this is a must in your record collection.
facebook.com/officialwolf   centurymedia.com
Published: March 5, 2020

NECROPHILIAC: No Living Man Is Innocent - Album
(Xtreem Music - Release date: March 12, 2020)
After 28 years, Spanish death metallers NECROPHILIAC are ready to release their sophomore album "No Living Man Is Innocent". The current lineup of NECROPHILIAC has 4 of the original members: Bongo (vocals), Ery (guitar), Miguel (guitar) and Sweick (drums), plus the newly incorporated bassist Ramón.
The band formed in 1988, and recorded 5 demos before their debut album, "Chaopula - Citadel of Mirrors", was released in 1992. And it seems like they were a succees in the Spanish death scene, but the band dissolved a year later. In 2016 they were back again, and ready to slaughter.
Well, if you like your death metal in the good old way, then I suppose that this can be a band for you. Everything might not be great, but I would guess that at least half of the album consist of good songs (maybe even more).
facebook.com/necrophiliacdeathmetal   soundcloud.com/xtreemmusic
Published: March 4, 2020

DeVicious: Firefly - Single
(Metalapolis Records)
DeVicious is an international melodic hard rock band based in Karlsruhe, Germany. They have released 2 albums so far, and now their third album is on the way (April).
"Firefly" is a first taste of the new album, but also the debut of their new singer Antonio Calanna. And this is a really good and catchy song that should get stuck in your brain. If they have more songs like this on the new album, then you can expect an excellent review.
devicious.band   metalapolis.eu
Published: March 3, 2020

The NEAL MORSE BAND: The Great Adventour, Live in Brno 2019 - 2Blu-ray/2CD
(Inside Out Music - Release date: March 6, 2020)
Well, these guys are absolutely not any amateurs, but that doesn't help much as long as I can't hear something that is extra good. But people who just love progressive rock will probably love this live release, which was filmed and recorded in Brno, Czech Republic last year. It's very ambitious and majestic stuff that they have to offer.
If I got it right, they actually perform the entire "The Great Adventure" (2019) album. But they also play a medley of songs from their 5 previous albums, which last for as long as 27:39 minutes.
nealmorse.com   insideoutmusic.com
Published: March 3, 2020

TOUNDRA: Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari - Album
(Inside Out Music)
Long meditative soundscapes and no vocals at all..
This Madrid-based instrumental band is said to be influenced by the big names of progressive and rock, just as much as of punk and alternative rock. I can't say that I hear much of that here. Not much that has anything to do with rock at all actually.
The title of this album is also the name of a German silent horror film, that happens to be 100 years old this year. And what they have tried to create here is a soundtrack to that film. So maybe you are supposed to watch that film to get the right experience?
toundra.es   insideoutmusic.com
Published: March 3, 2020

XTASY: Eye Of The Storm - Album
(Metalapolis Records - Release date: March 6, 2020 for CD, March 27, 2020 for LP)
XTASY is the brainchild of Spanish guitarist Jorge Olloqui, which was started as a studio project in 2013, with singer/keyboardist Silvia. But after the recording of their first album, they decided to continue as a real band.
Now their third album is here, and I think that it sounds a little like the Swedish band ECLIPSE, but with a female vocalist. And fact is that Erik Mårtensson (ECLIPSE, NORDIC UNION, W.E.T.) has mixed and mastered all 3 of their albums, so it's not so strange that they have a similar sound.
Melodic hard rock of the best kind is how I describe a band like this. Because just like ECLIPSE, and several other bands in this genre, they have lots of strong songs on this album. So this is an album that you should not miss.
xtasyband.com   metalapolis.eu
Published: March 2, 2020

ROSE TATTOO: Outlaws - Album
(Cleopatra Records - Release date: March 6, 2020)
Australian hard rock n roll band ROSE TATTOO is the exactly right combination of Bon Scott-era AC/DC and 70s NAZARETH. And this is a re-recording of their debut album, "Rock n Roll Outlaw", from 1978. But we also get some previously unreleased songs from the early days: "Rosetta", "Snow Queen" and "Sweet Love Rock and Roll". These 3 songs were demoed, but never made the final cut.
Now I don't think that I have heard the original album, so I can't compare. But I reconize 2 of the songs - "One Of The Boys" and "Nice Boys" - which I must have heard covers of. But this is a very good album anyway. A raw and dirty doze of rock n roll that rock hard.
ROSE TATTOO will be touring in Europe with THUNDERMOTHER in March, and North America with The HOTS in May.
rosetattoo.com.au   cleorecs.com
Published: March 2, 2020

MEDIUM: Medium - Album
(Transcending Obscurity Records - Release date: March 6, 2020)
This is the debut from this grind/crust band, who comes from Argentina. And luckily I can hear more crust than grind, which makes me a little happier. But there's also some punk, death metal and hardcore in their molotov cocktail.
This is an album full of raw energy. And I think that their brutal mixture will fit crust punks and grindcore freaks, as well as some death metallers.
Album by the way.. Most of these 7 tracks are just around 2-3 minutes, which means that this record is over in approximately 16 minutes. That's a EP and not an album. So hopefully they won't sell this as a full length, because then you can feel cheated.
mediumgrind.bandcamp.com   tometal.com
Published: March 2, 2020

FINNEGAN'S HELL: Work Is The Curse Of The Drinking Class - Album
(Wild Kingdom - Release date: March 6, 2020)
Finnegans Hell in Goteborg
Many drinking songs for this Swedish band. But then it's Celtic punk that they play, and songs about drinking is nothing unusual in this genre. It's not so usual that almost every song is about that subject though.
"Work Is The Curse Of The Drinking Class" is the third album from FINNEGAN'S HELL, and it has many good songs. And even though I put them in the Celtic punk genre, there's also influences from folk music (both Irish and Swedish), hard rock and even hillbilly country. They deliver sing-along friendly songs with lots of melody. And while many other bands in this genre might sound more or less the same all the way, this band has lots of variation between each song. So you should not get bored when you listen to this. It's rather a risk that you will smile and become thirsty for alcohol.
Published: March 1, 2020

SCARAB: Martyrs Of The Storm - Album
(ViciSolum Productions - Release date: March 6, 2020)
SCARAB comes from Egypt, and this is their first album in 5 years. They formed in 2006, released their first EP in 2007, and their first full length album in 2010. "Martyrs Of The Storm" is their third album, which features a guest apperance from Karl Sanders (NILE).
This is an extreme and very tiring record. Not the kind of death metal that I like. But if you want it more brutal, then I guess this can be something for you. But if you prefer the old school stuff, then this is not of interest.
The lyrical themes are mainly about survival and the struggle of the chaotic human nature; Spirituality, and philosophies inspired by Ancient Egypt and the world's collective mystical wisdom.
Published: March 1, 2020

Randy Holden: Population II - Album reissue
Now we go back to the late 60s and acts like Jimi Hendrix, CREAM and similar stuff. In other words we talk about bluesy heavy rock with loud guitars, or proto-metal if you like that better. The guitars are loud and heavy, but I like these songs. And so should you.
It looks like Randy Holden made his solo debut back in 1969 already by scaring the shit out of the audience with 16   200 watt Sunn amps. He had previously been a member of BLUE SHEER, but had now teamed up with Chris Lockheed (drums/keyboard), and they made the album "Population II", which is said to be a legendary and extremely rare record. It has been bootlegged several times over the years, but until now has not seen a proper remaster.
Well, that is about to change. Because on February 28 it will finally be released again on LP, CD and digital. And you should not miss that.
Published: Feb. 29, 2020

MORE KICKS: Your Vibration - 7" EP
(Beluga Records/Wanda Records/Snap! Records)
London's latest power pop sensation release a 3-track EP. It's catchy and melodic, and will make you think of 60s bands like The WHO and The KINKS, as well as a 70s band like BUZZCOCKS. The songs are short but sharp, and all 3 are really good stuff.
If you miss early CAESAR'S PALACE (2 first albums), then I think that this can be something for you. It's not exactly the same, but it's almost as good as they were. And those of you who are into 60s pop will definitely enjoy this.
Published: Feb. 29, 2020

LICANTROPY: Extrabiliante - Album
(Go Down Records)
LICANTROPY is an Italian garage rock band, who started in 2017. Their sound is raw with a punky attitude. And there's a psychedelic intersection between music and visual art. They prefer to take the unexpected way, and take you on a bizarre adventure.
Fact is that this trio is making a mixture of different styles of rock music, so it's not just garage rock as you might know it. They also add some psychedelic rock, punk, rock n roll, and even a pinch of pop to their brew.
In the end it's a really good album that we get here, and that's actually all that really matters.
facebook.com/licantropyband   godownrecords.com
Published: Feb. 29, 2020

DEAD MAN'S CHEST: Dear God - 7" EP
(Upstate Records)
Groovy macho metalcore. Not something that I fall in love with as it sounds more or less the same all the time. Heavy riffs are interspersed with a singer reminiscent of a horny moose. They describe it as "metallic hardcore" and "thrash meets hardcore", but I call it metalcore.
This band has already been around for 14 years, but it must be the first time I have heard them.
Published: Feb. 29, 2020

Conny Bloom: Flyttkarl - Single
(Target Records)
Conny with Electric Boys
They obviously promote Conny Bloom's (ELECTRIC BOYS, ex-HANOI ROCKS) upcoming solo album, "Game! Set! Bloom!" (out in March), pretty hard, because here's another single from that album. But it's a really good record, so why complain?
" "Flyttkarl" is about my (vagabond) life. Kind of a bio I guess", says Conny himself about this song. And the music is like the rest of the album, catchy rock in Swedish.
facebook.com/ConnyBloomOfficial   targetgroup.dk
Published: Feb. 29, 2020

KSMB and PREKARIATET at Valand in Göteborg, Sweden on February 28, 2020
The first band, PREKARIATET, was new to me. A more catchy and melodic band who are almost more rock than punk. Think of a band like IMPERIET or early EN SVENSK TIGER. Pretty good, but it's hard to remember any of their songs today. 1 man was extra enthusiastic about them, haha. He was the only person that shook loose a little, while the rest of us just stood there.
Prekariatet   Prekariatet   Prekariatet   Prekariatet   Prekariatet   Prekariatet
In November 1979 Swedish punk rock band KSMB released a few songs on the 3-way split "Bakverk 80" (the other bands was TRAVOLTA KIDS and INCEST BROTHERS). And in 1980 their first album, "Aktion", was released. To celebrate the 40-year anniversary of these albums, they are doing a few concerts where they perform all their songs from these albums. That means a lot of classics, and a hell of a show. Yes, there might just be the 2 singers left from that era, but they really delivered. Many of my old favorite songs were performed, and it was great.
As the audience wanted more, they also played "SexNollTvå" from the "Rika Barn Leka Bäst" album (1982), as well as some newer songs.
KSMB in action   KSMB in action   KSMB in action   KSMB in action   KSMB in action   KSMB in action   KSMB in action   KSMB in action   KSMB in action   KSMB in action
Published: Feb. 29, 2020

THOR: Rising - Album
(Deadline Music - Release date: Feb. 28, 2020)
North American legend Thor is back with a new album. And what we get is more or less the same old 80s hard rock/heavy metal that we use to get from this old man, possibly with a modern touch here and there. And I didn't really expect anything else either. And as usual there's both good and less good songs. Nothing seems to be extra good though, which is a minus.
So, he have made stronger songs than this in the past, but I would not say that this is totally useless. And old fans should not be dissapointed.
thorcentral.net   facebook.com/DeadlineMusicRecords
Published: Feb. 27, 2020

WORMWOOD: Ghostlands, Wounds From A Bleeding Earth - Album reissue
(Black Lodge Records - Release date: Feb. 28, 2020)
This is a re-release of the melodic black metal band WORMWOOD's debut album, which was originally released in March 2017. It's described as "an esoteric, cosmic journey through the mighty Scandinavian landscapes", and features guest vocals by Nephente (NETHERBIRD, RIKET) and Alexandra "Lalla" Moqvist, and fiddle by Martin Björklund (MÅNEGARM, MERCURY X).
It's mainly black metal, even though it's a bit more melodic and not so fast. It's mainly the guitar melodies that are melodic, because the vocals are harsh (except for some female vocals in 2 of the songs). But there's also elements of folk music here and there. Most lyrics are in English, but 2 of the songs are in Swedish. This is absolutely not bad at all. I think you should check this out.
WORMWOOD was formed by a group of friends in 2014, and comes from Sweden. They started as a "black n roll" band, but wanted to do something different instead, something more atmospheric, yet still harsh and vicious. And on this album they succeeded with that.
Published: Feb. 26, 2020

WE SELL THE DEAD: Black Sleep - Album
Melodic weight and a saturated atmosphere characterize this Swedish group, which features members from bands like IN FLAMES, DRÖMRIKET, SPIRITUAL BEGGARS, FIREWIND and ENGEL.
With the feet deeply rooted in the hard rock, you can hear clear influences of BLACK SABBATH's heaviness, as well as progressive elements. And we shall not forget to mention the melodies, which you can find throughout the album. But for some reason I often think of the more melodic moments with a band like MUSTASCH when I listen to this second album, and this is not even the same thing as them.
This is very good, so you should absolutely give this a try.
Published: Feb. 26, 2020

Mike Tramp: The Road - Single
(Mighty Music)
This is the first single from former WHITE LION and FREAK OF NATURE frontman Mike Tramp's new album, "Second Time Around", which will be released on May 1. To me it sounds exactly like his last album, so in other words very soft and melodic rock. But if you like that, then go ahead. It's not so bad actually, but very lame.
facebook.com/MikeTrampOfficial   mightymusic.dk
Published: Feb. 26, 2020

(Mighty Music)
"River Of Hate" comes from their fifth album, "A Universe From Nothing", which will be released on April 24. And this song features a guest solo by Soren Andersen (ELECTRIC GUITARS, Glenn Hughes). It's just 1 of many powerful and great songs from that album. So if you like heavy, bluesy hard rock, then this is something that you should try.
facebook.com/freddyphan   mightymusic.dk
Published: Feb. 26, 2020

SHAFT OF STEEL: Steel Heartbeat - Album
(AOR Heaven - Release date: Feb. 28, 2020)
SHAFT OF STEEL are a melodic rock band from London, UK. The band formed in 2004 as a power metal band influenced by acts like IRON MAIDEN, DREAM THEATER and BLIND GUARDIAN. But they soon found out that they shared a love for 80s rock and pop music, and in particular Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins and JOURNEY. So they started to combine this with the metal influences. But after 3 years they went seperate ways.
In 2011 they felt that it was time to regroup, and recorded an EP, which wasn't released until 2014. Now the band had become a pure melodic rock/AOR band. And since then they have been working on their first full length album, "Steel Heartbeat", which was finally completed in late 2019. And now it's ready to be released in late February 2020.
Well, I don't think that I have to mention any bands to compare them with, because it's the usual artists that this kind of bands use to take inspiration from. And they do this just as good as any of the other bands in this genre, so I can't see why you should not check this out.
shaftofsteel.com   aorheaven.com
Published: Feb. 25, 2020

Jesse Damon: Damon's Rage - Album
(AOR Heaven - Release date: Feb. 28, 2020)
Weird title as there isn't much rage on this album. After all it's melodic rock/AOR, which is hardly an aggressive genre (a friend of mine called it soft rock). But it doesn't always have to be hard and aggressive. Softer music can also be really good. And this man is a living proof of that.
The musical journey for Jesse Damon started back in the 80s, when he was the lead singer and guitarist for SILENT RAGE, who got signed by no other than Gene Simmons (KISS) for their second album. Jesse and Gene became friends, and co-wrote "Thou Shalt Not" for the KISS album "Revenge". And in 2002 he co-wrote another song with Mr. Simmons, "Everybody Needs Somebody", which ended up on Damon's first solo album. He has since then recorded 6 solo albums with this one included.
Everything on this album is done by Jesse Damon and Paul Sabu. And they have done a damned good job. So if you are looking for well-done melodic rock/AOR, then this is a record for you.
facebook.com/jesse.damon.7   aorheaven.com
Published: Feb. 25, 2020

RAGATA: Rebell - Album
(Ragata Records)
Fun to see that the younger generation find their way to the punk music. Another fun thing is when you listen and hear that they are actually really good too. Because good is the right word to describe this short album (most tracks are around 2 and a half minutes).
They deliver a energetic but catchy and melodic kind of punk rock that gets stuck right away. And this is just their first record! Just a lucky hit? Who knows? It will be very interesting to hear more from this band in the future anyway. That's for sure.
Funny with the Swedish version of BLONDIE's old classic "Hanging On The Telephone", here called "Hänger Med Din Telefon".
As far as I know they sell this as an album. But fact is that these 8 tracks are over in just 21 minutes. Sure, very punk, but that's not what I call a full length, but an EP.
Published: Feb. 24, 2020

PSYCHOTIC WALTZ: The God-Shaped Void - Album
(InsideOut Music)
California-based progressive metal act PSYCHOTIC WALTZ officially reformed in 2010, with all 5 members from the group's first 3 albums. But the story began in El Cajon (a suburb of San Diego) back in 1986 already, and ended in 1997 when the members went sperate ways. Since the comeback they have mainly played live, but they have also been working on some new songs from 2012 to 2019. And now we are finally able to hear the result of what they have been working on for so long.
Now I can't really remember if I have heard this band before, but this sounds like an album that they can be really proud of. There's lots of fantastic songs here. And you don't even have to be a fan of the progressive genre to like this. I actually think that any fan of good metal could like this, because I'm not always such a big fan of that genre myself. But once in a while there's a band like this, who change my whole opinion about progressive music. Interesting..
Published: Feb. 24, 2020

BLISTER BRIGADE: Slugfest Supreme - Album
(Inverse Records)
This is the third album from this Swedish hard rock/heavy metal band. ..or "hard-rocking riff machine", as their label describe them. And according to themselves the sound is a bit harder on this album. Now I don't think that I have heard them before (not that I can remember anyway), so I can't compare with their earlier recordings. But what I hear here is a riff-based blend of classic hard rock and heavy metal. There's both fast and heavy songs, as well as more mellow and acoustic numbers. So variation is absolutely not a problem here. Everything might not be so interesting, but I would not say that anything is really bad. Some songs are even a little better than the rest.
facebook.com/blisterbrigade   inverse.fi
Published: Feb. 24, 2020

Nils Patrik Johansson: The Great Conspiracy - Album
(Metalville - Release date: Feb. 28, 2020)
What Swedish singer Nils Patrik Johansson (ASTRAL DOORS, LION'S SHARE, ex-CIVIL WAR) have done here is actually a concept album about the murder of the Swedish prime minister Olof Palme in 1986, which is still unsolved. The album will be released on the same date that the murder happened, and Nils Patrik has been dealing with this case since 2016. There are hundreds of theories about who the perpetrator was - Was it a lonely madman or a long-prepared conspiracy act? We still don't know.. And me and many others opinion is that we probably never will know (I might add that they just recently seems to have found new evidence in this case, but the person is probably dead already).
When it comes to the music, it's classic hard rock, heavy metal and almost power metal sometimes. So more or less like the previous releases with his bands ASTRAL DOORS, LION'S SHARE and CIVIL WAR. And it sounds really good. There are many strong songs on this album.
The album also contains a duet, "Freakshow Superstar", with Håkan Hemlin (more well-known as pop singer Nordman here in Sweden).
facebook.com/Nilspatrikjohansson   metalville.de
Published: Feb. 23, 2020

BLOOD AND SUN: Love & Ashes - Album
(Nordvis Produktion - Release date: Feb. 28, 2020)
If you like artists like WOVEN HAND, DEATH IN JUNE, OF THE WAND AND THE MOON, KING DUDE, Leonard Cohen or SWANS, then I guess that this American band could be interesting for you. It's very dark, gothic and melancholy music, and not really rock. But there are some o.k. songs here. They call it neo folk, and this is the second album.
This seems to be a solo project with Luke Tromiczak, but the album features many guests (no famous names to me).
Published: Feb. 22, 2020

SLOWBURN: Rock 'n' Roll Rats - Album
(Fighter Records - Release date: Feb. 25, 2020)
Spanish heavy metal band SLOWBURN was formed in 2015. They recorded a 2-song demo, and these songs managed to appear on 2 different compilations - "Spanish Steel Attack" and "Trobador Urbano". After that they began to play live, and also started to work on their first album.
SLOWBURN have mutiple influences, but mainly 70s hard rock and all kinds of 80s metal. Their sound is heavy, melodic and powerful. And these 9 tracks are really good stuff, so you should give this a try.
Published: Feb. 20, 2020

(Heavy Psych Sounds Records - Release date: Feb. 21, 2020)
Nick Oliveri (The DWARVES, BL'AST, KYUSS, QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE etc) is back with his desert punk band MONDO GENERATOR. And this is their first new album in 8 years.
MONDO GENERATOR deliver a mixture of speed rock, american punk and hardcore with the typical Oliveri style (those of you who have heard his solo material know what that means). It's raw and dirty with a "fuck it" attitude, which in my ears makes it a punk album. There's lots of variation though, so I can not say that everything is punk here. There's also some desert rock in some of the songs, but mainly it's punk.
This is a damned good record!
facebook.com/officialmondogenerator   heavypsychsounds.com
Published: Feb. 20, 2020

CHRONICLE: Reset To Zero - Single
(Mighty Music)
This is said to be something for fans of CHILDREN OF BODOM, early DARK TRANQUILLITY and The BLACK DAHLIA MURDER - A mixture of old school thrash metal, melodic death metal and black metal, topped with some Finnish melodies. It's often pretty fast and aggressive, but there's also room for guitar melodies and technical riffs.
Oh shit, that was something like half of my review of the album, "Demonology", where this song comes from. That album is very good by the way, and so is this song. And the album will be released on March 27, so check out this song and the previous single, "They Have Returned", while you wait for that.
facebook.com/ChronicleOfficialBand   mightymusic.dk
Published: Feb. 19, 2020

FINNEGAN'S HELL: Six Feet Under - Single
(Wild Kingdom)
Finnegans Hell in Gothenburg a few years ago
Celtic punk/folk rockers FINNEGAN'S HELL will release a new album, with the funny title "Work Is The Curse Of The Drinking Class", on March 6. That's where this little song comes from, which is just 1 of many good songs from that album. So you should check this out of course. And especially if you are into The POGUES, FLOGGING MOLLY and similar acts, and like to drink alcohol (the album is said to be "a tribute to the thirsty Irish poets Oscar Wilde and Shane MacGowan, as well as Sweden's most notorious bard, Carl Michael Bellman").
FINNEGAN'S HELL formed in 2010, and comes from Sweden.
Published: Feb. 19, 2020

HOT SNAKES: I Shall Be Free - Single
(Sub Pop)
American rock band HOT SNAKES has released a new single, just in time for their upcoming U.S. tour (Feb. 22 to Mar. 12), where you will be able to buy the single as a 7" vinyl with the exclusive b-side "A Place In The Sun". It's also available digitally of course.
This is the second single of 4 leading up to their next full length album. And I honestly don't really know what I should think about this. It sounds hard and mystical at the same time. Not totally useless, but hardly a smash hit either.
I'm confused..
Published: Feb. 19, 2020

VULCANO: Cybernetic Beast - Single
(Mighty Music)
"Cybernetic Beast" is another song taken from VULCANO's upcoming new album "Eye In Hell", which will be released on March 13. According to the band it's a "re-reading" of a song from their first 7", which came out in 1983.
If it's black/thrash metal from Brazil that you're looking for, then this is the band for you. It's fast and raw stuff, but still damned good.
vulcanometal.com   mightymusic.dk
Published: Feb. 19, 2020

WAYWARD DAWN: Ridicule - Single
(Mighty Music)
This song is about the people who are trying to make a change in the world, yet are ignored or ridiculed by the people around them. The story is told by a young death metal band from Skanderborg, Denmark. And "Ridicule" comes from their new album "Haven Of Lies", which will see the light on April 10.
WAYWARD DAWN play in the same league as the old American legends. It's extreme and brutal, but at the same time fast and heavy.
facebook.com/waywarddawn   mightymusic.dk
Published: Feb. 19, 2020

DISCHARGE: Protest And Survive, The Anthology - Double Album
(BMG - Release date: Feb. 21, 2020)
Bones with Discharge in Gothenburg 2014
These British legends are the fathers of d-beat hardcore/punk, and have influenced both extreme metal bands and punks all over the world. Now they celebrate that it was 40 years since they released their first single, "Realities Of War" (1980), with this fat 53-track career spanning collection.
The story starts a few years earlier than that though, back in early 1977. And we actually get a demo from that year on the second disc, which sounds very different from what we are used to hear. At that time Terry "Tezz" Roberts was singing (he switched to drums later, and nowadays he play guitar in the band), and they sounded more like SEX PISTOLS instead of the nuclear explosion they became later.
In 1979 their legendary vocalist Kelvin "Cal" Morris joined the band, and DISCHARGE's sound became more raw, hard and heavy. The lyrics always have a political meassage - war, oppression and corruption. "Realities Of War" was followed by a few more EPs, and in 1982 their debut album, "Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing", was released. And they have released a few more albums since then. Everything have not been of interest though, like "Grave New World" (1986) for example, which was more of a bad metal album (just listen to the vocals! lol). The old fans was not happy with the new direction, and eventually the band took a small hiatus until 1991, when Cal recruited a new lineup and recorded 2 more metal albums.
The original lineup reunited in 2001, and since then it has been the good old d-beat hardcore/punk with a few metal influences. Cal left the band in 2003, and was replaced by Anthony "Rat" Martin (VARUKERS). Since 2014 Jeff "J.J." Janiak is the singer. There has also been some other changes in the band, but they are still around.
Well, this collection gives us most of their classics and then some. Disc 1 is more or less a best of, while disc 2 includes more rare stuff - like demo recordings from 1977, 2002 and 2004 (the last one is re-recordings of some old classics), as well as live recordings from 2004 (more classics) etc. 1 of these demos are a previously unreleased track, "Descending Into Madness" (2002), with Cal on vocals.
This collection is simply a must! Especially if you have not heard this band before, and want to be overrun by a steam roller while enjoying yourself completely. That might not sound like a good idea, but DISCHARGE is simply a must in your record collection.
Published: Feb. 18, 2020

(Century Media - Release date: Feb. 21, 2020)
DEMONS & WIZARDS - the collaboration between Hansi Kürsch (BLIND GUARDIAN) and Jon Schaffer (ICED EARTH) - are back with their third album. And what we get could be described as a combination of both previous albums and then some. It's a progressive and powerful heavy metal adventure, with many strong melodies. Sometimes epic. Most of these 11 songs are good stuff that most fans of heavy metal should like.
What else can I say? Well, among the guests on this album are Brent Smedley (ICED EARTH), Ruben Drake (PURGATORY, SONS OF LIBERTY), Jake Dreyer (WITHERFALL, ICED EARTH), and Jim Morris. The last one return for his third stint as lead guitarist for the band. Also, PA'dam Chamber Choir participate on 2 of the tracks.
This is an album you should not miss!
demonsandwizardsmerch.com   centurymedia.com
Published: Feb. 18, 2020

Biff Byford: School Of Hard Knocks - Album
(Silver Lining Music - Release date: Feb. 21, 2020)
Saxon in Gothenburg a few years ago
Legendary SAXON frontman Biff Byford go on a solo trip for the first time. And those of you who expect something totally different from his main band better think again. Mainly because of the vocals, this reminds somehow of SAXON, even though it's not exactly the same when it comes to the music. It's still hard rock and heavy metal, but not exactly the way that SAXON use to do it. But we get some other stuff too, like the Yorkshire folk classic "Scarborough Fair" - famously covered by Simon and Garfunkel - for example.
Biff is 69 years old, but he still has a very powerful voice. And he can still sing all and nothing without a problem. Small details like that impress me, because there's lots of other singers around the same age who obviously not can sing like when they were young. But we are all different..
The band on this album is Fredrik Åkesson (OPETH) on guitars, drummer Christian Lundqvist and bass player Gus Macricostas. But there's also guest apperances from people like Phil Campbell (PHIL CAMPBELL & The BASTARD SONS, MOTÖRHEAD), Alex Holzwarth (RHAPSODY OF FIRE, TURILLI/LIONE RHAPSODY), Nick Barker (VOICES), Dave Kemp (WAYWARD SONS) and Nibbs Carter (SAXON).
This is a very good album. So no matter what you expect, you have to give this a try at least.
Published: Feb. 18, 2020

(Frontiers Music Srl)
The all-star trio Deen Castronovo (ex-JOURNEY, The DEAD DAISIES), Doug Aldrich (ex-WHITESNAKE, The DEAD DAISIES) and Jack Blades (ex- DAMN YANKEES, NIGHT RANGER) has released their third album as REVOLUTION SAINTS. And it's classic melodic hard rock for the whole coin. But it sounds really good and professional, and they have many great songs here. So, this is obviously worth a try, and I don't have much else to add..
Published: Feb. 17, 2020

NIGHTFEAR: Apocalypse - Album
(Fighter Records)
NIGHTFEAR is a band based in Madrid, Spain. Their debut album, "Inception", was released in 2012, and gave the listeners a mix of classic heavy metal and power metal. Their second album, "Drums Of War", came out in November 2015, and was a conceptual album.
And as you might have guessed already, now their third album, "Apocalypse", is here. And it's a very good album, where they continue to blend good old heavy metal with some power metal. This is something that you absolutely should try.
It seems like the Spanish metal scene is very strong nowadays, because I have heard a few more bands that are really good. Nice!
Published: Feb. 17, 2020

PASSION: Passion - Album
(Frontiers Music Srl)
PASSION is a new band created by former NIGHT BY NIGHT vocalist Daniel Rossall (aka Lion Ravarez). Inspiration comes from 80s/90s hard rock, and the result is a combination of early 90s hard rock and AOR. I simply call it melodic hard rock though.
Rossall played most of the instruments on the album, and produced it. PASSION is a band though, with Lion Ravarez on vocals, Weston James Jr. on bass, Chance Vanderlain on guitar and Bobby Laker on drums.
Well, this is really good stuff, so you should check this out of course. It's just that simple, mate!
Published: Feb 16, 2020

(Frontiers Music Srl)
Melodic rock is what we get here. And they seems to have some good songs. But there isn't that much that is excellent. Now I'm not really sure how much I have heard with this band before, if anything at all (my memory isn't always the best), so that could of course be a reason for my opinion. But as they have made this live release, they obviously have some fans who really like them. So if you like melodic rock, just give them a try, you will probably like it.
Best song is without a doubt the BOSTON cover "More Than A Feeling". But for some reason it's the last song, and last for as long as 10 minutes.
This was, as the title says, recorded in Italy on April 28, 2018. It was their first, and so far, only live show in Europe. And this night guitarist Michael Thompson were joined by Larry King on vocals, Larry Antonino on bass/vocals, Guy Allison (UNRULY CHILD) on keyboards and Sergio Gonzalez on drums. And these gentlemen played songs from MICHAEL THOMPSON BAND's debut album, "How Long", as well as some new songs from their upcoming album, "Love And Beyond".
Published: Feb. 16, 2020