GOTUS – Gotus

RELEASE YEAR: 2024BAND URL: https://www.facebook.com/gotusmusic/ This deftly executed slab of varied hard rock nearly got away from my enormous review pile but luckily found its way to the CD player before it was too late – something that I am extremely grateful for as the music housed in this great-looking jewel case is a fine…

SMOKING SNAKES – Danger Zone

RELEASE YEAR: 2024BAND URL: https://www.facebook.com/smokingsnakesofsweden/ Yes, this is just what I was in the mood for today – a raunchy and fiery blast of sleaze metal with a raw edge and a lively atmosphere to it. Swedish delinquents Smoking Snakes recently released this eleven-track debut offering of theirs via Frontiers and it ticks a lot…

COBRAKILL – Serpent’s Kiss

RELEASE YEAR: 2024BAND URL: https://www.facebook.com/cobrakillrocks/ The German heavy metal/hard rock outfit known as Cobrakill unleashed their sophomore effort a couple of months ago via Frontiers and this 12-track slice of fiery fun is filled with adrenaline-fueled riffs, gang vocals, and a bad-ass attitude. There is no shortage of vigor and quality to this 80s-inspired blast…

CRAZY LIXX – Two Shots at Glory

RELEASE YEAR: 2024BAND URL: https://www.crazylixx.com/ Swedish hard rockers Crazy Lixx are consistently good and never cease to impress me with their high-octane, glam metal-fueled brand of loud, anthemic music. Well-played, tight as fuck, and relentlessly entertaining sum things up rather nicely, I think, and those attributes and characteristics also apply to Two Shots at Glory.…

HONEYMOON SUITE – Alive

RELEASE YEAR: 2024BAND URL: https://honeymoonsuiteband.com/ Alive by the Canadian melodic rockers Honeymoon Suite was an album that I had looked forward to receiving and reviewing, and the cool thing is that it did not disappoint. Featuring some superb guitar work, excellent keyboard atmospherics, a tight and energetic rhythm section, and not least a great vocal…

JIM PETERIK & WORLD STAGE – Roots and Shoots Volume One

RELEASE YEAR: 2024BAND URL: https://jimpeterik.com/ There are few songwriters out there who can top the legendary Jim Peterik (Pride of Lions) when it comes to crafting a delicious AOR tune filled with irresistible hooks. This instalment in the “World Stage” project sees him teaming up with renowned singers and musicians such as Kevin Cronin (REO…

JACK RUSSELL/TRACII GUNS – Medusa

RELEASE YEAR: 2024BAND URL: https://open.spotify.com/artist/4HBC3DZwjOaVS5TQEt7fwB Medusa turned out to be a rather uplifting and enjoyable listening experience to these ears – more so than many of the other Frontiers projects conceived by the label – due to the style and tone of the record having a cool, groovy, and seventies-ish hard rock vibe to it.…

GRAND – Second to None

RELEASE YEAR: 2024  BAND URL: https://www.facebook.com/grandthebandsweden/ Swedish melodic rockers Grand are back with a new, pristine-sounding album that leans heavily towards AOR, which is no bad thing in my book, and I could easily see this outfit appealing to fans of Def Leppard, the Joe Lynn Turner-fronted version of Rainbow, and late eighties/early nineties Foreigner just…

DURBIN – Screaming Steel

RELEASE YEAR: 2024BAND URL: https://www.facebook.com/DurbinRock/ I quite enjoyed the pounding heavy metal exercise by the talented singer James Durbin that was The Beast Awakens, which came out in 2021. Rooted as it was in classic eighties-flavored metal inspired by the likes of Accept, Judas Priest, DIO, Jag Panzer, and NWOBHM in general, it provided lots…

THE GRANDMASTER – Black Sun

RELEASE YEAR: 2024BAND URL: https://orcd.co/thegrandmasterblacksun The debut offering by The Grandmaster titled Skywards (2021) was a very entertaining and solid slab of epic heavy metal, and I recall thinking that this was one of those Frontiers Records projects that I would like to see continue and record a follow-up, which is exactly what has come…

TEMPLE BALLS – Avalanche

RELEASE YEAR: 2023  BAND URL: https://templeballsrocks.com/ These feisty Finnish hard rockers never cease to amaze me, and their latest offering appropriately named Avalanche contains an abundance of hooks and thrills that will make you lose your mind and go wild. You will also find your hand and fingers reaching for the “Repeat” button again and again…

DGM – Life

RELEASE YEAR: 2023BAND URL: https://www.facebook.com/dgmprog DGM hails from Italy and is one of the coolest and most inspiring progressive metal acts out there in the humble opinion of this scribe, and Life once again sees them firing on all cylinders from beginning to end and delivering ten enticing and elegantly composed songs that are positively…

SECRET SPHERE – Blackened Heartbeat

RELEASE YEAR: 2023  BAND URL: https://www.facebook.com/secretsphere The Italian power metal outfit Secret Sphere rarely fails to impress me, and Blackened Heartbeat sees them deliver their most memorable opus to date. I cannot recall them ever having written such catchy and pleasing tunes as the ones that this LP is comprised off, and you get rip-roaring metal…

SOLEDRIVER – Return Me to Light

RELEASE YEAR: 2023  BAND URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1uDc5JEr1w The premise and idea of having Michael Sweet (Stryper, Sweet and Lynch, Sunbomb) and Alessandro Del Vecchio team up was an interesting one, and I was looking forward to Return Me to Light, but sadly, it turned out to be somewhat disappointing and lackluster. There is no denying the musical…

HUGO’S VOYAGE – Inception

RELEASE YEAR: 2023BAND URL: https://www.voyageband.com/home With a core line-up consisting of superb musicians and a knack for crafting a pleasing and richly textured AOR tune, this is a pretty enjoyable musical affair and one that bodes very well for the future should Hugo and his skilled bandmates decide to continue down this cool musical path.…

CARE OF NIGHT – Reconnected

RELEASE YEAR: 2023  BAND URL: https://www.facebook.com/careofnight/ The third record by the awesome melodic rockers from Sweden known as Care of Night is just the thing if 80s-flavored AOR gets you high. Everything here is easy to digest and instantly appealing, the production is pristine and oozes professionalism, and the number of hooks and catchy vocal melodies…

LYNCH MOB – Babylon

RELEASE YEAR: 2023  BAND URL: https://www.facebook.com/LynchMobBand/ Renowned hard rockers Lynch Mob are responsible for some utterly cool and well-written records but their line-up has always appeared somewhat fluid and unstable, which is not necessarily a bad thing per say, but Babylon is the first time in a while that the band has gelled to such an…

VITALINES – Wheels Within Wheels

RELEASE YEAR: 2023BAND URL: https://youtu.be/dRCYtDQB36s?si=qH43DNocKPNUSdsW Now this melodic debut LP by the duo sporting the moniker Vitalines is an interesting one. With Robbie LaBlanc on vocals and Tommy Denander on guitars, bass, and keyboards, it is hardly as if the band lack pedigree, and when things work on the album, which they do most of…

NITRATE – Feel the Heat

RELEASE YEAR: 2024  BAND URL: https://www.facebook.com/Nitrateofficial/ With their fourth album these cool British rockers have well and firmly established their credentials as one of the more exciting AOR/melodic rock groups out there. Exploding right out of the gate by means of the hook-laden title track, these chaps definitely mean business and sound more confident and focused…

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