STORMBORN – Zenith

RELEASE YEAR: 2024 BAND URL: https://stormbornmetal.com/ Far too many power metal albums just flash the, admittedly fantastic if not virtuosic, guitar leads atop big choruses without paying much attention to writing quality songs, most just sounding like copies of Helloween or Gamma Ray. There are exceptions, for instance, the Italians Temperance whose third album The…

TERAMAZE – Eli: A Wonderful Fall From Grace

RELEASE YEAR: 2024 BAND URL: https://teramaze.com.au/ The one genre where I have always found it hard to find works worth listening to twice has always been progressive heavy metal. When I bought CDs I usually had few albums in my collection, some early Dream Theater, some early Queensrÿche, Tool (of course) an occasional unknown band,…

TOMORROW’S RAIN – Ovdan

RELEASE YEAR: 2024 BAND URL: https://tomorrowsrain.bandcamp.com/ With all the excitement of getting a new My Dying Bride album after 6 years, as good as A Mortal Binding²⁰²⁴ is, it’s easy to overlook other albums coming out on the same date, April 19th, such as the 2nd full length Ovdan²⁰²⁴ (released on AOP Records) by the…

DYSSEBEIA – Garden Of Stillborn Idols

RELEASE YEAR: 2023 BAND URL: https://dyssebeia.bandcamp.com Dyssebeia is a brand new (2020 inception) Swiss progressive technical melodic death metal quartet consisting of Alexandre Bu Sotirov (vocals), André Bogado Merlin (guitarist), Duran K. Bathija (bass), Samuel Jakubec (drums) whose debut album Garden Of Stillborn Idols²⁰²³ was released on November 16th via the ever mightier Transcending Obscurity…

MY DYING BRIDE – A Mortal Binding

RELEASE YEAR: 2024 BAND URL: https://mydyingbride.net/ My Dying Bride (named after the middle sequence words in the debut album’s closer “Return Of The Beautiful”) is a British death doom metal band with a penchant for progressive writing which needs no introduction to anyone familiar with the so called British Peaceville Three, along with Anathema and…

MATTHEW COLLIN -Dream Machines: Electronic Music in Britain from Doctor Who to Acid House

RELEASE YEAR: 2024BAND URL: https://omnibuspress.com/collections/frontpage/products/dream-machines-electronic-music-in-britain-from-doctor-who-to-acid-house Dream Machines by author Matthew Collin is quite literally a dream come true for anyone interested in the subject of British electronic music – regardless of whether one is merely curious about the phenomenon or harbor much more than just a passing interest in its gloriously labyrinthine history. Exhaustively researched,…

JOE BONAMASSA – Live at the Hollywood Bowl with Orchestra

RELEASE YEAR: 2024BAND URL: https://jbonamassa.com/ This stunning live document by renowned blues rocker Joe Bonamassa is nothing short of a musical triumph that brings even more flavor and depth to the brilliant musician’s arsenal of superbly written, emotionally rich tunes. Bonamassa performed at the legendary Hollywood Bowl with a full orchestra back in August last…

DYSTOPIA – De Verboden Diepte I: Veldslag op de Rand van de Wereld

RELEASE YEAR: 2024BAND URL: https://lnk.to/deverbodendiepte1 Dystopia’s take on ferocious and earth-shattering black metal is quite unlike anything else that I have come across. In fact, lumping the band and album into the black metal category is doing them a disservice as they clearly exist beyond the confines of said genre and have more in common…

THEOCRACY – Mosaic

RELEASE YEAR: 2023 BAND URL: https://theocracymusic.com/ The Georgian progressive power metallers Theocracy is one of metal’s lesser known bands, possibly because they are born again Christians (as opposed to cultural Christians) and are not ashamed to sing about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how it’s mankind’s only hope. Indeed, as I state in my…

CEDRIC BURNSIDE – Hill Country Love

RELEASE YEAR: 2024BAND URL: https://www.cedricburnside.net/ Renowned blues maestro Cedric Burnside is one of the greats of the genre and his upcoming album titled Hill Country Love is nothing short of a triumph. The vibrant aura and heartfelt passion of the material make for a frighteningly convincing, outright authentic, and emotionally gratifying listening experience that speaks…

WALTER TROUT – Broken

RELEASE YEAR: 2024BAND URL: https://www.waltertrout.com/ The upcoming record by blues rock legend Walter Trout entitled Broken is nothing short of spectacular, and the entire thing is brimming with atmosphere, heart, soul, and some of the best riffs and licks that I have ever come across, which is saying something. This twelve-track output packs so much…

ARABS IN ASPIC – The Magic of Sin (Remixed and Remastered 2023)

RELEASE YEAR: 2023BAND URL: https://arabs.bandcamp.com/album/the-magic-of-sin The sixth LP by the magnificent and eclectic prog rockers Arabs in Aspic originally came out in 2017 and contained lyrics and song titles in Norwegian, but this reworked, remixed, and remastered version of Syndenes Magi has undergone quite the change and now features words in English, hence the title…

ARABS IN ASPIC – Victim of Your Father’s Agony (Remixed and Remastered 2023)

RELEASE YEAR: 2023BAND URL: https://arabs.bandcamp.com/album/victim-of-your-father-s-agony The fifth record by the magnificent Norwegian ensemble known as Arabs in Aspic, which originally came out in 2015, is an evocative journey through glorious psychedelic landscapes shaped by hazy atmospheres, doom-laden riffs, and epic vocals that never fail to impress me. Impressive actually would have been a rather apt…

NYRST – V​ö​ld

RELEASE YEAR: 2023BAND URL: https://nyrst.bandcamp.com/album/v-ld The Icelandic black metal force known as Nyrst blew me away by means of their tightly executed debut offering from 2020 titled Orsök, which was also released by the consistently brilliant people at Dark Essence Records. It goes without saying that I had high expectations for Völd and I was…

OCTOBER TIDE – The Cancer Pledge

RELEASE YEAR: 2023 BAND URL: https://m.facebook.com/octobertideband October Tide (henceforth OT) had been formed in 1994 by two Katatonia members Sven Fredrik Norrman and vocalist Jonas Petter Renkse and persisted for 5 years and two albums (Rain Without End¹⁹⁹⁷ and Grey Dawn¹⁹⁹⁹) before breaking up for a 10 year hiatus. They returned with A Thin Shell²⁰¹⁰…

BLOEDMAAN – Castle Inside the Eclipse

RELEASE YEAR: 2023  BAND URL: https://lnk.to/castleinsidetheeclipse Boasting some incredibly evocative and darkly fascinating artwork and housed in a beautiful digipak, this deeply atmospheric and melodically strong effort by Bloedmaan is nothing short of fantastic and I am finding it hard to believe that it is the intriguing entity’s debut album. By Odin, this is some fucking…

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…

ANGELUS APATRIDA – Aftermath

RELEASE YEAR: 2023 BAND URL: https://facebook.com/angelusapatrida Angelus Apatrida’s eponymous²⁰²¹, which I reviewed here (5.5/6) was a fantastic slab of modern thrash metal with hints of groove and metalcore so, when I saw the Century Media Records alert for the brand new video “Cold” I could hardly wait to sink my ears into it. Indeed, “Cold”…

JORDSJØ – Salighet

RELEASE YEAR: 2023BAND URL: https://jordsjo.bandcamp.com/album/salighet Adorned by wonderfully evocative artwork and sporting a most intriguing title, the uniquely skilled Norwegian prog rockers known as Jordsjø are back with a new masterpiece. Just when I thought that it would be impossible for them to top the outstanding and flawless Pastoralia LP (2021), they have in fact…

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