Since I'm a huge fan of Serenity and when the first single "Gladiator" came out, I knew this was Georg Neuhauser on vocals and I was really looking forward the final result.
Here we have Georg delivering vocals on more of a power metal sound than on his main band. All songs here are great but my favourites are "Never Surrender", "Gladiator", "Holy Storm", "Battle Cry" and "Sparta". The only weak song here is the closure "Die Flut".
This is one hell of a brilliant debut album! I really hope this is not a band of a single album and they bring more albums in the same vein as this one.
RATING: 9.7 out of 10 added on January 5th, 2019
NORDIC UNION - (2018) Second Coming
Must say that with the singles released, I was quite afraid that this new album from Nordic Union would not be even near their excellent debut album.
With opener "My Fear & My Faith" we have a short taste of what's to come, it's all about catchy melodic rock songs. Other huge highlights are "Because Of Us", "Walk Me Through The Fire", "The Final War", "Die Together" and "Outrun You".
Fortunately when you listen to the whole album, this is definitely one great album and better than their debut.
RATING: 9.3 out of 10 added on January 5th, 2019
DEVIL'S HAND - (2018) Slamer/Freeman
Whenever there is a new "project" by Frontiers, we can always expect good things to come.
What we have here is a very good melodic rock album. The highlights are "Falling In", "Another Way To Fly", "Drive Away", "Devil's Hand", "Unified" and "Push Comes To Shove".
Maybe I was expecting more with the singles released, but in the end this is a good to great album.
RATING: 8.7 out of 10 added on January 5th, 2019
VEONITY - (2018) Legend Of The Starborn
Where was I since I have not heard this band before? A couple of weeks ago I discovered this band and found out they have other two great albums.
On to their new album, what we have is a very nice selection of power metal songs. The highlights are "Guiding Light", "Wings Of Asgard", "Outcasts Of Eden", "Warrior Of The North", my favourite "Gates Of Hell", "Freedom Vikings" and "To The Gods".
For fans of Bloodbound and Iron Savior, this is definitely one album to check out.
RATING: 8.9 out of 10 added on January 5th, 2019
JOHNNY GIOELI - (2018) One Voice
Johnny Gioeli has been one of my favourite vocalists since I first listened Axel Rudi Pell back in 1998 and whenever there's a new record with him on vocals, I'm eagerly waiting for the result.
The album starts with the rocker "Drive" which the chorus sticks in your mind so easy, the next song "It" is yet another great rocker song. I could highlight many songs here but I would stand out "One Voice", "Mind Melt", "Let Me Know", "Price We Pay" and "Out Of Here".
What we have here is a kind of soft rock more in the line of Hardline than ARP. Still I enjoy his solo album a lot and this is one album where you can really enjoy while you're driving or at work.
RATING: 8.9 out of 10 added on January 5th, 2019
STATE OF SALAZAR - (2018) Superhero
Their debut album was not a masterpiece but it denifitely caught my attention, 4 years later we have a new album from State Of Salazar.
Opener "If You Wait For Me" is by far my favourite on the album as it's the most rocker song on it. Other highlights are "My Heart Is At War", "Joanne" and "Superhero".
Maybe I am not that much into AOR as I was back in 2014, and this is fairly one good album. In the next months to come I might not play this album that much as I did with their debut.
RATING: 8.1 out of 10 added on January 5th, 2019
SINBREED - (2018) IV
Sinbreed arrives with album #4 and their first with new vocalist Nick Holleman.
I could highlight many songs here, but the stand-out songs are "Falling Down", "Wasted Trust", "Pale-Hearted", "The Purge" and "At Least I Am".
I thought that with the departure of Herbie, I would lose interest in the band, but I’m really sure this is the best album they have released so far. For fans of power/speed metal, this is one of the best albums of 2018.
RATING: 9.4 out of 10 added on December 17th, 2018
STRIKER - (2018) Play To Win
Striker is a very hard-working band and right after two releases in 2016 and 2017, they bring another new album this year.
The album starts just powerful with "Heart Of Lies" and what we have next are two other brilliant songs with "Position Of Power" and "Head First". Other highlights are "Play To Win", "Summoner" and "Heavy Is The Heart".
I have already played this album for a few times and this is where hard rock meets heavy metal, worth checking out.
RATING: 8.7 out of 10 added on December 17th, 2018
RADIANT - (2018) Radiant
When I heard the news and the singles of this new band, I wasn't really hyped about it, but this is a very good debut album.
Don't expect here much change of sound style on the songs and the stand-outs are "Silver Linings", "You Rock", "Forever One", "Heroes", "My Own Way" and "Should I Live With You". A higher rating could have been possible if songs like "I'm Alive" and "Life's Shadows" were not on the tracklist.
This is classic rock with heavy guitars at the best quality. Really looking forward to a new album from them!
RATING: 8.9 out of 10 added on December 17th, 2018
PALACE - (2018) Binary Music
Palace arrives with their new album two years after their acclaimed debut album for record label Frontiers.
What we have here is melodic rock with lots of keyboards. The highlights are "Binary Music", "Promised Land", "Julia" and "To Have And To Hold". One hint: please skip the song "Queen Of The Prom" as this one is just boring.
I still prefer their debut album over this new record, this is just a good release.
RATING: 7.1 out of 10 added on December 17th, 2018
AMARANTHE - (2018) Helix
If you've liked Amaranthe's bursting onto the heavy metal scene back in 2011 and enjoyed all their previous four albums, you can't go wrong with "Helix" as this is another masterpiece from them.
The album starts with the breathtaking "The Score" which is a typical Amaranthe song with its catchy chorus and short solo. Then comes the first single "365", of which I've seen the video a thousand times already, another brilliant song. With "Inferno" we see the inferno rise and this might be my favourite song from the album with another catchy chorus and a brilliant performance by Elize. Then we have the second single "Countdown", hailing like a commercial sound and a brilliant chorus. The title track "Helix" has one bridge that sticks to your mind just like the chorus, it's amazing to see each vocalist having their line on the bridge. With "Dream" we have the shining moment of Elize and also Henrik's kind of rap vocals make this another amazing song. Next up we have Henrik's moment to shine with the aggressive "GG6". Right after comes "Breakthrough Starshot" where some might judge this song, it's just perfect and sometimes at work I keep finding myself singing this chorus out of nowhere. While "My Haven" starts slow and has a massive chorus line that again sticks in your mind, the next one "Iconic" is probably the fastest song on the album and could easily fit on the band's debut album. With "Unified" we have the second ballad of the album where Nils shines as he usually does on Dynazty, his duet with Elize is just memorable and one of the best songs I've listened to recently. They chose the right track to close the album with "Momentum": a huge start and once again another catchy chorus.
What we have here are the usual 3-4 minute commercial songs you have to know from them, this is modern metal with pop elements at the best quality. What's not to like on the charming vocals by Elize, the memorable vocals by Nils and the growls by Henrik? Contender for album of the year in my opinion.
RATING: 10 out of 10 added on November 19th, 2018
BRAINSTORM - (2018) Midnight Ghost
The German power metallers Brainstorm always delivers great albums and here they come with another album.
The album kicks off with the anthemic "Devil's Eye" that has one chorus that sticks in your mind and make you sing along anytime anywhere. There are other great songs here with the classical Brainstorm chorus such as "Revealing The Darkness", "Ravenous Minds", "When Pain Becomes Real" and "The Four Blessings". What also differs here is the aggressive "The Pyre", the epic "Jeanne Boulet (1764)" and the kind of happy "Haunting Voices". The only weak point here is to closing the album with the power ballad "The Path", which is not the best ballad from them and could be dropped out in the middle of the album.
This is probably their strongest album on their discography together with 2000's "Ambiguity" and by the way, what an amazing cover artwork we have for this album!
RATING: 9.6 out of 10 added on November 19th, 2018
MOB RULES - (2018) Beast Reborn
Mob Rules is a band that I have been following since their debut album back in 1999, they caught my attention right on with their debut album when I arrived into one metal store to buy some new albums and one guy that was at the store told me about this band, I won't regret one cent I spent on that album. I still remember this day like it was yesterday.
What we have here on the new album is a mix of some power metal with some progressive moments. Highlights here are "Ghost Of A Chance", "Sinister Light", "Traveller In Time", "The Explorer" and "Way Back Home".
I'm a die hard fan of the band's first three albums as they were more in the melodic vein with catchy choruses, which on some songs here fail to appear. Anyway, this is another strong album released in 2018.
RATING: 8.8 out of 10 added on November 19th, 2018
PRIMAL FEAR - (2018) Apocalypse
Primal Fear needs no introduction for fans of power metal since they are on the road for over 20 years now and always brings great albums.
The usual known sound from them is here again and there are many highlights on the album. I would like to mention stand-out songs like "King Of Madness", "Supernova", "Hail To The Fear", "Hounds Of Justice", "The Beast" and "Cannonball".
This is another strong album from them, but since there are many great recent releases, I am not getting back to this record as I did with their last two albums when they were released.
RATING: 9.0 out of 10 added on November 19th, 2018
SEVENTH WONDER - (2018) Tiara
The wait is over, my friends! Seventh Wonder is back with a new album eight years after their brilliant "The Great Escape",
What we have here is prog metal at the best quality. Don't expect catchy choruses, but music done in a very brilliant way. The main highlights here are "Dream Machines", "Against The Grain", "Victorious", "Tiara's Song" and "By The Light Of The Funeral Pyres",
I'm not sure if the works of Tommy Karevik with Kamelot will lead to another huge delay on a new album from Seventh Wonder, I really hope not. Forget about Dream Theater and any other bands, SW is the best prog metal band in the world!
RATING: 9.3 out of 10 added on November 19th, 2018
DYNAZTY - (2018) Firesign
Dynazty has been one of my favourite bands since their "old" hard rock days, and with their change of sound to melodic metal with "Renatus" back in 2014 they continue to deliver such a great job.
On this new effort from this magnificent band, they tend to deliver more keyboards/techno elements through the songs which makes this a very enjoyable ride while you're listening. Let me get one thing straight here since I could highlight and mention every single song here but songs "The Grey", "In The Arms Of A Devil", "Ascension", "Closing Doors", "Let Me Dream Forever" and "Starfall" are amazingly brilliant.
Listen to this album from the beginning to end without skipping any song and you won't regret the experience. They really deserve more attention on the metal scene around the globe. Top 3 albums of the year with no doubt!
RATING: 10 out of 10 added on October 29th, 2018
POWERWOLF - (2018) The Sacrament Of Sin
Even though Powerwolf has been on the road for quite some time now, it was only with "Blessed & Possessed" back in 2015 that I come to know them and got deeper into their discography. I wasn't so sure at the beginning but they become one of my favourite bands at the moment.
The album comes crashing down like thunder with "Fire & Forgive" and goes on in the same vein in all the remaining songs, there's not one single weak song here. All songs deserves a highlight as well as the powerful vocals from Attila and the massive keyboards from Falk.
Definitely one of the best power metal albums of the year. It's time already for Powerwolf to cross barriers and come tour South America!
RATING: 10 out of 10 added on October 29th, 2018
GIOELI & CASTRONOVO - (2018) Set The World On Fire
I was really shocked when I saw on Frontiers Facebook about this project. One of my favourite vocalists Johnny Gioeli together with Deen Castronovo, which is another great vocalist.
The first two singles released are the best offers on this album, but we have also huge highlights such as "Fall Like An Angel", "It's All About You", "Ride Of Your Life", "Run For Your Life" and "Remember Me".
What we have here is a mix of melodic rock tunes and a couple of ballads done in a very perfect way. Even though I was expecting more since the first two singles did a huge impact on me, I think this one deserves a high rating.
RATING: 8.5 out of 10 added on October 29th, 2018
BEYOND THE BLACK - (2018) Heart Of The Hurricane
Beyond The Black is right now no weird name in the symphonic metal scene, and here they bring their 3rd album to the world.
The songs here goes from melodic catchy to some softer tempo songs. The highlights here are "Hysteria", "Heart Of The Hurricane", "Million Lightyears", "Beneath A Blackened Sky", "Fairytale Of Doom", "Dear Death" and "Freedom" plus the two bonus tracks.
Is it only me or they look like a female fronted version of Kissin' Dynamite with more symphonic touches? Keep up with the great albums released so far.
RATING: 8.2 out of 10 added on October 29th, 2018
CREYE - (2018) Creye
Creye is yet another new AOR band coming from Sweden and here we have their debut album.
The first half of the album we have some really catchy songs while the second half they go quite unnoticed after some time. The highlights here are "Nothing To Lose", "Different State Of Mind", "Never Too Late", "Christina", "Straight To The Top" and "A Better Way".
Their debut album can be enjoyable to listen, but since there are many new bands in this same genre that caught more of my attention, this one could be a let go in the near future.
RATING: 7.6 out of 10 added on October 29th, 2018
KISSIN' DYNAMITE - (2018) Ecstasy
Kissin' Dynamite comes from Swe ... ops from Germany. The land of power metal has its kings of hard rock back with another strong album.
This one is full of powerful songs with catch choruses, the only weak song here is the closing "Heart Of Stone". Just listen to the whole album and enjoy!
This is melodic rock at its best.
RATING: 9.7 out of 10 added on October 29th, 2018
ENEMY INSIDE - (2018) Phoenix
When the announcement of this new band came out, I was eagerly waiting for the outcome since I've been listening nowadays to a lot of female fronted bands.
What we have here is a mix of modern and symphonic metal. The opener "Falling Away" and the title track "Phoenix" are my favourites, other strong highlights are "Death Of Me", "Oblivion" and "Halo".
This is a very strong debut album and I am really looking forward to new records from these Germans. Worth checking out!
RATING: 9.0 out of 10 added on October 29th, 2018
THE UNITY - (2018) Rise
The Unity is back with a new album just one year after the release of their debut album.
After one spoken/good intro, we have the bombastic songs "Last Betrayal", "You Got Me Wrong" and "The Storm". We have many highlights here, but I would also like to mention stand-out songs like "Road To Nowhere", "Welcome Home", "No Hero" and "Better Day".
While I liked their debut album, this new album is a much better record and might be in my Top 20 albums of the year, let's see how it goes.
RATING: 9.5 out of 10 added on October 29th, 2018
MANIMAL - (2018) Purgatorio
It was back in 2015 that I first listened to Manimal and I was amazed by their sound, so here we have another album from these Swedes.
The title track "Purgatorio" has one chorus that is just breathtaking. Other highlights here are "Black Plague", "Manimalized", "Traitor", "Denial" and "Edge Of Darkness".
The guys have put out another amazing power metal album. If you're in the likes of Accept and Primal Fear, do yourself a favour and listen to this album.
RATING: 9.5 out of 10 added on October 29th, 2018
DRAGONY - (2018) Masters Of The Multiverse
Dragony's 3rd album was not something I was looking forward to, but I surely have enjoyed listening to this new album though.
The songs here range from good to great, from anthemic to catchy. I could highlight many songs here, but I would pick out the first two as well as "Defenders", "Days Of High Adventure" and "Evermore".
If you're into the old Rhapsody with some happy influences, this will surely be one album you have to listen to.
RATING: 9.2 out of 10 added on October 29th, 2018
DREAM CHILD - (2018) Until Death Do We Meet Again
Dream Child is yet another band on the Frontiers' roster and here we have ex-DIO members teaming up with Diego Valdez (ex-Helker vocalist).
The highlights here are "Under The Wire", "Game Of Shadows", "Playin' With Fire", "Midnight Song", "Weird World" and "One Step Beyond The Grave".
The sound on this debut album remembers me a lot the "Magica" and "Lock Up The Wolves" albums from king DIO. Alongside others, I was hoping for more on this debut album and this is just another average album. Could this have been what was being promised to be the "Magica Part II"? We will never be sure about that!
RATING: 7.7 out of 10 added on October 13th, 2018
KING COMPANY - (2018) Queen Of Hearts
I wasn't expecting a new King Company until the news came out in May and then I was surprised to see that Pasi Rantanen was no longer their vocalist.
There are some weak points on this album that I'll describe further on, but the songs here are very melodic and catchy. My favourites are "One Day Of Your Life", "Stars", "Living In A Hurricane", "Under The Spell", "Learn To Fly" and "King For Tonight".
I miss the vocals from Pasi here, but the Argentinian Leonard delivers a good job. Another weak point here is that the production on this album is not the best, but overall I really enjoy this album a lot.
RATING: 8.8 out of 10 added on October 13th, 2018
URIAH HEEP - (2018) Living The Dream
Even though Uriah Heep has a long and a successful career, it was only 2-3 years ago through my older brother that I got deeper into their albums/songs.
We have here from melodic songs to epic songs. On the melodic side the highlights are "Grazed By Heaven", "Take Away My Soul", "Goodbye To Innocence" and "Falling Under Your Spell". On the epic side we have "Knocking At My Door" and "It's All Been Said".
The good old classic rock is not my favourite style at the moment, but this is one good album. I am sure my brother has enjoyed this more than I have done!
RATING: 8.1 out of 10 added on October 1st, 2018
GRAVE DIGGER - (2018) The Living Dead
Grave Digger is almost at their 40-year anniversary and here we have album #19 from these German metallers.
"Fear Of The Living Dead" opens the album just superbly and is my favourite on the album. Other highlights are "Blade Of The Immortal", "Shadow Of The Warrior", "The Power Of Metal" and "What War Left Behind". Be careful, stay away from the "Zombie Dance".
This is another good album on their discography, but still "Tunes Of War", "Knights Of The Cross" and "Excalibur" are my top-3 albums from them.
RATING: 8.2 out of 10 added on October 1st, 2018
GROUNDBREAKER - (2018) Groundbreaker
Groundbreaker is the union of Steve Overland (FM vocalist) and Robert Sall (Work Of Art guitarist) and here we have another "project" by Frontiers.
All the 11 songs on this debut album are worth checking out but I would stand out the songs "Will It Make You Love Me", "Eighteen Til I Die", "Only Time Will Tell", "Something Worth Fighting For", "The Sound Of A Broken Heart" and "The Days Of Our Life".
I wasn't that hyped with this project and with the singles released, but listening to the whole album, this is a very nice melodic rock album.
RATING: 9.0 out of 10 added on October 1st, 2018
ETHERNITY - (2018) The Human Race Extinction
Ethernity's album #3 marks their debut with AFM Records.
Don't expect here songs with catchy memorable chorus, what we have is a very nice selection of well done progressive/power metal songs. The highlights here are "Mechanical Life", "Grey Skies", "Artificial Souls", my favourite "Redefined", "The Prototype" and "Indestructible".
Fans of Evergrey and Symphony X will appreciate this female fronted band, definitely worth checking out.
RATING: 8.6 out of 10 added on October 1st, 2018
TASTE - (2018) Moral Decay
This is the first time I listen to Taste, even though this is their second album.
Here we have a mix of melodic rock and AOR, my favourite songs are "Dangerous", "Adventureland", "Moral Decay", "My Own Worst Enemy", "We Are Back" and "Sixteen Years".
The songs are Ok, not that memorable that will keep me jumping and singing for days however it has some great moments.
RATING: 7.7 out of 10 added on October 1st, 2018
REDEMPTION - (2018) Long Night's Journey Into Day
I've never been a big fan of Redemption and Evergrey of Tom Englund has always been on my list of favourite bands, so I was quite surprised to see a few months ago he joined Redemption.
On to the album, we have some very good songs such as "Someone Else's Problem", "Impermanent", "Little Men" and "New Year's Day".
I think his vocals didn't fit so great with the Redemption sound, so this is just an Ok album.
RATING: 6.1 out of 10 added on September 10th, 2018
CRYONIC TEMPLE - (2018) Deliverance
Cryonic Temple started in the earlies 00's and they returned last year from a 9-year hiatus with the album "Into The Glorious Battle" that was the first one I listened from them.
On this new album, we have a very good mixture of power metal songs. The faster ones being "Rise Eternally Beyond", "Knights Of The Sky", "Starchild" and "Strike Back". The slower side on songs "Loneliest Man In Space", "Temple Of Cryonics", "End Of Days" and "Swansong Of The Last Emperor".
I've listened to their previous albums and still the 2017 album being my favourite one and this one comes right after.
RATING: 8.1 out of 10 added on September 10th, 2018
MAD MAX - (2018) 35
Mad Max has a long career and I can honestly say that I don't know many of their albums, just the last 2 albums and this new one.
After the short intro, we have my two favourite songs "Running To Paradise" and "Beat Of The Heart". Other highlights are "Snowdance", "Already Gone", "Goodbye To You" and "Paris Is Burning".
This is a very nice hard rock album. If you're into the old Dokken and Great White, this is worth checking it out.
RATING: 7.5 out of 10 added on September 10th, 2018
TEMPERANCE - (2018) Of Jupiter And Moons
Temperance's album #4 marks the debut of vocalists Alessia Scolletti and Michele Guaitoli.
The highlights on the album are "Of Jupiter And Moons", "We Are Free", "Alive Again" and "The Art Of Believing" but the stand-out track is "Broken Promises", an amazing song.
The new album follows the same melodic style of the band's previous ones, but this new one is not my favourite.
RATING: 8.1 out of 10 added on August 11th, 2018
LORDS OF BLACK - (2018) Icons Of The New Days
Lords Of Black was known to me on their second album when released via Frontiers in 2016, then I looked out for their debut album and now they're back with a new album.
The album starts with 3 great songs but then the next songs fall off a little bit from the openers in my opinion. Other highlights are "Long Way To Go", "The Edge Of Darkness" and "Wait No Prayers For The Dying".
On this new album some songs goes unnoticed after the final spin. Overall this is a good album but as the playtime is also quite long, this is not something I'll be listening too many times.
RATING: 6.9 out of 10 added on August 11th, 2018
BONFIRE - (2018) Temple Of Lies
I've never been a huge fan of Bonfire but their recent albums caught my attention and here we have their latest, "Temple Of Lies".
After a long intro, we have the heavy title track which, is just Ok for me. The highlights here are "On The Wings Of An Angel", "Stand Or Fall", "Comin' Home", "I'll Never Be Loved By You", "Fly Away" and "Crazy Over You".
If you're looking for heavy metal mixed with hard rock, this is definitely worth checking it out.
RATING: 9.0 out of 10 added on August 11th, 2018
DESTINIA - (2018) Metal Souls
Ronnie Romero is like the new Jorn Lande, working around in lots of projects nowadays. Here he's performing leading vocals to album #2 of Japanese guitarist Nozomu Wakai.
All songs on this album are amazing and my favourites in order are "Cross The Line", "Judgement Day", "Promised Land", "Metamorphosis", "Metal Souls" and "Take Me Home".
This is pure melodic heavy metal in the best quality. Definitely one of the best metal albums of the year.
RATING: 9.6 out of 10 added on August 11th, 2018
AXEL RUDI PELL - (2018) Knights Call
There is not one single album in the ARP discography I dislike and always when there's announcement of a new album from him, I start counting the days for the release.
This new album is all about great songs such as the rocking songs "The Wild And The Young", "Wildest Dreams" and "Slaves On The Run", the anthemic "Long Live Rock", the epics "The Crusaders Of Doom" and "Tower Of Babylon", the ballad "Beyond The Light" as well as the instrumental "Truth And Lies".
While the last two albums from ARP were not so great as many of his classic albums, I think this one is already another classic. ARP rocks!
RATING: 10 out of 10 added on July 2nd, 2018
W.E.T. - (2018) Earthrage
W.E.T. needs no further introductions, this is just Jeff Scott Soto delivering some great vocals and the great Erik Martensson of Eclipse on guitars.
There's no weak songs here, all of them are just perfect. My favourites are "Watch The Fire", "Burn", "Kings On Thunder Road" which is one of the best songs I've listened recently, "Dangerous", "I Don't Wanna Play That Game", "The Burning Pain Of Love" and "The Never-Ending Retraceable Dream".
This is just one hell of a melodic rock album. For sure this will be on my top 10 albums of the year!
RATING: 9.8 out of 10 added on July 2nd, 2018
JUDAS PRIEST - (2018) Firepower
It's always nice when you see that the classic bands are working on a new album since they put out new albums not so close after their last one.
Here we have some outstanding songs, some great songs and a couple of Ok songs. The outstanding ones are "Firepower", "Lightning Strike", "Never The Heroes", "Children Of The Sun", "Rising From Ruins", "Flame Thrower", "Spectre" and "No Surrender".
I'm not going to say "The Priest is back" since they were never gone as I also like their previous releases, but this one can be compared to their classic albums.
RATING: 9.5 out of 10 added on July 2nd, 2018
ANGRA - (2018) OMNI
Angra is back with their album #9 and their second one with Fabio Lione on vocals.
There is not one single song I dislike here, just the OMNI songs are just not that good as the other 9 songs. My top 5 here are "Travelers In Time", "Black Widow's Web", "Insania", "War Horns" and "Caveman".
This is their best album since the brilliant "Rebirth" back in 2001 and for sure this is one of the best power metal albums of the year.
RATING: 9.3 out of 10 added on July 2nd, 2018
LORDI - (2018) Sexorcism
Lordi's first listen to me was with the classic album "The Arockalypse", but their recent albums I really didn't like that much and I was not that enthusiastic with this one.
Their new album is full of great songs with catchy choruses, but there are some songs that could have been cut here such as "The Beast Is Yet To Cum" and "Polterchrist". The highlights on the album are "Sexorcism", "Your Tongue's Got The Cat", "Naked In My Cellar", "Slashion Model Girls", "Rimskin Assassin", "Hot & Satanned" and "Sodomesticated Animal".
Even though some other songs are not as amazing as the highlights, I believe this is the best Lordi album released so far.
RATING: 9.3 out of 10 added on July 2nd, 2018
KAMELOT - (2018) The Shadow Theory
Here we have Kamelot album #12 and the third with vocalist Tommy Karevik.
The album starts just amazing with my 3 favourites "Phantom Divine (Shadow Empire)", "RavenLight" and "Amnesiac" but then the next songs are not on the same level. We have some other good songs and some that are just decent, other highlights are "Kevlar Skin", "Static", "Vespentine (My Crimson Bride)" and "The Proud And The Broken"
This is a nice album from Kamelot but far from my favourites from them.
RATING: 8.1 out of 10 added on July 2nd, 2018
BOREALIS - (2018) The Offering
I have been a fan of Borealis since their debut album back in 2008 and here we have album #4 from them.
This new effort follows the same sound of their previous ones, power metal mixed with some melodic rock. I could highlight many songs here, but be sure to check out the songs "The Fire Between Us", "Sign Of No Return", "River", "Into The Light" and "The Ghosts Of Innocence".
This is better than their previous two albums, but I still want to play some more to see if this in the future will top their amazing debut album.
RATING: 9.2 out of 10 added on July 2nd, 2018
FOLLOW THE CIPHER - (2018) Follow The Cipher
When I saw this band's name first video at the feed of my YouTube, I didn't take my time to take a look since it looked like some death metal band, but since more and more videos were dropping out I was wondering what was it like.
On to their debut album we have some catchy songs and some more symphonic songs. The main highlights are "Enter The Cipher", "Valkyria", "Winterfall", "The Rising", "I Revive" and "Starlight".
Luckily I took my time to watch their other videos and listen to their debut album. This is another good female-fronted metal band, but I would rather compare them to Beyond the Black than to Amaranthe. Overall this is a great debut album.
RATING: 8.8 out of 10 added on July 2nd, 2018
RIOT V - (2018) Armor Of Light
I still remember the first album I got from Riot was the brilliant "Inishmore" on the late 1990's and even with some line-up changes, they always come up with great stuff.
The album starts with my two favourites "Victory" and "End Of The World". Other highlights are "Angel's Thunder, Devil's Reign", "Heart Of A Lion", "San Antonio" and "Ready To Shine".
The last 3 albums under Riot V have been quite good and this is another classic old school metal album by them!
RATING: 8.1 out of 10 added on June 16th, 2018
ANIMAL DRIVE - (2018) Bite!
Here comes another new band on the Frontiers roster, while I was expecting this to be some kind of hard rock/AOR band, what we have here is melodic rock to some power metal vibe on it.
On to the album, we have a tracklist of 11 great songs and my favourites are "Goddamn Marathon", "Tower Of Lies (I Walk Alone)", "Had Enough", "Time Machine", "Father", "Fade Away" and "Carry On".
I agree that some of the songs sounds a little bit the same through the record, but as long as it's well done, no problem for me. Great debut album!
RATING: 9.3 out of 10 added on June 16th, 2018
KOBRA AND THE LOTUS - (2018) Prevail II
I've discovered about KATL only with the release of "Prevail I" and here we have the second part.
The first two songs starts the album just brilliant and then we have a couple of other highlights such as "My Immortal", "Heartache", "Velvet Roses", "Modern Day Hero" and "You're Insane".
In regards to compare Part I and Part II, I enjoy both albums the same and is hard to pick my favourite.
RATING: 8.4 out of 10 added on June 16th, 2018
MAVERICK - (2018) Cold Star Dancer
This is already the third album by Irish band Maverick, it looks like it was yesterday on my way back from work that I was listening their debut album.
After the short intro we have the bombastic title track "Cold Star Dancer" which kicks-off this album superbly. This time the band looks heavier on their songs and I could highlight almost all the songs here but I would point out "Myrmidon", "Kiss Of Fire", "Goodbye", "Seize The Day", "Viper" and "Kings" as the highlights.
It's time for Maverick to be more recognized in the hard rock scene and I'm really expecting this band to be a huge name in the future.
RATING: 9.5 out of 10 added on June 16th, 2018
CORELEONI - (2018) The Greatest Hits Part I
I've always been a fan of Gotthard, but their last two albums were way below average and here we have Leo Leoni team up with the great Ronnie Romero for some Gotthard cover songs.
That short intro and "Firedance" didn't quite start the album so well, then we have some of Gotthard classic songs on the tracklist and my favourites are "Higher", "In The Name", "Let It Be" and "Anytime Anywhere" as well as the new song "Walk On Water".
I wasn't expecting an album like this until the news came out, but now I'm waiting for a part 2 and really hope they do "The Oscar Goes To You" and "Master of Illusion". Very nice album!
RATING: 8.3 out of 10 added on June 16th, 2018
JADED HEART - (2018) Devil's Gift
Even though I appreciate a lot Michael Bormann's vocals, Jaded Heart has become a better band with Johan Fahlberg on vocals and the band's music is more heavier on their recent albums.
This one starts amazing with "Wonderland" and during the album we have some great set of songs and the highlights are "One World", "Set Me Free", "Story Of My Life", "Coming Home" and "Phoenix".
The album clocks right at the 1 hour timeplay and some might judge longer albums, but this is worth checking out!
RATING: 8.9 out of 10 added on June 16th, 2018
GUS G - (2018) Fearless
Gus G's previous solo album was in my top 3 albums of 2015 and on his new effort he prefers to have only Dennis Ward as lead vocalist.
My highlights here in order are "Don't Tread On Me", "Last Of My Kind", "Letting Go", "Chances", "Mr. Manson" and "Fearless".
At first with the singles released, I wasn't really enthusiastic with this album but overall this is a great album that I'll be playing more times during the year. With all the good albums released this year, I'm afraid this time Gus G won't make my top 10 albums of the year.
RATING: 9.1 out of 10 added on June 16th, 2018
PERFECT PLAN - (2018) All Rise
When there's a new band added to the Frontiers roster, we can always expect a good release coming and here we have the Swedes of Perfect Plan with their debut album.
The album starts just amazing with the opener "Bad City Woman" and goes on in a melodic rock/AOR style. I could highlight almost all of the songs here, but I would pick the opener and also the songs "In And Out Of Love", "Stone Cold Lover", "Too Late", "Can't Turn Back", "Never Surrender", "1985" and "Heaven In Your Eyes".
Wooow and then some, this is just one hell of a debut album. Looking forward to a new album from these guys!
RATING: 9.7 out of 10 added on May 31st, 2018
FELSKINN - (2018) Mind Over Matter
What we have here from Felskinn are some melodic rock songs, some slow up-tempo songs and some dark songs.
My favourites on the album are "Pictures In My Dreams", "The Night Before The Dawn", "Our Favorite Game" and "Superhero", but my main highlight is the brilliant "Rain Will Fall", which has one chorus that sticks in your mind for weeks.
This is one album I'll be playing some more times during the year!
RATING: 7.2 out of 10 added on May 31st, 2018
THE POODLES - (2018) Prisma
Recently we had some bands doing cover albums and here we have The Poodles bringing up "Prisma".
There is a huge variety of styles on this cover album and the highlights are "Maniac", "Love Is Gone", "Don't You Worry Child", "Go Your Own Way" and "Set Fire To The Rain".
At first this album didn't bring that much attention but after some more spins, I may say this is a fun album to listen with friends that are not into the rock/metal music. The covers are very well done by the band!
RATING: 8.2 out of 10 added on May 31st, 2018
STRYPER - (2018) God Damn Evil
Michael Sweet is a very busy man. In a period of just two years, we had a solo album, one Sweet/Lynch album and now there's a new Stryper album.
The opener of the album is a very nice song, except for the weird chorus. Other songs on the album remain on the classic sound of the band with my favourites being "Sorry", "Lost", "You Don't Even Know Me", "The Valley" and "Can't Live Without Your Love".
There are some below average songs on the album but overall this is a good effort from the band, though not in my top-5 albums from them.
RATING: 7.4 out of 10 added on May 31st, 2018
ISSA - (2018) Run With The Pack
Issa has been on the Frontiers roster since her debut album back in 2010 and here she comes with her 5th solo album.
The new album is leading more to a slow side with songs that are just Ok or not really good. My favourite songs are the singles "Come Back Again", "Run With The Pack" and the brilliant "Sacrifice Me" with a guest appearance by Deen Castronovo. Out of the singles previously released, I would also highlight the song "Closer To You" and that would be all.
This is not a bad album from Issa but by far is the weakest in her discography.
RATING: 6.4 out of 10 added on May 31st, 2018
VISIONS OF ATLANTIS - (2018) The Deep & The Dark
This is not the first time a new album from Visions Of Altantis drops out and I simply don't care but then I found out it had Clementine and Siegfried on vocals, so I had to check this one out.
The album starts with my two favourite songs on it and it goes on in a great symphonic metal vibe. Other highlights are "The Silent Mutiny", "Book Of Nature", "Dead Reckoning" and "Words Of War". The only weak parts of the album are the ballad songs which are way below average.
Going through their discography, they had quite a few line-up changes during the years and I really hope they can go on with more albums with the current one.
RATING: 8.2 out of 10 added on May 14th, 2018
SHIRAZ LANE - (2018) Carnival Days
Shiraz Lane is one of these new bands in the glam rock genre and here they arrive with their second album.
Please skip the first song which is just boring, besides that we have some cool songs and some very strong songs with the highlights being "The Crown", "Harder To Breathe", "Shangri-La", "War Of Mine", "Shot Of Life" and "Hope".
The first spin of their new album it didn't bring that much attention to me but after some spins I find this a really nice album. Fans of Skid Row and Crashdiet will enjoy this album a lot!
RATING: 8.7 out of 10 added on May 14th, 2018
THE DEAD DAISIES - (2018) Burn It Down
Even though they have been active for 5 years now, it was later last year that I heard them for the first time.
The album kicks of superb with "Ressurected" but the next songs are just way below the opener. From the middle to the end we have the album going up again with the songs "Bitch", "Dead And Gone", "Can't Take It With You" and "Leave Me Alone".
This is a nice hard rock album but I still prefer their previous two albums. If the album had a tracklist order a little different, this could be more attractive to my ears.
RATING: 7.8 out of 10 added on May 14th, 2018
SAXON - (2018) Thunderbolt
I remember the first album I got from these guys was the 1999 masterpiece "Metalhead" and they are now with album #22 in their discography.
I wasn't that pleased with the singles released but now listening to the full album, what a great album this is. There are no fillers here, all songs are just Saxon! My favourites here in order are "The Secret Of Flight", "Predator", "A Wizard's Tale", "They Played Rock And Roll", "Thunderbolt" and "Sniper".
Saxon always brings a good heavy metal album and this time they have done it again.
RATING: 9.3 out of 10 added on May 14th, 2018
CRYSTAL BALL - (2018) Crystallizer
I've been a fan of the band since their first albums with Mark Sweeney on vocals and their recent hard rock albums with Steven on vocals have been quite good too.
On the new album the band experiences a darker side on some songs, which are done brilliant on "Beauty In The Beast" and "Death On Holy Ground". On the hard rock side, the highlights are "Alive For Evermore", "S.O.S.", "Crazy In The Night" and "Dusty Deadly" but the stand-out song is "Curtain Call", which is simply amazing with a chorus to sing along for days.
This is another great album in the Crystal Ball discography, be sure to check this out!
RATING: 8.0 out of 10 added on May 14th, 2018
MAD HATTER - (2018) Mad Hatter
I was browsing the Internet when I came across the release of this album and the cover artwork really attracted my attention, which made me look for this band and listened to their single "Face The Truth", which is just brilliant.
On to the album, apart from the single, we have some catchy power metal songs such as "The Gunslinger", "Dancing Light", "Go", "Phantom Riders", "Vengeance In His Mind", "Bring Me The Moon" and "Mad Hatter Become".
Overall, I have highlighted all of the songs except the opener which makes this album so powerful. Fans of old Helloween will enjoy this album a lot.
RATING: 9.5 out of 10 added on April 30th, 2018
ROYAL HUNT - (2018) Cast In Stone
Royal Hunt's sound are very known in the metal scene, lots of keyboards and a lot instrumental on the songs and here we find the same stuff.
The first two songs on the album are by way far the strongest ones on the album. Other good songs are "The Wishing Well" and "A Million Ways To Die".
I can't describe on which level is this album compared to other ones by them as I'm not very familiar with their full discography, overall this is a good album with few songs.
RATING: 5.3 out of 10 added on April 30th, 2018
MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST - (2018) Resurrection
Michael Schenker has reunited some of the vocalists he worked with throughtout his career on this new "Resurrection" record and the outcome has been quite good.
The album starts with three of my favourite songs "Heart And Soul", "Warrior" and "Take Me To The Church". The songs are very well distributed on the album, we have some Ok songs and other great songs such as "The Girl With The Stars In Her Eyes", "Everest", "Time Knows When It's Time" and "The Last Supper".
If you're a fan of classic / melodic rock, don't miss this album!
RATING: 8.1 out of 10 added on April 30th, 2018
FM - (2018) Atomic Generation
FM has never been one of my favourite bands on the hard rock / AOR genre even though I've listened to some of their past albums but not that much to remember all of them quite well.
Their new album has some great songs and some songs not so memorable, I would highlight here my favourite "Killed By Love", the rocker "Too Much Of A Good Thing", the bluesy "Playing Tricks On Me" and the ballad "Do You Love Me Enough".
Overall this is a good album with some of that blues side on it. This is not an album that I will be grabbing to listen from time to time.
RATING: 5.7 out of 10 added on April 30th, 2018
HEAVATAR - (2018) Opus II (The Annihilation)
Heavatar for those who don't know is the other band of Stefan Schmidt (one of Van Canto's vocalists) and I only discovered about them with the release of their first single "None Shall Sleep" later last year.
The album starts with the afore mentioned song which is a great song to start the album and goes on in the same vein of Van Canto sound but with "real guitars". Other highlights are the brilliant "Purpose Of A Virgin Mind", the classical "The Annihilation" and "A Battle Against All Hope", the catchy "Wake Up Now" and the Manowar cover of "Metal Daze".
This is a nice power metal album with some classical touches on it, some points off on the album due to the last song which is an orchestral version which is just boring to listen to.
RATING: 8.2 out of 10 added on April 30th, 2018
DREAM OCEAN - (2018) Lost Love Symphony
Recently I've enjoyed more female fronted bands and there are plenty of new bands and some old bands out there, here we have Dream Ocean from Turkey with their debut album.
After the long intro we have a good start with "Beyond The Greed" and the album goes on in the same style with the next songs "Hain", "Everstorm" and "Forever" but unfortunately through the middle of the album the songs don't grab that much attention. I would also highlight the songs "Wolfheart" and "Never Enough".
The album goes a a little bit over the 60-minute mark and they could drop out some of the weak songs to get this album a higher rating.
RATING: 7.8 out of 10 added on April 30th, 2018
MYSTIC PROPHECY - (2018) Momuments Uncovered
Mystic Prophecy is a band that I've come to know them recently and their discography have some great albums, now they have come up with an album of only cover songs.
Honestly I didn't know many of the songs when I saw the tracklist but when I started listening to it, I've recognized some of them. The only ones that did come to my mind first was the opener "You Keep Me Hangin' On" which is done superb by them as well as "Because The Night". Other highlights on the album are "Hot Stuff", "Shadow On The Wall", "I'm Still Standing" and "Proud Mary".
Besides some bad reviews I've read, I really enjoy this album and I'll be playing it more times during the year.
RATING: 7.3 out of 10 added on April 30th, 2018
CHRIS BAY - (2018) Chasing The Sun
Chris Bay, the vocalist behind melodic metal band Freedom Call has decided to release his first solo album consisting more of only the happy sides of his band.
We have some songs easily forgotten but there are also some songs really enjoyable for my taste even though they can be considered as happy rock. Favourite songs here are the opener "Flying Hearts" and the single "Radio Starlight" which has a chorus that sometimes I have myself singing alone out of nowhere. Other highlights are "Silent Cry", "Misty Rain" and "Bad Boyz".
This is not a metal album, this is not a rock album but if you're a fan of the happy side of Freedom Call, check this out!
RATING: 6.0 out of 10 added on April 30th, 2018
AUDREY HORNE - (2018) Blackout
Audrey Horne is a band with some time on the road but it was at the end of last year that I've discovered their music and here we have their new album "Blackout".
The album starts very nice with 3 of my favourite songs on the album being the opener "This Is War" the stand-out on the whole album. Other highlights are "Midnight Man", "Satellite" and "Rose Alley".
Apart from some Ok songs on it, I recommend this very nice hard rock album.
RATING: 7.2 out of 10 added on April 30th, 2018
PANORAMA - (2018) Around The World
Here it comes another project or maybe a new band for the future, this one featuring Christian Palin (Random Eyes vocalist) and Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69 bassist).
The album is full of melodic and catchy tunes but the ones that stands out the most are in order "The Glory Within", "Heart Has Been Broken", "Around The World", "World On Fire", "One For All" and "The Highest Mountain".
Let's hope there's from them in the future, great debut album!
RATING: 8.5 out of 10 added on April 30th, 2018
ODYSSEY DESPERADO - (2018) Don't Miss The Sunset
Here we have the debut of greek band Odyssey Desperado and I'm lucky to have listened to this.
On to the album we have a very nice selection of 10 songs and my favourites here are "Rush Of The Wave", "You And Me Against The World", "Holding On To A Dream" and "Fragile".
The album is pure melodic rock with some catchy songs and some slow-tempo songs, the vocalist remembers a lot of David A Saylor. This is one debut album worth checking it out!
RATING: 8.0 out of 10 added on April 30th, 2018
ARMORED DAWN - (2018) Barbarians In Black
Armored Dawn is a band I've seen their name before drop out somewhere but I never had a chance to listen and I didn't even know they were here from Brazil.
The opener of the album is just an average song compared to the other amazing songs on the album. The main highlights are "Bloodstone", "Chance To Live Again", "Unbreakable", "Sail Away" and "Survivor". I just have some problems with the song "Barbarians In Black".
I was luck I had clicked in one of their videos at YouTube and have come to know about them. This is one hell of an album, the only problem is that this is just a 40-minute play. Fans of Orden Ogan and Sabaton will enjoy it.
RATING: 8.7 out of 10 added on March 26th, 2018
REACH - (2018) The Great Divine
Reach has arrived with their debut album in 2015 with so much energy and as they hail from Sweden, I was thinking they could be a new H.E.A.T., Eclipse, Dynazty, etc.
The album starts amazing with the first 3 songs being the best on it, "Into Tomorrow", "The Great Divine" and "Live Or Die" are great songs but the next songs are just Ok ones which doesn't grab that much attention, I would just add "Off The Edge" and "Running On Empty" as other highlights.
On this new album they have experienced some modern sounds on which I didn't think it fit so well, this doesn't make this a bad album but I was kind of hoping for more from them. Let's wait a new record from them to judge if they will shine in the future!
RATING: 6.2 out of 10 added on March 26th, 2018
JOHAN KIHLBERG'S IMPERA - (2018) Age Of Discovery
Going straight to review the songs on the album! We have "Fear" which is the song that stands out the most on the album together with "Falling" and the closure "It's A Revolution". There are also some good songs such as "Just A Conversation" and "The Right Stuff".
Overall this is a very enjoyable melodic rock album to listen to some songs from time to time but it won't make the top albums of the year.
RATING: 6.8 out of 10 added on March 26th, 2018
DENIED - (2018) Freedom Of Speech
I am a big fan of Jaded Heart and here we have an album with Johan Fahlberg on vocals and other guest vocalists too.
The first song from the album is not really the best but then the album shows some great songs on it. The highlights here are "The Other Side", "Scarred Soul", "Don't You Know Me" and the Twisted Sister cover "Stay Hungry".
This is not a melodic rock album and don't look for catchy choruses here but this a great effort from Denied!
RATING: 7.2 out of 10 added on March 26th, 2018
BLOOD RED SAINTS - (2018) Love Hate Conspiracies
Blood Red Saints debut album was very good to me and with the singles released for the new album, I was amazed by the songs such as I was with their debut album.
The highlights on the album are right at the beginning which are the singles "Live & Die" and "Wake Up" but then the album falls off a lot in quality. Be sure to check out also the rockers "It Is Over" and "Turn On The Night" and that's it!
I had to make some spins on their new album to see if it was good or not but this is way far from good such as their debut album.