Bloodbound's new album "In The Name Of Metal" is really in the name of metal, this album is pure metal and sounds like songs from the first Manowar albums but a lot heavier. Some people might judge this opinion but this is really what I think after listening the album for more than twice.
The first part of the album, mostly the first five songs is where I enjoy this album the most, this doesn't make songs number 6 to number 12 not good songs as there are some great tunes in the end of the album as well. First off we have the title track as a great opener that leads to the another amazing "When Demons Collide". "Bonebreaker" is yet another great song that leads to my two favorites on the album that are "Metalheads United" with its very unique chorus which will make you sing along for the rest of the day and then the another hymn on the album which is "Son Of Babylon", a great song overall with another great chorus. From the last part of the album we found some other great songs like "Monstermind" and the less cheesy "Black Devil".
On Bloodbound's discography you can notice a lot of changes in their vocals line-up and also their sound style that started with power metal that led to progressive metal and some songs could be described as AOR but on this new album they return to the sound of their debut album "Nosferatu" which it was my favorite of the band until this 2012 release which is now my favorite from the band.
I really like all the releases of famous label Frontiers Records and when I first watched the official video of the song "I Only Wanna Rock N' Roll" on YouTube I was sure that this band was really great and I was really looking forward to listening their debut album and wow this is one of the best debut albums I've ever listened.
"Wicked Love" starts the album in the most amazing classic rock style, this song is amazing from the beginning to the end. When this song ends you get the already known riff for me and Gene's spectacular vocals on the fantastic "I Only Wanna Rock N' Roll" in which I though that this was the best song I've listened over the last few years until you get to the song "Heart Of Steel" where Gene delivers such brilliant vocals. Before this song you have "Superhero", another great classic rock with an outstanding chorus and great vocal performances. The title track is another classic rock anthem and we go on with "I've Got The Love" and "Ruffneck Woman" two songs that are not amazing such as the first songs on the album but they are really enjoyable songs and the chorus are great too. "Light Me Up" slows it up a bit on the album but this is done in a very good way as you get to song "Firecracker" which is my least favorite here. "Give It Up" is another great song with such amazing melodies and fantastic chorus lines. We have then another ballad song called "The Ballad Of Gene" which is not as good as the previous ballad and the album finishes it up with "Make Love" a mid-tempo song that finishes the album in a great style.
This album totally deserved a track-by-track review and it is with no doubt in my top 10 list of 2012. If you have not listened this band before and you like some classic rock with great choruses be sure to check out Gene The Werewolf as I'm already looking forward for a new album from this amazing band!
Manowar's new album have received many criticizing reviews that this is another poor record by the band and only a few reviews that I've read writes good stuff about "The Lord Of Steel", by the way I think that this a really good record and their best release since their golden-era which ended on 1996 with the release of "Louder Than Hell" and the only thing I thought that it was not good for Manowar was to release a two-edition of this album which I really don't know the difference between the "Hammer Edition" and the "Final Edition".
Now let's talk about the songs on the album which starts with my three favorite songs on the album, the title-track is a reallly good song followed by the new Manowar hymn "Manowarriors" with such fun lyrics and one of those chorus that only Manowar can bring you guys, "Born In Grave" is another mid-tempo song that I really enjoy. And then we have the first kind of ballad song "Righteous Glory" which is one of the songs I've read most of the reviews saying that this was the best song on the album, not my favorite here. "Touch The Sky" is another great Manowar song with such great chorus and a memorable finale. Besides the first three songs which are my favorites I must comment about two other great songs which are their first released song before the album's release "El Gringo" which have some great chorus lines and also "Annihilation" in which we can see Eric's high screams which I missed a lot on the new album. The album has it's bad moments in songs like "Righteous Glory" already mentioned, "Black List" in which I thought that it was gonna be an instrumental song and the final song "Hail, Kill And Die" in which the lyrics starts with the names of all the albums released by the band.
One of the things that really caught my attention here are lack of guitar riffs and as most of the songs has no guitar riffs while we can listen only to drums and keyboard sounds (not in all songs) while Eric is delivering the vocals, I really enjoyed this and I think most of the average and bad reviews on this album are criticizing exactly this. While two things that I really didn't like here are the poor production by the band's record company and the lack of Eric's high screams as previously mentioned.
Mob Rules is for sure one of my favorite bands and I was missing a new album from them since the release of "Radical Peace" back in 2009, three years has passed and the band has arrived with this 48-minute release through AFM Records.
Klaus Dirks vocals is recognizable everytime you listen to a Mob Rules song and the melodies/production from the band gets better and better with every new release. The album starts with the amazing and long "Close My Eyes" and goes on with another great song such as "Lost". On this album you can expect to find every type of song, from powerful songs like "Telebox Fool" which is one of my favorite songs here to melodic, slow and epic songs like "Ice & Fire" which is another highlight on the album. The next two songs are once again memorable, "Soldiers Of Fortune" in which I think we have the best vocal lines by Klaus throughout the song and then we have the speed and melodic "Sirens" with one of the catchiest chorus on the album. "Scream For The Sun" is kind of an epic very good song and then comes the title track which is another great song in which the band could have put as the final song instead of the ballad "Sunrise" which is for sure the worst song I've listened from Mob Rules career.
I must say that the first time I listened to the album I've had a totally different review from the album as the songs didn't really caught my attention but as said and Mob Rules being one of my favorite bands I had a second listen on the album on the next day with more of an open mind and I think this is another brilliant release and I've listened to this album over and over again and right now might be the 10th time I'm listening to it in not greater than one month. The only thing I didn't like here was the closure of the album being the song "Sunrise" and also we had only 43 minutes of good music, they could have put two or three more songs here.
Overall, Mob Rules is not one of those melodic heavy metal bands with speeding guitar riffs and high screaming vocals but their music is enjoyable and they have grown with every new release. Their first albums were more like speed/power metal and their previous releases you can listen to more keyboards leading to a kind of symphonic metal with melodic vocals. Now the wait is for the band to visit South America!!
Toby Hitchcock and Jimi Jamison is for sure the best duet in the AOR genre and with Pride Of Lions we sure can expect every time a great release, it is not different again here with the release of "Immortal".
The title track and the song "Delusional" starts the album in the most brilliant way you could think of, they are just simply one of the best songs I've listened all my life, Toby Hitchcock vocals are at the top of his perfomances, no words!! The other songs on the album are really good songs but they can't be compared with the first two songs, they are really good and enjoyable songs to be listened while you're driving, at work or anywhere else. Other highlights here are the songs "Shine On" with great chorus lines, the rockers "Coin Of The Realm" and "Vital Signs" which remembers a lot Jimi Jamison's era at Survivor. "If It Doesn't Kill Me" is another song on the same style as the previous two and for sure my favorite alongside the first two songs on the album. The ballad "Are You The Same Girl" and the final song "Ask Me Yesterday" finishes the album in great style.
The previous Pride Of Lions were more rocker albums than "Immortal" in which in my opinion were better overall than this one but still I think this was one of the best albums of the year as we can always expect great vocals by both vocalist, not in my top-10 so far but still quite enjoyable to listen once a while. If you're a fan of hard rock with heavy guitar riffs this is not the album you'll want to listen but if you like a very good AOR album with great vocalists and catchy songs this is the album you'll want to listen!
DragonForce is known by all metal fans as the fastest band in the world and I really enjoy their previous albums but for me "Valley Of The Damned" until the release of "Season Within" was my favorite of the band. On this new album we have the arrival of vocalist Marc Hudson and his vocals are better than previous vocalist ZP Theart.
The album starts with the Ok song "Holding On" but then we have the best two songs of the album which are "Fallen World" and "Cry Thunder", I don't need to mention that these are really fast songs (lol) but the overall on these two are amazing, the chorus, melody, everything. Probably these two songs are among my favorites of the band together with the famous "Through The Fire And The Flames" and "The Last Journey Home". On this album we have shortest songs than what we can find on their previous albums and "Give Me The Night" is one of the songs and a very good song, other good songs to be mentioned here are the amazing "Seasons" in which the japanese version of the album contains the acoustic version which I've not listened to it, "Heart Of The Storm" and "Die By The Sword" are also great songs. We even have two more kind of slow songs like "Wings Of Liberty" and the final song "Last Man Stands" which finishes the album in a grand style.
Overall, this is my favorite DragonForce album ever and I've already listened to the album more than 3 times and "Fallen World" is a really great song that I've been listening over and over again. Their previous albums were released in a 2-year period but "The Power Within" was released 4 years after the release of their previous album, maybe this was the reason why we had a better album as the band had more time to work on it. Be sure to check it out DragonForce's latest album.
Album of the year? 2012 has seen the release of many good albums like the ones released by Axel Rudi Pell, Dynazty, Unisonic, Harline, Oxygen and a few more... Bleed & Scream for sure is at the top list of 2012 and I don't know how many times I've listened until now to Eclipse's latest album. Their new album arrives 4 years after the release of the not so good but average album "Are You Ready To Rock?" which had some great tunes but some of them were not so good as the other ones.
On "Bleed & Scream" we have some average songs but most of them are stand out songs, the album kicks off with the great "Wake Me Up" in which you must really wake up to start listening to this great album in which the next 4 songs alongside the opening are my favorite. "Bleed And Scream" first released on video is a great rockin' song with a catchy chorus which leads then to "Ain't Dead Yet", "Battlegrounds" which might be my favorite on the album but is really hard to say as almost all of the songs here are fu**** unbelievable. On their latest album we can find some power ballads, not full ballads as the songs get a little faster in the end like the amazing "Bitter Taste" which by the end has some of the best melodic riffs I've ever heard on my life, "About To Break" is another power ballad with some great vocals done by Erik Martensson. Other great power songs on the album are the catchy "S.O.S." and the final song "After The End Of The World". I've not mentioned some songs here but they are really good songs but it doesn't match up with the above mentioned songs.
With this release, Eclipse has made a impact in the hard rock scene and are now among one of my favorite bands and it makes me want to see some good news from the band like a tour which will be very hard to see they come to Brazil as Mr. Eric is always busy with other projects like he is already working on the new W.E.T. album. "Bleed & Scream" has what it takes to be remembered as one of the best hard rock albums of all time. Great work by Eclipse!!
Gotthard's Firebirth is the first record with new vocalist Nic Maeder after the band's successful album "Need To Believe" released in 2009. During these 3 years a tragical accident happened with the band as on October 5th, 2010 their former vocalist Steve Lee died in a motorcycle accident in the U.S. and the band announced on the end of 2011 the arrival of Nic Maeder as the band's new vocalist.
At first when listening to the band's first song released "Remember It's Me" I noticed a big similarity on the vocal lines between Nic and Steve but as I've first listened to the band live at São Paulo on May 2012 I've notived that Steve Lee's vocals will be always remembered by Gotthard's fans and also listening through this whole record I get to the same point.
The highlights on the album are the first song they have released "Remember It's Me" with it's rememberable chorus line as well as the opener "Starlight" which have some different melodies but great stuff. "Give Me Real", "Fight" as well are great songs but the songs that calls my attention the most here are the ballad "Tell Me", the amazing "The Story's Over" with it's slow beginning and great melody throughout the song and the other ballad "Where Are You" in which is a tribute to Steve Lee and I've listened to it more than 3 times in a row after the first listening.
"Firebirth" is a good album but it is obviously a fallback from the 3 previous Gotthard releases which are the best releases by the band in their whole career and until date sometimes I get those records to listen and to remember Steve Lee's as his death together with Ronnie James Dio's are the ones in rock that I still can't believe it happened.
Sturm Und Drang's last two albums can be described as heavy/power melodic metal albums in the veins of Sonata Arctica and they are from the same country, Finland, the country where we can find the most fine bands in the genre. I've listened to their two albums back in 2010 and then I heard the news later last month that they have released a new album, "Graduation Day", and their style now can be described more of a hard rock meets pop rock than to a heavy/power metal band.
One of the different things that you can find on their new album, are the "techno" sounds in most of the songs but they have still some power in some songs but fail to reach in some of the songs. "Your Love Is For Sale" and "Dark Little Angel Of Mine" are very good songs with the weird songs in the beginning and then the rock arrives in a good style. The next 3 songs are my favorites as "Molly The Murderer" first release as the official video already caught my attention as a soft rock that leads to a catchy bridge/chorus that I've been singing for over a week now. "Lucky" and "Hammer To Fall" are the fastest and more powerful songs on the album as the last mentioned here has another very good chorus. From song number 6 to number 9 the album is totally different from the first 5 songs and I can skip it right to the last one "Light Years Apart" which is not my favorite and not as good as the first 5 songs and it begins the same style with "techno" sounds and leads to a good chorus.
This is a very enjoyable album but the band could create a better tracklist for this album as up to the first songs I've listened to a great album but from song 6 to the last one the album is very pop and cheesy. The band might get some new fans with this release in a totally different style but some of the old true fans of the band are already complaining about this release as a step back in the band's career. I don't find this album as a step back but sure the first two albums by the band are better than this one.
Baby Jane is a new hard rock band from Sweden formed in 2007 and "In The Spotlight" is their debut album released in April through Live To Fight Productions. Their sound can be compared with new bands in the same genre like Crashdiet, Crazy Lixx.
About their debut album, you can find the first two songs to be just as good as the highlights from the 80's rock era, "Raise Your First" is one of those songs you'll have it in your head for some time after your first listening, "My Behavior" goes on in the same style. I have mentioned the first two songs as highlights if they were recorded in the 80's and that doesn't mean that the rest of the songs are not great as the first two. Other songs here in their debut album are very good like the first two and "Face Against The Wall" is another rocker song just like the title track "In The Spotlight". The last songs on the album that you can be sure to check out are "Next In Line" which alongside the first two songs are my favorites and also the final track "Night Explodes".
Baby Jane's debut album is not the best hard/glam rock I've listened recently as there are plenty of hard/glam bands releasing new stuff but this is a very enjoyable album and I'm looking forward for their next releases as Dynazty's (one of my favorites bands in this genre) debut album was not so strong as their last two albums.
Wig Wam is a Norwegian hard rock band that is up since 2004 and I've discovered this band back in 2010 with their great release of "Non Stop Rock N' Roll" and two years later they bring their most recent work, entitled "Wall Street", released in May through Frontiers Records.
The album begins with the title track "Wall Street" which starts the album in a very good way but unfortunately the next song "OMG! (Wish I Had A Gun)" is not the type of song I was expecting to listen in a Wig Wam album and this goes on with other songs in the album like the ballad "Tides Will Turn", "One Million Enemies", "Try My Body On", "Natural High". The good side of the album are the songs "The Bigger The Better" which probably is my favorite song here alongside the title track, also "Wrong Can Feel So Right" is a highlight and to finish the album we have a bonus track of "School's Out (Alice Cooper cover)" in which the band did a great job. There is a very different song in the album which is "Victory Is Sweet" which is not so glammy as their classic tunes but I've found it to be an Ok song to listen to it again even though it was made in a totally different style of their other songs here.
Overall, "Wall Street" was a real disappointment to me, all the fun we listened in he previous albums from the band were left out in their new album and it looks like they are going into a different style than the glammy stuff we could find in their previous albums.
Lavett is not even a heavy metal neither a hard rock band, they can be described as an alternative band from Sweden but I've discovered this band by looking out for news from vocalist Daniel Heiman (Lost Horizon) in which he is one of my favorite vocalists from the power metal scene and at first I've found Lavett's sound a little different but recently I've been listening to "Find Your Purpose" a lot and I've decided to include this review on the site.
At first, do not expect to listen to Daniel's most perfect vocals and his high screams as it was known to find in Lost Horizon albums as we are talking about an alternative band and the album's first six songs are really my favorites on their debut album but I would stand out "We Can't Go On", "Everybody" and "Take A Step Back" out of these six as the real highlights on the album, really nice melodies and catchy lyrics especially the chorus, I've almost forgot to mention the song "It's Not Over You" in which Daniel decided to bring back his roots from the Lost Horizon and bring a memorable scream at the end of the song. Other songs that deserves to be mentioned here are the good songs "Blame The Silence", "Forgotten Generation" and the ballad "Don't Leave Me This Way".
I really wish Daniel Heiman would release a new album with Lost Horizon or in a new power metal band but he has decided to go to an alternative side and as I'm a big fan of his vocals I tried to check out this band and I was really surprised about this album and if you are not into alternative rock but you remember Daniel from the Lost Horizon band be sure to check out Lavett!
Crazy Lixx is another hard/glam rock band from Sweden which they released their first album "Loud Minority" in 2007 and now they return 5 years later with their third album, entitled "Riot Avenue". Sweden is for sure one of the countries with most amazing bands in the hard and heavy metal scene and Crazy Lixx is just another one of these bands.
"Riot Avenue" offers 11 songs of pure hard/glam rock and the album starts with the great "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" and goes on with three other great songs like "Young Blood", "Riot Avenue" which has one great chorus and this is what you can expect in every hard/glam rock album and my favorite "Fire It Up" which has one of the best melodies and especially with an amazing start alongside the amazing "Church Of Rock". Other highlights here are the rocker "In The Night", the short "Heatseeker" and the ballad "Only The Dead Know" which Danny Rexon remembers a lot Sebastian Bach in the early Skid Row career.
Crazy Lixx with the release of "Riot Avenue" bring us back to the '80s sound with some great vocals, amazing guitars riffs/solos and killer harmonies. Frontiers Records are for sure the record company with the best bands in this genre and their sound production just like done in Hardline's new album ar great here too.
Running Wild is back on studio after 7 years of the release of "Rogues En Vogue" back in 2005 and now with the release of "Shadowmaker" consisting of 10 tracks through SPV GmbH Records.
The album starts with "Piece Of The Action" which is not a good song and for me the album starts with the rocker "Riding On The Tide" and goes on with the great "I Am Who I Am" with its stand-out chorus. "Me & The Boys" is my favorite song here and reminds a lot the old days of Twisted Sister with its brilliant chorus, "Shadowmaker" goes on with such a great quality sound and an 80's chorus lines. The album finishes with the good "Into The Black" and the great epic "Dracula song".
Unfortunately the album has some songs that makes the rating go down like the opener previously mentioned here and "Black Shadow", "Locomotive"
I've read some reviews of "Shadowmaker" on the web and I've found just little reviews saying good things about their return and the majority of the reviews criticizing their return as the band is not back in the roots of their power and heavy metal era such as the releases of "Gates To Purgatory", "Branded And Exiled" and "Under Jolly Roger". I would mention this release as more in the veins of a hard rock album than heavy metal and I've liked this album, this is not my favorite Running Wild neither one of my favorites album of 2012 but this is a very enjoyable album. Not a great return by the pirates but a good return!
Oxygen is a band that I've never heard before and it was never mentioned in the news section of the site but somehow I've got a copy of this album and I was amazed about the great songs, harmonies and all on this album that I must review it here and any news from this band in the future you'll be able to find here on Hard Heavy News And More.
The album starts with the brilliant "Janitor Of Love" and I'm not gonna say about the catchy and amazing chorus lines here as in all songs I've found great chorus lines and this is found again on the next song "Anything For You". "When Tomorrow Never Comes" goes on in the same line and this is one of my favorite songs here. "I Remember" is the first ballad together with the later on "You" and both are very good ballad songs. "We Must Fight" is another great rocker on the album as well as "I Wanna Know For Sure". The title track is one of the most different songs on this album and is for sure one of the highlighs on the album, memorable song as well as the next one "Best Days Of Our Lives" with a great chorus and in the end of this song Tony Niva delivering great vocals and the album closes with another memorable moment with the amazing, brilliant "Bring Back The Joy" which has one of the best chorus I've listened recently. Unfortunately we have only 11 songs here and just a little bit more than 30 minutes of great hard rock/AOR music.
Overall, if you like a really good hard rock/AOR album be sure to check out Oxygen's debut album and look out for this band's upcoming albums. Great songs, catchy chorus and you will enjoy a lot Tony Niva's vocals and sometimes his ranges get so high but he doesn't reach the highest notes but still I've found very good and I've lost the count of how many times I've listened this album not jumping one single song.
Hardline is for sure one of my favorite bands, I've discovered Hardline back in 2001 after searching for more information on Johnny Gioeli after the great releases of "Oceans Of Time" and "The Masquerade Ball" with Axel Rudi Pell. Back then I listened to the masterpiece "Double Eclipse" which is one of the best hard rock albums of all time. The band reunited for the release of "II" in 2002 which is an average album and then "Leaving The End Open" arrived in 2009 which was a little better than the previous album.
Last year Frontiers Records announced that they would be releasing a new Hardline album and Johnny later mentioned that their new album would be back in the roots of their debut album which made me expect a lot on "Danger Zone" and what I can say is that this is for sure one of the best albums of 2012 and it can be compared a lot with their debut album.
The quality on this album doesn't drop in any of the songs, from the opener "Fever Dreams" to the last song "The Only One" all the songs are great. It is very hard to mention my favorite song here but I would mention as the highlighs here the fast rockers "Fever Dreams", "10,000 Reasons" with one of Johnny's best vocals ever, "Danger Zone", "What I'd Like" and "The Only One" and of course some great power ballads found here are "Stronger", "Never Too Late For Love" and "Stay".
I mentioned almost all of the songs here, this describes how amazing is this album. I'm already looking forward for a new Hardline album as Johnny Gioeli mentioned in the EPK released by Frontiers on YouTube that the band are already writing songs for a new album. What I really wanted to happen now is a world tour by Hardline and they can stop by here in Brazil for at least one concert. Great release, great comeback!!
Jorn Lande is for sure one of the best rock vocalists out there and he is known for his work with Ark, Millenium and Masterplan but most of his albums are released under his first name Jorn.
This new album is once again released by famous label Frontiers Records, after the intro "My Road" with Jorn brilliant vocals comes the title track "Bring Heavy Rock To The Land" with it's chorus lines that will stick in your mind for some time, right after comes another long song which is "A Thousand Cuts" which is another stand-out track here. Other highlights are the Christopher Cross/Saxon cover "Ride Like The Wind", the fast "Chains Around You" which is my favorite from the album, also here you can find a cover from Masterplan's "Time To Be King" which you can note is more of a darker version, "Ride To The Guns" is another song here with a memorable chorus and the great ballad "Black Morning".
There is nothing to unlike in a Jorn album, you can find the same guitar riffs and sounding as his previous solo albums and of course not all songs here are perfect but they are listenable and this is what you look for in a Jorn album. This is by far my favorite Jorn solo album after the great "Lonely Are The Brave".
Michael Kiske and Kai Hansen together after a long time, this is Unisonic and of course a lot of metal fans were happy when Kiske announced that Hansen would be joining the band Unisonic, this has been clear by Kiske that this is not a project and this is a new band which we hope for better and better albums to come in the next years. Of course this will not be a band that releases every year a new album as Hansen has Gamma Ray and Kiske has a lot of other projects.
Unisonic's debut album is not a heavy/power metal album as the first albums by Helloween with Kiske, their debut album has a mixture between heavy metal and hard rock album with some elements from the Place Vendome albums with Kiske.
The best heavy moments on the album can be found on the opener "Unisonic", "Souls Alive", "Star Rider", "Renegade", "My Sanctuary" with an amazing chorus and "We Rise" while the best hard rock moments can be found on "I've Tried" and "Never Change Me" which by far is my favorite song on the album.
Overall, this is another great album, 2012 has been a great year of heavy metal and hard rock releases and this is just another one, what else could you expect when you see Michael Kiske and Kai Hansen recording new stuff? Be sure to check out this new album and watch their concert in your nearest town as I did last month and it was great to see them both together sharing the same stage again.
Dynazty is a hard rock band from Sweden formed in the end of 2007 and have released two albums before this new and amazing masterpiece called "Sultans Of Sin" released in the end of February. Their new album is a serious candidate of being nominated as one of the best albums of 2012 by the rock media.
Their previous albums are very good albums but this one I can definitely say it's a masterpiece, I have already listened to more than 3 times and the only thing I didn't like on it is that we have only 10 songs.
What you can find in most of their songs are the background with the "Ooooh ooooh" and "Yeaaah yeaaah", really amazing and also all chorus lines made by the band on this album are to remember for a long time especially on the amazing "Land Of Broken Dreams" which is my favorite here, this song is one of the best hard rock songs I've listened and what an amazing performance by Nils Molin in the end of this song, overall his performance are great in all of the songs.
Other than the previously mentioned song, other songs that stands out the most here are the opener "Come Alive", "Raise Your Hands" with it's amazing chorus and also the "Ooooh oooh" again here, the mid-tempo song "Falling", the rocker "More Than A Man", the ballad "Back Again" which is on the same style of the amazing "Stand As One" from their previous album and the brilliant "Bastards Of Rock & Roll" which is my second favorite from this masterpiece and also the final song "Sultans Of Sin". The songs not mentioned are not so great as these ones but they are very good songs.
Watch out for Dynazty in the next years and I'm already looking forward for a new Dynazty album, they are sure to be one of the top bands in the hard rock genre together with Reckless Love, Babylon Bombs, H.E.A.T. and others in the same genre. For sure this album will be in the top 10 on the staff´s pick and until now is one of my favorite albums of 2012 alongside Axel Rudi Pell's "Circle Of The Oath" and Adrenaline Mob's debut album.
Jeff Scott Soto is back with another solo album after 3 years from the release of "Beautiful Mess" and once he confirmed his new solo album he said that this will be more hard rock than his previous album and yes this is one great hard rock album.
He is for sure one of my favorite vocalist from the hard rock scene and all his works with Talisman, Axel Rudi Pell, Yngwie Malmsteen, W.E.T. and Takara are really great and I think that he was still missing a great hard rock album under his solo project as most of his solo albums we can find more from a softer Jeff side, on this new album we can find some ballad songs as well but mostly we have a rocker Jeff side.
Now let's talk about the highlights of the album: "Give A Little More" stars the album simply amazing with good chorus lines, "Look Inside Your Heart" which is one of the best songs from the album together with "Krazy World" which has its incredible memorable beginning vocal lines and a great chorus. Other good hard rock songs here are "Tears That I Cry" which is a very nice song with good vocals by Mr. Jeff and "How To Love Again". The ballad moments here are the kind of ballad "Die A Little" and "BonaFide" where Jeff handles once again brilliant vocals in another ballad song.
Overall, "Damage Control" is the best solo album released by Jeff Scott Soto where we can find a little mixture of hard rock and some ballad moments, even though if you don't find here some of those catchy hard rock songs that the songs sticks in your mind for some time, this is an album to remember for the rest of the year as Jeff is once again back with a hard rock album.
This is the debut album by Brazilian band Age Of Artemis and recently Brazil hasn't come up with good bands in the power/melodic metal genre, the most known bands are Angra, Shaman and Dark Avenger but now we can add one more band in this list, and Age Of Artemis is this band. Even though some other bands from Brazil are good, the recordings from Brazilian labels are not that good to listen as guitars and drums are louder than the vocals but this one released by Die Hard is very well recorded.
After the short and amazing intro "What Lies Behind..." comes the first song and best song of the album which is "Echoes Within", an amazing song where you can note the amazing vocals by Alírio Neto, more on this vocalist will be mentioned later in this review. The band have chosen the right tracklist for this album which mixture the power metal songs with the ballad ones. Be sure to check out other great songs like the power ballad "Take Me Home", the great "Truth In Your Eyes" with it's metal mixtures along the song, "You'll See" with the darkest moment by the band, the epic "God, Kings And Fools" with its slow and fast moments throughout the song and the final song "Till The End" is another highlight.
The vocalist Alírio Neto is the biggest surprise on the album, he remembers a little bit of Edu Falaschi and he has an amazing tone on how to sing the songs and delivers a very good performance throughout the whole album.
Actually I was not only missing a good new melodic metal from Brazil but recently the power/melodic metal scene we can't find such new bands with great debut albums. The best albums in this genre lately are by known bands such as HammerFall, Sonata Arctica, Mob Rules, Iron Fire and others to name. "Overcoming Limits" is for sure one of the best power/melodic metal albums I've listened recently.
H.E.A.T. is for sure one of my favorite hard rock/AOR bands and their first two albums are among the best albums that I've listened recently and in 2010 the band announced the replacement of vocalist Kenny Leckremo by Erik Gronwall (Swedish Idol 2009 winner) and I might understand the replacement the band has chosen to get more attention from the worldwide media as the band have already mentioned that they want to be one of the best hard rock/AOR bands worldwide.
I've seen some of their live videos with both vocalists and I must say that Kenny Leckremo still my favorite vocalist for H.E.A.T. even though I find Erik a great vocalist. I'm still concerned about the future of Kenny as until now he hasn't made any announcement on a new band as I'm a big fan of Kenny I want to listen more new songs with him.
The new album starts amazing with the 3 best songs from the new album, "Breaking The Silence", "Living On The Run" and my favorite "Falling Down". After these 3 songs the quality of the album drops a lot and only "Need Her" and "Heartbreaker" I would mention as a highlight here. I'm not saying that the other songs are not great, they are Ok songs but as their first two albums all the songs are great I'm used to those brilliant music and catchy chorus made by the band, I'm not sure if Kenny was the one writing and composing songs for their previous albums as the music in their previous albums are much higher rated than the music in "Address The Nation".
The negative sides here are the ballad "The One And Only" and the song "In And Out Of Trouble", simply why they have to release a song like this and another thing is such short duration of the album and that we have only 10 songs. If the band didn't have much time to write more songs they could have waited a little more to release the album later or they could have chosen like 2 or 3 songs from their previous albums and record with Erik's vocals.
H.E.A.T. wanted to be one of the most known hard rock/AOR bands in the world and this album is for sure a step back in the band's career and I'm not saying that this a bad release by the band as the rating below is average but compared to two masterpieces this is their worst album.
When Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater drummer) announced that he would be in a new band with Russel Allen (Symphony X vocalist) I was already really excited in listening to their debut album and after listening to their Black Sabbath cover of "The Mob Rules" I was even more ancious in listening to their debut album.
When you first start to listen to the song "Undaunted" you might think you're about to listen to a "new metal" album and I believe Mike has got some influences from his time at the Avenged Sevenfold and in some other songs you can hear some influences from other bands in the same genre.
This "new metal" thing I myself find only on the first track of the album and on the rest of the album we have some other great tunes like rocker "Psychosane", "Indifferent" with its amazing chorus, the power ballad "All On The Line" with another memorable chorus, "Feelin' Me" with an amazing heavy chorus and the fast and short "Down To The Floor". Probably one of my favorites here are the aggressive "Hit The Wall" and "Believe Me" with its memorable chorus lines that will get you singing along alone sometimes. The only thing I don't understand is the Duran Duran's "Come Undone" cover the band have decided to include in their debut album, also the last two songs on the album are not so great compared to the other songs mentioned.
Overall, I think this is a great debut album and for sure one of the best albums of the year . I hope that this is not an unique album released by Adrenaline Mob and that Russel Allen and Mike Portnoy can release more an more great albus like their debut.
Axel Rudi Pell is my favorite heavy metal/hard rock band and once he announced the release date of his new solo album "Circle Of The Oath", I've already marked this date on my calendar and the countdown started to listen to a new ARP album.
Since 1998 there has been no line-up changes since the arrival of vocalist Johnny Gioeli, keyboardist Ferdy Doernberg and drummer Mike Terrana. Their first album together "Oceans Of Time" is my favorite ARP album of all time and their releases in the 2000's are great releases too, there is not a single ARP album that I don't like. Most reviews that I've read on their previous albums and for "Circle Of The Oath" I've read that ARP brings back the same sounding, but I don't care if it looks like the same, if it sounds great keep it doing the same great music, it is much better than change their sound and bring a not so good release.
Now let's talk about this brilliant album in which I've listened over and over again and I think it might be better than my favorite "Oceans Of Time". It is no big mistake that in ARP's albums we find an intro and then 9 songs and here is the same thing, we start with "The Guillotine Suite" in which I've started to get prepared to listen to a fast song and the band brings "Ghost In The Black" that it is a brilliant song with an amazing duet between Axel and Ferdy in the solo, this is not the best opener Axel has recorded but its very good. Right after we have "Run With The Wind" which I've listened before as it was released earlier in the internet and this is another of those songs that the chorus grabs in your mind for some time. "Before I Die" by the songtitle I thought it was gonna be a ballad song but I was surprised by a rocker song in a style that I've never heard from ARP before and is simply amazing. Of course I was expecting "Circle Of The Oath" to be the epic song from the album but I wasn't expecting the song to start with Axel's acoustic guitar as most epic ARP songs starts with Ferdy's keyboards and this is one of the best epic songs from ARP, the lyrics are brilliant and the variations here are beyond beautiful and I just love the part just right before the song get really heavy. "Fortunes Of War" is amazing and its hard to say if this is my favorite song here but I really enjoy this song and the end with Johnny's screams are unbelievable. "Bridges To Nowhere" remembers a lot the epic song "Time Of The Truth" from the "Shadow Zone" album and is an Ok song and which is my least favorite from the album. Finally we have arrived to the ballad of the album, "Lived Our Lives Before", it is no secret that ARP is the king of ballad songs and here we find another great ballad song with a memorable chorus. We have another rocker right after and this one is "Hold On To Your Dreams" where Johnny delivers his best vocals and this is simply brilliant. To finish the album we have another epic song and the band have done on this song the same they have done on "The Crest" with a second part of a previous song and here we have "World Of Confusion (The Masquerade Ball Part II)" and the album closes perfectly, the whole atmosphere in the song is brilliant, another memorable chorus and we can listen to a little bit of "The Masquerade Ball" chorus once again in a slow and then darker melody.
Simply brilliant, amazing, fuck*** great, there are no other words to describe this masterpiece. I'll listen to this album for some time now for the next months and I can't wait to read at his official website of a new album coming out, the good news is that we have a new Hardline album coming and we can hear Johnny Gioeli again in a new release in 2012. If you like ARP's previous albums this is another one you will like for sure and if you have never heard ARP before be sure to check out their full discography.
Freedom Call is one of those melodic bands that has its highs and lows, the highs of Freedom Call are their first three albums "Stairway To Fairyland" which is still their best up 'till date, "Crystal Empire" and "Eternity", then the band released two albums that wasn't so good compared to their first three albums and in 2010 the band returned to release great music with "Legend Of The Shadowking" and now the band has released "Land Of The Crimson Dawn" with the departure of longtime drummer Daniel Zimmermann.
The band is known for its happy and fast songs, some of their "happy" songs are not my favorites from the band but in this new album we can find such great "happy" songs like my favorite "Hero On Video" which has a very funny videoclip and a really catch chorus, other "happy" songs that deserves highlights are "Back Into The Land Of Light", "Sun In The Dark" and the final song on the album with its brilliant chorus "Power & Glory".
Of course we can find great fast songs in the veins of "Over The Rainbow", "Tears Falling" on their new album like opener "Age Of The Phoenix", "Rockstars" which is very good and the end of this song is simply amazing, "Valley Of The Kingdom" and the song "Eternity" which is not so fast like the other songs mentioned but it is an amazing song and with a brilliant chorus.
Unfortunately, the band have recorded some songs that dropped a little bit from the rest of the songs like the longer "Crimson Dawn", "Killer Gear", the not so good "Rockin' Radio" and "Terra Liberty".
If the band have replaced some of these last songs mentioned this would be for sure the best Freedom Call album ever, we can find 14 songs on this album and they could have shortened a bit the tracklist and the album would be much better rated.
Here we have Rage's 21st album, the most known power metal from Germany in the world has returned with their new album and possibly their last album as already mentioned by mainman Peavy Wagner.
First off we have a short intro "House Wins" that leads to the best song of their brand new album, "Twenty One" which might be one of the best Rage songs from their latest albums, amazing song with a slow start and then smashing guitar riffs and brilliant overall. "Forever Dead" is another great song with powerful vocals and great chorus. Another song that deserves highlight here is "Death Romantic".
We find other few good songs as well but not so great as the other songs mentioned, examples are "Feel My Pain" which is a very good song, I just didn't find the chorus on this song so enjoyable and "Destiny". The other songs are not so memorable that you want to listen over and over again as the classics "Twenty One", "Forever Dead" and "Death Romantic".
Overall, the new and possibly last album by the band is not so good as the band previous albums and for sure not among my favorites from this classic power metal band from Germany, "Reflections Of A Shadow" and "Welcome To The Other Side" are still my favorite Rage albums.
Theocracy is a Christian progressive power metal band from Georgia, United States founded in 2002 by vocalist Matt Smith and has now release their third album, "As The World Bleeds", I'm not a big fan of progressive bands, my favorite bands are the most known progressive bands in the genre like Dream Theater, Fates Warning, and also Queensrÿche and Pagan's Mind if you judge these last two as progressive as some might say they are not so much progressive. Of course there are also good progressive bands out there but I take my time in listening to melodic metal, hard rock and AOR lately.
Theocracy's new album is a great progressive metal album, great stuff here, amazing guitar riffs, very good vocals done by Matt Smith (he remembers a lot vocalist Michelle Luppi from Vision Divine). In the first song of their new album, you can note that you're about to listen a great progressive metal album, the 11-minute epic "I AM" has its heavy and slow moments, simply amazing song.
Throughout "As The World Bleeds" you can listen to some fast moments by the bands like songs "The Master Storyteller" with its amazing chorus and the little stop in the guitar solo and only drums at the end, I really like this "little stop" in metal music!! "Hide In The Fairytale" is another song in the same style with this "little stop" during the chorus lines, other great fast songs here are "Altar To The Unknown God" and "Light Of The World". The album has also its ballad moments and which the same songs has also its heavy moments like "The Gift Of Music" and "Drown". My favorite song here is the song "30 Pieces Of Silver" which is a brilliant song, great job done by the band. The band choose to finish the album with "As The World Bleeds" which is my least favorite.
Overall, all songs here deserves highlights and if you miss any good progressive bands and over the last few years didn't find a good progressive album, be sure to check out this album. Theocracy is now for sure one of my top favorite bands in the progressive metal genre and "As The World Bleeds" is among the best albums of 2011.
Van Halen are back on studio after 14 years absence with no studio release and 28 years after the release of "1984", their latest release with vocalist David Lee Roth. The band has released some great albums with vocalist Sammy Hagar but their classic albums are under vocalist David Lee Roth and classic tunes such as "Jump", "Panama", "Hot For Teacher", "Runnin' With The Devil" among others.
First song on the album is "Tattoo" which we first heard on their single released in January and when I first heard this song I didn't find that to be a good and classic Van Halen song to be as their single and thank god this is not the best song on the album otherwise the Van Halen return would not be a good thing now. We can find some great and fast rocker songs such as "You And Your Blues", "China Town" a very classic song, "Bullethead", "As Is" and "Outta Space" which it happens to be the three of my favorite songs from their comeback album. My favorite song here is "Big River" which reminds a lot my favorite song from the band "Runnin' With The Devil" and Ed brings an amazing solo in this song. Other nice songs are "The Trouble With Never" and the funny rhythm of the song "Stay Frosty". Other songs not mentioned here are cool ones but be aware of "Honeybabysweetiedoll", I didn't like this song at all.
To finish up this review, I think the band has made a really good comeback album and its very nice to listen to David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen teaming it up again and hope now for a concert in Brazil and more albums to come in the next years. Great return!!
Is this really Iron Fire? Is this the same sound we have been used to listen on their previous releases? For sure it isn't, here you can't find any songs in the rhymes of "Thunderspirit", "Lord Of The Labyrinth", "Wings Of Rage" and other songs from the band's past which are best described as soft songs, the band have also released in the past some songs in a darker side such as "The Beast From The Blackness", "Riding Through Hell" and some few other songs and here you have a full CD in their darkest side, of course you have some songs that are not so dark but even though are very strong.
The whole concept of this CD is what the title of this CD is all about, "Voyage Of The Damned", where you can find lyrics about voyages, space, galaxy, odyssey and other stuff.
After the short intro you'll listen to the brilliant "Enter Oblivion OJ-666" where you can listen a computer voice and then Martin Steene's great vocals, brilliant song to start this very dark release by Iron Fire. Other songs that deserves highlights are the speed and powerful "Taken", "Leviathan" which is the song they chose as their official videoclip, the epic kind of ballad "The Final Odyssey" which is a very different song where you can listen only Martin's vocals and some space sounds mixed with piano, the epic long "Voyage Of The Damned" featuring Nils K. Rue (Pagan's Mind vocalist), the amazing "With Different Eyes", "Dreams Of The Dead Moon" which has a very different and cool chorus, "Verge To Collide" and the final song "Realm Of Madness"
I'm a big fan of all previous releases by the band and I like a lot the band's softer side which most of their songs has its amazing catchy chorus. We could see a little darker side of the band on "Metalmorphosis" released in 2010 which is my least favorite from the band as it has moved a little bit from their early style. With this release the band has become even more darker but I've found these songs more enjoyable than the band's previous release. This is not my favorite Iron Fire CD as you miss some of their past songs where the chorus grabs in your mind for some time even though I've enjoyed this CD pretty much and you can find some great choruses here too. If you didn't like Iron Fire in the past because of their "happy" songs and you like more dark songs, be sure to get this CD out.
Drakkar was one of the most known bands alongside Domine in the end of the 90's and beginning of 2000's in the power metal scene in Italy. The band has marked their return with the release of "When Lightning Strikes" in the beginning of 2012.
Their first both albums released with first vocalist Luca Cappellari are the best albums by the band and now they have returned once again with vocalist Davide Dell'Orto from their previous release "Razorblade God".
The only few highlights here are "Revenge Is Done" which is an ok song, "Winter Soldiers" and "We Ride" which is the best song of this CD, the only weak point of this song is the bridge to the chorus, the rest of this song is great.
I was expecting a lot more from their comeback album, I can describe that this might be one of the biggest disappointments of the heavy metal scene in 2012. Bring back the great voice of Luca Cappellari or compose songs like the song "We Ride" and Drakkar will become once again one of the most known bands of the power metal scene as of today we have many more power metal bands than in the end of the 90's.
Primal Fear has returned with their 9th studio CD and 3 years after the release of "16.6 (Before The Devil Knows You're Dead)" they bring back another good rocking heavy / power metal with fast and strong riffs, if you know this band very well you surely know what I'm talking about. What you can find here is the same sound of Primal Fear's full discography and the amazing vocal lines by Mr. Scheepers.
Throughout the band's career, they've really managed to bring such great anthems with those amazing chorus lines, especially in their first 4 albums, on this new CD you can find more of these "anthem" songs by Primal Fear such as "Bad Guys Wear Black" which the band have chosen as their official videoclip, "And There Was Silence", "Metal Nation", "Unbreakable (Part 2)" with its amazing chorus "raise your first, walk with me through the fire". Other very nice songs here are "Give 'Em Hell" and the ballads "Where Angels Die" and "Born Again" which this last one has a very good catchy chorus.
One song that deserves to be mentioned a lot more on this release is the amazing "Marching Again", I find this song to be amazing from the start until the end, its beginning with a short piano intro and then crashing into very speedy guitar riffs and then Mr. Scheepers vocals with the guitars slowing down a little bit with its drum battering in the end until the chorus lines which are to be considered one of the best by the band in this release and then leading to another piano entrance to the solo, brilliant song.
This Primal Fear release is for sure one of the best by the band alongisde their first 4 releases, of course their previous ones are good and have some stand-out songs but in "Unbreakable" we can find a lot more Primal Fear "anthem" songs and Mr. Scheepers is once again delivering such great vocals.
Red White & Blues is a new hard rock band formed by members of the UK band Jagged Edge, Matti Alfonzetti (vocalist) and Myke Gray (guitarist). Matti Alfonzetti until short time ago was an unknown vocalist for me until I've listened to Road II Ruin's debut album which is a great hard rock album. This debut album is an absolute amazing classic rock album mixed with some blues style as the band's name already mention the blues, this will make you remember the early days of Whitesnake, excellent classic rock debut.
The opening "Stand Up For Rock And Roll" is my favorite song here, brilliant vocals, smashing guitars and amazing chorus. The album continues with some of my favorite songs "Shame Shame" with its drum beats in the beginning and Alfonzetti's amazing vocal lines, "Rescue Me" with its slow moments in the beginning and a glorious chorus that will stick in your mind for some time.
This quality debut album brings a total of 14 songs and you will find other classic and memorable songs such as "Red White & Blues" with another amazing sing-along chorus, fast rockers "Good Times" and "Counts For Nothing", and ballads like "Long Way From Home", "The Best Is Yet To Come" and "A Little Too Late" which turns out to be the best ballad from this amazing debut album.
This is a self-released album by the band where you can buy it from www.theredwhiteandblues.com and what you'll get here is a stunning debut album with some classic hard rock and some blues influences. One of the best album's released in 2011.
The last album released by Gotthard is one of my favorite album's from this amazing band from Switzerland. After the memorable "Domino Effect" released in 2007 the band marked their return with another powerful release and "Need To Believe" is another amazing album in Gotthard's discography. I've discovered Gotthard only after the release of "Domino Effect" and it is now one of my favorite hard rock bands and as many of the band's fans the day of October 5 of 2010 was one of the saddest days of my life when I read that vocalist Steve Lee was killed in a motorcycle accident in Nevada, United States. The band have announced on November the arrival of vocalist Nic Maeder to replace Steve Lee.
Now is time to start the review of this brilliant release and the album starts with the classic "Shangri-La" with an oriental sound in the beginning and then a stunning guitar and drums arrive to lead to Steve's memorable vocals and the catchy chorus that you are sure to find on every Gotthard release, this is not the powerful song you can expect from a Gotthard album on which the band are sure to make it happen right after with the exceptional "Unspoken Words" which is my favorite from this album. Now think about a song where you have slow and dark moments until it comes to an unbelievable chorus lines, this song is the title track "Need To Believe", simply amazing song with such great lyrics.
This brilliant release also let us find some great tunes as the kind of ballad song "Unconditional Faith", the rocker "I Don't Mind" which reminds a lot an AC/DC song, the heavier song "Break Away". The band always brings great ballad songs and this time they bring us "Don't Let Me Down" in which Steve's vocal lines in the end are one of the best I've seen by him, R.I.P. Steve, you'll always be remembered.
There is not only one single song in this album that doesn't deserve to be mentioned and in the last 20 minutes of this album we find such great songs and one song that is remarkable is "Right From Wrong", the whole song here is amazing and I really like the "HEY, HEY!" here. Once the next song "I Know, You Know" comes up you can expect another ballad song but then you can find some guitars here along the rest of the song and a great chorus. Another heavier song "Rebel Soul" with its bass moments during the song and then the closure "Tears To Cry" is kind of an epic song with its slow moments in the beginning and then a heavy chorus to speed things up and finish this amazing album.
After the first time I listened to this album I didn't find that good as "Domino Effect" because it was hard to expect such a great release as their previous release but after some more listenings I've found this to be amazing such as "Domino Effect".
ICED EARTH IS BACK!!! This is how I can describe after this amazing release of "Dystopia", this album is their best release since their 2001 release, "Horror Show". Their albums released with Tim "Ripper" Owens and their comeback album with Matt Barlow released 3 years ago was Ok releases but this new album is back to the glory days of Iced Earth. New vocalist Stu Block (ex-Into Eternity) had the courage to replace great vocalists such as Ripper and Barlow and more than handling such amazing vocals I can say that this guy has the aggressive vocals of Barlow plus the amazing screams from Ripper, so let's just hope no more line-up changes here Mr. Schaffer, Stu is the perfect vocalist for Iced Earth.
As for Stu, we should talk more about this guy, once I've read that he was going to be the new Iced Earth vocalist, I've looked into some Into Eternity music and I really couldn't see this guy handling the vocals for Iced Earth as he didn't have the same vocal lines as Matt Barlow has and this is why some Iced Earth fans complained about Tim "Ripper" Owens once he arrived at the band. Just after their EP with the song "Dante's Inferno" re-recorded I realized that he was the one to handle the vocals and couldn't be more wrong after listening to this amazing album.
There is not only one single song which you describe as not a good song, my least favorite is the final and longest song "Tragedy And Triumph", this doesn't mean this song is not good, its just an Ok song from a great album. All other songs are amazing but I have to mention stand-out songs such as the title-track "Dystopia", the short songs "Boiling Point" and "Days Of Rage", the power ballads "Anguish Of Youth" and "End Of Innocence" and mid-tempo songs "Anthem" and "V". Hold on, I've almost mentioned all the songs as stand-out songs, I just didn't mentioned "Dark City" and "Equilibrium" which are strong songs too, ok I can say these two are stand-out songs too.
There is one song which I need to say more on this album, and this song is "Anguish Of Youth", can I say that this is the song of the year? its hard to say that but I keep listening to this song over and over again, this kind of power ballad is the song I've always wanted Iced Earth to record again, it reminds a lot power ballads released by the band in the past such as "Watching Over Me" and "I Died For You".
I could give a 10 out of 10 for this release but I'll take some points off not for the music but as for this album only has 10 songs and 45 minutes long, I wanted to listen to more amazing songs with Mr. Schaffer and Stu Block. I'm already waiting for a new Iced Earth album and it was very nice to read that the band will be playing near my town in Brazil next March, I won't miss this concert for sure.
Russel Allen has worked in several projects such as Avantasia, Allen / Lande and Star One in these past years and now he decided together with Michael Romeo it was time for a new Symphony X release after their 2007 "Promised Land".
The band have released a special edition including a 2-album release but my review here goes for the regular edition which contains 9 long songs, I'm not a real fan of long songs but Symphony X can bring great long songs as their previous works such as "King Of Terrors", "Smoke And Mirrors", "Church Of The Machine" and others to name. Here we have one of the best long songs I've heard, the title-track for its almost 11 minutes I can definitely say its a masterpiece.
Together with the title-track, my other two favorite songs are the songs the band performed live before the album was even released, "The End Of Innocence" a fast rocking with a catchy chorus to remember for some time and "Dehumanized" a very dark and aggressive song. Another song that is remarkable on this release is the final song "When All Is Lost", they have chosen the right song to finish the album, a piano intro very nicely done and then we have one of the best vocals I've seen from Russel Allen.
We can find also other good songs here like "Heretic" a melodic and aggressive but it should have a better chorus, "Electric Messiah" another great song done by Symphony X but I've rather seen "The End Of Innocence" or "Dehumanized" as their video-clip and not this song, also "Children Of The Faceless God" but only for its amazing chorus on it as I didn't find the full song that special.
Sonic Altar is a new power melodic band from New Zealand which has released their debut album, "No Sacrifice", last August. I've discovered this band by mistake at YouTube in the related videos and I've found very interesting their videoclip of the song "In The Night", so I thought of listening to their full album and what we have here is a nice and finally a new good power melodic band.
The album starts with the song "Tears For The Fallen", a 6-minute song which arrives right after a short-piano solo and brings a nice power metal song. Right after arrives the best song of the album, "Window Of Time", this song together with their videoclip song "In The Night" are my favorite songs from their debut album.
Vocalist Kane Bennett remembers a lot Danny Cecati (ex-Pegazus vocalist) from their neighbor country Australia, the band formed in 2006 brings this very good debut album in the same style as Pegazus have started their career but Pegazus failed to achieve a good status in the power metal scene after the departure of Danny Cecati, let's see where Sonic Altar will lead as only European bands reign in this metal genre.
Other songs that deserves a highlight on this album are the long song "The Shadow" and the power songs "Holy Suicide" and "The Underground".
Soul Seller brings their debut album, "Back To Life", with a mixture between 80's melodic hard rock and more recent productions. The band has been through some line-up changes since they were formed in 2000 and now in the beginning of 2010 they started working on new demos and started the recordings of their debut album which saw the light of day on October through German label Avenue Of Allies.
Their debut album starts with the amazing "Wings Of Freedom" which is the song that I've first listened from the band as its their official video-clip and can be found on YouTube. This is the kind of AOR song that the chorus grabs in your mind and stays for a long time.
Other highlights which we can find in their debut album are "All I Can Promise" a mid-tempo song nicely done, "Keep On Moving" with guest appearance by Oliver Hartmann (At Vance vocalist), "A Message From Planet Venus" one of the heaviest songs made by the band, "Hell Of Tears" the only ballad on the album and my top-3 alongside "Wings Of Freedom" and "New Power Day" with its great catchy sing-along chorus.
I was kind of hoping more on this release after listening to "Wings Of Freedom" and to find some melodic songs with sing-along choruses but the band has failed to approach this on some songs but still though I've found this a very good album to be in my collection.
I've been a metal fan since 1997 and 2 years after Mob Rules debut album "Savage Land" was released. I discovered this band on a brazilian metal magazine which arrived with a promo album of one song per band and in this album I've found the song "Secret Signs" and I was really amazed with this song and this same year I got "Savage Land" as my birthday gift and couldn't be more happier with this gift. This is definitely the best debut album a power melodic band has ever released in my opinion, there is not a single song in this album that doesn't call my attention, from opening "Insurgeria" until the closure epic "End Of All Days". This album deserves a track-by-track review.
"Insurgeria" comes right after a short intro and is hard to say if this is the best song from the album as all the songs are great, but one song that calls my attention here is "Rain Song", I'll never forget this song because once I was listening to this song on a very rainy day at home and a blackout happened when listening to it, this was very awkward but funny at the same time. Off from this talk about the blackout comes the 6-minute long "Hold Back The Light" with its amazing chorus and its fast and slow moments, and then comes the already known for me "Secret Signs" with its magical moments as the flowing flute in the beginning and another amazing chorus, brilliant song. The Savage Land saga starts with the fast rocker "Strangers In Time" with its catchy chorus where sometimes out of nowhere you can think "WE ARE THE HUMANS" hahahaha, the saga continues with the over 1-minute song "Pianista", need I say more if the song has a piano intro and Klaus Dirks' amazing vocals for the entrance of "No Reason Why" when things change a little bit and we find a mid-rocker with its amazing beginning vocals. Out of the saga comes "Coast To Coast" which is a clean song with its rocking chorus, right after arrives "Blaze Of First Warning" which I really like the power of this song and how Klaus begins the song with an unforgettable scream and his vocal range to sing the bridge from the chorus. "Pray For Sunlight" starts with a very promising intro and it keeps going until the end of the song, I just love when songs are played like the beginning of this song, no need to mention about another great chorus lines by the band. "Down In A Nowhere Land" another up-tempo rocker good song that leads to the closure epic "End Of All Days" with its instrumental beginning just like the chorus sang later by Klaus Dirks.
To sum it up, again this is the best debut album a melodic band has ever released. The vocals done by Klaus, the music, the lyrics, the memorable choruses and I can definitely say that it was worth to buy that metal magazine which I could discover Mob Rules back in the days they have started playing and follow them release by release, their other album's are great too but its very hard to beat this amazing debut album.
Back in 1999 it was the first time I ever listened to Axel Rudi Pell and "Oceans Of Time" was the first album that I listened by the band and after listening to "Pay The Price" I got really interested on ARP and started to look for more stuff from them and all their previous album's, which are great toot, but "Oceans Of Time", their first with vocalist Johnny Gioeli, is their best album up to date alongside "Mystica", released in 2006.
All members of the ARP band are tremenduous players which makes this album even more powerful and amazing. For fans of the band that were used to listen to the great voice of Jeff Scott Soto on Axel's previous album's and thought they would be missing his vocals, can relly have their next 1 hour of great music as at the moment Johnny steps in "Pay The Price" you can note his vocal lines are awesome and forget a little bit about Soto.
After the intro and the great "Pay The Price", comes "Carousel", another rocker songer with a sing-along chorus that sticks in your mind for some time. Other songs in this range are "Ride The Rainbow" and "Living On The Wildside".
Axel is known as a great composer of ballad songs, there is not even one ballad song from Axel that its not good, and other two great ballads you can find on this album, the self-titled one and the amazing long-ballad "Ashes From The Oath" with Johnny singing up to his high notes and this song is also remembered on the solo duel by Axel and keyboardist Ferdy Doernberg.
An epic song can't be missed in all Axel album's, on this album you can find "The Gates Of The Seven Seals", a hell of a song that would be amazing to listen to it on a live concert but unfortunately Axel has never recorded this song in his DVD's.
To finish the album comes "Holy Creatures" which starts very different with a strange sound in Johnny's voice but is really well-done and the chorus on this songs is another one done by the band that will stick in your mind for some time.
Iron fire released "Blade Of Triumph" in 2007, one year after their "Revenge" album which they have given this title in order of the critics received on their "On The Edge" album released in 2001, which got they signed off by Sanctuary Records after this release. Particularly I don't think "On The Edge" this bad as I've read in a lot of reviews, I also think "On The Edge" is better than "Revenge", but not even closer to their excellent debut album, "Thunderstorm". Now with the release of "Blade Of Triumph" they have triumphed again with songs with catchy choruses just like their debut album.
The album starts with the amazing song "Dragonheart" in the veins of power/melodic metal they rise through the ashes and shows their ability to do great songs, and this is just the beginning of some great power/melodic metal through the next hour.
The next three songs on the album, continues to show the rise of Iron Fire in the metal scene, especially with the song "Lord Of The Labyrinth" once again to bring great and catchy chorus with the only voice done by Martin Steene.
One song that called my attention is the ballad "Legend Of The Magic Sword", once you listen to this song you can remember the ballad "Angel Of Light" from their debut album which is the worst song by the band 'till date, what you listen in this song is a ballad kind of epic with great vocals by Martin which can be played in a live concert to slow things down.
To mention that the band has triumphed again, songs that for sure were known as the top songs of 2007 are "Steel Invaders" with the famous chorus "Raise the metal fist in the air...". The kind of doom metal song "Follow The Sign", the powerful "Jackal's Eye" with once again another catchy chorus and then finally we are introduced to the best song of the album, "Gladiator's Path", the song starts with great guitars and some screams by Martin, this beginning already made me think of the great "Metal Victory" from their debut and as the song goes on it shows a great melody throughout and the chorus is memorable.
I've been a fan of Nocturnal Rites since their first album with vocalist Jonny Lindqvist, the amazing "Afterlife", released in 2000 which by far is their best album 'till date. Of course their 3 other album's released are great too, but "Afterlife" is their best even though after the release of "The 8th Sin".
Their new album has received some poor reviews by the metal media but I think they delivered another good album, very powerful songs with catchy choruses and the aggressive voice of Jonny which he delivers very well on the first two songs, "Call Of The World" and "Never Again". What surprised me the most in this album is the song "Not The Only" which in the beginning he reminds a lot Jorn Lande's vocals.
"The 8th Sin" brings some keyboards to the NR's style as in "Not Like You" and "Leave Me Alone", this last one with a really catch chorus and an outstanding performance by Jonny once again.
Not only keyboards are new in their new album, as some pop/techno sounds can be heard in the next two songs "'Till I Come Alive" which is below average comparing to the other songs. "Strong Enough" is the best song in this new album, which I don't really care of the 20 seconds of pop/techno sounds in the song as the metal played right after is played very well by the band.
I wanted the band to play more ballad songs as Jonny sang really well the acoustic version of "In A Time Of Blood And Fire" and when I started to listen to "Me" I thought for a second "hey, they have made the ballad song I wanted them to make" but when you listen to this song it is very awful to listen to the full song. To finish up the album comes "Pain And Pleasure" which ends up the album just as it has started, simply amazing.
Now let's wait for a new Nocturnal Rites which the band are really working hard as they have received poor critics on "The 8th Sin" and they want to make a better effort. If I enjoyed "The 8th Sin" and the band are working hard to make a stronger I can expect a new album in the veins of "Afterlife" now!!