Listening to this set, I hear more of a North American sound filtering through. Full of melody, reasonably paced, with good production, with emphasis on the key elements of vocals, choruses and guitar interplay.. that's the way GDM'ers like their melodic rock. Yes? I thought so.
Spanish rocker Toni Amboaje has obviously been paying attention to what's been going on in the U.S. for the past decade or so. Not only rock, but he's probably turned on a country radio station or two.
With the recent passing of the great man, writing this review has, inevitably taken on a different perspective for me. I don't think I'm overstating his importance, here was man who not only changed music but changed the way we questioned everyday conventions and also, speaking from a personal viewpoint he touched my life at time when as a curious teenager back then was seeking answers and looking for a direction.
Though we are a few albums behind the times with these guys, their line-up has remained constant, and they are still delivering quality hard edged power metal. When listening to this, I tagged it as cinematic power metal. There's a bit of Avantasia and King Diamond styled imagery, which makes them stand out from their peers.
The Culver Kingz are none other than the pairing of West Coast giants of their field: Michael Thompson and Billy Trudel. Signed to Escape Music, don't expect AOR from the glory days. This is pop rock with a hint of west coast and cruisy smooth jazz.
Though this is their first album in three years, 'The Passage' is just a huge sounding album in every respect, and should put DGM right up there among the better bands in this category, if they aren't there already.
Obviously Diamond Head can never match their material from the glory daze, so if you are interested in listening to this latest effort, do yourself a favour and go back and listen to 'Lightning To The Nations', 'Borrowed Time' and 'Canterbury', if you know what's good for you!
This is a highly infectious set of tracks, with a cinematic quality to it, and is totally up my street. Of course being a big sci-fan always helps, but obviously not as much as Douglas, nor his character Dr Jack Heisenberg.
Well, there is one hell of a lot of music on this album; over 130 minutes in fact. My first impressions of this album were not great. I felt that there was just too much to take in, but I've persevered with it and boy has it paid off.
Highly recommended for avid and ageing thrash followers like myself, Exumer have certainly gotten the job done here. Nothing fancy or slow, just speed and more speed, which inevitably is all you ask for when listening to thrash.
If you like some of the older Swedish bands like Baltimoore and Lions Share then Featherstone should fit the bill. I gave this a listen, and it didn't quite hit any sweet-spots for me, though the album has some moments.
Not to be confused with the Thin Lizzy from a few decades ago. No, this lot come from Sweden, and came to the attention of the melodic rock world thanks to their signing to AOR Heaven, and their January 2016 debut album.
There's a full twelve tracks here, the music is pretty solid throughout, though there isn't a great deal of variation in style. No ballads were attempted in the making of this album, so that should give you some indication of the Grim Reaper approach in 2016.
'Tracks' is a smoky soulful sounding album, with eleven songs to draw on. Obviously Ten Years After (well, the reformed version at least) would be one, early Bad Company is another, as singer Joe Gooch does travel down the path well trodden by Paul Rodgers.
There are many ingredients to the Jaded Past crock-pot, including Bon Jovi, Mike Tramp, plus a bit of Butch Walker (especially the tough tattooed imagery) and the less metallic side of Poison and Skid Row.
John Kivel has done well to get this band onto his roster, and as mentioned there is a lot to like here. As you can expect from the Kivel Records connection, this is melodic metal, with Gregg's guitar sound taking a leaf out of the book already written by Yngwie J Malmsteen.
The name Punky Meadows should really not need any introduction here on GDM. Punky has finally emerged from the shadows for this his first solo album and the first recorded material from the man in some 35 years.
Like every Megadeth album since 1994 this is an exercise in frustration. The first three tracks indicate an album to perhaps appreciate, but the disintegration that follows is in keeping with Mustaine's legacy.
Simply put, this is the most boring album the band has ever recorded. I don't dislike it, but have no inspiration to hear the majority of it again, which is the most damning criticism I can level at it.
Backed by some great musicians, Rob's music stands out even more, as evidenced by the tunes on 'Transcendent'. Since 2011's 'Victory', we've had a Journey covers album, but for mine, 'Transcendent' lifts his game to a new level.
A few weeks back, I managed to spend some time with Swiss band The Order, and their 2012 album '1986'. Well blow me down, and 2016 turns up their latest offering.. 'Rock N Rumble', and all of us get a ringside seat to this slab of tasty hard rock/metal.
The thing I like about 'Dream Machine is that the songs are concise, focused, and don't overstay any welcome on your aural senses. No overblown pieces and time-challenged songs - which is great from my perspective.
Palace (the band) is the vehicle for new Swedish talent Michael Palace. Bringing in Daniel Flores on keyboard and production duties has added a glossy sheen to precedings. This is one of the better AOR /melodic rock releases over the 2016 summer.
I think many of us would consider this to be a pretty 'safe' album, as Poley definitely leans towards what he's done well in the past. I also think this stands up well to many of the albums from the 80's that we love, capturing that spirit nicely.
There are a couple of Dio related projects coming down the pike in 2016. One of them is the Los Angeles-based project called Resurrection Kings, featuring ex members of Dio, namely Craig Goldy and drummer Vinny Appice.