Pretty Maids - Pandemonium   © 2010 Frontiers Records
This is a rock solid effort. Let's get that out of the way right up front. The interesting thing is that the band released 'Little Drops of Heaven' as the first single, and overall it doesn't totally represent what this album sounds like. The sound on this album leans a bit more to the bands mid to late 80's sound in my opinion. There is a heaviness in the sound that will have you thinking the classic albums. That first single is amazing at the same time. I bought the album with much anticipation based on that and was really excited at what the rest of the album had to offer. Hoping that this sound continues for a long time.
Available: Now   Rating: 8.5/10   Genre: Metal   Websites: Official   Myspace   Youtube
Judge Jackson - Drive   © 2010 Curtis Joe Records
The band's latest effort really hits on all cylinders. What jumped out at me right away is how this release became instantly memorable. After the first listen the tracks were already recognizable and one could definitely argue that this is some of the band's best work to date. The music in ways almost has more of a mainstream feel to it then previous releases. This should offer some great crossover potential for a wide array of fans. The odd track out would definitely be 'Meant To Be' which is a duet with Julia Henry with offers a completely different feel for a track from Judge Jackson. Works pretty well. Good stuff!
Available: Now   Rating: 8.5/10   Genre: Rock   Websites: Official   Myspace   Youtube
Tarja - What Lies Beneath   © 2010 The End Records
'What Lies Beneath' is the second album since Tarja's departure from Nightwish. Based on the first outing after her departure, I came very close to not buying this release. Really wasn't a big fan of the sound of that first release, but found myself very happy that I decided to check this one out anyway. This album is a bit more what I expected to hear based on what I felt she would do. The music has alot of depth to it. There is also alot more intensity to this album then the first in my opinion. This album you could say fits the genre that Nightwish fits in without being a total clone. Great stuff this time around!
Available: Now   Rating: 8/10   Genre: Metal   Websites: Official   Myspace   Youtube
Flotsam & Jetsam - The Cold   © 2010 Driven Music Group
This was one of the years biggest surprises. This band had gone defunct, or at least I had thought so. Not only are they active at this point, but they release one hell of a good album. Maybe for me, the best since 'Drift' as I was a big fan of that particular album. The band have really delivered up some different sounds here without ever losing the trademark sound at the bands core. I love the retro feel of 'Hypocrite' or the somewhat haunting sounds of the title track. This band has always had a heavy vibe and it is definitely on display throughout this album. Very, very solid stuff in my opinion.
Available: Now   Rating: 8/10   Genre: Metal   Websites: Official   Myspace   Youtube
The Poodles - No Quarter/In The Flesh   © 2010 Frontiers Records
It's live stuff from The Poodles. I dig the live stuff that I have searched out and found on places like Youtube. This band is all about showmanship and their music. This set has both the live CD and the DVD, or at least the version I picked up. The presentation on the DVD is part show, part know, a Rockumentary. The live footage is really fun to watch as I have become a pretty big fan of this band. The documentary portion is interesting and comical at the same time. The only thing I was confused about is why the drum solo was on the CD and not the DVD. My only gripe really. I love to watch drum solos.
Available: Now   Rating: 7.5/10   Genre: Hard Rock   Websites: Official   Myspace   Youtube
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