Dream Theater-Dream Theater ©2013 Roadrunner Records
Self titled albums sometimes mean a new start or a new direction. In the case of Dream Theater's latest album, it seems it was just time to go self titled. The album in most ways is typical of what you would expect from the band. Long compositions and excellent musicianship. This album actually took a couple of listens to really sink in, but with the final multi-part track 'Illumination Theory' I was hooked. The closing song really changes temp and styles from frenzied fast metal to symphonic sounds. Overall, the album sank in and has been getting multiple spins. Good job once again!
Conquest-The War We Rage ©2013 Dark Star Records
Conquest's latest offering is another slab of traditional power metal. This album really chugs along with alot of intensity. It's nice to see some patriotic themes running through this album. Some good intro's to songs including an excerpt from Reagan's 'A Time for Choosing' speech in support of Barry Goldwater. As mentioned, the band crank these songs out in heavy fashion with more traditional vocal work. It's always nice to see a band like Conquest cranking out album after album and sticking to doing what they have been doing best. Old school Metal fans should give these guys a listen!
Coney Hatch-Four ©2013 Frontiers Records
Gotta be honest. Never thought I would see another Coney Hatch album. Been a big fan of the band since they were still releasing albums back in the 80's. Well, to my pleasure comes 'Four'. To me the band sounds great. The music isn't quite the same as the early stuff, but at the same time it's not a total departure either. There is a nice catchy heavy rock sound to most of it and the band never strays from the melody they have always been known for. One of my favorite parts of this band was the guitar playing and once again the band doesn't disappoint. It's been a long time, and worth the wait!
Tarja-Colours in the Dark ©2013 Eagle Rock Entertainment
After fronting Nightwish for a good number of years, and the departure a few years back, Tarja Tarunen has been able to put together a pretty good career to this point. 'Colours in the Dark' in ways continues where 'What Lies Beneath' left off. There are always minor differences, but there is a definite pattern to way she approaches her music. You could also mention sophistication. This style of music and the bands that embrace it always have a great deal of depth. Tarja definitely has that depth. It's heavy at times, more melodic in others. One thing is for sure, she has an amazing vocal ability. Good stuff!
Avenged Sevenfold-Hail to the King ©2013 Warner Bros. Records
Always good to have more Avenged Sevenfold in my library of Metal music. The band's latest, 'Hail to the King' definitely has an old school feel to it. This band to me has always had a bit of that sound in their music, but to me this is the most obvious it has been. Older Metal fans are sure to dig this record, but it does leave me wondering how the younger crowd will react. I like the direction the band has been heading and this record continues the trek. If you are unsure or just have never heard this band, check em out at the links below or maybe even Youtube. It's a pretty decent Metal record for sure.