Voyager-V ©2014 IAV Records
Solid fifth album from this great progressive band from down under. The music comes across as being more accessible which is something that can be tricky when you are dealing with the sophistication of this type of music. What really enhances the band's sound aside from an overall great chemistry is Danny Estrin’s vocals. Deftones' Chino Moreno has likened the vocals to Simon LeBon of Duran Duran which comes across to me as pretty accurate. What you have is a great melting pot of pop sensibility and a good heavy vibe throughout the album. Very solid effort in my opinion.
Exorcism-I Am God ©2014 Goldencore Records
Upon listening to 'I Am God' by Exorcism, one thing struck me right away, I haven't heard an album like this in a long time. Thinking of the sound it reminded me of, the first band that came to mind was Dio era Sabbath. This album is crushingly heavy and an absolute blast to listen to due to Joe Stump and the brutal sounds coming out if his guitar. The music is very well crafted and before you know it, the 50+ minute listen has come to an end. I almost missed this album and am really glad I went back to pay it some attention as it is one of the years best! If you like Heavy Doom Metal, this is for you!
Prong-Ruining Lives ©2014 Steamhammer Records
Was thinking back to when I first heard Prong and it was probably back in the days of the original Headbangers Ball. The show used sound bytes between segments. I became a pretty big fan and my 2 favorite albums would be 'Prove You Wrong' and 'Cleansing'. I tend to compare each subsequent album the band releases with these 2 records. The latest album 'Ruining Lives' is very guitar and rhythm driven. Good heavy stuff. It may not be quite as memorable as some of that older stuff, but is a decent heavy record with some memorable tracks . There is no doubting who this band is when you hear it.
Cimino-Angels & Animals ©2013 Cimino
While some look to the more veteran bands to make comebacks and save metal as we know it, I like to look at the younger bands as those who bring a fresh face and sound and the best hope to put metal back in front. Cimino is based out of Kansas City and really blend old with new in terms of their sound. there is a definite classic hard rock sound in their core, but you also hear more modern sounds similar to bands like Buckcherry or Shinedown. This to me is a really good record and it may surprise some with this kind of talent just how young these guys are. Definitely a bright spot in today's music!
Rubicon Cross-Rubicon Cross ©2014 Raider Rock Records
This album kind of came out of nowhere for me. Always been a fan of Firehouse and was quite surprised to see CJ Snare handling vocals for this band. Also, for fans of Furyon, you have Chris Green here as well. It is obvious that comparisons will be drawn to Firehouse, but this album is its own animal. It's got a pretty decent heavy sound with plenty of melodic moments scattered around. To me, this record stands on it's own. It has very good balance when it comes to the intensity of the music. You can say there is something for everyone in the music. Pretty solid album that is an easy recommend!