Escape the Fate-Hate Me  ©2015 Eleven Seven Music
​Every album by this band reinforces the fact that I really like this band. Somehow I had missed this album until about a month after it was released. Since then I have spent a lot of time with it and find that I like the entire listen. You get the heavier angry sound, but also a more mainstream sound in places and even some melodic stuff like 'Let it Be'. The band seem pretty comfortable at this point and from a musicianship standpoint, the band is hitting on all cylinders, especially in the guitar area. Very flashy. If you're are not familiar with these guys, check out a video, you'll probably be glad you did!
Khymera-The Grand Design    ©2015 Frontiers Records 
​Grabbed this album last month and have had some good time to really digest it. Some time had passed since the bands previous effort 'The Greatest Wonder' was released and once again Dennis Ward really nails it. I went back to this release time and again and to me it just continually gets better with each listen. First and foremost this is a melodic rock record. You do have mid temp rockers, but it's represented well with very melodic music as well. This is an album I will definitely go back to when I need a melodic rock fix. Glad to see these guys offer up another superb release!
Emil Bulls-XX  ©2016 AFM Records
​This one was a surprise.. Emil Bulls for the most part are a pretty aggressive modern leaning band. This album features songs from the band through their career but with a slight twist. The songs have been rearranged and are referred to as 'candlelight versions'. What this means is that these songs will be familiar to a point but all come across with a ton of atmosphere and are much more melodic than the originals. As I listened and started trying to figure out who this reminded me of, I felt like it was a cross of Manic Street Preachers and maybe someone like Takida. Very enjoyable listen!
The Veer Union-Decade   ©2016 Pavement Entertainment
​Been following The Veer Union for a while now. I caught the band opening for Hinder on their debut album tour and was impressed enough to continue to keep an eye on each release. 'Decade' to me is mature sounding. You can feel the confidence the band has developed through keeping at it. The music is quite good and leans modern. The overall tone is rich sounding and in my opinion quite smooth in delivery. I would love to see this band get more traction as they are every bit as good as a lot of today's charting rock artists. I find this one to be easy to recommend! Good album!
Shakra-High Noon   ©2016 AFM Records
​Sometimes you just get it right by hitting the basics. Shakra has been one of those bands that seem to follow this approach and net good results. Back on this release is vocalist Mark Fox and the results are pretty good.  I like the energy of each track and the even feel that each offer. Most of the music has a good heavy consistent groove. There is a melodic track in 'Life's What You Need', but for the most part, this album rocks out! It is important to mention that although the music is pretty even, it doesn't all sound the same. Good personality with each song. I love this style of hard rock! Recommended!