Evergrey-The Storm Within  ©2016 AFM Records
​The latest from Evergrey is pretty solid stuff!. Many different elements in this record. There is plenty of intensity, but also a fair amount of finesse. Most of the songs have a fairly thick sound to them and a very visual feel. This is what makes a great record in my opinion. Something you can put on, kick back and absorb yourself into. It's an experience. You can sense the range of emotions as you take this journey. Definitely not our first exposure to Evergrey, but I do believe this is our first review of their stuff. I think most metal fans will dig this record. The band is great at presenting both ends of the spectrum!
Serious Black-Mirrorworld    ©2016 AFM Records 
​As I continue to check out some bands that I have missed, I keep finding gems along the way. Serious Black is a band that I had seen around quite a bit but for whatever reason hadn't checked out. 'Mirrorworld' is a very cool intro for me from the point of it's very cool intro, through to the last track 'The Unborn Never Die'. The music ranges from melodic hard rock to an almost melodic speed metal similar to Stratovarius. I really like this record and if I was to find a weakness with it, I would go with the short length which really isn't a big deal as everything here I like quite well. Solid record!
Strange Daze-Shine Through  ©2016 Pavement Entertainment
​Strange Daze is a modern rock band based out of Minneapolis and 'Shine Through' is the bands latest and second release overall. The music is fairly straight forward and carries a decent amount of melody. I found there to be quite a bit of consistency as the album played on. I think the melody is its best attribute. Take for instance tracks such as 'Your Love' or either version of 'Welcome Izabelle'. It's memorable and quite honestly, the band sound very professional and confident.  If you are looking for something to kick back and just enjoy without all of the flash, this is a definite must have!
Essential End-Deadwood   ©2016 Pavement Entertainment
​Really like this band's sound. Essential End offer up a 4 track ep of rocking tunes of which I enjoyed all 4. The band have a Father and Son combo and have five total members. Vocally, the band have both clean and scream of which both sound decent, especially the clean vocals. Although the music is intense, it can be very memorable and catchy in its own way as well. What I am hoping for after hearing this release is for a full length not too far down the road. The band have potential and it's obvious with the consistency of the four tracks. Good heavy modern sounding metal band!
Winter Calling-Faces   ©2016 Winter Calling
​As I was taking my initial scan  through this record, one thing was pretty obvious. This band is quite unique. In ways they sound fairly progressive, but not in the normal way you expect it. The band lean fairly modern in terms of sound and have a fair amount of depth in the music.  'Faces' is a concept album and really shows how good this band is. It's hard to believe this is the band's sophomore release as the delivery is exceptional. The more I listen to it, the more I get out of it. It's an album that keeps giving the more you listen to it. Progressive fans should definitely check this band out. Great album!