Overkill-The Grinding Wheel   ©2017  Nuclear Blast Records
​When you start with a band early on and then in this day and age realize they are now releasing their 18th studio album, it becomes amazing. What makes it all the more amazing is how the band has done it their way from the beginning. Not steering towards trends or sound altering ideals, the band have been one of the more consistent bands for many decades. 'The Grinding Wheel' in ways is a bit of a nod to their earlier sound. Good intensity, furious beats, and a bit more of a raw feel to it this go around. In some of the music it has a NWOBHM vibe, especially in the bonus track 'Emerald' if you get that version. The elements that always make a great Overkill record are here as they usually are. With it being fairly early into the new year, Overkill are setting the bar for the genre and I feel they have set it high, Very good record by one  of my favorite bands!
Release Date:  February 10, 2017
Letters From the Fire-Worth the Pain    ©2017  Sand Hill Records 
​I personally have been really digging quite a bit of the modern metal scene which includes quite a few female fronted metal bands. I had never heard of Letters From the Fire before now, but really like their sound. I have been seeing that they have some dates out on the road with Adelita's Way which should prove to be a good show. The music definitely leans modern and vocally it's pretty smooth. There are a few female fronted bands that are a bit more to the extreme side, this is not one of them. The music is delivered in confident fashion and it feels like their is decent chemistry in this band. There are a few videos including some lyric videos that you may want to check out. The link will be below. Good intensity throughout without forgetting about adding in some very good melodic music for good balance. This band is well worth keeping an eye out for!
Release Date:  March 17, 2017
Lionville-A World of Fools  ©2017  Frontiers Records
​This band is new to me. I was already aware of Work of Art vocalist Lars Safsund and his talent and great melodic vocal work, but somehow I had missed out on Lionville. The album is the first for the band with Frontiers which honestly is a fantastic place for them to be as they fit in very well with the labels roster of great bands. From a melodic hard rock standpoint, this album is a stunner. Very good memorable songs and a great growing potential as the album keeps getting better with each subsequent listen. This band's sound is going to be geared to those who are into bands such as Giant, Boulevard, etc. Very infectious radio style rock that if played many years ago here in the States, in my opinion they would have been huge. This band among others like them are why I am a big fan of Frontiers Records. This kind of music to me is absolutely timeless.
Release Date:  February 24, 2017
Tokyo Motor Fist-Tokyo Motor Fist   ©2017  Frontiers Records
​You know, Ted Poley has been pretty busy recently. This time we get a collaboration with Steve Brown of Trixter and the results are awesome. If you think of these two musicians and the bands they come from, then envision what you think this record will sound like based on that, I'm betting you are going to be pretty close. This album is a great slab of melodic hard rock that will appeal equally to fans of both bands. The more rocking stuff packs good punch to it and some of the melodic stuff is my favorite of the album. Poley's voice has always suited melodic music very well and it is no different here. This collaboration is one that I hope happens off and on through time. Ted and Steve seem to gel well together and the supporting cast of Greg Smith and Chuck Burgi really add a lot to this album. Definitely one of the years best so far!
Release Date:  February 24, 2017
Unruly Child-Can't Go Home   ©2017  Frontiers Records
​King Kobra was one of my earliest discoveries way back when. Years later I remember being amazed at the quality of music delivered by Unruly Child and vocalist Marcie Free. That debut album is still one of my favorites. When  I look at the melodic hard rock genre, Unruly Child is one of the elite acts. I tend to always jump in with excitement and the band always seems to deliver. Once again the band knock it out of the park with 'Can't Go Home'. It is worth noting that this album is with the full original lineup. With the prestige that the debut album has, you know this chemistry works already. The results are awesome as expected. The album feels very even and consistent and is melodic at its core. This is a solid Unruly Child album that should make plenty of best of lists at the end of the year. Definitely comes as an easy recommend, so go get it!
Release Date:  February 24, 2017