Corroded-Defcon Zero   ©2017  Despotz Records
​In today's market there is a lot of heavy music out there. How does a band differentiate themselves from the rest of the pack? I think Corroded has figured that out in a big way. They keep it heavy, yet retain enough melody to attract a wide variety of fans. I'm personally new to this band, but found myself quite surprised at just how accessible this record is without losing intensity. 'Defcon Zero' is the first album in almost 5 years for the band and the first for Despotz Records. It is also worth mentioning that the band prior to this had released theme music for both the show Survivor (Expedition Robinson), and Battlefield play4free. I believe this record has the ability to propel this band to even greater heights if the music gets out to the fan base. There is something really cool about the vibe of this record. Definitely a band looking to make a big mark!
Release Date: April 14, 2017
Crazy Lixx-Ruff Justice    ©2017  Frontiers Records 
​So Crazy Lixx is celebrating 15 years with their 5th release 'Ruff Justice'. This album is a pretty solid melodic hard rock release very similar to what was prevalent in the mid to late 80's. This comes as no surprise as the band have been releasing albums in this style and the consistency is always there. There are plenty of hard rockers on this album mixed with a fair amount of melodic tunes. You could say there is a good balance. The album isn't overly flashy and delivers a good listen to the listener. The more I played this album, the more I liked it. The melodic tracks are my favorite of the album and would be considered very radio friendly.  It would be nice to see bands such as Crazy Lixx have a bit more of a market here in the domestic market, but I am just glad there is a market somewhere so music like this can live on. Another very good release!
Release Date:  April 21, 2017
Accept-Restless and Wild (Platinum Edition)  ©2017  AFM Records
​'Restless and Wild' was the first album that exposed me to Accept back when this was now. This album made an impact on me and my taste of metal music through the years. This album really doesn't need an introduction after all of these years. This is pure metal and is definitely iconic at this point. AFM records decided to re-release the first four albums with an update to sound and expanded digi-pak packaging. There are some bonus tracks added into each release with the first album getting a short but informative informational track from the man himself, Udo. 'Restless and Wild' along with the other early Accept albums were important chapters in helping to form what became a monster era of metal in the 80's. All four are worth your time and the re-buy. Absolutely classic and essential to any metal fans collection!
Release Date:  April 14, 2017
Body Count-Bloodlust   ©2017  Century Media 
​Here is a band that has been no stranger to controversy. Body Count for those who aren't aware features Ice-T and is definitely a metal band. Maybe even a bit more of a hybrid sounding band due to some of their Punk influences including Suicidal Tendencies. Nonetheless, this is a very heavy record. It will not be for everyone, but that's okay. The band knows their market and that is really what this is geared for. As mentioned, this album takes no prisoners. Angry subject material mixed with an intensity that is only matched by a few. They do a decent cover of some Slayer material with 'Raining in Blood/Postmortem' which is done pretty faithful to the originals. That intensity is very similar to other tracks on the album. I believe this album is doing pretty well for the band to this point. It is definitely worth the time of you like this heavy of an album!
Release Date:  March 31, 2017
Stahlmann-Bastard   ©2017  AFM Records
​There are a few of these German bands that I tend to follow even though they sing in their native tongue. Stahlmann is one of them that I discovered a few years ago. The music is hard driving with bits of electronica in places and a somewhat mechanized feel to the tempo. In cases like this album, the music really has to carry it and keep it interesting. When you don't really understand the language, it becomes all about the rest of it. 'Bastard' is pretty typical fare of what Stahlmann offers and has given us in the past. There is a catchy element to it and appeal to a certain type of fan. I think this genre has had a bit harder time breaking into our domestic market, but it is available here for those who want it. This is a good album by the band and it should do well in their market. Maybe at some point these bands will break deeper into the domestic market. Different but cool!
Release Date:  May 12, 2017