Threshold-Legends of the Shires   ©2017  Metalville Records
​It's obvious that I should have been paying much more to this veteran band. I checked this release out late last year and was so impacted by the bands sound that they made my top ten for 2017. This was another release that needed a review archived, so here we are. At the core, this band has a lot of progressive elements, but incorporates other great elements as well. This band doesn't go over the top with 'noodling', but goes for a much more refined and disciplined approach to their progressive sound. So many cool things going on and so many great songs on this record, some that are very melodic, and others that just rock out. This is another very good angle to the progressive genre. Definitely check out the 3 parts to 'The Shire' and how they have the same feel in ways, but also have their own identities as well. Very creative and impressive artist and album!
Release Date:  September 8, 2017
Burdens Within-Burdens Within    ©2018 Pavement Entertainment  
​Here is a release that is out of the norm. At the core it has a feel of the grunge scene of many years ago. The band add other elements into that sound such as some pretty decent guitar playing especially when it comes to the guitar licks. What it obviously doesn't is go for lots of flash. The album is focused and has a very consistent feel through it. The band even cover the Buffalo Springfield classic 'For What It's Worth' and it even feels like it belongs in the uniformity of the album.  With the many varieties of music in today's world, this band could find relevance. There are a lot of sub genres that get close in ways to the grunge sound that was, but this band does it pretty well and goes for more of what it was when it was very popular. If you were a fan of that style, you may be interested in this title. Keep an eye on this band as time goes on!
Release Date:  January 26, 2018
Slears-Turbulent Waters  ©2018  Enghardt Media
​We checked this band out on their last album back from 2014.  That album ended up in regular rotation in my player. I was happy to hear the band was working on new material sometime back and now that album is officially set for release. The music on 'Turbulent Waters' is very good. It's basically an extension of what the band offered on their previous album in terms of sound. It's more modern oriented rock that could rival bands of our domestic scene here in the States. There is a good mix of rockers and melodic songs. The melodic songs have some good depth overall and do add some edge in the tempo in places. I think the album has good potential and if the word were to get out, this band could travel to newer heights. I personally have been a fan of the band and think they grew in their songwriting and delivered a very good album. Recommended!
Release Date:  March 23, 2018
Saint Tragedy-Prolonging the Agony   ©2018 Pavement Entertainment 
​Hailing from Kenosha, WI, Saint Tragedy have been on the scene now for a decade or so and display a pretty decent modern heavy sound. There is a bit of flash in each track, mostly in the way of guitar shredding. This album is a 6 track e.p. that shows great consistency and the reason why this band gets tapped to open for national acts. The band could be ready for that next big step if things line up for them. The music is there at this point. It has a veteran feel to it and has the goods to get them noticed.  It looks as if this e.p. will be a digitally only release, so it should be available through the usual digital outlets. There is a bit of crossover potential here, but fans of that more modern sound will probably be suited best to check this out. If you are a fan of more traditional heavy sounds, give it a check out anyway, you may just end up liking it!
Release Date:  January 26, 2018
Ammunition-Ammunition   ©2018 Frontiers Records
​I caught this bands last release a bit late, but enjoyed its melodic hard rock sound nonetheless. The second effort is equally good. Erik Mårtensson has been collaborating with some great musicians in various projects and this one features ex-Wig Wam vocalist Age Sten Nilsen. If you were a fan of Wig Wam, you will obviously delight in this record. The combination of the two works well and the music comes off memorable as you would expect.  Tracks such as 'Freedom Finder' and 'Gung Ho (I Told You So)' were some of my favorite tracks. The music has a catchy groove throughout and once again shows why this group of musicians is respected in the rock community. For domestic stateside fans looking for more traditional hard rock sounds, this one is a good bet.  This type of music is definitely more in demand than it was a decade ago. Solid!
Release Date:  January 26, 2018