Perfect Plan-All Rise   ©2018  Frontiers Records
​One of the biggest hotbeds of melodic hard rock around the globe is without a doubt Sweden. Perfect Plan is a band formed in 2014 that plays it old school in an almost Foreigner or Giant fashion. 'In and Out of Love' caught my attention pretty quick with its memorable chorus and very cool low end. This album is really quite good start to finish with a couple of tracks already visualized via Youtube videos. Even though you could make a strong case that this is fairly traditional hard rock, there are elements that lean modern. This is the kind of record that should appeal to a wider audience due to not only great songwriting and delivery, but just the bands sound in general. I look forward every year to discovering new acts, and this is a solid one for sure. If you are looking for something with a bit of teeth and a lot of melody, this one is awesome!
Release Date:  April 20, 2018
The Dead Daisies-Burn It Down    ©2018  Spitfire Music
The Dead Daisies have been gaining a larger audience and a more elite status due to the fact that they deliver a pretty bold sound and feature some off today's great musicians. The thing that stands out in a big way to me with this particular record is the huge low end. This album has a very thick sound to it. 'Resurrected' is a great way to open and also has a bit of an epic feel to it. In a nutshell, this album crushes it without losing focus on keeping it memorable, and in places melodic where necessary. If you have followed John Corabi's career and know where he has been, you should probably be very happy with this band if you haven't made yourself aware of it yet. To me this is also a pretty complete album. It rolls right along and before you know it, it comes to an end. No need to interrupt or skip. I love what this band adds to the scene. Recommended!
Release Date:  April 6, 2018
Ryan Roxie-Imagine Your Reality  ©2018  Cargo Records UK
​When ever I hear the name of Ryan Roxie, I always think of one of my favorite rock releases 'Electric Angels' by the band of the same name. He has also done work with Alice Cooper and Slash as well as Casablanca. If you have a feel for where Roxie seems to be most comfortable, which is sort of obvious with his career to this point, you'll know where the sound of this record will land. It's a good slab of hard rock songs that feature a variety of guest musicians. These solo releases also give you a good insight into who the musician is at his or her core. Robin Zander of Cheap Trick appears on vocals for 'California Man' and is an influence on Roxie. Musically, it's all fairly basic. The disc is chock full of different rock sounds all short in length, just the way it used to be. In ways it feels like a blast from the past with a bit more modern sound.
Release Date:  May 25, 2018
James Christian-Craving   ©2018  Frontiers Records
​The House of Lords vocalist offers up a new solo release, and this album to me is excellent. Currently, I am spending the most time with this record. There is a definite House of Lords feel, mainly due to vocals, but this one in many ways is different as well. Probably more melodic than House of Lords and has some different elements going on. 'Heaven is a Place in Hell' gets it going with a bit of zip. This sound is fairly prevalent, but where I feel this album really stands out is the more melodic tracks such as the title track 'Craving', 'World of Possibility', and the closing track 'Amen' which has a bit of a different feel than the rest. Christian's voice is magnificent as it always is. If you like melodic rock, this one to me is a gem. It's a bit scaled back from House of Lords and really delivers a fairly uniform and consistent listen. Definitely a favorite of mine so far in 2018!
Release Date:  April 20, 2018
Kamelot-The Shadow Theory   ©2018  Napalm Records
​Back for another record is veteran rockers Kamelot. The album is fairly typical of Kamelot's recent material. A heavy, yet melodic sound that has some progressive elements in it. In places there are also modern influences, but if you know this band, you pretty much know what to expect. The package on disc has a lot of bang for the buck. You end up getting a bunch of instrumental versions and some bonus music. For some reason the instrumentals really stuck out to me with this record. You've seen bands like Nightwish do this, and honestly I usually skip listening to them. With this album they were intriguing to me. The album has good polish and intensity. I think the band also has done a good job with the length of the songs. They get the point across, but never feel overdone. The album is up to the band's usual standards and should appeal to many. Solid!
Release Date:  April 6, 2018