Grand Design-Viva La Paradise   ©2018  GMR Music 
​I'm pretty sure that I had heard this band at some point, but had never focused too deeply on them. With this new release I was able to really check the music out. I like the sound. The band have a familiar feel that at points has you thinking glam due to some of the vocal work. The music feels like it would have fit into the 80's sound with bands such as Def Leppard as well as others from that era. The band just released a new video for the track  'Aim 4 the Heart' that will give potential new fans a glimpse into the bands current sound. Actually, just about any of the videos you will find on Youtube will represent the style and sound. . The band is based out of Sweden and are a part of one of the better music scenes around the globe. If you are looking for a good record with a classic melodic hard rock sound, this one is an easy recommend!
Release Date:  April 20, 2018
Kobold-Death Parade    ©2018 Iron, Blood & Death Corp 
​Kobold plays a fairly retro form of thrash metal that has very cool riffs and great fast tempo. This release was originally released about a year ago, but is being re-issued in August of this year. The album is chock full of great songs including a cover of the Exciter song 'Stand Up and Fight' which I thought the band covered quite well.  Some of the stand out tracks in my opinion include the title track 'Death Parade', 'Fake', and 'When the Eyes Turn Inwards'. I was a big fan of the thrash genre in the late 80's and feel that fans of that era of the genre will be pretty happy with the bands sound and approach. Not sure how hard this album will be to get domestically as I didn't turn up a listing for it at places like Amazon. The band is out of Serbia and I'm sure in other parts of the world it will be more accessible. Very cool intense album that is worth searching out!
Release Date:  August 2018
Clif Magness-Lucky Dog  ©2018  Frontiers Records
I'll be honest. I really wasn't sure who Clif Magness was when this promo appeared. His first record 'Solo' released back in 1994 is still highly regarded with fans of AOR. It's been 24 years since that release and even though Clif has been busy doing other things in the music industry, we finally get a followup. This album to me is absolutely top notch. Clif has won awards for his abilities and you are seeing what he is capable of with this release. Some of it leans melodic hard rock and a chunk of it is more AOR oriented as one would expect. At this point, I am very aware of who Clif Magness is at this point and am quite impressed with this release. There really isn't anything I would consider to be weak. This is an album done well with a lot of consistency in terms of quality. If you like it more melodic, this one comes very highly recommended!
Release Date:  July 13, 2018
Gioeli Castronovo-Set the World on Fire   ©2018  Frontiers Records
These two gentlemen need no introduction. This album is sort of a reunion as the two also appeared on the first Hardline record 'Double Eclipse' which is a personal favorite of mine. If you have followed these guys and the various bands they have been in since that early record came out, you might expect a certain sound. What this record is is a melodic hard rock record. They also chose an interesting cover with 'Need You Now' from Lady Antebellum. It sounds decent and is much more hard rock in nature. The album does contain some slightly heavier tracks like the opener and video track 'Set the World on Fire'. There is also a video for the track 'Through' that fans can check out. It's not a Hardline record obviously, but it's a good record with some great new music. Both Gioeli and Castronovo contribute vocals and do a great job. Essential release!
Release Date:  July 13, 2018
Fear Me December-Crystallized   ©2018  Fear Me December
​'Crystallized' is a new 4 track ep from the modern metal act Fear Me December. Fans of bands like Lacuna Coil or others of that genre will probably dig this release. It packs quite a bit of punch throughout and has a pretty consistent tempo to it. The band is female fronted with Victoria Cabanellas handling the vocal duties. Vocally, the album isn't as aggressive as some I have heard recently.  'Crystallized' is the bands third release and second ep. Most of the tracks on this record have a fairly thick guitar sound and tend to be memorable.  I think this band will have what it takes to keep modern rock fans interested. While this album isn't very long, it's still a decent listen, but will appeal to more alternative oriented fans. The release will be available in early September, so get it on your calendars so you don't forget. Good heavy yet melodic modern rock record!
Release Date:  September 7, 2018