Manimal-Purgatorio   ©2018  AFM Records
​Latest album from the power metallers Manimal. I went back to the previous album, 'Trapped in the Shadows' as I remembered liking it but hadn't heard it in a bit. 'Purgatorio' is in the same vein although I think the songs are even better on this new release. I've spent quite a bit of time listening to this release this last couple of weeks and it gets better with every listen. Fans of Judas Priest or Primal Fear are going to dig this album a lot as it has great appeal for those audiences. The opening track 'Black Plague' has an almost 'Painkiller' feel to it.  Some of my other favorite track include the grinder 'Edge of Darkness' and 'Denial' which has great atmosphere . These latest batch of songs tend to be very memorable and really had me going back for more. This album has become one of my favorites of the year. Very easy to recommend!
Release Date:  September 7, 2018
Ethernity-The Human Race Extinction    ©2018 AFM Records 
​Ethernity is a new band to me. I skimmed the album to decide if I would be interested and felt that I needed to spend more time with this one. The album has a great deal of depth to it which requires revisiting it to get the full impact. The band is female fronted and has a mix of influences that I picked up on. Obviously there is a great deal of power metal, but also some progressive elements and a bit of symphonic here. The closest band I would even dare compare to might be Kobra and the Lotus, but there are differences between the two. The album as a whole took me a couple of listens to digest, but at that point I was really enjoying the intensity and songwriting in general. If you want to get a feel for the band, check out their videos for 'Grey Skies' and 'The Prototype'. Very representative of the sound of the record. Very good intense listen!
Release Date:  September 14, 2018
Dynazty-Firesign  ©2018  AFM Records
​Second record for me from Dynazty. I was hooked last go around after hearing 'The Human Paradox'. Tons of energy in that song. I was definitely interested when I saw the press sheet for 'Firesign'. Interestingly enough, there are some changes in sound. It is definitely still Dynazty and there are still songs that would fit into the 'Titanic Mass' record lineup, but there are some differences as well. I love the differences. I like a band to evolve especially if it enhances the sound. The tracks I'm referring to are the title track 'Firesign' and 'Starfall'. Really cool vibe on these two and a bit different in terms of sound. This band display a lot of energy and really do write great songs. I like where the band is right now personally. This is the kind of album that gets played a lot. Stuff that isn't entirely predictable and make for a very interesting and entertaining listen! Recommended!
Release Date:  September 28, 2018
Primal Fear-Apocalypse   ©2018  Frontiers Records
​It's hard to believe that Primal Fear have released as many albums as they have. I remember having my doors blown off by their debut like it was yesterday. The main thing you can count on with Primal Fear is that they release a certain type of record each time and really stick to their same formula. They have the ability to keep it the same, but still sound fresh which can be challenging in itself. While most of the album fits the usual sound, I found another pleasant surprise in the track 'Eye of the Storm' with its symphonic elements. The tempo changes were very cool and this one ended up being a personal favorite. The band have released a couple of videos so far with 'The Ritual' and 'King of Madness' which you can check out to get a feel for the record and the band if you are not familiar. Another great chapter in a now long career. Another easy recommend!
Release Date:  August 10, 2018
Airrace-Untold Stories   ©2018  Frontiers Records
​In my earlier days of collecting music when I only had a handful of albums, Airrace's 'Shaft of Light' was one of them. I've always been a big fan of that album. I missed the last record for whatever reason, but with 'Untold Stories' I decided to at least be curious even though I knew the original lineup was not intact. I walked away after a listen quite surprised at how well done the record was. There are hints of the original Airrace sound, but also new sounds as well. There is a pretty catchy vibe here and the band still have an almost retro feel to them. There is a lot to like here and I'm glad I didn't miss this record. I will have to go find 'Back to the Start' as it seems like it may be a bit harder to find right now. Would love to hear it. My favorites from this record are 'New Skin', 'Summer Rain' and 'Lost'. Nice to see this band putting out more great music!
Release Date:  August 10, 2018