Uriah Heep-Living the Dream ©2018 Frontiers Records
My introduction to Uriah Heep started with 'Abominog' back in the early 80's . The band's sound has gone through changes and showed them evolve. This latest album to me goes back to a pretty cool retro sound. Think the earlier years of heavy rock with a more modernized sound. The album flows well and has some great more classic oriented songs with some good, as we used to call it, jamming. The album has a heavy feel to it which is amazing that the band turned it up a notch when other acts are toning it down. This my not have the more mainstream flash of 'Abominog' or the more commercial feel of 'Equator', but the fans are going to dig this album a lot as it goes to the bands original core. You also have plenty of organ which was prevalent back in those earlier days. If you are a fan of those earlier days, this is a must have!
Release Date: September 14, 2018
DC4-Atomic Highway ©2018 Highvol Music
The Duncan brothers are back. I actually hadn't heard anything from them since 'Electric ministry'. That was about 7 years ago. Rowan Robertson who was Dio's axe slinger on 'Lock up the Wolves' is part of the band and for those who don't know Jeff is a member of Armored Saint and was also a part of Odin along with Shawn. This latest record is heavy and has a raw feel to it. The songs are really good and in my opinion get better as the album progresses. The intensity is perfect with the band mixing a cool 'jam' feeling to the music. These guys are all really good musicians and there approach to each song has a good veteran feel to it. I also thought the band did an absolutely great job on the cover of The Who's 'Baba O'Riley'. That is one of my more favorite songs by that band and DC4 offer it in a very tasteful manner. Great to see this band back with a solid album!
Release Date: September 21, 2018
Crazy Lixx-Loud Minority ©2018 Frontiers Records (Reissue)
It always feels a bit strange to talk about an album that was originally released a decade ago, but Frontiers has decided to do some reissues for this band. We hadn't looked at these originally, so now was a good time. This is a good hard rock album that has a bit of a raw sound to it. Most that have this album will already know plenty about it. There are a decent batch of bonus tracks with this reissue that include some early demo tracks and some more recent unplugged versions. While I prefer the album versions of these songs, it's always nice to see the music in a different form. It is a nice addition to the album to add this material. Of the two reissues we are looking at in this batch of reviews, 'Loud Minority' is the more raw sound with some really good energy. If you haven't checked these earlier releases out, this is a good opportunity to get them with bonus stuff!
Release Date: October 12, 2018
Crazy Lixx-Riot Avenue ©2018 Frontiers Records (Reissue)
'Riot Avenue' was originally released in 2012 and of the two we are looking at in this batch of reviews, this is my more favorite. The album has a very cool vibe to it. Songs are pretty instantly memorable and will have you singing along in no time. The album has bonus material as does 'Loud Minority'. On this particular release you get some acoustic versions of the tracks as well as some bonus tracks. It's obvious that most fans will be familiar with the three reissued albums, but these will be good additions for fans who may have missed them back when they were released. These will also be great for the completionist fans as you will get more material that may not have been released prior. It is up to the listener to decide whether they like the acoustic stuff better or the originals, but as a whole, this is a really cool album and one of my more favorites of the catalog!
Release Date: October 12, 2018
Bonfire-Legends ©2018 AFM Records
This album is a lot of bang for the buck. To me, there were a couple of things that stuck out with this huge set. First was how it was like the soundtrack to me early hard rock favorites. How many times do you hear 'Death Alley Driver' by Rainbow on a covers album? The band even took on 'Silent Lucidity' by Queensryche and did a really good job. The second thing was how the band balanced being tasteful in covering these tracks keeping them sounding right, but also adding a fresh feel to them, even a Bonfire feel. Overall, this is a very long album with almost three dozen tracks that never causes the listener to lose interest. It's a different track listing than what you normally see in these cases and that to me was its biggest attribute. I've listened to this band for a long time and quite honestly, they are legends as well to the hard rock scene. Very solid covers record!
Release Date: October 19, 2018