Stephen Pearcy-View To A Thrill ©2018 Frontiers Records
One of the things that always ends up in the forefront of Ratt discussions when it comes to the band releasing music is comparisons being drawn to the earlier albums. 'View To A Thrill' is the latest solo album by the Ratt frontman and quite honestly, sounds a hell of a lot like the earlier Ratt material. There is a very cool vibe to this album and although it is a bit short in running time, gets the job done very nicely. I was living those first few albums while they were hitting the market back in the day and I came away with the same feeling with this record. I was surprised to see this album so soon after last years 'Smash' which was also a good record. You can check out this album on Youtube as there is quite a bit of it up there, but I would encourage you to just sample it, then support the artist and label by buying it. This is a kick ass record for sure. Pearcy in his 'A' game.
Release Date: November 9, 2018
Conception-My Dark Symphony ©2018 Conception Sound Factory
I can't say I ever thought this was going to happen. After Khan's departure from Kamelot some years ago and his absence from the music scene, I was doubtful. I was definitely excited to see the reformation of Conception as I was a fan of them before Khan joined Kamelot. This latest album that just released on digital platforms is an evolving of their sound. It's more or less what I would have expected and the music is amazing. The album has 6 tracks, but a 3 song e.p. titled 're:conceptions' was released just prior to this. The difference is the e.p. has an extra track titled 'Feather Moves' which doesn't appear on the album. It's Conception's unique feel in the progressive genre and I feel that fans will be very happy with what the band have offered here. Khan was sorely missed on the scene as Conception was as well. This is a very good album. Hopeful for more soon!
Release Date: November 23, 2018
Dark Sarah-The Golden Moth ©2018 Inner Wound Recordings
My sister is a big fan of this band. She kept telling me to give this a shot. I had already checked out the 'Sky Sailing' video and was impressed with the vocal interaction and imagery, but was not as keen on the song itself. I gave in and checked out the rest of the album. I like it quite well at this point. The band have a cinematic sound to their music. It has a very visual and big production feel to it. Where I feel this differs from other similar acts such as Nightwish among others is the fact that it has a lot more finesse in the sound. It's a very smooth record and stays consistent to that feel. There are dynamics there that are a bit different than those other bands. What Dark Sarah does, they do it very well. You could say they are a leader in this type of genre. If you haven't heard this band, do check out the video for 'Golden Moth', 'Sky Sailing', or even 'Trespasser' and you'll see what I mean. Very good record with a lot of depth and atmosphere!
Release Date: September 21, 2018
Red Dragon Cartel-Patina ©2018 Frontiers Records
'Patina' is the second release from Red Dragon Cartel and Jake E. Lee. This album has a bit of a different sound than the first. The music has a blues influence and a bit of a more raw sound to it. The guitar work really drives this album as one would expect having Lee in the band. I was a big fan of both his tenure with Ozzy and Badlands. This record would lean more towards the sound of Badlands although this isn't necessarily the same thing. Jake has always had a flash to his guitar playing and this record definitely has his vibe in it. Songs are really good and in my opinion are the kind of tracks that grow with each listen. You can get a feel for the sound of this record via Youtube. There are some videos up if you want to check them out before you buy. Some weren't as fond of the first record, but I think those fans will like the sound this go around.
Release Date: November 9, 2018
Tantric-Mercury Retrograde ©2018 Pavement Entertainment
I am a bit newer fan of this band. We looked at their last release 'Blue Room Archives' and liked what we heard. What I like about the band is they set no boundaries for themselves. Whatever goes will go. You go heavy or you go melodic. This record has plenty of both. The melody sometimes drive the song but is also apparent in the stuff that has a bit more edge to it. The songs themselves are all pretty memorable and the album overall is quite consistent in terms of quality. It's a good record with a lot to offer a variety of listeners and tastes. It's obviously all based in rock but feels comfortable from one end of that spectrum to the other. The overall length of the album is a bit short coming in at around 35 minutes, but what is here leaves the listener feeling satisfied. It's a confident sound with some good variety. Good job on this one!
Release Date: October 5, 2018