Tora Tora-Bastards of Beale ©2019 Frontiers Records
I've been listening to this album for a few weeks now. It is one that took me a little longer to digest. I went in kind of expecting what the band delivered with the earlier two releases. The music on those two albums was instantly memorable and pretty catchy blues infused rock and roll. This album still has that bluesy influence in it, it just took me longer to like this go around. I guess you could say it is a lot less catchy up front, but if you stick with it it becomes a better listen. I like the band's brand of rock and was pretty stoked when I heard they were releasing a new album after being absent for so long. I have never had the chance to review their albums until now and I've been at this for a long time now. My recommendation is to stick with it. It won't be as accessible as previous material, but will still please many fans as it is always good to hear these guys!
Release Date: February 22, 2019
Dream Theater-Distance Over Time ©2019 InsideOut Music
Dream Theater Fans are a pretty picky bunch. That does include me as well. I never really could figure out 'The Astonishing'. It felt like work to me. It was very ambitious in a lot of ways, but just didn't find it's appeal with me. I sampled the new album 'Distance Over Time' and came out of this album a lot happier. The record is quite heavy and does bring the usual progressive feel the band is known for, but it falls more into the 'Awake' or 'Train of Thought' type of listen. I like the heavier side of the band. I was always a big fan of 'Awake' in particular and felt that there were similar moments on this record. One other difference with this album, you don't have what some would call that epic song. There are a couple of more lengthy songs, but the length doesn't equate to the epic feel. The songs are just written to be great songs. Very good heavier record!
Release Date: February 22, 2019
In Flames- I, The Mask ©2019 Eleven Seven Music
I must be in the minority here as an In Flames fan. I don't browse reviews on the net that much as I don't want to bias my own opinion. I saw a lot of negativity surrounding this release as well as the previous few. I wasn't really a fan of the band early on. I found them with 'Cloud Connected' and stayed with them ever since. I like this album. It starts out heavy but does ease up a bit in tempo as the album goes on. Older fans will probably dig the title track quite a bit as it is heavier than most of the album, maybe even the opening track 'Voices'. Towards the end of the album it gets a bit lighter especially 'Stay With Me'. Anders apparently grabbed some vocal lessons or so I've heard and it shows on this album. The vocals alone add a more melodic feel to the whole thing. Not that this is a melodic record, because it isn't. It's just a bit different and quite good I think.
Release Date: March 1, 2019
Anthem-Nucleus ©2019 Golden Robot Records
This is a great album. It's a greatest hits package with re-recorded songs sung in English. For those who may not be aware of this band, they are Japanese and have had a pretty decent career to this point. This album sounds great! Good heavy metal with a lot of flash to it. Everything you would expect from a good metal release is displayed here. The overall sound of the production is great. Today's technology enhances these recordings and the songs sound really fresh. The version I am reviewing also has about eleven live tracks that give the listener some insight into the energy of the Anthem live show. The band's history is around 35 years now and there was quite a bit of material to choose from. I think the track selection both studio re-record and live is pretty good. This record has the potential to grow the bands fanbase even more!
Release Date: March 29, 2019
Tesla-Shock ©2019 Tesla Electric Company Recordings
This is a band that I absolutely went crazy over with their first four releases. 'Mechanical Resonance' to me is an essential record and set the bar high, very high for what was to come with Tesla. Fast forward to the just released 'Shock' album. Helping the band out is Def Leppard's Phil Collen and it shows. Not that it is a negative, but the band sound more like a hybrid of the two bands with this release. The songs are definitely good with there being a fair amount of melodic music on this record. The problem is going back to the bar being set so high early on. This album has a different sound to it. Not a ton of flash and even though a bit edgier in areas, doesn't have the bang to it that the debut had. This isn't all about recreating that era, I know that. While I will still listen to this latest album, I will also be hoping that someday we get the earlier sound.
Release Date: March 8, 2019