CoreLeoni-II ©2019 AFM Records
Glad to see a second release from this band. This latest release continues the sound and idea of the first album of covering Gotthard music and also adding some new material as well. Vocalist Ronnie Romero does a fabulous job of handling the vocals and displaying similarities to Steve Lee. While it's not an exact clone of Lee's style, it's pretty close most of the time. These albums are a way for Leoni to have remembrance of the earlier Gotthard days and I think fans can appreciate the reason behind these albums. I miss Steve greatly as he was a favorite vocalist of mine and it is great to hear some of this stuff given a fresh take. The new tracks 'Queen of Hearts' and 'Don't Get Me Wrong' are good tracks and compliment the more known music pretty well. I think fans of earlier Gotthard material are really going to dig these albums. Do check this one out!
Release Date: October 18, 2019
Metalite-Biomechanicals ©2019 AFM Records
My first introduction to this band is this particular album. The band's sound is more modern than other female fronted acts and if I had to compare, I would say they remind me of Amaranthe only a little more rock oriented. This band does cater to the same audience, but could offer their music successfully to fans in other parts of the genre. This is the band's second record and features new vocalist Erica Ohlsson. To this point, there are at least 3 videos up on YouTube from this album. You can get a pretty good idea of the band's style and sound from these. They represent the sound of the album well. I am a fan of this genre and feel this band has a lot to offer. Don't view them as a clone of anyone. They are similar to others, but different as well. This is a pretty decent record with a good delivery.
Release Date: November 1, 2019
Eclipse-Paradigm ©2019 Frontiers Records
Eclipse is a band that are masters of this style of melodic hard rock. Every album is worth getting and you can feel pretty certain that even if not heard before purchase, you are getting a quality record. 'Paradigm' is no exception. It has the band sounding as awesome as ever and the music is infectious as one would expect. I felt there was a slight different feel to the guitar sound on some of these new songs. This shows the band continuing to grow and evolve with each release. The collection of songs as a whole are quite consistent and melody rules the day. The band can exhibit a fair amount of dynamics and flash, but nothing ever distracts. It is more of an enhancement to each song. Erik Mårtensson definitely stays busy with various recording opportunities, but never misses a beat with Eclipse. This is a great record and is very easy to recommend!
Release Date: October 11, 2019
Millennium-A New World ©2019 Pure Steel Records
For those unaware, this the UK band Millennium that started around 1982. Their first album was released in 1984 and this new album is their fourth overall. In terms of sound, fans of the NWOBHM are going to like this record. The structure that many of those bands built their music on is evident here as well. This is an old school sounding record that has big riffs and a traditional sound. Some of my personal favorite tracks off of this album include 'World War 3', 'All Out War, the maiden-esque 'King of Kings, and 'Summon the Dragons'. There are quite a few bands out there today that try to simulate the sound of NWOBHM music. These guys actually were active back when it was upon us. This record represents that era well with the sound, writing and delivery. If you are looking for something old school in the modern market, check this one out!
Release Date: October 25, 2019
Vanden Plas-The Ghost Xperiment: Awakening ©2019 Frontiers Records
The latest effort from prog metallers Vanden Plas gets started off with a bang. There are quite a few of these bands that have some history behind them now and have been leading the pack. Vanden Plas is one of them. 'Colour Temple' is where it started for me and I've been a fan ever since. This latest album has 6 tracks that time in around 47 minutes. This is a very good representation of what Vanden Plas is. If you have heard them, you will understand and pretty much know what you will be getting with this album. The band have been very consistent with their writing for a long time now. I classify them as more of an elite progressive band these days. Plenty of riffs, tempo changes and most importantly melodic elements. Vocally, Andy Kuntz sounds as great as ever. This is a top notch progressive metal album with great songs! Recommended!
Release Date: October 11, 2019