Ravenscroft-See Through   ©2020  Pavement Music Entertainment 
​Ravenscroft is a more modern sounding band that draws from a smorgasbord of influences.  The evidence is on full display with the bands upcoming release 'See Through'. You have a total of eight tracks. Five are studio tracks, one is a cover of Nine Inch Nails' 'Head Like a Hole', and two are remixes of two of the studio tracks.  The band can be compared to other acts that have been popular in the modern metal community in recent years, but they are also a bit unique with so many influences that shine through. You can even pick out moments where more traditional metal sounds appear. Even though this album is a bit short, it's very satisfying and could leave you wanting more. I do prefer the original tracks over the remixes as I'm not a huge fan of that type of thing, but this does broaden the audience. Very cool band and album!
Release Date:  March 20, 2020
Harem Scarem-Change The World    ©2020  Frontiers Records 
​It's always a good day when Harem Scarem releases another album. The band has become a fan favorite of the melodic hard rock genre for many years and the consistency this band displays is a big reason why. 'Change The World' is another great record that fits tightly into the bands formula of songwriting that has worked for so many years. The band never shy away from putting that edge on their music and it is on full display with this album. The band has always had the ability to mix equal parts of an edge mixed with infectious melody and it works so well each time. That is the feel of this album in a nutshell. Most of these tracks could qualify as rock radio singles as well. The music is memorable and shows the chemistry that this band has become known for. With the excellent delivery of music in this album it is a very easy recommend!
Release Date:  March 6, 2020
Khymera-Master Of Illusions  ©2020  Frontiers Records
​It had been a while since Khymera released their previous effort 'The Grand Design'. Almost 5 years has gone by, so it was a great time for Dennis Ward to get the band together and release a great new album of melodic hard rockers. The music is exactly what fans will expect. There always seems to be a very high quality associated with Ward and the music he is involved with and Khymera is another great example of that quality. Most of the songs are mid tempo rockers with good guitar drive throughout. There obviously is a heavy melodic presence with each track. You will also get some more lighter tempo melodic tracks such as 'Father To Son'. This is a very even album overall. I liked everything on this album, but my favorite track was the closer 'Let It Happen'. Great traditional hard rock sounds here with some very good vocals by Dennis Ward!
Release Date:  March 6, 2020
Allen/Olzon-Worlds Apart   ©2020   Frontiers Records
​Anyone that knows me knows how big a fan I am of Anette Olzon's vocals. Now add in Russell Allen who some will remember from Symphony X, and also Magnus Karlsson who handles a big portion of the music, and you have quite a package. The formula here is similar to other collaborations that included Jorn Lande in the past. This is a very dynamic record that utilizes the singers in various ways. There isn't strictly one singer. Sometimes Olzon sings, other times Allen sings. You will even here more of a duet between the two. Due to Olzon's recent work with The Dark Element, some may want to draw comparisons. I feel they are different in quite a few ways. I do think fans of either will find a lot to like with both acts. As mentioned, this is a very dynamic record with some great heavy songs where vocals really drive the sound. Excellent record!
Release Date:  March 6, 2020
David Reece-Cacophony Of Souls   ©2020  El Puerto Records Gbr
​David Reece is probably better known as the frontman of Accept's 'Eat the Heat' which I was a huge fan of. Udo left some very big shoes to fill and I always felt that Reece pulled it off very well. You could also mention Bangalore Choir among others including the recent Sainted Sinners. 'Cacophony of Souls' has Reece delivering a heavy sound similar to bands like Accept. I think he does this type of metal quite well and 'Cacophony of Souls' is the proof. There is that same heavy drive in the music offered on this release. While there are a lot of hard driving tracks on this album, there are some different sounds as well such as 'Collective Anaesthesia', the title track 'Cacophony of Souls', and the melodic 'Another Life, Another Time'. The album returns to the heavy drive after these few tracks. Very good album from Reece and company!
Release Date:  March 13, 2020