Red-Declaration   ©2020  Red Entertainment
​As I made my way through my first listen of the latest Red album 'Declaration', it was obvious which direction the band headed with this new record.  'Gone' seemed to have a slightly different feel to it, call it more experimental or whatever. 'Declaration' goes right for the throat. This is a heavy album. The growls are here as is the symphonic elements that you have come to expect. The guitar work is heavy and thick in terms of sound. The songs are really good as well. I think fans that may have been disappointed with the previous release are going to be pleasantly surprised with this latest effort. To me, this album has a bit more straight forward approach, but you can never deny that it is Red as you make the journey. We have been big fans of this band for awhile now and feel that this album represents some of the band's best work to date!
Release Date:  April 10, 2020
Jack Russell's Great White-Once Bitten Acoustic Bytes    ©2020  Deadline Music 
​The original 'Once Bitten' record was always one of my favorite Great White records. At the time it was new, I didn't have near the amount of music I have now and was able to spend a lot of time with that record. Fast forward to this new album. It is the 'Once Bitten' album re-recorded in acoustic format. This type of thing may not be for everybody, but I can say I enjoyed the feel of it. What I thought was fun was remembering the original record and some of my favorite parts and seeing how the band handled it in a different format. Another element that I found amazing was Russell's vocals. He has had some health struggles in recent years, but that voice still has the clarity and power I always remembered. I will continue to look forward to output from this band as there is still plenty to enjoy and it still sounds fresh!
Release Date:  May 1, 2020
Notörious-Glamorized  ©2020  Sliptrick Records
​If you are looking for some old school hard rock, this one is a good bet. The band hails from Norway and would have fit in with some of the 80's hard rock bands very easily. I can't listen to the title track without feeling earlier Mötley Crüe. You get the point. The record as a whole has a good vibe to it and some memorable songs. Vocally, you might hear some similarities to Scorpions frontman Klaus Meine. It's good to hear some of these young bands that fully embrace this style of music. Not too long ago it was viewed as a joke and ridiculed. It's plenty obvious that there were fans who turned into musicians in other parts of the world that took the genre to the next level. This band is one of those that were inspired by one of the best scenes in music and have advanced it with a really cool record. Nice job guys!
Release Date:  March 31, 2020
Firewind-Firewind   ©2020  AFM Records
​The latest self titled album from melodic metal band Firewind should please many. Gus G is on fire with the guitar work as usual, but the release feels well balanced overall. You can feel the impact of each musician to each song as the record flows along. Some of the songs such as 'Rising Fire' have a very cool metal groove to them. Another attribute that stood out to me was how confident the record sounds. The band has been releasing albums for quite some time, so this is no surprise. A very veteran feeling album. At this odd time in history it is nice to have somewhere to go to release some energy. Records like 'Firewind' play an important role in keeping ones sanity right now. This album provides a good journey. Just enough flash to it, but equal amounts of intensity and discipline make this a must have for metal fans!
Release Date:  May 15, 2020
Metal Church-From The Vault   ©2020  Rat Pak Records
​Always a good day when one gets more material from Metal Church, and even better when Mike Howe is involved. This record offers quite a few different things. New songs, new mixes, live stuff, etc. It's a good bang for your buck type of album. I enjoyed my listen for sure. The new stuff is really good. Heavy as expected and up to the standards of the Mike Howe era. Also here are some B-Side songs from the 'Damned If You Do' sessions. The cover songs offered here are fun with 'Black Betty' being my favorite of them. It is worth mentioning that the bonus tracks look to be part of different versions of the album. I haven't secured my physical copy yet, but Amazon offered an Auto Rip of the album which had the extra tracks. I like to be a completionist, so having all of the tracks makes me happy with what I have. Great stuff!
Release Date:  April 10, 2020