Vandenberg-2020 ©2020 Mascot Records
I never thought I would see new music with the Vandenberg logo on the front of it. This band was a personal favorite of mine back in my high school days. The debut was my favorite, but I found a lot to like with all 3 of the original Vandenberg albums. This new album features mostly new members but obviously brings Adrian Vandenberg and his style of rock back to us the fans. Ronnie Romero handles vocals and does a good job as he always does. Bert Heerink leaves big shoes to fill and I definitely would have loved to hear him on this album, but the band's sound is intact. Stylistically, the album is definitely a Vandenberg record and fits in well with a more updated sound. There is a new version of 'Burning Heart' on the album. I think fans will dig it. I ended up breaking out all of the old records as it had been so long. Glad to see Vandenberg back on the scene!
Release Date: May 29, 2020
Her Chariot Awaits-Her Chariot Awaits ©2020 Frontiers Records
Another Frontiers record collaboration that features Mike Orlando from Adrenalin Mob and former Sirenia vocalist Ailyn. This will have a much more familiar feel to fans of the former and the latter might be a bit surprised. The music here is very energetic stuff as was the Adrenaline Mob music. Orlando's presence is definitely very obvious here. Ailyn brings a different side of her talent. She belts it out and keeps up with the energy of the music. This style of music is much more raw than Sirenia was with her fronting . There is a lot of flash throughout the album mainly due to Orlando's shredding abilities. Some of my favorite tracks on the album include 'Dead & Gone', 'Take Me Higher', and 'Line Of Fire'. It will be interesting to see how this album is received by the fans. The Mike Orlando fans will dig it, but not sure on the Ailyn fans. Energetic!
Release Date: May 22, 2020
Damnation Angels-Fiber Of Our Being ©2020 Damnation Angels
I had seen this bands name pop up here and there, but had not really had the opportunity to check them out until this new release. The music is a symphonic sound and a few other bands came to mind when trying to figure out who they reminded me of. Think Conception mixed with Nightwish with a dose of Circus Maximus and you have Damnation Angels. 'Fiber Of Our Being' is the band's third studio album and also features new members Iggy Rod on vocals and Nic Southwood on Bass. Going back to earlier releases, I heard much more of a Nightwish element to them. This new record has definitely expanded their sound quite a bit. It definitely has made me a fan as I have been going back to this one quite a bit. It's a good batch of songs and finds the band heading in a good direction in my opinion. This will be a definite favorite of the year!
Release Date: July 31, 2020
Electric Mob-Discharge ©2020 Frontiers Records
This release became a favorite of mine at the halfway point in 2020. The band hails from Brazil and will have a lot of appeal to classic hard rock fans as well as fans of a more blues influenced sound. The sound is fairly raw and has a groove to it. I remember back in the early days of my music finding. A scene in a particular market would explode such as the L.A. scene in the 80's. Today, we get music from all over the globe. The world became that much smaller for the music world and that is a great thing. Years ago we may not have had access to bands like Electric Mob. To me, this is a complete album. It is not only consistent, but each track offers you things to like. Whether it is a cool bass groove or maybe a solo. Maybe even the vocal work. Everything just fits together like pieces of a puzzle. One of the more recent Frontiers Records signings and one of my favorites!
Release Date: June 12, 2020
Axel Rudi Pell-Sign Of The Times ©2020 SPV/Steamhammer Records
We missed a couple of Axel Rudi Pell albums in the last few years. Axel Rudi Pell writes in a very formulaic fashion. You know what to expect with each album. That can be good or bad depending on the listener. It really comes down to the quality of the songs on each record. 'Sign Of The Times' offers up some really good songs in my opinion. I definitely have favorite albums in his catalog and some that I felt were just okay. This album to me fits more to the favorite side of my taste in his offerings. Most of these albums have to grow on me a bit and this one was no exception. Those types of albums tend to stick with me long term which is a good thing. You can never say that his albums are not consistent from album to album. Axel Rudi Pell really defines that type of consistency. Good chemistry once again and good songs!
Release Date: May 8, 2020