Primal Fear-Metal Commando   ©2020  Nuclear Blast Records
​I remember the first Primal Fear release like it was yesterday hearing it for the first time. Hard to believe we are now on the thirteenth album and the band really hasn't missed a beat.  Sometimes I feel like I use the term consistency a bit too much, but if it fits, I guess you need to. That is what I get from Primal Fear, consistency. This is a power metal band with a great formula in their songwriting. You always know what you are going to get when each album is announced for release. I have found them all to be very good albums. It all comes down to which ones might be slightly better. Yes, they are that good. This album is another notch up in terms of the songs themselves. The album has a great batch of memorable songs. The band is as fine tuned as I have ever heard them. Metal Commando should please the fans as always. All of the elements are here once again!
Release Date:  July 24, 2020
Winterkat-The Struggle    ©2020 20th Century Music/Vanity Music Group  
​I have heard a lot of albums through the years. Just when I think I have heard just about everything from the 80's, here comes another good album I wasn't familiar with. From the artwork, this one felt like it would be more metal in style, but does have a good hard rock sound with some boosts in intensity from time to time. I love the sound a lot. It has that 80's feel in arrangement, vocals and sound. It's a bit of deja vu to my ears although I wasn't personally familiar with this title. You can tell why there was some demand for this album. The musicianship is very smooth and carries a good amount of flash without getting too carried away. I really get caught up in the nostalgia of these types of albums. I lived this scene back in the day and it is always cool to find a great new record that I missed and get excited about that scene all over again! Excellent release!
Release Date:  July 24, 2020
Layne's Calling-Layne's Calling  ©2020  Pavement Entertainment 
​Kentucky based Layne's Calling offer up their debut album which is a 6 track release of alt rock. As I checked this one out I felt that they reminded me a bit of Flaw.  Similarities are there and the music will appeal to fans that like that type of sound.  There is a pretty even feel as the songs progress from track to track. Quite a few of the songs could do well on rock radio. The final two tracks do lend to a bit more melodic sound. There is a bit of edge here and there and it adds a little balance. It's obvious the band are comfortable with their sound and would also be able to pair up with plenty of modern bands on a bill and do well. Not sure if this will be available in physical formats, but can confirm digital downloads from various sources. If you are looking for something new in the alt rock genre, this one is short but quite good!
Release Date:  September 4, 2020
Simon Collins-Becoming Human   ©2020   Frontiers Records
​I am a big fan of Phil Collins and Genesis and so this new album by his son Simon Collins definitely grabbed my interest. This is actually his fourth album and comes to you from Frontiers Records. There are a variety of different sounds in the music. You'll get some rock, electronica, a bit of industrial and some ambient sounds as well. The music has a definite progressive feel to it from a different area of the genre. There is some good depth and atmosphere coming from each song. While this album may not be geared to the more metal oriented audiences, those that have wider tastes to their music are probably going to like this one a lot. It takes the listener on a musical journey where songs are well crafted and interact with each other. I found it to be a very interesting listen and will be keeping my eye on Collins in the future. 
Release Date:  September 4, 2020
Perfect Plan-Time For A Miracle   ©2020  Frontiers Records
​This is one band who I have come to like a hell of a lot. I liked their debut 'All Rise' and if you haven't heard the 'Jukebox Heroes' cover record, you really should. They made some noise with a cover of Foreigner's 'That Was Yesterday' and the other 3 tracks were great as well. This latest sophomore release continues what the band started on the excellent debut. Very good melodic rock sounds. You can feel the amazing chemistry this band has. Each element in the band is solid and it shows in the delivery of a great product. I think this band would have been huge in the 80's. Fans of bands like Survivor and Journey among others really should be aware of Perfect Plan. At a minimum, you owe it to yourself to at least head over to YouTube to check out some of the videos from this latest masterpiece. We dig this one a lot start to finish! Essential!
Release Date:  September 4, 2020