Wig Wam-Never Say Die   ©2021 Frontiers Records
​It's been quite some time between albums for the Norwegian band Wig Wam. The band have reunited for one of their strongest albums to date. 'Never Say Die' gets started with an intro which then explodes into the title track with its excellent riffs and energy. This album is consistent with what we have heard from the band in the past. Mostly filled with mid tempo rockers with great musicianship, the album also offers up the obligatory more mellow songs as well. I really hated to see the hiatus this band took as they have been a bright spot in the genre.  What the band have done with this record is great. You will get a traditional hard rock listen with the solos, sing along choruses, and as already mentioned energy. It's been a bit of a long wait, but 'Never Say Die' is worth it. Hopefully the world can get back to normalcy which will get these guys back on stage!
Release Date:  January 22, 2021
Lipshok-Shadows Of A Dark Heart    ©2020 Sliptrick Records 
​Lipshok is a Gothic/Symphonic act that is based out of the San Francisco bay area. As I have listened to quite a few Gothic styled bands, I have found that there are some variations in the sounds you get. Lipshok kind of has their own thing going on. This is a good thing. To write music that brings different elements to a genre helps the genre and rock in general. The album opens with 'Answer The Call' and that sets the tone for the rest of the album. You can hear the symphonic elements mixed with the Gothic flair. The album also sets a good tone with the atmosphere. Songs aren't overly complicated and just flow from track to track. To me this band sounds a bit different than some of the Euro Gothic stuff I have listened to. This has a decent edge to it. 'And So He'll Fly' has a cool groove to it. The album closer 'Unknown' has a fairly dark tone. Pretty good stuff!
Release Date:  December 22, 2020
Creye-II  ©2021 Frontiers Records
​Sweden is one of the hottest markets for rock music and has been for a while now. Creye is a melodic hard rock band that will be releasing their second album titled 'II'. The band changed their frontman since the debut album and now have August Rauer handling the vocal duties. The band's sound has evolved a bit. I'm guessing part of that is the new singer and then you also have the growth of the band as that always happens. You can expect an excellent slab of melodic goodness here. The band's debut is still one of my favorite albums of the genre and it's great to hear the expansion of their sound. Quite a few of these songs would be great singles such as 'Siberia', 'Can't Stop What We Started', or maybe even 'Let The World Know. It's a pretty complete record and will without a doubt set a high bar for others to follow early in 2021. Excellent!
Release Date:  January 22, 2021
Blue Öyster Cult-Live From The Rock Of Ages Festival 2016   ©2020 Frontiers Records
​It's been a helluva year for Blue Öyster Cult. First new studio album in close to two decades and plenty of live content making it's way to not only audio, but various video formats like DVD and Blu-Ray. The final live record of the year is from the 2016 show in Germany for the Rock of Ages Festival. This particular show was an outside show which was cool. The track listing features plenty of fan favorites as one would expect. I was happy to see 'Lips In The Hills' as it comes from one of my favorite albums by the band, 'Cultosaurus Erectus'. That was the first full length album I heard by the band. I had heard the hits on radio obviously. This is a tight performance. I was able to watch this via the Blu-Ray version and it looked and sounds great. This band is known for their touring and I'm hopeful 2021 will get music back to the stage!
Release Date:  December 4, 2020
Vanden Plas-The Ghost Xperiment-Illumination   ©2020 Frontiers Records
​As I was making my way through Vanden Plas' latest album one thing struck me. This band really plays some complicated music. You can tell how much effort they have to put into each release when it comes to musicianship, songwriting, and the subject material. You really have to go into their albums paying a lot of attention to all of these elements because they all have the depth that fans have come to love. I can't say I understand everything going on each time, but with this album, I always walk away feeling fulfilled. This record offers a great batch of songs once again. I do want to say that the music isn't so complicated that it's hard to get through, it's not that at all. Just great music with lots of atmosphere and stuff going on. This is why I became a big fan in the first place. Good intensity, depth and subject material make this top notch!
Release Date:  December 4, 2020