Bonfire-Roots   ©2021 AFM Records
​It's really sad when you think about it. After the release of 'Fistful Of Fire' in 2020, the band was never able to play a single show in support of that album. This happened to many artists across the globe. Bonfire took the adversity of that situation and turned it into a positive thing by recording 'Roots' which includes new tracks, re-records, etc.  24 tracks total came out of this and will be available soon. The music is quite melodic throughout and provides a very enjoyable laid back listen. One of the things that I enjoyed, even if just a small part, was the licks from other bands famous songs added in here and there. Be sure to keep ac close ear for this part of the album and see how many you can find. This whole album is just a fun experience and the music is presented very well. We're hoping that things change soon and that bands can get back to live shows!
Release Date:  February 26, 2021
Todd La Torre-Rejoice In The Suffering    ©2021 Rat Pak Records 
​One might wonder where Todd La Torre, the current frontman of Queensrÿche, might venture. The power of his voice is obvious to anyone who has followed his career to this point. Well, he went pretty damn heavy. Not entirely surprised. There is a ton of energy in this album. Craig Blackwell helps out with guitars, bass and keyboards, and Todd handles vocals and drums. When I mention heavy, think of Halford's band Fight and you will have a general idea of where some of the music lands on this album. If there was any doubt how much power Todd has in that voice of his, this album will squash those doubts. The songs I found to be enjoyable and honestly, quite consistent. This is all killer and no filler. The final track 'One By One' which is labeled as a bonus track shows Todd going for blast beasts and growls. Excellent stuff if you like it heavy!
Release Date:  February 5, 2021
Evergrey-Escape Of The Phoenix  ©2021 AFM Records
​Escape Of The Phoenix' is the band's 12th release and was written during the covid pandemic.  One thing can be said about the lockdowns, there was a lot of creativity as a result of it by so many different artists. This album is heavy and sounds as you would expect. Evergrey has a unique sound that makes them recognizable. What kind of stands out to me personally with this album is how well the band fused the heavy tones and the atmosphere and melodies. It feels like you get equal parts of each element and it works really well. As always, Evergrey always has some good depth in their writing and this album is no exception. Interesting subject material mixed with the rich tones and already mentioned atmospheric element makes the listen almost a visual experience. Drop a set of headphones on and get yourself lost in this experience. Recommended!
Release Date:  February 26, 2021
Durbin-The Beast Awakens   ©2021 Frontiers Records
​I have been following James Durbin for a while now. From his days in American Idol to his solo material through his involvement in Quiet Riot. He has done quite a few different things in terms of genres. Let me tell you this, James hits it out of the park with his latest record.  Under the name Durbin and the title 'The Beast Awakens', this is a very traditional metal record. Vocally, he drills it. He didn't just meet my expectations, he far exceeded them. It's not only about the vocal work either. The songwriting is really good and everything is delivered very professionally. With how this album turned out, it's obvious that this is where Durbin feels most comfortable. The album starts out sounding very NWOBHM in style which is interesting when you consider Durbin's age. He has it down really good. You will want to keep an eye on Durbin for sure!
Release Date:  February 12, 2021
3.2-Third Impression   ©2021 Frontiers Records
​There is a pretty interesting story behind this album. Fans of AOR and progressive will be familiar already with the project 3. Prior to the untimely death of Keith Emerson, Robert Berry and Emerson were going to revive the project and had laid down the elements needed to pull it off. With Emerson's death, it added uncertainty to the situation, but here we are, with the album. There are many very cool things going on with this album. It's definitely progressive, but in a more old school way which one would expect with the players. The variety is equally good as is the writing itself. Berry pulled this thing together and got it done and the results are pretty amazing. You'll get 10 tracks total of which ends up being a tribute to Keith Emerson and his amazing musical legacy.  The results of the work put into this album are quite amazing indeed!
Release Date:  February 12, 2021