Alice Cooper-Detroit Stories ©2021 earMusic
Hard to believe, but 'Detroit Stories' is Alice Cooper's 21st solo studio album to date. According to Cooper, this album is to make people feel better after a year of not real positive things happening around the globe. The music has a fun factor to it and in ways has a vintage Alice Cooper feel. Joining Cooper on this release are other Detroit musicians which makes this an authentic Detroit treat. There is plenty to dig into here as far as subject material, but that is what fans expect from Alice. Vocally, Cooper sounds great. The songs are pretty uniform in terms of style. With the edition I bought was a DVD of a show filmed on the Paranormal tour. This was a lot of fun and offers great bang for your buck. Some of the songs on the album did appear on the 'Breadcrumbs' e.p. from last year. Pretty satisfied with this release as always. Alice is a legend!
Release Date: February 26, 2021
Metalite-A Virtual World ©2021 AFM Records
This is my second album to review for Metalite. There will be obvious comparisons drawn to bands like Amaranthe and maybe others, but this band differs as well. There is good energy in the music from this Swedish quintet. The music does have a bit of a dancefloor vibe to it, but also has a melodic power metal feel as well. Maybe a bit more mainstream you could say. Songs are all quite good and this is the second release featuring vocalist Erica Ohlsson. If you are familiar with the band's previous album 'Biomechanicals', expect more of that sound with this album. The band seem comfortable with that sound and it does quite well for them. I wasn't aware of them before the last album, but have had them on my radar ever since. The music is pretty catchy with modern influences and good intensity. Another great record!
Release Date: March 26, 2021
Ronnie Atkins-One Shot ©2021 Frontiers Records
After not having much interest with doing a solo album, Ronnie Atkins decided to take a shot at it. Best known as the frontman of Pretty Maids, the vocalist has little left to prove at this point. After many health issues in the last year or so, Ronnie offers up a platter of infectious melodic songs that should please anyone who likes rock music. While there are similarities to be drawn to Pretty Maids, there are small differences here and there. It can be hard to climb outside of the box when looking at his long tenure with Pretty Maids, when it comes to sounding different. His voice is unmistakable after all. Overall, what can be said of this album is that it is most welcome at a time when things have been tough for Ronnie and us fans as well with the pandemic and such. A group of songs to make you feel better about everything. Definitely an easy album to recommend!
Release Date: March 12, 2021
U.D.O.-Live In Bulgaria-Pandemic Survival Show ©2020 AFM Records
I have to be honest. This was quite the event to pull off. With the music industry being shutdown and many artists having to go to a video streaming type of thing due to the pandemic of 2020, U.D.O. was able to pull off the unthinkable at the time. Certain hygiene requirements had to be met and the show was done for 2500 fans. It didn't help that the musicians were from four different countries, but it happened. What a hell of a show to pull off. Many songs were part of the setlist from U.D.O.'s catalog as well as a few from his Accept days. I am looking forward to the Blu-ray version of this title most. I haven't had a chance to check the show out in video format yet with the exception of a video or two via YouTube. Fans needed this so bad. They have been starved of the live experience for too long. Maybe 2021 will eventually get it going again. For now, this is essential!
Release Date: March 19, 2021
Heart Healer-The Metal Opera By Magnus Karlsson ©2021 Frontiers Records
If you are a fan of female fronted metal, here is something for you. Magnus Karlsson has put together a pretty epic sounding album that features many of the best female vocalists in today's music scene. The music has a big production feel to it with orchestration, atmosphere, and other symphonic elements. What is really cool is how the vocalists are utilized. The seven female vocalists are basically characters in the tale. There are songs that utilize many of them in a single track. This album just feels much bigger than your usual symphonic album. There was so much work put into it and the music quite frankly is incredible. Some of the guest vocalists include Noora Louhimo, Anette Olzon, Netta Laurenne, Ailyn, and a few other great singers. This really is an album not to miss. With that being said, this one comes highly recommended!
Release Date: March 12, 2021