Dennis DeYoung-26 East Vol. 2   ©2021 Frontiers Records
​This could be it. '26 East Vol. 2' could be the final work from former Styx member Dennis DeYoung and quite frankly, that sucks. What DeYoung has offered with this release is a great collection of songs that have a definite earlier Styx vibe to them. I cut my teeth in physical media with Styx. That's where it all began with my collection so that band and DeYoung have a special place in my heart. This album along with the vol. 1 offering really showcase what DeYoung was always capable of. One of my favorite tracks on vol. 2 is 'The Isle Of Misanthrope'. This song is the subject of a video from the album and really stood out to me for many reasons. Come to find out there are some easter eggs in that track. If I remember correctly, there are 8. The final track 'Grand Finale' says it all. If this is the Grand Finale, what a ride it has been. Thanks for the music!
Release Date:  June 11, 2021
One Desire-One Night Only-Live In Helsinki    ©2021 Frontiers Records 
​If you have read my reviews of the last few years, you will know how much I love One Desire.  The debut was great and 'Midnight Empire' notched it up even higher in terms of quality. The band did a show last year to a select crowd in Helsinki and that was recorded for this album which also has a DVD and a separate Blu-ray release. I snatched them both up. The show was enjoyable in both audio format as well as the hi-def version I viewed. I thought the band did a great job with the track selection. I thought closing the show with one of the band's heaviest tracks 'Buried Alive' was a great touch. The only track I would loved to have seen in the show was 'Rio' as that is one of my favorite melodic songs from the band. This was a good way to document 2020 for the band. This album deserved a whole tour, but what are you to do? Excellent performance!
Release Date:  June 11, 2021
Social Disorder-Love 2 Be Hated  ©2021 AFM Records
​Social Disorder is a project out of Sweden by Anders "LA" Rönnblom. I was familiar with Anders through Wolfpakk, but he is also associated with Killer Bee and X-Romance. This album is a life journey for Anders that lets the listener have a glimpse into his personal life, struggles, etc. It's a very smooth sounding record with a fair amount of depth and atmosphere. What is equally as impressive is the star power that he brings along for the journey. Other musicians such as Tracii Guns, Rudy Sarzo, Jeff Duncan and a few others helped make this a memorable journey musically. Fronting this project is Thomas Nordin who did a fantastic job bringing his personality and talent to each track. The songs have a definite edge throughout and will leave the listener feeling fulfilled with the experience the album has offered. Definitely worth your time!
Release Date:  June 18, 2021
Kent Hilli-The Rumble   ©2021 Frontiers Records
​If you are familiar with Perfect Plan, you are most likely familiar with Kent Hilli who is their frontman. Hilli has an excellent set of pipes. I have been a big fan of Perfect Plan's albums to this point and feel that this solo effort is right on par in terms of quality. This album has been one of my go to albums in the last few weeks. The songs have a bit of an edge to them, but melody rules the day. There are plenty of melodic songs here as one would expect. Kent has a great story. Music wasn't his initial career choice. He actually started writing his own songs in 2014 after performing covers in a band prior to that. You could say he got a late start, but in his case, better late than never, for all of us. This collection of songs is pretty consistent in terms of quality. Think of the melodic rock bands of the 80's and this would fit well with them. Excellent debut solo album!
Release Date:  June 18, 2021
Rhapsody Of Fire-I'll Be You're Hero   ©2021 AFM Records
​This is an interesting e.p.  Rhapsody of Fire needs no introduction. They have been leading the pack for some time with their polished and excellent symphonic metal sounds. What you get with this release is a new single with 'I'll Be Your Hero'. There is a video for this, so you can check that out. You get Japan's bonus track 'Where Dragon's Fly'.  Two live tracks that include 'Rain Of Fury' and 'The Courage to Forgive'. Finally, you get four versions of the track 'The Wind, The Rain and the Moon. The first is the released English version. The other three are sung in Italian, French, and Spanish. You could say the album is a bit long for an e.p. with 8 tracks, but with four of them being the same song with different language vocalizations, it makes sense. It all sounded good to me and is a good in between e.p.  Looking forward to more hopefully soon with a new studio album.
Release Date:  June 4, 2021