Cruzh-Tropical Thunder   ©2021 Frontiers Records
​Cruzh is another band that I grew to love from their previous album. They are also a band who changed vocalists after said album and have put together another great album with new vocalist Alex Waghorn. He was introduced a couple of years back singing an acoustic version of 'Aim For The Head' which was done quite well and was a favorite of mine from that self title album. The new album has plenty or rockers. The album opens with the title track which has good energy. I liked the first video track for 'We Go Together'. The song is a feel good track with great harmonies and delivery overall. Even though this band embraces that melodic element, they have a good chunk of the album that caters to a more punchy sound. Plenty of rockers on this release. Not getting lost in the mix are excellent lighter tracks like 'Cady'. It's a good mix and a great record!
Release Date:  August 6, 2021
Blood Red Saints-Undisputed    ©2021 Frontiers Records 
​It's good to see this band back with the Frontiers label. Their debut was released here and this new album is the band's fourth to date. Chock full of melodic goodness with an edge, this one is sure to please fans of the genre.  'Breathe Again' was the first video I saw from the new album. This song is very atmospheric in nature showcasing rich tones and plenty of depth. The music as a whole has an excellent vibe. There is very good consistency from track to track. It's definitely geared to a more melodic sound which I believe is what fans of the band want most. It's worth mentioning also that the sound is very upbeat. The listen tends to be positive and makes you feel good which is nice in this day and age where there is so much negativity. This is a very good go to album if you need that pick me up. Another excellent chapter in this band's career!
Release Date:  August 6, 2021
Valentine-Demos From The Attic  ©2021  20th Century Music/Vanity Music Group
​Valentine's debut album has always been one of my melodic hard rock go to albums. I did follow them into their Open Skyz album as well, but was unaware that there was a true follow up to the debut that had not been released, until now. The songs are in demo form meaning that sound quality isn't up to current standards, but as a fan, you'll get an idea of just how great this second album would have been if it had been released back when it was supposed to. Songs in a lot of ways are a step up from the debut. There are some more energetic rockers here and plenty of that melodic sound that fans of the band have come to love. I would love to see this album rerecorded and released eventually. The songs are that good. This release highlights that fact. The songs needed to at least get out to the fans. It may be a bit rough in sound quality, but the!
Release Date:  July 2021
Night Ranger-ATBPO   ©2021 Frontiers Records
​Night Ranger doesn't have a lot to prove after such a successful career to this point. They are one of the kings of the melodic hard rock genre in my opinion. When they release each album, you know it will be good, but what will it compare to. Well, 'ATBPO' is quite a rocker of an album. It sounds a bit different from other albums in the catalog. The guitar work is probably my favorite part of the album. The melodies are there, but what seems to be missing  a bit more this go around is some of the keyboard work. Yeah, it's here, but as mentioned this album feels more guitar driven. Possibly a theory on the difference in sound with this record could be due to it being written during the pandemic lockdowns. That may have affected the balance a bit. Overall, this is still another good record from the band. Lots of energy and good material!
Release Date:  August 6, 2021
Brainstorm-Wall Of Skulls   ©2021 AFM Records
​For those that love the power metal genre, this one is for you. A solid platter of metal that was further enhanced by the lockdowns of last year.  The band found plenty of time on their hands to be able to really hone this release and make it as perfect as possible. That was one of the few upsides of the music industry being shutdown as far as touring goes. What else was there to do but write some of the best music of your career. That is precisely what Brainstorm has done with 'Wall Of Skulls'. The band was already on a tear due to the success of 'Midnight Ghost' in 2018. This record evolves from there with it great compositional skills, intensity and excellent delivery. This new record sounds bold and overflows with a confidence. I find it easy to recommend, especially to more traditional metal fans. Excellent release!
Release Date:  September 17, 2021