Dream Theater-A View From The Top Of The World   ©2021 InsideOut Music
​It seems like yesterday that I was checking out 'Images And Words' and now here we are with a 15th studio album. The band has covered a lot of territory in those many years since that ground breaking album. With it becoming harder to generate things people have never heard before, it all comes down to songs. They have to be good and Dream Theater does a good job at doing just that. So where does this album fit or compare one might ask. In ways the self titled album comes to mind. You could make the case that each song comes from a different part of their catalog when comparing and you would probably be right. As a whole, this is a good album with the usual sophistication fans have come to expect. The songs are not so complicated that they become work to listen to. It's Dream Theater through and through so you pretty much know what to expect!
Release Date:  October 22, 2021
Schattenmann-Chaos    ©2021 AFM Records 
​The new album from Schattenmann is the band's  third to date and really shows the band hitting on all cylinders.  The band is part of the German NDH movement, but even with saying that, they feel a bit more mainstream although they stick with a metal sound. To me they sound a bit like the Nu-Metal sounds of the late 90's and early 2000's. Other times, they sound more like the modern sounds around the globe. The band has good punch in their music and do have songs that lean to the catchier side of the genre without sacrificing the edge that it brings. Due to the fact that they may be a little unfamiliar to potential fans here in the States, I would recommend heading to YouTube and catching one of their new videos. They do have a few from the album. I personally think these guys are a good listen. Good edge and attitude as well as songs!
Release Date:  O
Jeff Scott Soto-The Duets Collection Vol. 1  ©2021 Frontiers Records
​This was a great idea in my opinion. Tap your back catalog including songs from various points in your career, and redo them as a duet with another vocalist. The track selection used for this album is a sort of greatest hits kind of thing and is really good. He goes all the way back to Yngwie, Axel Rudi Pell, and even Eyes. Some notable guest vocalists that provide their services for the duets include Eclipse's Erik Martensson, Deen Castronovo, Russell Allen and Johnny Gioeli. Any fan of Jeff Scott Soto will more than likely already be familiar with most of the songs. It truly is a fun ride and the renditions of each song are well done as one would expect considering all of the veteran talent. I was kind of expecting a lot of ballads on this record, but there are lots of rockers. This was a truly fun ride and I would definitely look forward to a volume 2!
Release Date:  October 8, 2021
Eclipse-Wired   ©2021 Frontiers Records
​It's such an interesting time we live in. As I was doing some research on this album, it was noted that the band's previous hit 'Viva La Victoria' had surpassed 15 million streams which is substantial. The 'Paradigm' album turned out to be the band's most successful to date. The word has gotten out. 'Wired' is obviously in the same vein with the upbeat rockers they are known for. It's is chock full of tunes with melodic sensibility and enough pound to make you want to headbang a bit. Not that it gets really heavy. That's not eclipse. They do offer up a fair amount of flash and once again, the chemistry with the musicians is really good. Eclipse is a band I don't even hesitate to buy their records. They are one of my more favorite modern day hard rock bands and this album is another easy recommend from us. Now get out there and check it out!
Release Date:  October 8, 2021
Letzte Instanz-Ehrenwort   ©2021 AFM Records
​I wasn't really familiar with this band until probably their last effort 'Liebe Im Krieg'. 'Ehrenwort' is actually the band's 14th album after being together around 23 years or so. They are definitely veterans of the industry at this point. Musically, while there are similarities to other notable acts from the German scene such as Stahlmann, Rammstein, and a few others, this band is much more mainstream and quite a bit more melodic. The songs are good and have a decent feel to them. When you think of mainstream, think of a more radio rock friendly sound. The band did have to endure through a lot of the issues of the past couple of years with the pandemic. I have felt that the downtime created by the virus brought out some very good artistic creations in the form of music. Letzte Instanz is no exception with a very good platter of songs!
Release Date:  October 29, 2021