Lordi-Lordiversity   ©2021 AFM Records
​This is more than just an album. In fact, it is 7 albums in a deluxe packaging. All new material as well I might add. What makes this set even cooler is that the band are basically simulating that they are releasing albums through the decades and you can tell. If you want to take this in properly, listen in this order. 'Skelectric Dinosaur', 'Superflytrap', 'The Masterbeast From The Moon', 'Abusement Park', 'Humanimals', 'Abracadaver' and finally 'Spooky Sextravaganza'. In that order you will hear everything from stuff that sounds like vintage Kiss to disco flavored rock, to 80's hard rock and metal through to a more modern 90's and current sound. The songs are all well written and you can feel the diversity the band offers, thus the great title of the set. This is definitely this years most ambitious production. If you have the cash, definitely check this out.
Release Date:  November 26, 2021
Insania-V (Praeparatus Supervivet)    ©2021 Frontiers Records 
​It has been 14 years since the last release from Insania. The Sweden based power metal band finally makes a comeback with a great album via the Frontiers Records label. If you are familiar at all with this band, you will know that they fit in well with other melodic speed metal bands like Helloween. Stratovarius, etc. The album opens up in this fashion, but does offer some different tempo throughout. The obvious more frenzied pace is here but you also get some tracks that are a bit more subdued. The writing is up to par with what we have heard from them in the past and to me it feels like a pretty complete listen.  Where this band maybe isn't quite as well known in the states, there are some good songs up on YouTube that can give you a good feel for how they sound and what they are about. Good to see these guys come back with a new release.
Release Date:  November 12, 2021
Winterburn-Ivory Towers  ©2021 Winterburn
​Dubai based Winterburn are just about to release an energetic release that showcases the talent of Naser Mestarihi and Grammy award winning drummer Thomas Pridgen. Things got a bit complicated as this album was being put together. Mestarihi had a MS attack that left him without sensation in parts of his hand that affect his playing. He was able to re-learn playing in a fashion where things turned out really good. He definitely plays with some flash and songs are reminiscent of bands from the mid to late 80's such as Guns 'n Roses as well as others. Obviously, the guitar playing really drives this band's sound, but you do have some good melody here as well. Vocally, he does a good job as well and that part of the band's sound is also reminiscent of the 80's. You can feel his inspiration. Excellent release from a great musician!
Release Date:  December 10, 2021
Fans Of The Dark-Fans Of The Dark   ©2021 Frontiers Records
​Here is a band that has been creating a bit of a buzz. Fans of the band Houston will be familiar with Freddie Allen who played drums for the band some years back. Apparently he was friends with vocalist Alex Falk in High School and the two reconnected with a vision to make some great melodic rock. This band sounds really unique to me. At times they sound fairly melodic, but they can change tempos and it can go more to the heavier side. They write their music with a fairly catchy flair with a lot of the songs staying in your head long after you listened to them. It is also worth mentioning that vocally, this band sounds pretty unique. This to me is a strong attribute to have and adds a really cool feel to the album. Would really like to see more from this band in the future as growth potential definitely exists and their chemistry is great. Recommended!
Release Date:  November 5, 2021
Max Pie-Passengers   ©2021 Rock City Music Label
​Belgium progressive metal band Max Pie are back with another solid release. Joining the band on the track 'Lucy' is Simone Mularoni who fans will recognize from DGM as well as Sunstorm. There is a fair degree of polish in the music on this record. Fans of the heavier side of this genre will probably dig this record. I liked the different things the band did on the album when it comes to songwriting. While there is a definite progressive sound, you also have some different feeling tracks such as 'Grains Of Sand' which has a bit of an Arabic feel. 'Love For Sale' is a fairly gritty rocker with some of the heaviest guitar sounds on the record.  It also ends up with a fairly smooth feel as well. There is a decent balance to the record and the music has a confidence about it. If you are into the progressive genre, this one is definitely worth your time.
Release Date:  December 3, 2021