Exodus-Persona Non Grata ©2021 Nuclear Blast Records
Had a few albums that I wanted to still look at from 2021. Exodus released 'Persona Non Grata' and what a great album it is. If you are familiar with the band you know that they are one of the more elite old school thrash bands that have been around for decades now. This album is an absolute beast. The band were hitting on all cylinders and the structure of each song is top notch. Ferocious riffing, intense vocal work and a pounding low end leave you remembering this album long after it's over. The bonus with this set is the additional blu-ray that is a documentary the band filmed called 'Jam Camp'. It gives the viewer good insight into the inner workings of how the album came together and displays the chemistry between the members. This is an excellent album once again with a very nice package for the price!
Release Date: November 19, 2021
Giant-Shifting Time ©2022 Frontiers Records
Been a bit since we had a new Giant album. The wait was worth it, but lets discuss some differences. This time around Dann Huff is not handling vocals on this album as was the case last time. Perfect Plan's Kent Hilli is fronting this album and does a really good job as one would expect. It obviously changes the sound of the band a little although musically, it's still Giant. Lots of great melodic hard rock music to be found here. The songs are all really good and tight in my opinion. This band has always had a knack for writing infectious music and this go around is still on par with that. There is a good amount of polish to the sound of the music as well. The record sounds really clean. If you can deal with the fact that this isn't quite a Giant record of the past, I think you'll find a great batch of songs. Great stuff!
Release Date: January 21, 2022
Praying Mantis-Katharsis ©2022 Frontiers Records
Praying Mantis returns with another good record. It feels like the band has continued from where they left off with 'Gravity'. Once again, nothing gets overly heavy and the songs come across quite smooth. There is also a good degree of atmospheric feel to the album. The band do exhibit an edge to the songs, but also retain melodic elements as usual. It is also worth mentioning that the album does have a classic feel to it. The band have been around quite a long time now and have a quality to them that shows their confidence as well as their consistency. The chemistry is intact you could say. Some of my favorite tracks this time around include the opener 'Cry For The Nations' which has a video via YouTube you can check out, 'Closer To Heaven', and 'Masquerade'. Another great chapter in the band's career!
Release Date: January 28, 2022
Death Angel-The Bastard Tracks ©2021 Nuclear Blast Records
Another album from 2021 I finally got around to was Death Angel's 'The Bastard Tracks'. I felt this album and package was a really good idea. As I have mentioned with other pandemic era live albums, this album is live but in a different way. Due to the limitations of live shows, the band recorded a really nice package with a CD and blu-ray. The idea behind 'The Bastard Tracks' is playing great songs live that don't usually get a lot of exposure via singles or stage time. The band explains this in the documentary part of the show. There are a lot of details talked about including the songs in general. I think it's a great idea to put together this type of show instead of just playing the usual stuff. I have always liked Death Angel and feel they are one of today's more elite thrash bands. This is a really great live package that you can watch as well as listen to!
Release Date: November 26, 2021
Dan Reed Network-Let's Hear It For The King ©2022 Drakkar Entertainment
I was a little late to the Dan Reed Network party. I'm sure I was aware of them back in the 80's, but for whatever reason, I just took my time getting into them. I was a big fan of the bands release 'Fight Another Day' from 2016. This new album that will be available soon has another great collection of funk infused tracks . This is the sound that the band is known for and it is all quite catchy. This album does have a bit more of a rock edge to it in my opinion. The funk sound is still there at the core of the sound, but everything feels slightly edgier. There will be 13 tracks total and after going through these a few times already, I am enjoying this new album quite a bit. This band has a smooth delivery which is evident once again with this record. Keep an eye out for this new record as I think rock fans will find plenty to enjoy here!
Release Date: June 17, 2022