Scorpions-Rock Believer ©2022 Spinefarm Records
Scorpions have nothing left to prove. They have cemented there way as one of the best hard rock bands ever and 2022 marks the 50th anniversary of their debut 'Lonesome Crow'. What they have done with this new album is create a platter of hard rockers with a vintage sound to them. Plenty of catchy tunes and the obligatory ballad with 'When You Know (Where You Come From)' 'Seventh Sun' stuck out to me as it sounded in ways like 'China White' from the 'Blackout' album which is one of my favorites by the band. The guitar tone is there as well as the thumping low end. This is probably the band's best music in the last decade or two and the albums previous to this one I thought were still really good. There's just something about a band writing such a vintage sounding record at this point in their career. To me, this one is essential!
Release Date: February 25, 2022
Amorphis-Halo ©2022 Atomic Fire Records
Been following this record for a bit before it was released and was wanting it pretty bad. The first single 'The Moon' was definitely enough to wet my appetite for Amorphis' unique style of metal music. This band has a real knack for writing in a heavy fashion and incorporating growls with the clean vocals, but also showing quite a bit of depth and atmosphere at the same time. While my favorite album by the band is still 'Under The Red Cloud', 'Halo' is definitely right behind it. Some similarities in ways and differences in others, but all Amorphis and the way that they usually deliver their music. Definitely keep in mind the vocal work as mentioned. If you are not a fan of growls, this may not be for you as there is quite a bit of that here. I am not usually a fan of that, but every now and then somebody comes along and blows my doors off. These guys do!
Release Date: February 11, 2022
City Of Lights-Before The Sun Sets ©2022 Frontiers Records
City of Lights features Greek vocalist Manos Fatsis and British guitarist and songwriter Neil Austin as one of Frontiers Records latest collaborations. This is an excellent platter of melodic hard rock. It starts off sounding a lot like a Jeff Scott Soto record and really develops from there. There are some very good mid tempo rockers as well as some very melodic tunes all of which are radio friendly in format. The rockers definitely have an edge to them, but the album overall is melodic and instantly memorable. I took a few spins through this album and each time I listened to it, I liked it even more. I feel this band and release should make a lot of best of lists at the end of the year. Memories need to be long as it is early in the year, but I know this is one I will revisit often through they year when I want to sit back and chill with a very upbeat sounding record. Great stuff!
Release Date: February 11, 2022
Saxon-Carpe Diem ©2022 Silver Lining Music
Saxon has really been on a tear for a long time. Writing album after album with great material and even pushing the intensity to new levels. This go around I feel that they have kind of gone back to their roots in a way. Obviously Saxon has had a core sound that can't be missed, but with this record it is about the songwriting and structure of the new songs. Take for instance 'The Pilgrimage'. This track reminds me of the 'Crusader' album and that album was a personal favorite. I got started with Saxon with 'Power & The Glory' and 'Crusader' was the next chapter. This album reminds me of a few of those mid 80's albums. It's great to hear and I mean nothing against all of the newer albums from the past few years. That familiarity just feels good. I thought this record was excellent from beginning to end. The band still sound amazing!
Release Date: February 4, 2022
Jizzy Pearl's Love/Hate-Hell, CA ©2022 Golden Robot Records
Easily my favorite Love/Hate record was 'Blackout In The Red Room'. I saw the title of Jizzy Pearl's latest record and remembered the track 'Hell, CA pop. 4' from that album. Interest was peaked obviously. This record definitely sounds like a Love/Hate record and that isn't just due to his vocal work. Songs on this one could easily fit with some of those earlier Love/Hate albums. If you have been wanting that sound, this is your record. Lot's of flashy guitar, that attitude and a disc full of good songs. Even song titles themselves fit the bill. One thing is for sure, 2022 is really cranking it up in terms of releases and their quality. This record helps set the bar as well as many others so early in the year. Watch for Pearl fronting Quiet Riot as well. He definitely keeps busy and I am glad he takes the time to get this type of hard rock out to the fans!
Release Date: March 11, 2022