Lionville-So Close To Heaven   ©2022 Frontiers Records
​Lionville release their fifth album to date with 'So Close To Heaven'. If you are familiar with the band's brand of AOR sound, you will know what to expect and definitely get more of that type of music. The album in my opinion is one of the band's strongest to date. I was able to take quite a few listens through this album and really enjoyed the songwriting as well as the production as a whole. Lionville has really been building a reputation through the years as one of the genre's best act. As well as the band's penned songs, also look for a cover of Richard Marx's 'Arrow Through My Heart as well as Robbie LeBlanc guesting on the opening track 'This Time'. What more is there to say? This is a top notch record once again with great songs and performances. I look forward to this band's releases as they are always very upbeat and rich sounding!
Release Date:  February 11, 2022
Manic Sinners-King Of The Badlands    ©2022 Frontiers Records 
​If you really know your music around the globe you may be familiar with the Romanian band Cargo. Manic Sinners member Adrian Igrisan is from that band and although he handles singing and guitars in Cargo, he handles keyboards and drums here. Good versatility.  After checking this album out which is the band's debut, I became a big fan. There is just something about their sound. It can come across fairly rugged at times, but also has a melodic sensibility to it as well. For some reason I kept thinking of the band Lion from the 80's. Not that this is their sound, but there are similarities in their approach.  The music has a modern feel in terms of production, but at the same time has a great classic rock feel as well. Great hooks, catchy choruses, and a bit of intensity round this one out very nicely. I'm looking forward to more in the future!
Release Date:  February 18, 2022
Crystal Viper-The Last Axeman  ©2022 Listenable Records
​It wasn't that long ago that Crystal Viper released 'The Cult' which was my introduction to the band. They have been releasing material since 2007 and have become a mainstay in the metal community. Every time I listen to them I hear influences from other acts such as Iron Maiden among others. For those unaware, the band is female fronted with Marta Gabriel handling vocal duties. This album the band classifies as a mini LP. There are 8 tracks total. Some bands would call that a full length album. What you'll get is a new track with 'In The Haunted Chapel', a new version of the title track, some cover tunes including the Russian band Aria's 'Ulitsa Roz' and Diamond Head's 'It's Electric'. There are also four tracks from 'The Cult' that were recorded live in the studio. It's a great batch of goodies. The band sounds as tight as usual. Good metal album!
Release Date:  March 25, 2022
Ten-Here Be Monsters   ©2022 Frontiers Records
​For me, the band Ten has really good albums and great albums. There is a standard of quality the band has and they always seem to be at least to that standard which is excellent.  This album to me is a great album. Gary Hughes smooth vocal work is evident as usual and the band's tight sound is here as well. For me, this is a particularly strong batch of songs.  The music has that bold feel that the band always seems to have. The music is also very tight. I really dig the way the songs are put together. Good depth, warm tones, and the usual touch of flash here and there. With the way this band delivers their music, I believe they have the ability to attract a variety of listening types. The intensity draws one crowd, and the melody draws the other in. It's a good mix and one that has served the band quite well through the years.  Top notch album!
Release Date:  February 18, 2022
Alan Parsons-One Note Symphony-Live In Tel Aviv   ©2022 Frontiers Records
​Another Alan Parsons live package is upon us and this was one fantastic show. This one was recorded in Israel and features the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra backing the band up. What I want to dig into here is the blu-ray. I always go for this package when available. The interesting thing with this release is the usage of dolby digital 5.1 even though it is labeled as master audio.  This may deter some fans, but here is the difference in the 2 mixes which include the previous 'The NeverEnding Show'. With this release, there is more of a surround experience. I found the rear surround speakers to be very active  versus last years where there wasn't a ton going on behind you. If you dig that type of thing, you may want to experience this. The show was amazing and I'll be keeping my copy and viewing on a regular basis! 
Release Date:  February 11, 2022