New Horizon-Gate Of The Gods ©2022 Frontiers Records
For those disappointed in the departure of Erik Grönwall from H.E.A.T. a while back, this one is for you. This collaboration features H.E.A.T. member Jonah Tee and the former frontman in a more metal oriented release. Excellent power metal showcases the chemistry between these two. Grönwall really belts it out vocally as the music is of different nature this time. The overall batch of songs has a good powerful feel to them with some decent depth and musicianship. This could be one of the definitive power metal releases of 2022. I found the whole album to be tight and extremely likeable. There is plenty of confidence in the musical delivery and the listener is taken on an amazing musical journey. This is an act that I hope continues to offer new material as there is some amazing chemistry as already mentioned. Essential release!
Release Date: March 11, 2022
Vass/Katsionis-Ethical Dilemma ©2022 Vass/Katsionis
Vass/Katsionis brings Terra Incognita's frontman Billy Vass and musician extraordinaire Bob Katsionis together for a very cool progressive metal album. For a progressive album, the music is a lot more accessible to more mainstream audiences as the typical transitions are a bit more subtle. They are definitely there, but with this collaboration of two musical greats, the songs lead the way. The performances are definitely inspiring and the consistency of the music in terms of quality is evident. The album never gets carried away with your typical progressive elements. There is a lot of discipline shown here. The album has eight tracks total and clocks in just shy of 37 minutes in length. It's an entertaining listen, especially if you are a fan of either of the two members. Look for this album anywhere that carries Symmetric Records music, it will be worth your while!
Release Date: February, 2, 2022
Mecca-20 Years ©2022 Frontiers Records
I am sure I have heard this band before, but for some reason I didn't have any in my collection. Well, with this latest record out now on Frontiers Records, that is easy to remedy. I will also add that this is the biggest bang for your buck so far this year in this genre. You'll get 3 discs spanning 20 years of releases and 35 tracks total. It's a great retrospective release featuring an excellent melodic rock band. If you are a fan of this style of music, it will be no surprise to the quality due to the connection of Mecca founding member Joe Vana and his connection to Jim Peterik. There are plenty of similarities that fans can compare to some of Peterik's music, especially Survivor. The formula in songwriting is very similar and quite honestly, Mecca has some great songs showcased with this release. For the price point this one comes in at, it's an easy recommend!
Release Date: February 18, 2022
Rust N' Rage-One For The Road ©2022 Frontieers Records
Once upon a time the U.S. had a great rock scene. For years now that scene has shifted to Europe and Finland has been one of the hot markets for great bands and music. Rust n' Rage is one of the latest signing to Frontiers Records and have a great melodic hard rock sound. Anyone that knows me knows of my absolute love for the band One Desire. Jimmy Westerlund of One Desire has a connection to this band as a producer so that is definitely enough to get your interest up. In ways the bands are similar and in other ways there are differences. Both are melodic hard rock bands and would probably pair very well on a tour. I like this album as I thought I would. I am a fan of many different styles in the Finnish market. This record has a smooth feel with plenty of decent songs. For those of you wanted traditional hard rock sounds, definitely check this out!
Release Date: March 11, 2022
Voltstorm-Voltstorm ©2022 Voltstorm
Here is some impressive music for fans of UK styled metal and we know there have been plenty of amazing acts through the years from that market. This 6 track album due later this month has some energetic metal music, especially in the guitar work. If you want a taster that makes my point, check out the band's video for 'One Life' up now on YouTube. A good adrenaline pumping track that gives you a taste of the band's potential. In today's market, there are so many acts and to get noticed, something has to stick out. Voltstorm has that edge. Not only from the great music on this mini LP but the attitude of the music and the explosive nature at times. You have to be able to walk away with something and that is what is here. Memorable tunes with good intensity. Dig the artwork as well! Keep an eye on this band as time goes on. Good things lie ahead!
Release Date: March 25, 2022