Dragonland-The Power Of The Nightstar   ©2022 AFM Records
​You know, I wasn't familiar with this band before now. I see that Olof Mörck who most will know of from Amaranthe has been a part of this band even though they had been on a hiatus for a bit, the history is there. Well, I spent a lot of time absorbing this record and it is top notch. The music is very cinematic in nature and even though it has an intensity to it, it is very smooth and in ways polished. Amaranthe's Elize Ryd does a guest appearance on the track 'Journey's End' and the harmonizing with this duet works extremely well. I came out of this album very impressed. I get exposed to a huge amount of music and sometimes some bands slip through the cracks. I was glad I was able to check this one out and develop an appreciation for what this band offers. It is equally nice that after being absent for a bit, they brought their music back. Essential stuff!
Release Date:  October 14, 2022
Vanden Plas-Live And Immortal    ©2022 Frontiers Records 
​I had meant to get to this great new live album sooner from Vanden Plas, but you know how things go sometimes. Better late than never. Although I have never personally had the chance to witness Vanden Plas live, I know they have a great reputation when it comes to their live performance. Upon listening to this new album that was actually recorded in 2016, you get a very good idea of just how good this band is. This live show was hot on the heels of the band's 2 'Chronicles Of The Immortals' albums and does showcase from those albums well. There is plenty of energy here. The band is one of the few that can show complexity in their music without ever losing the accessibility that is necessary for a good listen. This is just excellent in my opinion. There is also a companion blu-ray if you prefer watching it instead. Either way, don't miss this!
Release Date:  August 12, 2022
Queensrÿche-Digital Noise Alliance  ©2022 Century Media Records
​As the first songs started coming out from this latest album, it was clear that Queensrÿche was going to release something very special. You could feel that progressive element that the band had embraced early on in their career. While the Todd LaTorre era has been really good, this album in my opinion is the best of that era and probably my favorite album by the band since 'Promised Land'. The albums leading up to Tate's departure were missing what this album has. This album has the chemistry that makes Queensrÿche one of the best bands out there. The music here has the progressions you would expect from the band from track to track. I had all but given up on this band before Todd joined. I knew they were capable of this. This band never has to adapt to the current thing. Just be Queensrÿche, and the results will be just like this. Superb album!
Release Date:  October 7, 2022
Billy Idol-The Cage EP   ©2022 Dark Horse Records
​The chemistry between Billy Idol and Steve Stevens lives on! This is the second e.p. Idol has released in the las few years. Really, that is the only downside. I would prefer a full length album, but I'm not complaining as the music still hits the market and is really good. Once again, this is a 4 track like the previous 'Roadside e.p.' Each song on this has it's own personality. Easily my favorite is 'Running From The Ghost'. This is destined to be a Billy Idol classic. The guitar work really helps drive this song as does Billy's smooth vocal work. 'Rebel Like You' has a pretty mainstream feel to it. Definitely catchy. 'Miss Nobody' is the 'To Be A Lover' of this e.p. You know, the track that is different from the rest. This tune has more of a dance vibe to it. Although this e.p. is short, it's a lot of fun. Just listen to the 2 e.p.'s back to back and you're good. Hoping for more soon!
Release Date:  September 23, 2022
The Cult-Under The Midnight Sun   ©2022 Black Hill Records
​The Cult is a pretty versatile band. They can pretty much do what they want and still maintain their appeal while doing it. As you travel through the band's catalog, they have had so many different sounds. The core of the band is always intact, it's just what do they offer in terms of the rest of the structure. Sometimes they have matched the current feel of the scene at the time, other times, they just do something very unique. This latest record is a pretty straight forward record, but it is laced with quite a bit of depth and atmosphere. Each song has a rich sound to it and there is quite a bit of melody throughout. They don't abandon the edge that they are known for either. This is a good rock record. Even though the album is a bit short with 8 tracks and a time of around 36 minutes in length, it comes across very satisfying. A very visual experience in ways!
Release Date:  October 7, 2022