Skid Row-The Gang's All Here   ©2022  earMusic
​What a difference a singer makes. Not necessarily new news at this point, but the addition of former H.E.A.T. vocalist Erik Grönwall has really brought Skid Row to the forefront again. His vocal work is similar in ways to former vocalist Sebastian Bach who has been out of the band for quite some time. There has been music in between the 2 frontmen, but it seems this move has really revitalized their fanbase. The album has that trademark hard rock sound that was present on the first couple of albums. As a matter of fact, this album could have been the next album in line after 'Slave To The Grind'. Plenty of flash and overall, just very catchy songs with lots of memorable moments. I was a fan of Erik's prior to this and knew this would work out well as he was a big fan of the band. That brings chemistry. If you haven't heard these guys in a while, check this out!
Release Date:  October 14, 2022
Orianthi-Rock Candy    ©2022 Frontiers Records 
​This is one catchy record. Orianthi has put together an excellent batch of songs. There is good variety in terms of style as well. At the core of this album is the guitar work which is always the case with Orianthi.  Jacob Bunton contributed quite a bit to the album from both musicianship and production standpoints. The music from track to track just has a great vibe. Each song has a decent mainstream feel to it. If a lot of these songs were to go to radio, they could do well. I would lead off with 'Light It Up' and probably go to 'Where Did Your Heart Go' for a bit lighter sound that does have some cool energy in the chorus. Honestly, this is a very complete album. Every track is solid. The album is a bit short clocking in at around 31 minutes, but it definitely is a satisfying 31 minutes. Orianthi is a very talented artist and has put together another great album!
Release Date:  October 14, 2022
Wildness-Resurrection  ©2022 Frontiers Records
​Wildness is a Swedish melodic rock band that have just released their Frontiers Records debut after releasing a couple of records for AOR Heaven. There is a lot of very infectious mid tempo music on this album. The band does have the ability to add some intensity and show just that early on in the album with the track 'Release The Beast'. Definitely one of my favorite tracks on the album. This a very 80's sounding album as far as songwriting goes. At times I was thinking they sounded a bit like Tyketto in the guitar rhythms. there is a decent dose of keyboard that balances the melodic sound. Some of the lighter stuff is similar in sound to bands like Foreigner. Case in point, 'Lonely Girl'. Reminded me a bit of some of the ballads from the 80's. Sweden really has been a hot market for bands of various style. Wildness is another example of this with their great new album!
Release Date:  October 14, 2022
Stratovarius-Survive   ©2022  earMusic
​It's actually been quite some time since Stratovarius released a new studio record. 7 years I believe. Well, the wait was worth it. Another solid outing of melodic speed metal served up the way they usually do. Performances are excellent as always. The band doesn't try to reinvent themselves with this album. They know what they do well and they stick with that formula. It definitely sounds like a Stratovarius record with the emphasis on writing the best songs possible I'm sure. They definitely excel in that department. If you are familiar with the band, especially the last few records, you'll know what to expect here. Good intensity, yet never sacrificing the melody. Bands like Stratovarius are important to the genre in my opinion. They have been carrying the torch for a long time and are obviously still carrying it with great metal music. Excellent!
Release Date:  September 23, 2022
Perfect Plan-Brace For Impact   ©2022 Frontiers Records
​When it comes to melodic rock bands, especially in recent years, there is no denying Perfect Plan's presence in the genre. They have really become one of the more elite bands of that genre and release very good albums with 'Brace For Impact' being the band's third studio album. This album picks up where 'Time For A Miracle' left off. Very similar songs that come across as strong as any they have done to date. What I like about Perfect Plan is that they aren't afraid to turn it up a bit in terms of intensity from time to time. They don't rely on just ballads although their ballads are always quite strong. Every song does carry tremendous amounts of melody however. I think this album is another winner. It's a very good listen start to finish and shows why the band is revered in the melodic rock community.  Good songs and good delivery make this an easy recommend!
Release Date:  October 14, 2022