Heroes And Monsters-Heroes And Monsters   ©2023 Frontiers Records
​Heroes & Monsters are a new Frontiers collaboration that features some very good talent. Todd Kerns, Stef Burns, and Will Hunt round the lineup with each having a very good resume. The music is quite catchy and does have a modern feel although their are some traditional elements in play as well. The album has plenty of hooks and falls into a hard rock style in terms of tempo. There are some flashy moments, but in different ways. The songs really don't require that, but where they do appear, it's like icing on the cake. I was happy to see Stef Burns appear with this project as I was a big fan of his work with Y&T and Alice Cooper. These guys make some great music that sounds a bit unique. Not sure who I would compare them to, but if you dig hard rock with a decent amount of melody and a thick overall sound, these guys are a good bet!
Release Date:  January 20, 2023
Zebedy-Waiting For The Tide    ©2023  Records 
​We have looked at quite a few more modern oriented progressive bands recently. The more modern sounding bands really have a wide gamut in how they approach things. Band's like South Wales' Zebedy start with the progressive core and then layer their own sound on top of it. There are quite a few bands out there doing this type of thing and it's up to the listener to decide which sound works for them. As mentioned, Zebedy is definitely more modern in their sound and may appeal more to the modern crowd, but make no mistake, this band really do have their chops down. The transitions are there and musicianship is quite good. They do mix their sound up a bit. The album starts off fairly moody with a decent atmosphere to it, but by the time you hit the track 'Bloom' the intensity kicks in and you get an idea of the versatility they have. Good modern stuff!
Release Date:  February 3, 2023
Ronnie Romero-Raised On Heavy Radio  ©2023 Frontiers Records
​Last year  Ronnie Romero released a covers album that featured many good radio style cover tunes. This time around he takes on the more metal oriented music. There are always two factors on whether these albums are worth your time. First is track selection. I prefer to hear good songs that aren't covered by everybody. Romero has a great selection of covers on this album. I mean 'Fast As A Shark' by Accept. What more can you say. The second factor is how well the songs are covered. Ronnie does an excellent job here as well and has a few great guest musicians to help out. While I don't spend a lot of time with cover albums, I do listen to them from time to time. Both covers albums by Ronnie Romero are worth your time as he has put together a good listen start to finish. This obviously is the heavier of the two. Excellent performances!
Release Date:  January 27, 2023
Motive Black-Auburn   ©2023 AFM Records
​Motive Black releases one of AFM's first offerings of 2023. The band feature female vocalist Elana Justin and a few notable guest musicians. Carla Harvey of Butcher Babies guests on 'Lift Me Up' which can also be seen via YouTube in the form of an official video. Ray Luzier brings a heavy presence as a guest as well. These songs were reworked by Elana and guitarist/producer Nick Rowe and bring a heavier sound. If you dig it heavy, this is a real gritty and raw sounding album. The songs even though heavy are catchy enough that they could work well if taken to radio. P.O.D. guitarist Marcos Curiel also guests on the album. I liked the sound and the diversity of this album. Some of it may seem mainstream while other songs are a bit less. It provides a good listen start to finish with good performances by all overall. A good AFM signing here!
Release Date:  February 10, 2023
Lansdowne-Medicine   ©2023 AFM Records
​I've been meaning to check these guys out for some time. They have been releasing music for some time now and are about to drop their new album 'Medicine in a week or so. The band are more modern sounding in nature and have a great lineup on this new record for fans of solid radio rock. I think fans of bands such as Pop Evil and the like will probably dig what these guys offer. Where I haven't really checked them out previously, I would have to base this album on my opinion of just this album versus others. It's the catchy kind of album that I would tend to go back to time and time again. I do like modern sounds even though my background is more of a traditional hard rock and metal fan. I really like quite a few bands in the modern hard rock genre and based on the work done here, I will probably come back to these guys in the future. Solid!
Release Date:  February, 3, 2023