Metal Church-Congregation Of Annihilation   ©2023 Rat Pak Records
​Metal Church has definitely seen it's share of tragedy. The passing of David Wayne years ago and more recently vocalist Mike Howe and Kirk Arrington. Even through all of this type of stuff, they have moved forward with new material and a new lead vocalist named Marc Lopes. Fans of Ross The Boss will be familiar. From a vocal standpoint, I think adding Lopes was perfect. To me, he has qualities from both Wayne and Howe. The music itself is excellent. I have spent a lot of time with this album and have gotten to know it well since it's release. Good heavy stuff done the Metal Church way. At times it leans towards the thrash sound the band have embraced in earlier eras. As a matter of fact, Vanderhoof has stated that he feels the writing is closer to the first two albums. As far as I am concerned, it's excellent and a fresh start for the band!
Release Date:  May 26, 2023
Neal Schon-Journey Through Time    ©2023 Frontiers Records 
​Neal Schon really needs no introduction. He has been a mainstay in the rock community for decades literally.  This latest live show just released by Frontiers is quite the package. It has a run time of almost 3 hours and really takes a journey through many great tracks, especially through a lot of Journey's earlier material. The performances are really good and it is nice to see Gregg Rolie as well as Deen Castronovo here. The show was recorded back in February of 2018. If you are more of a visual fan, there is a blu-ray that has been released as well. There really is a lot here and considering the price point, it is a pretty decent bargain. The performance sounds good, the delivery is tight with there being a good chemistry between musicians. Neal Schon is excellent at what he does and this was a very nice performance overall. 
Release Date:  May 19, 2023
House Of Shakira-XIT  ©2023 Frontiers Records
​House of Shakira return with their ninth studio album and it once again hits all the right marks. The band has an interesting dynamic that once again is in play here, Not only is their a big melodic presence, but the band also know how to add a good rock edge to the music. This mix creates a catchy feel to each track and the songs end up being memorable right out of the gates. Another element that has served the band well is integrating different styles and sounds into their rock sound. I think the ability to do this and have done this for a long time makes these guys a go to band when you want great melodic hard rock. This album overall was very likable to me from the first listen. Each subsequent listen only enhanced the experience even more. All in all, it's another great record by the Swedish rock band. An easy recommend for fans of the genre!
Release Date:  May 19, 2023
Wings Of Steel-Gates Of Twilight   ©2023 Wings Of Steel
​There has been a bit of a buzz going on in the current scene with Wings Of Steel. I kept hearing their name brought up in discussions and the respect and love people have for the band's new release 'Gates Of Twilight'. I hopped on over to YouTube and took a listen to their single 'Leather And Lace'. I was hooked immediately. Very cool blues groove going through this track and the vocals were off the charts. The vocal range on this release is quite impressive. As far as the music and it's style overall, this band sounds very traditional and 80's in nature. Leaning more towards metal, at times with the guitar work and arrangements in general, I could hear a bit of Iron Maiden. Not so much to be labeled a clone, but there are some similarities in places. Overall, the band offer a very satisfying listen. I feel that they should have some good success in time. Solid record!
Release Date: May 19, 2023
Steel Panther-On The Prowl   ©2023  Steel Panther
​This album almost got past me. Saw their performance the other night on America's Got Talent, and it reminded me that I hadn't picked this humorous platter of music up. As fans of the band know, Steel Panther releases their music in a bit of a parody fashion. Musically, the band is very good. It's the subject material that will either turn you off or crack you up. I fall into the latter. I'm personally tired of everything being so serious in our day. Back in the 80's life was all about having fun and not being so serious, and this is what these guys do perfectly. They make you smile and lose yourself in their style of hard rock and roll. With this being the band's sixth album to date, a lot of you have probably already checked them out. If you have, you'll know what you are getting here. If you haven't, pick this up and enjoy the ride! Solid and humorous!
Release Date: February24, 2023