Extreme-Six   ©2023 earMusic 
​The long wait is officially over. After hearing the first single 'Rise', this new album became my most anticipated title of the year so far. It was obvious that this was next level stuff for the band. Nuno was on fire with his guitar playing as was seen in that video, but there is more to this album. The music shows the band working as a collective unit and the results are absolute fire. The music is very diverse which gives the listener an absolutely wonderful musical journey. The diversity and funk is what I feel this band is known best for. Take a listen through their first three albums and you'll notice that there as well. 'Six' will go down as one of the band's best as far as I am concerned. Hard driving stuff, melodic stuff, and even the more funk or slight industrial elements make this album very addicting and interesting.  Very highly recommended!
Release Date:  June 9, 2023
Shakra-Invincible    ©2023 AFM Records 
​June is turning into quite the month for way above the usual standard albums. Shakra have just released what could be my favorite album of theirs. The band is always consistent and write very good songs, but this one just seems to be at that next tier in terms of quality. Bluesy hard rock sounds mixed with excellent performances by all and the songs just sound great to me. The album upon first listen was good, but after taking a second spin, that is where it grabbed me and it never let go. Each listen got even better. I spent a lot of time with this one last week and it will get plenty of more playing time I'm sure. The stuff that really stood out to me was the heavier stuff. For instance, 'The Matrix Unfolds' or the catchy hooks of 'Old Irish Song'. I love the heavy stuff on this album although as a whole, it is all very good. Easy recommend!
Release Date:  June 9, 2023
Art Nation-Inception  ©2023 Frontiers Records
​It's good to see Art Nation join the Frontiers label. They have some good stuff in the past, but at times it could be a bit of a challenge to get a physical copy.  The distribution with Frontiers will help a lot with getting this band out to a wider audience where they belong quite honestly. Alexander Strandell is a hell of a vocalist and fronts one of my other favorite Frontiers projects Crowne. This new record has a ton of melody, but is also quite explosive at the same time. Definitely a melodic hard rock record, but with a lot of energy overall. Most of the music packs a good punch, but retains that melodic core which is important for a band like Art Nation. I think this band will fit in very nicely with Frontiers Records and if you like a lot of what the label offers as far as melodic hard rock is concerned, this is an easy one to recommend. Art Nation always delivers!
Release Date:  June 9, 2023
A Life Divided-Down The Spiral Of A Soul   ©2023 AFM Records
​I took a nice run through the back catalog from A Life Divided recently. I was thinking how nice it would be to get a new album. Little did I know at that point, one was on the horizon. I believe I have everything from the band at this point and with this new album, they make a return to their heavier sound from early days. The band is a more modern sounding band if you are not familiar. Some of the music feels fairly mainstream but also incorporates some of the elements that they have in the past. This go around you get some harsh vocal work along with the clean vocals of Jürgen Plangger who does vocalize in English and also plays guitar for Eisbrecher, another German modern rock band. I liked 'Echoes' and the different sounds it offered, but probably like this album a bit better. Good to have the band back with another excellent modern release!
Release Date:  July, 7, 2023
The Defiants-Drive   ©2023 Frontiers Records
​The Defiants are back with their third release for Frontiers. If you have been following this band with the previous albums, you should know what you are going to get. This album offers more great songs similar to the work from the first two. Melodic hard rock sounds with really good songwriting. Fans should be aware that this band features both Paul Laine and Bruno Ravel who worked together in Danger Danger. Basically the Paul Laine era of the band. Even though Danger Danger is slow to release music these days, it's good to have Paul still working with Bruno in this band and have Ted still fronting Danger Danger. Rob Marcello also works with them as well as The Defiants. I felt 'Drive' was another worthy addition to the bands catalog. I love the melodic stuff like 'Miracle', but the upbeat rock stuff is definitely what drives this album. More great stuff!
Release Date:  June 9, 2023