Dokken-Heaven Comes Down   ©2023 Silver Lining Music 
​Here is an album I didn't expect.  I remember back when the band was going to release the 'Broken Bones' album, that it would probably be there last. Well, it obviously wasn't as we now have 'Heaven Comes Down' over a decade later. This is a good record. Songwriting is pretty solid and performances are definitely good. Don is the only remaining original member on this record, but he has filled it out with great musicians. As far as Don's vocals, time changes things and I think he sounded good here. You're not hearing the higher notes at this point that were there in the band's early days, but he sounds good, just sings lower at this point. There is some good flashy moments throughout the album and I found the songs memorable. I'm not sure where the band is going to go moving forward, but I will gladly embrace this new album and enjoy it!
Release Date:  October 27, 2023
Seventh Crystal-Infinity [EP]    ©2023 Frontiers Records 
​Seventh Crystal is a band that I really like a lot. They have released a couple of very good records for Frontiers and have been making a name for themselves. The songs contained in this EP were apparently available at the time the band was wrapping up 'Wonderland', but the band decided to release them on this EP instead. There are 5 tracks total and as far as I can tell this is another one of those download only EP's that Frontiers has been doing more recently. If you are familiar with the band at all, you'll pretty much know what to expect here. The music has a hard edge to it and plenty of melody. The more melodic track is 'Rivals'. Some good atmosphere and love the piano. The rest are similar in style and delivery. I wouldn't classify these songs as filler and am glad they got their own EP. You really get to see even more capabilities with this band! Good stuff!
Release Date:  November 3, 2023
Within Temptation-Bleed Out  ©2023 Music On CD
​You know, I ordered this from Amazon and the physical copy just keeps getting further out on release. End of December as of right now. The positive note is that they do offer MP3's with Auto Rip.  Looking at the album itself, one thing really stood out to me. This may be the band's heaviest to this point. Not a ballad to be found. That may be good or bad depending on your tastes. I like to have at least one melodic track per album, so maybe next time? Also, there is a huge wall of sound through most of this album. It definitely leans more towards some of the 'Resist' sound than the earlier stuff. Songs are good and Sharon really sounds amazing as always. A lot of power in her vocal work on this album. I think most fans will like the album. There isn't a lot of variety this time around as it feels they worked in a formula when writing, but definitely a heavy album.
Release Date:  October 20, 2023
Lynch Mob-Babylon   ©2023 Frontiers Records
​George Lynch and his band Lynch Mob are apparently going to run one final tour and maybe this will be the last album? If it ends up that way it will be a top 3 for me. I was a big fan of the first two albums. Probably more partial to the self titled album as my favorite, but this new album hits on a lot of the key points that made the early albums great. Being a big George Lynch fan, there is no denying that he keeps super busy and his creativity is off the charts. So many projects.  He definitely funneled some of that good energy into this album and everything just works in my opinion. New vocalist Gabriel Colón does a great job and kind of brings a slightly different personality to the sound. Overall, a very good hard rock record. Maybe the band will keep making music and forgo touring, who knows, but this one is definitely worthy of your time!
Release Date: October 20, 2023
Night Ranger-40 Years And A Night   ©2023 Frontiers Records
​It's already been 40 years, wow! Well, 41 now, but this great live set was recorded last year marking the band's 40 year anniversary. The show was a one night show and featured Cleveland's Youth Contemporary Orchestra. I did initially check out some of the audio, but for me, I had to have the blu-ray to get the actual show. This must have been a really cool experience for the youth orchestra, but it really seemed like the band had a lot of fun with it as well. The track listing was very good in my opinion. I loved what they did with the track 'Night Ranger' which is a favorite of mine from the early days. I have been taking the ride with the band since 'Dawn Patrol' and it's been a great experience. When I only knew a few bands early on, they were one of them. The recording sounds good and I thought was priced right. Definitely a disc I will go back to!
Release Date:  October 20, 2023