DGM-Life ©2023 Frontiers Records
I have come to really respect and like DGM. The Italian progressive metal band just seems to keep kicking it up a notch with each album. As I was listening to this album, I kept feeling like there were similarities to another band I dig a lot, Fates Warning. I say this from an angle of the song structure and delivery. Even though both bands are based in progressive, it doesn't always lead the way. The songs are first and foremost. The technical precision in the musicianship works inside the body of each song, but the music overall tends to be fairly accessible to general audiences in my opinion. Also, the confidence this band has really shows with this new album. 'Unravel The Sorrow' is a great example of what I am talking about and is also a video from the album. The band once again raises their bar and delivers another amazing album!
Release Date: November 17, 2023
Wicked Maraya-Chapters ©2023 Massacre Records
It had been a long time since I had heard anything from Wicked Maraya. I really liked the band's 'Cycles' album. That one hit at a time when the music scene was in a bit of disarray. I would dig around trying to find something new and these guys hit my radar and was purchased. The band's latest, even though falling into the progressive metal genre, really does have good appeal to a more mainstream audience. The album is an EP containing 5 songs or Chapters as they are called. You feel the progressive nature, but there is also a good power metal element here as well. 'Chapter IV' brings us a decent amount of melody. The album closer 'Chapter V' has one of the best grooves on the album. Overall, this is a cool release and gives us a preview of possibly where the band is heading in 2024. It's good to see this band's name among the active again!
Release Date: November 20, 2023
Care Of Night-Reconnected ©2023 Frontiers Records
Sweden just keeps them coming. Care Of Night was recently signed to the Frontiers Records label and should feel right at home as their sound fits right in with a lot of the other acts on the roster. Definitely has an 80's melodic hard rock sound. The band does show off a good rock edge in their sound. Really it's a good mix of edge and melody. In style and sound I felt like band reminded me a bit of a mix of the AOR band Fortune and maybe FM. Songs will definitely have a large appeal to fans of these bands among others. The band, originally formed in 2009 has recently had some lineup changes, but the results are very good. The album has a good even flow to it. It's a very nice musical journey that showcases the capabilities of the band. Good things are sure to come. If you like melodic hard rock and AOR like I do, this one should definitely be checked out.
Release Date: November 17, 2023
The Rods-Rattle The Cage ©2024 Massacre Records
I always love to see bands like The Rods offer up new music. Going back to my early days in rock and metal, The Rods were one of my early go to bands. Interestingly enough, it was 'The Rods Live' that caught my attention. Became a big fan and have been listening to them for a very long time. 'Rattle The Cage' is more of that traditional metal goodness that we have come to expect from the band. The release will show up in early 2024, but is sure to start the year off with a bang. The band still has 2 of the 3 original members with David Feinstein and Carl Canedy and are joined by bassist Freddy Villano. The album offers lots of great metal music with some of my favorites that include 'Wolves At The Door', 'Cry Out Loud', the title track 'Rattle The Cage' and 'Shockwave'. A vintage sound throughout with a lot of energy. That makes for another great release!
Release Date: January 19, 2024
Secret Sphere-Blackened Heartbeat ©2023 Frontiers Records
The new album from Secret Sphere is a real burner of an album. With this release, the band include some of their usual sophistication, but the intensity really drives this album. It doesn't waste any time proving it either. After a short into, the band goes for jugular with 'J.'s Serenade'. The tempo continues until 'Captive' where we get some of the band's more melodic music. There are plenty of transitions throughout the music on the album. Performances are tight and the energy really is off the charts. The most melodic track in my opinion is 'Anna'. It shows the other side of the spectrum for the band. I really dig the title track 'Blackened Heartbeat' that closes the album in similar ways to the way it opened. Plenty of intensity and the guitar work was very enjoyable. While there can be sophistication at times, the band really offers intensity with this album. Solid!
Release Date: November 10, 2023