Takida-The Agony Flame   ©2024 Napalm  Records
​I was pretty happy to see Takida get another shot with a label that has decent distribution here in the States. I've been following this band for quite some time now and really like their modern rock sound. Really good warm tones mixed with great vocal work and songwriting make these guys a go to for me. 'The Agony Flame' in ways reminds me a bit of the album 'The Burning Heart'.  Tempos are spot on and to me the feel of the music is similar. When I try to turn other people on to this band, I always get great results. People just don't know about them on a larger scale in the U.S., but if they did, I think this band would be much bigger over here. I'm hoping that they stick with Napalm for awhile. I am a fan of quite a bit on the Napalm Records roster and think Takida fits in very nicely. This is another strong record for the band. Definitely recommended!
Release Date:  February 9, 2024
Kontrust-Madworld    ©2023 Napalm Records 
​Another band I follow from the Napalm roster is Kontrust. You will be hard pressed to find a more unique band. They have a female and male vocalist and are definitely not afraid to incorporate many different sounds and ideas in their music. 'Madworld' comes to the fans with a revitalized lineup including new female vocalist Julia Ivanova. The music tends to have a decent edge to it, but is very hard to pigeonhole.  If you are familiar with the band's earlier records, you will know exactly what I mean. The band also adds elements to the music that are unique to the part of the world they come from. Just as an FYI, the band hails from Austria. I actually had been watching the band as they had been quiet for awhile and knew 'Madworld' was coming, but it slipped by me upon release. I managed to catch up and enjoyed what they offered once again!
Release Date:  November 14, 2023
Grand-Second To None  ©2024 Frontiers Records
​Swedish melodic rockers Grand return with another platter of great music. I had remembered really liking the bands debut album and was happy to see them return in quick fashion with this second album. I got really hooked on this album. I ended going back and spending more time with the debut as well. I would probably rate them in my top 10 of melodic rock bands on the Frontiers label. Songs once again have a bit of edge to them, but melody rules the way.  With the track 'Lily', I think the band have raised the bar on ballads. This song is so infectious with amazing vocal work.  The band sound so confident with this one, but also strut their stuff on the more up tempo style rockers like 'Sweet Talker' or even the opening track 'Crash And Burn'.  This will easily be one of my favorite releases of the year. If you like AOR style goodness, grab this one!
Release Date:  January 19, 2024
Revolution Saints-Against The Winds   ©2024 Frontiers Records
​Revolution Saints really don't waste any time when it comes to releasing music. It wasn't long ago that I was spinning 2023's 'Eagle Flight' and here we are with another studio album in early 2024. So what can you expect? More of the same melodic hard rock that the band has displayed with the previous albums. You won't see them trying to reinvent the wheel here. They just add little things to the music and the same winning formula seems to carry the day.  The album has a very melodic core to it, but at the same time, these musicians which include Joel Hoekstra and Jeff Pilson and obviously Deen Castronovo really have their chops down once again. This is the second album featuring the chemistry of these three musicians and I think once again, the album is a winner. Don't expect a lot of changes, consistency is key here and the sound is once again intact! 
Release Date: February 9, 2024
Honeymoon Suite-Alive   ©2024 Frontiers Records
​It's great to have these guys back! It's been 4 decades now and around 16 years or so since the previous full length studio album 'Clifton Hill'. While there isn't a huge catalog with this band, what has been put out is quality and the new album 'Alive' is no exception. The songs sound great and each member brings their 'A' game to the release. A couple of the songs have been out there  for a bit. 'Tell Me What You Want' was released in 2019 and 'Find What You're Looking For' in 2020. Fans got that early taste and really, it became the feel of what the album was going to be now released in 2024. As far as the members go, it looks like the band is mostly complete when compared to the early days which is always good because of the chemistry. I know I am definitely happy with this release and am hoping that maybe releases will become a bit more regular!
Release Date:  February 16, 2024