Judas Priest-Invincible Shield   ©2024 Epic Records
​Always a real treat when Judas Priest releases a new album. To me, the band is one of the most influential and important metal bands of our time. With the band passing the 50 year mark as a unit they have nothing left to prove and haven't needed to for some time. Instead, they just release complete bangers like this album. My jaw was on the floor with this release.  Lot's of very heavy stuff and Halford holds nothing back vocally. For a guy in his early 70's it's amazing how much power he still has in the pipes. I did chase down the limited version book edition of this one that includes 3 bonus tracks which are equally as good as the rest of the album. The first few singles really give you a good idea of where this album is at from a creative stand point. 'Panic Attack' in ways reminds me a little of 'Painkiller' structurally. Definitely going to make lots of best of lists!
Release Date:  March 8, 2024
Gotus-Gotus    ©2024 Frontiers Records 
​Quite a bit of interesting back information on this band. Mandy Meyer who fans will remember from Krokus and Katmandu which also featured Fastway frontman Dave King. The band also features Pat Aeby who played drums for Krokus. With Ronnie Romero handling vocals, this album is a great experience that may remind some fans of Gotthard as Romero can sing fairly similar to the late Steve Lee. The album has plenty of great and well crafted melodic hard rockers and also adds the bands renditions of Katmandu's 'When The Rain Comes' and Gotthard's 'Reason To Live'. It's great to have Mandy Meyers back in the limelight and a great bunch of musicians to complete the band. I will definitely enjoy this album as I have been a huge Gotthard fan and that's who they remind me of most. I'll also look forward to more in the future hopefully!
Release Date:  January 19, 2024
Illumishade-Another Side Of You  ©2024 Napalm Records
​This band is relatively new to me. I did grab a download of the previous album 'Eclyptic: Wake Of Shadows' a bit back and liked what I heard. I was looking forward to more and that brings us to the new album. The band is female fronted and hail from Switzerland. Musically, they are very atmospheric with quite a few modern elements to the music such as tuned down heavy guitar work. It's quite a contrast when listening to it. There is a beauty to some of these tracks that get hit with that wall of guitar. It might lean towards the more recent Within Temptation style although I feel that these songs go for a cinematic feel overall. There is a lot of consistency in this album. Plenty of heavy rocking tracks, but also some more radio friendly tunes like 'Cloudreader' or the melodic 'Fairytale' or even 'Verliebt' that also features Coen Janssen. Very rich sounding album that feels like every detail mattered to the bigger picture. Excellent band and album!
Release Date:  February 16, 2024
Turbulence-Binary Dream   ©2024 Frontiers Records
​I really dig this band. We took a look at the previous album 'Fallen' back when it was released and knew this band showed a ton of promise. The band are from Lebanon and play a really atmospheric and catchy form of progressive metal. The catchy element is something that stood out on the previous album, and once again is prevalent here. I find the music interesting. When listening to progressive, I've always felt that things can get carried away and that discipline is an important attribute in this genre. Turbulence once again excels in this are. You can tell how good these guys are as musicians, but at the end of the day, it's all about the songs. Song lengths are typical of progressive metal music, but the band keeps the listener interested. There are some modern sounding elements in the music which widens the appeal. Another outstanding effort!
Release Date: March 8, 2024
Blue Öyster Cult-Ghost Stories    ©2024 Frontiers Records
​Couldn't wait to get my ears on this one. Being a huge fan of the band going quite a ways back, this set of unreleased material definitely caught my interest. The music was originally recorded between 1978-1983 which I believe was a great era for the band. I like all of their stuff, but creativity was so good between those years. There is one track called 'If I Fell' which dates to a more recent 2016. The overall album sounds very vintage to me. These are not throw away songs either. I felt the music here lives up to what fans have come to like about the band.  Sometimes a band will release unfinished material and quite honestly it just doesn't have the chemistry. This album however excels in chemistry. Great tunes and hearing some of these tunes that features members that have left the band is really cool.  An absolute necessity for classic rock fans and B.O.C. fans alike!
Release Date:  April 12, 2024