Site hosted by Build your free website today!



Out of Denver comes singer/songwriter MEGAN BURTT, who releases her first full-length CD titled ‘And the cure for love’. Musically typically American based Midwestern Classic Rock the 12 included songs do remind a little of ALANNAH MYLES, LIZ LARIN and such female artists here and there. Most of the songs are midtempo or semi-ballad orientated, so nothing uptempo and really rocking here, but nevertheless, some beautiful music with of course Megan’s excellent vocalwork as eye catcher. Check it out for yourself at: 

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)


MY SILENT BRAVERY is an American band with a sort of Popsized approach to the current Emo sound in the USA. Actually, MY SILENT BRAVERY should not be considered a Rockband, because they deliver a bunch of Poptunes on their debut CD ‘Are you prepared?’. Although not bad, this surely isn’t a rock album and if you’re interested in checking out more, then go to: 

(Points: 6.6 out of 10)


THE IVEYS is a band from Texas, USA playing Classic Pop, based around multi-layered harmonyvocals a la THE EAGLES and acoustic tingled guitars. It’s sweet, it’s melodic, but it’s pure Popmusic. 8 tracks are included and although a quality CD, rockers will not really find it that interesting I am afraid, but for a good night sleep this is recommended stuff. More info at: 

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


Out of Georgia, Atlanta comes the band THE VILLAINS, a Classic Rock sounding band. Back in the 1970s and even the 1990s many US labels signed acts that played the kinda Rock showed on the debut CD of THE VILLAINS. Good clean Melodic Rock with strong hooks, vocals and catchy choruses. OK, it’s not AOR, but still it is good old fashioned US Melodic Poprock that reminds me a little of TOMMY TUTONE or THE GRANITI BROS, if anyone remember those guys! This is very early 80s type of US Midwestern Melodic Poprock and THE VILLAINS do it very well, without sounding dated. Between some rockers, also semi-acoustic stuff is included, which have a little COUGAR/PETTY similarities. More info at: 

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)


KINETIC ELEMENT is a band from Richmond, Virginia, USA and they have released their debut CD ‘Powered by light’. Although it is a new CD, the included music is clearly inspired by 1970s Prog, with of course clear similarities to YES, ELP and GENESIS. In fact, it sounds so much like the 70s British wave of Prog, one would think this record is a re-issue of an old 70s album. On the other hand that is not really strange if you hear that mainleader MIKE VISAGGIO (keys, vocals) has been active in the music business ever since 1962 and played in several progbands the past 50 years (!). What they are doing here, they are doing with class and Progfans will absolutely love this challenging debut CD of KINETIC ELEMENT. The 7 included songs are lengthy and filled with rich keyboardwork, so all you YES fans have something to collect here! More info at: 

(Points: 8.3 out of 10)


The 3 main members of the Cleveland, Ohio based band SYZYGY have been playing together since the late 1970s and although they did not record that much, now in 2010 finally full CD has been released with material they wrote over a 4-5 year period. The biggest surprise is the fact that MARK BOALS provided guest vocals on 4 songs and of course Mark is a terrific singer who sang with many bands in the past, so success guaranteed. SYZYGY is playing pure Progressive Rock, a little the American way, sometimes sounding like classic 70s KANSAS, but also STARCASTLE and even SHADOW GALLERY are good comparisons. 80 minutes of high class Symphonic Rock is the name of the game here and fans of mentioned bands will definitely like this release a lot. More info at: 

(Points: 8.3 out of 10)


It has been quiet for some time now around ERIK NORLANDER, the legendary Keyboard Wizard, but he now makes a full return with this new CD ‘The galactic collective’. The album is filled with 80 minutes of high class instrumental keyboard based Symphonic/Progressive Rock/Metal. It’s divided into 10 tracks, of which some are very lengthy, such as the closing track “The dark water” that clocks in at 20 minutes. From start to finish, this is a journey into space for sure, with so many spacey keyboard and synthesizers sounds, a real adventure in which one can clearly hear all the influences that made ERIK NORLANDER a successful keyboardplayer, ranging from obvious stuff like ELP and YES/RICK WAKEMAN to Sci-Fi themes like STAR WARS and DOCTOR WHO, it can all be heard on this new CD of Erik. Be sure to check it out at: 

(Points: 8.7 out of 10)


JOE VITALE is a legendary drummer, who has played with mainly CROSBY, STILLS and NASH for 32 years, but also played with the likes of TED NUGENT, MICKEY THOMAS, MICHAEL STANLEY, JOE WALSH, PETER FRAMPTON, THE EAGLES, RICK DERRINGER, JOHN LENNON, DAN FOGELBERG… ‘Backstage pass’ is the book he has written about everything he experienced while performing with these legendary musicians. He toured… he recorded… well basically he really lived backstage with these acts and of course he gives away a lot of inside-stories in this book. Besides, all the stories also a lot of rare pictures are included and for fans of mentioned acts, this book is of course a must-have, but I am sure also the fans of JOE VITALE would like to read this book. Definitely a nice enjoyable read, which is always the case when a musician speaks about his music career backstage. More info at: and the book is available through: 

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)


Out of Detroit Rock City comes the band AWESOME COLOR, a band playing a mix of sorta late 60s/early 70s Psychedelic Rock and 80s Garage/Alternative Rock, like a mix between SONIC YOUTH and THE GUESS WHO. ‘Massa hypnos’ is their 3rd CD and although instrumental we can hear some very interesting JIMI HENDRIX like guitar riffs, the vocals are a bit of a let-down. Sometimes it sounds quite experimental, but if you like your rock to sound underground/garage orientated, then this band is definitely recommended. More info at: 

(Points: 7.7 out of 10)


Formed in November 2006 in Seattle, Washington, USA, the band THUNDERBIRD MOTEL is playing retro 1970s Classic Hardrock with a Southern feeling, kinda like FREE, LYNYRD SKYNYRD and BAD COMPANY, yet with an updated approach, so also fans of WHITE STRIPES, JET and such will like this band. ‘Rockit til the wheels fall off’ is the debut CD of the band and fans of the raw real Rock and Roll sound will definitely like this THUNDERBIRD MOTEL. More at: 

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


Although this Illinois, USA based band started way back in the rocking 1970s, when they also mixed rock and progrock, plus the fact that some of the members played in the Hardrockband THE BOYZZ, the new CD of THE WILLING does not really rock. On the other hand, it does sound like a high quality record with some beautiful harmonyvocals. The music is Westcoast at it’s best, but then closer to bands like ORLEANS, EAGLES and CROSBY, STILLS, NASH & YOUNG, AMERICA… and therefore AOR fans might want to pass. The songs are acoustic based and here and there a bit too much 1970s sugarsweet (like the SMOKIEish “Alexis you”). Anyway, fans of closer harmony acoustic driven US Midwestern 70s Pop/Rock might want to check out THE WILLING at: 

(Points: 7.9 out of 10)


‘Fifth dimension’ is the debut CD of the Swiss female singer JANE BOGAERT. She has a long history in the music business that brought her in touch with many different music genres. However, in between working with the likes of A-HA, THIN LIZZY, AL JARREAU, TOTO COTUGNO, DAVID HASSELHOFF, UWE OCHSENKNECHT as a backing singer, she became MISS SWITZERLAND and represented Switzerland at the Eurovision Song Contest. Now many moons later, Jane releases her first official full-length solo-CD titled ‘Fifth dimension’ on which she is helped by members of DOMINOE and also the golden voices of JEFF SCOTT SOTO and JOE LYNN TURNER who sang a couple of duets with her. The result is a superstrong Melodic Hardrockalbum with an 80s touch, kinda LITA FORD/LISA NEMZO/IF ONLYish, yet with a tough guitar orientated approach (a la GOTTHARD here and there). Jane’s vocals are very impressive and all together this album stands like a rock. The DOMINOE influence in the songwriting is a thousand miles better than this band’s final record of a few years ago. If you want to hear female fronted Hardrock at it’s best, then better check out this CD asap! More info at: 

(Points: 8.6 out of 10)


BADLANDS were a band that should have been big back in the late 80s, but sadly that never happened, because within the band's line-up there were some issues and drummer ERIC SINGER was the first to leave the band after the phenomenal debut album from 1989. Somehow the band still managed to create another record 2 years later, although the end was near and soon after it's release they split up. However, after the split of BADLANDS, it still was not over, because lead singer RAY GILLEN sadly died a few years after the final BADLANDS record and that marked the definitive end of BADLANDS. Despite another BADLANDS record titled 'Dusk' was released at the end of the 1990s, which was more a CD filled with demos recorded in the early 90s, BADLANDS had only been active for a few years. Nevertheless, now 20 years later the impact of them is still quite impressive. Besides the debut, also this 2nd album 'Voodoo highway' from 1991 has been re-issued onto CD by ROCK CANDY RECORDS. Just like the other re-issue, it looks and sounds perfect and for me personally this album is a real nostalgic trip back in time, because it was one of the first CDs I bought in 1991. Musically BADLANDS had underwent a small change of style, because the groovy Hardrocksound was more or less slightly replaced here and there with songs that could be labeled as Bluesy Melodic Hardrock, with even as opening track ("The last time") a real catchy uptempo tune that somehow reminds one of TYKETTO. Still a lot of songs continue the groovy sound of the debut, but it was clear that the band also wanted to add some more accessible material on the record, perhaps under pressure by the record company. Anyway, it was a really good strong effort, but as already mentioned it was over and now 2 decades later it becomes clear that BADLANDS in it's original line-up could have become huge, but due to several matters this never happened and so we are now looking back, thanks to ROCK CANDY RECORDS, whom re-issued both albums on CD. Also this 2nd album comes along with extensive liner notes, including full cooperation of the bandmembers, with even a recent interview, all revealing the story behind BADLANDS... More info at: 

(Points: 9.0 out of 10)


In the late 1980s supergroups starting their bandname with a "B" became sort of a new trend. BAD ENGLISH, BLUE MURDER and BADLANDS were the 3 big names in the scene. None of them made it through the 1990s, but they definitely had a huge impact on the Hardrockscene, even now 20 years later. BADLANDS was a band formed around the talented guitarist JAKE E. LEE (previously toured with OZZY OSBOURNE), the superb vocalist RAY GILLEN (BLACK SABBATH), drummer ERIC SINGER (also once a member of BLACK SABBATH, later with KISS) and bassist GREG CHAISSON (STEELER, MALMSTEEN). What they put on record in 1989 on their same titled debut album was of a very high level and should have bring them fame and fortune without any doubts. At the time, LED ZEPPELIN's groovy Hardrock influenced many new bands somehow (KINGDOM COME and BLUE MURDER being 2 of them) and this resulted in a lot more bands also adopting this style, but none of them did it as good as BADLANDS. BADLANDS had it all, with especially a thank you to the late RAY GILLEN for belting it out as good as ROBERT PLANT did a mere 15 years earlier. Jake's guitarsound was excellent, so was the rhythm section, meaning that this album just had to become a winner, but on the other hand, there wasn't a single radio-ready track on it. Commercially speaking chances were big it would become a failure, but already back then that didn't matter too much, because the album was released and it would never be called dated, as it was after all a classic from the first day it was released. An album that would forever be appreciated by fans and critics. 21 years after the original LP release on ATLANTIC RECORDS, ROCK CANDY RECORDS gave it their superflashy re-issue on CD. Fully remastered and sounding better than ever, the album sounds as fresh now as it did back then, making it a highly recommended album to anyone who likes their hardrock to sound groovy, a little bluesy and very soulful. WOLFMOTHER, THE ANSWER and such bands may think they re-invented the wheel in recent years, but if you listen again to BADLANDS' debut CD from 1989, it becomes clear they should get all the fame and fortune, even now 2 decades later. Out of all bands playing LED ZEPPELINish Hardrock the past 40 years BADLANDS were the 'Rembrandt of them all', playing it exactly the way it should have sounded, but as with art, the recognizition arrives later and sadly much too late to give the band a decent discography, because only 1 more album followed this wonderful debut record. This re-issue also looks very impressive, with extensive liner notes and nice pictures inside the CD booklet. Moreover, for the die-hards, there is a bonustrack titled "Ball and chain", so if you didn't got the original release, here's your second chance... More info at: 

(Points: 8.8 out of 10)


OBSIDIAN is a band from the US state of Missouri, not far from the Kansas area and their 2nd CD ‘Dreamcatcher’ sounds really impressive for an independent release. First of all, the sound and production is of major label level and also musically this band could have easily been a major label signed act, but in fact, they released ‘Dreamcatcher’ independently. The album was partially recorded in LA in June 2009, with a little help from GRAMMY AWARD winning engineers MICHAEL DUMA and TY DENNIS (current THE DOORS drummer). The music style is modern sounding, but happily it is a mix of the best Rock offered the past 3 decades, because it starts with an almost mid 90s Grungy SOUNDGARDEN/ALICE IN CHAINS type of groovy tune “Whispers”, then comes a strong modern day sounding midtempo Melodic heavy rocker titled “Serenity”, while the band goes back in time to the 1980s with the THE CULTish uptempo Goth rocker “Sounds of silence”. These first 3 songs show a very diverse band that should appeal to any Rockfan and thanks to the incredible huge sound and performance (some awesome guitarwork here and there, such as in “C.K.T.C.”) and the professional approach of the band, OBSIDIAN is a band to watch out for. The band is formed around 2 brothers, NIKK WOLF (vocals) and STEVEN WOLF (guitars, piano), with Hunter Kelso (drums) and Zakk Kelmel filling up the rhythm section. After the first 3 mentioned songs, the remaining 10 songs continue this style and so we get a mix of SOUNDGARDEN, THE CULT and a little HINDER. All together a nice typical modern American Rockalbum. Surprisingly the band is opening up this summer for bands like PRETTY BOY FLOYD, LA GUNS, FASTER PUSSYCAT…, all legendary 80s Hair Metal bands, but who knows this combination of old and new will work very well with the audience. Anyway, check out the band at:  and e-mail them at: 

(Points: 8.3 out of 10)


In the past we reviewed a few records of this Texas based band 2-piece band called MONKEYSOOP, formed around guitarist JERRY CONNOR and bassist/drummer ERICA MISSEY. 6 tracks are on their new CD ‘Experimental’, which musically does sound experimental indeed. Most of the songs are instrumental, mixing groovy, jazzy and progmetal into one experimental direction that sounds like an instrumental RUSH on steroids! Quite challenging and for the progfan worth checking out, more info at: 

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


New Zealand is not really known for it’s Rock history, but here and there some bands slipped through with DRAGON (better known as HUNTER in Europe) and CROWDED HOUSE being the 2 most popular bands. However, real Hardrockbands from New Zealand are rare and SEX AND ADDICTION happens to be one of them, although they sometimes are more Rock than Hardrock. They released a nice little album that contains raw punchy Hard Rock and Roll, no nonsense, just straight-ahead with strong sexual lyrics. In between the 12 included tracks also some grungy sorta ballads are included. If you wanna enjoy some good old straight-ahead rock and roll, then check out this SEX AND ADDICTION, whom remind me a bit of the early 90s bands like EVERY MOTHER’S NIGHTMARE, JUNKYARD and especially KIK TRACEE. More info at:  and e-mail at: 

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


In the past we reviewed a CD of the French band WILDPATH, which if I recall well was somewhere in 2006, so that is 4 years ago. Now the band is releasing it’s 2nd CD ‘Non omnis moriar’ on the legendary French label BRENNUS RECORDS, a label of whom we have been reviewing releases for 15 years now! Anyway, musically WILDPATH goes for the typical European female fronted Symphonic Gothic Melodic Power Metal style, only a cry away from bands like NIGHTWISH, AFTER FOREVER and EPICA. Although they do not reach the incredible high level of those bands, still WILDPATH is a very strong act that can clearly be heard on this new album, which is a concept-record based on Ancient Rome poet Horace’s verses. The band was formed way back in 2001, so they have been active for quite a while now. In the meantime they switched lead singers, something which I did not experienced at first, but original vocalist CAROLINE MICHAUD has been replaced by MARJOLAINE BERNARD on this new CD. She has a very Operatic way of singing, so is mostly up in the higher octave range, sorta like TARJA. The music is like already mentioned before very much going into the TARJA fronted NIGHTWISH direction, with some RHAPSODY (listen to the best song, the titletrack) and SONATA ARTICA influences in the instrumental department. 17 tracks are included, of which some are interludes or short instrumentals, hence the concept idea, with a playing time of almost an hour. Maybe not a classic in it’s genre, still recommended to check out if you’re a fan of the typical female fronted Euro Power Metal sound of mentioned bands, especially since it all sounds and looks equally professional as those bands. More info at: 

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)


Glamrock will never die! SKULL DAZE is a new Italian band, which is playing like it is 1987 all over again. Especially in Sweden and Italy the past 10 years we have seen hundreds of bands playing the late 80s LA Glamrocksound of bands like FASTER PUSSYCAT, RATT, MOTLEY CRUE, SKID ROW and POISON. SKULL DAZE are doing that very well on their first full-length CD I must admit. Maybe nothing new is brought here, but it surely sounds very professional and although it is pure Glam/Sleaze Hardrock what we get to hear, they have in their line-up a huge guitar-wall of sound, with licks coming straight outta a Heavy Metal/Power Metal book, all provided by 2 guitarists. 10 songs are included on the CD, which has been released on the new Italian label STREET SYMPHONIES RECORDS, and with uptempo rockers like “Nothin’”, “Heartbreak city” and “Heartless love” (an OZZYish “Crazy train” RANDY RHOADS style guitar riff mixed with a WHITE LIONish chorus!), the fans of mentioned bands can sing-a-long all night long, because the choruses of these songs are deadly catchy! Needless to say that this CD is a must-have for fans of mentioned bands and it is as good as those recent Scandinavian attacks of Glamrock by bands like CRASH DIET, WIG WAM and CRAZY LIXX. More info at:  and 

(Points: 8.4 out of 10)


FRANK DOLAN is a multi-instrumentalist who lives in either Amsterdam, Algarve or Ireland. He recorded 2 songs, which he sent me on a CDR. Musically it is relaxing/laid-back instrumental ambient prog sorta stuff. Not bad at all, but perhaps a full-length CD in the near future will tell us more… More info at: 

(Points: 7.7 out of 10)


The band MOJO POJO recently released their same titled debut CD and after a couple of spins it becomes clear we have something very sensational on our hands here. The band is coming out of Venezuela and they got a little help from people who worked with RUSH, MAIDEN and TESTAMENT, but nevertheless they did most of the stuff on their own. Musically speaking this is high quality Progressive Rock, not far removed from RUSH, yet with Spanish lyrics on a few songs, although the band is actually a little more melodic in the overall approach than RUSH. What they show on their first CD is of a very high level, especially during songs like “Llega el tiempo” (a la ENCHANT), “Stained”, “Esta vez” and the superb instrumental “Hole tone”. Melodic, catchy and still very proggy… definitely a band to keep your eyes open for in the future at: 

(Points: 8.4 out of 10)


A few years ago 2 great Swedish Melodic Rockbands arrived on the scene, DREAM and TRADING FATE. Although they released a couple of demos, the bands merged and really came alive together as H.E.A.T. Their same titled debut CD was released in 2008 and it created quite a buzz in the AOR/Melodic Rockscene as it ended up being one of the finest releases in the genre that year. Everything sounded perfect, a real AOR/Melodic Rock winner! H.E.A.T. went on to enjoy superstardom in their home country Sweden, because in 2009 they participated in the Swedish qualifications for the Eurovision Song Contest of that year. They reached the finals, but did not win sadly. However, it really helped them to become very popular in Sweden, because the particular song "1,000 miles" ended up being the 5th most played song by a Swedish artist on the Swedish radio in 2009, which is quite an achievement for such a young and pure AOR/Melodic Rock based band. Releasing a follow-up to such a strong debut is always hard, but with 'Freedom rock' they have managed to release another winner for the AOR/Melodic Rockfans. Released at the beginning of the summer of 2010, a lot of the included songs are picture perfect summer radio ready tunes to sing-a-long and dance all night to during the hot summer nights. Catchy, cheerful and perhaps cheesy Melodic Rock does not get any better than this! Most of the songs are uptempo, radio-friendly, hookladen and very catchy, with as highlights "I Can't Look The Other Way", "Nobody Loves You Like I Do", "Danger Road", "Stay", "I Know What It Takes" and the incredible "Cast Away". However, the midtempo/semi-AOR ballad driven material is perhaps even better, because songs like "Shelter", "Everybody Wants To Be Someone" and "Who Will Stop The Rain" are by far the best AOR related songs I have heard in a long time. The only less interesting tracks are the rather simple rocker "Beg beg beg", which has a sorta VAN HALEN kinda humor, as well as the groovy "High On Love" to which I would have prefered the 2 non-album single tracks "Tonight" and "Living In A Memory" (both can only be found on the 'Beg beg beg' single and the Japanese version of the album). OK, what we get to hear is not really original, because it all sounds very cheesy and very 1980s based, combining elements of JOURNEY, TOTO, GIANT, TYKETTO, DANGER DANGER and of course EUROPE circa 'The final countdown/Out of this world', so a real mix of AOR and Melodic Rock. BUT who on earth gives a damn about that fact, as long as it is done as well it is done on this new record of H.E.A.T., on which the band shows they are here to stay and therefore it is now time for you to FEEL IT AGAIN and enjoy a long hot summer with FREEDOM ROCK, because this is clearly an album of the year contender!. More info at:  and 

(Points: 9.3 out of 10)


The colorful Egyptian style logo of the label CASABLANCA RECORDS is the thing that impressed me the most from all the records I bought in the early days of my vinyl hunting days. Of course these were mostly the KISS and ANGEL records, as those were the 2 main hardrockacts on this label, which was founded during the 1970s by NEIL BOGART and LARRY HARRIS. Without a doubt, the CASABLANCA RECORDS label was not like any other label at the time, because they wanted to introduce acts that went a little further than just being a band in it’s own right. KISS of course were the very first act on the label and right away a winner, because despite the standard Rock and Roll this band played, they made such a big impact in the USA back in 1974/1975 due to their image. Before KISS, image wasn’t a major part of a success story, because if you had a good song in the pre-KISS days, you were pretty much settled, but when KISS hit the market, things would radically change, especially in America. It was however actually thanks to CASABLANCA RECORDS KISS got it’s attention in the first place, because who knows what would have happened if label founders Larry and Neil had not signed KISS! Luckily they did sign KISS and the very first CASABLANCA RECORDS album release was the debut album of KISS. What followed is known to all of us and it was the success of KISS that made the label aware that selling music was easier if you had an act with an image, a stage act or a look that would set them apart from the majority of bands in the scene. The book ‘And party every day: The inside story of Casablanca Records’ by Larry Harris is a very enjoyable impressive and thoughtful book about a label that joined huge success in the 1970s with some of the Pop Music most outrageous and daring acts. DONNA SUMMER, VILLAGE PEOPLE, GEORGE CLINTON, ANGEL and KISS were probably the most notable acts on the label’s roster. The label lasted 10 years, but clearly made a huge impression on the world and until this day it is thanks to this daring label that image became just as important as the music in the Popular Music Culture, whether you like that fact or not… The book counts 300 pages of everything you need to know about CASABLANCA RECORDS, of which KISS takes a majority of these pages, because they were of course the label’s most successful band. Some very nice stories can be read and especially the full discography of the label is something worth looking at, because they did release some great AOR/Hard Rock material as well, such as TERI DESARIO’s female fronted AOR Classic ‘Caught’, the first two 707 albums, TRIGGER, PLAYER, GODZ, EDGE, NICK GILDER, BLACK ROSE… All together a recommended book, especially to KISS fans out here, although an inside-look in any label is always interesting… let’s hope more of such books will be published in the future. In the meantime check out this book on CASABLANCA RECORDS, which is available through: 

(Points: 8.6 out of 10)


Now here we have an incredible book that can easily be set apart from any other available book, because the included concept has not been done in the past in any other book. Sure, books that have been made up of lists only have been available for eternity, but a book entirely based on Heavy Metal lists is quite unique and definitely the first of it’s kind. Author ERIC DANVILLE has done the same item before in a book called THE OFFICIAL PUNK ROCK BOOK OF LISTS which was entirely based on Punk, but this new book of him is based on Metal only lists in all it’s aspects, ranging from THE 21 ALL CHICK METAL COVER BANDS to the THE 51 AWESOMELY VIOLENT BAD NAMES to the THE 11 HEAVY METAL GIGS THAT ENDED IN RIOTS to the 30 HEAVY METAL VEGANS AND VEGETARIANS and you name it further. 130 lists in total and Eric easily succeeded in putting a smile on your face when reading each and every page of his book. It’s a non-stop ride through the most bizarre and rare facts of the Metal genre. Therefore this book is definitely a winner and a must-have for any metalfan out there! Available through: 

(Points: 9.2 out of 10)


ON-OFF is an Italian band with a strong independent CD that contains no-nonsense ballsy straight-ahead Rock and Roll in the style of RHINO BUCKET, AC/DC, KROKUS, THE CULT, KINGS OF THE SUN, DIRTY LOOKS, HELIX and AIRBOURNE. 10 tracks are included and without a doubt if you like any of the mentioned bands, this ON-OFF is definitely an act you will adore just as well. Most of the tracks are uptempo, raw and just pure Hardrock the way it should be played: LOUD AND PROUD! The band has put a lot of efforts in the sound of the CD, which basically is perfect and also the CD artwork/booklet looks very professional, so I can easily recommend the album to the fans of mentioned bands. Go to: 

(Points: 8.1 out of 10)


It’s 2010, but the American band GHZ features 3 members that would rather go back to 1969 and play Power Rock in the style of CREAM and JIMI HENDRIX, which can clearly be heard on the band’s album ‘Morbid curiosity’. Without a doubt, the 10 included tracks are indeed food for the fans of HENDRIX/CREAM and I must admit that GHZ is doing it very well actually, reaching dangerously close the classic rock sound of the late 1970s heavy power/blues rock era. 10 songs are included and they all go in the similar style, reminiscent of mentioned bands. Go check it out for yourself at: 

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


Progressive Rock meets Symphonic Rock is the name of the game here. NOVUS REX is a band from Colorado Springs, USA and they have released a semi-instrumental CD titled ‘Plowshares into swords’, which is actually their debut album. Musically it is a trip or should I say a journey back in time, because the massive synthesizers/keyboards do remind one immediately of the legendary EMERSON, LAKE AND PALMER in their heydays. Although 4 songs do feature some short vocal passages, the majority of the CD is based around typical instrumental prog/symphorock themes with some great duals between the guitar and the keyboards (a little ERIK NORLANDERish). NOVUS REX has done a nice little job here and for fans of massive keyboard orientated Prog/Symphonic Rock (a la ROCKET SCIENTISTS), this is definitely worth checking out at: 

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


THE LAST ACT are a Canadian band, of whom we reviewed CDs in the past. ‘Still standing’ has been out for while now, but somehow it landed on my desk just very recently. THE LAST ACT played Progressive Metal of a very high level as I can recall, but on this CD it all sounds a bit less sensational and also the music is more just Melodic Metal based. I think I have to go back to their previous record, because it seems like the band has changed a bit. The lead singer does not sound convincing enough to carry the band’s somewhat doomish Metal and also the production could have been a little better I’m afraid. Although not a bad record at all, judging on the band’s past releases, THE LAST ACT is able to do better for sure. Happily, the guitarwork is pretty good, but songwise I’m not so sure, but who knows a new CD will pop up sooner, because as already mentioned, ‘Still standing’ was released in 2008. Check out the band at: 

(Points: 6.7 out of 10)


SVOLK is a Norwegian band playing a mix of deep dark in the forest type of Doom Metal, early 1980s NWOBHM and Stoner Rock/Metal, sorta mixing CANDLEMASS, KYUSS, WOLF and FOZZY, just to name a few. What they do on their debut CD, they are doing remarkably well and after repeated listens I can conclude this is quite a winner for any metalfan out there. First of all, the sound is huge and thanks to 2 guitarists in the band’s line-up, the CD sounds very heavy and is based on pure Metal Guitar Riffs. However, the diversity in metal styles is even more setting SVOLK apart from most other bands, because they go from Stoner to Doom to traditional NWOBHM in a second. Without a doubt SVOLK is one of those bands that will get a huge press coverage due to their rich and diverse Metal sound. Hear for yourself at: 

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)


SNEW from California released their debut CD ‘Snew you’ 2 years ago, causing quite a stir in the Hardrock scene, because the album was named by several Glam/Party/Sleaze zines as album of the year, because after all, the band was playing a sorta updated 80s Sleazy Metal style. Now they are back with ‘We do what we want’. This album was engineered and mixed by ED CHERNEY (STONES, BOB DYLAN, ERIC CLAPTON) and it definitely sounds quite huge. Musically pure ballsy Hardrock a la AC/DC, AIRBOURNE and RHINO BUCKET, yet with a sorta Sleazy Metal touch here and there. 10 hard-hitting tracks are included and from start to finish this is bang-your-head type of stuff, sounding like an improved and updated version of QUIET RIOT, KROKUS and of course AC/DC, yet tougher and meaner in it’s final approach. If you want to rock hard, then go for SNEW at: 

(Points: 8.4 out of 10)


Didn’t expect to see IAN PARRY make a return to the scene while singing on the new CD of the Greek band CRYSTAL TEARS, but apparently he joined the band at some point in the past few years and now releases the CD ‘Generation X’. Not sure if IAN PARRY’s voice is suitable for this kind of Melodic Power Metal, because after all, Ian is more a high pitched and emotional type of singer. In fact, I still think his best work was done in the early solo years when he went for the pure Melodic Rock approach. However, it’s 2010 and Ian has recorded an album with this ultra-heavy band. Of course CRYSTAL TEARS is a great Melodic Power Metal band and also their new CD is filled with some great material, including some superb guitarwork (DIMITRIS GOUTZIAMANIS is the next GUS G!), but I do feel Ian seems a bit out of place sometimes. The songs demand a lot of his vocal strengths and constantly Ian has to give everything he’s able to give, but happily thanks to some great songs and guitarwork in tracks like “Nightmare serenade”, “Crystal tears”, “In the beginning” and “Rock until we fall” (wow, STRYPER meets PRIEST!) it is nevertheless a success. This is definitely an album you have to listen to a few times, because the combination of Power Metal and IAN PARRY is something new, because in the past Ian was mainly doing Melodic Rock (solo-stuff), Hardrock (VENGEANCE) or Progmetal (ELEGY, CONSORTIUM PROJECT. Still hoping Ian someday releases a new CD in the style of his first solo-record. For now, check out this MYSTIC PROPHECY/NOCTURNAL RITES type of Melodic Power Metal record with IAN PARRY on vocals. More at:

(Points: 8.5 out of 10)


80s Melodic Rock is the name of the game here… BON JOVI, DANGER DANGER and GOTTHARD clearly come to mind when hearing the new CD of the Italian band HUNGRYHEART, a band we reviewed 2 years ago when they released their debut CD. Musically nothing has changed and despite the fact it all sounds pretty good, the high level of a band like H.E.A.T. or HOUSTON or BROTHER FIRETRIBE is not reached here. Nevertheless, between the 12 included tracks some very catchy tunes are included, such as the STAN BUSH/BARRAGEish uptempo AOR rocker “One ticket to paradise”, the midtempo AOR of “A million miles away” (stronger vocals here, unknown who sings) and “Just a little closer”. Vocally it is not as good as the usual clean AOR/Melodic Rock vocalists, because there is a little JON BON JOVI Italian accent to be heard, but still fans of mentioned bands might be enjoying and dancing all throughout the CD. Most notable song is the MICHAEL JACKSON (!!!) cover “Man in the mirror”, which now sounds like a midtempo AOR tune, with a bridge that almost made me sing the pre-chorus of ALIAS’ “Waiting for love”, but the song sounds a lot like MAD MAX/BONFIRE actually! The sound of HUNGRYHEART is also not pure AOR, but more pure Melodic (Hard) Rock a la DANGER DANGER and some BONFIRE, so by now I think you’ll get the picture what this release is all about! More info at:  and 

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)


Wow! This is really rare stuff and very good too! I am a sucker for digging up classic early 80s US AOR and this re-issue on CD of a 1982 record is fitting exactly my habit. However, JIMMY MARTIN is of course a vocalist from Luxemburg, who sang on a FISC record (Melodic Hardrockband with a re-issue we reviewed 15 years ago!) and did some solo albums. Although I am quite a collector, I was actually unaware of this little record he did 28 years ago together with a duo called NEW DEAL. The included music is quite different than the Melodic Hardrock of FISC and the Poprock of his solo career. In fact, this re-issue contains material that can only be described as pure early 80s US style AOR, yet it has been done by a couple European guys. Thanks to BOB MEDIA, the album has now been pressed onto CD and I have to say it sounds really good at times. Some AIRRACE here, some LIONHEART there, a lot STAN MEISSNER and even a bit of SYNCH, so yes this is pure AOR the American way, yet with a little Euro touch in there (a few Techno ish influences – ULTRAVOX perhaps). Anyway, some of the songs are really pure Classic AOR and then I am talking about “Mystery Girl” and the RICHIE ZITO co-written “Leaving it all behind” (actually a THE DUKES song) that both have US 1982 AOR / Radiorock written all over, very catchy and memorable and quite close to for example SYNCH. On the other hand, there are also a bunch of so-and-so tracks, still AORish, but less interesting and more in the vein of ‘where did we hear that before!’. Nevertheless, this is quite an interesting record to check out if you’re an 80s AOR freak like me. The sound is very strong (production by WISHBONE ASH singer/bassist MARTIN TURNER) and really captures that typical big 80s drum/bass sound we miss so much these days… The 8 original tracks are included here, plus a 1990 live rehearsal recording, the CARL DIXON/STAN MEISSNERish “Walk on fire”. OK, not a classic, but still a recommended album and probably the best stuff JIMMY MARTIN has ever done! More info on Jimmy at: 

(Points: 8.4 out of 10)


Do not get confused, because a few reviews back one could read a review of a new album of the German WICKED SENSATION, but here we have a new band called WICKED TEMPTATION, also hailing from Germany. The band members were all active in the band SALVAGE previously and now give it a second chance with this new band and their debut ‘Seein’ ain’t believin’ sounds pretty good. Hard-hitting guitar orientated Melodic Hardrock in the style of classic LILLIAN AXE, DOKKEN and VICTORY is the name of the game here and 10 tracks long they do this very well actually. OK, not album of the year, because that award goes to H.E.A.T., but any Melodic Hardrockfan out there will like this upbeat melodic rocking album of WICKED TEMPTATION. They carry on the flag for German Melodic Hardrock with great tunes like “Liar” (high class midtempo VICTORYish stuff), “Magic” (excellent guitarwork and beautiful melodies in this almost FAIR WARNINGish AOR/Melodic Rock sounding track), “Waking up to die” and “Rock N Roll disaster”. Check the band out at: 

(Points: 8.6 out of 10)

(All reviews by Gabor Kleinbloesem except where noted)