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CIRCLE is a new band from Finland fronted by BRUCE DUFF, who used to be in the band JESTERS OF CDESTINY, whom released some albums way back in the early 90s on METAL BLADE RECORDS. With CIRCLE, Bruce steps into a more Alternative Metal direction, not bad at all, but a little experimental and a mix of basically every existing rock and metalstyle, with a dash of Punk added! Highlight is “Sacrifice”, which has a good strong melodic chorus, some great guitarwork and goes a little into the direction of TURBONEGRO meets ROGUE MALE with even somehow a NWOBHM approach. However, most of the rest of the album is a real bizarre mix of all sorts of rock, punk and metal styles. Not really interesting for fans of the more ‘melodic’ genres…

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


I have absolutely no idea how it is possible, but it seems like Sweden and Finland are delivering at the moment the best new bands and compared to China, India and Russia it is really remarkable that so many great bands are coming out of these 2 Scandinavian countries, because together they do not even make the 20 million inhabitants, while the 3 aforementioned countries have a total of 2,5 billion people and hardly deliver anything worth checking out! Of course it all has to do with music history and especially Sweden had their 1980s big break with MALMSTEEN, EUROPE and countless others, while Finland delivered at the end of the 1990s a whole list of influential acts. Anyway, this caused many young new bands during especially the 2000s and BULLETRAIN is one of them. They are a Swedish band and play rough in your face pure late 80s Americanised Party Hard/Glamrock with big loud sing-a-long choruses (“My way” and “Turn it up”) a la CRASH DIET, MOTLEY CRUE, BRITNY FOX… although they also go for the more DOKKEN/WHITE LION/AUTOGRAPHish melodic hardrock in the catchy “Fly away”, but are also not too shy to include a great Melodic Power Rock ballad a la FIREHOUSE (“Even with my eyes closed”) as well. All together, they have released a nice 4 tracks counting EP CD and I can definitely recommend them to check out at: 

(Points: 8.3 out of 10)


FIRST CHILD is a German female fronted band whom deliver their 2nd release with ‘The voice of rock’. We also reviewed their debut sometime ago and now a new CD has been released. CAT THE CAT is their singer and without a doubt, she has an amazing vocal range, definitely a new METAL QUEEN kinda vibrato, sounding exactly like LEE AARON! Musically less Metal, because they play Classic Rock/70s Hardrock kinda material that shows a lot of LED ZEPPELIN influences. 16 songs are included and although the music is nice and a little standard Classic Rock here and there, the vocals are making this FIRST CHILD a true winner, because CAT THE CAT is really a superb female rock singer. I would love her singing a full A.O.R. CD someday soon, because with a voice like this (a la LEE AARON, DARBY MILLLS…), it could be a real sensational record. Nevertheless, FIRST CHILD is also very recommendable, especially to fans of ZEPPELIN/70s HEART… so no AOR here (except for the ballads ”For the first time” and “What are we fighting for”), but pure 70s Classic Rock/groovy Hardrock with superb powerful female vocals. More info at: 

(Points: 8.3 out of 10)


PLUTONIUM ORANGE is a Finnish band with a big sounding album out on FIREBOX RECORDS, partly thanks to the involvement of MIKA JUSSILA at FINNVOX studios in Helsinki. Musically not really the typical Finnish style here, because this band is a little more going into the American way of Modern Hardrock life, sounding quite close to SHINEDOWN, yet with some more high pitched vocalwork a la COHEED AND CAMBRIA and an European Melodic Metal touch a la EDGUY during the melodic catchy choruses, such as best can be heard in the uptempo “Killer by the road”. The band is very guitar orientated, sounding fresh and up-to-date, rocking out uptempo most of the time, which is a good thing and combined with a bunch of memorable melodic choruses, this band actually surprised me a little. ‘Volume’ is a recommendable album to check out if you like modern sounding melodic metal/heavy rock a la SHINEDOWN and a more uptempo version of DISTURBED. More info at: 

(Points: 8.3 out of 10)


MECHANICAL ORGANIC is a band from Australia and they play Progressive Rock/Metal, although not really melodic in the vocal department, because vocally it is more a mix of voice programming (including some typical American president speeches or whatsoever) and some background dark singing of EDDIE KATZ (sorta NEVERMORE). Instrumental the guitarsound is happily melodic, but a real drummer and a melodic singer would have made this MECHANICAL ORGANIC more interesting, but the open-minded progfan might wanna check this out 1 long song (17 minutes!) at: 

(Points: 7.5 out of 10)


I have not followed the Russian Rock and Metalscene that closely the past few years, but I am aware there are quite a few excellent bands active at the moment. ECLIPSE HUNTER is one of them. This band from Moscow is playing pure European based Melodic Metal/Progressive Metal with strong vocalwork and some really catchy tunes on their well-produced CD ‘One’. Great uptempo Melodic Metal pieces a la SONATA ARCTICA such as “I’ll never forget” and “Coming home” (excellent catchy tune, with their male singer ALEXANDER YUROV reminding me somehow of EDWARD REEKERS of KAYAK meets a younger MICHAEL KISKE!), lovely semi-Progressive Metal (best song: “Fading”, a duet with a sensational female singer called ALEXANDRA POPOVA, hope she sings a full CD soon, because I would love to hear that!) or a beautiful melodic rockballad like “Angel”, it’s just all there on this first disc of the Russian band ELCIPSE HUNTER. Another remarkable song is closing track “Eternally”, which is a calmer but bombastic keyboard only ballad that reminds me a lot of DREAMTIDE, who also did some songs like this on their 2 CDs. The guitarwork is also of a very high level and apart from the fact they are from Russia, it all sounds very much like a typical western European metal label release (AFM, LION MUSIC, LIMB MUSIC…) and is therefore a highly recommended CD to fans of AT VANCE, PAGAN’S MIND, ROYAL HUNT, KAMELOT, SONATA ARCTICA, MIND’S EYE, ANDROMEDA, FELONY, SERENITY (they remind a lot of this band actually!) and such kind of quality stuff. More info at:  and 

(Points: 8.5 out of 10)


3 years ago we reviewed the CD ‘Black Halo’ of singer/songwriter VK LYNNE from North Hollywood/California and now she follows it up with the new record titled ‘Whiskey or water’. This new album was produced by James Thomas from Denmark, who also worked with CHER and BETH HART in the past, so this is a big step for VK LYNNE definitely. It was actually thanks to MYSPACE this all has happened in the first place, because James had contacted her through that site and asked her to come over to Denmark to record a CD. She took the challenge and the result is this album’. Without a doubt, a big step and improvement compared to her previous album. VK still has got a really great strong Rock voice and the music is now sounding very fresh and modern thanks to the production of James. It’s still very melodic, but has got that typical European touch, although after having sit with the album for a few days, I am constantly thinking of DALBELLO and LUBA, who actually made the exact same kind of music VK LYNNE is doing 15-20 years ago! Yet VK LYNNE does it with a touch of the bluesy rock approach of someone like ALANNAH MYLES, just to make it sound a little different. All together a great new album, more info at: and 

(Points: 8.3 out of 10)


The Ohio based band AMERICAN DOG returns with their 9th CD ‘Mean’. The band was formed in 1999 and have since then been releasing new albums almost every year. The latest album follows the style they have played all throughout the 2000s decade, which is mean dirty original Hard Rock and Roll a la ROSE TATTOO, TED NUGENT and such Biker kinda Rock and Roll with dirty riffs and raw singing. This new album is therefore a must-have for the fans of this kind of Rock and Roll. More info at: 

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


THE SCOTT ALLEN PROJECT is actually based around one musician, namely SCOTT ALLEN, who is basically playing all the instruments (except most of the bass, which was done by BRIAN KINNEY) on the new album ‘From the blindside’. We reviewed their previous record 3 years ago and now it is followed up by this new CD, which is filled with high quality instrumental Progressive Melodic Rock. The guitarwork of Scott is excellent, just listen to the wonderful opening titletrack, which has some amazing guitar skills, with also a beautiful melody line, like a mix between SCHON, MACALPINE, JOSHUA and VAN HALEN. Although the production perhaps could have been a bit better, this CD is still a must-have for any fan of instrumental guitar based melodic rock! However, with a major label backing him up and investing money for a huge production, Scott could well be up for much bigger things! For now, go to: 

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)


The Finnish band ANCARA released a few years ago a great debut CD that was filled with high class Melodic Hardrock. Now they follow it up with ‘Shadows’, which sounds a little darker and more modern than the first record, but still can easily be labeled as Melodic Hardrock. Not as good as their countrymen of BROTHER FIRETRIBE, this ANCARA is still a very decent band, with especially some great instrumental work here and there, such as the notable twin-guitarwork here and there. The band is at their best during the more uptempo catchy melodic rockers, such as “We paint December”, “Far from grace”, “Liar” and “Wait” as well as the midtempo “High hopes” and perhaps the finest track is the SCORPIONS/AXXIS’ Melodic Rockballad “Tears with a smile”, which is a duet with AGNES, the Finnish female melodic rock/aor singer. All together a nice Melodic Hardrockalbum that combines a little HIM with EDGUY/PINK CREAM 69 and some WHITE LION. More info at: 

(Points: 8.3 out of 10)


Now here we have something really special, because KARUNA is a high class Melodic (Power) Metal band from Ireland and that does not happen too often. KARL GROOM of THRESHOLD took partly care (the vocal production) of the 3 tracks counting independently released mini-CD of the band and I must say that it does sound very impressive. This band has got all it takes in becoming much bigger, because their Melodic Metal sounds very strong, reminding a lot of POWER QUEST and PRAYING MANTIS. Opener and titletrack “Neitherworld” is rightaway a damn catchy uptempo Melodic Heavy Rocker that sounds a lot like PRAYING MANTIS. Next up is the fast DRAGONFORCEish Power Metal of “Wayfarer” and closing track is “The lost”, which combines fast Italo Power Metal with a superb Melodic Rock chorus a la SHY/PRAYING MANTIS. All 3 songs are very melodic, with strong vocalwork of the leader of KARUNA, C. CALLANAN, who also plays guitars and keys, while writing the material on his own. So in fact, this band is mostly situated around one person, yet a bassist and drummer are also in the band and some other people were involved in the recording process, surprisingly the CD was mastered in The Netherlands! Anyway, fans of Melodic Metal a la POWER QUEST/DRAGONFORCE meets PRAYING MANTIS as well as typical Italo Power Metal a la HIGHLORD, SKYLARK and such, they might like this a lot and who knows a full-length CD somewhere in the near future will give us something very sensational, because the 3 songs on this mini-CD already show that KARUNA is an act to watch out for! More info at: 

(Points: 8.4 out of 10)


Italo Power Metal never died… Ever since LABYRINTH released the ultimate Italo Power Metal ‘book’ with ‘Return to heaven denied’ 11 years ago, we have seen every year many new releases from Italian bands in a similar style, so eventually a decade later we can still enjoy releases in the same classic Italo Power Metal style. Happily through the years, most releases in this genre have started to sound a little more diverse, but still the Italian label UNDERGROUND SYMPHONY RECORDS has a real patent for classic Italo Power Metal sounding albums. The debut CD ‘Lord of Mercy’ of the Italian band THE SILENCE is definitely one of the better sounding Melodic Italo Power Metal style in a long time. I can almost rank this CD right up there with DERDIAN and WONDERLAND, 2 other sensational Italo Power Metal bands that have released a couple years ago some great albums and even VISION DIVINE comes to mind here and there, so THE SILENCE is definitely mixing their classic Italo Power Metal with some Prog, Neoclassical and Melodic Rock/Metal here and there and they are doing it very well. All together this is making their debut album a real pleasure to listen to, with as highlights the superb opener “The way of silence” (fast Italo Power Metal with catchy melodies and superb guitarwork), the lovely semi-melodic rockballad “Witch” (even reminding me of the legendary Italian melodic rockband HEAVEN’S TOUCH, also this tune has some fantastic guitarwork), “Raining my eyes” and the epic semi-melodic rockballad “Keep the flame alive”. Fans of DERDIAN, BLACKWINGS, WONDERLAND, LABYRINTH, VISION DIVINE and such will absolutely love this first THE SILENCE record from start to finish. More info at: 

(Points: 8.5 out of 10)


After hearing the opener “Dark hearts” of the debut CD of the Connecticut, USA based band THE QUEEN KILLING KINGS I heard a band which sounded quite original and very catchy. This song is a deadly catchy rocksong that captures melody lines and pianowork that could be lifted from a 1970s US Pomprock record, yet somehow combined with today’s UK type of Rock spirit. The result is very surprising, because also the following 10 tracks on the CD ‘Tidal eyes’ follow this style, which reminds me so much of a band like AVIARY, yet minus the big orchestral parts which have been replaced with a slight Modern Rock approach a la KAISER CHIEFS/PANIC AT THE DISCO, but the Pomprock sound of the 1970s is clearly notable here. It doesn’t mater if you listen to “Dark hearts”, “Into the woods” or “Reinventing language”, because all the included songs are very strong, catchy and super melodic with excellent memorable choruses and great Pomprockish pianowork. This CD, which was released on the major label WIND UP RECORDS, is a huge surprise and without a doubt, this band could become the next big trend. Hopefully it does, because they have some good deal of Pomprock in their sound! More info at: 

(Points: 8.7 out of 10)


LEVERAGE returns with their 3rd CD ‘Circus collossus’, which is yet another sensational Melodic Hardrockalbum. No concessions are being done here, because it follows closely the sound of their previous records and thanks to the amazing vocalwork of one of Finland’s finest male singers at the moment (Pekka Heino, who also sings in BROTHER FIRETRIBE) and also the incredible huge sound quality, this is one of 2009’s highlights for sure. Gladly most of the songs are also really excellent, with as highlights this time “Wolf and the moon”, “Rider of storm” (superb!), “Revelation” and “Prisoners”. So they did it again, releasing one of the finest Melodic Hardrockalbums of the year. Check them out at: 

(Points: 8.9 out of 10)


ENDYIUM is a band from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada formed 10 years ago and now releasing it’s debut CD with ‘Eye of the storm’. Without a doubt, this album is filled with classic 80s inspired Melodic Metal, reminding a lot of WOLF, MACHINE MEN and especially their homeland brothers of WAR MACHINE. Although the production is a bit low-budget, one can clearly hear this band has something great to offer, namely catchy Melodic Metal from start to finish, divided into 10 great songs on this CD. Songs like “For granted”, “Soldier unbound”, “Eye of the storm” or “Revenge” all show a very strong band playing classic 80s Melodic Metal at it’s best. Highly recommended to fans of mentioned bands! More info at:  and e-mail at: 

(Points: 8.3 out of 10)


Wow, here we have the first sensational female fronted Gothic Melodic Metal band from Colombia. Hailing from Bogota, this NOVA ORBIS found their label in Spain, LUGGA MUSIC, whom released the band’s debut CD ‘Imago’. Everything seems to sound perfect here, reminding of a cross between AFTER FOREVER, DREAM THEATER and DELAIN, with some really excellent catchy tunes, such as the amazing semi-ballad “Change”. The band has a wonderful female singer in their line-up, namely ANA BARAJAS and combined with an excellent instrumental back-up that reveal Progressive Metal influences, this band offers a high quality CD that should actually be in your collection. It is very clear that NOVA ORVIS is a band to check out by all meanings of the word, because something as good as this should not be missed, especially AFTER FOREVER fans will love this a lot! The only weaker part are the male vocals of guitarist JOSE DAVID BARAJAS that turn the level a bit down, so perhaps a mix of female soprano and male grunts only on a future record would make this an even more interesting release than it already is. More info at: 

(Points: 8.4 out of 10)


ANGELS OF BABYLON is a new band formed around former MANOWAR drummer RHINO, singer DAVID FEFOLT, ex-MEGADETH bassist DAVID ELEFFSON and guitarist ETHAN BROSH. Together this semi-supergroup recorded an album filled with nice Melodic Metal, but nothing more than just that. Of course it is all done very well and you can listen to it a few times, but the first album of this new band (or project?) is actually quite standard Melodic Metal like RIOT, but then without the sensational songs that band does have on their records. It also reminds me a bit of FIFTH ANGEL and FEINSTEIN’s one-off record, so not bad at all, but there just isn’t the click necessary to stand out between all the other metal releases. The album just goes in one ear and out the other, without making a real good impression. Anyway, check them out for yourself at: 

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


STATE OF ROCK = FRONTLINE + SHY, not only due to the line-up of 3 FRONTLINE members and the SHY lead singer TONY MILLS, but also musically speaking this band is a mix of these 2 Melodic Rock/AOR bands. High-pitched vocals is the name of the game here and although what we get to hear on this new band’s (not a project!) first record is high class 80s type of Melodic Rock (performed at a super high level and picture perfect basically!), it is not a real classic a la the first FRONTLINE (‘The State of rock’) and SHY’s ‘Excess all areas’. Nevertheless, still there are definitely some awesome tracks to be heard here, such as the midtempo “Don’t make me cry” and the uptempo “Freedom” that both sound like a mix of the best of FRONTLINE and SHY, while some of the rest is also a pleasure to listen to. LEVERAGE with high pitched vocals is also a good comparison for this STATE OF ROCK, which is definitely a band to check out if mentioned bands are your favorite ones in the AOR/Melodic Rock genre. Still, the album is not a classic in the genre, just another damn good record to check out… More at: 

(Points: 8.4 out of 10)


GREENSLEEVES is a Brazilian band playing Progressive Metal at a high level. The band’s debut CD ‘The elephant truth’ is a nice independently released record with 23 (!) tracks in total. Despite so many tracks, not many of them are fillers, as these are mostly all songs and although this is not a DREAM THEATER type of level, GREENSLEEVES are definitely a recommended Progressive Metal that remind me a bit of SIEGES EVEN somehow. They are guitar orientated and what they do, they are doing quite well, making them a band to check out at:  and e-mail them at: 

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)


SUNROAD is a Brazilian band formed during the 1990s and they have already released 4 albums and last year a best of covering their period 1996 – 2006. Now they have a new album out titled ‘Long gone’. Musically it is Melodic Hard/Heavy Rock a la AXXIS and EDGUY and although the band rocks and is playing mostly uptempo stuff, somehow the ballads “We still believe” and “Looking for a trace” show the band at their best. SCORPIONS is an easy target then, but during the rockers it sounds completely different and reminds one of AXXIS and EDGUY a lot. 11 songs are in total on this new CD and fans of mentioned bands might wanna check the new SUNROAD CD out at:  and e-mail at: 

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


CENTINELA is a Spanish band that has been active for quite some years now, with already 4 albums under their belt. ‘Teoria de la fidelidad’ is their new CD and for once this is not the typical Spanish Melodic Metal album, because CENTINELA is doing it the JUDAS PRIEST way, so pure Heavy Metal is the name of the game here. Done very well and also highly recommended to fans of PRIMAL FEAR! 9 tracks filled with pure 80s True Heavy Metal, sung in Spanish and therefore comparisons to OBUS, MURO and BARON ROJO are also very clear. More info at: 

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


ROTTEN BARK is a Polish band sounding like a typical Californian Poppunkband, yet doing it really well. 3 songs are on their mini-CD and although it sounds all really cliché, I must admit that all songs are deadly catchy and wonder how a full CD would sound like. The vocals are good, the melodies and choruses are quite strong and instrumental it sounds like a Melodic Punkpopband needs to sound. Nice job and perhaps a promise for the future, this BOWLING FOR SOUP type of band from Poland. Check them out at: 

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)


The legendary American band AUTOGRAPH started off really well, with a big hitsingle, a support tour in front of VAN HALEN and a fantastic debut album titled ‘Sign in please’, which would become one of the finest Melodic Hardrockalbums of the 1980s! ROCK CANDY RECORDS recently re-issued that album onto CD and also re-issued the 3rd record ‘Loud and clear’ sometime ago. The only 80s AUTOGRAPH album missing was the 2nd record ‘That’s the stuff’, the album that actually never got much attention. The band recorded this album way too soon after the successful debut LP back in the mid 1980s, with a different producer (their debut by NEIL KERNON had one of the best productions ever put on record!) and a bunch of ‘standard’ (compared to their debut!) Melodic Hardrock tunes. Nevertheless, ROCK CANDY RECORDS now also re-issues this AUTOGRAPH album to complete the 80s trilogy of the band. Definitely the least interesting album, it still holds up some 25 years later, especially thanks to the recent remastering, making the album sounding better than ever before. The DEF LEPPARD comparison is very clear on this record and perhaps if MUTT LANGE had originally produced it, AUTOGRAPH would have gotten their really major break. Instead it actually turned out to be the beginning of the end, because after it’s release, the band did only manage to release another album, but the damage was done and towards the end of the 80s it was all over (not counting the late 90s reunion with only STEVE PLUNKETT as only original member!). AUTOGRAPH will always be remembered for their hit “Turn up the radio”, but their debut had many more great songs. Also this 2nd album was not a bad affair either, with such great Melodic Hardrock tunes like “That’s the stuff”, “Blondes in Black Cars”, “Six string fever” and “Changing hands”. Bonustrack included here is the cover “We’re an American band” and besides an excellent remastering, also the liner notes and rare pictures of the band inside the booklet here are like all ROCK CANDY RECORDS top-notch. The only pity is that their classic 80s FRIGHT NIGHT Soundtrack tune “You can’t hide from the beast…” (a fantastic catchy uptempo melodic rocker) has now not been included on any of the ROCK CANDY RECORDS re-issues as bonustrack, making the original LP Soundtrack release of this movie-only AUTOGRAPH tune a searchable item. Luckily I am the proud owner of this LP, so can also play that AUTOGRAPH classic. Nevertheless, ‘That’s the stuff’ completes the AUTOGRAPH saga of the 80s on CD, so well done ROCK CANDY RECORDS! 

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)


FANDANGO was the first band of lead singer JOE LYNN TURNER. Coincidence or not, the guitarist of FANDANGO was called RICK BLAKEMORE, while Joe of course went on working with RITCHIE BLACKMORE in RAINBOW right after FANDANGO in 1981. In fact, it was Ritchie who spotted Joe one night performing live as FANDANGO’s singer and offered him the job not too soon after to front RAINBOW replacing GRAHAM BONNETT. Anyway, the 1970s Pop/Rockband FANDANGO was a nice laid-back sounding act that could best be compared to the likes of CHARLIE and CITY BOY. However, their final album ‘Cadillac’ from 1980 clearly showed a more mature band performing some great Melodic Rock. This album has now almost 30 years been fully remastered and re-issued onto CD by ROCK CANDY RECORDS. As always everything looks and sounds great here, with some really great material on offer, such as “Blame it on the night”, “Hypnotized”, “Fortune teller” and “Don’t waste my time”, the first sensational material on which Joe sang. He already had a great voice back then and now 30 years later he still has and keeps on releasing sensational stuff. However, this final FANDANGO album ‘Cadillac’ was perhaps his finest work in the 1970s, now available on CD at: 

(Points: 8.5 out of 10)


Back in 2001, the band 7 MONTHS entered the scene with a sensational debut CD, which was first released independently, but a year later on the Italian label FRONTIERS RECORDS worldwide. Sadly it became quiet around the band and it took more than 7 years before we saw a new sign of life. The result is a superb new album titled ‘In time…’. What has changed compared to their debut is the fact that the band has a new lead singer now, because original singer JOE BOOE left the band several years ago. He has been replaced by DANNY VERAS and happily this guy is also an excellent high-pitched vocalist, who is as good as the previous singer, while also musically this new CD is in the exact same style as the band’s debut. Actually ‘In time…’ sounds even better and should easily be ranked among this year’s finest Progressive Rock/Metal releases of 2009, right next to DREAM THEATER’s latest effort. 7 MONTHS is keen on bringing everything picture perfect, with some great instrumental backing, but a clear focus on clean superstrong A.O.R. melodies during the hooks and choruses of each and every song. Therefore this CD is highly recommended to fans of both AOR and Prog. Just imagine a mix of KANSAS/STYX, DREAM THEATER, JOURNEY and 80s QUEENSRYCHE, with a singer who sounds like a cross between DAVE BICKLER (SURVIVOR), MIDNIGHT from CRIMSON GLORY, GEOFF TATE and JOHN ELEFANTE. The result is really a magnificent album that contains songs that belong to the best created in the year 2009, because then I am referring to songs like “Unspoken words” (a deadringer for fans of progish AOR ballads, like a cross between JOURNEY and DREAM THEATER’s “Wither”), “Now or never” (fantastic Pomprocksong, very much like classic KANSAS), “Can’t you see” (perfect Progrock/Progmetal) and also “Forever again” or closing track “In time…”. This is just an amazing album and I almost can’t believe it’s just an independent CD release, because the level of the record is incredible! Hooks, choruses, melodies, vocally, production wise, instrumental… it all sounds as perfect as you want it to be, so please go ahead and get yourself a copy of this new 7 MONTHS CD a.s.a.p. at: 

(Points: 9.1 out of 10)


The Italian band EDGE OF FOREVER surprised us a few years ago with 2 excellent releases, of which their 2nd CD ‘Let the demon rock and roll’ started with 3 of the best Melodic Rocktracks released in 2005! Anyway, after it’s release almost 5 years ago it became very quiet around the band and sadly singer BOB HARRIS of AXE left the band and so the band was on the hunt for a new lead singer. Eventually they found a great Italian singer called ALESSANDRO DEL VECCHIO, who is a very good replacement on the band’s 3rd CD ‘Another paradise’. Musically nothing has changed and somehow this new CD sounds like their most strongest albums, because now from start to finish we get to hear high quality Melodic Hardrock. It is not that far away from JADED HEART and EVIDENCE ONE and among the 10 included songs, the highlights are “Lonely”, “Edge of life”, “Distant voices” and “I won’t call you”. Most of the songs are uptempo rocking, sounding super melodic, while the production/sound quality (done by Alessandro!) is basically excellent. Surprise cover is the 80s Pop Classic “What a feeling”, covered very nicely and showing the band’s incredible music skills, because it is not that easy to cover this song and making it sound even better than the original! Bob is not missed that much here on this CD, although on 1 track he provides backing vocals, so he is present a tiny bit. In the end, this new EDGE OF FOREVER CD sounds like a real band CD, done by 4 excellent Italian musicians, who contributed and worked with a lot of legendary musicians in the past and now release an album that could probably become one of the finest Melodic Hardrockalbums of 2010! More info at: 

(Points: 8.9 out of 10)


I have in my collection about 6 albums and a DVD of the UK based band SACRED HEART. I also remember this was a great Melodic Rockband, but somehow I have not been able to play their music again, but will most definitely dig up their stuff from the past asap after hearing their excellent new CD ‘Darkness falls’. Singer/songwriter/guitarist PAUL STEAD of the band has an incredible melodic clean voice and most of the songs on their new CD are really awesome 80s inspired Melodic Rock orientated. It reminds me a bit of THE PROMISE, LOST WEEKEND, AIRRACE, LIONHEART, MONRO, etc. so sorta classic hookladen British Melodic Rock is the name of the game here. It’s all done very well and especially songs like “Best in me”, “Lay it on the line”, “Everybody”, “TV Movie” (very strong!!!), “What it takes” (superb semi-ballad a la NORWAY) and “Top of the class” (classic 80s AOR/Radiorock a la AIRRACE) are really wonderful super catchy AOR/Melodic Rocktracks. With a total of 17 tracks and not a single miss in between, this really is a CD to check out asap if you like your AOR/Melodic Rock to sound catchy and clean. A big surprise this independent release and if you enjoyed the recent new BLANC FACES releases, you will definitely love this CD too! Be sure not to miss this great independent release, more info at: 

(Points: 8.8 out of 10)


VIVID AUTUMNGREEN is a project formed around multi-instrumentalist FREDRIK FEJDE. He creates a mix of Alternative Rock, Prog and Popmusic, sometimes instrumental and at other times with vocals. Not bad, but also not really sensational. More info at: 

(Points: 7.8 out of 10)


OHIO AVENUE is a band from Alabama, USA with the typical modern Melodic Poprocksound like THE CLICK FIVE meets HOOBASTANK meets THE KILLERS/U2, which at times is deadly catchy. ‘The sound’ is their debut album and without a doubt their sound is radio-ready and a breakthrough is only a matter of time. The highlights among the 10 included songs are the catchy uptempo Melodic Poprockers “Running away”, “The sound’ and “Liar, Liar”, although the largely included semi-ballads are also very nice (and reminding a lot of HOOBASTANK). It’s not a complete full-length album, because 7 songs are included and 3 have been added as bonustracks, but all together it still makes it a full-length album. Nice first record of this young American band that could easily become the next big thing. More info at:  and 

(Points: 8.3 out of 10)


STEEPWATER BAND is a Chicago/USA based band with a pure American Midwest/Southern hardrock influenced sound, not far away from BLACK CROWES. It’s quite raw and edgy, sometimes bluesy, but always bringing a strong guitar riff mixed with strong vocalwork. STEEPWATER BAND was formed back in 1998 and their latest CD ‘Grace and melody’ was produced by MARC FORD, who also worked with BLACK CROWES in the past. Go check them out at: 

(Points: 8.3 out of 10)


MONKEYSOOP is an instrumental band playing Classic Rock based around classy guitar riffs and some progressive rock rhythms. Clearly influenced by the 1970s, their album ‘Nuns night out’ sounds quite impressive and also quite diverse, with calmer parts, rockier parts and sometimes quite experimental in it’s approach. 

(Points: 8.4 out of 10)


In the USA thousands of bands are playing the kind of Modern Melodic Rock that can be heard on the debut CD of the Swedish band PLAN THREE. So not really original, but happily it is all done very well and without a doubt, this PLAN THREE could easily become huge, because some of the songs on their album are as good as for example DISTURBED, SHINEDOWN and NICKELBACK. The sound is dark and very modern, based around tuned down guitars, but the melodies and catchy choruses are making it a nice mixture in the end, which is typical the way of playing Rock in America at the moment, but PLAN THREE are really a Swedish band. Highlights on the CD are “Triggers”, “Still broken”, “The collision” and “Whatever the reason”. Most of the songs are midtempo or semi-ballad orientated, so you can not find that many uptempo rockers here (although towards the end the songs are somehow more uptempo), but in case you wanna hear a real good mixture of SHINEDOWN and NICKELBACK, then look no further than this PLAN THREE. Please check at: 

(Points: 8.5 out of 10)


THE LOYAL are a Swedish 4-some playing typical modern British influenced Poprock with some similarities to KEANE and their countrymen of RAZORLIGHT. This typical European Rock sounding debut ‘Heartbeats’ they released is therefore something that has the potential to easily become huge over here. Most of the songs are uptempo and quite melancholic, very close to the sound of the 2 mentioned bands. Be sure not to miss this release if you’re a fan of KEANE and RAZORLIGHT. Then go check out this THE LOYAL asap at: 

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


Greek Guitarist IOANNIS ANASTASSAKIS is one of those excellent guitar virtuoso who manages to release a superb instrumental CD that never is boring. 11 tracks are included and although Ioannis is a wonderful guitarist, he got a little help on his latest CD ‘Orbital attempt’ from his Greek buddy BOB KATSIONIS, who played bass, keys and drums besides co-producing the record. Ioannis released a few CDs before and I assume those are as good as those wonderful little instrumental piece. Happily, it’s not the typical shredding killing album from start to finish, because Ioannis is a very diverse guitarist, bringing different genres to light, which can be heard in each and every song on this new CD of him. More info at: 

(Points: 8.5 out of 10)


The band LINEHOUSE is formed around multi-instrumentalist JONAS OHLUND and singer NIKLAS DERNEBO. Jonas was once a member of the legendary Swedish Melodic Rockband PRIDE, whom released a single and several demos at the end of the 1980s before splitting up in 1992. In 2008 however the British label AOR FM RECORDS released a CD filled with material PRIDE recorded in the past. LINEHOUSE started in 2005 and so far only an EP was released, but now a full-length CD titled ‘Take one’ is released to the public. Musically filled with pure 80s AOR/Melodic Rock, this is a very catchy record. Most of the 10 included tracks are uptempo melodic rockers (2 (semi) ballads are present), not far away from PRIDE, the previous band of Jonas. Highlights are “What makes it feel so right?”, “First love”, “Two hearts” and “The fear of losing you”. Definitely an album to check out if you’re a fan of catchy 80s Melodic Rock in the Swedish tradition of SNAKE CHARMER, DALTON, DAVINCI, TREAT, PRIDE… More info at:  and 

(Points: 8.3 out of 10)


Guitarist/vocalist EROL SORA is an extremely talented musician and with the release of his new SORA album ‘Desire and truth’ he shows the world he is able to write and perform some very strong Melodic Hardrock that here and there reminds one of WHITESNAKE meets DOKKEN in better days. Especially uptempo pieces like “The storm has just begun”, “What’s it gotta do with you and me”, “Invitation” and “Stop messin’ around” are basically excellent melodic hardrock tunes with sensational guitar work, strong melodies and really good vocalwork of Erol. Here and there we can also some bluesy touches, but in general this is a high quality pure Melodic Hardrock album that breathes the classic UK sound of UFO, RAINBOW, GARY MOORE and of course WHITESNAKE. Nice surprise this new SORA album, which is the follow-up to their 2006 recording ‘Demented honour’. More info at: 

(Points: 8.5 out of 10)

(All reviews by Gabor Kleinbloesem except where noted)