Seven Thorns-II ©2014 Sonic Revolution
Solid Danish power metal. Upon listening to this I felt that the music fit in well with some of the other power metal bands such as Stratovarius, or Gamma Ray. I will mention that the sound of the music is geared a bit more like those 2 bands earlier sounds. Playing with a frenzied tempo and some classical element, these guys serve it up hot. There is a bonus track on the album as well. A cover of ABBA's 'Mama Mia' done in power metal fashion. It's done respectfully and sounds good. This is a consistent record. It's a good bet that if you like what you start hearing, you'll like most of it. Good record!
Vengeful Ghoul-Timeless Warfare ©2014 Vengeful Ghoul
If you are looking for a pretty good metal album with a very thick guitar sound and pounding tempo, this is your album. 'Timeless Warfare' has a bit of as dark feel to it and has some old school element to it. Good thrash and power metal mix. I like the way vocals are handled with 2 distinct sounds. There is a lower darker style and then an almost younger Halford sounding style as well. I like this album start to finish. You can tell a lot of effort was put into detail on this record. The closer and title track is my favorite. Very heavy and good fast tempo. This one definitely comes recommended!
Skyscraper-Elevation ©2014 Ghost Dancer Music/Cargo Records
More melodic rock release that features Lee Small on lead vocals. In a lot of ways this album reminded me of the early 80's melodic rock records. Similar elements in the music. For fans of melodic rock, there is quite a bit to like here. I gave this album quite a few listens and come away liking it even more with each listen. It never gets overly heavy obviously, but is very infectious when it comes to the catchy nature and melody of each song. The larger part of the album is more mid-tempo, but the lighter stuff that is here is very good. Overall, I found this one very enjoyable. Recommended!
Helix-Bastard of the Blues ©2014 Perris Records
Looking back at the extensive career of Helix, my favorites of their catalog are the early albums. The early to mid 80's stuff. 'Bastard of the Blues' fits very nicely with those albums. The quality of each track is similar and all of the elements that were there back then are evident here. With today's technology and how it relates to music, obviously there is a bit of an updated sound, but at it's core this is a classic sounding Helix record. With a 5 year gap between records this one was worth the wait, especially for Helix fans and fans of classic hard rock in the 80's vein. Hopefully it's less than 5 years for the next album!
Godsmack-1000hp ©2014 Republic Records
One thing that I have realized through the years is that Godsmack knows what they do well and they stick to it. When you buy an album by the band, you know pretty much what you are going to get. This is good and bad in ways. For the good, fans always get what they want. No real changes in sound, just more good songs that are geared towards that audience. The bad is that without changing your direction much, you may not entice new fans. I'm sure the band grabs fans along the way, but these albums are definitely more for the current fans. This is a good record and doesn't really change the formula.