Orden Ogan-Gunmen   ©2017  AFM Records
​'Gunmen' is the fifth album from German power metallers Orden Ogan. Been following this band now for the last couple of releases and the latest is on par with what the band usually offer. The music as always fits into the power metal genre with the big difference being the large choir style choruses the band is known for. I feel the band brings something interesting to the scene and have kicked it up a notch with this latest opus. I really like the video for the track 'Gunman'. The scenery in the video shot in Utah isn't far from my stomping grounds. Very epic visually and the music itself matches up well. This record is solid beginning to end and caters mostly to a heavy temp. There is as usual a melodic element infused into each track, but nothing is here that you would classify as melodic in tempo. Very good record once again by a very good band!
Release Date:  July 7, 2017
Kobra and the Lotus-Prevail I    ©2017  Napalm Records 
​I had actually caught a video on Youtube here and there by Kobra and the Lotus, but had not really checked them out deeper. Recently, I caught the video for 'You Don't Know' and knew it was time to dig in deeper. I am a big fan of female fronted metal and this band is definitely more 'power metal' than a lot of what I listen to. They do it very well. The songs stick and the adrenaline flows with these songs. There is always so many bands out there to keep track of. A lot of bands end up permanently on my radar and with the work done on this album, this band will be there as well.  There are some really good tracks on this record such as 'You Don't Know' which has a video as well, the instrumental 'Check the Phyrg', and the melodically driven 'Light Me Up'. We really dig this record. Good heavy stuff with decent focus and a fair amount of melody!
Release Date:  May 12, 2017
Ten-Gothica  ©2017  Frontiers Records
​'Gothica' is the band's thirteenth album spanning 22 years as a band. Musically, the album is fairly typical of what you would expect from Ten although the tone may be slightly darker this go around. This album took me a few spins to digest which isn't always a bad thing as albums that take me longer stay with me longer. Good melodic depth mixed with the bands usual power elements are evident here. Some of the songs that really stick with me are 'Travellers' which is also enhanced by a promo video, 'The Wild King of Winter' which has some very cool grooves, and the album closer 'Into Darkness' which is classic Ten. Overall, this is a very smooth record and very much embraces Ten's usual sound. 'Gothica' is a good example of why you stick with an album. It will offer much more if you go back to it again and again. Another classic by the band.
Release Date:  July 7, 2017
Jace Pawlak-Promise   ©2016  Kivel Records
​'Promise' is the second album by Jace Pawlak that we are reviewing. I liked the album 'Perspective' You could see quite a bit of potential in Pawlak in both terms of songwriting and musicianship.  To me, the new record has a bit more polished sound. The songwriting is every bit as good as 'Perspective', but does have a bit more edge to it.    Listening to this record, you realize how much hit potential it has and if given the chance in the right avenue, it could do very well for Pawlak. To classify where this album would fit, I would categorize it as melodic hard rock. After taking in two albums by this artist, I would definitely recommend that he keep at it as he definitely has the goods when it comes to offering up a quality release.  If the market were to get a bit more friendly to artists such as Pawlak, he could be right in the thick of it, Keep an eye on this guy and his music!
Release Date:  July 19, 2016
Dragonforce-Reaching Into Infinity   ©2017  Metal Blade Records
​For some reason, I almost missed this release. Was browsing around when I saw it and remembered that I had seen a release date a few months back and being a fan of this band was excited to see it was coming. The music is spot on with the bands style once again. Very fast tempo with a great deal of melody as there always is. There are really no surprises here through the main body of music. There is an epic style track in 'The Edge of the World'. The song chimes in at just over 11 minutes in length and goes through some tempo changes. I guess that would be a bit out of the norm. In ways it has an almost Maiden feel to it. The surprise track for me was the bonus track which is a cover of Death's 'Evil Dead' Definitely the most intense track on the album and shows another side to Marc Hudson's vocals. Overall, another decent album from this very speedy band!
Release Date: May 19, 2017