Borealis-The Offering ©2018 AFM Records
The Offering' is the fourth album by Canadian metal band Borealis. This latest album has a lot going on and a lot going for it. Musically it's a cross that features modern metal with some progressive influences and a lot of melodic tones. In some ways it has a fairly sophisticated feel to it and is best digested with subsequent listens. This is the second release we have reviewed and once again I like this album quite well. As far as subject material, this album has a concept to it that adds to the sophistication mentioned before. I feel that due to the sound the band deliver, this album has a great deal of crossover potential, meaning that fans of traditional metal and modern metal fans alike will probably enjoy this record. I also feel the band has shown more growth in their writing and delivery. This is a great record that gets better with each listen. Recommended!
Release Date: March 23, 2018
Bonfire-Temple of Lies ©2018 AFM Records
Bonfire is a band that dates back many year and was an act that I checked out off and on. I have a pretty good feel for where they have been. This album in the beginning was a bit of a surprise as it starts off sounding very power metal in nature. It does settle into what you would expect from this veteran band and offers a pretty even listen for the most part. The big difference maker with the new album is new vocalist Alexx Stahl who has now been with the band for two years or so. This guy is really good with a very powerful vocal style. He can deliver that opening and title track 'Temple of Lies' with ease. He also delivers the Bonfire style very nicely. In a nutshell, he's a great fit and breathes some added energy to an already great band. The band has a fairly extensive catalog and even with that, this feels fresh. Very solid record and another easy recommend!
Release Date: April 13, 2018
Michael Schenker Fest-Resurrection ©2018 Nuclear Blast Records
I remember discovering the Schenker brothers back in the early eighties, and have they ever delivered through the years. It's astonishing how much they still give us even after all of these years. Michael offers us Michael Schenker Fest which has a variety of frontmen, all of whom have worked with Schenker at one time or another. There really is a good chemistry with each of these guys, but at it's core, this is a guitar album. Schenker still has it and then some. It's fun to just kick back and listen to his technique through each song. I personally am a fan of all of the vocalists on this record and it's great to see them all sounding great. Kirk Hammett of Metallica even makes an appearance on 'Heart and Soul'on guitar. Overall, I think this is a pretty decent record and it's great to see Schenker still delivering his guitar talent at this level. Good stuff!
Release Date: March 2, 2018
Gus G.-Fearless ©2018 AFM Records
Checking out the latest album from shredder Gus G. was a great experience. Fans of Ozzy will be familiar with Gus G from the 'Scream' album and his tenure with Ozzy for a number of years. He is doing some very good work with his solo stuff and 'Fearless' is a very solid platter of heavy music. The album offers up some instrumentals which allows Gus to show off a bit and showcase his style and technique. There is also a cool cover of the Dire Straights hit 'Money for Nothing' which Gus adds his own updated feel and lyrics in areas.
I thought it was done very tasteful and in fun fashion. I ended up going back to some of his other music and had forgot just how good this guy is. This album is getting some steady playtime in my music rotation. Not only is he a great guitarist but songwriter as well. Very high quality release that all metal fans should dig!
Release Date: April 20, 2018
Tri State Corner-Hero ©2018 Drakkar Records
This band is new to me. What caught my ear right away was the addition of the Greek instrument, the Bouzouki. It plays a pretty prevalent role in the music of this band and offers up a bit of a different twist then you normally hear. I tend to really pay attention to bands that offer up different and interesting elements in their music. I have heard enormous amounts of music through the years, and just when you thought you had heard it all, something like this comes along. Musically, the band would probably fit into a more modern rock sound, but it's hard to limit them to one genre as they really sound fairly unique. The album overall is fairly uniform and has some great songs throughout. It doesn't get overly heavy but does have a bit of a punch in areas. I will probably keep this band on my radar because I think there growth would be an interesting thing!
Release Date: April 27, 2018