Vega-Only Human ©2018 Frontiers Records
Vega is a band that I have been wanting to check out, but for whatever reason, never did until now. I love the band's sound although after going back and listening to the earlier material, I feel they have changed it up a little. This is the bands fifth release and shows them evolving. It is a very smooth record overall. Keep in mind, this was basically my intro to the band and I liked this enough to go back into the bands catalog and get the other releases although some are a bit tougher to get. This album has a video and some official audio samples on Youtube for you to check out if you are not familiar with the band. You will get a pretty good feel for the band's sound and where they are at right now as a band. I was an instant fan upon listening and will have these guys on my radar going forward. A very easy recommend to melodic hard rock fans!
Release Date: May 11, 2018
Breaking Benjamin-Ember ©2018 Hollywood Records
Breaking Benjamin is a good band but has been hit and miss for me through the years. I have been warming up to their sound with recent albums. I was a big fan of the song 'Ashes of Eden' from the last album 'Dark Before Dawn'. 'Ember' to me as far as my taste is concerned is their most consistent. This is an album that I have been listening to from start to finish for a bit now. I like it all. Obviously, this is a more modern sounding record. Will it appeal to traditional rock fans? No idea, but my tastes have evolved quite a bit through the years and I find this latest album to be a great album. There is some good depth to the music, but also that unmistakable intensity the band is known for. Definitely feel there has been very good growth with this band which shows with each release. If you like a more modern sound, this one comes highly recommended!
Release Date: April 13, 2018
Five Finger Death Punch-And Justice For None ©2018 Eleven Seven Music
It's good to see this band return with a new album. At times in the recent past it felt like this may not happen due to some issues in the band. What has come of this is the band found a way to overcome and deliver a really good record. It sounds like what you would expect. Good heavy stuff, but this album is also represented with a fair amount of medium to more melodic stuff in areas as well. Maybe the most balanced record to this point from the band if you look at it in those terms. It wouldn't be the same without the anger and intensity that has become the bands trademark, but you gotta admit, those lighter tracks have started to become trademark as well. I also was glad to see The Offspring cover of 'Gone Away' added to the albums lineup as I think the band did a tremendous job of covering this song. Glad to see the band back with a great record!
Release Date: May 18, 2018
TNT-XIII ©2018 Frontiers Records
I really wasn't sure how to feel about TNT with all of the vocalist stuff going on in the last few years. I am personally a big fan of Tony Harnell and have been a fan of TNT going back to the vinyl I bought with Dag Ingebrigtsen way back in the day. Harnell had returned recently and then left again. I think twice. Anyway, with a new vocalist I found myself very hesitant and almost not wanting to like this record that features Baol Bardot Bulsara on vocals. After I made my way through it a couple of times, I have to admit, I do like it. It's different. In some ways it takes me back to 'Firefly' just due to the bands sound being so different. This is not 'Firefly' but it has its own feel once again. My advice with this one is to try it out and give it a few spins. It worked for me, but did have to settle in a little. Quite a surprise in terms of quality.
Release Date: June 8, 2018
Jizzy Pearl of Love/Hate-All You Need Is Soul ©2018 Frontiers Records
I remember the first time I heard Love/Hate. Heard them on Headbanger's Ball back in the day. I honestly didn't like them much. Then it all changed the more I heard them. I became a big fan of the band and have been following them ever since. Fast forward to this new record by the frontman and things are still good. This record in ways has a feel of Love/Hate, but in other ways feels different. It's the same basic hard rock style, but the delivery just feels a bit different outside of Jizzy Pearl's vocals. It's definitely a decent record and does not lose any points. I think most fans of Love/Hate and Pearl's solo material will probably like this record. Probably even fans of just bluesy hard rock in general. I'm happy to see Jizzy Pearl still giving us a very good dose of hard rock in this day and age where other acts are not quite up to par. Solid record!
Release Date: May 11, 2018