Devin Townsend-Empath ©2019 HevyDevy Records
My intro to Devin Townsend was through his work with Steve Vai. I liked that, but wasn't as keen on the sound of Strapping Young Lad. I lost track of his music after that and only recently checked out the video for 'Spirits Will Collide' and was amazed. To put it simply, Townsend is a musical genius. This album crosses from one end of the spectrum to the other and he does it all very well. There is definite heavy stuff, but at the same time there is quite a bit of atmosphere and depth. The production on this record is phenomenal as well. If that wasn't enough, the art is beautiful. This is a complete package album. Sure, you can buy downloads, but this album is the reason you buy physical. It is available in many variations including vinyl. This album to me is a masterpiece that is hard to define. Check out the videos on Youtube. Very highly recommended!
Release Date: March 29, 2019
Steel Prophet-The God Machine ©2019 Rock Of Angels Records
Always good to see this band back on the scene. This is another one of the bands that I saw at the Ultrasound convention years ago. The band is now fronted by R.D. Liapakis who some will remember from Mystic Prophecy. The album is pretty much on par with other Steel Prophet releases. A traditional metal sound with some modern technology giving way to today's sound. The album has a good delivery with each song complimenting each other as the listen progresses. Guitar playing is a definite highlight with some great soloing on each track. With the Addition of R.D. Liapakis, the vocals fit the sound very well. It seems like a perfect fit for the band's style. It had been some time since I had listened to these guys as I always have a huge list to listen to. I found this enjoyable and very confident sounding. Traditional metal fans will want this!
Release Date: April 26, 2019
Beast In Black-From Hell With Love ©2019 Nuclear Blast Records
I missed the band's first album until it had been out for a while. They showed up one day in my Youtube recommends. I listened and was hooked. with 'From Hell With Love' now out, I was able to get a jump on this one much earlier. This band features one of my current favorite vocalists Yannis Papadopoulos. This guy has some serious range and an amazing amount of power in his voice. The band embrace traditional metal sounds mixed with more catchy mainstream, almost pop sounds. The title track is now up as a video on Youtube. It's a pretty good representation of the album and the video is a lot of fun due to its throwback feel to 80's metal. On the lighter side of the album, 'Oceandeep' is another amazing song. Very melodic and showcases the vocal work in magnificent fashion. This is one of my new favorite bands and is highly recommended!
Release Date: February 8, 2019
L.A. Guns-The Devil You Know ©2019 Frontiers Records
Good chemistry is one of the most beneficial things a band can have. Take for instance the chemistry you get with Tracii Guns and Phil Lewis of L.A. Guns. This band was in a bit of disarray when the two were in separate bands. With them getting it back together the chemistry returned in a big way. You can have other members come and go, but these two are the core. This new record in sound reminds me a lot of the first record. It's gritty and unpolished yet works so well. The songs are more modernized, but that familiar L.A. Guns sound is intact and sounding pretty retro. This is an album that could have been released so many years ago. Be sure to check out the video for the title track. It is a mini horror movie with some nostalgic feel to it. That goes for the song as well. Kind of a bit of a Sabbath feel to it. Another great album!
Release Date: March 29, 2019
Gabriel And The Apocalypse-Alpha Bionic ©2019 Pavement Entertainment
The first thing that came to me with this album is the great growth this band is exhibiting. We reviewed their last album. We liked it and feel this album turns it up a few notches in terms of quality. The songs are really good and lean to a more modern sound. This means that for the most part, more modern fans will dig this record, and probably dig it a lot. It does come across as a heavy record, but does also have a bit of a moody feel to it as well. To me it has some cool industrial elements as well. The music is memorable right away. This can be a great thing especially from a marketing perspective. You get it to radio and people hear it and remember it and that makes them want it in a lot of cases. If the band keep growing at the rate that they are, they should continue to make great strides in their genre. Definitely give this one a listen or two!
Release Date: April 12, 2019