Testament-Titans Of Creation ©2020 Nuclear Blast Records
Testament has really been doing a great job of delivering up their thrash metal sound with the last few albums. 'Titans of Creation' is excellent. As I go back into their catalog and get a feel for where I think this one stands for me, it definitely ranks with some of the classics like 'Souls of Black' This record in my opinion could have been released back in their earlier days and fit in really well. Good hard driving stuff and the guitar work is amazing. There is a tightness to this record. There are some real burners on this record. I heard 'WWIII' and knew I was going to be hooked. There are some power metal tracks here which adds a bit of dimension to the listen such as 'City of Angels' which is another favorite track off of the album. Thrash fans will love the precision and energy. It's another great Testament record that stays up with the classics. Essential!
Release Date: April 3, 2020
Hazzerd-Delirium ©2020 M-Theory Audio
Always cool to see thrash being embraced by the younger generation of musicians. This Calgary based band has a pretty old school delivery with this record. Tempos vary. but it's all very heavy stuff which is what one would expect considering the genre. Vocally, the band is much more old school as well. They are aggressive but in a different way than you hear from modern bands with growls and screams. In ways I think more of a Death Angel approach to their vocal work. I like the riffing here as well. This part of the thrash genre has always been my favorite. The quick tempo and pounding low end would follow for me. Hazzerd incorporates all of the necessary elements, but also at times shows a different feel. Maybe even a bit towards punk in ways. Overall, this is a pretty consistent record with a bit of variety here and there. Keep an eye on this band!
Release Date: January 24, 2020
Overlaps-In Your Room ©2020 Time To Kill Records
Another new artist for me. The band is female fronted and offer up a more modern rock sound. With the heavy edge this band has you might hear a bit of Kobra and the Lotus in this, but at the same time, there are quite a few different things going on here. You might here some Linkin Park influence on a track or two as well. I think there is a really cool groove on this record. I skimmed it a bit including the video for the track 'In This Room' and it had my attention. The album offers a cool musical journey for the listener with some different soundscapes. My advice to those who like more modern rock would be to at least check out some videos. Go in honest and give them a shot. I thought the first listen was good, but as I hit a second and third listen, this album started standing out even more. This is a pretty cool band with a great new record!
Release Date: March 27, 2020
Nightwish-Human :||: Nature ©2020 Nuclear Blast Records
It's hard to believe that it's been around 5 years since the last Nightwish studio record. There may be a few years between releases, but when the band does come back, the albums are big. The new record is a 2 disc set that has your typical Nightwish metal sound on the first disc and a pretty epic sounding more instrumental 8 part track on the second. Once again the compositions on this record are great. There is some great diversity between tracks. Take for instance 'Noise' which sounds very typical of Nightwish. Then you listen to 'Harvest' which is quite different. Then you listen further and check out 'Tribal' which is also a favorite of mine off of this record. All Nightwish, but quite different in style. It shows that this band is not afraid to venture into any path they choose musically. Another really good record by a great veteran band!
Release Date: April 10, 2020
OZ-Forced Commandments ©2020 Massacre Records
Here is a band that old school fans will be familiar with. Their sound early on was very similar to the NWOBHM artists of the early 80's. Although the band never broke through in the States back in those days, they picked up a following that remains to this day. Some of those early albums are highly regarded today. This latest record still sounds very much old school. Song structure, guitar tone, etc. I believe the band is down to one original member at this point with Mark Ruffneck , but there is some good chemistry with the current lineup. There will be great appeal to fans of early 80's metal with 'Forced Commandments'. The songs are memorable and it's like going back in time with the sound. If you are not familiar with OZ, do check this out, but also go back to some of their earlier stuff like 'Fire in the Brain'. Great old school album!
Release Date: May 22, 2020