Adelitas Way-Shine On ©2020 Vegas Syn
Sixth album by this modern rock band shows continued evolving in terms of their sound. The music this time around has a catchy feel with a lot of melody. These attributes have always been there with this band, but you just feel that things are a bit different this time. This actually is a good thing. I have liked all of the band's material to this point and would probably rank this one as my second favorite behind 'Home School Valedictorian'. The album has quite a few tracks that I feel would do great things on rock radio. Probably my favorite track is 'What You Want'. After one listen, that one, especially the chorus was stuck in my head instantly. I also dig 'What It Takes', Stay, and 'Down For Anything'. This is a very upbeat album. It just makes you happier listening to it which is so needed right now. Great job guys, keep it coming!
Release Date: August 14, 2020
Stryper-Even The Devil Believes ©2020 Frontiers Records
Looking back at the last few records, the quality has been obvious. This band is a veteran band that is comfortable in their writing, subject material, and delivery. It is hard to rank which of the last few albums is better as they are all really good. This new platter is more of what we have come to expect. The album has a great groove running through it and you get the feeling that everyone in the band is at the top of their game. I loved how the album started heavy with 'Blood From Above' and ended heavy with 'Middle Finger Messiah'. The music in between brings it all together. I also really liked 'Let Him In' and 'Do Unto Others' which has a great video as well. This is once again a very good quality release. Really no filler material with all tracks being good. You can start the listen and ignore the fast forward button. Solid!
Release Date: September 4, 2020
Raven-Metal City ©2020 SPV/Steamhammer Records
This band never seems to run out of steam. This new record has the same bombastic metal that I remember hearing many times through their catalog. It's amazing how well they have retained their sound and their creativity. It's no secret that this band has influenced so many other bands. They don't sacrifice their standards in the way they write and approach each album. That's what makes 'Metal City' another good Raven record. The band hit it out of the park once again with the great music. I love the physical media as the band also put great effort into the artwork. This is an element that gets missed in the download era. Just take a look at the cover and you'll get the idea. There is plenty more. In summary, another great Raven record that retains the sound and structure of many previous albums. One of the NWOBHM greats!
Release Date: September 18, 2020
Heavy Load-Stronger Than Evil ©2018 Thunderload/No Remorse Records
I remember picking this up on Vinyl many years ago. Absolutely loved this record from the Swedish band that had a sound similar to the NWOBHM bands. In fact, their debut had that sound before that scene really grabbed traction. This particular release is a remaster done by the Wahlquist brothers from the band. It is 24 bit mastering and there are also quite a few bonus tracks added on as well. There are also liner notes by the band for each track. It's great insight into how the songs were created, the mindset behind them, etc. I was able to get a copy fairly easily, but not quite sure how wide distribution is or how many were pressed. The band did return to the stage in 2018 and played the Sweden Rock Festival. It is rumored as well that new material might come. The band's 2nd album has been remastered as well. Good memories and great music!
Release Date: Early 2018
Amaranthe-Manifest ©2020 Nuclear Blast Records
While the world was in lockdown, lots of musicians put that time to good use. Writing music and getting it recorded reflecting on things related to the world situation. The first video I saw from this album was 'Viral' which reflected on the band distancing and the effect of the virus on the world. The song is pretty standard for the band which means it is good stuff. The album overall is quite heavy in my opinion. The growls take center stage quite a bit and these tracks tend to be my favorites although I do like good balance. There are some more melodic tracks here as well that are quite good. The band is in fine form right now. This is an excellent batch of songs that should make for a good live show if we can ever get past the barriers we have right now to large crowds. For now, this will keep the fans happy and as always, wanting more soon!
Release Date: October 2, 2020