(HED) P.E. releases a solidly decent album with Class of 2020 (Suburban Noize Records). The band, hailing from Southern California, truly embodies the eclectic skater vibe of the area. The album is a mix of rock, funk, and rap. Jared Gomes, Jeremiah Stratton, Kurt Blankenship, DJ Blackard, and Chad Benekos are a tight outfit, and Class of 2020 has no wasted riffage.
With live in-person shows a distant memory here in 2020, many bands are turning to technology to satiate their fans’ insatiable appetite for live music. Streaming is how many are seeing their favourite bands or discovering new bands. From the comfort of your living room or TV room, in your jim-jams or favourite comfy clothes, next to the fully stocked kitchen (where water is free), and a clean bathroom, fans get to watch their favourite performers rock out.
Seether is collectively known as Shaun Morgan (vocals), Corey Lowery (guitar), John Humphrey (drums), and Dale Stewart (bass) release their eighth album Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum (Fantasy Records). The album clocks in at just under an hour and is jam-packed with awesome songs. There isn’t a wasted moment on Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum.
South of Eden, a classic rock-esq band from Ohio, release an EP, The Talk (LAVA Music), to eager supporters, new admirers, and all-around music connoisseurs. The Talk presents listeners with a wonderful classic rock era sound. Think the mid to late seventies through the early nineties; when rock was fun, light, airy, and full of awesome guitar riffs and harmonies that sweep you off your feet and float you away to rock and roll heaven. It may sound like an over-exaggeration, but pick up The Talk and you will smile in understanding.
The new Babymetal album starts off with a funky blend of techno video game and chunky 90s metal power chords. It then whiplashes into some futuristic techno power metal thing. The effect is a dizzying display of aural assault. If you aren’t into mind-bending disparate genre mixing, then you probably won’t like Metal Galaxy (earMusic/BMD Fox Records). Continue reading
When you get an album with the band name Texas Hippie Coalition, you have a set of expectations about what it’s going to sound like. A mental image of the music pops into your brain. Texas Hippie Coalition did not disappoint with High In The Saddle (Entertainment One). True to form, it’s Texas-style southern rock with a scruffy “edge” to the lyrics and followable 4/4 beats. If you like listening to Down, Black Label Society, or Southern Train Gypsy, Texas Hippie Coalition is almost but not quite totally unlike that. High In The Saddle straddles the line of rock and roll and country and does so admirably. Continue reading
Gobsmacking. That’s the first word that came to mind and I wasn’t even a minute into Winter Eternal (Metal Blade Records). Arch / Matheos deliver everything people like about heavy metal. The music is imbued with headbanging fury. The guitar riffage is sublime. Winter Eternal is that perfect storm of a heavy metal album. It’s a wicked mixture of classically awesome Iron Maiden, heady powerful Dream Theatre, and has the story-telling prowess of Queensryche. Listening to the album makes you go, “Grrrrrrrrrr!” Continue reading
The calliope-like entrance to Atlas Pain’s Tales Of A Pathfinder (Scarlet Records) heralds the auspicious story that encompasses the journey of a lifetime. It’s a wonderful ride that reveals a new world and the pinnacle of the folk metal sound. In true folk metal sound, the sound is jaunty and evokes a visage of happy square dancing in a courtyard. From start to finish, Tales of a Pathfinder feels like what Hobbits and Dwarves having a party together would play for their guests. You get the sense that the mead is flowing generously and some sort of beast is being slow-cooked on a spit over an open flame.
It’s weird hearing Yngwie Malmsteen not doing the Yngwie Malmsteen million mile per hour guitar run thing 100% of the time. Blue Lightning (Mascot Records / Mascot Label Group) is Yngwie’s bluesy take on classic Rock n’ Roll cover songs, hand-picked, played and sung by the guitar virtuoso. It’s a mindbender to hear. It’s like, Blue Lightning consists of classic tunes but Malmsteen and his eccentric guitar playing makes them seem space-age science fiction futuristic sounding. Continue reading
Tim “Ripper” Owens and Rudy Sarzo are bangin’ in A New Revenge. The new album, Enemies and Lovers (Golden Robot Records), serves up some good old-fashioned Rock n’ Roll-cum-Heavy Metal hybrid that is sure to get played on repeat for years to come. The songs are timeless in they have a distinctly “Classics” sound already. The music is infectious and it’s easy to sing along with; so many of the songs sound wickedly familiar – just little snippets here and there of guitar work or the cadence of the lyrics. Continue reading