Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

Best Of April 2020

April had four posts on the new releases.

Part 1 is here.

Part 2 is here.

Part 3 is here.

Part 4 is here.

The albums from Harem Scarem, Storm Force and The Night Flight Orchestra kept getting spins, along with some of the Jorn and H.E.A.T songs.

The single song releases from Machine Head – Circle The Drain, Royal Bliss – Feeling Whitney and Free Spirits Rising – I Would Love To Rock The World kept getting some of my time.

“Moon Of Forever” from Free Spirits Rising was released and I was hooked by the opening lyrics of the song, which are “Castles are burning as mother earth cries, her message of love is etched forever in blue”.

Another single song release which was doing the rounds was “Awaken Me” from Spoken.

Vandenberg released “Freight Train” as its next pre-release single and its full of quality riffs and a killer lead break by Vandenberg, which is a lot longer than some of his 4 second teaser lead breaks he did with the “Moonkings”.

Did I mention the chorus vocal line is pretty cool as well?

Like a freight train
Burning down the tracks
Nothing can get in my way
Like a freight train
No looking back
Make no mistakes, I’m here to stay

Adrian Vandenberg is a freight train.

When he sets his mind to come back, he comes back. When he set his mind to pull back and go underground and focus on his art and painting, he did just that. As a fan of his 80’s stuff, I am happy to see that he’s here to stay.

Christian rock band “Red” released the album “Declaration”. Stand out songs are “The War We Made”, “Sever” and “From The Ashes”.

There is something about the voice tones and the vocal melodies of Michael Barnes which always hook me in. But the majority of the songs are written by guitarist Anthony Armstrong along with producer Rob Graves so it’s the interpretation that Barnes put on the vocal melody that makes it stand out.

I have been a fan of this band since 2008. Their first three albums are my favourites and the albums that came afterwards had some cool songs, but they also lost me a little bit with their direction.

“Ishtar’s Gate” and “False Prophet” stood out from Testament’s recent release “Titans Of Creation”.

“Souls Of Black” was my first introduction to Testament in a post “Metallica Black Album” landscape. So I got the earlier stuff taped, which was technical thrash with Alex Skolnick creating jazz fusion solos over the chromatic riffs from Eric Peterson. Then Skolnick left and I was like “why would he leave?”

And throughout the years I have been following Testament and their releases. I don’t own a lot of the bands stuff, but I did have a pretty cool mix tape from the era and I recently purchased their first five albums in a CD box set for $23AUD.

And Peterson just kept writing excellent riffs that covered power metal, thrash, groove metal, nu-metal and black/death metal. Chuck Billy would sing, growl and spit those vocal lines out. Then Skolnick returned and so did my interest in the band.

And the album that reigned supreme for me in April is “Catastrophist” from Trivium. I don’t think there is a better metal act than Trivium right now.

Robb Flynn on Twitter called it a masterpiece.

And I agree.

The Kerrang review said, “you can hear just how much they love heavy metal, injecting elements of thrash, melodic death metal and black metal throughout the 10 songs.”

And I agree.

The Metal Hammer review over at loudersound.com states “ The Sin And The Sentence got Trivium back on the horse. “What The Dead Men Say” has them winning again. One of metal’s most beloved bands are on the form of their lives right now. It doesn’t get much better than that.”

And I agree.

The excellent Sonic Perspectives website, said this; “There is something in this album for everyone, but one might not know what it is until the song has already hit them straight in the chest with its might. Wherever Trivium steps from here, be it down this same path or diverging elsewhere, it will be in the shadow of “What the Dead Men Say.”

And I agree.

Check it out.

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