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

April 2020 – Part 1

April 2020 has finished and a lot of new music has hit my earbuds and I am still listening to tunes released between January and March 2020. While the last post started off with the songs from previous months, this post will start the new ones;

Here is the Spotify link.

Sever
From The Ashes
Red

From the album “Declaration”.

“Sever” and “From The Ashes” have been added to the excellent “The War We Made”.

There is something about the voice tones and the vocal melodies of Michael Barnes which always hook me in. But if I look at the writers or co-writers, Barnes isn’t even listed as a songwriter. The majority of the songs are written by guitarist Anthony Armstrong along with producer Rob Graves.

In case you are not aware, Red is made up of Barnes on vocals, the Armstrong brothers, Anthony on guitars and Randy on bass and piano with Dan Johnson on drums. 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, but “Declaration” is a step back into my headspace and a direction I like.

Time won’t stop another setting sun
Facing this pain like a loaded gun

There’s no escape from problems. The more they are ignored, the bigger they become.

Sever these fraying ties

Break away instead of mending. It’s easier said than done, because while one part of the mind knows it’s right, the other part holds on to the memories, the good ones and the heart wants everything to stay as it is.

Agonize alone in the cold again
I loved more than I could hold

You think you could have it all, a relationship, a family, a career and a life as a touring musician or a high paying job.

But it’s hard.

Having so many commitments, something or someone will suffer.

I Would Love To Rock The World
Moon Of Forever
Free Spirits Rising

“A call to the promoters, trying to get a show, messages left are unanswered, trying to give rock a go” is how “I Would Love To Rock The World” starts off.

You can tell they are having fun with this song as it tells the story of trying to get a gig because even though they have failed or been burned many times, they would do it again if given the chance.

“Castles are burning as mother earth cries, her message of love is etched forever in blue” is how “Moon Of Forever” starts off, which has more of a 70s feel. In the 5 minutes, it has three verses and a lot of music with different moods.

From what I can gather, Free Spirits Rising is an Australian artist (just one dude who plays all the instruments). At this point in time he has released 10 stand-alone songs on streaming services since April last year. Sort of like a song a month policy.

The Black
Hologram
Dynazty

The Swedes are back with a new album called “The Dark Delight”.

“The Black” and “Hologram” stand out for me.

That harmony lead lick to kick off “The Black” is excellent and the vocal lines in the chorus which are inspired by classical and old folk pirate songs.

Meanwhile “Hologram” is a pop metal gem, if there is such a term. The lead break in “Hologram” is one of my favourites for this year so far. You need to hear it, to know what I mean.

Ride The Blade
Rock’N’Roll Survivors
Bonfire

For two albums (“Fireworks” released in 1987 and “Point Blank” released in 1989), Bonfire was one of my favourite acts.

The riffage and the songs were exactly to my liking. Then all hell broke loose with record labels dropping hard rock bands and suddenly Bonfire’s 1991 record, “Knock Out” was nowhere to be found. I couldn’t even get it imported into Australia and I couldn’t even get any news from em, because the usual metal mags I was buying didn’t mention em.

But Napster and its users gave me their 90’s output, and streaming now has some of their albums, but not the ones I like. “Fistful Of Fire” is their 17th studio album and man it’s been a long ride for founding guitarist Hans Ziller, the only original member since 1972.

So it’s probably a big reason why “Rock ‘N’ Roll Survivors” resonated plus the riffs and lead breaks played a pretty big part.

And the intro to “Ride The Blade”. Crank it loud and start to play air guitar.

She Dragoon
Conception

“By The Blues” has been doing the rounds for a few months on my playlists and now, “She Dragoon” is added to the list. This is one of the best Queensryche songs that Queensryche didn’t write.

In case you are not aware, Conception is from Norway and they came into my life via the excellent “In Your Multitude” released in 1995. which reminded me of Dream Theater’s “Images and Words” and “Awake” era albums, but with the songs more accessible. They also released another good album in “Flow” in 1997 and then they disbanded between 1998 and 2018.

Awaken Me
Spoken

I like this band.

They are marketed as an American Christian Rock band.

But to me, they are pretty awesome hard rock band who has been doing the rounds since 1997. The last new music from the band was back in 2017 and in February, they released a nu-metal song, called “The Way Back Home” with a massive melodic chorus.

“Awaken Me” is not as aggressive in the riffage as “The Way Back Home”. It’s more melodic and the chorus remains with me.

Awaken me to you
Cover me with the fire of your love
Take me with you
Forever, forever
With you

The “YOU” can be a lover, a parent, a child or a God. Just insert which one you want. And its catchy. Hence the reason why the song is in the list.

Stay tuned for Part 2.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

2019 – Part 1

A few years ago I stopped doing albums of the year lists and started doing “songs released that year lists”, along with the yearly playlist which Spotify generates for the songs I listened to in the year. These two lists (my lists and the Spotify list) are more precise for what is hot and what is cold in my life in 2019.

And those Spotify end of year lists always surprise me, because even though I didn’t think I listened to certain artists that many times, they still come up. Hey, who am I to argue with the AI counting and tracking my listening habits.

So here we go, here is the Part 1 list of my favourite songs, released this year (except for a few songs released last year that I really got into this year).

The whole playlist is here.

I Am Fuel
Panoptical
Sons Of War
The End Will Begin Again
From Days Of Jupiter

Yep, this album “Panoptical” came out last year, but I dug these songs so much that I kept listening to em this year as well.

And I have written about Days Of Jupiter before, another band from Sweden who is playing a brand of heavy rock which I like.

And I’m still confused as to why “New Awakening” their 2017 release is not on Spotify Australia.

Promised Land
Revolution In Black
We Are Here
Faith In Life
Homes In The Sky
Whats it To Ya!
Raise Our Voice
The World We Live In
From Free Spirits Rising

“Across the world we have grown up knowing, what it means to have terror touch our lives” …from “Raise Our Voice”.

“Our weapons are the way we choose to live, freedom of thought, freedom to love” …from “Raise Our Voice”.

From Australia, the themes of the songs got me interested and there is a lot of guitar in the songs and there is no album release, just a song a month and a very garage sound which reminds me of the 80s albums before MTV required each band to have polished harmony vocals and guitars all sounding sterile and the same.

“Promised Land” and “Faith In Life” deal with enjoying your only life, it’s here, it’s now and you are living in the promised land which you have created for yourself.

“I believe in, living the right way, I believe in, having a say” …from “Promised Land”

“We are here to right the wrongs, we are here to throw back the stones” …from “We Are Here”

“What’s It To Ya!”, “We Are Here”, “Raise Our Voice” and “Revolution In Black” are like the protest songs, about standing up for yourself and using your voice to speak up and try to make change happen.

“What’s It To Ya!” if I like my music loud, and “What’s it to Ya!” if I live my life proud”.

“The World We Live In” just sums up society, and how we like to fill our cups and look the other way.

“Freedom comes, when you have nothing left to lose” …from “Revolution In Black”

Crazy – Acoustic
How You Like Me Now
Hard And Loud
Paranoid
Adrenaline
Light Of The Moon
Devil With Angel Eyes
Be Original
From Royal Bliss

From the self-titled album.

The modern rock sound which combines elements of the 80’s with the Shinedown/Sixx AM style of rock chucked in, really hooked me in, and I became a fan instantly.

When I googled the band name, I found out they are from the US, have been around since 1997, had a major label deal once upon a time and that this self-titled album is number 10.

And the funniest part of their history is that, vocalist Neal Middleton audition for the second season of “The Voice”, but no judge turned their chairs, so he was eliminated. However the eventual winner of “The Voice”, a person the judges felt they needed to turn their chairs for, has more or less disappeared from the music scene, while Royal Bliss and Matt are still at it, releasing albums frequently.

You can’t keep a good rock and roller down. \::/

Never Surrender
West Bound

It came up on a release radar, and the “give it what you got” message with its arena rock chorus and hard rock guitar riffs got me interested.

So I looked em up and Blabbermouth tells me it’s a rock band on Frontiers featuring vocalist Chas West and guitarist/producer Roy Z. And I was interested because Roy Z did a few albums with Bruce Dickinson and Rob Halford that I enjoyed.

The song “Never Surrender” is about going through struggles in life and never giving up on your dreams as the tough times can help you define your true character.

Bringin On The Heartbreak
From Matt Nathanson

Matt Nathanson released an acoustic Def Leppard covers album called “Pyromattia” last year. I saw it on a fellow bloggers EOY list for 2018 and I was interested. I checked it out and loved this cover version of one my favourite Def Leppard songs.

Stalfagel featuring Alissa White-Gluz
You Aquiver
Bleeder Despoiler
The Nurturing Glance
The Ageless Whisper
From Soilwork

To me “Verkligheten” (the Swedish word for “Reality”) is Soilwork’s best album. A combination of their aggressive, abrasive and melodic sides. It’s a metal rock album.

Plus, I am a fan of the work that Bjorn Strid and guitarist David Andersson do with Soliwork and The Night Flight Orchestra.

Live Or Die
Shame
From Reach

The album “The Great Divine” came out last year but I really got into these songs in 2019.

Again, it was an EOY list from a fellow blogger that got me interested to check out this release.

And “Live Or Die” with its Muse like vibe resonated straight away, especially that soaring Chorus vocal melody.

The Ending
Problems
From Papa Roach

“Who Do You Trust?” is a weird album for me to digest.

It’s not one of my favourites from Papa Roach but it’s not a bad album either.

Just weird at this point in time and over the last few albums there has been a shift in the sound to the current popular rock train sound.

“The Atlantic” Album
From Evergrey

What can I say?

Evergrey delivers. I have already written my review on this album here.  

And Tom Englund is keeping himself busy with various projects, like his vocalist stint with Redemption and now a melancholy soundtrack like project called “Silent Skies

Check out the song “Horizons”.

You will not be disappointed.

Part 2 coming up.

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