From Denmark. “Epitaph” is album number six.
The album kicks off with the title track “Epitaph”, a 1.40 instrumental that would not be out of place on the “Braveheart” soundtrack or “Game Of Thrones”.
This song bleeds into “A Stroke Of Magic” and that Evergrey djent/syncopated style of riffing captures me. “Steal My Crown” starts off with a catchy piano lick and when the power chords come crashing down, in the words of Rob Halford, “they go tearing through my senses”.
“Knights In Shining Armour” is a power metal cut with a catchy keyboard melody underpinning the Chorus and “Birds Of Prey” is a hard rock sing with an AOR Chorus.
“Particle” reminds of Evergrey and for that memory, it is elevated to stand out status.
“I’m chasing every particle of you”
God damn, even Desmond Child or Max Martin can’t come up with a line that good.
“Indestructible” asks the question “for why we try to die so young” in the Chorus.
“World Foregone” also reminds me of Evergrey and I’m all in with the alternate picked verses and ballad like Chorus with “how long, how long, can we go on”.
It’s about pollution and climate change. An important message that needs to be heard over and over again. Something that White Lion was onto but ignored.
“My Hands Are Empty” keeps the single song drops from Machine Head going.
From a new music point of view, prior to this song, MH released “Do Or Die” in 2019 and in 2020, “Circle The Drain” (and an acoustic version), “Stop The Bleeding” and “Bulletproof” have been released. If any of em end up on a long player, who knows, but as a fan I’ve enjoyed the single drops.
The songs “Stop The Bleeding” and “Bulletproof” appeared like an EP called “Civil Unrest”.
The mighty Acca Dacca return with one of the best album titles ever in “Power Up”. Their return was met with enough fandom, which pushed their album into number 1 and decent sales, something that Bon Jovi couldn’t muster with his 2020 release.
“Realize” storms out of the gate with its “For Those About To Rock” intro before it starts cranking with its “Problem Child/Sin City” vibe. And I’m all in.
“Shot In The Dark” is better than a walk in the park, with its instantly recognisable riff, which people state sounds like “Rock N Roll Train” and “Rock N Roll Train” sounds like other AC/DC songs, because Angus and Malcolm are brilliant at creating derivative versions of the same riff.
Tracks like “Through The Mists Of Time” is AC/DC bringing in something extra and the way the Chorus happens, well it’s just a little bit different. In Australia, a band called Choirboys did songs like this.
“Kick You When You’re Down” makes me pick up the guitar to learn that intro riff.
“Demon Fire” is fast blues. It sounds like Airbourne’s “Blood In The Water”. “Let There Be Rock” comes to mind and so does “Safe in New York City” and “Caught With Your Pants Down”.
Other favourites are “Money Shot” and “Code Red”.
Power up for 2020 and rock on.
This is a real good blues rock album in the style of John Fogerty and Steve Earle. The first three tracks are a triple combo knockout with “Starting Over”, “Devil Always Made Me Think Twice” (which sounds like it came from the same family tree of “Old Man Down The Road” by John Fogerty) and “Cold” which is basically a re-write of a Paolo Nutini song called “Iron Sky”.
“Arkansas” keeps that Delta blues vibe going with its swampy riffs. “Hillbilly Blood” sounds like a Steve Earle track. “Maggie’s Song” feels like “Shooting Star” from Bad Company.
Opening track “Navvie” is an acoustic Celtic like romp, more colonial, tribal and folky sounding than anything modern. And I like it. So I went to Google to find out more about the band.
Lunatic Soul is a progressive rock side-project, founded by Riverside vocalist and bass guitarist Mariusz Duda in 2008. “Through Shaded Woods” is the side projects seventh album.
Riverside has been in my life since the early 2000’s and I had no idea there was a side project. All instruments and vocals are performed by Duda. He found inspiration for the album from his hometown in Poland, which is surrounded by forests and lakes.
“The Passage” is up next. This track clocks in at 8.57 as it weaves its way through its Norse and Slavic folk influences in the riffs, all done in a haunting way.
“Through Shaded Woods” continues the Celtic tribal folk feel from “Navvie” with a tremolo effect vocal melody. “Summoning Dance” clocks in at 9.52 and its underpinned by an acoustic bass riff that reminds me of Tool.
The acoustic finger picked intro to “The Fountain” starts and the melancholy gets me interested.
I added “Arise” to my playlist because I saw their name in a list of new releases.
Another hard rock band from Sweden.
“Turn The Tide” with its Led Zep like influences immediately grabbed me and “End Of The World” could have been a Dio cut with a Blackmore style solo.
But it’s the hard rock tracks with a little bit of prog thrown in that are my favourites. Check out the Rush influenced “I Wish” and the Kings X influenced “Sign of the Times” and “Highroad to Nowhere”.
From the U.S.
It started off as a solo project in 2015.
And since then, vocalist/guitarist/bassist Nate Garrett has taken his melodic doom metal influences and tweaked them into an old school metal machine, all within four albums and two Eps.
The new album is called “Enlightened in Eternity”. Garrett does everything except the drums, which are carried out by a person called Marcus Bryant.
“Ride Into The Light” could have been on an Accept album and their take on mixing Judas Priest with AC/DC.
“Astral Levitation” has two sections. Section 1 is Sabbath/Dio “Heaven And Hell” era while section 2 is all Iron Maiden and Thin Lizzy with the harmony guitars.
“Cosmic Conquest” has so many riffs in the song, that a whole album could have been written of those riffs got fleshed into individual songs.
I’m interested, let’s see what comes next.
Part 4 is coming up.