Author Archives: brianmc

Album review: LEVERAGE – Above The Beyond

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Frontiers [Release date 15.10.21] AOR, Melodic Rock, Power Metal, Progmetal … Leverage are none of these yet they are all of these. On their 5th album now and the music gets harder to define and easier to admire. It’s perhaps … Continue reading

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Album review: GRANDMASTER – Skywards

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Frontiers [release date 15.10.21] Grandmaster is vocalist Nando Fernandez of Brazilian metal band, Sinistra, paired with incomparable metal guitarist Jens (Edguy) Ludwig. It’s a match made in Frontiers’ HQ. The songs have been written by, and the album produced by … Continue reading

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Album review: LORDS OF BLACK Alchemy Of Souls II

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Frontiers [release date 15.10.21] Fifth album from metallers, Lords Of Black, the Ronnie Romero/ Tony Hernando band. They brand themselves as a “Progressive” Power Metal band. You can see strong hints of how this plays out when first viewing the … Continue reading

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Album review: ALCATRAZZ – V

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Silver Lining Music [release date: 15.10.21] Now that Doogie White and Joe Stump are onboard, Alcatrazz have abandoned all that wimpy rock stuff, and mainlined themselves into the world of heavy metal, on this, their second album with Silver Lining. … Continue reading

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Album review: JOSH TURNER – King Size Manger

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Spinefarm Records [release date 08.10.21] On his latest album, King Size Manger, Josh Turner has put his own self penned/co-written material up against famous 19th century Christmas Carols like ‘Angels We Have Heard On High’, ‘The First Nowell’ and ‘Silent … Continue reading

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Album review: ALCATRAZZ – The Best Of and Live In The USA (2 CD set)

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Store For Music [Release date: 08.10.21] It’s not the first time this Best Of Alcatrazz collection has been available in CD form, so the additional CD of live material is very welcome. Winnowing down Alcatrazz’s “best songs” from three eighties’ … Continue reading

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Album review: SPIRIT – Sunrise And Salvation, The Mercury Era Anthology (Remasters, 8 CD Boxset)

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Cherry Red [release date: 08.10.21] Accidentally or on purpose, Spirit managed to avoid true success, giving the firm impression that if their career ever got anywhere near the glittering shop window of fame, they put the pedal to the metal, … Continue reading

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Album review: PAUL McDONALD – Modern Hearts

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Vacancy Records [release date 01.10.21] Alabama native and American Idol finalist, Paul McDonald was voted through to the Hollywood “play off” by no less than Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson. It was a mark of the man. Where … Continue reading

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Album review: KASIM SULTON – 2021

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Deko Entertainment [Release date 17.09.21] If you were Kasim Sulton and had played bass and sung backing vocals on Meat Loaf’s 50 million selling Bat Out Of Hell, and had been an integral part of Todd Rundgren’s Utopia during ten … Continue reading

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Album review: CARAVAN – It’s None Of Your Business

CARAVAN - It's None Of Your Business

On Sunday 3 October 2021 you can hear Pete Feenstra chatting to Pye Hastings for Get Ready to ROCK! Radio.  More info Madfish Music [Release date 8.10.21] Masters of the snappy album title, Caravan are yet another English Progressive Rock … Continue reading

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Album review: YES – The Quest

yes the quest

Inside Out Music [Release date: 01.10.21] Yes are a British institution. As much woven into the fabric of UK culture as many other artistic endeavours. An omnipresent rock band with a constantly changing line up, currently: Davison, Howe, Sherwood, Downes … Continue reading

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Album review: MY GLASS WORLD – Still Life With Machine Gun

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Luxury Noise [release date: 24.09.21] Everything Absent Or Distorted was a (now defunct) “sprawling, American, Indie Rock Ensemble”. They recorded their song ‘Still Life With Machine Gun’ in 2006. 15 years later, My Glass World have recorded their own song … Continue reading

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Album review: PARADOX – Heresy II, End Of A Legend

PARADOX – Heresy II, End Of A Legend

AFM Records [Release date: 24.09.21] German giants of Thrash, Paradox are well known within the genre. They have a sizeable coterie of discerning fans who’ve followed them since the band’s inception in 1986. Had their chosen genre been say, power … Continue reading

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Album review: SAVATAGE – Sirens and Dungeons Are Calling (remasters)

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ear-MUSIC [release date 3.09.21] We’re cranking the machine way back to 1982, and Savatage’s twin debuts, Sirens and Dungeons Are Calling, both independently released. The band, Jon and Criss Oliva, Keith Collins and Steve Wacholz recorded and mixed all the … Continue reading

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Album review: LEAVES EYES – The Last Viking, Midsummer Version

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AFM Records [release date: 17.09.21] Leaves Eyes’ latest release, The Last Viking, Midsummer Version, is a multi media concept album, a high impact audiovisual story. The “Last Viking” was Harald III of Norway, known as Harald Hardrada (Harald the Hard … Continue reading

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Album review: BONNIE TYLER – The East West Years 1995-98 (3 CDs)

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Cherry Red [release date: 17.09.21] Bonnie Tyler’s two most famous songs, ‘Total Eclipse Of The Heart’ (1983) and ‘It’s A Heartache’ (1977) are among the best selling singles of all time, with combined sales of over 12 million. She’s enjoyed … Continue reading

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Album review: EDGE OF PARADISE – The Unknown

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Frontiers Music [Release date 17.09.21] Edge Of Paradise is a duo made up of Armenian/ Russian/ American singer, “the female Robin McAuley”, Margarita Monet, and American guitarist and songwriter, Dave Bates. The Unknown is their fourth album, and second on … Continue reading

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Album review: IAN PARRY’s ROCK EMPORIUM – Brute Force

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Metal Mind [release date 14.07.21] Singer/songwriter, Ian Parry has always been master of his own destiny, moving from project to project and label to label over the course of his 30 year career. He counts Hammerhead, Elegy, Ayreon and Vengeance … Continue reading

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Album review: BRAINSTORM – Wall Of Skulls

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AFM Records [release date 17.09.21] Judging by this new release, Brainstorm turned the pandemic related lockdown to good advantage, in writing and recording Wall Of Skulls. It’s no more than an incremental step up from last album, Midnight Ghost, but … Continue reading

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Album review: GAMMA RAY – 30 Years Live Anniversary

gamma ray 30 years

Ear Music/Edel [Release date 10.09.21] In 2020, it looked like this could become the new normal. A live gig without an audience. Kai Hansen’s Gamma Ray know what it is to play live…they’ve been doing it for 30 years. It becomes … Continue reading

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Album review: AL ROSS & THE PLANETS – Blue Crystal

AL ROSS & THE PLANETS - Blue Crystal

Wienerworld Music [Release date 10.09.21] Al Ross & The Planets’ “stylistically diverse” (it sez ere) second album, Blue Crystal, had a difficult birth. As well as being handicapped by the pandemic’s side effects of lockdown and quarantine, this international band … Continue reading

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Album review: BETWEEN WORLDS (feat Ronny Munroe) – Between Worlds

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Frontiers [release date: 10.09.21] Ronny Munroe, Alessandro Del Vecchio (Frontiers’ inhouse producer / writer / arranger) and Pete Alpenberg, now aka Between Worlds, have brought in the heavy artillery for this, their self titled debut. After ten years fronting Metal … Continue reading

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Album review: ANETTE OLZON – Strong

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Frontiers Records [release date 10.09.21] A Symphonic Rock album for the ABBA generation, Anette (Dark Element/ Nightwish) Olzon’s collaboration with maestro, Magnus Karlsson, titled Strong, is huge, confident and full of heartstopping hooks. It has a lovely gloss to it… … Continue reading

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Album review: VANDENBERG – The Complete Atco Recordings 1982-2004 (4 CD Boxset w/bonus tracks)

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Cherry Red [release date 27.08.21] Vandenberg (1982) Heading For A Storm (1983) Alibi (1985) Demos and Live (2004) Emerging unbloodied and unbowed from the golden age of AOR, Vandenberg’s 3 albums (now remastered) embody all that was good and all … Continue reading

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Album review: LYNCH MOB – The Elektra Years 1990-92 (2 CDs w/bonus tracks)

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Cherry Red [Release date 27.08.21] A 2 CD Lynch Mob package. Wicked Sensation (1990) and Lynch Mob (1992).  All that’s missing is the “best before 1989” label. And that problem undermined any notion of commercial success. Either one of these … Continue reading

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