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In the 1980s and early 1990s TESLA found their way to stardom in the USA due to their own Rockstyle, which owed references to the 1970s and put the band right next to BLACK CROWES, GREAT WHITE, BADLANDS and such acts which all went against the Glam/Sleazerockgenre which dominated much of the USA around 1989. The band even became really huge around 1991 when they played as a Metalband an acoustic show, which lead to several hitsingles and an inspiration to many other Rock and Metalbands to start playing their songs acoustically. TESLA however went down in all of this, also thanks to the Grunge scene, so their final album ‘Bust a nut’ in 1995 marked the end of the band. 5 years later they returned, toured and even released a new CD ‘Into the now’ in 2004. Now the band follows that record up with a ‘covers’ album, not that original if you consider the fact STYX, DEF LEPPARD, POISON and such all released covers albums the past few years. TESLA’s covers album ‘Real to reel’ however contains very original picks, because included songs are originally from 70s rockbands like UFO, URIAH HEEP, MONTROSE, THIN LIZZY and such. The band has done their very best in making this classic tunes sound as good as they were back in the day. I was a bit disappointed in their comeback studio-CD from 3 years ago, but this new coversalbum definitely sounds more like TESLA used to sound…

(Points: 8.3 out of 10)


With so many huge names from the AOR scene you would expect a supersensational release, but unfortunately the VOICES OF ROCK project is just a nice melodic rockalbum with here and there some great songs, but in general just a nice by-the-numbers melodic rockalbum. 10 singers each singing 1 song on this CD, that is the main focus here and of course with vocalists like JAMES CHRISTIAN, ROBIN BECK, TERRY BROCK, JEAN BEAUVOIR, HARRY HESS, GORAN EDMAN, STEVE OVERLAND and JOHNNY GIOELLI you can not possible go wrong and songs like “Nightingale”, “Irresistible” and “Slip away” are indeed very strong Melodic Rocksongs, but still I feel the 10 included songs on this CD are more sounding like leftovers (unwanted tunes) from the excellent albums of the bands these singers are involved in than a real CD with all-new songs. Don’t get me wrong, it is an enjoyable album, but it is not nowhere near as good as the regular CDs of bands like HAREM SCAREM, HOUSE OF LORDS, FM, CROWN OF THORNS, etc.

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


Just 15-years old! That is the main fact of this new Finnish band called STURM UND DRANG, because the 5 members of this band were born in the early 1990s! This act has already made a huge name in Finland and I guess this is the best youngest band we ever heard and reviewed in all those years I have been a reviewer. The musicians of STURM UND DRANG were just born when we started our magazine and now they have released one of the best albums of 2007! Vocally it sounds very strong and also instrumental it is as impressive as any adult band out there! ‘Learning to rock’ is without a doubt a fantastic album that combines Classic 80s Melodic Hardrock with today’s Melodic Euro Power Metal, so expect a mixture of DOKKEN/SCORPIONS and SONATA ARCTICA/STRATOVARIUS with a bit of DREAM EVIL thrown in for good measure when listening to this STURM UND DRANG record and it is definitely of the same high quality here and there. Especially the fast “The raven” and “Broken” and the DOKKEN/SCORPIONSish melodic rockers “Fly away” and “Mortals” (very catchy) as well as the ballad “Miseria” are sounding like some of the best Melodic Rock/Metal at the moment! Without a doubt, this album is as good as the recently released ARI KOIVUNEN album, but bare in mind that the members of STURM UND DRANG are just 15/16 years old, so the future looks very bright! Check out their site at:  and 

(Points: 8.9 out of 10)


Joop Wolters is a Dutch guitarist, who has been involved with different projects. One of the projects was the ARABESQUE project, which released a CD in 2000. Besides that project, Joop is also featured on a few tribute albums, although his main focus are his solo-records. ‘Out of order’ is his 3rd solo-CD, which is a diverse guitar based instrumental record that contains influences from lots of music genres (Progrock, Metal, Melodic Rock, Sympho and even some Folk, Fusion and Jazz the way TOMMY DENANDER does on his solo-albums). Guitarfreaks will love this album for sure…

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


Being a fan of LILLIAN AXE it hurts to say the band does nowhere near sound as good as they were in their early years. Having said that, I must admit they released a fantastic live-CD a few years ago and actually most of their studio-albums are superb pieces of Melodic Hardrock. However, their new CD ‘Waters rising’ is an ok affair I am afraid. The band has come up with 12 songs that sound quite heavy and groovy, not bad at all, but the band’s strongest points in the past, which were the fantastic vocalwork and strong hooks as well as catchy choruses have been put aside a bit in favor of a more modern sounding groovy sound. It reminds me so much of TESLA’s disappointing comeback CD ‘Into the now’. LILLIAN AXE are really a great band, released some excellent albums, but ‘Waters rising’ surely isn’t their best effort…

(Points: 7.8 out of 10)


Spanish band SILVER FIST returns with a new CD, and unlike most other Spanish bands out there, SILVER FIST sings in English. Music is typical European Melodic Metal, but it is almost impossible nowadays to make an album that will stand out between all the other albums released in this genre every week, especially for a band from Spain. However, SILVER FIST has done it quite nicely, because ‘Tears of blood’ is a very good Melodic Metalalbum, with a little help of FREDRIK NORDSTROM of DREAM EVIL (who mixed the album) and what makes SILVER FIST stand out between most Spanish band is that they have a True strong Metalshouter Silver Solorzamo singing in English. 10 songs are included and fans of MYSTIC PROPHECY/MEDUZA/ NOCTURNAL RITES and such will absolutely love this record, which has some killer Melodic Metalsongs here and there like “Flight of the phoenix”, “I’ll wait for you in Hell” and “Martyr”. An album which should not be missed actually, so fans of Melodic Metal should go and get it asap!

(Points: 8.3 out of 10)


For the fans of the US Power Metal band SEVEN WITCHES, it’s a dream come true to see a DVD being released of this band. It is not a really high quality DVD as on the major labels, but the fans of the band will certainly be enjoying this great DVD of a band which quietly built up a large following and may now easily be called one of the premier true Power Metalbands that have taken over the flame from bands like JAG PANZER, VICIOUS RUMORS, FATES WARNING, HELSTAR, METAL CHURCH, etc. etc. With 5 albums in their catalogue, the band could pick enough for a concert that lasted quite long and besides the footage of this gig, there are also interviews and documentaries on the band, with a playing time of more than 2 hours! Fans of True US Power Metal should get this DVD asap!

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)


Dutch band formed in 2003 with a sound that should be called 'underground experimental Gothic Ambient Rock', but on the other hand no way their debut CD 'Synchronized' is easy to describe. KATE BUSH, PETER GABRIEL, PINK FLOYD and THE GATHERING are certainly the main influences here. The CD was produced by musician/producer Devon Graves (DEADSOUL TRIBE/PSYCHOTIC WALTZ), who also does some vocal and guitar appearances on the album as well. On drums the band worked together with Dirk Bruinenberg, a well known musician in The Netherlands who worked with bands like ELEGY, CONSORTIUM PROJECT, ADAGIO, KAMELOT, etc. DIAL itself is based around 3 musicians (Liselotte Hegt: Vocals, Bass, Keyboards, Rommert van der Meer: Electric and Acoustic Guitars and Kristoffer Gildenlow: Basses, Guitars, Vocals, Keyboards, Double Bass, Cello, Mandolin). I think the best way to describe the music of DIAL is that it feels like the underground 1980s Gothic Rock of bands like SHAKESPEAR'S SISTER (even a cover is included) with a touch of KATE BUSH, very clearly, so if you're into that style you will certainly like this one a lot.

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


Former MEGADETH guitarist CHRIS POLAND has been working on his solo career for quite some time now, releasing the album ‘Return to Metalopolis’ back in 2002, which now has a follow-up, although this is more or less the live-version of that album. Without a doubt, Chris is one of the big guitarplayers out there, so any fan of instrumental guitar based rock/metal will certainly enjoy the moves and licks of Chris in this live impressionistic affair, which is based on his 2002 album ‘Return to Metalopolis’. Fans of Chris will love this record definitely!

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


Not to be confused with LION MUSIC’s other signed band, which is called UNDER RADIO. This UNION RADIO is JOHN MACALUSO'S UNION RADIO actually. John is a well-known session musician/drummer, who played on hundreds of records, especially in the 1980s on many AOR and Hardrock albums, believe he even worked with STAN BUSH for a while, but also played on albums of MALMSTEEN and TNT. Anyway, the album ‘The Radio Waves Goodbye’ he has released with his new project UNDER RADIO features some very well-known singers and musicians, such as James LaBrie (DREAM THEATER), Vitalij Kuprij, Mike DiMeo, Chris Caffrey, Alex Masi, Randy Coven, Zey Grey, Dimuti, Marco Sfogli, Adrian Holtz (Ark), Derrik Weiland (TSO) etc. With such a guest list one can only expect a strong album and UNION RADIO is all about pure Progressive Rock/Metal, with some very strong melodies and actually it sounds very impressive, with James singing quite well on opener “Soul in Your Mind”. It’s a little more song based than DREAM THEATER, just like the other 13 tracks on the whole CD, but definitely an interesting release, yet another album featuring JAMES LABRIE (although just one song), who to me sounds on those other projects better than on the DREAM THEATER albums. These are all signs James might be replaced in the future in DREAM THEATER, because if that band wants to make a real step forward they need to get a more diverse singer, so James has been doing a lot of other things in case he gets bombed someday. On the other hand, DREAM THEATER is not sitting still either, because they have released more albums in this decade than any other band in the progscene. Anyway, back to this CD, which is John Macaluso’s baby and is not only featuring JAMES LABRIE on vocals on 1 song, because also other singers are featured such as RIOT/MASTERPLAN singer MIKE DIMEO. The songs are melodic progrock with symphonic influences as well as some AOR melodies, such as in the great opening track “Soul in Your Mind” which is sung by James. Progrockfans might enjoy this release a lot, no real comparisons are possible, because it is actually a very diverse album that mixes a bit of everything, but progrockfans might want to check this release out.

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)


Multi-instrumentalist STEVE NEWMAN from the UK returns with already the 6th NEWMAN CD. ‘Primitive soul’ follows the exact same style as the previous records, which is good clean quality AOR/Melodic Rock. Although Steve once again did a lot by himself, such as the songwriting, vocals, guitars, keys and whole recording/producing of the CD, he also got some help from drummer Rob McEwen and additional musicians included guitarist TOMMY DENANDER and vocalist MARK THOMPSON-SMITH. Nevertheless, it is a NEWMAN CD and Steve does most of the job on his own, doing it quite well, with some great AOR/Melodic Rocksongs like “Heading for your heart”, “For the man I am”, “Falling Like Stone” and “Rapture”. It’s not as good as a lot of the other sensational AOR/Melodic Rock records released these past few months, but definitely a quality album to check out if you’re a die-hard AOR/Melodic Rockfan. More info at:  and e-mail at: 

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)


DAVID VALDES is a Spanish guitarist and with his new CD ‘Imhotep’ he releases another fine piece of instrumental Neo-Classical Melodic Hardrock in classic MALMSTEEN style. David is an excellent guitarist, while the songs on his new CD are filled with strong guitar melodies that MALMSTEEN can not write anymore. Most of the songs are uptempo, with plenty of room for some keyboard vs. guitar duals, because besides playing guitar, David also plays keys and bass, while he also produced the CD himself. A talented musician from Spain and you can check out more info on David at: 

(Points: 8.3 out of 10)


During the mid 1990s we received quite a lot of singer-songwriter AOR/Westcoast-Rockalbums, but in the 2000s this style was nearly dead. At the end of the tunnel we find ourselves some light of hope for this genre, because a Canadian artist named BRANT PETHICK has released a very strong singer/songwriter AOR/Westcoast-Poprockalbum in the shape of ‘A new day’, which is the debut CD of this Canadian musician. It reminds me of artists like BRETT WALKER, WAYNE SMART, CARL DIXON, STAN MEISSNER, DAVID KUHN, SCOTT SUDBURY, MICHAEL ZEE and of course good old BRYAN ADAMS… Fans of this genre will then know what to expect and I must say that the catchy AOR/Poprock on the first CD of BRANT PETHICK sounds indeed as good as mentioned acts. The production is quite excellent and songs like “Save me”, “Save a life” and “It’s your fight” are really impressive tunes. Check it out for yourself at:

(Points: 8.3 out of 10)


PHIDEAUX is an American (Los Angeles to be exact) band with a true 1970s UK based Progressive Rocksound. Comparisons to ELP, KING CRIMSON, PINK FLOYD, YES, GENTLE GIANT, UK, etc. are possible when hearing their 6th CD ‘Doomsday afternoon’. The band is consisting of 10 members, although main member is songwriter/vocalist/guitarist PHIDEAUX XAVIER. It also reminds me a bit of MOSTLY AUTUMN, so I guess fans of Classic Progrock will absolutely love this record, because the album is of a very high level. The lyrics remind me of BLUE OYSTER CULT in their heydays and after listening a couple of times to their new album, I can conclude that this PHIDEAUX is a band that should not go unnoticed. Check out their site at: 

(Points: 8.3 out of 10)


Norwegian band formed in 2004, now debuting with their first full-length-CD released titled ‘Jas gripen’. Musically going into a modern progressive rocksound which has room enough for strong melodies and actually lots of diversity going on here, because there are some ZEPPELIN riffs here and there and the progressive rock itself has a sort of own approach, which also allows influences of acts like U2, RADIOHEAD, MUSE and COLDPLAY, but happily GALLERY is much closer to Progressive Rock. More info at: 

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


Formed in 2005, the Greek based band JAKE LEG releases their first demo. It consists of 6 tracks, which are Sleazy Rock and Roll a la VELVET REVOLVER, LA GUNS, THE CULT, GUNS’N’ROSES… Although the sound is not as good as a label release, after all this is just a demo, but the Thessaloniki based band JAKE LEG has a nice raw rock and roll sound, recommended to fans of mentioned bands. More info at:  and e-mail at: 

(Points: 7.3 out of 10)


The 3-piece band CANVAS SOLARIS returns with a technically perfect instrumental Progressive Rockalbum that is as good and diverse as for example DREAM THEATER, OZRIC TENTACLES, PORCUPINE TREE, RUSH, yet without vocals. 6 long songs are included, which go in all sorts of directions, with as absolute highlight the 17 minutes counting closing track “Reticular consciousness”, but also the Metal riff driven “Sinusoid mirage”. Without a doubt, any progfan will love this record, because all the complex instrumental parts featured on this CD are worth exploring if you’re a fan of this genre!

(Points: 8.5 out of 10)


EYEWITNESS was the band prior to MILLENIUM, the band that brought us JORN LANDE. Anyway, EYEWITNESS was active in the dark mid 1990s and their sound was pure Melodic Hardrock like late 90s TALISMAN/HAREM SCAREM, so quite dark, heavy and groovy, yet with melodic choruses. The band featured the later ICED EARTH guitarist RALPH SANTOLLA and the fantastic CRYPTIC VISION singer TODD PLANT. The 2 albums the band released are now digipacked available on ESCAPE MUSIC as a 2-CD deluxe edition. Nicely packed, the 26 included songs show EYEWITNESS was a nice Melodic Hardrockband, but also nothing more than that, because the only really sensational track was the JERRY DIXON of WARRANT written AOR/Melodic Rock classic “Arms of love”, which was also recorded by JEFF SCOTT SOTO in the past as a demo. Anyway, the material on the 2 albums were definitely not as good as MILLENIUM, the band that rose out of the ashes of this EYEWITNESS. Nevertheless, anyone who missed the EYEWITNESS band material can now easily get hold of it…

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


SKANSIS is a new band from out of nowhere, because I had never heard of them before their debut-CD was released on ESCAPE MUSIC. Produced by THOM BLUNIER of SHAKRA, this Swiss band releases a very strong album that musically goes in the same direction as other Melodic Hardrockbands from Switzerland such as SHAKRA, CRYSTAL BALL, GOTTHARD… 12 songs are included and some of them are very catchy, such as “Dangermind” (very strong fast uptempo melodic heavy rocker a la CACUMEN/very early BONFIRE/PRETTY MAIDS/MAD MAX), “Is that enough” and “Return today”. Their first CD is quite a winner and SKANSIS even beat the new SHAKRA album with it, so definitely a must-have for the fans of catchy 80s influenced Melodic Hardrock! It reminds me of a mix between CASANOVA, MAD MAX, PRETTY MAIDS, BONFIRE and WHITE LION, just giving you an idea of the sound of this SKANSIS, which is really good if you ask me!

(Points: 8.4 out of 10)


Back in the 1980s NIGHTSTRIKE were one of many US bands out there playing their own brand of classic melodic hardrock/metal. Between 1988 and the mid 1990s the band released 3 albums, but after 1997 it became very quiet. However, recently the band reformed and went into the studio to record 15 songs. Together these songs can be found on the independently released first official CD of NIGHTSTRIKE titled ‘One Hit to the Heart: The Best of NightStrike’. In 2007 NIGHTSTRIKE sounds like a typical American Hardrockband sounded some 20 years ago, although not that dated, because the production and sound quality is of today’s standards. Songs like “Runaway”, “Broken promises”, “Standing in the shadows” and “Where do we go” are all quite nice Melodic Hardrocksongs that remind me a lot of bands like HERICANE ALICE, JAILHOUSE, ROUGH HOUSE, LILLIAN AXE, TESLA and such. Check it out asap if you’re a fan of any of the mentioned bands. More info at: 

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


Although the band FALL OF THE LEAFE from Finland has the typical Finnish sound, they are sounding a little bit different, also much rawer than most of the other ‘more polished’ sounding acts. Although it is the first time I get to hear and review this band, FALL OF THE LEAFE were formed more than 10 years ago and already released 5 albums before this CD ‘Aerolithe’. Anyway, their new CD is a nice diverse album that combines influences of Doom, Dark, Gothic and some Progressive/traditional Melodic Metal. The album will be released in late August and is highly recommended to anyone into dark melancholic Metal! The band definitely has created an own sort of sound. More info at: 

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)


This is a huge surprise, because from out of nowhere the Norwegian band PEDESTRIANS OF BLUE release a superb Melodic Progressive Metalalbum that combines the best of the AOR and Progworld, mixing big technical instrumental parts a la RUSH/DREAM THEATER with clean catchy Melodic AOR choruses a la TOTO/STYX, sort of bombastic PompProgAORMetalish music is what we can hear on the first official full-length CD of PEDESTRIANS OF BLUE. The CD was produced by the bandmembers themselves, mixed by DANIEL FLORES of MIND’S EYE and mastered by the famous MIKA JUSSILA at Finnvox Studios. The sound is indeed huge and this album is one of the strongest Progressive Metal albums so far this year, although also the AOR/Melodic Rockfan will like it a lot I think. It also reminds me a bit of bands like GRAND ILLUSION, ACT, BLIND ALLEY and such Swedish stuff. Opener “Father and son” is one of the heaviest cuts here, but the following tracks “Promises”, “The garden” and “Where the rain falls” rise and shine when it comes down to beautiful melodies and strong instrumental breaks, basically combining the best of both worlds, the Progressive and AOR world, resulting in an almost Pompish Metalsound. Without a doubt, this is a highly recommended debut album, so check it out asap! More info at:  and e-mail them at: 

(Points: 8.7 out of 10)


‘Blood on the highway’ tells the story of KEN HENSLEY, from his first music experiences, his days with URIAH HEEP and his whole solo career, which actually has been going on since like the mid 1970s. However, his new CD ‘Blood on the highway’ is by far his best release in ages, slightly thanks to an incredible list of guest singers, such as JORN LANDE, GLENN HUGHES and his old mate JOHN LAWTON. Especially JORN LANDE’s vocals are sounding excellent to the kind of music KEN HENSLEY likes to make, which is a sort of Classic Hardrock AOR sound that reminds one of the glory days of RAINBOW, URIAH HEEP, THIN LIZZY and such, although a bit softer sometimes. Nevertheless, the choruses and hooks of some songs are really catchy, such as the first couple of uptempo rockers “This is just the beginning”, “We’re on our way”, “Blood on the highway” and “You’ve got it”. Also the song “Okay (This house is down)” with once again JORN LANDE on vocals sound very impressive. Towards the end, it all gets a little poppier, slightly less stronger, but in general this is a very fine return of KEN HENSLEY, who sort of tells his side to the story of a man who was actually the big man behind URIAH HEEP, because when he left the band HEEP never sounded as good as they were with Ken on board. However, solo Ken also did not manage to produce something as classic as in his HEEP days, but happily he now managed to release a very good solo-CD, although I need to inform you that it’s the 5 JORN LANDE featured songs that make this CD a winner!

(Points: 8.3 out of 10)


Here we have the latest sensation from L.A.! Well that was something we would have said 20 years ago when so many great new bands popped up from the Sunset Strip. Nowadays it is getting better in contrast to the disastrous 1990s when basically no bands came out of the Hollywood scene, which was in the 1980s the place to look for Rock’n’Roll. POETS AND PORNSTARS is one of the few bands to emerge from LA and playing their music as well as the classic 80s bands, although their true Rock and Roll sound is also easily comparable to bands like THE ANSWER, WOLFMOTHER and such ‘modern’ sounding Retro-Rockbands. POETS AND PORNSTARS sound like we have heard it all before, but they do it so well you will instantly love their Classic Rocksound, which combines the best of AC/DC, LED ZEPPELIN, KISS, CRUE, BLACK CROWES and ROLLING STONES. Songs like “Rock and roll”, “Strange” and “Partners in crime” and most of the other 7 songs are uptempo Classic Rock at it’s very best! This band could well be the next big thing! Check out their site at:  and 

(Points: 8.5 out of 10)


Out of Seattle comes the band POINT ONE, whom are playing the typical modern American Rockstyle on their 3rd full-length CD ‘Unlucky stars’. The band mixes modern guitar riffs with strong melodic choruses, but also sadly throw in some screams here and there, while the band even did not forget to add some MOTLEY CRUE/VELVET REVOLVER (“Drama queen”) and a whole bunch of other influences, so they are doing a lot of diversity on their new album. Their new CD sounds actually quite strong during tracks like “Oxygen”, “Cruel” and “Crime” (very strong semi-ballad, even a bit QUEENish!). Together with a DVD as bonus (which contains a 60+ minutes on the road/in the studio video footage), this band delivers quite some impressive material, although it might sound a bit too modern for some of you at times, especially during the opener “Unlucky stars”, which is one of the least interesting tracks. On the other hand if you would like to know how a mix between GUNS’N’ROSES and DISTURBED meets THREE DAYS GRACE sounds like, then check out this POINT ONE. More info at: 

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)


Just a single song here, but the Californian band THE APPEARANCE is playing some really catchy melodic poprock, which is the combination of the band’s 80s metal, 90s poppunk and today’s emo style. The upcoming debut CD should be an interesting release. More info soon.

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)


The band SOULIDIUM is coming out of Los Angeles and is bringing typical American modern groovy Melodic Gothic style Metal, sorta like COHEED AND CAMBRIA, DISTURBED, THREE DAYS GRACE. Not original at all, but done very well and perhaps this band is the next big thing with their debut CD release ‘Children of chaos’. Most of the songs are in the same midtempo style, so not much variety and lots of times it makes you wonder where did I hear it before. 12 songs are included and if you listen to a song like “About you” you will understand completely how almost every release in the rock/metal is instrumental starting to sound the same, because these kinda riffs can also be heard on the new SCORPIONS and WITHIN TEMPTATION albums, although also the whole American rock industry is built around it, call it a modern version of ZEP’s “Kashmir”, but it shows how the American market sounds like in 2007 and SOULIDIUM is just one of many bands to make a full-length CD in this style, yet vocally it is clean, but sounding a bit depressed as in HIM terms speaking. Check out their site at:  and 

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


Another L.A. based band, IN THEORY is playing the typical American Emo/Punkpopstyle a la ANBERLIN, RELIENT K, BLINK 182, AMERICAN REJECTS and whatever they are called. Of course it is done perfectly, with a crystal clear production and some really strong melodies during the 10 songs counting debut CD of IN THEORY. The band was formed 8 years ago and although there is zero originality on the album, it is a nice album that is sort of a must-have if you like any of the mentioned bands. Typical American Punkpoprock is what to expect and with songs like “Murder he wrote”, “The last time” and “In love and war” IN THEORY deliver some catchy tunes, although the whole CD lacks diversity and only the fans of mentioned bands and the countless other American Punkpoprockacts should check out this band, but in the USA millions of bands are playing this style, but check them out anyway at: 

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


Although the CD booklet shows some beautiful pictures of a very attractive young woman, who happens to be the lead singer of the band THE BASTARD FAIRIES, the included music is very experimental undergroundish semi-acoustic pop that is best comparable to something BJORK could have done, so not really interesting for melodicrockfans, but in case you like non-mainstream experimental pop/rock you can always check out this band at: 

(Points: 7.0 out of 10)


LA based singer/songwriter with a CD that has similarities to a JAMES BLUNT, so not really interesting, also different than Luther did with his GEFFEN signed band THE FREEWHEELERS. Only for singer/songwriter-fans! More info at: 

(Points: 7.0 out of 10)


BLACK LIGHT BURNS is a new project around members of LIMP BIZKIT, NINE INCH NAILS and A PERFECT CIRCLE, so musically expect something very modern sounding and indeed the band’s first CD is filled with a Modern Heavy Rocksound, very American and comparable with TOOL, yet with a huge Industrial Metal influence all throughout the CD. Although it is not a bad CD at all, still it is not a CD to grab if you’re looking for really strong melodies, because BLACK LIGHT BURNS is more about groovy guitar riffs mixed with an Industrial background. Recommended to fans of NINE INCH NAILS and TYPE OF NEGATIVE of course, but the rest can do without this release. More info at: 

(Points: 7.2 out of 10)


Out of Sweden comes the band GRIFFEN, not to be confused with the bandname GRIFFIN (which is a US and a Norwegian band). They have released a very strong 4-songs counting demo CDR that features some really great traditional Melodic Hardrock, very 80s sounding with strong lead vocalwork, kinda like GOTTHARD, WHITESNAKE, RAINBOW, JADED HEART and such. Just 4 songs sadly, because this band is really good and makes me look forward to any future recordings. More info at:  and e-mail at: 

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)


8 years have passed since the last GREAT WHITE album and in that time the band experiences more than they had faced in the 20 years prior to that release, because tragedy struck the band in 2003. Despite the fact GREAT WHITE was one of the few LA based bands which was about real rock and roll without all the glitter and glamour, the band had been using pyrotechnics during their shows and one night this sparked a fire in a Rhode Island nightclub on February 20, 2003, killing 100 people including the band's guitarist, Ty Longley. This was by far the worst tragedy during a music concert and it was absolutely clear the band would never recover such a tragedy. However, 2007 mark the return of the band and their new studio-CD ‘Back to the rhythm’ is indeed their finest bluesy melodic rock affair since the late 1980s. The band sounds quite strong and with this record they beat soundalikes TESLA and LILLIAN AXE, whom also released comeback albums the past few months, but hopelessly failed to impress. GREAT WHITE does do justice with their new album, because songs like “Back to the rhythm”, “There goes my head again” and “Just yesterday” are really strong bluesy melodic rocksongs in the style of BADLANDS, FASTWAY, LED ZEPPELIN, BAD COMPANY, KICK AXE and such. Highly recommended to long-time fans of the band!

(Points: 8.4 out of 10)


PINK CREAM’69 is like the superband that never got as big as it should have been, because some of it’s members are truly amazing musicians, such as DENNIS WARD, who is a well-known producer, but also responsible for the KHYMERA project and here we have the first solo-CD of PC’69 singer DAVID READMAN. Musically not that different from PINK CREAM’69, although a bit more classic melodic rock, reminding one of TEN, TYKETTO, GOTTHARD and WHITESNAKE. Songs like “Don’t let it slip away”, “Without you”, “Gentle touch” and “Love in vain” (AOR ballad) are very good melodic rocksongs and without a doubt, this is really great album with excellent vocalwork by Mr. Readman and a whole list of guest musicians making their appearance on the CD, such as TOMMY DENANDER, PAUL LOGUE, UWE REITENAUER and members of TAKARA, VANDENPLAS, SILENT FORCE and ELEGY. Basically a top-notch melodic hardrockalbum as good as the last PC’69!

(Points: 8.7 out of 10)


It took American songwriter/keyboardplayer/bassist LEC ZORN a while, but Lec has finally finished his first CD with the help of a bunch of very well-known musicians and singers such as TRACY WHITE of SHOTGUN SYMPHONY/INTRUDER, Eli Hludzik of DAKOTA, MIKE WALSH of DEPARTURE, TOMMY DENANDER, PHIL VINCENT and a bunch others. Basically what you get here is very strong pure 80s AOR/Melodic Rock with a lot of SURVIVOR influences, kinda reminding me actually of that band ARTICA from the mid 1980s if anyone remembers them. Anyway, songs like “Long time coming”, “You keep me in the dark”, “Starting all over again”, “The rush of passion’s fire” and the superb “Play the game tonight” which is the best song, but of course the KANSAS cover, however also here with really amazing vocalwork of LARS SAFSUND as good as Mr. Elefante’s legendary vocalwork on the early 80S KANSAS records. The sound/production is not bad at all, although not as huge as the 80s major label releases, but this CD definitely is as good as most FRONTIERS releases, a really strong AOR/Melodic Rockalbum, diverse enough to keep you interested from start to finish and the 12 included songs will be loved for sure by any fan of the genre! More info at:  and 

(Points: 8.5 out of 10)


Excellent compilation CD of the best label in the world, FRONTIERS RECORDS. If you own every album of FRONTIERS RECORDS, this compilation CD is only interesting for a couple unreleased songs, such as PRIMAL FEAR/EPICA duet “Everytime it rains” and songs of GREAT WHITE, JORN, DAVID READMAN and CIRCUS MAXIMUS, which will be released later in the summer of 2007 by FRONTIERS RECORDS. The other 11 songs are taken from already released albums on FRONTIERS RECORDS and they happily picked some of the best songs, because included are PRIDE OF LIONS’ “Language of the heart”, STAN BUSH “I’ll never fall”, LOS ANGELES’ “I must be blind” and songs of ALLEN/LANDE, ROBIN BECK, FREDERIKSEN DENANDER, ALLEN/LANDE, etc. etc. One to own if you can’t afford every FRONTIERS release!

(Points: 8.5 out of 10)


The Japanese band BLOOD STAIN CHILD has been mixing elements of Metalcore, Death Metal, Finnish Goth, some Power Metal, Punk and even THE PRODIGY into an own style, which is a mix of heavy modern guitars, Industrial synthesizers and also melodic guitar solo’s with clean Gothlike choruses, a melting pot hard to follow for some, but interesting for people who do not like a band playing just one style. This is like mixing the sound of CHILDREN OF BODOM, HIM, BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE and SYSTEM OF A DOWN. Although melodies are part of the sound of BLOOD STAIN CHILD, their new CD is only interesting if you’re into such a diverse and extreme adventure.

(Points: 7.5 out of 10)


The Boston based band MELIAH RAGE released a couple albums in the later 1980s/early 90s on CBS/EPIC RECORDS, which musically were focused on the Bay Area Thrash Metalsound of bands like DEATH ANGEL, TESTAMENT, 80s METALLICA and such. Although they never actually split up, they went into the underground during the 1990s, but are now making a triumphant return on the Spanish label LOCOMOTIVE MUSIC with a rather strong impressive album which sounds like the best Thrash Metal album in ages. ‘The deep and dreamless sleep’ is a very good album that has a huge sound and has much similarities to the classic early albums of TESTAMENT and XENTRIX. 8 songs are included and while instrumental the riffs are taken straight out of the 1980s books of Thrash Metal, it all sounds quite fresh and easily beats anything METALLICA has done in the past 15 years! Any Thrash Metal fan should check out this release, although most of the material is just mid to uptempo, so not as fast as Thrash used to sound, but songwise this new MELIAH RAGE sounds pretty good for this genre.

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)


Not to be confused with the countless other mostly melodic hardrock based bands called VENDETTA, because this VENDETTA is or rather was coming out of Germany and released a classic Thrash Metal album in the late 80s (and a couple more I believe). The label METAL AXE RECORDS now re-issued the album onto CD and basically any fan of TESTAMENT, 80s METALLICA, DARK ANGEL, DEATH ANGEL, ANTHRAX and such will have to check out this cult classic from VENDETTA asap, because it is filled with very strong Classic Bay Area Thrash Metal from the late 80s and without a doubt, this album still sounds fresh even 20 years after it’s original release.

(Points: 8.3 out of 10)


Never been a fan of DANZIG myself, although I am aware that DANZIG has a huge fan following. Musically he played Doom Metal, with BLACK SABBATHish riffs, a still modern sounding groovy guitarsound with THE CULTish vocals, very non-commercial 20 years ago, but also very different than his THE MISFITS material, but eventually he had his 10 minutes of fame and fortune in the early 90s just prior to the Grunge explosion, but sadly for him SOUNDGARDEN, PEARL JAM and ALICE IN CHAINS became bigger than the sound he had introduced, they walked away with a sound close to DANZIG, but DANZIG himself vanished for the mainstream audience. Now a 2-CD set of unreleased lost tracks of DANZIG have been released, showing DANZIG was ahead and very original for the early 1990s, with a Doom meets Gothic Metal kinda sound that also saw some great guitarwork besides the dark vocalwork which nowadays is very trendy. Anyway, the fans of GLENN DANZIG will be delighted to hear 2 CDs filled with unheard material is now available.

(Points: 7.7 out of 10)


The Russian band LITTLE TRAGEDIES has been releasing quite a few albums. ‘Chinese songs part 1’ is their latest release, which contains Pure Neo-Prog, done perfectly and highly recommended for the fans of IQ, ARENA, PENDRAGON and such, yet with Russian vocals/lyrics, so that might put some people off, although instrumental it really is classic Neo-Prog a la mentioned bands. Best way to find out if you like the mix of Neo-Prog with Russian lyrics is to check out the band’s site at: 

(Points: 7.9 out of 10)


MONO INC is a German band with a sound that has a lot of similarities to the Finnish sound, so what we basically get to hear is Gothic Rock/Metal a la HIM, with a slight Industrial background here and there. ‘Temple of the torn’ is their 2nd album and for fans of HIM I am sure this is an interesting album to check out, because songs like “The condemned”, “In my heart” and “My sick mind TV” are almost danceable Gothrocktracks that even recall BILLY IDOL/80s DEPECHE MODE/THE ALARM influences, but due to the added modern guitars besides the 80s Synthesizers, this is something HIM fans will absolutely love. More info at:  and e-mail at: 

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)


Very strong pure American orientated singer/songwriter female fronted Poprock/AOR is what to expect from ELLI, a singer out of Germany. It reminds me a lot of JAIME KYLE, not only musically, but also vocally and songwise it is very close to that legendary female AOR rocker. Elli has a fantastic voice, very Rock/AORish, also reminding of ROBIN BECK and LITA FORD, while songs like “Can’t deny it”, “Again” and “They don’t want you” are very impressive potential AOR/Melodic Poprocksongs. Her song “In my heart” even made it into the national German Charts. She rose to superstardom in Germany thanks to her appearance in the German TV-Show ‘Deutschland sucht ein Superstar’, which was a sort of IDOLS kinda show, but now with this new 6 tracks counting mini-CD she has released something that will definitely appeal to the fans of female fronted AOR/Poprock a la ROBIN BECK, JAIME KYLE, CHRISSY STEELE, LAOS, etc. Finland has brought us HANNAH POKARINEN, ARI KOISUNEN and AGNES, the USA brought us CHRIS DAUGHTRY, BO BICE and KELLY CLARCKSON, Canada brought us BILLY KLIPPERT and Germany brought us ELLI, all showing Idols is able to produce some talent. Check out more into on ELLI at:  and e-mail at: 

(Points: 8.4 out of 10)


MEHIDA is a new project based in Finland, although the lead singer is none-other than Swedish multi-session singer THOMAS VIKSTROM (TALISMAN, THERION, CANDLEMASS, TALK OF THE TOWN, etc). Musically we get to hear high quality Melodic Progressive Metal a la SUN CAGED, MIND’S EYE, PAGAN’S MIND, VANDENPLAS… Besides Thomas, MEHIDA also consists of ex-SONATA ARCTICA keyboardplayer MIKKO HARKIN and DIVINEFIRE guitarist JANI STEFANOVIC. Without a doubt, their first CD is a very impressive record, although the start is a bit struggling, because opener “Unchanging” is just a nice complex piece. However, later on the CD we can hear some truly sensational Melodic Progressive Metal songs, such as “Wings of dove”, “Stronghold”, the MASTERPIECE “Guilty” (with awesome catchy chorus, perhaps the best chorus of 2007!!!) and the very catchy “Grace”. Big sound, some superb songs and fantastic vocalwork, this album is a must-have for any Progmetalfan! Check out their site at: 

(Points: 8.7out of 10)


One of the last true surviving underground NWOBHM bands is definitely BLITZKRIEG, a band which has been active since 1980, releasing many albums and in their early years demos, which even led to METALLICA covering one of their originals. Anyway, they never changed their style, so on their new CD ‘Theatre of the damned’ the band is still playing classic twin-guitar style melodic metal as if it was still 1980, although the sound of the CD is up-to-date, so no dated sounds here. 10 songs are included, with as bonus 2 old songs and a couple of interesting live videos. The songs are very strong actually and show that SAXON are actually not the leaders of NWOBHM anymore, because BLTZKRIEG still make some very impressive Classic NWOBHM, to be heard on this new CD, which is their 9th CD! Check out their site at: 

(Points: 8.3 out of 10)


This is by far the best release the Spanish label LOCOMOTIVE MUSIC has done in a very long time, because the new CD of the Danish band ANUBIS GATE is a very sensational Melodic Progressive Metalalbum in the style of BALANCE OF POWER, AVIAN, MIND’S EYE, ANDROMEDA, PYRAMAZE, PAGAN’S MIND, EVERGREY, THRESHOLD, very melodic and with fantastic high pitched vocals a la LANCE KING. Songs like “Snowbound”, “The stars of Canis Major” (perfect mix between VANDENPLAS and BALANCE OF POWER with LANCE KING), “Waking hour”, the epic “This white storm through my mind” and the SUPERB “The final overture” are making this 3rd ANUBIS GATE CD a true winner for fans of Melodic Progressive Metal, definitely one of the highlights in this genre so far this year and with more than 70 minutes enough pleasure, because from start to finish it is Progmetal of the highest level! More info at: 

(Points: 8.9 out of 10)


After all the CD-single releases the UK band DESTRUCTORS 666 finally release a full-length CD, which musically is a mix of Punkrock/Oi!, MOTORHEAD and VENOM, but then a bit weaker, especially in the vocal department. With 17 songs a true full-length-CD, although the songs are rather short and very simple, just listen to “Resistance” and you understand what I mean with simplicity, but on the other hand fans of THE BUSINESS will love a song like “Trinity”. Check out the band for yourself at: 

(Points: 7.7 out of 10)


The Israel based band BEDTIME STORY is focused on making late 1960s Psychedelica Rock and they do it so well you would think this is a British band from that era, reminding a lot of PRETTY THINGS and JEFFERSON AIRPLANE. 6 songs are on their CD and I am sure fans of the classic British Psychedelica Rock will love this band from Israel. More info at:  and e-mail at: 

(Points: 7.5 out of 10)


X-VISION from France have released a full-length CD, which musically is Metalcore, so not really interesting, except for people who are into bands like MASTEDON. More info at: 

(Points: - out of 10)


New York based band formed around musicians Cage and Viggo Domino. Musically it is slightly experimental Progressive Metal with Artrock influences, kinda Dark, but melodic enough to keep you interested, sort of like a mix between SAGA, EVERGREY and OPETH. Lyrically going very deep and I am sure some of the Progmetal fans will love this release for sure as INVISIGOTH is bringing an own identity that is almost comparable with SAVATAGE at times. Better check out their site for more info at: 

 (Points: 8.0 out of 10)


Spanish band formed around multi-instrumentalist ROBERT SANTAMARIA, with a sound that is completely different than most Progrock Records releases, because with AMAROK we get to hear a sort of traditional Spanish music style, including the typical vocalstyle, so this release has very little to do with Progrock, although the arrangement do feel like Prog, but then done with instruments like the Saz, Kanun, Flute, Didgeridoo, etc. etc. So do not expect something rocking, but instead a sort of medieval sound that is nice to hear on a late summernight in warm Spain! More info at: 

(Points: 7.7 out of 10)


Here’s a great guitarplayer from California, USA with his debut CD release titled ‘What lies beyond words’. The album is filled with good clean quality instrumental guitar based rockmusic, much comparable to GARY HOEY, TONY MACALPINE, STEVE VAI and such. It is more based into the heavy Bluesrock side of things, instead of what we usually get to hear, the Neo-Classical type, because that’s not what this record is about. It is also of course reminding of JIMI HENDRIX, yet more with a modern approach, but SCOTT ALLEN is definitely a Classic Rock type of guitarist. He will soon release a follow-up to this CD, but in the meantime check out this release and more info at:  and e-mail at: 

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


Dating back to the mid 1970s the 2 releases of this UK based band, which musically was an interesting affair, as it was going deeply into Folk Rock, yet with Progrock melodies, a lot reminding of JETHRO TULL and RENAISSANCE. The re-issue on ANGEL AIR RECORDS comes as a 2-CD set, with the 2nd CD ‘Widescreen’ actually being a solo-album of CARMEN mainleader DAVID CLARK ALLEN. Recommended to fans of mentioned bands. More info at: 

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)

(All reviews by Gabor Kleinbloesem)