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JET TRAIL is a new female fronted band from Sweden, which besides singer CAROLINA LINDWALL also features members of PROMOTION/GRAND ILLUSION, the AOR band. With JET TRAIL we move into strong Melodic Hardrock/Heavy Rock, which sounds really impressive, also much thanks to Carolina’s impressive vocals. Especially the uptempo pieces “Can you hear me calling” and “Dark night” are very strong tunes. 13 tracks are included and although not every single piece is a sensational track, this first CD of JET TRAIL is a very nice debut album and highly recommended to fans of female fronted Hardrock. It needs to be said, this album is not the typical female fronted album of today, so not the Goth Power Metal or the radio-ready polished Poprock, because instead JET TRAIL is focused on a more Classic Hardrock inspired sound with riffs, hooks and catchy choruses. Recommended to fans of the very first PHANTOM BLUE album!

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)


The Danish band CIRCUS MAXIMUS returns with their 2nd CD and without a doubt, this ‘Isolate’ is one of the absolute highlights in the Neo-Classical Melodic Progressive Power Metalgenre, mixing the best elements of ROYAL HUNT, old TNT, PRETTY MAIDS and SYMPHONY X into a very catchy yet complex but huge bombastic sound that will appeal to fans of diverse genres, ranging from AOR, Melodic Hardrock to Progressive/Power Metalfans! The album sounds very impressive, partly thanks to TOMMY HANSEN (HELLOWEEN, PRETTY MAIDS, TNT)’s mixing experiences and the SUPERB high pitched vocalwork of lead vocalist MICHAEL ERIKSEN. Songs like “Abyss” (TNT meets ROYAL HUNT meets SYMPHONY X), “Wither” and “Arrival of love” are some of the examples how well this band sounds on their new album, which is one of the surprising highlights of 2007!

(Points: 8.9 out of 10)


Remember THE HOOTERS, one of many Classic 80s Poprockbands that scored big time in the 1980s with their fun summerish music, but sadly disappeared during the darker 1990s. However, they return with a full new CD titled ‘Time stand still’, an album that indeed sounds like time has stood still for these guys, because musically we go back to the 1980s fun poprocksound. Similarities to MR. MISTER, LOVERBOY and especially THE OUTFIELD, CUTTING CREW and GLASS TIGER can be made, although THE HOOTERS have become a little poppier. Opener “I’m alive” is definitely the best song on offer here, a very catchy fun uptempo poprocker in best 80s style. 10 songs are included and fans who long back to the glorious 80s poprocksound should get this new THE HOOTERS CD asap. More info at: 

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


The Swiss Melodic Rockband INFINITE DREAMS released a very strong CD a few years ago, but then it became quiet until now, because they have released a new CD, the mini-album ‘Big world’, which musically is much more modern than their big 80s Melodic Hardrocksound on their previous album. Nevertheless, fans of female fronted melodic poprock will find some nice stuff between the 6 songs included here, although the bonustrack “Walking into twilight” is definitely the best song, which was taken from the band’s 2000 demo. Anyway, if you like your female fronted rock to sound a bit more modern you should check out INFINITE DREAMS’ new CD ‘Big world’. More info at:  and email at: 

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


Brazil is BY FAR the most interesting country musically speaking if we look at the map of the continent of South America. Here we have another HUGE sensation, namely the band TEMPESTT. This Sao Paulo based band sent me an incredible CD titled ‘Bring ‘em on’, which contains some excellent Melodic Hardrock, 80s inspired, but with a huge up-to-date sound, kinda like TALISMAN, WHITESNAKE, GOTTHARD and such. The band has an amazing lead singer called BJ, who sounds like a mix between FREDDY CURCI of ALIAS/SHERIFF and the NOCTURNAL RITES and VISION DIVINE singers, so the insiders know this is an excellent singer. Besides, the production of their first CD is HUGE and some of the songs are really terrific hookladen Melodic Hardrocksongs, such as “Enemy in you”, “Fallen moon” and “A life’s alibi”. Although JEFF SCOTT SOTO is singing a duet with BJ on the song “Insanity desire”, this Brazilian band does not even need JSS, because they have their own amazing lead singer. TEMPESTT is just like the bunch other Brazilian Melodic Hardrockbands we reviewed in the past (such as the recently reviewed FAIR OFF and WATCHMEN and ASTRA for example, but also bands in the past like CARTOON, MARCO FEREIRA, etc, all resembling the Brazilian melodic rocksound), a fantastic band with a huge sound and HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to fans of TALISMAN, GOTTHARD, HAREM SCAREM… Almost forgot to mention the band has a slight ANGRAish Progmetal influence in the instrumental parts here and there, but mainly this is Melodic Hardrock at it’s very best! More info at:  and e-mail at: 

(Points: 8.8 out of 10)


We are back in Finland again where we can find another very strong band named AGONIZER. Although they were formed 10 years ago and tried several times to release a full-length CD, so far only demos were released (of which we reviewed one back in 2003), but finally SPINEFARM RECORDS signed them and here is their debut CD release titled ‘Birth/the end’. Musically typical Finnish, which means pure Melodic Metal in the Finnvox tradition, sounding like a mix between LOVEX/HIM and THUNDERSTONE on most of the songs. The CD has a rather short playing time, but with very strong uptempo melodic heavy rockers like “Prisoner”, “Harmless hero” and “Everyone of us” something worth checking out if you are into the typical Finnish sound, because all 8 tracks included here are filled with deadly catchy choruses mixed with big keys and guitars. More info at: 

(Points: 8.6 out of 10)


I was slightly disappointed with the new EVIDENCE ONE album, but the debut album of EDEN’S CURSE, a new band featuring members of CRY HAVOC, EDEN, CODE OF PERFECTION, ROUGH SILK, etc. etc. is making this up big time, because their first CD contains material co-written by EVIDENCE ONE singer CARSTEN SCHULZ (including an unreleased EVIDENCE ONE song) and almost every single song of the 14 included tracks is superstrong classic Melodic Hardrock at it’s very best! With a total playing time of almost 70 minutes a lot to enjoy here if bands like WHITE LION, FIREHOUSE, DANGER DANGER, LOUD’N’CLEAR, DOKKEN, HEAVEN’S EDGE, BARAKADE, PINK CREAM’69, etc. are your kinda acts. The first EDEN CD is a truly fantastic pure Melodic Hardrock piece filled with catchy hooks and memorable choruses that feature big harmonyvocals (by Carsten of EVIDENCE ONE and DOUGIE WHITE of MALMSTEEN/RAINBOW fame) and of course the lead vocals of bandleader MICHAEL EDEN. The sound is guitar orientated, but super melodic with 80s SCORPIONS kinda vibes mixed with AORlike melodies. Especially the uptempo melodic rockers “Eyes of the world”, “After the love is gone”, “Fly away” and “Judgement day” are very strong songs with memorable choruses a la HAREM SCAREM. Closing track “We all die young” is the surprising STEELHEART cover. All together a highly recommended Melodic Hardrock piece that is as good as the recent PC’69 new record and the connection is producer of the EDEN album, which is mastermind DENNIS WARD!

(Points: 8.9 out of 10)


A very dark sounding modern Progressive Metalband is the MIRROR from Germany, which should not be confused with the American AOR/Melodic Rockoutfit. This band has delivered a quality CD, although the music is like said not really the melodic progmetal, because it all sounds much darker and experimental, with even some Doom and Gothic Metal influences here and there. Hard to compare the band, but do not expect a typical Melodic Progmetal record, because ‘Shocking debut’ is quite different and best thing you can do is check out their site at: 

(Points: 7.7 out of 10)


TAYLOR MILLS from Texas, USA is the wife of TODD SUCHERMAN from STYX and she happens to be a great singer/songwriter as well. This can be heard on her CD ‘Lullagoodbye’, which was produced by Todd himself and Scott Bennett, with guest appearances from none-other than TOMMY SHAW of STYX and even BRIAN WILSON of BEACH BOYS. Besides her excellent voice, she also is a very good-looking girl and this all combined should easily make her a new star in this crowded music world. Before recording her own CD, she shared the stage with such legends like BILLY JOEL, JEFF BECK, PAUL MCCARTNEY, ERIC CLAPTON, etc. etc. so Taylor has definitely made her way in the music business. Anyway, her CD is filled with quality calmer melodic pop/rock that sits with one foot in the classic female fronted pop/rock and the other into a more laid-back style of the modern times, better think of JAIME KYLE, GLENN BURTNICK, DANNY TATE and such singer/songwriter American Midwest Pop/Rock, because that is what to expect her. Taylor has a great voice and some of the 11 included songs are very good, such as the strong rocker “Cradle me”. If you want to hear high quality singing in a moody pop/rock setting, then better check out this CD of TAYLOR MILLS at:  and 

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)


The UK based Melodic Rockband SACRED HEART returns with a new CD titled ‘Shake’. Musically filled with high quality catchy 80s inspired Melodic Hardrock a la STORMZONE, LOST WEEKEND, THE PROMISE, DOKKEN, HEAVEN’S EDGE and also recently released albums of EDEN’S CURSE and EVIDENCE ONE, etc. this album is for sure a winner if you are into this style and I know a lot of you are, because otherwise you wouldn’t be reading Strutter’zine! Anyway, the new CD of SACRED HEART is a very strong album that might sound so 80s, but who cares because it sounds damn catchy and very strong, thanks to some very catchy hooks, strong melodic choruses, huge guitar riffs and excellent vocalwork of singer PAUL STEAD. The uptempo AOR/Melodic Rockers “Lost in you” and “10,000 tears” are very sensational tracks that bring back memories to a time when this kind of music was really the main focus of all major labels, so a definite 80s type of tune, without sounding dated! Or how about the beautiful AOR/Melodic Rockballad “Maybe’, which recalls memories of FIREHOUSE doing “When I look into your eyes” or “Love of a lifetime” or FAIR WARNING! Actually, the whole CD is mainly focused on the catchy 80s uptempo Melodic Rockstyle, so fans of that genre will have a lot of fun with this strong CD. More info at: 

(Points: 8.5 out of 10)


Remember DONNA CRISTY??? I’ll bet you don’t, unless you’re a fan of Classic 80s Female Fronted AOR, because then you might know that she released this awesome album titled ‘People will talk’ more than 20 years ago. She recorded a CLASSIC TUNE called “Smile for the camera”, which is one of the best female fronted rocksongs ever, written by RICK SPRINGFIELD, but recorded by Donna way back in the mid 1980s. Anyway, after the rare album release, it became quiet until the later 90s when she sent me a CD and some demos, which saw her making more modest pop/rock. Now in 2007 DONNA CRISTY makes a comeback in a new band called HEMLOK BAY. Their debut-CD ‘Just another day’ sounds fresh, heavy and modern with excellent vocalwork of Donna, who still sings as good as back in the 80s, a lot like PAT BENATAR. The AOR has sadly been said goodbye on this album, but HEMLOK BAY is still featuring strong melodies in the modern rocksound, which has it’s highlight in the rocker “Anyone But You”. Donna produced and recorded this CD as a band project and recruited some friends with whom she had the pleasure to work with on other things. Her main co-writer on the project is guitarist Greg Niemi who she actually met through a musician ad. Although Greg played guitar on some of it, she ended up replacing most of it and have Dave Whiston (Rick Springfield) on most of the guitar and bass. A drummer unknown to all of you (unfortunately), Ruben Bolieu, recorded the bulk of the tracks and Ty Dennis (THE DOORS) recorded drums on two of the tracks "La La La (I Can't Hear You)" and "3 Seconds Of Bliss". The CD was mostly mixed by Travis Dickerson (Buckethead, JETHRO TULL) and some tracking and vocals were done there as well in his Northridge, CA studio. What we have in our hands is a strong high quality sounding CD, which sounds modern and groovy, but is still pure Melodic Female Fronted Rock at it’s best with Donna singing quite excellent.It’s good to see DONNA CRISTY making a comeback. Over the years she has been fighting to get the mastertapes, but no such luck and actually she should be able to tell her story here and soon you will read all about her in a special feature I will prepare. In the meantime, check out her new band and music at: 

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)


The legendary US Speed Metalband AGENT STEEL returns with their first new CD since 2003. The band changed a little, because in their early years it was all about as fast as possible, but nowadays they sound like any other modern Metalband, with however still the pure IRON MAIDENish melodies in the songs. The new CD ‘Alienigma’ is no exception to the rule, because from start to finish this is a very nice album that combines classic US Metal with today’s sound, ending up sounding like a mix between old school MAIDEN and NEVERMORE. Funny that the band nowadays sounds more like the classic US midtempo Power Metalbands such as METAL CHURCH, while 20 years ago the band was a true fast uptempo Speed Metalband. Anyway, they have delivered a good solid album that will be enjoyed mostly by fans of classic US Power Metal with a modern touch here and there.

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)


Back in the 1980s the German band MEKONG DELTA stood for complex Progmetal and made albums that went against all the Mainstream at the time, because it was not Melodic Rock, neither Glam Metal, not Thrash Metal or pure Heavy Metal… MEKONG DELTA played very complex Techno Progmetal that made QUEENSRYCHE sound like a Top 40 band. These guys combined complex drumming with big thrashy riffs, high-pitched vocals, some gang-vocals and a huge guitarsound, sort of like RUSH doing TESTAMENT covers! It sounded back then confusing, but now 20 years we later we understand they were doing Progmetal, a genre that developed itself throughout the 1990s, but back in the 80s belonged to a few bands, such as DREAM THEATER in 1989, FATES WARNING in their later stages and also obscure bands like PSYCHOTIC WALTZ and this MEKONG DELTA. After being inactive for about 15 years, the band now suddenly makes a return with a very strong new CD titled ‘Lurking fear’, musically nothing has changed and so we can hear again very complex Progressive Metal. The band sounds stronger than ever and without a doubt fans of the genre will absolutely love this new record of a band that was far ahead of it’s time and maybe should have been much bigger than being that obscure ignored band back in the late 80s. Check it out for yourself on their new CD!

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)


THE ORDER is a Swiss band formed around members of the bands GURD and PURE INC. With THE ORDER they are going into a very strong Classic Melodic Hardrockstyle that has similarities to SHAKRA, VENGEANCE, KROKUS, yet with a very slight modern approach. The band’s singer GIANNI PONTILLO has a very strong voice and here and there we can hear some very impressive songs, such as the ballad “My last goodbye” and the midtempo “In the heat of the lonely night”. SHAKRA/GOTTHARD fans might enjoy this THE ORDER a lot, just listen to the uptempo “Let the good times roll” and “Forever” and we’re surely be talking Swiss traditional Cheese Hardrock at it’s best! Definitely a recommended album if you want to hear some good old fashioned Hardrock!

(Points: 8.3 out of 10)


The New Jersey based band FOOLS FAITH was formed in the spring of 1995 as AFTERMATH. 8 years later they released their debut 'Natural Destruction' on ESCAPE MUSIC. Now another 4 years later the band has released a follow-up under the FOOLS FAITH moniker independently. The band has playing all this time a good mixture of classic late US Arena Melodic Hardrock melodies with some Progressive Metal structures. They are doing it very well, with quite strong lead vocals of Vocalist/Rhythm Guitarist Joe Dia. The melodies of the 11 included songs are very nice and combined with some Progressive structures and instrumental parts, it makes FOOLS FAITH an interesting band. Although released independently, the production is quite good and it is a pleasure to listen to this CD. It reminds me a lot of the bands PHANTOM'S OPERA and FLYTE from the early 90s, but I guess the best way to describe this band from New Jersey is that they mix the best sounds from New Jersey, namely 80s BON JOVI meets early DREAM THEATER with TYKETTO mixed into here and there, with as highlights on their CD 'Undone' the songs "All Or Nothing", "Child Inside Of Me" and "It’s all over". More info at:  and 

(Points: 8.3 out of 10)


TERRY ILOUS is of course known as being the main singer with XYZ in the early 90s on 2 great DOKKEN/WHITESNAKEish sounding major label records. After the 'Grunge' period, Terry recorded several demos and this 'new' solo-record of Terry 'Here And Gone' is a compilation of rare tracks recorded for his solo projects or with XYZ. Several of these tracks were even recorded for soundtracks for movies and TV, so basically this is a very interesting new XYZ CD and different than the releases of XYZ we have seen the past few years. The music is a trip through the rock and roll world, as besides the first couple of XYZ type of Melodic Hardrocktunes ("Walk On Water" and "Ticket To Hell"), a lot of calmer ballads are included as well as some bluesy tunes as well as live and acoustic versions of classic XYZ tunes ("Maggie" and "Face down in the gutter") and even a cover here and there ("American Woman" and "Waiting For A Girl Like You"). A great compilation from a truly wonderful lead singer. Available through: 

(Points: 8.3 out of 10)


THE SHADOWLAND is a new band formed around main members singer Robert Forse (HEADS OR TALES, AFTERGLOW), drummer Olle Rodéhn, bassplayer Magnus Jönsson (formerly DAMNED NATION) and guitarist Tobias Andersson (SEVEN WISHES). Their first CD 'Falling' is not that far away from SEVEN WISHES, so we get to hear Melodic Hardrock/Metal in typical Scandi style, with some nice harmonyvocal driven choruses here and there some Progressive Metal influences as well (read ANUBIS GATE, MIND’S EYE, PAGAN’S MIND, etc). 10 songs are included and although it is not a supersensational record, Melodic Hardrockfans of the MADISON/220 VOLT/PRETTY MAIDS style will like this record a lot, although I must say that the sound is sometimes closer to the Melodic Progmetalsound of today, yet THE SHADOWLAND is more straightforward and not that complex to be called a pure Progmetalband. Highlight is definitely closing track "Don't chain my heart", a great midtempo classic 80s Scandi Melodic Rocker a la TREAT/TINDRUM, etc., but the whole CD is a nice one to check out by Melodic Hardrockfans, whom should go to: 

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)


The Italian Power Metal masters of VISION DIVINE return with their new CD, which is the follow-up to 2005's 'The Perfect Machine'. Although the new album 'The 25th hour' is not as good as their CLASSIC 'Stream Of Consciousness' from 2004, it definitely is a very strong album that mixes the best of Melodic Italo Power Metal, Neo-Classical and Progressive Metal, with a strong own identity and of course the wonderful vocals of one of the best singers around today (MICHELE LUPPI). This time songs like "Eyes Of A Child" und "A Perfect Suicide" are top of the bill. Still you get the idea the band is unable to reach the incredible high level of their album 'Stream Of Consciousness', but happily this new CD is better than their slightly disappointing previous CD and fans of LABYRINTH will be delighted to finally hear a new album that may be classified as pure Italo Power Metal class! More info at: 

(Points: 8.7 out of 10)


The past few years we have seen many new supergroups appearing on the horizon, especially in the progrockworld. The latest supergroup concerns AMARAN'S PLIGHT, a project formed around vocalist DC Cooper (Ex-Royal Hunt, Silent Force), guitarist Gary Wehrkamp (Shadow Gallery), drummer Nick D'Virgilio (Spock's Beard, Kevin Gilbert, Tears for Fears, Genesis) and bassist Kurt Barabas (Under the Sun). Together these 4 musicians have gained a lot of respect in the progrockworld and now they joined forces to make an album together. The album is titled 'Voice in the Light', an album filled with high quality Melodic Progressive Rock that has more in common with SHADOW GALLERY or even 70s GENESIS than the Neo-Classical Power Metal on which DC COOPER usually sings. Most of the songs are quite complex, except the highlights of the CD, which are opener “Coming of age” and closing tracks "Revelation", a lovely epic Melodic Prog Metal tune that reminds one of THRESHOLD. Without a doubt, this first AMARAN'S PLIGHT CD is a real high quality album that will surprise the DC COOPER fans, but please the SPOCK'S BEARD/SHADOW GALLERY fans, because AMARAN'S PLIGHT is a mixture of the old 70s progrock and the lighter progmetal of the present day, so a mix between SPOCK'S BEARD and SHADOW GALLERY, yet with DC COOPER on vocals, who as always sings quite excellent. Be sure to check out this new supergroup at:  and 

(Points: 8.5 out of 10)


Out of Arizona, USA comes the band DIGITAL SUMMER, whom are clearly playing the typical American Metalstyle of today, so big fat heavy groovy guitar riffs with a mixture of screams and melodic clean vocals, with mostly very catchy melodic choruses. It sounds like a cross between DISTURBED and THREE DAYS GRACE for sure and songs like “Crash”, “This time” and “Whatever it takes” are some fine examples how good this can sound, because the mixture of heavy groovy riffs and melodic vocals/choruses are presented in these songs quite perfectly. Check out this band at:  and 

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


BANG RECORDS proudly releases a 2-CD set that includes all the early recordings of the Australian band SEMINAL RATS, going back to 1984 up until 1991. The band played typical raw energy Punkrock in early 80s style, bordering close to GBH’s Hardcore, yet with a touch of 70s Punk and some NWOBHM Metal riffs here and there. The sound of the CD is not always clean, but the real Punkrockfan will like the raw and energy sound of the 27 tracks included here. Along with a 36 pages counting booklet, it makes this release interesting for any fan of the Punkgenre.

(Points: 7.8 out of 10)


THE EAT was a Punkrockband active in the early 1980s in South Florida/USA. They played their way around and across the state where they went up being quite famous, but now some 25 years later there finally is a CD available with recordings from the band’s so-called legacy. Not that clean sounding and a lot of rare demos and live material can be found on the 2-CD set released of THE EAT, but fair enough the band’s catchy melodic Punkrocksound had also a lot of influences from the 1960s Garage Rocksound as well as the early 80s Poprock/Powerpop movement, making THE EAT a band with a diverse audience. Between the 59 included tracks are a lot of catchy tunes and fans of bands like THE BOYS, THE JAM, THE BUZZCOCKS and of course THE RAMONES will be very interested in checking out this band’s 2-CD set release!

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)


WHITE FLAME was an American band with one album recorded between 1977 and 1978 in New Haven and self-released on their own label Rudeness Records. A private press release, which now 30 years later has been re-issued onto CD. Although the bandleader was guitarist MARK ST. JOHN, he should not be confused (as far as I know!) with the legendary ex-KISS guitarist of the same name who died this year and also played in a band called WHITE TIGER. No, this MARK ST. JOHN played in WHITE FLAME and recorded just 1 album which by the way is filled with weird 70s experimental Psychedelic Punk/Rock a la KIM FOWLEY, FRANK ZAPPA, THE VELVET UNDERGROUND, VAN MORRISON and such. Fans of such music will absolutely love this record!

(Points: 7.7 out of 10)


ABWARTS is a legendary German punk band active since 1979 and ‘Rom’ is their new album, which musically is of course pure Punkrock in the late 1970s style. Although German lyric Punk is very popular in the German speaking countries and loads of bands are successful such as DIE AERZTE, DIE TOTEN HOSEN and such, ABWARTS was one of the first together with the legendary BAP to make Punkrock with German lyrics. Their new album ‘Rom’ is clearly a strong album and sounds actually like one of the best German sung Punkrockalbums of the past 10 years! 14 songs are included and all of them are very catchy, with as highlights “Alles was ich she”, “Caprifishin’” and “Lucky fucky”. Better check it out asap if you want to hear the band that influenced DIE ARZTE, DIE TOTEN HOSEN and such.

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


The legendary singer KEVIN CHALFANT has had his 15 minutes of fame one way or the other, but actually should have deserved to become one of the most influential singers in music history instead of being extremely popular in the small AOR community. He sang on Classic AOR records of 707, THE STORM, THE VU, TWO FIRES, STEEL BREEZE and did jam with JOURNEY a couple of times, scored several Billboard hits with 707 and THE STORM, while also continue releasing solo-albums, so eventually he managed to make a name in the 25+ years he has been active in this musicbusiness. However, maybe three or four times he had the chance to become THE perfect new JOURNEY singer, but Schon/Cain once again rejected him as their new singer, so now we are looking at a new solo-CD of KEVIN CHALFANT, which happens to be a JOURNEY TRIBUTE album! Finally we can hear the best replacement for STEVE PERRY, because basically Kevin is the perfect man to sing the Classic JOURNEY anthems and this CD ‘Fly 2 freedom’ makes that perfectly clear. The CD covers mostly the PERRY era 1981-1983, so the 2 major albums ‘Escape’ and ‘Frontiers’ with their classics “Separate ways”, “Don’t stop believin’”, “Stone in love”, “Who’s crying now”, “Send her my love”, “Open arms” and “Faithfully, but happily also 5 ‘older’ tunes are covered, namely “Lights”, “Where were you”, “Anytime”, “Just the same way” and “Anyway you want it”. Although it would have been interesting to also see covers of the ‘Raised on radio’ album as well as tracks like “Winds of March” and “Mother, father”, this is by far the best JOURNEY tribute album ever, with outstanding STEVE PERRY beatable vocals. If only NEAL SCHON and JONATHAN CAIN would wake up out of a dream that started 20 years ago and get Mr. Chalfant on the mic, then JOURNEY would become JOURNEY again!

(Points: 8.7 out of 10)


Canadian band with a new album, although not really, because ‘The holy ground’ is a special release featuring outtakes from their previous 2 albums, songs recorded between 2002 and 2005. For fans of THE KINKS, THE WHO and such classic 1960s Garage Rock of course a must to check out, although only 4 tracks are included! Nevertheless, they are all quite good and recommended to fans of this genre. More info at: 

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


Another band mixing screaming with melodic clean vocals, which is very popular in the rock and metal genres of today, because so many bands are doing this. In the USA mostly the Emo bands (screamo and melodic), while in Europe it concerns the Gothic genre (Death growls and female soprano). Anyway, DECREW are coming out of Italy and ‘Dynamics of human behaviour’ is their fourth album. The band released their debut back in 1989, which probably did not sound like the album they now released, because here we can hear pure Americanised Melodic Hardcore, which mixes Scream vocals with strong melodic choruses/vocal lines, made popular in the USA by bands like ATREYA, CALIBAN, SILVERSTEIN, DEFTONES, INCUBUS, AFI and such. DECREW sounds as good as them, although I would have preferred more clean vocals instead of the constant screamo’s throughout the CD. Nevertheless, recommended to fans of mentioned bands!

(Points: 7.9 out of 10)


A new chapter opens for German Metalband PRIMAL FEAR, because not only did they change from label, also musically a much more melodic adventure is chosen. However, fear not, because PRIMAL FEAR is still playing pure Metal. The difference is that apart from a few PRIESTish tunes (“Sign of fear”, “Psycho” and “Blood on your hands” for example), the band is much more Melodic Metal driven. Guest appearances are coming from EPICA singer SIMONE SIMONS during the wonderful duet “Everytime it rain”, a song with clearly hit potency as this a WITHIN TEMPTATION type of Melodic Goth Metal tune and also MAGNUS KARLSSON of ALLEN/LANDE/STARBREAKER, etc plays lead guitar here and there, while PRIMAL FEAR bassist MAT SINNER produced the new CD. The album was mixed in Belgium by RONALD PRENT (MAIDEN/MANOWAR/RAMMSTEIN) and the sound is HUGE, while songs like “Face the emptiness”, “New religion”, “Too much time”, “World on fire” and “The curse of Sharon” are fantastic catchy uptempo Melodic Metal Monsters moving into the style of MYSTIC PROPHECY, NOCTURNAL RITES, BLOODBOUND and such. The absolute highlight has got to be the epic “Fighting the darkness”, which is a stunning tune with a chorus that immediately sticks in your head! PRIMAL FEAR returns with maybe their best record so far, a very melodic but still hard-hitting affair that will be loved by fans of mentioned bands as well as long-time PRIMAL FEAR fans. PRIEST fans might find it a bit too melodic, but personally I think this is one-helluva album that will become one of the top Metal albums of 2007!

(Points: 8.9 out of 10)


Last year Norwegian lead singer gave a spectacular performance at the ProgPower Festival in the USA, of which this 2-CD set is the result. The sound is excellent and indeed JORN sounded that night awesome, truly showing he is one of the best Hardrock/Metal singers out there at the moment. Especially during the WHITESNAKE medley JORN sounds like a better version of DAVID COVERDALE! The main focus of the setlist however is material taken from solo-albums, which is strong Melodic Hard/Heavy Rock. CD-2 contains 2 new studiotracks, which are “Lonely is the word/Letters from earth” and “Sacrificial feelings”, both pretty good tunes and showing JORN can become one of the most successful solo singers in the near future, which can only a few in the scene say, because most singers are in bands of course, so JORN may be put next to legendary singers like GLENN HUGHES, JEFF SCOTT SOTO and such if you ask me! Anyway, let’s also hope JORN does a solo-tour in Europe, because this live-CD shows he is able to put on a great show on his own!

(Points: 8.6 out of 10)


Clearly the German band HUMAN ZOO has made progress the past few years as well as receiving more money to produce their 2nd CD ‘Over the horizon’, because it sounds very impressive, although nothing original can be heard, because this is after all a typical Melodic Hardrockalbum in German tradition of BONFIRE, HOTWIRE, VICE, PINK CREAM’69… However, some of the songs sound very strong, such as the uptempo melodic rocker “Cryin’” and the midtempo “Over the horizon”, both reaching the level of aforementioned bands. DENNIS WARD was able to use some very strong harmonyvocals during the choruses of the songs and maybe therefore this album has a much better and catchier sound that their debut from a few years ago. If you’re into typical German Melodic Hardrock, then this is a must-have for sure, although there is a saxplayer in the band, so anyone familiar with the band SUBWAY will exactly know what to expect, because actually HUMAN ZOO is the follow-up band to SUBWAY!

(Points: 8.3 out of 10)


Although I am a huge fan of lead singer TOMMY HEART and FAIR WARNING is one of my all-time fave German bands, his side-project SOUL DOCTOR is to me personally just an o.k. affair. Also their new album ‘Blood runs cold’ is nothing compared with all the great stuff FAIR WARNING released in the past, because once again SOUL DOCTOR presents us Hardrock that goes in one ear and out the other. Not saying this is a bad release, but it’s just a Hardrockalbum we have heard many times before. You can put it on a few times a year and enjoy it, but you will not find here any sensational stuff like on any FAIR WARNING album!

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


ARBOGAST is a real original Swedish band, because besides rocking hard enough to be called a Melodic Hardrockband (during a song like “Restless dogs united”) they also move into a sort of 1970s Classic Rock format on a song like “Flying the flags”. Actually the 13 songs on their debut CD ‘Too proud to stick to winners’ are all in this same diversity, so then rocking hard and very melodic, while at other times calmer. In the end they remind me a lot of a mixture between NIGHT RANGER, URIAH HEEP and HELIX. ARBOGAST is actually a one-man’s band, because multi-instrumentalist SVANT EWIDERSTROM has done almost everything on his own, which is quite unbelievable if you listen to the CD, because it really sounds like a band record. Anyway, fans of original Rock/Hardrock with some acoustic tingled pieces thrown within should check out ARBOGAST at:  and e-mail at: 

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


The American band IRON HORSE was formed way back in the early 90s by RON KEEL of KEEL as a sort of extra band/project besides KEEL, although musically IRON HORSE were very close to KEEL’s 80s American Hardrocksound. Anyway, IRON HORSE contributed to a couple of movies during the 1990s, released a CD a couple years ago and are now making a comeback with a new lead singer called CHARLIE WAYNE MORRILL (HAWK/ BULLET BOYS). RON KEEL’s involvement in IRON HORSE is vanished and so we can conclude IRON HORSE has gone in their own direction, although musically not that much has changed, because we can still hear a mix of Countryrock, 80s Melodic Hardrock and Metal. Their new CD has a lot of diversity, although the band is at their best during the Classsic 80s Melodic Rock Power ballads (“In his shadow”, “In your eyes” and “All that you need”) and some strong uptempo Melodic Hardrock/Metal pieces (“On fire”, “Blinded” and the very fast “Overkill”). KEEL meets Y&T meets VENGEANCE meets TWISTED SISTER is the verdict when they Rock hard, while in the ballad department 80s WARRANT comes around, while also 38 SPECIAL influences can be heard and in the end IRON HORSE does do this mixture justice on their new album. More info at:  and e-mail at: 

(Points: 8.3 out of 10)


Australia has brought us a lot of great new Rockbands the past few years, with of course WOLFMOTHER being the band with the incredible big breakthrough worldwide within 1 year since they were formed and released their first album in May 2006. THIRSTY MERC is another strong Australian Rockband, which already released their debut in 2005 and now a follow-up in the shape of ‘Slideshows’. The band is signed to WARNER MUSIC AUSTRALIA and are actually quite well-known in their home native Australia. Musically they are making original Melodic Rock, which means it all sounds familiar with the guitarsound and the catchy melodic choruses, but singer (and guitarist/keyboardplayer/singer-songwriter!) RAI THIRSTLETHWAYTE likes to change vocal range here and there (like WOLFMOTHER a bit. Anyway, they sound like the perfect cross between HAREM SCAREM and COHEED AND CAMBRIA if you ask me, with the main focus by the way on midtempo melodic rock (“20 good reasons”, “The whole world reminds me of you” and “Those eyes”). Their new CD ‘Slideshows’ contains 12 tracks and right from the start with the opener “She’s all I got” it is clear we are listening to a catchy Melodic Rockband here and not just another standard rockband, because basically THIRSTY MERC throw in melodies like we usually hear from HAREM SCAREM. The whole album contains superstrong Melodic Rock and any fan of our beloved genre will definitely like this THIRSTY MERC. They could easily become really HUGE! More info at:  and 

(Points: 8.5 out of 10)


Not that much info on this band from SOUL RIDER, but this 4-piece act hail from Cleveland and are playing Glam/Party-Hardrock as if it was still 1989 and LA was filled with Sunset Strip Hair Metalbands. They remind me of acts like TEAZE, TUFF LUCK, NITRO, NOIZE BOYZ and such slightly harder hitting groovier Glam/Party Hardrockbands. Add a little Metal and some Sleazy GUNS’N’ROSES influences and you have yourself SOUL RIDER. 12 songs are included and all is brought nicely, although I really think this band is only interesting if you’re a fan of the late 80s American Party Metalsound. If so, then better head over to 

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


The Finnish band TECHNICOLOUR must have slipped through the big amount of releases in 2006, because this EMI MUSIC FINLAND signed band released their debut ‘People’ last year. They play the typical Finnish style, which is super melodic Rock/Gothic meets Radioready Poprock, kinda like SUNRISE AVENUE meets THE RASMUS/HIM/LOVEX and such. Maybe not original, but definitely very catchy, especially during the beginning when we can hear a lot of catchy melodic rock tunes such as “Don’t you know”, “Can I get to heaven?” and “Get up”, while towards the end of the album it gets a bit less stronger. Basically, TECHNICOLOUR are yet another great band from Finland to check out if you like any of the mentioned bands. More info at:  and 

(Points: 8.3 out of 10)


A surprise, because this HALF PAST FOREVER seems to be the next big thing and despite a modern production, they sound like a pure Melodic Rockband, especially on the first couple of uptempo rockers on their first CD ‘Take a chance on something beautiful’. The songs “Waiting”, “Know” and “Hero” are very strong catchy Melodic Rocksongs that sound like COLDPLAY doing HAREM SCAREM covers. Although sounding modern and radio-ready for the European market, this American band is also highly recommended to Melodic Rockfans of all kinds! More info at:  and 

(Points 8.5 out of 10)


New Zealand is not really known for bringing Rockbands, with the exception of a CROWDED HOUSE and SPLIT ENZ, but GOLDENHORSE is another interesting band. They have released 2 CDs so far and both of them reached the top of the charts in New Zealand, making them of course superstars in their own country. Their same titled CD is the UK/European debut for the band, containing material from their 2 New Zealand/Australia released albums. Musically they play lighter Pop/Rock, kinda like a mix between U2 and THE CORRS, so with Folk and Celtic influences, also with CROWDED HOUSE influences here and there. The band has a strong female singer KIRSTEN MORELL and their music should really appeal to those with an open-mind, so the fan of mature Poprock a la FLEETWOOD MAC, 70s Pop a la THE CARPENTERS and even MOSTLY AUTUMN fans might find something of interest in this band, which combines the best of all mentioned bands, although the band is really more diverse actually, because you can also hear some quirky late 70s punky poprock a la PATTI SMITH here and there (“Cool pants”), so really something for people who like their Pop/Rock to sound very diverse! More info at:  and 

(Points 8.2 out of 10)


Originality is hard to find on the new CD of the Italian band IVORY MOON. The band formed in 2000 already released a CD back in 2004 and what sets them apart from most other bands in this genre is the fact they have a male and a female singer, both singing clean and melodic and doing that not bad either. A comparison to SKYLARK is easy to make, but IVORY MOON are better, which can be heard on the 11 songs of their new album ‘Human nature’, which is a mix of Melodic Rock, Gothic and Power Metal, very much reminding me of the band SERENITY, if anyone remembers that Austrian band and of course WONDERLAND, LABYRINTH and such come to mind with some NIGHTWISH influences too. Anyway, the production could have been a little better, but apart from that, this is a nice new album of this band, which for the die-hard collectors is definitely worth adding to your collection! More info at: 

(Points 8.0 out of 10)


DARKSUN is a Spanish band formed in 2002 out of the ashes of the band NORTHWIND, with whom they released 2 albums that sold 12,000 copies. Anyway, DARKSUN released 2 strong albums in the following years, with their 2005 album ‘El lado oscuro’ being produced by DENNIS WARD, but now in 2007 the band has switched from the Spanish language to the English language, making this their international debut and more accessible for the non-Spanish speaking countries. PEAVY WAGNER of RAGE makes a guest appearance on the album and all has been done in making this new DARKSUN CD sound as their finest album so far. I think the band has succeeded, because ‘The dark sun’ sounds very impressive for sure. The songs “A hero reborn”, “Blood brothers” and “Echoes of the past” are high class Melodic Neo-Classical Power/Prog Metal songs that contains strong melodies, wonderful instrumental parts and also great vocalwork of singer DANIEL GONZALEZ. Recommended to fans of KAMELOT, VISION DIVINE and LABYRINTH!

(Points 8.4 out of 10)

(All reviews by Gabor Kleinbloesem)