2nd CD of the Canadian female fronted band CONTROLLER CONTROLLER. The band plays the current retro new wave influenced early 80s type of Poprock in the style of THE SPARKS, THE CARS, DEVO, LUBA and LISA DALBELLO. Especially the songs “PF”, “Poison/safe”, “City of daggers” and “Straight in the head” are very nice catchy melodic poprockers in a style which was dead for many years, but now currently gets a second chance with bands like DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979, FRANZ FERDINAND, VHS OR BETA, THE WHITE STRIPES.... Fans of mentioned acts will probably like this CONTROLLER CONTROLLER a lot!     

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)


Very experimental German band playing a sort of underground Alternative Dark Rock style which even reveals some JOHN LENNON influences. 10 songs are included and a sort of late 60s Psychedelic approach can also be noticed, because you can hear similarities to THE BYRDS as well. Not bad at all, but after a while a bit depressing. Nothing really rocking here and only interesting if you hate “You really got me” but love “Sunny afternoon”, both KINKS songs, but completely different in style.

(Points: 6.7 out of 10)


High class catchy Melodic Punkpoprock from the German band GERM ATTACK. From start to finish 14 short songs a pleasure for fans of catchy melodic punky poprock a la THE RAMONES, THE UNDERTONES, THE BOYS, etc. It doesn’t matter much which song you listen to, because they are all very catchy uptempo punkpoprockers, but mentioning some of the highlights I would add “Far away”, “New war” and “Day to day”. Easy to sing-a-long and definitely the best THE RAMONES clone from Germany!

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)


A very strong Minneapolis/USA based band, which shows to be ready for the major labels with their new release ‘Escape plan’, an album which may be classified as a typical American modern may melodic rock record, yet once again catchier and more pure melodic rock based than the countless other similar releases at the moment. The band is quite close to major label signed act RA, so mixing big guitar riffs with superstrong catchy melodic choruses, such as can be heard on their songs “Slo motion”, “Time bomb” and “Sunny day believer” from their new album ‘Escape plan’. The band previously released an album titled ‘Oxygen’ in 2003 on the label ATOMIC K. RECORDS, which was also a very good album, but their new album is a slightly better release. The album ‘Escape plan’ was released independently, although it sounds quite huge and could well be picked up by a major label if they discover it. This is the kind of American melodic rock (check BREAKING BENJAMIN, RELIENT K, RA, NICKELBACK) which is quite popular nowadays, so it would not surprise me if this band has a big break soon. Also interesting for melodic rockfans, because this SKYWYND is getting closer and closer to the classic melodic rocksound of the America from the past, although some of the songs even sound like a polished version of the Melodic Progressive Metalsound of bands like VANDENPLAS and THRESHOLD as well (thanks to a rich keyboardsound here and there, especially on their debut CD ‘Oxygen’), so enough to offer here on the CDs of the band SKYWYND. More info at:  or  and e-mail at: 

(Points: 8.4 out of 10)


The Brazilian band TESIS ARSIS stands for high quality instrumental Progressive Rock, which can be heard on the 2 CDs they have released so far. The 2 CDs were entirely composed, arranged and performed by Anderson Rodrigues, playing the electric guitar and keyboards, with bass and drums programming. What we get to hear on the 2 CD releases is very impressive instrumental Progressive Rock with beautiful instrumental passages that leave a lot of room open for guitar and keyboard passages. Definitely a must-have for fans of classic progressive rock in 70s style (YES, GENESIS, IQ). More info through e-mail at: 

(Points: 8.3 out of 10)


The Norwegian band GAIA EPICUS makes a return with the new CD ‘Symphony of glory’, which was actually released in 2005, but it took some time the promo CD arrived at our desk. Anyway, musically it follows the style of the previous albums, which means typical European Melodic Power Metal, very happy, fast and catchy a la early EDGUY, LABYRINTH, SKYLARK, DRAGONFORCE, HELLOWEEN… Looking back, this band was formed (under a different name) in the early 90s and it took some time for them to discover the music they wanted to play, but since they have released albums under the moniker GAIA EPICUS the musicstyle has been fast happy Power Metal, not original at all, but this new album is still quite nice. With this kind of Metal, it’s like you either like it very much or get fed up with the same thing over and over again, because it is non-stop tra-la-la fast Power Metal with sing-a-long choruses. So concluded not original at all, but for fans of mentioned bands definitely worth checking out.

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)


Australian band with a very experimental modern sounding rockband that sounds like it comes straight out of the British underground scene. Although it is rockmusic it has nothing to do with the melodic rock we usually review. The band has been together for 7 years now, releasing 2 EPs and this is their first full-length CD. Furthermore I do not know how to further review this CD, because the included rockmusic is very experimental and wicked, maybe interesting for fans of THE SPARKS? More info at: 

(Points: 6.6 out of 10)


Here’s the latest modern sounding melodic rockband from the USA, because the Austin/Texas based 3-piece band FURTHEST FROM THE STAR has released an album which is not far away from bands like HAWTHORNE HEIGHTS, ANBERLIN, TAPT, HOOBASTANK, RELIENT K, RETROGRADE, HONESTLY, FIREKILLS, HAREM SCAREM, etc. etc. which means we get to hear melodic rock in a modern jacket. Vocals are clean most of the time, so very few screamo-vocals here happily, with as result a very fine modern nu-breed/melodic rockalbum, which has it’s highlights in the songs “It serves you right”, “Heart left dead” and “My last hope” . Another band ready for the major labels, because this band could easily chart very high in the USA, where this kind of rock has it’s fifteen minutes of fame at the moment. More info at: 

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)


In 2003 the legendary New York band STARZ reunited and did a US tour. Now there is a DVD available which captured the band live on stage. The band’s 70s melodic rock&roll still sounds great, even after a 20-year hiatus of inactivity. The band reformed in their original line-up, so with main members MICHAEL LEE SMITH (vocals) and RICHIE RANNO (guitars) back upfront. That is a good thing to see, because many so-called reunions lack the availability of original members. Anyway, the band released 4 great albums in the 1970s, starting as a pure KISS influenced hard Rock&Roll band, but ending up in a smooth AOR/Melodic Radiorocksound which gave them hits like the catchy “So young, so bad”. However, now 2 decades later, the band wants to rock all night and that’s just what they did on one of the nights during their 2003 Tour in the USA. This DVD contains a perfectly recorded concert, where the boys visually clearly have gone a lot older (especially singer Michael is hardly recognizable!), but musically it still sounds very impressive. Despite a lack of looks, Michael still shines as a man with a great voice, which makes you wonder why it has been so long quiet around him, as he could have easily made some great records. Anyway, this DVD finally shines some light on STARZ, although admitted it has not been all that quiet around them, because in the 90s we saw a bunch of CD releases with old live performances, Rare unreleased tracks and also many re-issues onto CD. However, the true comeback can be seen on this DVD. It would have been an even better release, if there had been some extras, like a sort of story on the band, but I guess we can live with the fact a full concert of STARZ is on DVD, because now we can hear and see after all those years great classic STARZ rockers like “Detroit girls”, “She”, “Cherry baby”, “So young, so bad’, “Any way that you want me” and “Boys in action”. A definite must for any 70s Rockfan! Available through: 

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)


It has been sort of a new trend to release DVDs, which is a mix of rare short footage of a band combined with in-depth reviews by rock journalists (and musicians) on certain albums of the featured band. Especially on the CLASSIC ROCK RECORDS label this trend has gone completely out of hand, because that label released about 100 DVDs filled with such material, all of which actually seen through the eyes of the same musicians and reviewers over and over again. In the case of review DVDs of URIAH HEEP and THIN LIZZY this worked out very well, because it gave a really good look at 2 important bands in Rock history, but at one point it is enough. It got even worse when the label started to release Audio CDs with the commentary of the reviewers! Anyway, the trend has also been picked up by other labels, because now also the label CHROME DREAMS starts to release review DVDs. Although this is not an official QUEEN release, the reviews by professional musicians and people out of the music business are making this review DVD nevertheless an interesting piece of footage, which does also contain some QUEEN performances footage, concentrating on the band’s 1970s rock period, namely between 1973 and 1980, their most interesting period is fully reviewed on this DVD. The DVD has a playing time of 100 minutes, so enough footage to watch. Without a doubt interesting to watch, especially if you’re a QUEEN fan, but be aware that this is not an official QUEEN DVD. DVD is available through: 

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


The legendary band SMALL FACES brought us plain rock and roll in the best 60s style and with some memorable songs it was a band that almost reached the same level as THE KINKS, THE WHO and ROLLING STONES. A few of the members ended up being quite famous (RONNIE LANE, STEVE MARRIOTT and from their last line-up even ROD STEWART and PETER FRAMPTON), but for them it all started in the 1960s rockband SMALL FACES. Through the years a lot of CDs and DVDs have been released from the band that only was active in the 1960s. The latest addition is a review DVD that focuses on the band’s 1960s singles mainly, with nice reviews of each and every song they released 40 years ago by several people from the music business. Not an official DVD once again, but with the rare 1960s footage included as well enough to watch, although with a playing time of only 67 minutes a bit short. Still nice to own if you’re a SMALL FACES fan. More info at: 

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


Not the first DVD of LANA LANE, because in 2004 ‘Storybook: Tales from Europe and Japan’ saw the light of day. However, this new DVD release ‘10th anniversary concert’ is a real nice celebration of the 10-year anniversary of LANA LANE in the music business. She developed her own style together with ERIK NORLANDER, which started with the AOR/Melodic Rockalbum ‘Love is an illusion’ in the mid 90s, but the following years LANA LANE became famous for her strong Symphonic Melodic Heavy Rock with influences ranging from Classic Rock to Metal, always sounding very melodic with of course the wonderful lead vocalwork of LANA LANE. Anyway, if I counted correctly, she released 9 official studio albums (including the ‘Winter sessions’ and ‘Ballad collection’ releases) and a few live and compilation CDs, as well as the DVD ‘Storybook: Tales from Europe and Japan’ in 2004 and now the new DVD ‘10th anniversary concert’ is available through Erik Norlander’s own label THINK TANK MEDIA (in the USA) and soon through FRONTIERS RECORDS (in Europe). It’s a 2 disc set, which contains 122 minutes of footage on the DVD disc and also 70+ minutes of music on the audio CD. The DVD contains a lot of fantastic footage, because there is the professionally filmed 90+ minutes counting concert recorded in 2005 in Tokyo, Japan and a very nice backstage footage documentary of the band on the road through Europe and Japan. The concert features songs from the whole career of LANA LANE, so songs from as far back as 1995 to more recently, 2005. The song selection is quite different from the usual setlist of LANA LANE, but of course classics like “Someone to believe”, “Symphony of angels”, “Secrets of Astrology” and “Destination Roswell” are not forgotten. It’s a nice overview of what LANA LANE has done the past 10 years, although I need to add here that the first LANA LANE DVD featured some better known songs, as this new DVD is more focused on the whole career of LANA LANE, but therefore this new DVD is a nice addition to the collection. So, this new DVD is a must-have, as everything looks and sounds absolutely fabulous, like it always is the case with LANA LANE and ERIK NORLANDER live on stage. The Queen of Melodic Rock once again shows she deserves this title and I can only look forward to another 10 years of LANA LANE music. Check out the website for availability and more info on the new DVD at:

(Points: 8.8 out of 10)


It took a long time for the American label CHAVIS RECORDS to release a new CD, but with the release of the same titled debut CD of the Swedish band VIOLENT DIVINE they make a strong return. This band is influenced by 80s acts like POISON, RATT, VAN HALEN and MOTLEY CRUE, but they definitely do not sound like the 80s at all, as they have just borrowed the strong catchy hooks and melodic choruses from the classic 80s, mixing it up with a modern heavy rock/metal sound and some Sleazy Rock and Roll added for good measure and vocally sounding quite modern (a bit American Nu-Breed ish). In the end, it sounds very impressive on such catchy melodic heavy rockers “Love revolution”, “The morning show”, “Enslaved” (lovely chorus) and “Down the line”. Concluded, a very strong Rock and Roll album that mixes all sorts of influences into a strong sound, which will appeal to a variety of rockfans. Once again, the Swedish musicians deliver a high quality album! More info at: 

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


Spanish band with a very strong female singer (Juani Lorite) and a 6 tracks counting mini-CD release. Of course they sing in the Spanish language, but it is not a problem as the music sounds really strong. Typical Spanish Melodic Metal with influences from both Power Metal and Melodic Rock. Imagine DORO (although Juani sings better!) fronting TIERRA SANTA or RATA BLANCA, although DARK MOOR would be a better comparison. That’s what you get to hear on the band’s first CD release, which musically sounds very good and also the production is in good shape. Highlights are “La noche de Avalon”, “El vencedor” (an almost AORish chorus, like NEXX) and “La dama de Hielo”, both very strong uptempo Melodic Metal songs with catchy memorable choruses and hooks. Worth checking out asap if you’re a fan of strong female fronted melodic metal and you do not mind Spanish lyrics, then better go to:  and e-mail at: 

(Points: 8.5 out of 10)


2005 was in Norway the year of WIG WAM, a band that looked like a 80s Glamrockband, but sounded like a perfect mix between BONFIRE, GOTTHARD, DEF LEPPARD and 80s BON JOVI. The results were number 1 hits, Eurovision Song Contest participation and CD release partys, because their CD ‘Hard to be a rock’n’roller’ was re-released several times due to the huge success of the band. They are in Norway as successful as WITHIN TEMPTATION in Holland, GOTTHARD in Switzerland and NIGHTWISH in Finland, so everybody knows the band. Due to the popularity they performed some huge gigs as well, of which this 2-DVD set is the living proof of their success in Norway. Without a doubt, this is one of those must-have DVDs, because it contains a full-length performance of the band with the Eastfold Symphony Orchestra in front of 10,000+ people somewhere in Norway, but also videos, interviews, backstage footage and a full-length documentary about the band’s walk to fame in Norway. In total 3 hours of WIG WAM fun and pleasure! Like I already said, this DVD shows that the band may look like a Glamrockband, act like a Glamrockband on stage and off-stage and behave like MOTLEY CRUE, but there is a big difference, because WIG WAM is top notch high class 80s Melodic Rockband with a lot of really strong sensational songs, such as “Crazy things”, “In my dreams”, “Out of time”, “Bless the night” and “Best song in the world”, all performed during this wonderful concert. The band’s sound is so 80s it makes you think it is 1986 all over again! Musically they show they are very professional musicians whom all have been in the scene for a few decades (all played in well-known Scandi Rockacts like ARTCH, SHA-BOOM, JIM JIDHED, DAG FINN, DREAM POLICE, EVENRUDE…), which can especially be seen in the instrumentals “The drop” and “Erecton”, which are sounding like MALMSTEEN and EDDIE VAN HALEN. The 4 members are called Teeny (guitars), Glam (vocals), Sporty (drums) and Flash (bass) and together they show they are the most successful Norwegian Melodic Rockband since TNT and if only THE DARKNESS had not been there, they could have had a really big breakthrough. Maybe musically not original, the band’s outstanding performances and incredible catchy melodic rock should be heard worldwide, as this is radio-ready catchy chorus driven rock like BON JOVI has not made since the late 80s. So the concert on DVD 1 is definitely a must to watch for any melodic rockfan. Funny to see the young audience, as usually at Rock concerts you don’t see Children under 10 years old, but that is due to the fact that WIG WAM is absolutely huge in Norway. DVD 2 contains a very nice documentary on WIG WAM filmed during the Tour of 2005 they did, when they performed in front of 250,000 in total, an incredible high number for a band that just started a few years ago! The documentary takes up an hour, while the other documentary of 30 minutes is another nice backstage look at one of Norway’s most popular rockbands ever! Finally, DVD 2 also contains 6 videos, namely 2 “ In my dreams” versions (the Eurovision Song Contest song), “Crazy things” (their Norwegian Song Contest entry in 2004), “Hard to be a rock n roller”, “Bless the night” and “Dschinghis Khan”. All together a perfect DVD from one of Scandinavian’s top rockbands at the moment. Be sure to check out their site at: 

(Points: 9.0 out of 10)


It is almost the exact same story as in the USA, because over there we had ‘American idols’ which saw the male participant (BO BICE) ending up 2nd behind the female singer (CARRIE UNDERWOOD), but releasing a great rockalbum on a major label. Also in Canada the Idols was won by a female singer (MELISSA O’NEAL, who also sings a duet on this CD), but the real new discovery was the male singer (REX GOUDIE), who ended up 2nd. He has released a CD through SONY BMG Canada titled ‘Under the lights’, which contains high quality catchy original Melodic Pop/Rock that is not far away from DAN LUCAS, BON JOVI, BO BICE, RICK SPRINGFIELD, BRYAN ADAMS, HARRY HESS, RICHARD MARX… 12 songs are included and most of them go in a similar style, starting calm, but with a catchy rocking melodic chorus kicking in after a while. Especially the songs “Drive’, “Lie awake”, “Strong enough” and “Who I am” are quite good. The CD has a Classic Rock approach, while still having that typical modern melodic chorus radio style. Of course a lot of people back up singer/guitarist REX GOUDIE, of which MARC JORDAN as a songwriter of the opening track “Drive” is the most notable for the AOR fans. This CD will probably be huge in Canada, but outside I am afraid not many people have heard of REX GOUDIE, but let’s hope people will discover him soon, because his CD is a really catchy melodic pop/rock release. More info at: 

(Points: 8.3 out of 10)


Greek band formed in 1993, with this ‘Tragaedia eternal’ being their current release. The band’s music is classic melodic hardrock with some doom and metal influences. It does remind me a lot of WARLORD, yet the sound quality is not that good, which is a pity, because in a big studio this band might deliver something very good. Nevertheless, Melodic Metalfans will still enjoy the 6 songs on the band’s new CD ‘Tragaedia eternal’. More info on the band can be found at:  and e-mail at: 

(Points: 7.8 out of 10)


The American Vocalist/guitarist ALAN YATES has worked in the past with SIR ELTON JOHN, SISTER HAZEL, COLLECTIVE SOUL and WHITE STRIPED, so he definitely has a lot of experience before this new CD release of his own band ALAN YATES BAND. What we get to hear is typical modern melodic powerpop/rock, with a sort of classic rock approach as well. 10 songs are included and the best songs are uptempo rockers like “Talk”, “Wind me up” and “Place in the sun”, but also closing track “Seasons”, which happens to be a very nice smooth ballad. Sometimes the CD has a certain depressive melancholic touch, but in general this is nice standard traditional melodic powerpop/rock. More info at: 

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


In 2004 the Norwegian melodic rockband WIG WAM released their 2004 debut album ‘667…the neighbour of the beast’, which received a very good review by us, but when the band hit big time in Norway in 2005, there were several re-releases of the band’s debut CD. The final release was this ‘Hard to be a rock’n’roller’, which contains all of the songs from their debut, with the addition as opening track, the Eurovision Song Contest song “In my dreams”, the wonderful pure 80s catchy melodic rocker that combined the best of 80s DEF LEPPARD and 80s BON JOVI with a chorus DESOMD CHILD forgot to write. In total 14 songs are included, of which most notable are the superb melodic rockers “Bless the night”, the mentioned opening track “In my dreams”, “Crazy things” and the lovely midtempo GOTTHARD type melodic rocker “Out of time”. Also sing-a-long tracks like the cover “Turn to you”, “Hard to be a rock’n’roller” and “No more living on lies” (with German ACCEPT/VICTORY beat) as well as the midtempo BONFIRE orientated “Mine all mine” are all winners for fans who miss the days of WHITE LION, DEF LEPPARD, 80s BON JOVI, BONFIRE, TREAT, but also GOTTHARD (with whom they toured in Germany last year) fans need to check out this band, because despite their Glam image they sound like a high class melodic rockband! The band has just finished recording their new CD, which should be out very soon and might well be a contender for best album of 2006. However, in the meantime check out the interview I had with hem. More info at: 

(Points: 8.8 out of 10)


The Norwegian band WINTERSTRAIN has been together for more than 15 years now. Formed in 1989, the band has been developing their style throughout the 1990s, writing and demoing songs, of which the result can now be heard on the 2006 release on Z RECORDS titled ‘Return to the mirror’. The album contains 10 tracks in total, which musically is Progressive Melodic Rock with an own identity. Influences from VANDENPLAS, DREAM THEATER, JOURNEY, TNT and RUSH are all melted into an exciting and very strong sound. Especially the first 2 songs (“Another Time” and “Another Day”) are very impressive sensational songs that combine the best of 2 worlds (progressive metal structures and melodic rock vocal lines/choruses), so it’s catchy and innovative at the same time. Prog die-hards will love the epic closing track “Sail”, which is a 10 minutes counting progressive rocker. However, the band truly has the progressive and melodic big time in their sound. The best comparison I can come up with is that Canadian band MYSTERY from the 1990s, if anyone remembers that band, well these Norwegian Vikings are very close to their sound, but if you’re not familiar with MYSTERY, then I can inform you that WINTERSTRAIN has deliver a very nice album that is a recommended piece to check out for both prog and melodic rockfans, especially VANDENPLAS and RUSH fans might like this a lot.

(Points: 8.4 out of 10)


The Italian band ELDRITCH returns with a new CD titled ‘Neighbourhell’. The album was mastered by Christian Schmid and R.D. Liapakis (MYSTIC PROPHECY) from the Music Factory and it seems they are trying to score a hit, because not only a single of the album is being released for radio, but also a videoclip is going to be broadcasted on TV. I believe in the past the band also had some videos aired, so I guess they keep trying to score a hit and the ‘hitsingle’ this time is called “Save me”, of which the videoclip will also be on the official release of this CD. Anyway, musically not much has changed compared to the other albums, so once again we can hear high quality Melodic Progressive Metal, with some Thrash Metal influences due to the aggressive vocals here and there as well as some big fat heavy guitar riffs. However, the band is keen on bringing some awesome melodic hooks and choruses throughout most of the songs. In fact the band comes up with either very melodic songs that feature nothing but strong lead clean lead vocals of singer Terence Holler or heavy aggressive thrashy songs that feature raw vocals and some gang-vocals but also these songs are delivered with a strong melodic chorus. If we have a look at the best songs, I need to mention “More than Marilyn” (a superb uptempo melodic rocker), “Zero man” (semi-ballad) and the Progressive Metal songs “Save me”, “The rain” and “Second place”, all very melodic songs that reach the high level of VANDENPLAS. Further on the aggressive side, the band comes up with some Thrashy Power Metal in songs like “Bless me now’, “Come to life” and “Toil of mine”, all songs that are also quite impressive. The only songs that were just o.k. were “The dark inside” and “Standing still”, but in general this is a very strong diverse release of the Italian band. ELDRITCH has been on the scene for several years now and with this new album they once again proof to be one of the better Italian bands out there at the moment.

(Points: 8.6 out of 10)


RED CIRCUIT is a new Progressive Metal Supergroup from Germany based around singer Chity Sompala (ex-FIREWIND, ex-AVALON, formerly with FARO) and keyboarder Markus Teske (ex-SHEELA and producer for VANDENPLAS and SYMPHONY X). Their debut CD ‘Trance state’ also features guest appearances by Patrick Rondat (ELEGY), Stephan Lill (VANDENPLAS) and Stephan Forte (ADAGIO), so pretty much a high quality musicianship can be heard on the album, which was co-produced by VANDENPLAS vocalist Andy Kuntz. What to expect, well not surprisingly, but pure Melodic Progressive Metal not far away from all the mentioned bands. Sadly it is not as strong as those bands, because in the end this RED CIRCUIT album is nothing more than a standard progressive metal release. Not saying it is bad, but the lack of sensational songs makes this release impossible to compete with all the other much stronger releases in this genre. Nevertheless, songs like “Under the sun”, “So hard to be like God” and “Search for your soul” are nice to hear. With 3 albums within 1 year (FIREWIND, FARO and RED CIRCUIT), the Shri-Lanka born based singer Chity Sompala is showing his vocal skills here once again in a good way, but too bad the songs are not as strong as on FIREWIND or FARO. Only for die-hard Progressive Metal fans!

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


CODE OF PERFECTION is a new band, which is compromised of Japanese and German musicians, such as guitarist Thorsten Koehne (ex-DEMON DRIVE), bassist Keisuke Nishimoto (KELLY SIMONZ) and drummer Frank Kraus (ex-DEMON DRIVE/ex-LETTER X). There are guest appearances on the band’s first CD by vocalist Carsten Lizard Schulz (DOMAIN/EVIDENCE ONE), guitarist Alex Beyrodt (SILENT FORCE/ex-SINNER), keyboard master Ferdy Doernberg (AXEL RUDI PELL/ROUGH SILK) and the legendary guitarist Michael Angelo (ex-NITRO). The appearance of Michael Angelo is a big surprise, because it has been very quiet around this musician for many years now. From what I remember he was a big 80s Hair Metal dude in a Heavy Metalband called NITRO before going solo. Anyway, musically CODE OF PERFECTION takes on the challenge to concentrate on classic 80s guitar orientated Melodic Metal a la CACOPHONY and RACER X on the instrumental songs which are very good. The 3 vocal songs are classic 80s melodic rockers like JADED HEART and EVIDENCE ONE, very good indeed, especially the catchy “Walkin’ on thin ice”. Together with a crystal clear production by Jochen Mayer (DOMAIN, CASANOVA), this album is a winner for fans of the classic 80s melodic metalsound!

(Points: 8.5 out of 10)


1982 saw the official debut album ‘Under the blade’ the light of day on the small label SECRET RECORDS. The band TWISTED SISTER had been struggling for success in New York for almost 8 years prior to that year, but without any success. However, in the middle of the N.W.B.O.H.M. scene the band stood a chance in the UK, where they scored a few big hits in the early 80s, so it was no wonder their first record was first released in the UK instead of the USA. Surprisingly the album also went up high in the New Zealand charts, besides a UK charting. It gave the band opportunities to move on further, because they had already developed themselves from a Glamrockband into a hard hitting pure Metalband, but with a charismatic look from especially lead singer DEE SNIDER. Anyway, this first record as well as the follow-up and the 2 records after the US breakthrough record ‘Stay hungry’ are all 4 re-released with the addition of several bonustracks on the UK label DEMOLITON RECORDS. I believe the US label SPITFIRE RECORDS had re-issued these albums sometime ago, but now finally a UK label has decided to give it another try, also celebrating the band’s 30-year anniversary. If we have a closer look at the band’s 5 records, this debut release is maybe their best release. The band completely exploded from years of struggling, which resulted in an absolute Metal Classic, as from start to finish this was TWISTED SISTER at their best, with not only lyrics about Rock and Roll, but really standing up for yourself and protest against all that’s wrong in this world. Classic Rock and Roll anthems can be found here, such as “What you don’t know”, “Bad boys of rock and roll”, “Shoot ‘em down” and the bonustrack “I’ll never grow up now” or the Doom Metal of “Destroyer”, all classics. A classic album that put TWISTED SISTER on the Metal Map, so better get this CD re-issue, which has the already mentioned bonustrack “I’ll never grow up now”…

(Points: 8.8 out of 10)


Although their debut was a classic, also the 2nd album ‘You can’t stop rock and roll’ featured some unbelievable classics, such as “Ride to live, live to ride” (ultimate Biker Metal classic0, “You can’t stop rock and roll“ (Rock and Roll anthem), “I am (I’m me)” (sing-a-long classic) and the Power ballad “You’re not alone”. The re-issue of this 2nd album of TWISTED SISTER, which was originally released in 1983, comes along with 3 unreleased bonustracks, which are “One man woman”, “Four barrel heart of love” and “Feel the power”. For a TWISTED SISTER fan therefore a must-have, because I don’t think those 3 songs were released before. This album gave the band a deal with ATLANTIC RECORDS, who launched the band in the UK even further, because this release hit the UK big time 23 years ago, reaching a magnificent near top-10 placing in the official UK charts, which was a very impressive fact for an American Metal band…

(Points: 8.8 out of 10)


After the release of ‘You can’t stop rock and roll’ with it’s success in the UK, the American division of Atlantic Records woke up and started to promote the band across America in the hope for a break, which did happen in 1984 with ‘Stay hungry’. This album was much more commercial than the 2 previous Metal releases, although still the band’s most memorable record due to the TWISTED SISTER anthems “I wanna rock” and “We’re not gonna take it”., 2 songs that probably every American knows! It gave the band a worldwide break, as everywhere the band hit the charts and from then on the band was up for the big fame and fortune, but it sadly also marked the end for the band, because TWISTED SISTER became DEE SNIDER, as the label was focused in making him a sort of gimmick that stood for standing up against the rest. Eventually the 2 albums that followed had nothing to do with TWISTED SISTER. The first one to follow was ‘Come out and play’ in 1985, a sort of experimental move of the band, with only 1 real TWISTED SISTER song (the titletrack), as the rest was either very polished AOR/Melodic Rock (“I believe in you” and “Out on the streets”), average Pop/Rock&Roll (“Be crool to your scuel”) or even a pointless cover (“Leader of the pack”). After 3 strong releases, the band had become suddenly a joke band a la BAD NEWS/SPINAL TAP, which immediately destroyed the band’s status. This re-issue does not contain bonustracks and I guess the TWISTED SISTER fans prefer the original LP release, which had a frontcover you could clap out and face DEE SNIDER with a deadly dangerous look. As for the music, this album was one of the weakest releases the band did…

(Points: 7.9 out of 10)


Selling 14 million records, being big in the UK first, then the USA and the rest of the world, in 1987 the end was near with the 5th and final official TWISTED SISTER album. Actually it was a solo release of DEE SNIDER, which under pressure from the record company was released under the TWISTED SISTER moniker. The album was better than ‘Come out and play’, but can still be considered as a typical late 80s melodic rock record, nothing more, nothing less. Nothing really stood out on this record, but this re-issue on CD might become interesting for the TWISTED SISTER fans when I mention here that the release comes along with 4 unreleased bonustracks (“Feel appeal”, “Statutory date”, “If that’s what you want’ and “I will win”). We all know what happened next, band broke up, DEE SNIDER did become very successful as a TV/Radio presenter, bringing real Metal to the kids in America, while continuing doing other projects, such as DESPERADO and WIDOWMAKER as well as some solo stuff, before eventually making a comeback as a live act with TWISTED SISTER in the early 00s. The last few years we already saw re-releases, best of, live and even a re-recorded ‘Stay hungry’ in the form of ‘Still hungry’, all proofing that the band still has a huge fan base, especially in Europe, where they performed in front of 30,000 metalheads a legendary concert, which also has been released on DVD recently. Now another re-issue package with 4 TWISTED SISTER albums. First 2 a must—have, but the other 2 you may forget actually. Pity is the lack of additional liner notes, as the CD booklets look like they come straight out of the 1980 with only lyrics and bandinfo. It would have been nice to print some stories, rare pictures and other snippets of interests here to make it look like real 30-year anniversary releases instead of just re-releases. Nevertheless, TWISTED SISTER has made a succesfull comeback the past few year, which only raised one question, can they now deliver a true new TWISTED SISTER classic? Well, I don’t know if that will ever happen, but also these new re-issued give the band once again enough press coverage to keep the TWISTED SISTER flame burn for a little while…

(Points: 8.1 out of 10)


The Polish band SATELLITE has released 2 CDs so far, but are already a very popular band. Especially in Poland the band has reached the same popularity as the legendary band COLLAGE. Progressive Rock is the musicstyle on which SATELLITE is focused and they are definitely a band that is not far removed from the high quality of well-known established acts like JADIS, IQ, PALLAS… Now there is a DVD available, which contains a very impressive 90+ minutes counting performance of the band as recorded on September 22, 2005 in the same Theatre in Katowice/Poland as the NICK BARRETT/CLIVE NOLAN DVD, also released on the Polish Metal Mind Recordlabel. This label stands for high quality DVD and also this SATELLITE DVD is a wonderful DVD, although the 30 minutes counting documentary/backstage footage is a bit less interesting. However the concert is absolutely a must-see for any progfan, really showing that this band is maybe the best Polish band ever! Besides the 9 songs performed, all very long songs by the way (which is of course typical prog!) also included is besides the already mentioned documentary, a video of the song “Love is around you” as well as 4 audio bonus songs. This all makes this DVD release a must-have for any progrockfan out there. Available through: 

(Points: 8.4 out of 10)


The leaders of PENDRAGON and ARENA, NICK BARRETT and CLIVE NOLAN, performed a couple of acoustic concerts together (Nick on acoustic guitar/vocals and Clive on keys/vocals), of which this DVD is the living proof. The DVD contains the 90+minutes counting performance, in total 15 tracks, as performed by Nick and Clive, with as remark that not just songs of ARENA and PENDRAGON are performed, but also songs by rare acts the two were involved with through the years were played, such as STRANGERS ON A TRAIN, SHADOWLAND and NOLAN/WAKEMAN. The performance took place on the 28th of June 2005 in a beautiful Theatre in the Polish city of Katowice. Besides the concert, there is also a very interesting interview with the 2 musicians, which takes about 30 minutes, so in total 2 hours of footage. All together a nice package for the progfans, although be aware that this is an acoustic performance (so no full electric/rhythm section, just the acoustic guitar and keyboard which for some might get boring after a while, but others might enjoy it a lot as it is something different than what PENDRAGON and ARENA are doing during regular performances), but nevertheless the performance was quite unique and therefore this captured DVD is one to check out if you’re a fan of these top musicians. Available through: 

(Points: 8.4 out of 10)


The Brazilian band SYMBOLS is best known as the band providing vocalist Eduardo Falaschi to the regrouped ANGRA following the departure of Andr Matos, who formed SHAMAN. They released 3 albums, of which 2 feature the vocals of Eduardo. Musically they started as a Power Metalband in the typical ANGRA style. Their same titled debut CD was originally released in 1998, but re-released by HELLION RECORDS in 2001. This first album is a nice melodic rockalbum, with some strong songs like “What can I do?” (ballad), “Save my soul” and “Love through the night” (another ballad), although the accent is on mostly (semi-) acoustic performed songs. 2nd album ‘Call to the end’ is filled with nice quality ANGRA type of Melodic Power Metal (with the exception of a few calm ballads and 1 EXTREMEish groovy melodic hardrocksong), but somehow the best was yet to come on the band’s final release ‘Faces’. After the departure of singer Eduardo to ANGRA, the band released this 3rd CD titled ‘Faces’, which saw the band moving into a slightly different style. First of all new singer Demian Tiguez somehow managed to sing even better than Eduardo, so the discovery of him was a blessing for SYMBOLS, but also the music got an own approach, which sounded very sensational. ‘Faces’ saw the band evolving into a melodic rockband, with progressive rock elements, kinda like a calmer DREAM THEATER meets TNT/SHY and even some JOURNEYesque melodies. This 3rd release ‘Faces’ is by far their best offering. This album contains some very impressive melodic rock/prog songs like “The Indian’s soul”, “Waiting for the sunrise”, “Living another day” and “The rainy nights”, all songs with beautiful melodies, amazing vocalwork and standing proud above any similar act. Then it became quiet around SYMBOLS, although new singer Demian ended up in the formation of the 2004 formed Christian Metal band CEREMONYA, completed with ETERNA drummer Daniel Lopes and ex-SKYLORD guitarist Francis Botene. So 3 albums were released by SYMBOLS, all quite diverse and as most recommendable their final CD ‘Faces’, which might even surprise the melodic rockfans. ANGRA fans should especially look for their 2nd album ‘Call to the end’. All CDs available through:  and 

(Symbols: Points: 8.1 out of 10)
Call to the end: Points: 8.4 out of 10)
Faces: Points: 8.9 out of 10)


SATYRIAN is a Gothic rock band featuring members from all over the world. The band is quite diverse as they combine dark atmospheric lyrics with wave, rock, classical orchestration, piano and heavy guitars. The band’s new record ‘Eternitas” consists of 12 songs. In the line-up we can hear a lot of singers, namely two different female voices in combination with rough and clean male voices whom all together make this band sound different than the usual bands in this genre. However, after a couple of spins and some good listening I am afraid this SATYRIAN is a very average release, which maybe a few times introduces something new musically (in a negative way, because the male growling and industrial influences do not impress at all), but it all sounds not really inspiring. The vocalists are sounding ok, but none of the songs stick around and just go in one ear and out the other, so only for die-hard Goth Rockfans interesting to pick up. Expect a mix between current THE GATHERING and THERION, but then a few levels lower…

(Points: 7.4 out of 10)


It took the band 6 years, but finally the Swedish band ZEELION are making a return with their new album ‘Steel Attack’. 10 tracks are included on this Melodic Metal gem, which features the strong typical Swedish lead vocals (a la GORAN EDMAN/JOEY TEMPEST) of singer Lenny de Rose (who is in fact Pelle 'P.O.' Saether, singing previously in acts like GLORY, MACBETH, UNCHAINED, SCHIZOPHRENIC CIRCUS and ZELLO, but also producing many Rockbands) and the melodic guitarsound of Sudden. It was worth the wait, because with ‘Steel attack’ we have yet another winner from Sweden, which easily may be seen as a truly superb Melodic Metal adventure that will easily be loved by fans of early EUROPE, 80s MALMSTEEN, NARNIA, etc. Highlights among the 10 tracks included are uptempo melodic metal pieces like “I burn”, “I remember”, “Shadows”, the progressive midtempo “Shadows” and the catchy melodic rockers “King of all kings” and “Black hearted woman”. From start to finish a sensational album for sure! Highly recommended to fans of the classic 80s Scandi Melodic Rock/Metal sound. More info at: 

(Points: 8.8 out of 10)


‘Rites of Passage’ is the new solo album from progressive fusion musician Coste Apetrea. The album was a result of the response Coste got from the band SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA, with whom Coste has played and worked with since 1972 (except for a period in the end of the 70s and the 80s where Coste played with the JUKKA TOLONEN BAND with whom he recorded 7 band albums and 2 acoustic guitar albums), so now we are looking at a new solo CD of COSET, which musically is an experimental instrumental mix of progressive rock, jazzrock and fusion, with also some influences from other world cultures. This is one of those CDs you only pick up when you’re a really open-minded music fan, as with the exception of the opening track “Rites of passage” (an almost progressive metal type of song, with JIMI HENDRIXish guitarwork as well) sounds different than anything else out there. Definitely quality music, but for a selected audience…

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


The Swedish band SECTION A is formed around guitarist TORBEN ENEVOLDSEN. ‘Parallel lives’ is the 2nd CD of the band, which is the follow-up to their acclaimed debut, ‘The Seventh Sign’ from 2003, which was also released on Lion Music. The band is playing melodic progressive metal in the style of MIND’S EYE, PAGAN’S MIND, VANDENPLAS, STRIDE, SUSPYRE... Without a doubt, this band is doing it very well, although nothing new is brought into the genre. However I am a sucker for this kind of metal, which in the 90s was all about long instrumental complex passages and mostly choruses where hard to be find, but this new millennium progressive metal is all about combining big metal riffs, neo-classical keys with almost AORish choruses and also SECTION A is a band which easily accomplish this on their new CD. The album is after a few spins already one of my present favourites in the melodic progressive metal genre, because songs like “Hunted”, “Awakening”, “Moment of truth” and “Hoping for a miracle” are instant winners for fans of mentioned bands. This is one of those release you just must pick up, because it is filled with so many great music. Except from final track 8 on the disc (“Beginning of the end” – a straight ahead Metal song), this is a pure Melodic Progressive Metal CD in the style of mentioned bands.

(Points: 8.9 out of 10)


It took more than 2 years, but German singer and producer Hubi Meisel (ex-DREAMSCAPE) presents his new album ‘Kailash’, the long-awaited follow-up to his previous concept disc ‘EmOcean’. This time the concept story is all about the Himalayas, Tibet and ancient Buddhist/Hindu mythology, and it describes a man’s adventurous journey across the icy heights of the Himalayas up to the legendary holy Mt. Kailash, where an important secret is finally unveiled… Musically ‘Kailash’ is a Progressive Melodic Rockalbum with some symphonic elements and Far Eastern influences. Backing up Hubi Meisel's vocals on ‘Kailash’ are musicians like Vivien Lalu (Lalu) on keyboards (who was also responsible for composing the instrumental music according to Meisel’s concept & directions), Marcel Coenen (Sun Caged) and Jorge Saln (Mago de Oz) on guitars, with as rhythm section, Daniel Flores (Mind's Eye) on drums alongside Johan Niemann (Therion) on bass. In total we can find 12 songs, of which the highlights are “Potala palace” and “Kailash – Jewel of ice”, but most of the songs are in a same style, which is nice melodic progressive rock with some slight metal riffs here and there. Not saying this is an average release, but it could well use some more diversity, as it now all sounds a bit the same.

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


More typical Scandi Melodic Metal in the shape of the brand new studio album 'In The Shadows' of the Swedish band TEARS OF ANGER. This new record is the follow-up to the debut CD ‘Still Alive’. The band is formed around the brothers Benny and Bjrn Jansson on guitars and vocals respectively, while further members are the rhythm section of Daniel Flores (Mind’s Eye) on drums and Johan Niemann (Mind’s Eye / Therion] on bass. With ‘In The Shadows’, the band have released a very good strong Melodic Metal album, which displays the band’s ability to write good strong melodies combined with big guitarwork as well as strong lead vocals a la DAVID COVERDALE. The result is impressive from start to finish, with no weak tracks at all. The absolute highlight surprisingly can be found at the end of the record, because closing track “” has a real sensational chorus. On the other hand, the whole album sounds just great and is highly recommended to fans of NOCTURNAL RITES, DREAM EVIL, NOSTRADAMEUS…

(Points: 8.4 out of 10)


Back in 1980 DEEP PURPLE singer was at the peak of his solo career, with the album ‘Glory road’ entering the UK charts at number 3. In the meantime he gave successful concerts throughout the world and one of these concerts was captured on tape, namely a concert in Edinburgh, back then filmed by the Scottish TV, now made available on DVD by ANGEL AIR RECORDS. The DVD has a respectable 2 hours time of playing, in which we can see 8 songs performed live as well as bonus features like in-depth interviews and a history biography. The performance itself was quite good, but that was not surprising if you have as instrumental backup well-seasoned musicians like BERNIE TORME, JOHN MCCOY, COLIN TOWNS and MICK UNDERWOOD. This DVD is definitely much better than the other GILLAN DVDs I have seen in the past, where Ian clearly struggled with his singing. Although this is a nice DVD, it is much more interesting to see DVD releases of the classic DEEP PURPLE line-up from the early 80s, but I guess the limited amount of footage from that area makes it impossible to release a proper DVD, so the GILLAN fans need to be satisfied with this release at the moment.

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


Unbelievable this high quality release has only been released in Brazil (HELLION RECORDS BRAZIL) and Japan (AVALON MARQUEE RECORDS), because it could have been easily a European release just as well, but fact is that it has only been released in these countries exactly one year ago (March 2005). Musically speaking nothing new is brought here, but it definitely shows there are many more Brazilian bands out there that have the ability to become the next ANGRA. AQUARIA are based in Rio de Janeiro and features former members of UIRAPURU and ENDLESS singer Vitor Veiga. Their conceptual debut album 'Luxaeterna' was produced by Bruno Agra and recorded at Creative Sound Studios in So Paulo. The record was mixed and mastered by Sascha Paeth (KAMELOT, EPICA, AINA, etc.) at Gate Studios in Wolfsburg, Germany. The band is playing typical European/Brazilian Progressive/Power Metal not far removed from ANGRA, although RHAPSODY must have been an influence for the band as well. Especially “Choice Time” and “Judgement Day” are big time RHAPSODY type of songs, but the highlights are definitely “Spirits Of Light”, “Humanity” and “Your Majesty Gaia”. Some songs are quite lengthy and although the singer is not always sounding quite perfect, I am quite sure fans of mentioned bands will like this band a lot. Their CD has a very professional lay-out, with a lot of nice drawings, pictures, etc, so a big thumbs up for the artwork and CD booklet. Better check out this underrated release from Brazil if you’re into ANGRA, RHAPSODY… Bassist Fernando Giovannetti recently entered the multi-national Metal band dubbed THE SUPREMACY, hailing from the UK, USA, Brazil and Holland comprising singer Rafael Gubert of AKASHIC and BARROS, guitarist Bill Hudson of CELLADOR, keyboard player Joost van Den Broek of AYREON and AFTER FOREVER plus drummer Mark Cross of WINTER'S BANE, HELLOWEEN, METALIUM, NIGHTFALL and KINGDOM COME. So far no recordings have been made with this project… CD of AQUARIA is available through: 

(Points: 8.3 out of 10)

(All reviews by Gabor Kleinbloesem)