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The long-awaited 3rd CD of AVANTASIA is due soon, but here's a sneak preview in the shape of the titlesong "Lost in space", an excellent Melodic Rocker that reminds me of TEN, MAGNUM, PLACE VENDOME, so quite different than EDGUY, also leader/singer (and bassist) TOBIAS SAMETT singing much lower than usual. A definite radio-ready hitsingle performed by SASCHA PAETH (guitar), ERIC SINGER (drums), MIRO (keys) and AMANDA SOMMERVILLE on additional lead vocals. The upcoming album 'Lost in space' will be released in 2 parts, each with 6 songs, out November 16, another very interesting new album to look out for!

(Points: 8.7 out of 10)


GOODBYE THRILL is a new band formed by MARC FERREIRA, a very talented Brazilian musician/singer/songwriter. We reviewed a lot of his projects in the past and since he moved to the USA he was able to form a band (including Guitarist Dean Cramer, who played for 10 years with KIX frontman Steve Whiteman in the band FUNNY MONEY) and as result now a CD has been released. Some of the material was also recorded on Marc's past projects, such as FERREIRA, CARTOON and his solo-albums, but GOODBYE THRILL is a new band and they have re-recorded all the old tunes of Marc's past, together with newly written material. The first CD is a real must-have for fans of high quality Melodic Hardrock in classic 80s style, combining the best of DEF LEPPARD, HAREM SCAREM, 80s BON JOVI, DANGER DANGER, ICON and FIREHOUSE. Songs like "Ticket To Paradise", "Give You Away", "Dead To Me", "Fallen Heroes" and "Taste" are a must-hear for anyone who is longing back to big hooks, big choruses and melodic guitarsolo's. Without a doubt, a MUST-HAVE for fans of that classic late 80s American mainstream melodic hardrocksound of aforementioned bands. More info at: 

(Points: 8.8 out of 10)


LIQUID HORIZON are a German Progmetalband we reviewed a couple of times in the past. Their new album 'Revolutions' continues the style created on their past recordings, which means Melodic yet aggressive guitar riff orientated Progressive Metal, sounding quite powerful with super melodic vocal lines and rich keyboards as well as melodic choruses a la VANDENPLAS. The band's new concept album 'Revolutions' tells a story about the struggle for freedom -- including a trilogy about the French Revolution. Although in this period we are overwhelmed by new high quality Melodic Progressive Metal releases, also this new LIQUID HORIZON record may be put next to the new releases of PAGAN'S MIND, MIND'S EYE and such. Highlights are "Battle Entrance", "Resistance", "Sacrifice" and most definitely the French Revolution Trilogy consisting of "The King (French Rev. Part 1)", "Revolution (French Rev. Part 2)" and "System Of Terror (French Rev. Part 3)". Melodic progmetalfans will understand that this is another album to check out, maybe a little more aggressive than the regular stuff, kinda like mixing VANDENPLAS and ELDRITCH, but nevertheless it should be checked out asap! More info at:  and 

(Points: 8.5 out of 10)


Probably the most anticipated album of 2007, the new NIGHTWISH album with new lead singer ANETTE OLZON of ALYSON AVENUE. It was quite stunning she became the new singer, because 8 years ago we raved about the demos she did with ALYSON AVENUE, then the band was signed by AOR HEAVEN and released 2 awesome albums that reflect some of the best female fronted AOR in the past 20 years! Sadly it became quiet, although the band was working on new material, but earlier this year all the hope for a new ALYSON AVENUE record was vanished, because Anette was chosen as new NIGHTWISH singer and now the result is finished. 'Dark passion play' is the name of the new CD and I am safe to say we have an absolute winner on our hands here. Maybe this is the best NIGHTWISH record ever, because it sounds really incredible from start to finish. Anette's vocals are excellent and maybe less operatic, but furthermore the music is staying the same, melodic symphonic gothic power metal with big choruses. Highlights are all over the place, such as 15 minutes counting opener "The Poet and the Pendulum", "Bye Bye Beautiful", "Amaranth" and the 2 absolute winners that show some haunting melodies thanks to Anette, "Cadence of Her Last Breath" and "For the Heart I Once Had". Not just the band's best album, but also a contender for album of the year 2007 and with a huge promotion campaign the chances are big this will become a million-seller for the band once again, also showing that they are Finland's exportproduct number one!

(Points: 9.1 out of 10)


Norwegian band PAGAN'S MIND has built up quite a reputation in the progmetalworld and with the release of their new CD 'God's Equation' they will most definitely reach a larger audience and then I mean that every fan of Melodic Progressive Metal of the MIND'S EYE, VANDENPLAS, DREAM THEATER, THRESHOLD kind, they all should check out this very strong new album of PAGAN'S MIND. The limited 2-CD edition includes 6 extra tracks, MPEG video clip, poster, sticker & wallpapers, so be sure to grab that edition. The album was mixed by Stefan Glaumann (RAMMSTEIN) in the Swedish Toytown Studios and without a doubt the sound of the record is HUGE! Highlights are opener “God’s equation” (pure Progmetal), “United alliance” (more uptempo Melodic Metal, even a bit TNT/CIRCUS MAXIMUS), “Evolution exceed” and the epic closing track “Osiris: triumphant return”. The band also throws in some heavier ELDRITCH/almost PRIEST like tunes here and there, such as “Alien kamikaze” and “Hallo spaceboy”, but mainly this CD is a must-have for fans of high quality Melodic Progmetal!

(Points: 8.7 out of 10)


Formed back in 2003, the Swedish band FRAISE is getting better and better. They play typical Swedish Melodic (Power) Metal a la NOSTRADAMEUS, DREAMLAND, HAMMERFALL, NOCTURNAL RITES, DREAM EVIL, HEED, etc. On their debut they were a bit struggling and not impressing me that much, but their new CD ‘A new beginning’ focuses completely on faster uptempo super catchy hookladen Melodic Metal Monsters and so a comparison to BLOODBOUND might be best, because it is all very similar in approach. The band has got a very good lead singer (Ola Hedman), excellent 80s guitarwork and superb catchy melodic choruses in fast uptempo Melodic Metal pieces such as “Fall a prey”, “Heal me now”, “Sign of victory” and “In luxury”. Excellent follow-up to their 2004 album ‘Hellicornia’ and unbelievable this band is independent, because they sound as good as any major label signed Melodic Metalband! Quite a surprise, because this album came out of nowhere, landing on our desk and ever since making overtime in the CD players all over the place! Please move over EDGUY and HAMMERFALL, because here is FRAISE and their Melodic Metal Monster Masterpiece ‘A new beginning’, go check them out at: and  and e-mail them at: 

(Points: 8.8 out of 10)


Already back in 1998 the first traces of SINNAMORE were laid in the shape of a demo tape, but it took them until 2006 after several demos before they would release a full-length CD. The album titled ‘A new day’ was released on NAPALM RECORDS. Musically SINNAMORE was and still is all about typical Finnish dark Melodic Goth Metal, not far away from HIM, TO/DIE/FOR, ENTWINE, SARAH LEE, CHARON… Also their new album ‘Seven sins a second’ is following this concept. Admitted, nothing new is brought, but in this case, SINNAMORE has come up with a very decent record, mastered as always at the Finnvox studios. 9 tracks are included and especially opener “Better alone” and “The burning frame” make a good impression, although most of the songs are in a similar style, uptempo rocking with haunting melodies and a dark approach soundwise, so highly recommended to fans of the typical Finnish sound! More info at:  and 

(Points: 8.3 out of 10)


Although labeled as Doom Metal, the Norwegian band SYRACH are not the Melodic kinda Doom Metal band a la CANDLEMASS, because they are more Pagan Folk orientated with Death growls instead of Melodic Clean vocals. Not a problem at all if you’re a fan of a band like MY DYING BRIDE or CATHEDRAL, but after a while the songs are starting to sound the same, also due to the fact the vocalstyle continues at a same level, because you start feeling you miss something and that’s diversity in vocalstyle. Not saying this is bad release, but only for fans of Pagan Doom Metal a la MY DYING BRIDE. The band was formed 14 years ago, with already a couple releases behind their name, so I guess their new release ‘Days of wrath’ will find it’s way to the die-hard fans, but I am afraid they will not win any new fans with this album. Check out their site at: 

(Points: 7.5 out of 10)


Folk Metal, but with growling, Grind meets Death sort of vocals, so not the kind of Medieval Folk Metal with additional female vocals and such, but a real Dark Metal approach here. The Dannish band SVARTSOT was formed back in 2005 and rapidly they were gaining success with as result the release of this album on NAPALM RECORDS. Although it is not really the happy melodic Folk Metal we have heard from other bands, because like I already said it sounds darker, although still with the Folk elements here and there (such as the use of the instruments Mandolin, Whistles and Bodhran), but due to the constant growling male vocals less melodic, although instrumental the band is doing some very interesting melodic duals between the diverse instruments. Maybe it’s best you check out and listen to this band for yourself at: and 

(Points: 7.7 out of 10)


Here we have a female fronted band from Texas/USA, which does not have a typical Goth Metal sound, not a Radio-ready Poprocksound and not a Melodic Rock/AOR sound, because IGNITOR is all about high class 80s US Melodic Power Metal. Their first official CD ‘Road of bones’ was released on the Italian label CRUZ DEL SUR MUSIC and contains 11 hard-hitting Power Metal pieces, with strong melodies and guitar riffs taken straight outta the Classic Metalbook. It’s like a mix between VXN/HEART and HEIR APPARENT/VICIOUS RUMORS, with as highlights “Wings of the blackheart”, “Hymn or Erin” and “Phoenix”. The kind of Metal DORO did with WARLOCK in 1983, but sadly stepped away from in the future, but IGNITOR brings it all back, the leather, the fists and the rifs, finally a True Metal band with a female singer! Don’t forget to check out their site at:  and 

(Points: 8.4 out of 10)


Formed back in 1996, the Finnish band TWILIGHT GUARDIANS released their debut in 2000, but the particular album ‘Tales of the brave’ was more or less a STRATOVARIUS/SONATA ARCTICA copycat, so after it’s release it became very quiet. However in 2004 the follow-up ‘Wasteland’ was released and last year another album ‘Sintrade’ was released, both showing a different band, namely much more Melodic Hardrock based. Now in 2007 their 4th CD ‘Ghost reborn’ is released and maybe this is their finest effort so far. A truly great album that sounds a lot like the Melodic Hardrock we heard on the first LEVERAGE album, just to give you a hint of the sound. 10 songs are included and especially “Rainbow’s Gold” (a la ROYAL HUNT), “Wildbite” (VERY CATCHY, a little bit Power Metalish), “The game” (a little bit Progmetal), “Bring it on” and “This blood” are really wonderful songs that will appeal to any Melodic Hardrockfan out there. I did not expect such a quick release after last year’s ‘Sintrade’, but happily TWILIGHT GUARDIANS deliver an album of high class Melodic Hardrock. Check out their sites at:  and 

(Points: 8.5 out of 10)


Finnish band with a very slow almost Ambient kinda Melancholic Rocksound, which yet again sounds very Finnish, because they do sound like a stripped down version of HIM/RASMUS/POETS OF THE FALL, yet with a strong 80s UK Gothic Rock approach that reveals influences of bands like THE MISSION, THE ALARM, THE CURE and such. I guess you can say the music of SHAMRAIN is a bit like dreaming, but then very peaceful and all, melancholic and melodic. The band has already released 2 albums and 3 mini-EPs since their formation in 2000 and their latest effort is ‘Goodbye to all that’. Songs like “Raindrops”, “Passing shadows”, “Shallow delusion” and especially “Silent lullaby” are very nice relaxing calmer Melodic Gothic Rocksongs. Not rocking at all, but peaceful well-thought melodic gothrock is what SHAMRAIN is all about, which makes them different from most other Finnish bands. More info at: and 

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


Is there something like Melodic Thrash Metal, well I guess the Australian band MORTAL SIN falls in that category, because they might sound aggressive at first, this band has more to offer on their new album than standard Thrash Metal. The band released it’s debut back in 1986 and 21 years later they still sound the same, although the production nowadays is huge and also the guitarwork on their new CD ‘An absence of faith’ is very impressive, making it also interesting for the guitarfreaks among us, because instrumental it goes into Prog and Power metal territories here and there, although main focus of the 10 songs is of course Classic Bay Area Thrash Metal of the late 80s, the kind METALLICA has not produced since they scored major hits in the early 90s. Fans of TESTAMENT, DEATH ANGEL, XENTRIX and such will go nuts over songs like “Deadman walking” which has the sound of those bands written all over the place. Nice new album of these Aussies, with as highlight the epic “Tears of redemption – Lebanon part 2”, which like all their songs have strong lyrics about politics, religion, child abuse and relationships. A band with a statement and without a doubt a high quality Thrash Metal record! Judge for yourself at:  

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)


First thing you wonder when listening to the album of the Australian band TOURETTES is the fact if this is really a female singer, because she sounds even more aggressive and male than the ARCH ENEMY singer. My compliments! However, musically the Hardcore/Nu/Thrash Metal with slight Power Metal influences is a bit too aggressive for our taste and leaves little space open for strong melodies. Nevertheless, all fans of the typical ‘big media Metal praised acts (read: ARCH ENEMY, SLAYER, MACHINE HEAD, HATEBREED, etc.) will love this release. Check it out for yourself at: 

(Points: 7.5 out of 10)


A 3-piece demo CDR of the Swedish Glamband LEADED FUEL. Actually they have a more Punkrocksound with Sleazy influences, although they certainly look like a 80s LA Glam Metalband. Anyway, highly recommendable if you think TOWERS OF LONDON and TOKYO DRAGONS are the best bands at the moment, because that’s exactly the sound this LEADED FUEL is making and you can listen to it for yourself at: 

(Points: 7.7 out of 10)


A total surprise, because I had never heard or read anything about a band called HOUSE OF GAMES until I put their debut CD ‘Rise and shine’ into the CD player and what I heard was very sensational. HOUSE OF GAMES is an Estonian band with a Melodic Hardrocksound that sounds fresh and updated, yet has the melodies of the 1980s and some cool Progmetal riffs here and there, an incredible lead singer called ERIK MEREMAA (STEVE LEE of GOTTHARD meets TOMMY HEART of FAIR WARNING meets DANNY VAUGHN of TYKETTO!!!) and a bunch of superb songs included here. All together a huge sounding album (mixed at Finnvox Studios and mastered in New York at Masterdisk Studios) that sounds like a mix between VANDENPLAS, GOTTHARD, DREAMTIDE, LEVERAGE, FAIR WARNING and TYKETTO, wow! Funny to see the CD has been out for a while, because it sounds very sensational and each and every song on the album is amazing Melodic Hardrock, with as highlights “My child”, “Hunter”, “Evil in needle” (GOTTHARD meets BROTHER FIRETRIBE!!!) and “Spanish man”. Only the last couple of songs are a bit weaker, but overall this is a super impressive record. A little history on the band learns they exist since 1994, already released an album back in 1994, are quite popular in Estonia, have toured a lot, in the USA (playing the legendary club CBGB) and in Europe as support for THE RASMUS and WASP. Sensational band to check out asap if you like GOTTHARD, LEVERAGE and BROTHER FIRETRIBE, with a very slight modern touch here and there (to keep things sounding up-to-date), although not much really! More info at: 

(Points: 8.8 out of 10)


Formed in the early 80s, LIZZY BORDEN were at the forefront of the 80s US Melodic Power Metal sound, together with bands like VIRGIN STEELE, JAG PANZER, JACK STAR and RIOT. However their look was like the LA bands at the time, so pure Glamrock, kinda like ALICE COOPER and TWISTED SISTER, but musically pure Melodic Metal of a very high level. The 1980s saw LIZZY BORDEN and his band releasing many LPs, about 4 and a few EPs, until it became 1989, because after the release of ‘Master of disguise’ in that year it became very quiet around the band. Despite a best of, the band did not manage to release another record until 2000 when ‘Deal with the devil’ was released. Another 7 years later LIZZY BORDEN makes another return and this time with an album that after repeated listens might be called ‘The best LIZZY BORDEN album ever’!!! An incredible new record filled with high quality and even catchy mostly uptempo Melodic Metal songs in best 80s spirit. The first 8 songs are HUGE and make this album reach incredible heights, maybe even touching the award of Melodic Metal Album of the year! Just listen to songs like “Live forever”, “The death of love”, “Tomorrow never comes” and also closing track “The darker side”, because then you’re hooked, high class uptempo Melodic Metal! The only weaker song is “Somethin’s crawlin”, but the other 9 tracks are killer tunes that resemble the best LIZZY BORDEN work ever, so be sure to get hold of this gem asap!

(Points: 8.9 out of 10)


Although original lead singer DAVE LEPARD committed suicide in 2006, the Swedish Glamrockband CRASH DIET continued and look here, a new singer and a new CD, which even features a guest performance of CRUE guitarist MICK MARS on the song “Alone” (a sort of semi-ballad). Musically very cliché tingled late 80s LA Glamrock, nothing new on the horizon, kinda mixing DEF LEPPARD choruses with the sound of MOTLEY CRUE, NASTY IDOLS and BRITNY FOX, however, they do it very well and definitely cranked out the best Glamrockalbum in ages. The sound/production is SUPERB, as huge as it can sound possibly, even beating anything CRUE has released after ‘DR. FEELGOOD’! The band’s Glamrocksound has a little Melodic Hardrock thrown in for good measure, with the DEF LEPPARDish harmonyvocals coming around in each and every song during the catchy choruses. Most of the songs are uptempo and especially “In the raw”, “Like a sin”, “Bound to be enslaved” and the absolute winner for me, “Overnight” (BONFIRE meets WIGWAM meets THE POODLES) are all songs that will be loved by fans of this genre. Rawer and more Glamrock than WIGWAM and THE POODLES, but I assume fans of mentioned bands will absolutely love this new CRASH DIET record as well. Good to see the band sounding better than ever, really making this a true Glamrock tribute to their original singer and founder of the band, DAVE LEPARD. More info at: 

(Points: 8.6 out of 10)


Here we have another impressive new band from Scandinavia. They are called INGLOW, are coming out of Norway and sound like they are coming out of the USA or the UK. Their music rocks and is very melodic, although modern. Melodic modern Rock/Nu-Breed or Emo-Rock, whatever you want to call it, as catchy as HAREM SCAREM were in the past few years, although more akin to LOST PROPHETS soundwise. The highlight of their first album ‘Till deaf do us part’ is definitely the “Not for sale” single, a very catchy chorus driven uptempo Melodic Rocker that was played on MTV Norway during this summer. Most of the songs go in a similar style, very much sounding like LOST PROPHETS, so it is a bit Emo/Modern Rock orientated, but on the other hand the songs are all sounding very catchy and super melodic, which definitely will attract the Melodic Rockfans too! A song like “As I am” shows that the band can make pure Melodic Rock, also vocally in this song the vocalist (Martin Diesen) sounds like a cross between the SIMPLE MINDS and FOR ABSENT FRIENDS singers, to give you an idea of the vibe the band’s singer is giving us. Musically a mix of Emo and Melodic Rock, well then you will more or less understand and get a good idea what to expect from INGLOW. In the meantime, check out the band at:  and 

(Points: 8.4 out of 10)


Here we have a new sensational band on the horizon. They are called PATHOSRAY and are coming out of Italy. The band has released their debut on the American label LASER'S EDGE and considering that label's past releases the insiders already know that this should be a high quality release and it definitely is, because with PATHOSRAY we are dealing with a very impressive Melodic Progressive Metal which comes dangerously close to the sound of CIRCUS MAXIMUS, ZERO HOUR, MIND'S EYE, SUNCAGED and especially ANUBUS GATE. The band's first album was recorded at Angel's Wings studio in Varmo (Italy) by Nico Odorico and Mattia Sartori, while it was mixed at Jailhouse Studio in Denmark by the well known producer TOMMY HANSEN (HELLOWEEN, TNT, PRETTY MAIDS) and the beautiful artwork was done by Mattias Norén of ProgArt Media (KAMELOT, EVERGREY, AYREON). The band was formed back in 2000 and especially lead vocalist Marco Sandron has a fantastic voice that balances somewhere between TONY HARNELL (TNT) and LANCE KING (BALANCE OF POWER). A huge sound, fantastic instrumental and vocal performances and excellent songs like "Faded Crystals", "Lines To Follow", "Scent Of Snow" and "Sorrow Never Dies" are making this CD a true must-have for every Melodic Progmetalfan. Be sure to check out this band asap at:  and 

(Points: 8.7 out of 10)


And another new Dutch female fronted Gothic Metal release of an exceptional high level. This time it's the debut CD of LA VANTURA, a band founded by ex-ORPHANAGE drummer (one of Holland's first Gothic Metal bands) Erwin Polderman and the superb vocalist Carla Douw. The CD is filled with some very high quality Melodic Goth Metal that of course does not sound new to anyone's ears, because influences of WITHIN TEMPTATION, EPICA and EVANESCENCE can easily be heard, but on the other hand it all sounds basically perfect and here and there radio-ready. Especially the beginning with superb songs like "Memoria", "Only Love Will Find Its Way" and "Trefoil" are really as good as the established acts in the genre. Unbelievable is the fact they are still unsigned and so their independent debut 'A New Beginning' is without a doubt a must-have for fans of this genre that should be picked up by a label asap! 2007 has been a tremendous year for Dutch female fronted Melodic Goth Metal releases, with DELAIN, WITHIN TEMPTATION, AFTER FOREVER, EPICA, AUTUMN, DELPHIAN, ASRAI, NEMESEA all releasing very strong records and now we can add LA VANTURA with their excellent debut CD 'A new beginning'. More info at:  ,  and 

(Points: 8.7 out of 10)


Album number 6 from Swiss Melodic Hard/Heavy Rockers CRYSTAL BALL and all this time they have kept true to their style, which is roughly a mix between JADED HEART, PRIMAL FEAR, SHAKRA and SINNER. Just like their previous 5 albums, it sometimes works very well, such as the very strong midtempo melodic rockers “Minor key” and “Wings of fire” that remind a lot of classic JADED HEART. Sadly it sometimes also listens very average, such as “Secrets”, a song which just does not impress at all. Do not get me wrong here, the sound is huge and the melodic hardrock is typical German/Swiss, so pretty catchy and for fans of mentioned bands a must-hear, but still the new CD of CRYSTAL BALL has it’s ups and downs, which is the case with many bands that play this genre, some are better (SHYLOCK, JADED HEART) than others (CRYSTAL BALL, HUMAN ZOO), although overall the releases are all quite nice to hear and very similar in approach, so is also this new album of CRYSTAL BALL, which of course does not reach the high level of countrymen GOTTHARD.

(Points: 8.1 out of 10)


Somewhere along the way I lost the count of the AXXIS releases, but what I do know is that their new CD ‘Doom of destiny’ is their strongest effort in years. The sound is huge, the diversity in styles is big (ranging from pure Melodic Hardrock to Power Metal and some Prog/Gothic elements are also added, while even a trace of pure classic Metal is also included) and some of the songs are very catchy. Extra female backing singer LAKONIA sings a few duets here and there with AXXIS singer BERNHARD WEISS and she gives the AXXIS’ sound a modern touch, typical Goth like vocals and also the big Melodic sound/production of DENNIS WARD is contributing in making this new AXXIS album their best effort in ages. Songs like “Bloodangel” and “I hear you cry” are very impressive songs combining all the mentioned styles, sounding extremely catchy actually. The band also goes pretty fast here and there (“Father, father”) and without a doubt this is a recommended album. Maybe not as classic as their debut ‘Kingdom for a night’ from 1989, nevertheless an album to check out if you like melody and power, because that is exactly what AXXIS is bringing us!

(Points: 8.5 out of 10)


Traces of Metal/Screamocore are sadly disturbing the typical American Melodic Emorocksound of SPOKEN, because a song like “Trading in this troubled heart” on their new same titled CD shows this band can also make really strong melodic hookladen songs. However, most of the songs suffer from screaming and therefore this album might only attract fans of a FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND instead of the fans of the more melodic mainstream sound of GOOD CHARLOTTE, LOST PROPHETS, FALL OUT BOY, MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE… Anyway, SPOKEN are not a new band, because this Christian Rockband from Fayettville, Arkansas, USA have already released 5 albums before this new CD, which has been released on TOOTH AND NAIL RECORDS. Hardcore and Metalcore are however the main styles handled on the band’s CD, but when they go melodic they show they are very good in making it sound perfect, such as on the aforementioned song “Trading in this troubled heart”, “The meaning of…” and the ballad “You’re the one”. However, this band is more extreme and actually only interesting for Hardcore/Screamocore fans, more info at: 

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


Back in the late 80s/early 90s the Major Labels in the USA signed almost every band on the streetcorner of Los Angeles, Sunset Boulevard to be exact, in order to get new CDs available that would find it’s way to the American buying music audience, because bands like WINGER, WARRANT, GUNS’N’ROSES, POISON, CRUE, SLAUGHTER, LA GUNS and so many others ruled the airwaves and US Billboard Charts 20 years ago, so new acts would make them even richer. However, the labels put out a lot of average stuff, which now looking back killed the success and genre during 1992, the year it all came to an end. Bands like BEAU NASTY, EVERY MOTHER’S NIGHTMARE, SLIK TOXIK, DIRTY BLONDE, BLONZ, WILD BOYZ, HERICANE ALICE, JAILHOUSE, ROUGHOUSE, CATS’N’BOOTS, WILDSIDE… all bands with releases on major labels back in the early 90s. Well, OVERLOADED fits right in between these acts with their early 90s type of groovy Melodic Hardrock that sounds like TESLA and GREAT WHITE going for a more Metal approach. The band does it very well and it is a good thing a new band (Detroit based band formed in 2004) is bringing back good old time Rock and Roll. Better than HINDER for sure, but I am afraid OVERLOADED will not sell more than 2 million records in the next 12 months, although you never know, because 2 years ago I reviewed HINDER before they sold any records and see where we are now, they are a major band in the USA! Difference is that OVERLOADED is an independent band, but if you like any of the mentioned bands they are a must for you to check out at:  and  and e-mail at: 

(Points: 8.3 out of 10)


KNYGHT from Rome, Italy are playing typical demo/independent sounding AOR/Melodic Rock, so nowhere near the high level of FRONTIERS RECORDS releases. However, bare in mind, this 2002 formed band has members who were not even born when this kind of music was at it’s peak, because the 5 members were born in the late 1980s, making them teenagers nowadays, so we are dealing here with a teenager band and for that being, this 5 tracks counting CD is sounding quite nice. Songs like “Stop me” and “Neverland” are nice uptempo 80s type of AOR/Melodic Poprockers, which sound nice and catchy, although vocally not as strong as this genre demands. However for a bunch teenagers they are doing it remarkable well and it will only be a matter of time before we can see something much better sounding. So not as good as STURM UND DRANG from Finland, whom are even younger than KNYGHT, but nevertheless they bring us interesting 80s AOR/Melodic Rock on their mini-CD ‘Destination unknown’, with as highlight the semi AOR ballad “The believer”. Check out this band at: and  and e-mail at: 

(Points: 7.8 out of 10)


Italian band formed in 2003 with a very sensational Melodic Progressive Metal release that of course is not really original, because SYMPHONY X, PAGAN’S MIND, VANDENPLAS, DREAM THEATER and countless others are doing the same, but the band’s debut CD sounds nevertheless very impressive and is an absolute must-have for fans of this genre. Melodic, Progressive, Powerful, Complex and lyrics with meaning, this is what PROGRESSIVEXPERIENCE is all about and this album was released during the summer of 2007, although it took a while before it actually came to our attention. The sound is surprisingly huge and the songs are really beautiful. An album which will be loved by fans of MIND’S EYE, TOMORROW’S EVE, PAGAN’S MIND, VANDENPLAS and all those other bands in the Melodic Progmetal genre. More info at: and 

(Points: 8.4 out of 10)


HELSTAR’s original line-up, including singer JAMES RIVERA will release a new CD in 2008 and the CD ‘Sins of the past’, which is currently being released is a little appetizer, because it features the best songs of the band from their classic 80s legacy, yet completely re-recorded to give it an up-to-date sound. The result has 2 faces, a happy face due to the fact the band can still make high quality Power Metal, while the fans of the classic albums are not really interested probably in hearing their classics being re-recorded. Nevertheless, the result is very good and the addition of a couple new songs as well are still making this HELSTAR album interesting to check out, although the real deal is of course a complete new CD, but that will have to wait until next year!

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)


Glamrock is quite popular in Italy and here we have another Italo band playing pure late 80s LA type of Sleazy/Glam Hardrock. FUORIUSO was formed way back in 1995 when this genre was completely dead, but the last few years a resurrection of Glam/Sleaze came to life in especially Sweden and Italy. The result is a strong album of this band, which is sounding as cliché as you want it, because the 11 songs have songtitles like “Sexy teens”, “Love desire”, “Liar” and “Danger in the city”, which sound like TIGERTAILZ, SKID ROW, NASTY IDOLS, WASP, LONDON, KEEL, LA GUNS and such acts, so nothing new on the horizon. However, it is all done quite well and with songs like “Danger in the city”, “F.T.W.”, “Are you alright” and especially “Love desire” and “My sweet witch”, the band comes up with a bunch of high class late 80s sounding LA Glam/Melodic Hardrocksongs in the best American tradition of mentioned bands, so be sure to grab this one if you’re a fan of any of the mentioned bands! More info at: 

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)


Californian band with not that much info, but they have released an independent CD titled ‘Born to rock’, which musically is basically pure Rock and Roll that reminds me a lot of HANOI ROCKS actually. The songs are not all uptempo and rocking, because the band switches tempo a lot, sometimes very poppy and groovy, while at other times just plain rocking out, with a bluesy and classic rock touch also here and there. Best songs are when the band rocks out, which are the titletrack “Born to rock”, “Nasty Nancy”, “Symptoms” and “Bon”. More info at:  and e-mail at:

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)


The American Progressive Rockband GLASS HAMMER returns with a new CD. They are the kind of Progband which releases a new CD almost every year and not long after their 2005 double disc 'The Inconsolable Secret' and their 2006 2-DVD set comes a new album titled 'Culture of ascent'. Musically they have not changed a bit since they released their debut 14 years ago. The band has always been making high quality Melodic Progressive Rock with slight Pomp and Symphonic influences, very much sounding like classic KANSAS. Also their new record is going into this direction, although the past few years and also this time the band has additional female vocals, giving it a sort of MOSTLY AUTUMN kinda touch. One way or the other, this is another great new record of GLASS HAMMER, which has it's absolute highlight in the shape of "Into Thin Air", a beautiful long epic tune. In fact the last few songs (out of the 6 included) are without a doubt the best tracks, very much pure Progrock, while the first couple of songs are somewhat shorter, calmer and poppier. Nevertheless, the progfan will like this album a lot most definitely. Check out more info on the release and the band at: 

(Points: 8.4 out of 10)


2nd CD of the Austrian band ATARGATIS. Last year they released 'Wasteland' and now on MASSACRE RECORDS their new album 'Nova'. The sound of their new album is huge and some of the songs are even quite sensational, but on the other hand it is not really something new musically, because ATARGATIS is doing what countless other bands are doing in this genre, because what we get to hear is typical modern day Female Fronted Neo-Classical Melodic Gothic Metal that sounds only a few yards away from bands like EPICA, NIGHTWISH, TRAIL OF TEARS, AFTER FOREVER and such, maybe a little rougher here and there, but basically the same idea and concept. Nevertheless it is done very well and thanks to the very strong lead vocals of singer Stephanie Luzie (also in the band DARKWELL), with also dark male vocals of guest singer Stefan Hertrich (DARKSEED) here and there, the resulting 2nd album of the band is very good. Although this is only their 2nd album, ATARGATIS was formed 10 years ago, so it's not like they are being a copycat here as they have developed their style throughout this period. Fans of mentioned bands will love this release, so check out their site at: 

(Points: 8.3 out of 10)


New German band formed around 2 female lead singers (Carmen R. Schäfer, with a soprano type of voice and Ada, with a more rockvoice) and a sound basically putting all the cliche's together. However, it has all been done at a very high level (with a mixture of languages in the lyrics, German, Latin and English), so success guaranteed if you're a NIGHTWISH/EPICA fan. The CD was produced by Markus Stock and Tobias Schönemann (THE VISION BLEAK and ESIREGEN), with a final mastering by Mika Jussila at the Finnvox Studios in Finland, known for the massive Finnish albums of the past 10 years (NIGHTWISH, SONATA ARCTICA, STRATOVARIUS). It all sounds very bombastic and huge as if we are listening to the new NIGHTWISH or EPICA album, yet it is songwise not as strong as those two 2007 highlights in this genre, but nevertheless songs like "The Scream of the Butterfly", "Silberlicht", "Hot & Cold" and "Volles Leben" show that this band deserves it to be heard by the fans of this constantly growing genre. However with so many new releases in the female fronted gothmetalworld it might be impossible to track them all down, but be sure to have a look at this band's website at:  because they surely are an act you don't want to miss.

(Points: 8.4 out of 10)


Remember reviewing this act a long time ago, to be exact it was featured during our July 2000 update, so already more than 7 years ago. Then they had a demo out and now a full-length CD. FIFI LARUE is an act hailing from Long Beach, California formed around vocalist Fifi LaRue. Looking like a Glam Hard Rock influenced band, not far away from bands like WASP, CRUE, POISON and RATT, yet with an updated approach, still their CD has a more diverse approach, because it is more a mix of 80s Gothic Rock, some Glam and just plain old Classic Rock, kinda like ALICE COOPER meets THE MISSION, but then also reminding of ADAM BOMB, LYNN ALLEN and such bands. The song "Brandi" features piano-keys and sound almost like an AOR tune, but most of the 15 included tracks are Rock and Roll like the mentioned bands, nice to hear, but not very sensational. However ALICE COOPER fans might enjoy this a lot. More info at:  and  and e-mail him at: 

(Points: 7.8 out of 10)


GHOST TOWN ANGELS are a Hardrockband from the south of Finland. They have released an independent demo CDR, which contains 4 tracks. The music is Rock and Roll, straight-forward and sort of reminding me of ROGUE MALE if anyone actually remembers them! Also SMACK and DAD comes to mind here and there in a song like “Rock 'n' Roll Ain't Dead”. Judge for yourself at:  and 

(Points: 7.8 out of 10)


Italian Progressive Metalband with an independent release. The band has been active since 1998, but nevertheless still not signed. The band is playing Progmetal, but are actually much more diverse and aggressive, as there are traces of Doom, Thrash and even Black Metal to be found on the 7 included tracks here. They are very divers like said before, so comparisons are actually out of the question. It’s best if you have a listen for yourself at: 

(Points: 7.8 out of 10)


AUGER BANE are an UK based band formed in the early summer months of 2005 and now 2 years later with their debut CD released on NEGATIVE EARTH RECORDS. Musically the band is very diverse, with influences of BLACK SABBATH, LED ZEPPELIN, KYUSS, C.O.C., PINK FLOYD and METALLICA, but of course that doesn't say too much, because a zillion bands are influenced by those acts. AUGER BANE are actually playing just plain old Rock, sometimes quite groovy and 1970s sounding, while on the other hand also updated a la WOLFMOTHER, THE ANSWER and such. Not as sensational as those new acts, but if you like TESLA, LILLIAN AXE, BLACK CROWES you might also enjoy this band! More info at:  and 

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


LYNDEN is a Nashville, USA based band and although they look like yet another standard Emo/Punkband, they are definitely not at all such a band, because they are finally a band which has an own sound and is different than all those copycats out there. LYNDEN are playing a sort of classic 70s/80s inspired Melodic Pop/Rock style, very relaxing and smooth, with a huge compliments to their superb soulful lead singer COURY PALERMO, who reminds me of STEVE OVERLAND (FM, THE LADDER) a lot! The songs are very calm, poppy, but very melodic, kinda AORish, in fact sounding like FRANKE AND THE KNOCKOUTS and TOTO could have sounded if they would start making the kinda music they made 25 years ago now and then concentrate on slower songs. So there’s that big AOR touch, yet it has a modern touch as well, so not AOR all the way, although songs like “Slip from my hand”, “Indisguise”, “All I know” (very catchy uptempo AOR/Poprocker a la DAKOTA!!!) and “The other side” are almost AOR/Westcoast type of songs that DAVID ROBERTS, JOHN O’BANION, TIM FEEHAN and JAY GRUSKA did in their past. I guess Soulful Melodic Pop/Rock is one way to describe this, but Westcoast AOR with soulful vocals is also very much possible. Check it out for yourself at:  and  and e-mail at: 

(Points: 8.4 out of 10)


The German Melodic Hardrockband was formed way back in the early 1990s and have released a whole string of albums during the past 15 years. They were actually one of the first independent bands we reviewed back in 1994/1995 when they released their debut ‘World of lies’. Now in 2007 the band releases their 6th album ‘Burning’, which musically continues their style, which was Melodic Hardrock in typical German tradition of AXXIS, ANGEL HEART, PINK CREAM 69, although this time the band sounds better than ever, as they seem to have given it a more classic 80s Melodic Rock touch here and there, which can best be heard during the highlights between the 12 included tracks are “Magic” (a very strong catchy pure early 80s AOR/Melodic Rock, best song, reminding of URIAH HEEP’s early 80s days, RAINBOW and also SHY/TREAT, but most of all it reminds me of STRATUS!!!), “Burning”, “From dusk ‘till dawn” and “You’re never alone”. Definitely something worth checking out if you like Melodic Rock a la ZENO, FAIR WARNING, DOMINOE, SHY, URIAH HEEP… More info at:  and e-mail at: 

(Points: 8.3 out of 10)


The band THE ROXX was founded in 1984 and were quite a popular band in the Munich area of Germany back in the 1980s. The band played typical ACCEPT/STEELERish German Teutonic Metal. They managed to release a couple of albums between 1984 and 1995, with eventually a split of the band in the mid 1990s. 10 years after their split THE ROXX is back with a complete new CD release 'Unleash your demon', a nice typical German Metal album as if was still the mid 1980s. yet the comparison to JUDAS PRIEST is also very easy to make. Without any doubts however the best song is the very melodic "Springtime" (an uptempo melodic heavy rocker a la AXXIS with a very good melodic chorus). If the band would create a full CD in this style it would be a very sensational release. Nevertheless, their new release is still highly recommended to fans of pure 80s Metal a la PRIEST/ACCEPT. The band's reunion show at Munich Metropolis Music Hall on December 15th 2006 was recorded live and will be released soon on DVD, as well as a best of compilation of the first 20 years containing rare and unreleased songs, but in the meantime check out their new CD 'Unleash your demon' and everything else concerning the band at: ,  and 

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


It has been quiet for some time around VANDENPLAS, the leading Progmetalband from Germany, so therefore we look at that other excellent Progmetalband hailing out of Germany, DREAMSCAPE. They released a few albums in the past, with different line-ups and also their new CD '5th season' features new members, among them new lead singer Mischa Mang, who happens to be an excellent vocalist. 9 songs are included and actually the band has surprised me again, because also '5th season' is a superb Melodic Progressive Metal album that beats the VANDENPLAS and even DREAM THEATER records of the past few years. High quality musicianship is combined with lovely melodies, just like the band has done in the past, only as it seems, on their new record '5th season' it sounds very sensational, especially during tracks like "5th Season”, “Déjà Vu" (superb uptempo piece), "Somebody" and "Different" (A MASTERPIECE!). Let's hope with this album the band will get the credit they truly deserve. More info at: 

(Points: 8.8 out of 10)


'In my bones' is the 4th CD of Arizona/USA based guitarist STEVE CONE. He has released every year since 2004 an album. Not instrumental, but with vocals, so also interesting for the non-guitar virtuosity fans. Actually musically speaking STEVE CONE has a sort of 80s Melodic Metal sound with updated approach. RIOT, VIRGIN STEELE and THE RODS (very much) come to mind when listening to the CD. Most of the included songs are pretty good straight-ahead hard hitting 80s inspired Metal tunes that have a touch of ACCEPT, but then more with an updated sound. More info at: and 

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)

(All reviews by Gabor Kleinbloesem)