[Album Recommendations] TERAMAZE – HER HALO (2015)

(by Velina of “My Rock Mixtapes”)

Well, to be honest, I’m probably not the best person to talk to if you want to know more about Australian rock/metal bands, however I can sure as hell recommend a thing or two. This album and this band is on the list without doubt.

Recently, thanks to Spotify, Teramaze’s song, “Her Halo” came up on one of my playlists and I was hooked right from the very beginning. That’s why we are here – because I wanted to share my new-found enthusiasm for this 2015 release, caring the same title.

Teramaze have been around since the early ’90s and it’s a shame that I’m discovering them just now. The 2015 album I want to talk about is their last one and the first one for me. Progressive metal is certainly not a genre I’m so familiar or fond of, however this right here is one of the exceptions for sure.

“Her Halo” is easy on the ear and smooth on the soul so don’t get discouraged if still questioning whether to play it or not. It’s fun to get out of your comfort zone (in my case, the AOR/hard rock zone) and explore other genres – especially this one that blossomed quite a lot since the ’90s.

“Her Halo” possesses a great deal of intriguing elements, wrapped up with appealing signature songwriting and conceptual technicality that contributes to the overall accessibility of the album. I love how the band thought of the listeners first and then of the critics and fellow music craftsman out there. There’s a lot of melody on the album and the lyrics are absolutely gorgeous so I was sold very quickly. “Her Halo” is certainly not a typical pompous progressive metal release, at least based on what I can compare it with. I am also very fascinated by the different themes, presented on this album, such as fame, being persona non grata, love triangles, and the thin line between passion and friendship.

All in all, the album is full of spirit and potential to get to the fans of any rock/metal sub-genre out there. I highly recommend it if you are ready to get a little bit of challenge. I have laid the foundations of my growing interest so hopefully, in the future I will get to show you more of them and of other bands of this genre.

Have a listen and let me know what you think…

“Her Halo”

“An Ordinary Dream”

“Broken”

“To love, A Tyrant”


References:

Album details, retrieved from http://teramaze.com.au/about/
I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.
The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.
Cheers~

[Album Review] SUNSTORM – “The Road To Hell” (2018)

(by Velina of “My Rock Mixtapes”)

joe lynnThere’s no way you can be a hard rock fan and not like or appreciate one of the most signature and hard-working voices in the genre. Yes, I’m talking about the mighty Joe Lynn Turner who has been around for such a long time, putting a distinctive touch in bands like Rainbow, Deep Purple, Yngwie Malmsteen and so on. Throughout the decades, the New Jersey-born singer has been displaying his vocal talents as a solo artist as well and kept rocking and rolling on the scene till this day. In 2006 the first definitive Joe Lynn Turner AOR album came out, under the project name SUNSTORM. 12 years and a few albums later, we have a new comeback, titled “The Road to Hell” and let me tell you – it’s a must listen for every self-respected fan of the rock icon. I have been a fan of the legend JLT for as long as I can remember and been following his every move so witnessing another glorious AOR release like this one makes me feel like it’s Christmas again!

“The Road to Hell” is yet again graced by the production skills of Hardline’s Alessandro Del Vecchio. Guitars are courtesy by progressive metaller titan DGM’s Simone Mularoni. The direction of the album is following the same well-established hard rock path of “Edge of Tomorrow” – the band’s highly-successful 2016 album. One listen to this new gem and you will further strengthen your beliefs (in case you haven’t done it yet which would be crazy) that JLT is one of the best performers, frontmen and voices of rock music out there!

“The Road to Hell” is the ultimate example of an upfront, straight-to-the-point melodic rock release with tons of flavor and just the right amount of heavier rock vibes. 11 hard rock masterpieces are what make “The Road to Hell” your new favorite musical adventure. The first thing that comes to mind when you play the album from start to finish is that heaviness I just mentioned. It’s a neat, well-completed record with a firm hard grip.

A few highlights I would like to talk about. Let’s start with the opening track – “Only the Good Will Survive”. Everything about this song is uplifting and stimulating – from the lyrics, to the mesmerizing vocals and of course, those solid riffs, courtesy of Simone Mularoni – it’s all one highly-enjoyable musical joyride. “The Road to Hell” is my personal favorite and the most instantly-captivating song from the record, in my opinion. It’s just so easy to fall for those hooks and gripping melody. It’s the perfect title song in my opinion, justifying the AOR strength of the entire album. “On the Edge” and “Blind The Sky” further cement the goal of this album, which is to give live to pure, widely-accessible rock music, with the quality needed to boost the genre’s current significance. “Everywhere” is the ballad I was waiting for. JLT did not disappoint! The song is full of soul and his voice is giving me all the feels I desperately seek in my music. When it comes to powerful openings (since you know I’m into this so much), look for “My Eyes on You” and “Resurrection”!

Final verdict:

Addicted to melodic rock? Looking for that remarkable new record to steal you away from the genre-defining songs you’ve been playing for years? Look no further – “The Road to Hell” is here to take you on a friendly but certainly a bit of a soul-stirring rocky trip to AOR frenzy.

“Only The Good Will Survive”


 

TRACKLIST:

Only The Good Will Survive
The Road To Hell
On The Edge
Blind The Sky
My Eyes On You
Future To Come
Everywhere
Resurrection
Calling
State Of The Heart
Still Fighting


BAND MEMBERS:
Joe Lynn Turner: Lead vocals
Nik Mazzucconi: Bass guitar
Simone Mularoni: Lead Guitar
Alessandro Del Vecchio: Keyboards
Edo Sala: Drums

Check out the Official Social Links of Joe Lynn Turner:
http://joelynnturner.com/
https://www.facebook.com/joelynnturnerofficial
https://twitter.com/joelynnturner


References:
I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.
The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.
Cheers~

TOP 5 MAY 2018 RELEASES

(by Velina of “My Rock Mixtapes”)

 

It’s hard to imagine that we are half-way through 2018. Another month has passed and with it tons of great spring memories, moments to cherish and most importantly – a great list of music releases that made our lives even more colorful! I know I’m pretty much saying this for every month that passes by but damn – May of 2018 was one hell of a month to rock and roll! Plenty of outstanding releases found their way to my playlists and I am eager to share the ones who stood out the most and turned into something more than “new music I checked this past month”.

If you are stuck and need to hear something fresh and exciting, the following 5 albums might be just for you. My May 2018 favorites range from melodic rock to alternative and heavy metal but they share one thing in common – each one of them is capable of and has the right musical qualities to bring you comfort and new emotions. I strongly recommend those five albums and just in case you haven’t had the chance to go through them – now might be it!

Sevendust are topping my list with their comeback, titled “All I See is War”. I’ve been a fan of Sevendust since I was in high school so I hold them quite close to my heart. The aura of that release is hard to describe with words but let’s just say that when it comes to empowering and transferring your inner strength into sound, those guys are one of the best! The album blew me away, especially that beautiful song “Medicated”. Lords of Black, Doomsday Outlaw and Vega are also among my top May 2018 releases, all coming from Frontiers Records. Those guys never disappoint my melodic rock heart and this month they yet again delivered quality music, making my every day boring life significantly more bearable. Shinedown are another blast from my past. I gotta admit it’s been years since I last played something from them but with this album they sure as hell made a triumphant comeback into my life.

Check them out and let me know what you think in the comment section below:


1. Sevendust – All I see is War

sevendust all i see is war


2. Lords of Black – Icons of the New Day

lords of black 2018


3. Vega – Only Human

142546


4. Doomsday Outlaw – Hard Times

Doomsday Outlaw - Hard Times


5. Shinedown – Attention Attention

Shinedown - Attention Attention


References:
Featured image, retrieved from: https://www.hardwiredmagazine.com/sevendust-all-i-see-is-war-2018/?lang=en
I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/or publishers.
The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.
Cheers~

ALBUM REVIEW: Lords of Black – Icons of the New Days (2018)

(by Velina of “My Rock Mixtapes”)

 

 

What a time to be a rock music fan and witness such music releases coming out! The month of May delivered few highly exceptional hard rock treasures but this one right here is absolutely relentless and destroys everything on its path. From the moment I heard the first single, I knew this was gonna be the album to rule them all this month. Not only it’s the perfect mixture between hard rock and heavy metal, but it’s also we have that irresistible Dio/Freddie voice of the brilliant Ronnie Romero who paints the perfect picture of a progressive/melodic/heavy metal album. To further enhance the spirit of the band, Rainbow‘s Ronnie Romero is joined by renowned guitarist Tony Hernando, monster drummer Andy C and new bassist Dani Criado

Lords of Black released their debut self-titled album back in 2014 and was quickly praised by critics and fans – Metal Hammer Spain even referred to it as “The Best Metal album released in Spain this year”. Frontiers Records took them under their wings for the follow-up “II” – an album that left melodic metal fans speechless. Now, with much improved song-crafting and more modern approach in terms of production, Lords of Black are back with “Icons of the New Day” – an album showcasing what a quality 2018 rock album should sound like when done by immensely talented stars.

12 iconic pieces compose the puzzle, called “Icons of the New Days”. It’s been a while since an album kept me on my toes till the very last second of the last track so kudos for the brilliant song selection. The world has yet to give Ronnie Romero the attention he deserves as a vocalist but after this album right here, I’m sure many more doors will open for him. Let’s talk songs!! “World Gone Mad” is setting the records straight from the very beginning – this album is not to be taken lightly and is most certainly not a joke! The theme of the song is quite adequate given the current social climate and a reason enough to grab you by the throat in case those strong metal vibes demonstrated on this song are not compelling enough for you. The title song is pure masterpiece – catchy melody, fantastic lyrics, supreme energy and of course – the frontman who just brings it all! “Not In a Place Like This” is a personal favorite, mostly because of the dominant drums on this one. “The Way I’ll Remember” is the point of no return – the moment you fully embrace your new favorite album and band. The gentle dance between piano and heavy metal riffs has always been a game changer for me, personally. The epic “Fallin'”, “King’s Reborn” and “The Edge of Darkness” are just as solid as any other track on this one. Each song has the qualities of being inducted into the daily playlists of any self-respecting metal fan out there who knows good music. The closing “All I Have Left” goes for 12 minutes and is by far the band’s longest track released on a record. The song itself can easily be described as a table, ready to satisfy the cravings of each and every fan out there, especially those who get goosebumps by superb lead guitars. Cheers to Tony Hernando who shines brighter than a star on this entire album and on this track in particular. 

Final verdict: I’m immensely pleased that Ronnie Romero has been keeping himself so busy those past few years and I hope to keep hearing his name and listening to his powerful vocals on many upcoming releases in the future. “Icons of the New Days” has all the right ingredients and was made for all the right reasons, making it a worthy pretender of “the best metal album of 2018” title.

Now go ahead and check it out…&

Let me know what you think about it in the comment section below:

“Icons of the New Days”

 

 

 

“World Gone Mad”

 

lords of black 2018

TRACKLIST:

World Gone Mad
Icons Of The New Days
Not In A Place Like This
When A Hero Takes A Fall
Forevermore
The Way I’ll Remember
Fallin’
King’s Reborn
Long Way To Go
The Edge Of Darkness
Wait No Prayers For The Dying
All I Have Left

lords of black band photo

BAND MEMBERS: Ronnie Romero (Voc.), Tony Hernando (Guit.), Andy C. (Drums), Dani Criado (Bass).

  • Check out the band’s official social pages:

http://www.lordsofblack.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Lords-Of-Black-745659882125260/
https://twitter.com/LordsOfBlack
https://www.instagram.com/lordsofblackofficial/


References:
Band photo retrieved from: https://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Lords_of_Black/3540380932
I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.
The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.
Cheers~

Album Recommendations: DIRTY LOOKS – TURN OF THE SCREW (1989)

(by Velina of “My Rock Mixtapes”)

Before we get down to business, here’s a song to check out! If you love the late ’80s as much as I do and you’re into hard rock music, you will most certainly like it and won’t hesitate to go down and read/check out the following album I’m recommending this week (in case you haven’t done it yet, of course – if you are familiar with it, then it’s time for you to go down memory lane)…

 “Nobody Rides for Free”

I’ve told you before – 1989 was indeed a magical year for rock music and gems like this one are the reason why! I can’t stress this enough – you wanna get drunk on authentic hard rock music, just look for 1989 ’cause that’s your year!! (check out my previous blog publication where I list 15 favorite 1989 rock releases)

DIRTY LOOKS - TURN OF THE SCREW (1989)Let’s go back to Dirty Looks and focus on their intoxicating second major-label studio album, “Turn of The Screw”. What you need to know about the band in case that’s the first time they are crossing your path is that their major-label debut was in 1988 with what is often regarded to as one of the best hard rock debuts of all time – “Cool From the Wire”. Danish born vocalist Henrik Ostergaard was the man behind it all. The voice, the attitude, that street vibe, coming out of the band and this album in particular was mainly brought by him. Unfortunately, we had to say goodbye to that raspy, quite distinguishable voice in 2011 (RIP). 

“Turn of the Screw” might not present an entirely different formula for a hard rock release. Given the time, the ambitions and the trends, Dirty Looks just had to take on that well-established hard rock road so don’t expect a sound you’ve never heard before. What you can expect, though, is a rough, solid and highly motivating gem that in my opinion deserved way more than it actually got. They did just put another brick on the enormous hard rock wall, but if you pay enough attention and devote some time into investigating 1989 album by album, you will see that that brick had its own colors and charms, worthy of your attention.

Ultimately, if you love bands like Kix, Great White, Cinderella, etc. you will love this album. “Turn of the Screw” is what introduced me to the band some time ago and It was love at first listen. “Nobody Rides for Free”, “Turn of the Screw”, “Take What Ya Get” and that special special song “L.A. Anna” which is my favorite cut from this release are as good as any other hard rock tune from the era. Atlantic Records yet again delivered something valuable to my collection so I can’t but thank them for that. The album has a little bit of those blues vibes I adore so much here and there so that’s one thing that might attract you even more. 

Now go ahead and listen! Make sure you tell me what you think of the album and which is your favorite song!!

“Turn of the Screw”

“C’mon Frenchie”

Here’s the entire album on YouTube for you to check out. It’s worth it, I promise!


References:
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.
The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.
Cheers~

ALBUM REVIEW: VEGA – “Only Human” (2018)

It’s never too late to discover a great band, don’t you think? Initially I thought the guys from VEGA are beginners but it turned out they’ve been making quality melodic rock for years! The 5th studio album of VEGA , yet again released under the capable wings of Frontiers Records, is what opened my eyes for this band and I’m here to tell you all about it!

If you are looking for easy-going, “little-guitar-little-grooves” kind of melodic rock, referred to as “background music” which you play while chilling with the TV on or getting dinner ready, this is not the melodic rock album for you. The enormous revival wave of the genre is offering plenty of such releases but VEGA‘s “Only Human” is not here to play gentle and occupy exactly 10-15 minutes of your “second-hand attention” – the album is here to deliver something so much more to your life. VEGA and this release are here to bring the excitement back to your life and tell you that there’s good, high-spirited music out there, capable of encouragement and establishing solid musical commitment. 

“We wear our love of 80’s rock music on our sleeve, but we also have injected our love of modern rock music to it. We aren’t trying to rehash anything: the sound we have achieved is 100% VEGA. We didn’t want to try and guess what people expect and get it wrong,” says singer Nick Workman.

Many essential components contribute to the final great result which “Only Human” is. One of them most certainly is the capable work of legendary Canadian musician and producer, Harry Hess of Harem Scarem who mixed and mastered this melodic rock gem of a record. The rest was in the hands of the talented guys from the VEGA.

Let’s talk music!

“Worth Dying For” is one of the finest moments from the album; love the grooves, the catchy riffs, those ultimate sing-along lyrics and of course, the “who-a-o-oh” moments! It’s your perfect summer anthem, bringing all the positive energy out of everyone…”if it’s forbidden for, then it’s worth dying for”. “All Over Now” is another gem – very ’80s-like, perfectly balancing those sweet nostalgic keyboards and fie vocal arrangements, ending up in a fine ear-candy piece of music. “Mess You Made” is your hidden gem and probably my favorite track from the record. The lyrics are what attracted me – trust me, the album’s lyrical value cannot be questioned! The powerful vocals of Nick Workman further cement my adoration for this song. The title song, “Only Human”, coming under #7 is the moment your AOR cravings become completely satisfied.

Entertaining, highly-pleasurable, fine vocal arrangement, relatable lyrics and sweet summer rhythms. I highly recommend VEGA and “Only Human” to anyone who is looking for a refreshing lemonade during a hot early-summer day!

PRODUCED BY:VEGA
MIXED BY:Harry Hess
MASTERED BY: Harry Hess

VEGA

BAND MEMBERS:
Nick Workman: Lead vocals, backing vocals, acoustic guitar and wall hitter
Tom Martin: Bass guitar
Marcus Thurston: Lead Guitar
James Martin: Keyboards
Mikey Kew: Guitar, backing vocals
Martin “Hutch” Hutchinson: Drums

“All Over Now”

“Last Man Standing”


References:
I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.
The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.
Cheers~

TOP 5 April 2018 Releases

(by Velina of “My Rock Mixtapes”)

It’s hard to believe that April is already gone and 2018 is almost cut in half! Music, alongside with nature is experiencing a spring revival and I feel like this spring we witnessed one hell of a musical awakening! Not that the first three months didn’t leave a strong impact on the scene (especially FM with their “Atomic Generation” album) but I feel like what happened this month in particular was beyond imaginable, even history-defining. Plenty of genres spawned releases worthy of admiration and earned their spot in our musical libraries.
Among the endless river of rock tornadoes hitting us this past month, the following 5 albums are the ones that stood out the most to me. As you can see there’s plenty of variety when it comes to genres, which only proves that great music can come in many forms and sub-genres of rock and metal music. Just like I always say, keep an open mind!
Needless to say, I highly recommend the following 5 albums and in case you haven’t heard them yet, now is the best time to do it!

I would love to know your TOP5 so feel free to comment below and tell me all about your picks!


5. Perfect Plan – All Rise

perfect plan all rise

A refreshing release, full of character and value. “All Rise” is Perfect Plan’s debut album and you can clearly see how much those guys put into their baby, right from the very first track. The album is what any melodic rock fan has been waiting for this month!

“In and Out of Love”


4. Stryper – God Damn Evil

stryper god damn evil

No surprises here. It was only natural for Stryper’s long-awaited comeback album to be in my top5! The guys did an amazing job and the musical and lyrical strength of this album will most probably push it to everyone’s top10 2018 albums.

“Sorry”


3. The Dead Daisies – Burn it Down

the dead dasies burn it down

When you wake up in the morning and you feel like there’s just nothing in this world, capable of energizing you or lifting your tired and exhausted spirit, remember to play this album. It’s been a while since something so fiery and full of passion has arrived at my home. The Dead Daisies are certainly going to bring that needed push in your life. The album is huge!

“Rise Up”


2. TesseracT – Sonder

tesseract sonder

TesseracT came into my life a few months ago and even though this is a genre I’m not quite familiar with and I don’t really play it on a daily basis, I feel like those guys have been with me since forever. It’s great that I became a fan right in time for their latest release, titled “Sonder”. Those grooves are illegal and if you’re in a mood for something different – to get you out of your comfort zone, this is exactly what you need!

“King”


1. Breaking Benjamin – Ember

breaking benjamin ember album cover

The absolute winner for me was Breaking Benjamin’s “Ember”. The highly-anticipated comeback of one of my all time favorite bands was exactly what I needed for. The album deserves all the appreciation, especially since it’s so rich in emotions and musicianship. Just listen to my favorite track and you will understand:

“The Dark of You”

 


References:
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.
The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.
Cheers~