[Album Recommendation] Age of Reflection – In The Heat Of The Night (AOR)

(by Velina of “My Rock Mixtapes”)

You know I am always on the hunt for melodic rock treasures since this is the type of rock music I am mostly fond of. Some people still believe that the era of AOR is long gone and that this used to be a big thing in the ‘80s, however I gotta say, those people don’t even have a slightest clue of how the genre have evolved and spread in the past few years. So many outstanding young artists are responsible for the AOR boom in recent years and great pioneers of AOR are launching spectacular comebacks so it’s safe to say, we are entering a new AOR era!

Discovering bands that bring back the faith in me and make me feel alive again is basically what I live for. Sometime ago, through the power of social media, the amazing guys from the Swedish AOR band, Age of Reflection (love what they did with the name), reached out to me and introduced me to their music. I didn’t need much convincing or extra effort to understand that this band will most certainly fall under the category of “great new AOR bands you must hear now”. I am already familiar with the magic of Swedish rock musicians, so it was not such a big surprise for me to discover yet another Swedish treasure that deserves all the praises. Anyways, we are here today to talk about Age of Reflection and their “In the Heat of the Night” album which I firmly believe needs to reach out to as many fans out there as possible. I want to introduce their music and hopefully bring to the table something new to people who are hungry for something fresh and of high quality.

First of all, let me provoke you and restore that faith in you, guys with this song…

With me, as you know, when it comes to music is all about discovering more in a song than just a bunch of well-written lines, melodies and good riffs. With me, it’s about the emotions, substance, the soul of the music and its ability to quickly deliver it to your senses. That’s not all I am looking for in a melodic rock album. I am deeply connected to the ‘80s rock music values and when I see bands these days that are not just incorporating them in their music but are adding something more, that’s when I know I have a real gem in front of my eyes. All this and more I found in Age of Reflection and their “In the Heat of the Night” album.

I want to present my sincere adoration for the great vocals by Lars Nygren who is certainly one of the most vocally-attractive musicians on the current revived Swedish melodic rock scene. “Blame it on My Heart”, “Borderline” and “The Mirror Never Lies” for instance (which happen to be three of my favorite songs on the release) probably wouldn’t have had the same effect on me if it wasn’t for the captivating vocals. Speaking of songs, I should probably mention that “Dying for Your Love” brought out a certain fire in my heart which doesn’t happen as often as you might think. Watch out for it – it’s unforgettable. It’s time to give the high fives also to Carl Berglund, who is not just the main reason for the existence of this band in the first place, but is also one of the masters of the guitar and keyboards. He, along with the bassist Jan Skärming, gave birth to an exciting project which you didn’t know you need in your life, till you hear it!

“In The Heat of the Night” came out last year and it’s a little bit of a shame that I just discovered it but better late than never. I want to heavily emphasize to my readers that this is a band with a musical significance and their songs carry a meaning and strength which, at least to me, is the most essential component on the road to success. Spread the love and enjoy! Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below. I hope I brought something great to you with my humble publication.

Cheers to more!

Here is me, happily holding a great new addition to my beloved collection. I can’t wait to see what’s next for those talented guys.

“The Mirror Never Lies”

“Dying for Your Love”

age of reflection
Age of Reflection

BAND MEMBERS:

Lars Nygren – lead vocals
Carl Berglund – guitar, backing vocals
Jonas Nordqvist – guitar, backing vocals
Jens Rüttgeroth – keyboards, backing vocals
Jan Skärming – bass, backing vocals
Peppe Vikman – drums, backing vocals

Links:

Official Website: https://www.ageofreflection.com/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/AGEOFREFLECTION/

Instagram Page: https://www.instagram.com/ageofreflection/

Twitter Page: https://twitter.com/AgeOfReflection


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~

Album Recommendations: Winger – Pull (1993)

(by Velina of “My Rock Mixtapes”)

Let’s talk about irresistible tunes, shall we? Like, probably this one right here… A mesmerizing, early ’90s gem that many have forgotten, though it’s probably one of Winger’s greatest tracks of all time! Play it now for good old time’s sake – that’s the only way to do it justice!

“Down Incognito” is the second track of Winger’s third studio album, titled “Pull”. The ’80s were long gone and with them, part of the band’s signature glam rock vibes. The ’80s Winger sound was substituted by darker, harder and certainly more musically-challenging atmosphere. The little plot twist was appreciated by fans and many claim that this is Winger’s best release so far. The numbers weren’t as generous as the fans of the band and the album couldn’t match the success of the previous two but the times – they were changing so I suppose it was a natural outcome. Of course, the theme of this album was also a little bit different, more mature, focusing on social and political issues, even.

The greatest thing about this album is the signature guitar-driven Winger sound, accompanied by Kip’s one of a kind vocals. I swear I can listen to this guy sing all day long with that angelic rock & roll voice!

In addition to “Down Incognito” which is, hands down, my favorite track from the record, “Spell I’m Under” and “The Lucky One” are two other significant reasons why I am recommending or reminding everyone of this early ’90s hard rock gem of an album. “The Lucky One” has always been one my heart’s favorite ballads.

All in all, “Pull” presents a quite intriguing musical diversity which is one of the reasons why I wanted to feature it on my blog. There’s plenty of sass, heartbreak, high-level vocals, solid guitars and so much more! Winger evolved with this album so if you are a fan of their earlier work (nothing wrong with that I love the first releases with all my heart and soul) and don’t know much about the band after their first two albums, now might be the best time to check out their third release.

Tell me what you think about it and share your favorite song in the comment section below:


References:
Featured image, retrieved from: https://www.musiconvinyl.com/catalog/winger/pull#.W4Qz9sJ9jtQ
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] 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: 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 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~

Album Review: FM – ATOMIC GENERATION (2018)

(by Velina of “My Rock Mixtapes”)

I’m immensely excited and so eager to talk about FM’s highly anticipated new album – “Atomic Generation”. What a time to be alive and to be a rock music fan! One of the most brilliant, most talented (though underrated in my opinion) bands is BACK and that’s not even the best thing. FM are back with what might be one of the most sophisticated and valuable releases of 2018. I knew they would bring their A game but what they brought turned out to be way more than that – “Atomic Generation” is a superb manifestation of talent, thought and thrill!

FM are widely known by their late ‘80s/early ‘90s albums, such as “Tough it Out” and “Takin It’ to The Street”. However, the past 10 years the guys have spawned some equally deserving masterpieces, including “Heroes and Villains” (2015) and INDISCREET 30” – a new recording of their classic 1986 album. Now, it’s 2018 and it was time to dive into a new adventure – an eleventh one to be precise. “Atomic Generation” further solidifies their position as one of the undefeated champions of melodic rock and is another proof that the AOR era is everything but gone.

Let’s talk music! (I love this phrase so much)

11 stunning melodic rock pieces are shaping the eleventh studio album of FM. Don’t know if they did that on purpose but it’s pretty cool, isn’t it? Two things easily come to mind when you listen to this album for the very first time – firstly, once you hear Steve Overland sing, literally nothing else in life matters at that particular moment; the guy has a voice made of gold and he deserves all the praises for being in such great vocal shape; secondly, there’s an obvious, highly pleasant consistency trapped inside “Atomic Generation” that clearly shows why FM are one of the most cherished British melodic rock acts ever since the late ‘80s.

The opening track, “Black Magic”, is like a fresh breeze, gently playing with your senses. The intro is one of its strongest points, along with those “whoa-oh” sing-along moments. Love how FM put so many different unique touches on it – grooves, hooks, nostalgic melodic rock vibes, modern-day funky sounds and so much more. It never gets boring and I must have played it over a hundred times already. “Too Much of a Good Thing” is what I expect to hear on the radio during a sunny spring ride around town. The song has so much soul and color and you gotta be made of ice if it doesn’t touch your heart even a little bit. The Santana-reminiscent “Playing Tricks on Me” is an absolute winner and one of the greatest moments on the record. The second it starts playing, don’t hesitate – grab the person next to you and dance your night away! After that passionate fiesta is over, we are moving ahead with more traditional FM sound in the face of “Make the Best of What You Got”. “Stronger” is my favorite song from the album and it was love at first listen for me. The keyboard intro knocked me down and the progression of the song finished me. I am completely inlove with the lyrics and the powerful, encouraging, mood-lifting personality of the song – it was the thing I needed but didn’t know I do. The album wraps things up with “Love is the Law” – a soft, acoustic country ballad that cools off the spirits, with the help of Steve’s magical voice.

“Atomic Generation” can easily compete with all the FM’s classic albums in terms of influence and musicianship. I am praising them for all the effort they put in presenting such musical variety and still remain as classy as ever. It’s one of the albums of the year, you can trust me on that.


“Black Magic”

“Playing Tricks on Me”

 

TRACKLIST:

1. Black Magic 

2. Too Much Of A Good Thing

3. Killed By Love

4. In It For The Money

5. Golden Days

6. Playing Tricks On Me

7. Make The Best Of What You Got

8. Follow Your Heart

9. Do You Love Me Enough

10. Stronger

11. Love Is The Law

 

Links: 

http://www.fmofficial.com/fmofficial/index.html
https://www.facebook.com/FMofficial
https://twitter.com/FMofficial
https://www.youtube.com/user/FMofficialTV


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~

TOP 10 ROCK ALBUMS OF 2017 [by Velina of MyRockMixtapes]

(by Velina of “My Rock Mixtapes”)

It’s been such a long time since we had a rock & roll year that prolific and exciting as 2017! I am almost sad that it’s gone, because each month was like a brand-new musical adventure, full of endless opportunities and surprises and I just wish it never had to stop. If you have to give it a name, I’d say 2017 was “the year of long-overdue comebacks” or “the year of the supergroups”. So many bands decided to get back together and recreate the magic that once ruled our radio stations. They did and in some cases the results were fantastic. Riverdogs, for example, released “California” –their first album in many years and so unexpectedly shook the melodic rock community with what many refer to as one of the albums of the year. Not just Riverdogs, but Europe, Lynch Mob, L.A. Guns, Warrant, Steelheart, Bonfire, Night Ranger, Harem Scarem, Thunder, Styx, Deep Purple and many other big names made their grandiose comeback this year, which is absolutely delightful, needless to say. Supergroups were formed and names were justified in many cases with bands such as Revolution Saints, Sweet & Lynch, ALL41, Kee of Hearts, Sons of Apollo and others. The solo acts didn’t fall back. Artists such as Jeff Scott Soto, Jack Russell (with his Great White), Stephen Pearcy (Ratt), Mark Slaughter (Slaughter), Alice Cooper, Roger Waters, Robert Plant and even Ringo Starr made triumphant and rather surprising comebacks but all were met with excitement and adoration. New bands that caught my eye this year were plenty. The ones that stood out the most to me were the Finnish guys from One Desire with their self-titled debut album and Inglorious with their sophomore release. The new albums of H.E.A.T and Pink 69 re-introduced me to those bands which I somehow forgot in time.

There’s plenty more to be said but I think it’s time we get to my Top10 albums of 2017 list. Please keep in mind that this is a personal selection, based on nothing but my own preferences and ideas of what a great album should sound like and what emotions should it bring to the listeners. I would LOVE to know your picks and what did you think of some of those albums so don’t hesitate to post your comment below. Here we goo….

Be careful, we’re going with the speed of sound!


10. Jeff Scott Soto – Retribution

jeff scott soto

It has been a busy year for one of my most beloved musicians of all time – Jeff Scott Soto. In October we were totally mesmerized by Sons Of Apollo’s Psychotic Symphony and a month later, he once again penetrated our fragile rock harts with a solo release, titled “Retribution”. Nothing but praises and fascination for this album and I’m not just saying it because it’s Jeff freakin Scott Soto; I’m saying it because obviously tons of work, heart and passion have been put in the making of this album. He sounds as confident as ever and his music is as good as ever. I was prepared for something like this from the veteran rockstar and it’s all here – heavy melodic rock, epic vocal culminations, striking lyrics and excellent fiery solos. “Feels Like Forever” is my instant stand-out though it’s not necessarily the highlight of “Retribution”. “Bullet for My Baby” is another personal favorite and a pretty solid reason why this album made it into my top10! Though “Retribution” came out in November, it became one of my albums of the year – this should tell you enough!


9. H.E.A.T – Into the Great Unknown

heat into the great unknown

“Into the Great Unknown” re-introduced me to a band I have completely forgotten about. There’s just something about Swedish rock, you know that, right? This proves it! The album is just so much different from what they used to do and so distinctive among the huge pile of hard rock records that came out this year. One listen would tell you why – the guys focused on crafting a modern-day sound with the help of cutting-edge production possibilities. The album is challenging, that’s for sure. You either love it or hate it. Thankfully, the majority of fans and also critics (not surprisingly) are loving it.

“Redefined” is arguably the highlight and one of the catchiest songs that came out in 2017. “Eye of the Storm” gives another 100 points to “Into the Great Unknown”. The amount of energy coming out of that song is immeasurable.


8. L.A Guns – The Missing Peace

la guns

I didn’t have the chance to grow up in the ’80s and experience that magical, flamboyant, so attractive to me hard rock scene that forever changed the music industry but with albums like “The Missing Peace”, young fans like myself can get a pretty good taste of those old-school vibes, presented in a modern-day environment. I am still mindblown by the authenticity of L.A. Guns‘ new album and the tasteful manner in which such energetic, a bit forceful and instantly-consuming Sunset Strip-staple hard rock music was delivered to the audience of 2017. It took me just one listen from start to finish to realize that what we have right here might be one of the best representations of how to sustain your original sound that made you famous back in the day and still stay musically-current even 30 years later. 

“Speed”, “The Devil Made me Do It”, and that beautiful ballad “Christine” proved that something was indeed truly missing in today’s rock&roll scene; I’ve been waiting for an album with that extra danger, extra roughness and that beloved ’80s attitude for so long and now when it’s finally here, I just can’t get enough of it.


7. Pride of Lions – Fearless

prideoflionsalbum9

My adoration for Survivor and Jim Peterik was transferred to his Pride of Lions, naturally. It’s been indeed a while since they released a new record but thankfully this was their year! I can’t think of another melodic rock album that has so much class, sensitivity and musical richness. “Fearless” is everything I was hoping to get from Jim Peterik and vocalist Toby Hitchcock. This album also proved that Pride of Lions is not just a side project – it’s a serious band that makes great music. This was the first album I bought back in January and I knew it would signal the arrival of a strong year. “The Tell” and “Silent Music” are my two favorite tracks; I can’t express the strength of the melodies and all that, combined with the A-level vocal performances of both artists showcase that the challenge was accepted and passed with grace!


6. Inglorious – II

ingl 2 cover

I met Inglorious last year but their follow-up album, simply titled “II” cemented my position as their devoted fan. The moment this album came out this past May,  it took my work by storm and earned my utter admiration and respect. It all starts with one single life-changing song…The moment I heard “I Don’t Need Your Loving”, I just knew that it has the potential of becoming one of the top rock tracks of 2017 and not just in my book.

Inglorious make straightforward, mind-blowing and 100% authentic hard rock, respectfully following the ways of ‘70s rock bands, such as Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple. With that in mind, vocalist Nathan James, lead guitarist Andreas Eriksson, guitarist Wil Taylor, bass guitarist Colin Parkinson and drummer Phil Beaver recorded a heavenly-organic, modern-day / classic rock album that brings nothing but satisfaction to every little rock&roll heart out there. The magic of “Inglorious II” wasn’t taken out of the hat of a legendary producer. The right words and production tricks were all done by the members themselves, which makes it even more exceptional.


5. Kee of Hearts – Kee of Hearts

kee of hearts

You all know how much I love Fair Warning and their lead singer Tommy Heart. I knew I wasn’t going to be disappointed by what might be one of the strongest voices of melodic rock and yes – I sure as hell wasn’t.

“Kee of Hearts” is a melodic rock bliss from start to finish. This album represents just the kind of class and nobility we so desperately need on the rock music scene these days. Tommy Heart and Kee Marcello crafted a fine release that rocks, entertains and keeps our spirits lifted from start to finish. It’s a must-have for every AOR fan out there who knows what is true and what is not…I pray those two come up with a follow-up! My favorite track would be the opening song, “The Storm”; the title pretty much sums it up all! A powerful blazing melodic rock impact right from the very beginning, signalling the arrival of something truly valuable.


4. Sons of Apollo – Psychotic Symphony 

sons of apollo

Don’t you just love albums that take you out of your comfort zone and challenge your listening habits? This album right here did this for me and it did it in the most pleasurable way you can think of. I know that by default everything that Jeff Scott Soto does is superb and I will love it, but this album right here goes one step further from my perceptions of how incredibly versatile and mindful he is when it comes to music.

Stand-out songs include “God of the Sun” – which is one of my favorite openers this year; the 11-minute tornado of a song is a clear highlight and how can it not be with that speed, intensity and lyrics. “Sings of the Times” is my ultimate number 1 song from this release – that intro knocked my socks off. Don’t even get me started on the instrumental “Opus Maximus” which arguably might be the best progressive instrumental that came out this year!


3. Riverdogs – California

RIVERDOGS CALIFORNIA BIG

Ah… “California” – where do I even begin? The moment this album came into my life, I just knew that this will change and that’s exactly what it happened. I distinctively remember how excited I was when it was finally available on Spotify and how fulfilled I felt when I played it from start to finish. I just couldn’t get enough of the blissful feelings, warmness and comfort this beautiful album brought to my world. “California” is a stunning set of sing-alongs, rock anthems, bluesy soul-touching tracks, all brilliantly decorated with thoughtful lyrics and memorable melodies.

Reasons why I love this album that much? Number one –“You’re Too Rock and Roll” which became one of the most important songs of my life just within weeks after the release of the album. Number two – Rob Lamothe who enriched my life with what might be the best interview I ever had with a musician… the other reasons you gotta look inside the album!


2. Bonfire – Byte the Bullet

bonfire1

German rockers BONFIRE came back this year with what can easily be referred to as one of the most electrifying, mind-blowing and hair-raising rock releases so far. Guitarist, original founder and basically Mr. Everything, Hans Zilller is back with his strong team of musicians, including bass player Ronnie Parkes, guitarist Frank Pane, drummer Tim Breideband and a brand-new vocalist Alexx Stahl. I still can’t get over how amazingly well-done this album is. Most importantly, if you are one of the people (like me) who is always seeking their self-empowerment in music, you would also pick this album as one of your favorite releases of 2017. “Lonely Nights” is probably the biggest reasons behind placing this album at #2. As the ultimate rock ballad enthusiast, you can trust me on this – it’s a phenomenal heart-breaking song, full of emotions and character. “Stand Up 4 Rock” is a superb rock anthem, with one of the best intros this year. The cover of Jethro Tull’s classic “Locomotive Breath” is another highlight that deserves a standing ovation.


& my number one is…

One Desire – One Desire

one desire - one desire 2017

You know, I thought a lot about which album to place at the number one spot and it took me a few days to finally make my decision but ultimately, I let my heart do the thinking. I picked One Desire’s self-titled album to be my number 1 album for 2017 because I can’t think of another album I got so obsessed with or another album which I’ve played as much as I did this one. I literally know the lyrics to all the song and you know why – because every track on it is that strong, impressive and memorable. Not a second on this album is wasted on trivial and well-known moments. I can’t remember the last time I’ve been that hooked to an entire album. It’s not just the singles, “Hurt” or “Apologize” – it’s every second of it. The sound is everything I looked for in an album, coming out in 2017 – modern vibes, strong vocals, old-school rock influence, unimaginable hooks and the ability to captivate the listener right from the very beginning. Discovering this album months after its release was indeed one of the most precious musical moments I had this year.

Cheers to One Desire and their debut album which won again many established names and their newest releases this year. I’m a proud fan and seeing how new bands conquer worlds is immensely satisfying. Now, go and listen…

 


Final thoughts:

Obviously, many of the albums share a significant characteristic and that is a certain label, under which they were released. Yes, I’m talking about Frontiers Records which redefined the hard / melodic rock scene of 2017 and entirely blew the competition away by not only giving chances to new rock bands, hungry for the stage but by also welcoming long overdue reunions of old-school hard rock bands. I praise and bow to the hard work of the team of Frontiers Records for being responsible for the comebacks of bands such as L.A Guns, Riverdogs or Warrant, for example and for taking under their capable wings, new and exciting artists, such as One Desire. I cannot wait to see what they have in mind for the following year!

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Honorable Mentions:

You know, I had to draw the line somewhere because we cannot go on like this for ages, unfortunately. You just saw my top10 favorite albums of 2017 but I couldn’t just end the publication like this because there are so many more rock releases that caught my attention and conquered my playlists. Yes, the following albums were not included in my Top10 2017 releases, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have the musical qualities and strengths needed in an album to be in a such list. I deeply encourage my readers to pay attention to the following titles and in case some of them went off your radar, there’s always a chance to come back and check them out.

Remember…when it comes to good music, years are irrelevant. Whether it’s 1982 or 1997 or 2017,


 

Europe – Walk the Earth

europe

Lynch Mob – The Brotherhood

lynch mob

Revolution Saints – Light in the Dark

Revolution Saints Cover - Frontiers

Warrant – Louder, Harder and Faster

Warrant - Louder Harder Faster (2017)

Thunder – Rip it Up

rip-it-up-thunder

Pink Cream 69 – Headstrong

pink cream 69

Bigfoot – Bigfoot

bigfoot bigfoot album

Steelheart – Through Worlds of Stardust

steelheart cover - frontiers

Pretty Boy Floyd – Public Enemies

pretty boy floyd public enemies

Sweet & Lynch – Unified

sweet and lynch

Tokyo Motor First – Tokyo Motor First

tokyo motor first

Lionville – A World of Fools

lionville a world of fools


The publication expresses my personal opinion on what some of the best rock releases of 2017 are, according to personal preferences and ideas. I am in noway is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment. Rock On!