[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~

Me and My Life in 3 Rock Songs

(by Velina of “My Rock Mixtapes”)

I had a very interesting discussion on twitter the other day with all my friends and followers. I asked everyone to describe themselves in three rock songs. I got some pretty interesting answers and got reminded of some great songs too thanks to the conversation that went on. I have to admit, before asking everyone about it I haven’t really thought about the three songs that maybe represent my personality and my life the best. I tried my best to come up with three choices and I think I did quite well. From now on, when I meet someone for the very first time I might as well send them this publication! I promised to write about it on my blog so here we are. Keep in mind that three is a small number and of course, there are plenty more, but for sure, the following playlist pretty much sums it up all!

Here’s the tweet, you can go ahead and check it out and even reply if you feel like it! Make sure you comment below this publication and share your personal choices. I cannot wait to read them.


Foreigner – Woman in Black

Probably the song the lyrics to which represent me in a perfect way! I can’t think of a better track to kick things off. Of course, it’s all about those lyrics which I am absolutely convinced were written about me. Excluding the fact that I love black and my hair is black and my nails are usually pained black, everything else Lou Gramm sings about is basically about me or the type of woman I’m inclined to believe is close to my behavior or overall image. Of course, the song itself is a masterpiece and that contributes to my love for it as well.

I saw a dark silhouette, at the table
I tried to talk, but I was unable
She drew me in right under her spell
I was hypnotized by the sudden temptation…
Of that woman in black, she’s a mystery
She’s everything a woman should be
Woman in black, she’s got a hold on me
She’s in control, she won’t set me free…


Eric Clapton – I’ve Got A Rock N’roll Heart

This is a very important song for me because it kind of sums up how much I love rock music and how much it means to me. It also tells a story of a person who explains to their loved one that before they get truly serious, it’s of extreme importance to understand the role music plays in the life of this person. If this ain’t me, I don’t know who else is… Each time I meet someone for the very first time, somehow right from the second sentence, I somehow always end up talking about music and how essential it is to my existence. I want people, especially the right ones, to know that I cannot live without rock&roll and that my heart will always belong to music first.

P.S. Eric Clapton’s “Spiral” is another song that sends a similar message and might as well be on this list, next to this one as well.

I get off on ’57 Chevys
I get off on screaming guitar
Like the way it hits me every time it hits me
I’ve got a rock and roll, I’ve got a rock and roll heart


Cinderella – Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)

This song is here because not only it sends a message I’ve been trying to follow my entire life but because somehow I always end up in situations in which people don’t quite appreciate me and then feel regretful once I decide to leave. I’m not just talking about relationships but also friendships, work-relations and many other situations I’ve been in my entire life. I think it’s very important to know that life is hard and when you meet someone with good qualities and values, you have to keep it close to you and cherish it while you can…because let’s face it – one day this person might not be here and you will be the one, thinking how stupid you were to treat him/her the way you did. It’s sad that we live in a world where people appreciate you only after you are gone…

I can’t feel the things that cause you pain
I can’t clear my heart of your love
It falls like rain, ain’t the same
I hear you calling far away
Tearing through my soul I just can’t
Take another day, Who’s to blame
If we take some time to think it over baby
Take some time let me know
If you really wanna go

Don’t know what you got till it’s gone
Don’t know what it is I did so wrong
Now I know what I got
It’s just this song
And it ain’t easy to get back
Takes so long


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 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~

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~

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~