Albums / Year of release

Albums 2022

Artist : Chris Antblad

Album : The end of the beginning

Release Date : 23-12-2022

Added : 08-01-2023

And for this last chronicle of rock and melodic hard rock albums from the end of 2022, here is the last album of 'Chris Antblad' which spoiled us in 2020 and 2021 with no less than three albums ('Age of Concord III', 'Age of Concord IV' , 'Age of Concord 80') and which, after 'Sweet Surrender' in June 2022, released end of December a new studio recording 'The end of the beginning'. Throughout 2022, Chris has released all these titles as singles that can be found on spotify and then compiled into albums. And as usual, we are still under the spell listening to these addictive refrains starting with the mid-tempo 'Deep in your eyes' which takes us back to the best of the 80s, then parade melodic jewels starting by the catchy rhythms of 'You started something new', 'I Will never run', 'Summeryoung', 'The one that got away' or even 'She is waiting by the telephone'. And, at the worst of repeating myself, 'Chris Antblad' also has a talent for quieter compositions, and in this album, we can cite the very beautiful 'Now when the brighter days are gone', 'Maybe I'm dreaming' and 'We had it all'. In summary, the year 2022 ended very well with this beautiful album by 'Chris Antblad' which once again takes us into his endearing universe with new catchy melodies which run through your head from the first listen, and which perpetuate this mix of pop and melodic rock that has now become timeless...

Line Up / Musicians

Chris Antblad (Vocal, Tous les instruments)


Artist : Mostly Autumn

Album : Back In These Arms (Live 2022)

Release Date : 16-12-2022

Added : 31-12-2022

And we end in style with the third and last live of this end of the year which is dedicated to one of my favorite groups, I named the English of 'Mostly Autumn' with a sumptuous concert given to 'De Boerderij', in the Netherlands, June 4, 2022. This is a double CD for two and a half hours of concert which retraces the first years between 2001 and 2006 which correspond to the first three albums with 'Heather Findlay', 'For All We Shared' by 1998, 'The Spirit Of Autumn Past' from 1999 and 'The Last Bright Light' from 2001, then only two tracks between 2001 and 2016 with the album 'Heart Full of Sky' from 2006 and finally, the last period of the band from 2017 to 2021 with 'Olivia Sparnenn', become the wife of 'Bryan Josh', highlighting the last three albums 'Sight Of Day' from 2017, 'White Rainbow' from 2019 and 'Greveyard Star' from 2021, the latter well represented with 5 tracks (see the track list below and their original album). We are therefore taken on a magnificent journey filled with emotion in the company of this formation which offers us a setlist which must have been complicated to make given the quality of their impressive discography, but the emblematic compositions are there with, all of first, the catchy hymns which transmit a real pleasure to the public and this from the first three titles with 'Tomorrow Dies', 'Spirit of Mankind' and 'Nowhere to Hide', then, there are the magnificent ballads that the couple 'Josh ' knows so well how to transcend by transmitting to us a palpable emotion as in 'The Last Climb', 'The Endless War', 'Passengers' or even in 'Western Skies' to name only four, without forgetting the long admirable developments what are 'Mother Natures' and 'White Rainbow'.

In short, this magnificent live performance of 'Mostly Autumn' happily sweeps through their entire discography with compositions that are now etched forever in the minds of all the band's fans and the English show that, after 25 years of career , they continue, again and again, to surpass themselves and dazzle us with each album release, the last three opuses being very well represented in this dream setlist...

List of tracks and their original album:
Liste des titres et leur album d'origine :
Tomorrow Dies – Sight Of Day – 2017
Spirit Of Mankind – Graveyard Star – 2021
Nowhere To Hide – For All We Shared – 1998
The Spirit Of Autumn Past (Part 2) – The Spirit Of Autumn Past – 1999
The Last Climb – For All We Shared – 1998
Gaze – Heart Full of Sky – 2006
This Endless War – Graveyard Star – 2021
Back In These Arms – Graveyard Star – 2021
Passengers – Passengers – 2003
Mother Nature – The Last Bright Light – 2001
In For The Bite
Into The Stars – White Rainbow – 2019
Western Skies – White Rainbow – 2019
Skin Of Mankind – Graveyard Star – 2021
Changing Lives – Sight Of Day – 2017
Silver Glass – Heart Full of Sky – 2006
Heart, Body And Soul – Sight Of Day – 2017
White Rainbow – White Rainbow – 2019
The Harder That You Hurt – Greveyard Star – 2021
Heroes Never Die – For All We Shared – 1998
Forever And Beyond – Sight Of Day – 2017

Line Up / Musicians

Olivia Sparnenn-Josh (Vocal), Bryan Josh (Guitar, Vocal), Chris Johnson (Guitar), Iain Jennings (Keybords), Angela Gordon (Flute, Keybords), Andy Smith (Bass), Henry Rogers (Drums)


Artist : Remedy

Album : Something That Your Eyes Won't See

Release Date : 16-12-2022

Added : 07-01-2023

In this selection of the latest melodic rock and hard rock albums from the end of 2022, it is again a formation from the Nordic countries that is in the spotlight with the Swedes of 'Remedy' who released their first recording studio in December 2022. It is the guitarist 'Roland Forsman' who composes for other groups who is at the origin of this new project and who had the time to compose quite a few titles during the last years of the pandemic this which allowed him to put some aside to release this 'Something That Your Eyes Won't See'. Mixed and mastered by 'Erik Mårtensson', another well-known Swede ('Eclipse', 'W.E.T.'), it's no surprise that we can put ourselves between the ears of the melodic hits which are 10 in number for 40 minutes of listening. We therefore spend a very good time listening to this opus and the first four titles set the tone of the album with catchy rhythms and melodic lines that get into your head very quickly. Between these energetic compositions, the ballad breaks are not forgotten with the two melodic jewels that are 'Sundays In Silence' and Lifeline'. In short, Sweden continues to deliver good melodic hard rock and this 'Something That Your Eyes Won't See' has just been added to the long playlist that I had concocted for you for the rock and melodic hard rock albums of 2022...

Line Up / Musicians

Robert van der Zwan (Vocal, Guitar), Roland Forsman (Guitar), Jonas Öijvall (Keybords), Jonas Dicklo (Bass), Fredrik Karlberg (Drums)


Artist : Highway Queen

Album : Bitter Soul

Release Date : 16-12-2022

Added : 12-01-2023

'Highway Queen' is a new project from Finland and their first album takes us back a few decades in a classic and direct hard rock style. Created in 2019 and led by singer 'Virpi Kääriäinen', they deliver 8 compositions for a fairly short duration for a 37-minute EP. From the start, with the heavy mid-tempo 'Hey!' (See the video above), the marked rhythm section gives you an irresistible desire to headbang on sharp guitar riffs and accompany 'Virpi Kääriäinen' in the chorus, then, the energetic 'Get On Your Knees' (see the video here) adds a layer of it and deploys new catchy melodic lines. The sequel is in the image of these first two titles with memorable melodies and, we can mention the hard rock rubbish that are the festive 'Here I Am', the fast 'I Dim The Lights' or even 'In Vain' which is the longest title of the album and which, after a quiet introduction, pours us one of the heaviest compositions of the album with a very beautiful break in the second part and a heavy and powerful finale with a very beautiful solo of guitar. We can't miss the mid-tempo of the title song either (see the video here) in a very heavy blues/rock which is a pure delight and the Finns end the album with 'Own Will' which alternates different intensities and which is certainly, with 'In Vain', the most varied title of the album with quiet sections, then heavy rhythmic passages marked and a finale in apotheosis accelerating the rhythm.

In short, even if they won't revolutionize the style, the Finns are releasing an excellent first album by delivering good hard rock that takes us back a few decades, all of this being interpreted in a beautiful way by a talented singer and musicians who bring all the necessary energy for this style of music...

Line Up / Musicians

Virpi Kääriäinen (Vocal), Teemu Kääriäinen (Guitar), Juha Skog (Bass), Henri Backman (Drums)


Artist : Halestorm

Album : Back From the Dead (Deluxe)

Release Date : 16-12-2022

Added : 15-01-2023

To end with the albums released in 2022, it is the Americans of Halestorm' who are releasing a deluxe version of the album 'Back From the Dead', the standard version of which dates from the beginning of May 2022 and which had not subject of a chronicle in myprogmusic, for lack of time, the days being only 24 hours! Following on from 'Vicious' from 2018, this last album, quite short in its initial version (37 short minutes) offered us 11 direct titles not exceeding 3 minutes, always favouring efficiency with hard rock rubbish releasing extraordinary power, 'Lzzy Hale' rewarding us with always very explosive vocal performances starting with the enormous eponymous title (see the video above) which set the scene with the heavy guitar riffs of 'Joe Hottinger' and a hellish rhythm section led by the bassist 'Josh Smith' and drummer 'Joe Hottinger' (videos from Wicked Ways and The Steeple available on the band's Youtube channel). In the middle of this excess of energy, two titles allowed us to breathe a little with, first of all, the magnificent 'Terrible Thing' showing that 'Lzzy Haale' also knows how to soften his singing to offer us beautiful refined vocal performances, then 'Raise Your Horns which is a very beautiful piano/voice ballad. And for this deluxe version which will be released in streaming at the end of 2022, 'Halestrom' has added 7 tracks which should satisfy fans, and which are very varied, with first, the catchy 'Mine' which shows a pop face and quite away from the titles of the short version, then, we find all the energy of the Americans in an unleashed 'Heavy MeNtal'. The sequel has nothing to envy to the titles of the standard edition with 'Legendary' and 'You Only Die Once' which automatically start the headbanging machine, or with 'Wannabe' and 'Alien' which take us back to the melodic hard rock from the 80s or with the rhythmic 'Special' which closes the album. In short, this deluxe version adds certainly more diversified compositions than the standard version, which means that the whole shows all the facets of this formation which has now taken an unavoidable place in modern international hard rock...

Line Up / Musicians

Lzzy Hale (Vocal, guitare, claviers), Arejay Hale (Drums, Choirs), Joe Hottinger (Guitar, Choirs), Josh Smith (Bass, Choirs)


Artist : Rob Moratti

Album : Epical

Release Date : 09-12-2022

Added : 24-12-2022

After the very good releases in melodic rock in the past month, with 'The Roads', 'Black Paisley' and 'StreetLore', we can now add the new 'Rob Moratti' which is still a compendium of addictive melodic hits that we savour with happiness. After the last three albums which have been reviewed by myprogmusic ('Transcendent' from 2016, 'Renaissance' from 2019 and 'Paragon' in 2020), here is their worthy successor, 'Epical', which contains 11 equally catchy compositions that should satisfy all fans from AOR. And, to begin with, if you are not sensitive to the melodic lines of 'Can I Hold You For A While' (see video above), this album is not made for you, but for the others, you will certainly be seduced by 'Nothing Left To Say' between ballad and mid-tempo, the trio of compositions that follow one another with 'Valerie', 'Hold On' and 'For The Rest Of My Life' and their addictive refrains or even the melodic jewels that are 'Love' (see video here) and 'You Keep Me Waiting', the album ending with a catchy 'Strangers'. In summary, 'Rob Moratti', surrounded by talented musicians, continues to deliver us from the AOR of great class by offering us new catchy melodies from the first listen that we always have a great pleasure to listen to. and which should be on repeat for a lot of melodic rock fans...

Line Up / Musicians

Rob Moratti (Vocal), Joel Hoekstra (Guitar), Pete Alpenborg (Guitar, Keybords), Tony Franklin (Bass), Felix Borg (Drums, Percussions, Keybords)


Artist : Roger Waters

Album : The Lockdown Sessions

Release Date : 09-12-2022

Added : 25-12-2022

As the American prepares for his world farewell tour which will take place in 2023, 'Roger Waters' released an EP at the beginning of December with recordings made during the periods of confinement which were already the subject, at the time, videos on youtube, the latest being the reinterpretation of 'Comfortably Numb' which shows a completely different face from the original by bringing a dark and refined side corresponding very well to what 'Roger Waters' had offered us in his last album 'Is This The Life We Really Want ?' (see video links below). There are three titles from 'The Wall' from 1979 which are 'Mother', 'Vera' and 'Comfortably Numb', two titles from 'The Final Cut' from 1983 which are 'Two Suns in the Sunset' and 'The Gunners Dream ' and finally, the title 'The Bravery of Being Out of Range' from his solo album 'Amused To Death'. The new arrangements bring a special strength to his songs which have become timeless like 'Mother' with the participation of the duo 'Lucius' which is a pure moment of happiness and even more creepy than the original. In short, I did not choose Christmas Day by chance to write this column on the latest EP of 'Roger Waters': beyond the artist who has marked the history of music for the last 50 years with his shows gigantic and, although he took quite extreme positions that may have exceeded him and that he certainly presents contradictions, one cannot deny that he has always defended noble causes and among these, the condemnation of all the wars that punctuate our world, the latest being the invasion of Ukraine by Russia...

List of youtube videos:
= 'Mother'
= 'Two Suns In The Sunset'
= 'Vera'
= 'The Gunner's Dream'
= 'The Bravery of Being Out of Range'
= 'Comfortably Numb'

Line Up / Musicians

Roger Waters (Vocal, Guitar, Keybords), Gus Seyffert (Bass, Cello, Percussions), Joey Waronker (Drums, Percussions), Dave Kilminster (Voice), Jonathan Wilson (Guitar, Keybords, Vocal), Jon Carin (Keybords, Vocal), Jess Wolfe (Vocal), Holly Laessig (Vocal), Shanay Johnson (Vocal), Amanda Belair (Vocal)


Artist : Arrayan Path

Album : Thus Always to Tyrants

Release Date : 09-12-2022

Added : 28-12-2022

I reviewed 'Archegonoi', 'Arrayan Path's seventh album, and 2020 saw the release of its successor, 'The Marble Gates to Apeiron'. The frequency of an album every two years continues because it is the turn of 'Thus Always to Tyrants' to see the light of day at the end of 2022. And for this opus, the Cypriots have simply put forward a part of their story with the tumultuous life of the king 'Evagoras' which is the subject of 13 compositions for almost 80 minutes of listening (the last two titles being on a bonus CD not available for streaming). We therefore find an epic power metal that we knew on their last productions with a progressive aspect highlighted by many alternations of intensities and rhythms, the whole being always supported by catchy melodies immediately: attests to this the first 'Oh Dark Tears (Afternath)' which perfectly introduces the album and well images this grandiose power metal in several drawers with first of all, a quiet acoustic introduction, then with the arrival of the electric instruments, a part alternating quick verses with a unifying chorus that we want to sing along with 'Nicholas Leptos', part which is followed by a beautiful instrumental section integrating oriental sounds, the finale returning to the main theme.

In order to not inflict you a title on title (even if each deserves to be dissected), I will highlight the compositions that I remember the most with first of all, The King's Aegis… They Came from the Taygetos Mountains ' which recalls the melodic lines of 'Therion' and which is cut in two parts with a first part in the form of a grandiose procession with a slow tempo, then a second which gradually picks up the pace to offer a catchy melody with remarkable vocal arrangements. We can also mention the imposing 'Artaxerxes II Mnemon' with a good place given to a very beautiful guitar solo, the catchy 'Crossing Over to Phenicia' and its addictive chorus, 'Raid of the Achaemenids' with its oriental sounds embarking us on a beautiful exotic journey highlighting the splendour of Mediterranean civilization at the time of King Evagoas or the magnificent 'Of Royal Ancestry' (see video above) whose chorus never leaves you. The end of the album still raises the emotional slider with 'The Legend of Evagoras' which is a magnificent power ballad in which the Cypriots have integrated a much more muscular and grandiose instrumental part, then, 'Army of the Myrmidons – Return to Troy Pt. II (Origins)' shows all the band's talent for majestic epics merging power metal, sophisticated symphonic orchestrations, admirable vocal arrangements and marked influences from their past civilization (magnificent refined finale with traditional instruments).

In summary, the 'Cypriots' of Arrayan Path' certainly released their most accomplished album, combining different styles around a powerful power metal and benefiting from an irreproachable production. 'Thus Always to Tyrants' shows us a resolutely progressive aspect and, like any album of extraordinary richness and density, asks to linger over it to discover all the nooks and crannies in order to draw all the substance from it. I would add that I am increasingly making the parallel between 'Arrayan Path' and 'Therion' and, as such, I would suggest to the Cypriots that, to flesh out their vocal arrangements (which are already remarkable), to unearth their 'Lory Lewis ' which would bring a complementary register with a female presence...

Line Up / Musicians

Nicholas Leptos (Vocal), Socrates Leptos (Guitar), Christoforos Gavriel (Guitar), Miguel Trapezaris (Bass), Stefan Dittrich (Drums)


Artist : Journey

Album : Live in Concert at Lollapalooza

Release Date : 09-12-2022

Added : 29-12-2022

For the last three days of 2022, I will dedicate them to three lives, lives which we really missed in 2020 and 2021 and which resumed during this year, some having been postponed or canceled at the start of the year. The first concert is that of the Americans of 'Journey' who released a very good 'Freedom' in July 2022 and who recorded the 'Live in Concert at Lollapalooza' concert on July 31, 2021, in Chicago. We navigate through the band's flagship period from the late 70s to the mid-80s, starting with 'Infinity' from 1978 of which three titles are interpreted, then we browse the following releases with 'Evolution' from 1979, then 'Departure' from 1980 with 'Any Way You Want It', then the band's iconic album 'Escape' from 1981 is very well represented with six tracks, followed by the four compositions taken from 'Frontiers' of 1983 and 'Raised On Radio' of 1986 brings up the rear with a single track, 'Be Good To Yourself’. And to give you an idea of what awaits you with the Blu-Ray or DVD edition, three titles are available on the 'Frontiers Music' site with 'Only The Young', 'Any Way You Want It' and 'Be Good To Yourself'. In short, this very beautiful concert of 'Journey' allows us to go back 40 years back by remembering all these titles which have become timeless for all the fans of the group, but also which should also reach a fairly large audience who went through the 80s listening to the leading melodic rock bands of the time...

Line Up / Musicians

Arnel Pineda (Vocal), Neal Schon (Guitar), Jonathan Cain (Keybords), Deen Castronovo (Drums), Narada Michael Walden (Drums), Marco Mendoza (Bass), Jason Derlatka (Keybords, Vocal)


Artist : Serenity

Album : Memoria Live

Release Date : 09-12-2022

Added : 30-12-2022

The second concert of this end of the year concerns the symphonic metal formation 'Serenity' which released an acoustic concert recorded on May 27, 2022, in Kufstein in Austria and which offers us a journey through the history of Scotland, the songs being punctuated with explanations by a storyteller. After their last album The Last Knight, the Australians take us into their discography by adding the track 'Broken Dreams' from the joint project 'Fallen Sanctuary' by 'Georg Neuhauser' and 'Marco Pastorino' and all these titles have been rearranged by integrating a flute and a violin which bring a warm side to this magnificent acoustic set. And for the party to be complete, 'Serenity' has invited many artists who gravitate or who have gravitated around the group since its creation. We therefore find well-known names such as the singer 'Clémentine Delaunay' who has now taken off with 'Visions Of Atlantis', 'Michele Guaitoli, also 'Visions Of Atlantis' but also the singer of 'Temperance', singer and guitarist 'Marco Pastorino', also 'Temperance', or again 'Sascha Paeth' who participates and is the producer of the 'Tobias Sammet' project, 'Avantasia' but also the drummer 'Niklas Müller' of the group 'Ad Infinitum'. The addictive melodies of 'Serenity' follow one after the other and we feel throughout the set a radiant atmosphere and a very good mood among all these endearing artists, the public being in heaven by actively participating in this magnificent show. And to highlight some magical moments of this live, I will quote the two duets of 'Georg Neuhauser' with 'Clémentine Delaunay', first, the magnificent ballad 'Fairytales' which still gives me goosebumps every time I listen to it and the following title 'Legacy of Tudors' which always shows this complicity between the two artists and this immense cheerfulness that they know so well how to transmit to the public.

In short, no need to add more, the best is to let yourself be carried away by this magical show with all these compositions with addictive melodies, and if you want to add the video, the DVD and the Blu-Ray are also available and we have a preview with the two videos available from 'Napalm Records', 'Legacy Of Tudors' and 'Spirit in the Flesh', the latest single with very beautiful images 'In The Name Of Scotland' being also available...

Line Up / Musicians

Georg Neuhauser (Vocal), Christian Hermsdörfer (Guitar, Mandolin, Vocal), Fabio D’Amore (Bass, Vocal), Andreas Schipflinger (Drums, Vocal) + Guests : Clémentine Delauney (Vocal), Marco Pastorino (Guitar, Vocal), Sascha Paeth (Guitar), Kathrin Raunigger (Vocal), Michele Guaitoli (Vocal), Niklas Müller (Drums)


Artist : Landfall

Album : Elevate

Release Date : 09-12-2022

Added : 04-01-2023

And to restart the year 2023, I will come back to some albums from the end of 2022, first with melodic rock and hard rock, the first five reviews being dedicated to them. To start, it was the Brazilians of 'Landfall' who released their second album 'Elevate' after 'The Turning Point' in 2020. These are 11 new titles that are offered to us in this new opus in good melodic hard rock, the sequence of the first three titles giving us good energy with very effective melodic lines. The sequel is in the image of this beginning with catchy compositions and memorable choruses, the ballad not being forgotten with 'The Wind' and the last title 'Chance to Destiny' offering a last addictive chorus that never leaves you. and a superb guitar solo. In summary, 'Elevate' shows all the talent of this Brazilian group, which is only on its second album, but which already has all the assets to rise to the level of the tenors of the genre...

Line Up / Musicians

Gui Oliver (Vocal), Marcelo Gelbcke (Guitar), Thiago Forbeci (Bass), Felipe Souzza (Drums)


Artist : Tarmat

Album : Out of the Blue

Release Date : 09-12-2022

Added : 05-01-2023

Decidedly, Brazil is in the spotlight because, after the second album of 'Landfall', it is the turn of their compatriots from the group 'Tarmat' to release a first studio recording 'Out of the Blue' but which stands out from 'Landfall' because their style is more moderate in a light AOR. Indeed, after the opening title 'Backbone Feeling' which is the most energetic of the album, more moderate compositions parade with for example the title song which takes us between pop and rock in a memorable melody with the accompaniment of radiant brass. We continue in a westcoast atmosphere with the following titles 'Moving Backwards' and 'Gibberish' then 'Rosetta Stone' is slightly more energetic in a classy AOR that we will find in 'True Colors'. But the second part of the album contains more delicate compositions with the quiet 'More Than Less', the mid-tempo 'Your Enemy' bringing us back to the sounds of the 80s or even 'Dinner's On The House' with its memorable melodic lines, the album ending with the very beautiful acoustic 'The Knight'. In short, if you like a peaceful AOR with some incursions into more energetic melodic rock, you should like 'Out of the Blue' which is very quickly tamed thanks to catchy melodic lines from the first listen...

Line Up / Musicians

Alexandre Daumerie (Vocal), Eduardo Marcolino (Guitar), Gabriel Aquino (Keybords), José Marcus (Bass), Rafael Marcolino (Drums)


Artist : Tommy DeCarlo

Album : Dancing in the Moonlight

Release Date : 09-12-2022

Added : 06-01-2023

Direction the United States for this third chronicle of the year dedicated to rock and melodic hard rock with 'Tommy DeCarlo' who is the singer and keyboardist of 'Boston' and who had released a first album in 2020 with his son under the name of band 'Decarlo' and this under the leadership of the label 'Frontiers Records' which does it again with this first solo album 'Dancing in the Moonlight'. In an AOR style bringing us back to the 70s/80s, he delivers 12 compositions that he co-composed with the inevitable 'Alessandro Del Vecchio' who is also the producer of the album. We therefore embark on a journey through time with similarities to the formations of the time, 'Boston' obviously coming to mind. It starts with the title song which sets the scene with an unstoppable melody, then the sequel scrolls through addictive choruses which give the impression of already knowing them by heart like 'Change Our Fate', 'Beyond Forever', 'Life Is Just a Game', 'The Game Is On' or even 'The Road Will Lead To You'. And when the tempo is more languorous, 'Tommy DeCarlo' offers us melodic jewels that are 'No Surrender', 'In the Hands of Fate' and 'Spread Your Wings And Fly'. In summary, whether with his group 'Decarlo' or solo, the American 'Tommy DeCarlo' offers us timeless melodies that we have great pleasure in listening to and 'Dancing in the Moonlight' should appeal to all fans of a classy AOR taking us back a few decades...

Line Up / Musicians

Tommy DeCarlo (Vocal), David Julian (Guitar), Martin Jepsen Andersen (Guitar), Alessandro Del Vecchio (Bass, Keybords, Choirs), Nicholas Papapicco (Drums)


Artist : After Lapse

Album : Face the Storm

Release Date : 09-12-2022

Added : 10-01-2023

'After Lapse' is a Spanish progressive metal formation created in 2018 and which released a first album 'Face the Storm' in December 2022. Under the leadership of 'Frontiers Music', a label which is more accustomed to producing rock artists and melodic hard rock, this new project has all the assets to compete with the tenors of the genre because their influences are drawn from the last 20 years of progressive and we can recognize different progressive formations in the broad sense ranging from rock to metal. With 11 tracks, they favour fairly short durations for progressive, not exceeding 6 minutes but still leaving plenty of room for sophisticated and inventive constructions with fairly immediate accessibility thanks to catchy melodic lines.

'Thrive' welcomes us with an instrumental that sets the scene for the album and with a first melody that can recall the epic atmospheres deployed in 'The Astonishing' by 'Dream Theater'. With 'Where No One Cares', we get to the heart of the matter with a first title which shows a very melodic face and which offers a progressive construction with a good alternation between sung parts (very good by the way by 'Rubén Miranda') and provided instrumental sections, the unifying chorus bringing a fairly immediate hook, then, 'Come Undone' (see the video above) develops a more metal atmosphere with a more pronounced aggressiveness in the singing of 'Rubén Miranda' and in the guitar riffs, the whole being more direct and less progressive. Follows the title song (see the video here) which is more moderate and deploys, on a mid-tempo, a remarkable crescendo ending with a very beautiful guitar solo, then falls back to start again on a final all in power. Make way for 'Beyond the End' which shows a quieter face in the form of a magnificent semi-acoustic with a new chorus which immediately sticks in the head and which can still recall the atmosphere of 'The Astonishing', then 'The Lie' returns to inventive progressive metal with alternating rhythms and intensities, the oriental melodic lines with the very beautiful instrumental passage in the middle of the title bringing a zest of scenery, which makes it one of the major pieces of the album. In the continuity of the previous title, 'Through This War' continues in this sought-after progressive metal with a hardening of the tone brought by a muscular rhythm section which leads the dance with multiple changes of tempos, the whole always keeping melodic lines accessible. The Spaniards continue to fill us with what follows and the titles 'More' (remarkable central guitar solo) and 'Facta Non Verba' (very beautiful neo-classical passage) are still very beautiful examples of this melodic progressive, the album ending with the short instrumental 'Heal' which brings us back to much quieter lands in a symphonic atmosphere and 'Along The Way' which ends the album in a very beautiful way with a refined ballad with a very beautiful melancholy trio singing/piano/cello.

In summary, if we had to define this magnificent album by the Spaniards of After Lapse', I would say that it could be a good entry for all those who want to discover progressive metal because it integrates, at the same time, all the ingredients of an inventive and sought-after progressive while keeping a fairly immediate accessibility thanks to accessible melodic lines, but 'Face the Storm' goes far beyond a simple progressive metal album because the Spaniards offer us a panel of different styles that they merge in a very beautiful way and, for my part, this already very mature first album is my favorite of the end of 2022...

Line Up / Musicians

Rubén Miranda (Vocal), Jorge Escudero (Guitar), Pablo Sancha (Keybords, Choirs), Javier Palacios (Bass), Roberto Cappa (Drums) + Guests : Pedro J. Monge (Guitar), Carlos Lozano (Guitar), Alicia Avilés Valero (Cello)


Artist : Deathless Legacy

Album : Mater Larvarum

Release Date : 09-12-2022

Added : 11-01-2023

I did not know the Italian group 'Deathless Legacy', nor the style they claim, the 'horror metal' and, listening to their latest album 'Mater Larvarum', I found a mixture of styles which I like with a fusion of symphonic metal, gothic metal, melodic metal and progressive metal. Known for doing very theatrical shows featuring scary makeup, the Italians are used to releasing concept albums that they always accompany with an associated book (see their page with their different stories here) and 'Mater Larvarum' are no exception in exploring, I quote the band, "feminine ferocity, frightening silences and shadows from the underground": quite a program!

And yet, despite the always very dark themes mixing occult sciences, devilry and esotericism, the melodic lines are catchy from the first listen and can be compared to the tenors of symphonic metal and this, from the start with 'Ora Pro Nobis' (see the video above), a very catchy title which makes the link with the theme only by remarkable choirs in a religious atmosphere. We also find this lively and playful side in the majority of the compositions, and we can quote titles like ''Hollow', 'The Coven', 'Absolution', 'Queen Of The Infernal Pantheon' or even 'Moonless Night' with choruses that immediately stick in your head. In a more theatrical but just as melodic metal, the Italians also offer us 'Fade Into The Dark' in which 'Steva' shows all his vocal talent or the rhythmic mid-tempo marked 'Moonless Night' (see the video here) automatically starting the foot tapping machine, atmosphere that we will find in 'Altar Of Bones' with its more disturbing atmosphere and more in phase with the deployed theme. We find this same atmosphere in the last two compositions : first of all with 'Run' which again highlights a very expressive vocal performance of 'Steva' on a melody giving off a feeling of oppression and anguish interspersed with a remarkable more sedate section with a very beautiful guitar solo, then with the final title song in a heavier and more epic atmosphere deploying an addictive melody with very beautiful grandiose choirs.

In summary, the Italians of 'Deathless Legacy', led by a talented singer who has nothing to envy to the best female metal singers, release a very beautiful album which shows that their horror metal label is finally quite restrictive and certainly scares some people when they can claim a place of choice in the best symphonic and gothic metal formations. If you want to also discover the previous albums, I put you the spotify links on their last three albums, 'The Gathering' from 2015, 'Dance with Devils' from 2017 and 'Ritual of Black Magic' from 2018 as well as the single 'Saturnalia' which is actually a long and beautiful title of 24 minutes which shows the very progressive side of the group...

Line Up / Musicians

Steva (Vocal), Sergent Bones (Guitar), Alex van Eden (Keybords), Deadwood Nick (Bass), Frater Orion (Drums)


Artist : Kamala

Album : limbo666

Release Date : 09-12-2022

Added : 13-01-2023

Very discreet on the web, the Germans of 'Kamala' are releasing a new album, 'libom666', which is already the third after 'Radial Perception' in 2018 and 'Your Sugar' in 2019. Listening to the first titles of this latest opus, we find ourselves a few decades back in the psychedelic period with compositions strongly borrowed from sounds of the time and the first name that came to me in mind is the group 'The Doors' with their legendary title 'Riders on the Storm' released more than fifty years ago. So we embark on compositions that could have emerged in the late 60s, the style being known for hypnotic sounds and catchy melodic lines rock us throughout the album. Whatever the atmosphere of the title, the guitars and the keyboards deliver us chords bringing out these psychedelic atmospheres of the time and, in order not to make a title by title, I will quote the titles which have marked me the most as the catchy title track, 'Cut The Wire' with its sound effects from another era (see the video above), the energetic 'Freudian Autocorrect' which puts a little spice in the whole and 'Narcisse' which may recall some of the 'Beatles' tracks from the late 70s. In short, if you want to take a nice trip back in time to the era of 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' from the 'Beatles' or 'The End' from 'The Doors' or 'White Rabbit' from 'Jefferson Airplane' or the album 'Fifth Dimension' from 'The Byrds' to name only a few, you've come to the right place and 'limbo666' should take you, for a moment, to hypnotic rhythmics and haunting melodies characteristic of the psychedelic style that emerged in the course of the 60s and that the Germans of 'Kamala' manage to transcribe very well...

Line Up / Musicians

Christian Kämper (Vocal), Hannes Gröschner (Bass), Theo Rolfs (Guitar), Eric Glatzel (Guitar, Keybords), Henry Mitko (Drums)


Artist : Baris Dai

Album : Ambiant Conditions

Release Date : 09-12-2022

Added : 14-01-2023

'Baris Dai' is a Dutch musician trying to get his music out there and has released two EPs which I've compiled into a spotify playlist above. Part 1 of 'Ambiant Conditions' was released in March 2021 and Part 2 in December 2022, forming a set of about thirty minutes. Entirely instrumental, his compositions are influenced by several decades of progressive, and he takes us on a beautiful musical journey in which he mixes different styles ranging from atmospheric to metal. Each EP includes three titles that follow one another and the first 'The Days Get Longer After All' is a good summary of the atmospheres deployed with an introduction that makes me think of the atmospheres of 'Mark Knopfler' in his film music and which takes scale gradually to become energetic with the arrival of saturated guitar riffs on catchy melodic lines which fall on the end with some guitar notes. Without transition, the atmosphere is more peaceful in the introduction of 'And A New Cycle Begins' (see the video above with very beautiful landscapes), then, alternate different intensities and rhythms with a beautiful break in the second part of the title before ending on a new crescendo in which 'Baris Dai' offers us a very beautiful guitar solo. We continue on 'Then Warmth Of Scarce Sunlight' (see the video here) which again puts the guitar in all its forms, all of first with some delicious arpeggios, then with a rise in power and a new magnificent solo supported by saturated riffs, the title ending as it had started in a very clean way. The second EP is in the same style as the first and, 'Baris Dai' has concocted three other compositions for us with 'When Nature Wakes Up' which, this time, begins in a light and bucolic atmosphere which then grows and which offers a new guitar solo which draws a pleasant melody, then, 'Vivid Green and Birds Singing' is more energetic with a beautiful central break, and the album ends with 'The Rebirth Is Complete' which offers us a last instrumental with , once again, an opposition between ambient parts and other more muscular ones, the guitar adding each time the little extra to captivate the listener.

In summary, these two short EPs of 'Baris Dai' show all the talent of the Dutchman as a composer, and if you are a fan of instrumentals highlighting the electric guitar in all its forms, you should definitely join to 'Ambient Conditions'...

Line Up / Musicians

Baris Dai (Guitar, Programmation)


Artist : Autumn's Grief

Album : Dead by the Dawn

Release Date : 09-12-2022

Added : 01-02-2023

The second group that I discovered while surfing from artist to artist on spotify is 'Autumn's Grief' which is a Finnish project, created by keyboardist 'Ville Skön' and guitarist and bassist 'Santtu Rosén' a couple of years ago. At the time, the two musicians who are part of the gothic metal band 'Dying Daylight', were looking for an interpreter for their new compositions and the singer 'Noora Virtanen' was chosen. Having become a trio, they recorded three singles and their first album 'The Dead Don't Smile' was released in October 2021. A little over a year later, it's the turn of their second album 'Dead by the Dawn' to see the light of day. Classified as symphonic metal, a first listen to this latest baby from the Finns brings out rather melancholy atmospheres, the metal side brought by the saturated guitars often being set back from the more present symphonic arrangements. We think in particular of artists deploying a rather soft melodic style like 'Imperia' or 'Evanescance' or 'Tarja' for the best known.

'The Tide' welcomes us on a mid-tempo with alternating intensities highlighting a first catchy chorus, the keyboards of 'Ville Skön' softening the whole then, 'The Sea of Apathy' continues in a slow rhythmic with orchestral arrangements put forward and the melody can think of certain compositions of 'Tarja'. With 'Under the Belt of Orion', the metal side comes out only with a few more heavy guitar riffs and we let ourselves be carried away again by a harmonious melody benefiting from a nice pianistic break in the second part. Make way for the magnificent ballad 'Hanging in Midair', highlighting the clear vocals of 'Noora Virtanen' which brings a beautiful softness to this title, then, 'The Clearing' and 'The Dragonfly' slightly harden the tone with two energetic compositions, the first with a rhythm section alternating between energetic passages and other more sedate ones, and the second, on an up-tempo setting in motion the headbanging machine and benefiting from new catchy melodic lines. Follows the short 'In the Presence of the Sun' which, with disturbing keyboards and vocals, brings an original instrumental break, then, 'There Was a Light' moves away from metal and delicately tickles our eardrums with its sweet melody embellished with very beautiful vocal arrangements. We find a more classic scheme with 'They Talk To Me' which highlights a marked rhythm, the vocals of 'Noora Virtanen' inviting us to beat time, then the eponymous title of the album delicately ends this beautiful album with a new ballad that travels between quiet parts and other more energetic ones, the whole benefiting from very beautiful melodic lines on which 'Noora Virtanen' comes one last time to fill us with her melodious singing.

In summary, the Finns of Autumn's Grief' offer us a very beautiful album offering a moderate symphonic metal with melodies that we appropriate very quickly and filled with a beautiful delicacy, thanks in particular to a singer who offers us vocal performances well in phase with the refined atmospheres deployed, which intends 'Dead by the Dawn' to a whole audience favouring the symphonic side to the energy of saturated guitars...

Line Up / Musicians

Noora Virtanen (Vocal), Ville Skön (Keybords), Santtu Rosén (Guitar, Bass)


Artist : The Palimpsest

Album : Primary

Release Date : 03-12-2022

Added : 27-12-2022

After the return of the Poles from 'Collage' in the spotlight, here is a new progressive rock project, 'The Palimpsest', which was initiated by vocalist and bassist 'Glam Dave' and is releasing his debut album 'Primary'. Quite discreet on the web, we learn on his site that he was influenced by different currents, first of all by the essential groups of the rock and hard rock scene of the 70s like 'AC/DC', 'Motorhead' or 'Black Sabbath' but that he was also attracted by the neo-prog movement of the 90s with 'Marillion' or 'IQ' which led him to listen to the pioneers of the genre of the 70s.

On the menu of this first opus from the Englishman, which exceeds one hour of listening, 10 compositions ranging from three to ten minutes, which take us into atmospheres that take us back a few decades and parade names like 'Pink Floyd', 'Emerson Lake & Palmer', 'Genesis' or even 'Rush'. After the introduction 'Hello' which begins with the sound effects of a music box that we wind up and of which we hear the sweet melody which turns into a very beautiful piano/voice duet, the first long development 'The Death of the Only Child' deploys its 10 minutes by mixing various influences with very beautiful alternations between energetic parts and others much calmer (magnificent passage at 3 minutes in the style of a 'Roger Waters'), the 'Floydian' guitar solos on the finale bringing a magnificent atmospheric side. With 'Dearly Beloved', we continue in a quiet atmosphere with a more direct construction and with very beautiful melodic lines, the sweet vocals of 'Glam Dave' adding to this feeling of sweetness, then, 'The Stranger', continues in a more tormented atmosphere, the very expressive singing adding to this sense of urgency. Follows 'Questions' which is a very beautiful semi-acoustic title with an acoustic guitar accompaniment and which offers us a catchy melody which comes directly to the head, then, 'I'm Tired' begins in a refined way with a vocals whispered by 'Glam Dave' accompanied by a few layers of keyboards and gradually gaining momentum for the second part which shows a heavy and heavy face with a very beautiful guitar solo, the title falling on the end as it had start. After a long symphonic introduction with strings repeating the same theme, the long development 'Times and Tides' then takes off to unfold a catchy melody on a mid-tempo that modulates the intensities with influences taking us back to the 70s, then, 'Miss You' is more direct in a classy AOR style with a new melody that sticks in your head. And to finish, 'Maybe' takes us back to the melodic rock lines of the seventies that can remind us of the 'Rolling Stones' and 'Reprise' offers us this time an atmospheric instrumental with a magnificent 'Floydien' guitar solo and a very beautiful piano/ voice that echoes the opening title with the music box that delicately closes this very beautiful album.

In summary, this new project 'The Palimpsest' by Englishman 'Glam Dave' offers us a very beautiful journey through time with a mosaic of influences mixing direct and progressive rock, the whole being supported by melodic lines that we tame very quickly, which intends 'Primary' for a wide audience who love an accessible and melodic progressive that takes us back to the pioneers of this style...

Line Up / Musicians

Glam Dave (Vocal, Bass)


Artist : Tarja Turunen

Album : Best of: Living the Dream

Release Date : 02-12-2022

Added : 19-12-2022

That's it!! 'Tarja' comes from releasing her first best of in several versions and the ultimate 'Box Set' edition (still €114!) should take pride of place in front of the Christmas tree for all fans of the Finn. The streaming platforms present the first CD with the new title 'Eye of the Storm' released in October 2022 and of which we can see a video with the lyrics above and which shows the talent of 'Tarja' to bring different influences into his songs, this time with an Argentinian tango rhythm. The titles chosen are taken from the various albums with the hits that punctuate his solo career, starting with the inevitable 'I Walk Alone' which has been part of all his setlists, then parade well-known titles such as 'Die Alive', 'Falling Awake', 'Until My Last Breath', 'Victim of Ritual', '500 Letters', 'Never Enough' or even 'Innocence'. Other titles known but less played in concert also appear as 'Enough', 'Diva', 'Dead Promises', 'Tears in Rain' or 'You and I'. And if you don't fall for the 'Box Set' edition, the Finn also offers a version with 2 CDs and a Blu-Ray for around twenty euros: the second CD completes the first with 13 other titles showing range of his repertoire but the good surprise in this edition is the two-hour 'Circus Life' concert which was recorded in 2020 at the 'Circul Metropolitan Bucuresti' in Bucharest and which alone is worth buying this version and of which you have an extract on YouTube with the title 'Innocence').

In short, the metal facet of 'Tarja' now has a magnificent Best of which retraces his last 15 years as a soloist and which should delight all his fans but also all fans of symphonic metal and we don't don't forget either that the Finn is a complete artist who is as comfortable on a metal stage as in a church to interpret Christmas carols, the albums 'Ave Maria – en Plein Air', 'From Spirits and Ghosts (Score for a Dark Christmas)' and 'Christmas Together: Live At Olomouc And Hradec Králové 2019' being there for n remind us...

Line Up / Musicians

My Winter Storm :
Tarja Turunen (Vocal), Alexander Scholpp (Guitar), Torsten Stenzel (Keybords), Doug Wimbish (Bass), Earl Harvin (Drums)

What Lies Beneath :
Tarja Turunen (Vocal, Piano), Alex Scholpp (Guitar), Marzi Nyman (Guitar), Doug Wimbish (Bass), Christian Kretschmar (Keybords, Hammond), Maria Ilmoniemi (Keybords, Hammond), Mike Terrana (batterie), Will Calhoun (Drums), Max Lilja (Cello), Lahti Symphony Orchestra, The Slovakian Orchestra and Choir

Colours in the Dark :
Tarja Turunen (Vocal, Piano), Alex Scholpp (Guitar), Max Lilja (Cello), Christian Kretschmar (Keybords), Kevin Chown (Bass), Julin Barrett (Guitar), Mike Terrana (Drums, Percussions) + Guests : Caroline Lavelle (Cello), Justin Furstenfeld (Vocal, Choirs), Naomi Cabuli Turunen (Vocal)

The Shadow Self :
Tarja Turunen (Vocal, Keybords), Alex Scholpp (Guitar), Christian Kretschmar (Keybords), Doug Wimbish (Bass), Julian Barrett (Guitar, Bass), Kevin Chown (Bass), Max Lilja (Cello), Peter Barrett (Bass) + Guests : Alissa White-Gluz (Vocal), Bart Hendrickson (Keybords), Fernando Scarcella (Drums), Guillermo De Medio (Keybords), Luis Conte (Drums), Mervi Myllyoja (Violin), Mike Coolen (Drums), Mike Terrana (Drums), Nicolas Polo (Drums), Toni Turunen (Vocal), Torsten Stenzel (Keybords)

In The Raw :
Tarja Turunen (Vocal), Alex Scholpp (Guitar), Christian Kretschmar (Keybords), Kevin Chown (Bass), Max Lilja (Cello), Timm Schreiner (Drums)+ Guests : Bjorn Strid (Vocal), Cristina Scabbia (Vocal), Tommy Karevik (Vocal)


Artist : Kenny Wayne Shepherd

Album : Trouble Is... 25

Release Date : 02-12-2022

Added : 21-12-2022

After the very good live 'Straight To You : Live' of 2020, we had found the bluesman 'Kenny Wayne Shepherd' in good company with 'Joanne Shaw Taylor' in her latter's live, 'Blues From The Heart Live', and the American released a re-recording of his 1997 album 'Trouble Is' to celebrate his 25-year career, a little late all the same, since it was originally the first album from 1995, 'Ledbetter Heights' which was supposed to be re-registered but, given what you know, the release would have been postponed for two years. Never mind, this second album contains good blues/rock and takes us back to the end of the 90s and puts the 12 compositions of this album back between our ears with an additional bonus track, the cover of 'Ballad Of A Thin Man' by 'Bob Dylan', with whom 'Kenny Wayne Shepherd' toured early in his career, and who at the time was competing for 'Trouble Is...' with 'Everything Is Broken' of the same 'Bob Dylan' who had finally been retained. In addition to covers of 'Bob Dylan', 'Trouble Is...' contained 'I Don't Live Today' by 'Jimmy Hendrix' and 'Nothing To Do With Love', by 'Frankie Miller' and 'Jerry Lynn Williams ' which was first performed by 'Bonnie Tyler' in his album 'Free Spirit' from 1995, all other tracks written or co-written by 'Kenny Wayne Shepherd'. Listening to this album, we say to ourselves that all his compositions have not aged a bit and that they have all become timeless, the current production bringing a very special dynamic while keeping the blues spirit of the time. . Note for those who would like to purchase the CD that it also comes with a DVD (or Blu-ray) of a concert recorded at the 'Strand Theater' in Shepherd's hometown of 'Shreveport'. In short, no need to add more, I leave you with 'Kenny Wayne Shepherd' who, 25 years later, still enchants us with his singing and his admirable guitar solos...

Line Up / Musicians

Kenny Wayne Shepherd (Vocal, Guitar), Noah Hunt (Vocal), Reese Wynans (Keybords), Kevin McCormick (Bass), Chris Layton (Drums)


Artist : Zuberoa Aznárez

Album : Keltiar Spells

Release Date : 02-12-2022

Added : 22-12-2022

Between two albums of 'Diabulus In Musica' , the woman singer 'Zuberoa Aznárez' has also a solo project, far removed from her symphonic metal band, in which she mixes influences from folk, Celtic, classical music and popular song. After 'Beyond The Threshold' in 2017 and 'Nowell' in 2020 which was a set of Christmas songs, she has just released a new opus, 'Keltiar Spells' in which she has composed four of the thirteen titles, the rest being covers of Celtic songs or instrumentals, in peaceful atmospheres on which we are lulled by her sweet singing or by his aerial flute. We find classics like the different Irish jigs, 'Skye Boat Sog' or even 'Brian Boru's March' in a refined register, Zuberoa's singing bringing a feeling of fullness throughout this album. Note that among the original songs, 'Stardust Soul' was the subject of a beautiful video that can be seen above by clicking on the youtube link. In short, this new album by the Spanish 'Zuberoa Aznárez' still shows all her talent to move us in a register far removed from the symphonic metal of 'Diabulus In Musica' and 'Keltiar Spells' is a magical moment filled with serenity and sweetness to enjoy calmly with headphones to relax after a hard day's work...

Line Up / Musicians

Zuberoa Aznárez (Vocal, Flute, Harp Celtique, Guitar)


Artist : Amberian Dawn

Album : Take a Chance – a Metal Tribute to ABBA

Release Date : 02-12-2022

Added : 23-12-2022

In this period which precedes the Christmas holidays, we want to listen to lighter music in keeping with this festive period and the Finns of 'Amberian Dawn' with their label of 'Abba Metal' (see myprogmusic's reviews of their last three albums below) are precisely there to offer us covers of their favourite formation with a metal sauce. So, if you like festive metal and you like the melodies that have become timeless from Sweden's Abba', you will certainly be seduced by this latest album 'Take a Chance – a Metal Tribute to ABBA' from the Finns. Parade 11 compositions which were all hits at the time and the power of the guitars brings a very particular enthusiasm which gives an irresistible desire to accompany 'Päivi 'Capri' Virkkunen' in his singing very close to the Swedish female duo. The first four titles are proof of this and 'Amberian Dawn' appropriates these very catchy compositions magnificently without distorting them. And between all these energetic titles, they judiciously inserted two breaks with more moderate compositions which are 'The Days Before You Came' and 'Like An Angel Passing Through My Room'. Also note that in addition to the video of 'Super Trouper' above, two other videos are available on Youtube: they are 'Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!' and 'SOS'. In short, I leave you in the company of this festive metal from the Finns of 'Amberian Dawn' which gives a boost and youth to all these timeless compositions that we have all heard at some point in our lives and that the we have been etched forever in our memory.

myprogmusic reviews of 'Amberian Dawn'
= 'Innuendo' - 2015
= 'Darkness of Eternity - 2017
= 'Looking for You' - 2020

Line Up / Musicians

Päivi 'Capri' Virkkunen (Vocal), Tuomas Seppälä (Keybords), Emil 'Emppu' Pohjalainen (Guitar), Jukka Hoffren (Bass), Joonas Pykälä-aho (Drums)


Artist : Collage

Album : Over And Out

Release Date : 30-11-2022

Added : 26-12-2022

The Poles of 'Collage' return to the forefront of the progressive rock scene with a new album, 'Over And Out', the last album 'Safe' dating back to 1995. Meanwhile, 'Wojtek Szadkowski' had gone create 'Satellite' with 4 albums and, in 2016, 'Collage' resumed activity with three of the members of the formation who released the very good 'Moonshine' in 1994 ('Krzysztof Palczewski' on keyboards, ' Piotr Mintay Witkowski' on bass and 'Wojtek Szadkowski' on drums), the rest of the band now consisting of vocalist 'Bartek Kossowicz' and guitarist 'Michał Kirmuć'. This unexpected new album from the Poles is firmly rooted in a dense and inventive progressive that merges several decades of this style, ranging from the 70s with reminiscences of bands like 'Genesis' to the present day, the closest references being 'Marillion', 'IQ' or even 'Arena'.

The album begins in style with the imposing title track of nearly 22 minutes which is a progressive saga with all the ingredients that one wishes to find in this kind of river composition and each artist brings his stone to the edifice to build this dense and inventive mountain which in turn has influences from 'Genesis' and 'Marillion'. 'Bartosz Kossowicz' accompanies us with a very expressive song that he modulates according to the intensity of the moment and 'Krzysztof Palczewski' shows all his talent at the instrumental level, the keyboards imposing their omnipresence by bringing a grandeur to this title, without forget the rhythm section composed of 'Piotr Mintay Witkowski' and 'Wojtek Szadkowski' which surfs on multiple changes of tempo and intensity. Less long but just as progressive in construction, 'What About the Pain' continues in these sound contrasts with still very catchy melodic lines, the alternations of sung parts and instrumental sections being well balanced and the children's choirs in the second part being a pure delight. With 'One Empty Hand', the piano accompanies us for a few moments with a very beautiful piano/voice duo, then the title gains momentum with a remarkable drum accompaniment bringing an enormous force to the energetic sections. Follows 'A Moment, A Feeling' which develops over 13 minutes a new progressive epic in which, after an atmospheric introduction, 'Bartosz Kossowicz' conveys real emotion in his singing and makes me think of 'Alan Reed' with 'Pallas' in the magnificent album 'The Dreams Of Men' from 2006, then, we walk in a magnificent sound labyrinth with multiple rhythmic changes, remarkable instrumental sections and a melodic theme returning in several places and bringing an extraordinary force to the whole. And it is with 'Man in the Middle' which sees the participation of 'Steve Rothery' that the album ends on a slow tempo with a magnificent melodic first part, the piano/voice duo interspersed with Steve's guitar solos being a real magical moment and the long instrumental finale repeatedly triggering this shiver so characteristic of intense listening happiness, and for my part, bringing the same emotions as that of 'Comfortably Numb' by the 'Floyds' with this feeling of strength quiet.

In summary, this new album by the Poles of 'Collage' is a progressive must-have which is filled with an extraordinary richness and density and which is revealed, little by little, listen after listen, which should certainly make 'Over And Out' a contender for a place of choice in the ideal discotheque of a good number of progressive rock fans...

Line Up / Musicians

Bartosz Kossowicz (Vocal), Michał Kirmuć (Guitar), Krzysztof Palczewski (Keybords), Piotr Mintay Witkowski (Bass), Wojtek Szadkowski (Drums, Percussions) + Guest : Steve Rothery (Guitar)


Artist : Freedom To Glide

Album : The Chronicle Of Stolen Souls

Release Date : 29-11-2022

Added : 20-12-2022

After the wartime trilogy that included 'Rain' from 2013, 'Fall' from 2016 and 'SEED' from 2019, 'Freedom To Glide', led by English duo 'Andy Nixon'/'Pete Riley' releases a new album 'The Chronicle Of Stolen Souls' which is in fact already known to fans since it is about part of the compositions presented in a limited time since 2014 each year at Christmas time. Three other compositions are present with a prologue and an epilogue as well as the title 'This Is How It Ends'. 'The Chronicle Of Stolen Souls' was not planned this year but the international news including the war in Ukraine made that the English delayed the release of their new album and each title is a tribute to an event that happened a century before, the first composition of 2014, 'Stolen Souls', referring to the first day of the First World War and the last of 2019, 'Silent Land' covering the consequences of this war which supposedly was to be "the war that would end all wars".

The prologue welcomes us in a magnificent piano/voice duet which is joined at the end by the electric instruments and which releases a beautiful emotion, then, without transition, 'Stolen Souls' continues in this delicate and cozy ambience approaching of a piano bar atmosphere, the melancholic melodic lines making me think of what 'Sting' can release in some of his compositions, the resemblance of the song 'Andy Nixon' with that of the Englishman not being foreign to it. With 'Seize The Day', the lively tempo shows a lighter face while keeping this gravity in the theme and the instrumental sections remind me this time of 'RPWL'. 'The War Cannot Be Won' continues in this calm and serene progressive and I again have this feeling of parallel with the style of 'Sting' in the first part, the second half comprising a very beautiful instrumental section, this time with an admirable 'Floydian' guitar solo. 'Peace Without Victory' then takes us on a magnificent semi-acoustic title which begins by lulling us with a guitar/voice duet that takes us up warm on a cosy little cloud, then halfway through, the tone is more lively with a remarkable new guitar solo which gives way to a very beautiful and more peaceful symphonic finale, the piano having replaced the acoustic guitar. With 'Silent Land', the emotional slider goes up a notch and offers us a melancholic ballad which slowly travels on a very beautiful melody, the electric guitar once again gently rocking us in the middle of the title and a slight crescendo highlighting a remarkable vocal performance of 'Andy Nixon's. On a few muffled keyboard notes, 'Left Side Of The Brain' continues to deploy a delicate atmosphere, the piano flirting with jazzy intonations, and it is the turn of the epilogue to conclude these six beautiful titles in a very beautiful way, taking up the piano/voice duet of the prologue which is extended by a very beautiful guitar solo and which returns in the last two minutes to a refined finale with aerial choirs accompanied by a few piano notes, and the album ends with 'This Is How It Ends' in this same climate charged with a very particular emotion by leaving us in our thoughts in which always turn the same question: "how the human being, after all these painful experiences can he start again to inflict so much suffering to these fellows?"

In summary, as you will have understood, this last recording of the English of 'Freedom To Glide' is charged with a very particular emotion that the duo 'Andy Nixon'/'Pete Riley' set to music by remarkable way and 'The Chronicle Of Stolen Souls' completes the trilogy on the First World War in a very beautiful way and should be added to the essential albums to have in your collection for all lovers of progressive music...

Line Up / Musicians

Andy Nixon (Vocal, Guitar, Bass, Keybords), Pete Riley (Piano, Keybords, Organ)


Artist : CEN-ProjekT

Album : BIG

Release Date : 28-11-2022

Added : 18-12-2022

We no longer stop 'Chris Engels' in his successive album releases because after 'The Lost One' in March 2022 and 'C4' in July 2022, I missed his solo album 'Wonderland' which he released as 'Chris Angels' (but you can see a review on the site of 'Progcritique') and, it is thanks to an email from Chris that I find myself chronicling this third album of 2022 which is simply called 'BIG'. Each composition, as for the last opus, is based on a poem and 'Chris Engels' always provides all the instruments and the vocals, 'Worlfgang Kropf' coming to support him on bass.

We find this atmospheric progressive that we already knew on the previous opuses with certainly even calmer compositions, which is shown at the start by 'The Idea' which, after an aerial 'Floydian' introduction, unrolls a mid -tempo on a melody supported by a powerful and heavy sound which can recall the Germans of 'RPWL' and which has a beautiful instrumental section in the second part of the title with successively a solo of keyboards and guitar. Even quieter, 'Pre-Existence' continues in a nonchalant atmosphere on which we abandon ourselves completely, the song filled with serenity of 'Chris Engels' adding again to this feeling of plenitude. The following titles continue in the same style with first, the slow tempo of 'Rain Music', then with that of Enesis' which includes a beautiful instrumental break in the second part of the title and with my favorite of the album, 'Making a Man', which embarks us, accompanied by a piano, in a melodic jewel filled with a beautiful emotion, the high-pitched vocals being quite divine. The rest of the album scrolls 'Vision of Him' which is in the atmospheric continuity of the beginning but which integrates an instrumental section to the 'One Of These Days' of the 'Floyds' in the second part bringing a nice variety to this title, then, 'Make Believe' takes us into peaceful progressive with a multi-drawer construction highlighting multiple alternations of intensities and inventive instrumental sections, the album ending with 'Master' which also shows a quiet side in the first half and which picks up the pace in the second as if 'Chris Engels' wanted to bring us back little by little to the harsh reality of our constantly changing world to better remember those restful moments he gave us live.

In summary, 'Chris Engels' still offers us a very beautiful album of atmospheric rock which takes us on a beautiful journey slowly scrolling through restful and relaxing landscapes and which is conducive to listening in a quiet place to recover an exhausting day...

Line Up / Musicians

Chris Engels (Vocal, Tous les instruments), Wolfgang Kropf (Bass)


Artist : Lee Aaron

Album : Elevate

Release Date : 25-11-2022

Added : 12-12-2022

Since her come back in 2016, 'Lee Aaron' has multiplied his albums and 2021 saw the release of the very good 'Radio On!' and 'Almost Christmas' which contained Christmas songs with rock sauce. A year later, it's the turn of Elevate' to see the light of day and, with the same line-up, she has concocted new compositions for us that smack of direct and effective rock, which have been recorded in live conditions, which adds to this spontaneity and this authenticity which is good in this gloomy winter period. And right off the bat, with the rhythmic 'Rock Bottom Revolution' (see the video above), if your head doesn't want to beat the beat to the tempo set by an addictive bass line, it's because you you're not cut out for this kind of music. For others, you will certainly be won over by the following with the mid-tempo 'Trouble Maker' (see the video here), the popular 'The Devil U Know' with its memorable chorus, then 'Freak Show' continues in this direction with a marked rhythm which is followed by the catchy 'Heaven's Where We Are' which makes you want to accompany Lee in the chorus. The second part of the album continues with new melodic compositions that we appropriate from the first listen, the beautiful ballad 'Red Dress' coming to be inserted for a well-deserved moment of recovery between an energetic 'Highway Romeo' and the super effective heavy tempo of the blues/rock 'Spitfire Woman' and the album ends in a very beautiful way with the title song which again highlights the powerful vocals of 'Lee Aaron' who transports us one last time with a remarkable crescendo and a new rhythm that makes you headbang throughout the title.

In summary, it's still a remarkable album that 'Lee Aaron' offers us which continues, release after release, to spoil us with his direct and effective rock which gives you energy and vitality and which arrives at the right time during this pre-Christmas period to give us a little boost...

Line Up / Musicians

Lee Aaron (Vocal), Sean Kelly (Guitar), Dave Reimer (Bass), John Cody (Drums)


Artist : Gandalf's Fist

Album : Widdershins

Release Date : 25-11-2022

Added : 08-12-2022

After their admirable last studio recording 'The Clockwork Prologue' of 2019, the English of 'Gandalf's Fist' are releasing a new album at the end of 2022, 'Widdershins' which is still a rich and dense work since it borders on 75 minutes. This time they offer us a concept album about, as the name of the album suggests (literally anti-clockwise), all those who go against the grain of what was a mark of bad luck in ancient superstitions. Musically, we find this happy melting pot of styles straight from the 70s and this album is perhaps even broader in the different influences than the previous ones because in each composition, here and there, I had the impression of find myself a few decades back in the days of the first hard rock, progressive rock and even folk bands that have become legendary over time.

These are eight titles that enamel this new opus, and despite relatively long durations, the whole is very digestible thanks to a great diversity between each composition and a variety within each of them. 'Sacrement' welcomes us in a refined atmosphere with a few notes of acoustic guitar and piano but quickly gains momentum with vintage keyboards that 'John Lord' would not have denied and pours an energetic title mixing influences from ' Deep Purple' and Uriah Heep' but adds in the second part a progressive section with magnificent vocal arrangements. Follows the long development of the title song which is a progressive saga in several drawers that we pull one after the other and which highlights remarkable instrumental sections, sometimes energetic and sometimes calmer, the whole keeping melodic lines catchy throughout the title. Darker, 'The Haruspex' delivers a heavy rhythm supported by dark choirs and the very expressive vocals of 'Keri Farish', interspersed with an instrumental joust in a contemporary atmosphere, adds to this feeling of gravity. With 'Dreamcatcher' (see video above), the tone is more calm and 'Keri Farish' bewitches us with her delicious singing that she modulates perfectly according to the intensity of the moment, the melody being simply divine, then, 'Wisp' brings a folk side with a flute à la 'Troy Donockley' and presents a serene first part which accelerates the tempo at the end of the title to take us into a dance on a Celtic melody that the French of 'Tri Yann' would not have denied. With 'Man of Signs', the atmosphere is more mysterious and enigmatic and unfolds a first part at slow tempo in a symphonic atmosphere that can recall certain melodic lines of 'Renaissance', then, in the manner of 'Jethro Tull', the title continues in a more removed atmosphere to fall on the end as it had started. The shortest title of the album follows, 'Witchmonger' which, in a rural atmosphere, delivers an endearing new melody and precedes 'Cave', an epic of almost 20 minutes which takes you into an intense sonic labyrinth with multiple evocations of the beginning of the progressive, 'Keri Farish' showing all her talent by adapting her voice to each change of mood and the multiple arrangements merging the instruments of the orchestra and the electric instruments being quite remarkable by bringing a considerable richness to the whole.

In summary, the English of 'Gandalf's Fist' certainly release one of the albums which will mark the most the year 2022 in progressive and which admirably perpetuates a progressive inherited from the 70s/80s, which means that 'Widdershins' should join any discotheque ideal for any amateur and any progressive rock lover...

Line Up / Musicians

Dean Marsh (Guitar, Bass, Keybords, Vocal, Choirs, Mandolin, Bouzouki, Flute), Keri Farish (Vocal, Choirs), Luke Severn (Voice), Stefan Hepe (Drums, Percussions), Ben Bell (Keybords, Piano, Voice, Bass, Guitar) + Guests : Tim "Ripper" Owens (Voice), Dave Oberlé (Voice, Bodhrán), Pavle Popov (Bass), Faliq Auri (Bagpipe, Flute), Tom McCluskey (Cello), Jess Townsend (Violin, Viola), Brandon Wilkins (Flute, Hautbois, Clarinette, Basson), Daniel Pearce (Vocal), Alicia, Rafferty (Vocal), Eira Marsh (Vocal)


Artist : Molllust

Album : Mother Universe

Release Date : 25-11-2022

Added : 10-12-2022

'Molllust' is a rather special German formation since they merge two rather distant styles of music: metal and classical music. To give you some references that could come close to it, 'Therion' is undoubtedly one of the bands closest to metal opera 'Beloved Antichrist' composed by 'Christofer Johnsson' but we can also mention their compatriots from 'Coronatus' for the use of lyric singing, but also 'Haggard' and, of course, to a lesser extent, the unmissable 'Tarja ' who just released a "Best of" of his solo metal career. But back on topic, after 'In Deep Waters' from 2015, 'Molllust' released at the end of November 2022 a new studio recording where each composition is dedicated to one of the celestial objects constituting it.

It's a dense album that awaits you with almost 75 minutes of listening and, after the short epic instrumental introduction 'Cosmic Overture' which already presents this astonishing mixture between classical and electric instruments, his majesty the Sun unfolds a first title bringing us back to a classical music melody and it is in this style that the Germans approach 'Coronatus'. The suite is in the image of this beginning and the atmospheres deployed alternate power and serenity, the lyrical singing led by the duo formed by the soprano 'Janika Groß' and the singer 'Frank Schumacher' being always very expressive and totally in their role of opera character. We travel through different musical landscapes, moving from a powerful and epic 'Saturn – Human Clockwork' (see video above) to serenity of 'Venus – Poems of Love' (see video here) which develops memorable melodic lines, then the other stars parade one after the other with quite different atmospheres such as the evocation of the earth with 'Earth – Beauty of Diversity ' which alternates between energy and tranquillity within the very title, which well illustrates the diversity of our planet. In a more extreme style, we find 'Mars - The Game Is Over' (see the video here) with its imposing choirs and tempo almost military oppressive, then 'Mercury – The Desert Inside' shows a heavier face in the form of a slow procession, the vocal arrangements being sublime and 'Moon - Ostracised Companions' invites us to a walk in the moonlight. The rest of the album scrolls through a powerful 'Jupiter - When Divine Winds Rage' which well illustrates the strength of this gigantic planet, then, 'Uranus - The Butterfly and the Spider' is much catchier and offers catchy melodic lines which make it a very accessible composition. Follows 'Neptune - Wrath of the Sea' which is much more contrasted and which presents variations of intensities and rhythms throughout the title, bringing this feeling of integrating all the movements of classical music and 'Pluto - The Raven's Lullaby' (see the video here) ends the album in a classic opera atmosphere with a beautiful cohabitation between lyrical songs, instruments of orchestra and electric instruments.

In summary, even if 'Mother Universe' risks being reserved for an informed public who likes the bands I mentioned in the introduction to this column, the Germans of 'Molllust' are releasing a very beautiful opera metal and 'Mother Universe' is an intense and diversified musical journey wonderfully combining two styles that we don't usually hear together, metal, and classical music...

Line Up / Musicians

Janika Groß (Vocal, Choirs, Piano), Frank Schumacher (Guitar, Vocal, Bass), Lisa Hellmich (Violin), Manuel Toc (Violin), Julian Jönck (Guitar), Simon Johanning (Bass), Andrea Zannin (Drums) + invités : Anne Eberlein (Viole), Alejandro Barria (Cello), Imki Niemeier (Bass), Carmen Alcantara Fernandez (Harp), Cosima Heinz (Choirs), Süntje Kozlowski (Choirs), Eva Morlang (Choirs), Amelie Rex (Choirs)


Artist : Black Paisley

Album : Human Nature

Release Date : 25-11-2022

Added : 11-12-2022

I introduced you to the Swedes of 'Black Paisley' with their first album 'Late Bloomer' from 2017, then two other opuses followed, starting with 'Perennials' in 2018 and 'Rambler' in 2020. 'Human Nature' is therefore their fourth studio recording, and at the risk of repeating myself , Sweden continues to offer us melodic rock bringing us back to the best of the 80s and, among all its formations from this country, 'Black Paisley' is undoubtedly in the front tier since the streams of a good number of their titles are counted in hundreds of thousands of plays on spotify and 'Human Nature' are expected to add several more hundreds of thousands. No surprise, the Swedes have again made every effort to have a wonderful time listening and this, from the first eponymous title of the album which offers us an addictive first chorus that is grafted directly into the head. The suite continues in this melodic way with direct and accessible melodies at the first listening and it is very difficult to extract only a few of them because they all deserve to be quoted. Nevertheless, to make you want to listen to this album, here is the link to the two videos which were the subject of a single, 'Mojo' and 'Set Me On Fire'. No need to add more, I leave you in good company with this latest album 'Human Nature' from Sweden's 'Black Paisley' which, if you are a fan of good melodic rock that takes us back a few decades, should make you have a great time listening and certainly become addictive quite quickly...

Line Up / Musicians

Stefan Blomqvist (Vocal, Guitar), Franco Santunione (Guitar), Jan Emanuelsson (Bass), Robert Karaszi (Drums, Percussions) + Guests : Martin Karlegård (Choirs), Andreas Karlegård (Choirs)


Artist : Blackrain

Album : Untamed

Release Date : 25-11-2022

Added : 13-12-2022

A short tour of France with the direct and effective hard rock of 'Blackrain' who have just released their 7th album, 'Untamed', after the very good 'Released' in 2016 and 'Dying Breed' in 2019. Everything I had written in my previous columns is still coming to fruition with this new baby from the French: big sound, overflowing energy and catchy melodies on first listen. From the start, with the eponymous title of the album (see the video above), we get a good dose of adrenaline with a first screaming chorus and sharp saturated guitars, the enormous guitar solo coming to give a layer. The album is launched and 'Kiss The Sky', which follows, pours out a new well-muscled hard rock noise, then, 'Dawn Of Hell' lifts its foot slightly with a memorable chorus that tickles your neurons. We continue in the same style with 'All The Darkness' which delivers a new memorable melody, then, the melodic jewel 'Demon' (see the video here) flirts with more measured hard and 'Summer Jesus' (see the video here) brings us back to the raw and heavy energy of a direct and effective hard rock with radiant choirs. The second part of the album is like the first and delivers powerful new titles like 'Set the World in Fire', 'Blade Of Love' or even 'Raise of Glass' and, we won't miss no more addictive refrains from 'Neon Drift' (see the video here) and from mid-tempo 'The End' which shows a more subdued face. In short, no need to add more, the French of 'Blackrain' continue to deliver good hard rock overflowing with a communicative energy with catchy melodies, all this being interpreted by the hands of masters and, icing on the cake, benefiting from a production highlighting an exceptional dynamic that this kind of music needs...

Line Up / Musicians

Swan (Vocal, Guitar), Max2 (Guitar), Matthew H (Bass), Franck F. (Drums)


Artist : StreetLore

Album : StreetLore

Release Date : 25-11-2022

Added : 14-12-2022

I praised the last 'Black Paisley' a few days ago and it's still a new melodic rock project coming to us from Italy, 'StreetLore', whose eponymous debut album was released on the same day as that of the Swedes and which has the same strengths. Initiated by keyboard player 'Lorenzo Nava' who, with the help of producer 'Pierpaolo Monti', managed to bring together a fine line-up of artists and in particular an impressive number of singers (see the list below), the result is at the level of this dream line up: an uninterrupted series of hits with melodies that remain engraved in the memory as if we had between our ears a best of melodic rock from the 80s. title, if you immediately catch the melodic lines of the first title 'Brothers' (see the video above), with the beautiful vocal performance of 'Davide' Barbieri' ('Wheels Of Fire'), you should definitely enjoy the whole of the album which shows all the talent of composer of 'Lorenzo Nava'. And, like any self-respecting Italian, the more moderate atmospheres are not forgotten with the very beautiful ballad 'Aeglos', the end of the album offering us a magic triple with the mid-tempos 'Shelter from the Rain' and ' Weaker Than Before' and the final title 'Shadows and Lies' with its catchy chorus. In short, 'StreetLore' is yet another remarkable new melodic rock project that comes to compete with the best formations of this style and we hope that 'Lorenzo Nava' will continue in the future to offer us quality compositions in the image of 10 melodic gems from this first album...

Line Up / Musicians

Lorenzo Nava (Keybords), Matteo Serra (Guitar), Angelo Sasso (Bass), Luca Ferraresi (Drums) + Guests : Davide "Dave Rox" Barbieri (Vocal, Choirs), Satin (Vocal), Terry Brock (Vocal), Davide Gilardino (Vocal), Jesús Espín (Vocal), Stefano Lionetti (Vocal), Marcello Spera (Vocal, Choirs), Eric Concas (Vocal), Josh Zighetti (Vocal), Mario Percudani (Vocal), Sue Willetts (Vocal), Dion Bayman (Vocal), Alessandro Broggi (Keybords), Tim Manford (Guitar), Luca Carlomagno (Guitar), Roberto Barazzotto (Bass), Andrew Trabelsi (Keybords)


Artist : HK, Awa Ly

Album : Un autre rendez-vous

Release Date : 25-11-2022

Added : 15-12-2022

In your musical career, you occasionally come across a nugget that is not necessarily in the style of music you are used to listening to but which attracts you with something even stronger than the simple pleasure of listening. 'Un Autre rendez-vous' is one of those intense moments that are good for the soul and that take you on a wonderful poetic journey filled with emotion with strong messages that give back the letters of nobility to the word Humanity that some men damage too often. This project was born from the meeting of the singer 'HK', marvellous troubadour of the French song and the singer of Senegalese origin 'Awa Ly', whose latest album 'Safe And Sound' is from 2020. You liked the unifying and universal hit 'Danser encore' from 2021 which was a wonderful way to address those deprivations of freedom imposed by the government, then, you will certainly like this album which revives the very beautiful poem 'Etranges étrangers' by 'Jacques Prévert', taken up for the occasion, and which offers us even more with great nificent compositions filled with an overflowing humanity : for example, 'Etrange étrangère' is a kind of mirror of Prévert's poem and the eponymous title of the album shows us the way to invent another more fraternal world. Musically, we find ourselves in the great tradition of French popular song with the accordion and the violin which accompany us, sometimes melancholy and sometimes joyful, the titles linking one after the other by transmitting an intense emotion to us and triggering again and again this characteristic little thrill of intense listening pleasure, the album ending with a 'Welcome' filled with optimism and showing us the way to a new world of exchanges and sharing.

In summary, this wonderful album by this endearing duo is a little bubble of intense pleasure that bursts in your face and gives you a magical moment. And to finish, I would say that Another meeting' is the best response that 'HK' and 'Awa Ly' can give us to show that music is definitely something essential, no offense to some who had classified artists as "non-essential" in 2021...

Line Up / Musicians

HK (Vocal), Awa Ly (Vocal), Jacotte Recolin (Violin), Meddhy Ziouche (Accordion, Keybords), Manuel Paris (Guitar), Eric Janson (Bass), Sébastien Wacheux (Drums)


Artist : Walk In Darkness

Album : Leaves Rolling in Time

Release Date : 25-11-2022

Added : 16-12-2022

With 'Leaves Rolling in Time', the Italians of 'Walk In Darkness' are already their fourth album in 5 years, after 'In the Shadows of Things' in 2017, 'Welcome to the New World' in 2018 and 'On the Road to Babylon' in 2020. We find this mixture of symphonic and gothic metal and this last opus is in the continuity of the previous ones and the Italians continue to offer us moderate and rather dark atmospheres in compositions favoring slow tempos with harmonious melodic lines.

On the menu of this opus, 9 titles for a 47-minute listening time are offered to us, the last composition being an alternative cover of 'No Oxygen in the West' sung by 'Shaman'. 'Ships to Atlantis' welcomes us with magnificent vocal arrangements and unfolds a first catchy melody, 'Nicoletta Rosellini' alternating in a very beautiful way, clear and lyrical singing. The title song follows, which begins with an acoustic guitar and calm vocalizations, and which quickly gains momentum with the arrival of electric instruments and growls, this striking and very original opposition continuing throughout the composition and the memorable chorus bringing an impressive feeling of power. Always on a slow tempo, 'Bent by Storms and Dreams' offers a crescendo introduced by a soft piano/voice duet which rapidly increases in power, and which continues in the second part with a new crescendo after a break in intensity in the middle of the title. showing all the vocal talent of 'Nicoletta Rosellini' who perfectly adapts her singing to the intensity of the moment. The suite continues to deliver catchy melodies on slow tempos alternating between different intensities and we cannot miss the contrasting 'Get Away' with its memorable chorus, the last four titles 'Walk Close to Me', 'No Oxygen in the West', 'The Last Glow of Day' and 'Elizabeth' having nothing to envy to the first half of the album.

In summary, in the continuity of the previous albums, 'Leaves Rolling in Time' continues the adventure of the Italians of 'Walk In Darkness' with new catchy compositions merging symphonic and gothic metal and if you like a metal giving off dark and melancholic atmospheres on beautiful melodic lines, you should undoubtedly adhere to this latest album from the Italians...

Line Up / Musicians

Nicoletta Rosellini (Vocal), Shaman (Guitar), Monk Key (Bass), Organus (Keybords), Arcanus (Drums)


Artist : Bad Sister

Album : Where Will You Go

Release Date : 25-11-2022

Added : 17-12-2022

'Bad Sister' is not a new project because this formation already had a period of activity at the end of the 80s with two albums, 'Heartbreaker' in 1989 (the album can be listened to on youtube here) and 'Out Of The Business' in 1991, then, after a long break, they returned in the late 2000s with a third album 'Because Rust Never Sleeps' and nothing for more ten years until this last opus released at the end of November, 'Where Will You Go'. For all fans of melodic hard rock that takes us back to the 80s, you've come to the right place because that's exactly what the Germans are offering us with their latest baby. Now led by the singer 'Andrea Löhndorf' who has a powerful voice lending itself very well to this style, we embark on 13 catchy compositions from the first listen and entry, with 'Lose Or Win' (see video above), we are welcomed by an energetic title bringing us back a few decades in the style of a 'Pat Benatar' or a 'Joan Jett' with guitars with muscular riffs. And in the same style, we continue with new melodic hits such as 'Feels Like Love', 'Don't Need Me', 'Confess You Love Me', 'Fair Enough' (see video here). In more moderate rhythms bringing a nice diversity to the whole, we can also mention the mid-tempo 'Bright Lights' bringing a funky side, the heavy and rhythmic 'You're Gone', 'Couldn't Do Right' (see video here) and its memorable chorus, the classic but super effective rock 'She Doesn't Love You' or the last two tracks 'Some Hallelujahs' approaching the style of 'Bonnie Tyler' and the driving 'Got Caught' which completes the whole in a beautiful way. And when the lights are dimmed, the Germans deliver two melodic gems with the ballads 'Could It Be Love' and Moon Woman'.

In summary, the Germans of 'Bad Sister' return to the forefront of the melodic hard rock scene with a new talented singer and offer us a very beautiful album with catchy and diversified compositions which should please a whole audience. loving a classic hard rock that takes us back to the 80s...

Line Up / Musicians

Andrea Löhndorf (Vocal), Sven Lange (Guitar), Andreas Läu (Keybords), Jörn Saul (Bass), Kai-Ove Kessler (Drums)


Artist : Threshold

Album : Dividing Lines

Release Date : 18-11-2022

Added : 02-12-2022

'Legends of the Shires' had been my favorite album of 2017 and I was impatiently awaiting the new 'Threshold' which was released on November 18 to the greatest satisfaction of the fans of the British who are quietly continuing their journey, this latest baby being the 12th of their started discography almost 30 years ago now with 'Wounded Land'. And, for my part, an album of 'Threshold' is like a great vintage which improves over the listening and 'Dividing Lines' is further proof of this with compositions which melodically catch on the first listen, but which hide a multitude of parts finally bringing an extraordinary richness and density and above all an always incomparable emotional intensity. Certainly heavier than the previous one, the atmospheres stick to the theme of this opus which is a rather dark look at all the evils of our current society to deliver the message to us not to let ourselves be influenced by everything that happens around us but to trust each other and to remain faithful to the values of tolerance and sharing.

On the menu of 'Dividing Lines', ten titles, including two long developments, for more than an hour of listening and we are welcomed by 'Haunted' (see the video above) which is pure " Made in Threshold" with this communicative energy and these more moderate passages showing this subtle mix between incisive metal and calm progressive rock with these magnificent guitar solos of 'Karl Groom'. Follows 'Hall Of Echoes' which alternates with a quieter rhythmic and which still benefits from catchy melodic lines, the guitar riffs always bringing this feeling of vivacity and enthusiasm and in this title, 'Richard West' offers us a wonderful solo of keyboards. And we continue with 'Let It Burn' which contains all the ingredients of an inventive and sought-after progressive metal with, in particular, remarkable rhythmic changes that 'Johanne James' and 'Steve Anderson' master to perfection, then, 'Silenced' (see the video here), which was the first single to be released, is a melodic gem with its addictive chorus that immediately sticks in your head and which, despite its short duration, offers a nice instrumental break in the second part of the title. We arrive at the first long development 'The Domino Effect' which takes us on board for 11 minutes of pure happiness with these little extras that make it a title that will remain engraved in your memory forever: addictive melodic lines, a remarkable construction alternating tensions and relaxations , a vocal interpretation of 'Glynn Morgan' filled with beautiful emotion and inventive instrumental sections with the little solo of 'Karl Groom' that gives you goosebumps, 'Richard West' adding a not bad either at the end of title. The second part of the album reflects the first with four compositions between 4 and 5 minutes and we start this quartet with 'Complex' (see the video here) which is in the same style as 'Haunted' and which develops a percussive atmosphere like the English know so well how to do with these alternations of tempos which bring all the originality of 'Threshold'. Follows 'King of Nothing' (see the video here) which begins Calmly and which hardens the tone quite quickly to offer us a memorable chorus that we want to repeat in chorus with 'Glynn Morgan' which gives us a new admirable vocal performance, then, with 'Lost Along the Way', the atmosphere is more moderate with a new catchy melody which brings a certain nostalgia bringing us back to the best of rock 80s, reminding me in some places the atmospheres of 'Genesis' and more particularly 'Turn It On again'. After 'Run' which, after all these wonderful titles, hooks me less melodically, the album ends with 'Defence Condition', the second long development, which re-embarks us for a title in several drawers that we happily pull out one after the other, and which benefits from magnificent melodic lines, 'Glynn Morgan' actively participating in this feeling of strong emotional intensity in its singing which, personally, moved me to tears.

In summary, the English of 'Threshold' sign another extraordinary album, each member of the group continuing to bring each their stone to the building which makes that 'Dividing Lines' comes just after, 'Legends of the Shires', adding a new gem to their already substantial production and enriching the ideal discotheque for any amateur of progressive metal...

Line Up / Musicians

Glynn Morgan (Vocal), Karl Groom (Guitar), Richard West (Keybords), Steve Anderson (Bass), Johanne James (Drums)


Artist : Antimatter

Album : A Profusion of Thought

Release Date : 18-11-2022

Added : 03-12-2022

'Antimatter' is an atmospheric rock formation less known than 'Anathema' and which has been led since 1997 by multi-instrumentalist and singer 'Mick Moss'. 'A Profusion of Thought' is their eighth album, the latest 'Black Market Enlightenment' from 2018. This latest baby from the British, with its magnificent cover, is a set of compositions that had not had their place on the previous albums, and we therefore have a sort of showcase of twenty years through 10 titles written by 'Mick Moss'.

We embark on an atmospheric journey of just under an hour, starting with 'No Contact' which sets the scene and which deploys an ethereal atmosphere in which we find the fragile and sensitive vocals of 'Mick Moss ' transmitting a deep emotion on which we abandon ourselves completely and which gains momentum in the second part of the title. The tone is set and what follows continues in this direction with a poignant 'Paranoid Carbon' or with 'Heathen', more intense, on a hypnotic bass line, the saxophone solo in the second part of the title being magnificent, or with ' Templates', which on electronic sounds, unrolls a repetitive melody filled with a dark melancholy which explodes in the second part of the title. Follows 'Fold (see the video above) which shows a brighter face with a very moving new vocal performance by 'Mick Moss' and a beautiful passage on the acoustic guitar, atmosphere which is also found on the following title ' Redshift'. We will not miss either 'Fools Gold' which continues in this carefree atmosphere by unrolling a catchy melody, then, the end of the album scrolls 'Entheogen' with sounds that can recall certain titles of 'U2' in a darker style, then, 'Breaking The Machine' returns to a semi-acoustic full of sensitivity, and 'Kick the Dog' ends the album with a lighter title which alternates between calm passages and others more removed, 'Mick Moss' giving us a final admirable vocal demonstration.

In summary, 'Mick Moss' continues to offer us a varied atmospheric rock alternating dark atmospheres and other lighter ones and 'A Profusion of Thought' comes to be added in good place in the discography of the English and should appeal to all his fans but also to a whole public who love atmospheric rock filled with sensitivity and emotion, partly brought about by vocal performances of incredible strength...

Line Up / Musicians

Mick Moss (Vocal, Guitar, Bass, Keybords), Liam Edwards (Drums), Irish C (Vocal)


Artist : Avandra

Album : Prodigal

Release Date : 18-11-2022

Added : 06-12-2022


First of all, we find a sought-after and inventive progressive metal which reveals itself little by little, listen after listen, the atmospheres released being always very diversified and, the tone of the album, taking into account the theme, is certainly darker than the band's previous productions. Evidenced by the first title 'Codename:Pharaoh' (see the video above) which, against a background of the end of term speech of 'Dwight D. Eisenhower' in 1961 on the military-industrial complex, unfolds a slow and heavy tempo on which the singing of 'Christian Ayala Cruz' arrives quite late and remains in the background behind the power of the electric instruments. With 'The Downpour', after a heavy introduction, we start in seven minutes of progressive alternating different atmospheres with oriental sounds and a hardening of the tone through growls, the final atmospheric fallout being remarkable and leading to the following title 'New Beginnings', which is much quieter with ethereal vocals and guitar arpeggios accompanied by delicate choruses. The introduction of the composition 'A Trace Of Home' continues in this serenity but the title quickly gains momentum and pours out an energetic neo-classical melody with an alternation of extreme singing and clear singing, the whole bringing remarkable alternations of intensities and showing all the talent of this formation in this type of compositions presenting strong oppositions of styles and atmosphere then, the pianistic break 'In Träumen' shows a much more peaceful and carefree face before the long development 'In Memorian' (see the video here) which, with a rhythm section offering multiple tempo changes, is a typical composition of an inventive progressive bringing together various more or less accessible influences, the instrumental section in the middle of the title being quite admirable e. With 'Facing An Armored Dreadnaught' it's yet another good example of these quite remarkable atmospheric changes, with a new airy semi-acoustic ambience and peaceful melodic lines accompanied by soft vocals, then, 'Dissembling The Artifice' is much more extreme and certainly less accessible melodically with an alternation of clear vocals and growls bringing a very tormented side, but we also find a magnificent break in the middle of the title with a deep bass accompanied by guitar arpeggios and a much calmer singing of 'Christian Ayala Cruz', the end of the title returning to the starting theme. And to finish, the last two compositions bring again this contrast between very distant musical landscapes with, first of all, the calm 'The Earth Inside' which precedes the eight minutes of 'Daybreak' which closes the album remarkably and which is a good summary of the whole with a succession of different atmospheres and always this alternation between tension and relaxation, the whole being supported by a memorable melody with oriental scents.

In summary, the Puerto Ricans of Avandra' offer us a dense and varied new album and, show, that with already four albums in five years, they have become one of the benchmarks in progressive metal and 'Prodigal' should join in good place, the ideal discotheque for all lovers of progressive music, bringing together different styles of music ranging from peaceful rock to extreme metal...

Line Up / Musicians

Christian Ayala Cruz (Vocal, Guitar), Luis Javier Rivera (Guitar), José Miguel Vázquez (Bass), Adrián Arroyo (Drums), Valery Velázquez (Vocal)


Artist : Soen

Album : Atlantis

Release Date : 18-11-2022

Added : 04-12-2022

For their 10-year career, the Swedes of 'Soen', after the studio recording 'IMPERIAL' in 2021, the album 'Atlantis' is released which is quite special since it is a live reinterpretation of their best songs which has been filmed and recorded at the end of 2021 at the 'Atlantis Grammofon' studio in 'Stockholm' and which saw the participation of a set of six orchestral musicians and two singers. We find 14 compositions of their discography rearranged and re-orchestrated which gives a new dimension to these beautiful melodic titles, the contribution of the strings and the female choirs bringing a very particular warmth. And to get an idea of this great performance, four videos are available on youtube with 'Trials', 'Savia', 'Fortune' and 'Snuff'. In short, the Swedes of 'Soen' are releasing a magnificent live studio recording which, beyond the fans of the group who also have the DVD or Blu-Ray at their disposal, should also appeal to a wide audience because all the compositions are accessible. at first listen thanks to catchy melodic lines and icing on the cake, bring a warm side thanks to very beautiful orchestral and vocal arrangements...

Line Up / Musicians

Martin Lopez (Drums, Percussions), Joel Ekelöf (Vocal), Lars Enok Åhlund (Guitar, Piano), Cody Lee Ford (Guitar), Oleksii "Zlatoyar" Kobel (Bass), Stefan Stenberg (Bass), Joakim Simonsson (Piano, Organ), Karin Liljenberg (Violin), Andreas Forsman (Violin), Erik Holm (Viola), Cécilia Linné (Cello), Johanna Börjesson (Vocal), Thérèse Börjesson (Vocal)


Artist : Autograph

Album : Beyond

Release Date : 18-11-2022

Added : 05-12-2022

Looking for some good hard rock that takes you back to the best of the 80s? I have what you need with the Americans of Autograph' which had a period of activity in the 80s with three albums, the first 'Sign In Please' containing the hit 'Turn up the Radio'. After an unconvincing attempt to return to the front of the stage in the 2000s, it is only two decades later that we can put ourselves between the ears of this new album 'Beyond' from Autograph'. And yet, the year 2022 was not easy because they lost their bassist 'Randy Rand' but he had planned everything for the album to see the light of day. We therefore embark on 13 classic hard-rock compositions taking us back a few decades and which are all very accessible, starting with an energetic 'This Ain't The Place I Wanna Be' (see the video above) with its memorable chorus, then scroll titles all as good as each other with for example the rhythmic 'You Slave Tonight' and 'Everything' which automatically start the headbanging machine and we could cite others like 'Run for your Life' or 'Feels so Good' or even the bonus track 'Mind of Fear' which has nothing to envy to its predecessors. Some quieter moments in AOR style are present with 'Take Me Higher (see the video here) and 'Love Is A Double Edge Sword'. In short, this unexpected new album from the Americans of Autograph' is full of good energy with catchy melodies and 'Beyond' should go on a loop for all those who love classic hard rock that takes us back to the 80s...

Line Up / Musicians

Randy Rand (Bass), Simon Daniels (Vocal), Jimi Bell (Guitar), Marc Wieland (Drums)


Artist : 17 Crash

Album : Stamina

Release Date : 18-11-2022

Added : 07-12-2022

The Italians of '17 Crash' continue to release albums at regular intervals of about two years and 'Stamina' is their 4th studio recording, the latest, 'Through Hell and Black' dating from 2020. In a fairly classic hard rock style, this latest opus continues the path of previous albums with titles which remain anchored in the 80s, the whole remaining quite moderate in an AOR style. And yet, the start of the album 'A Song for Ennio' is completely out of step with the rest and is a tribute to 'Ennio Morricone', who died in 2020 with a short instrumental title that the composer would not have denied. We get to the heart of the matter with 'Higher' (see the video above) which is filled with a beautiful energy then, 'My World' (see video here) is more subdued with a catchy first chorus. The suite continues in a melodic AOR, each title bringing its dose of memorable melodies: the catchy 'Soul' and 'Keep Yourself Alive' attest to this, then, 'In My Dreams' offers us a very beautiful ballad that I added to my spotify playlist of rock/hard rock/metal ballads. The second part of the album continues with the fast 'Reach for the Sky', then the unstoppable melodies return with catchy choruses, the mid-tempo 'Brand New Way' coming in between the driving 'Reach for the Sky ', 'Flashing Lights' and 'Danger Zone', the album ending with 'Strike First' (see video here) with a last memorable chorus. In short, at the same time as the Americans of 'Autograph', the Italians of '17 Crash' release a very good album from AOR filled with very effective compositions which should please an entire public who love hard rock with melodies that you can tame at the first listen...

Line Up / Musicians

Ros Crash (Vocal), Frankie Musi (Guitar), Steve Poison (Guitar), Lawrence Kaos (Bass), Phil Hill (Drums)


Artist : The Roads

Album : Simple Man

Release Date : 18-11-2022

Added : 09-12-2022

'The Roads' is a new melodic rock project born from the association of two artists, singer 'Mick Devine' ('Seven') and guitarist 'Gary Pihl' ('Boston', 'Samy Hagar') who release, accompanied by numerous guest artists, a first studio recording, 'Simple Man'. Lovers of unstoppable melodies from the 70s/80s, you will undoubtedly adhere to all of this opus because everything has been done to immerse you in the golden age of melodic rock with names like 'Kansas', 'Styx', 'Foreigner', 'Journey' or even 'Boston' that come to mind when listening to the 11 tracks that were composed by 'Gary Pihl' and drummer 'Josh Devine': we therefore embarks on a suite of melodic jewels starting with 'Let's Not Let It End Like This' (see the video above) with a first memorable chorus, then, 'Promise Me' gives a small layer of it with its melodic lines to the 'Kansas' and the title track (see the video here) continues on this path with a new very effective melody before engaging on the addictive rhythm of 'How Long?' which automatically triggers the foot tapping machine. The suite is in the image of this beginning with catchy melodies which are anchored immediately in the head, 'Love so Strange' coming to be inserted to offer us a very beautiful ballad. In short, even if they are not going to revolutionize the genre, this new project 'The Roads' from the duo 'Mick Devine'/'Gary Pihl' takes us on a very beautiful journey through time listening to all these unstoppable melodies. which should be on repeat for all those who love melodic rock bringing us back to the best of the 70s/80s...

Line Up / Musicians

Mick Devine (Vocal), Gary Pihl (Guitar), Josh Devine (Drums) + Guests : Tracy Ferrie (Bass), Paul Taylor (Keybords), Lawrence Gowan (Keybords), Neil Miller (Keybords), Lin Devine (Choirs), Ben Devine (Vocal), Scott Pihl (Guitar)


Artist : Epica

Album : The Alchemy Project

Release Date : 11-11-2022

Added : 22-11-2022

About ten years ago, the magnificent DVD 'Retrospect' (nearly 3 hours of concert!) recorded in 2013 in Eindhoven by the group 'Epica' for their 10-year career was released and the Dutch are therefore celebrating their 20-year career in 2022. The last two years have been busy for this symphonic metal formation because, after the release of their new album 'Omega' in early 2021, as they were deprived of touring in 2021 for known reasons, they recorded a 'live streaming from Omega' released on DVD and Blu-Ray, then two other lives were released with 'Live At Paradiso' from 2006 which had never been the subject of a DVD/Blu-ray and reissued the live 'We Will Take You With Us' from 2004 (see myprogmusic review here). And, as they had done for the 10-year career, they put on an impressive show in Tilburg on September 3, 2022 with many guests which was followed by the streaming broadcast for three days for all the fans not being not present at the concert.

And to top it off, here is a new EP that has just been released with 'The Alchemy Project' which is, as its name suggests, the result of a perfect alchemy between different styles of metal, everything this being of course coated with ingredients "made in Epica", many guests being invited to participate in the celebration. We find in bulk, the death-symphonic metalheads of 'Fleshgod Apocalypse' in the grandiose 'The Great Tribulation', then, change of scenery with a much wiser 'Wake The World' with the keyboardist of Uriah Heep', 'Phil Lanzon' and the singer of 'Kamelot' who shares the microphone with 'Simone Simons'. As for the lullaby 'The Final Lullaby', it has only the name and highlights the energetic and crazy rock of the Norwegian group 'Shinning' in a fast and powerful composition. And for the power ballad of the EP, 'Epica' called on two singers who each continue in their own way a remarkable solo career, I named the former singer of 'Delain', 'Charlotte Wessels' and the Danish 'Amalie Bruun' more known as 'Myrkur' and who form a very beautiful vocal trio with 'Simone Simons'. With 'Death Is Not The End', return to the growls and symphonic metal of Epica' with grandiose choirs which come to be inserted between the growls of 'Mark Jensen' and the angry singing of 'Björn "Speed" Strid', then 'Human Devastation' is a rather short title in a thrash/death style, certainly the most brutal title that 'Epica' has ever done and which is not necessarily my cup of tea, the album ending with 'The Miner' which returns to more classic Epica' with a catchy melody and, this time, the growls of Asim Searah ('Damnation Plan') and Niilo Sevänen ('Insomnium'), and the participation of drummer 'Roel Van Helden from 'Powerwolf' (which released the same day the album 'Missa Cantorem II' which is a cover by various metal singers of their latest album 'Call Of The Wild').

In summary, the Dutch of Epica' offer us perhaps the most varied album of their career by exploring a wide palette of metal, 'Mark Jansen' mixing different influences ranging from a grandiose symphonic metal to extreme metal passing through more classic heavy metal, and 'The Alchemy Project' marks in a beautiful way the first 20 years of this formation which has all the assets to continue to delight us for another decade...

Line Up / Musicians

Simone Simons (Vocal), Mark Jansen (Vocal, Guitar), Isaac Delahaye (Guitar), Coen Janssen (Keybords), Rob Van Der Loo (Bass), Ariën Van Weesenbeek (Drums) + Guests : Asim Searah (Vocal, Guitar), Björn ‘speed’ Strid (Vocal), Charlotte Wessels (Vocal), Myrkur (Vocal), Sven de Caluwé (Vocal), Tommy Karevik (Vocal), Frank Schiphorst (Guitar), Henri Sattler (Vocal, Guitar), Niilo Sevänen (Vocal, Guitar), Phil Lanzon (Keybords), Roel Van Helden (Drums), Fleshgod Apocalypse


Artist : Oak

Album : The Quiet Rebellion of Compromise

Release Date : 11-11-2022

Added : 23-11-2022

I had discovered 'Oak' with the reissue of the album 'Lighthouse' in 2016 and 2018 saw the release of a second studio recording, 'False Memory Archive' in which they had invited their compatriot 'Bjørn Riis'. Four years have passed, and the Norwegians have just released a new opus 'The Quiet Rebellion of Compromise'. In an inventive and sought-after progressive rock, they offer us seven compositions which show a slight evolution in their style, certain titles bringing an additional energy compared to the first albums, the whole keeping a beautiful melancholy brought by accessible melodic lines which combines very well with the rather dark theme and not necessarily easy to develop, revolving around psychiatric health and in particular suicide.

We are greeted by the dynamic 'Highest Tower, Deepest Well' which takes us on an intense progressive journey beginning calmly and gaining momentum in places thanks to a rhythm section alternating between different intensities, the melodic lines of the refrain coming to anchor immediately in the head. More measured, 'Quiet Rebellion' offers us a memorable melancholy melody in which the piano and the guitar invite themselves by integrating perfectly into the whole and on which 'Simen Valldal Johannessen' brings a beautiful sensitivity in his singing. Alternately, 'Dreamless Stop' regains vigor for a composition alternating intensive passages and other much more nonchalant ones brought by a saxophone, the second part developing a well-paced section giving an irresistible desire to tap your foot with a final in remarkable decline. Make way for the sweetness of 'Sunday 8 AM' which unfolds in the first part a slow tempo with drum rolls accompanying the melancholy vocals of 'Simen Valldal Johannessen' and which accelerates the rhythm in the last third to offer us a beautiful instrumental section embellished again by a saxophone this time more spirited. We find on 'Demagogue Communion' these alternations of intensities on a melody which walks languidly accompanied by the moving song of 'Simen Valldal Johannessen' and by celestial voices bringing an aerial side. Make way for the title track close to 14 minutes which brings more modern sounds and which is more difficult to access with a more sought-after construction but which reveals itself little by little, listening after listening, with its slow tempo which takes us on board in a very beautiful journey quite dark but filled with emotion, remarkably mixing different musical universes ranging from a classic progressive taking us back to the 70s to much more contemporary progressive going so far as to flirt with metal, the final growls attesting to this diversity of style. 'Guest of Honour' ends this remarkable album with a melancholy ballad that offers a catchy melody showing the more classic side of the progressive displayed by 'Oak'.

In summary, the Norwegians of Oak' are releasing a very varied and innovative album which merges different eras of progressive and which, like any rich and dense album of this type, requires several listenings to fully soak up what, finally, shows all the talent of this group which succeeded in a few albums to take an increasingly important place in the world of progressive rock...

Line Up / Musicians

Simen Valldal Johannessen (Vocal, Keybords), Stephan Hvinden (Guitar), Øystein Sootholtet (Bass), Sigbjørn Reiakvam (Drums)


Artist : Tigersclaw

Album : Titan's Dawn

Release Date : 11-11-2022

Added : 26-11-2022

I had discovered the Russo-German symphonic metal band 'Tigetscalw' with their first album 'Princess of the Dark' in 2017 which made a very good impression on me. They have since released the studio recording 'Force Of Destiny' in 2019 which continued on the path of the first album and, with the COVID years, the new album 'Titan's Dawn' initially planned for 2021, is finally coming out at the end of 2022.

With 13 compositions for an hour listening, it is the menu of this new baby which begins with the title song which had been the subject of a single in June and which delivers a first mid- tempo strarting quite quietly and which gains momentum quite quickly with saturated guitar riffs supported by a muscular rhythm section, then, 'Heart on Fire' continues in a metal/folk atmosphere beginning with a melody flirting with neo- classic and which shows a much more restless face after two minutes. We find this alternation of tempo in the following title which, as its title indicates, 'Paganini Variations', is modeled on the melodic lines, respectively of 'Caprice no. 5' and 'Caprice no. 24' of 'Niccolo Paganini', and which, between these two rapid sections incorporates the magnificent melancholy second movement in A major of the 'Grande Sonata'. We return to epic symphonic metal with a lot of classical instrumentation in 'Wrath of Gods' with multiple remarkable strong and weak beats, then, 'Anguished Cry' begins calmly and then gains momentum with a catchy rhythm. What follows continues along this path, alternating varied atmospheres: in an energetic and catchy style, 'Joan of Arc', 'Elysium' and 'Fight' display an intense face and 'Tigersclaw' also shows that they know how to offer us mid-tempos with a strong rhythm like 'Kill or Die' with its acceleration at the end of the title in which the vocals of Elena Minina' are magnificent or 'Arabia' and its Arabic side or even 'Till Kingdom Come' and its tempo addictive. The calmer moments are not forgotten with the power ballad 'Cry in Silence' and 'Nightfall' which ends the album in a very beautiful way in a more refined atmosphere.

In summary, the trio of 'Tigersclaw', led by a very talented singer, continue their journey by delivering a quality album in a fairly classic symphonic metal with catchy melodies that we appropriate quite quickly and 'Titan's Dawn' should please any loving audience bands like 'Lunarian', 'Deep Sun', 'Glasya', 'Xiphea' or 'Last Days Of Eden', to name only recent reviews from myprogmusic...

Line Up / Musicians

Elena Minina (Vocal), Alexander Baier (Guitar, Piano, Bass, Keybords), Ralf Neumann (Drums)


Artist : Layla Zoe, Henrik Freischlader

Album : The World Could Change

Release Date : 11-11-2022

Added : 27-11-2022

'Leyla Zoe' offered us, a little less than two years ago, the very beautiful album 'Nowhere Left to Go' and, this end of 2022 sees the release of a new studio recording which is a collaboration between the Canadian singer and the producer and guitarist 'Henrik Freischlader', the two artists having already released an album together in 2013, 'The Lily'< /a>. We therefore find Layla in 12 new compositions which smell good of an authentic blues/rock with varied atmospheres, passing from an energetic 'Honey Pie' in which she once again shows her extraordinary vocal talent to a sensual and quiet 'Praying Kind' in which she lulls us with a very melodious song this time. The alternation between different registers then continues with the title song in a melancholic atmosphere on which Layla works wonders, then 'The Man Behind the Curtain' returns to a torrid blues/rock, while titles like 'Brother' or ' Baby Bird' are filled with touching tenderness. We feel a real complicity between the Canadian between 'Henrik Freischlader', the latter having composed custom music for 'Layla Zoe' and he also has a real talent for offering us remarkable guitar solos whether in energetic titles like 'Watch What You're Doing' or 'The Truth Song' but also in much quieter atmospheres like these beautiful solos full of sensuality in 'We're All the Same' or in 'Baby Bird'. In short, no need to add more, this beautiful duo accompanied on the organ by 'Moritz Fuhrhop' takes us on a very beautiful musical journey and shows all the extraordinary vocal talent of 'Layla Zoe' who knows how to transmit real emotions and who enchants us once again with this 'The World Could Change'...

Line Up / Musicians

Layla Zoe (Vocal, Choirs), Henrik Freischlader (Tous les instruments), Moritz Fuhrhop (Organ)


Artist : Elane

Album : Blackvale

Release Date : 11-11-2022

Added : 24-11-2022

I introduced you to the Germans of Elane with their EP 'More Stars' released at the end of 2016 which was followed by the album 'Arcane 2' which followed 'Arcane' from 2009. Since then, 2019 has seen the release of the game's soundtrack 'Legends of Andor' and 'Backvale' is their latest album which continues to make us travel in their universe made of melodic folk anchored in traditional music, the 11 titles taking us in atmospheres mixing various feelings ranging from melancholy to cheerfulness in p enough by sadness or tenderness. As evidenced by the first titles which all bring a particular register with 'Sternenwind' which, shows an ethereal and atmospheric side with its haunting percussion merging with the melodious singing of 'Joran Elane', then, 'Home is Where You Are' is much more soothed and peaceful by delivering a memorable melody, the flute adding to this feeling of tranquility. With 'Searchlight', the lively side leads to a festive side and the revival of the traditional Irish ballad 'Scarborough Fair' is a very beautiful moment of daydreaming. The suite continues in this diversity by bringing for example electronic sounds on 'Keyhole' which makes it a more pop and modern title, then, 'We Walk Hand in Hand' is a magnificent ballad on which we completely abandon ourselves and which is conducive to escape, the vocal performance of 'Joran Elane' being simply divine and 'My Guardian of Dawn' hardens the tone for a more rock track while keeping very beautiful vocal arrangements softening the whole. We will also not miss the magnificent melancholic ballad 'The Great Wall' and the playful 'Something Else' and its addictive melody (see the video above), the album ending with a final acoustic ballad, 'Ach, bittrer Winter', which brings us back to moving folk.

In short, the Germans of Elane' are releasing a magnificent album which takes us on a very beautiful journey, filled with poetry and emotion, through diversified musical landscapes which is intended for 'Blackvale', not only for fans of Elane' but also to a much wider audience who loves a fusion of styles on beautiful melodies that we have an immense pleasure to listen to to decompress from a hard day...

Line Up / Musicians

Joran Elane (Vocal, Flute), Markus "Skaldir" Skroch (Vocal, Guitar, Bass, Drums), Nico Steckelberg (Vocal, Keybords), Simon (Violin, Viola)


Artist : Galderia

Album : Endless Horizon

Release Date : 11-11-2022

Added : 28-11-2022

In power metal, we know the anthems of major bands that flourish in different countries such as the Germans of 'Powerwolf' or the Swiss of 'Signum Regis' or the Italians of 'Trick or Treat' or the Finns of 'Battle Beast' to name only bands that released albums in 2022 but, we also have in France several formations of this style and the Marseillais of 'Galderia' who have just released a new album, 'Endless Horizon', are one of its undeniable representatives. After 'Return of the Cosmic Man' in 2017, this latest baby from the French no exception to the rule and offers us unstoppable melodies with refrains to sing together until the voice dies out. On the menu of this opus, 10 compositions to have a good festive time, starting with an 'Answer The Call' which, on a catchy rhythm, pours us an addictive first chorus with a beautiful acoustic break in the second part of the title and choirs radiant, then, 'Striking The Earth' and 'Elation' continue in this well-trodden path, the first by accelerating the tempo and the second with a new memorable chorus. No need to go from title to title because the sequel is in the image of this beginning of the album and if you adhered to the first three compositions, you should undoubtedly like the whole album with new classic melodies but very effective that we hum from the first listening. And to rest from all this energy deployed, the French offer us as last title the semi-acoustic ballad 'Twenty One' which ends in a beautiful way this album stuffed with a good positive energy. In short, as you will have understood, the French of 'Galderia' confirm that they are one of the reference values of a power metal which gives you the fishing for a whole day and 'Endless Horizon' should please everyone an audience who love metal with addictive melodies that immediately stick in their heads...

Line Up / Musicians

Sébastien Chabot (Vocal, Guitar), Bob Saliba (Bass, Vocal), Julien Digne (Keybords, Vocal), Tom Schmitt (Guitar, Vocal), Jc Chico (Drums)


Artist : The White Buffalo

Album : Year Of The Dark Horse

Release Date : 11-11-2022

Added : 30-11-2022

Led by American singer and guitarist 'Jake Smith', 'The White Buffalo', whose latest album 'On The Widow’s Walk' dates from 2020, are releasing a new album that takes us on the 'Year Of The Dark Horse', a very diverse journey in which the influences are multiple and come out of the shackles, mixing of rock and country in which we place the American formation, I quote 'Jake Smith': "My last album is a sonic and lyrical journey of one lunar year in one man’s life. Four seasons in 12 songs. Loosely based on my twisted truths and adventures… Every song blends into the next. It's unlike anything I've done before".

And indeed, although we find, here and there, country scents, influences are diverse starting with 'Not Today' (see the video above) which is a song that takes us back to the 70s/80s in the style of a 'Jeff Lynne', then, 'Winter Act 2' is an acoustic ballad which highlights the sweet voice of 'Jake Smith' and which still takes us back to the seventies with the acoustic compositions of singers like 'Al Stewart' or 'Cat Stevens'. Back to country influences with the slide guitar of 'Kingdom For A Fool' which delivers a new memorable melody on which we climb warm on a cozy little cloud, then, 'Love Will Never Come/Spring's Song' is a suite which alternates a rhythmic and energetic atmosphere and which softens for 'Spring's Song' for an acoustic filled with serenity on the guitar. With 'She Don't Know That I Lie', we are carried away on a merry-go-round for a very beautiful ritornello on a waltz beat with a melancholy accordion which highlights the singing of 'Jake Smith' à la 'Paolo Conte', then, 'C'mon Come Up Come Out' is a melodious semi-acoustic song filled with a beautiful sensitivity and which is followed by 'Love Song # 3' in the same style and which flirts with the great tradition of American song headlined by 'Bob Dylan'. Change of scenery for 'Heart Attack' which gets back on track with a catchy country/rock mix, then, 'Am I Still A Child' is a melancholic lullaby on which we completely abandon ourselves and which is followed by '52 Card Pickup', title with a nonchalant rhythm with a new catchy melody. The end of the album scrolls through the lively 'Donna' in a playful atmosphere à la 'Beatles' and 'Life Goes On' which is a beautiful semi-acoustic ballad in which the deep vocals of 'Jake Smith' give off a real emotion. Note that the release of the album was preceded by the film bearing the name of the album which was streamed on September 29, 2022 and which presents the 12 compositions of the album seen by four directors who each took three songs representing a season. We can now view on youtube 'Not Today', 'Winter Act 2' and 'Kingdom For A Fool'

In summary, 2022 sees 'Jake Smith', aka 'The White Buffalo', step out of the country label that we stick to him by offering us magnificent compositions filled with catchy melodic lines that seem familiar to us which destines 'Year Of The Dark Horse' to a wide audience who loves the diversity of styles because the American is certainly releasing his most diverse album of his career...

Line Up / Musicians

Jake Smith (Vocal, Guitar), Christopher Hoffee (Bass, Keybords, Guitar), Matt Lynott (Drums)


Artist : Galahad

Album : The Last Great Adventurer

Release Date : 07-11-2022

Added : 21-11-2022

The English of 'Galahad' are back with a new studio recording 'The Last Great Adventurer' which was released in September 2022, but which has just made its late appearance on streaming platforms. After the acoustic covers 'Quiet Storm' in 2017 and 'Seas Of Changes' in 2018 (which is still not available on spotify) which was a long development of 42 minutes, the two friends 'Stuart Nicholson' and 'Dean Baker' got down to their project 'Galahad Electric Company', with two albums, 'When the Battle Is Over' in 2020 and 'Soul Therapy' in 2021.

The album consists of seven tracks, the last two of which are presented as bonus tracks, 'Another Life Not Lived' being a new recording of a song written by 'Neil Pepper' (who died in 2012 of cancer) and 'Stuart Nicholson'. And it all starts with an energetic 'Alive' which, as its name suggests, shows that 'Galahad' has never been in better shape by offering us a first catchy melody without forgetting the progressive side with a very beautiful instrumental break in middle of the title embellished by 'Lee Abraham' who delights us with his acoustic guitar playing, the title gradually regaining vigour for a very beautiful keyboard solo by 'Dean Baker' and 'Lee Abraham' adding afterwards, this time, a masterful electric guitar solo. With 'Omega Light', the subject is much more soothing with an atmospheric first instrumental part which takes us on a beautiful relaxing journey with layers of aerial keyboards and which rises slowly by highlighting the rhythm section of new bassist 'Mark Spencer' and drummer 'Spenczer Luckman' for a sung part reminding me of the atmospheres of 'Barclay James Harvest' with the sweet singing of 'Stuart Nicholson', then the last third accelerates the rhythm to highlight the keyboards of 'Dean Baker', the finale returning to the rhythmic tempo of the opening theme. Make way for 'Blood Skin and Bone' which is in fact a composition written by the trio 'Dean Baker', 'Stu Nicholson' and the symphonic metal singer 'Koburg' and which was originally intended for the latter. The title shows a modern face with an introduction with electro effects, and which continues in an energetic atmosphere with oriental sounds, the second part offering a remarkable guitar solo by 'Lee Abraham' and a sound break in which 'Stuart Nicholson' offers a very beautiful vocal performance. We change register with 'Enclosure 1764' which unrolls a slow tempo on a magnificent epic melody with very beautiful choirs, the title being based on the 18th century poem 'The Goose and the Common', then, place for the long development of the title track which is a tribute to 'Stuart Nicholson''s father who was a mountaineer who successfully scaled the two highest peaks in the Austrian Alps, the Gross Glockner and the Wildspitz. We embark on an inventive progressive rock title with a catchy melody that comes up several times and whose second part deploys an instrumental section embroidering around a repetitive musical theme led by bassist 'Mark Spencer', the finale offering us an atmosphere subdued piano bar with a melancholic saxophone and a song filled with a beautiful emotion of 'Stuart Nicholson'. The last two titles, presented as bonuses, end this album in a very beautiful way with, first of all, 'Normality of Distance' which is a very beautiful melancholic title highlighting again the touching vocals of 'Stuart Nicholson', then, 'Another Life Not Lived' is equally moving and tells the story of a family who lost their son to premature death from leukaemia; the slow tempo unfurls a poignant melody with a spine-chilling finale, first with gripping choruses, then with clean and moving vocals of 'Stuart Nicholson'.

In summary, the English of 'Galahad' offer us a magnificent varied album which merges beautiful melodies with beautiful moments of emotion and 'The Last Great Adventurer' should join the ideal discotheque of a public loving a rock progressive with long developments that we tame little by little, listen after listen...

Line Up / Musicians

Stuart Nicholson (Vocal), Dean Baker (Keybords), Lee Abraham (Guitar), Mark Spencer (Bass, Choirs, Triangle), Spencer Luckman (Drums)


Artist : Devin Townsend

Album : Lightwork

Release Date : 04-11-2022

Added : 20-11-2022

If you read myprogmusic's reviews, you know that I love big musical differences, like going from hard rock singer 'Joe Lynn Turner' two days ago, to the calm and refined progressive rock of 'Flamborough Head' yesterday. But there, with 'Devin Townsend', the big gaps are something natural in his production and, with each release, we don't really know what will fall on our heads. The last two offerings of 2021 released at the same time 'Snuggles' and 'The Puzzle' were, to say the least, difficult to access and, the previous album, 'Empath', had me slightly confused at the time by its astonishing diversity embracing styles very distant from each other but which well imaged the composer always in search of new musical creations. Well, for 'Lightwork', it's still a total surprise, since 'Devin Townsend' takes the opposite view of his previous productions to offer us a more conventional album and a much more immediate accessibility.

First, listening to the start of the album with 'Moonpeople' (see video above), we say to ourselves that he has completely transformed his voice with an almost feminine register and this first title in an electro/pop atmosphere offers a first melody which is directly grafted in the head, then, 'Lightworker' (see video here) adds catchy melodic lines in a sort of refrain and in a gripping atmosphere. Follows 'Equinox' which continues in this direction by taking us back to the pop of the 80s in a slightly more muscular way, Devin's singing alternating sweetness and rage. With 'Call of the Void' (see video here), we stay in the 80s with an atmosphere of 'Alan Parson's Project', then, 'Heartbreaker' (see video here) is more energetic with stronger electric guitar riffs, and shows a more refined face with, for example, the use of female backing vocals in the middle of a more tormented section. Follows 'Dimensions' which, in an atmosphere of urgency, delivers us a composition close to industrial metal in a sustained rhythm, then, change of scenery with 'Celestial Signals' which offers us new catchy and catchy melodic lines supported by arrangements remarkable bringing a considerable sound amplitude. We continue with an astonishing 'Heavy Burden' which, on a well-paced tempo, unrolls an extravagant melody integrating children's choirs and doctored voices, then, 'Vacation' is aptly named and takes us on a trip to the sun in the rhythm of a warm pop melody. And it is with the 10 minutes of 'Children of God' that the album ends with remarkable vocal harmonies and an incisive rhythm section, the title ending in a decrescendo quite early with then seaside sound effects. that the deluxe version offers other certainly more sought-after titles even if 'Hope is in the World' with its catchy melodic lines, the ballad 'Sober' and the songs 'Yogi', 'Boogus' and 'Carry Me Home' are quite immediate: we can cite the muscular 'Starchasm, Pt. 2' and 'Factions' and 'Precious Sardine' with instrumental and vocal arrangements that are more a matter of sound experimentation, 'Children of Dog' being a shorter version of Children of God' from the first CD.

In summary, although we are not used to hearing 'Devin Townsend' in such an accessible register, 'Lightwork' is a very pleasant album to listen to and, even if some fans will necessarily disappointed, the Englishman shows that accessibility does not necessarily rhyme with non-quality because the whole is finally quite coherent and will perhaps allow a certain audience to discover this atypical artist to whom we have stuck a label of progressive metal from to these first albums when his universe is much larger...

Line Up / Musicians

Devin Townsend (Vocal, Bass, Guitar, Keybords), Darby Todd (Drums)


Artist : Flamborough Head

Album : Jumping The Milestone

Release Date : 03-11-2022

Added : 19-11-2022

Dutch band 'Flamborough Head' regularly released albums in the 2000s and I remember their first album 'Unspoken Whisper' in 1998 which, at the time, had become one of my references in terms of symphonic progressive rock, then the years passed and the last album 'Lost In Time' already dating from 2013, I was no longer expecting a new studio recording. And then, a few weeks ago, the news of a new opus revived those good listening memories and, it's done, 'Jumping The Milestone' is now available to the delight of historical fans. The last line up has evolved since it is now 'Hans Spitzen' who officiates as guitarist and 'Eddie Mulder' has taken the place of bassist. We find the characteristic style which perpetuates a progressive rock with harmonious melodic lines, 'Margriet Boomsma' bringing a delicate song completely in phase with the refined atmospheres deployed.

Initially, the long development 'The Garden Shed' takes us on a beautiful peaceful and restful progressive journey in which we are accompanied by the divine flute and the melodious singing of 'Margriet Boomsma' and which presents beautiful sections instrumentals provided, especially with this first guitar solo à la 'Steve Hackett' from 'Hans Spitzen' which delicately tickles our ears. We continue in this delicate atmosphere with 'Tomorrow Is Another Day' and its completely addictive melodic theme that reminds me of the band 'Karnataka' (which stopped producing albums in 2015, 'Ian Jones' embarking on new projects), the vocals of 'Margriet Boomsma' approaching that of 'Hayley Griffiths' (who will release a solo album in early 2023). With 'Start Of A Nightmare', we go back a few decades with this feeling of a mixture between 'Focus' and 'Renaissance' which gave off a feeling of joyful carelessness, the classical guitar interventions being simply superb. Despite the relatively long duration of the compositions, we are completely captivated by all this positive atmosphere and 'Fear Of Failure' which follows, is still a perfect example with new melodic lines on which we completely abandon ourselves, the main theme coming back several times in different forms, being a pure delight. Follows 'Walls Of Words' which begins in a more energetic way with a catchy melody, 'Margriet Boomsma' gratifying us with a beautiful vocal performance in a joyful atmosphere, then, the second part slows down the tempo for a magnificent passage led by the guitar of 'Hans Spitzen', the keyboards of Edo Spanninga' and the flute of 'Margriet Boomsma' which rock us delicately, the finale returning to the playful theme of the start. And to end in beauty, the title track of more than 12 minutes takes us on a typical ballad of a subtle and refined progressive with all the ingredients that we want to find in this style, the whole giving way to long and splendid instrumentals sections interspersed with the soft and delicate vocals of 'Margriet Boomsma'.

In summary, the Dutch of 'Flamborough Head' recall to our good memory to release us a magnificent album which confirms all the talent of this formation which continues to distill us a subtle and melodious progressive which goes perfectly with the end of the poem 'Spleen and Ideal' by 'Charles Beaudelaire': "There, all is order and beauty, Luxury, calm and voluptuousness.". To enjoy quietly the helmet on the ears...

Line Up / Musicians

Margriet Boomsma (Vocal, Flute), Edo Spanninga (Keybords), Koen Roozen (Drums), Hans Spitzen (Guitar), Eddie Mulder (Bass)


Artist : Therion

Album : Leviathan II

Release Date : 28-10-2022

Added : 12-11-2022

After the splendid 'Leviathan' in 2021 which had given me an irresistible desire to bring out all these wonderful albums from the first 10 years of 'Therion' to make a playlist of 50 tracks (listen on spotify here), here is the second part of this trilogy which according to the words of 'Christofer Johnsson' revives the mystical and melancholy aura of the album 'Vovin'. And it's true that by listening to titles like 'Alchemy Of The Soul' or 'Lunar Colored Fields' on slow catchy tempos, we get closer to the magnificent compositions dating from 1998 like 'Eye of Shiva' or 'Black Sun' which are now etched forever in my memory. In the same style, we can also mention, 'Cavern Cold As Ice', 'Codex Gigas', 'Hades Ans Elysium' or even 'Lithany Of The Fallen' which is more muscular while keeping a more calm rhythm with a chorus than we want to accompany. The rest shows a more energetic face while keeping these superb vocal harmonies of which only 'Christofer Johnsson' has the secret, still putting a 'Lori Lewis' and a 'Thomas Vikström' at the top of their art: witness the compositions 'Aeon Of Maat' which begins the album, the rhythmic 'Lucifuge Rofocale', the epic 'Marijin Min Nar' or the catchy 'Midnight Stars' which presents a very nice break in the second part, the album ending with the two versions of the single which we already knew, 'Pazuzu', the AOR version with the singer of 'Eclipse', 'Erik Mårtensson', even showing a more enraged vocal character compared to that of 'Thomas Vikström'. And as 'Christofer Johnsson' likes to do on each release, this time four videos are available with 'Litany Of The Fallen', 'Marijin Min Nar', 'Codex Gigas' and 'Pazuzu'.

In summary, the trilogy announced by 'Christofer Johnsson' presents itself under the best omens (of course of all the treated Celtic, Chinese, Finnish, Toltec/Aztec and Germanic mythologies if you have followed the first chapter! ) and, for my part, I look forward to the third part which will certainly make the whole thing a kind of best off of 25 years of 'Therion' which will certainly be the first music group to release a best off with songs totally original...

Line Up / Musicians

Christofer Johnsson (Guitar, Keybords), Lori Lewis (Vocal), Thomas Vikström (Vocal), Christian Vidal (Guitar, Vocal), Nalle Påhlsson (Bass), Sami Karppinen (Drums)


Artist : Joanne Shaw Taylor

Album : Nobody's Fool

Release Date : 28-10-2022

Added : 13-11-2022

After the magnificent 'Live Blues From The Heart Live' released a few months ago, 'Joanne Shaw Taylor' is releasing a new studio recording 'Nobydy's Fool' which contains 10 tracks she wrote or co-wrote with other artists and the cover of 'Eurythmics' Missionary Man' on which 'Dave Stewart' (who was the person who discovered 'Joanne Shaw Taylor' when she was 16), guest-starred. The great strength of this album is that, following 'The Blues Album' of 2021 which was completely anchored in blues roots, the Englishwoman takes us this time into a varied universe mixing blues, pop, rock, soul or even country while keeping the same emotion released whether at the vocal level or at the instrumental level.

We are welcomed by the title song in a light and lively country/rock atmosphere, then, 'Fade Away' continues in a country style brought by a mixture of acoustic and electric guitars. Much more pop, 'Won't Be Fooled Again' is nonetheless very pleasant and brings a refreshing side, 'Joe Bonamassa' offering us beautiful guitar solos, then, 'Just No Getting Over You (Dream Cruise) ' adds a touch of soul with radiant brass and light choirs, Joanne's solo in the second part being particularly delicious. The emotion goes up a notch with 'Fade Away' which was written in memory of his mother and in which her voice makes us capsize, the accompaniment of the acoustic guitar, the piano and the cello creating a melancholic setting, then, return to blues in R&B mode with 'Then There's You' which we have a terrible desire to accompany by clapping our hands. We find the pop side with 'Runaway' which gives off a feeling of lightness, then, the cover 'Missionary Man' of Eurythmics' shows a more rock side on a tempo marked by a determined bass/drums rhythm section, atmosphere that we find on the following title 'Figure It Out' which highlights a remarkable guitar solo of 'Carmen Vandenberg'. The second ballad break is led by the magnificent 'The Leaving Kind' that 'Joanne Shaw Taylor' co-wrote with 'Joe Bonamassa' and in which she releases a magnificent new guitar solo (too bad the solo ends in fade-out), then, the album ends with a rhythmic 'New Love' in a joyful lively atmosphere with radiant choirs.

In summary, whatever the style, 'Joanne Shaw Taylor' knows how to delight us with her singing and her guitar, and 'Nobodys Fool' shows all the feeling of this artist who, surrounded by a fine line-up of instrumentalists talented, releases a new album which should appeal, beyond its fans, to a large audience thanks to very catchy compositions from the first listen...

Line Up / Musicians

Joanne Shaw Taylor (Vocal, Guitar), Josh Smith (Guitar), Lemar Carter (Drums), Calvin Turner (Bass), Deron Johnson (Keybords), Tina Guo (Cello), Carmen Vandenberg (Guitar), Joe Bonamassa (Guitar), Danielle De Andrea (Choirs), Gaby Moreno (Choirs), Jeff Young (Choirs), David A. Stewart


Artist : Michael Bormann's Jaded Hard

Album : Power to Win

Release Date : 28-10-2022

Added : 14-11-2022

Not easy to navigate between 'Michael Bormann's Jaded Hard' and 'Jaded Heart' who just released a new album a few weeks ago (see here). In fact, it's actually quite simple, since the sir 'Michael Bormann' left the ship 'Jaded Heart' twenty years ago and has participated in various projects in the past or has released solo albums (see this last album here). Following a series of concerts in 2017 during which he covered a kind of best off of 'Jaded Heart' between 1990 and 2004 and, to the delight of fans at the time, he decided to rewrite songs in this catchy melodic hard rock style and the first album under the name 'Michael Bormann's Jaded Hard' (little nod to his former band) was released in 2019 (see here) filled with good melodic hits between hard rock and AOR. The adventure therefore continues with this new 'Power to Win' baby and, if you liked the previous one or if you simply like a mix between energetic atmospheres and other more measured ones, you should also adhere to this one which, even if it doesn't bring any novelties, shows that the German still has this talent for laying melodic hymns like in the 90s. 12 direct titles not exceeding 4 minutes (except the last 'We Must Make A Stand (Duisburg United)' which borders on 7 minutes and which sees the participation of musicians from his hometown), here is the menu of 'Power to Win' which varies the styles by taking us on a journey with parallels that we inevitably draw with the 90s and the formations of that time such as 'Bon Jovi', 'Def Leppard', 'Bonfire', 'Fair Warning' or even 'Firehouse'. From the first two titles 'Nothing but a Photograph' and the title song, we are embarked on two melodic catchy gems that takes us back a few decades with choruses à la 'Def Leppard', 'Michael Bormann' still being as effective in his song. The sequel modulates the subject to offer us a more measured but just as addictive AOR with the 'Our Sweet Lullaby' and its addictive chorus and the rhythmic 'Heaven', which would certainly have made a hit at the time of 'Foreigner'. No need to go from title to title because the whole thing is like this beginning of the album with hymns which come to be grafted into the head immediately with this alternation between melodic hard and AOR, the whole being interspersed by the syrupy ballad 'Just Wanna Fall In Love' which would have been a great success in the 80s. In short, no need to add more, just like the previous album 'Feels Like Yesterday', 'Michael Bormann' confirms with 'Power to Win' that he still has this talent to offer us beautiful melodies that we want to sing along to, and which should go on repeat for all fans of melodic hard rock and AOR...

Line Up / Musicians

Michael Bormann (Vocal), Chris Ivo (Keybords, Choirs), Michael Müller (Drums), Christoph Baumeister (Bass, Choirs), Thommy Dahlem (Guitar, Choirs)


Artist : Manticore

Album : Elements

Release Date : 28-10-2022

Added : 15-11-2022

Making no noise on the web, the Swedes of 'Manticore', after 'Next Steps: Flight 19' which saw the rebirth of the group in 2019 and which made me discover this formation, released a new album 'Elements'. 6 original tracks, it's the menu of this album which begins with the instrumental 'The Wood' which immediately puts us in the bath of a rock mixing progressive and symphonic and which brings us back to the 70s, certain passages reminiscent of the style of 'Steve Hackett' with multiple digressions around the central theme embellished by remarkable guitar and keyboard solos. The suite is sung with, first of all, the beautiful ballad 'Open up your Eyes' which remains anchored in the seventies, and which could be a mixture of 'Electric Light Orchestra' for the melody and 'Barclay James Harvest' for the pastoral side, then, 'New Horizon' continues in this bucolic atmosphere with this time a small soft side of 'Led Zeppelin' and which benefits from very beautiful provided choirs. Another beautiful ballad, 'Rain Is Falling' unrolls on a slow tempo a beautiful melody on which we abandon ourselves completely, then, the short 'Nordic Shadows' is a symphonic instrumental in the form of a crescendo with a very beautiful solo of slide guitar that brings a melancholic side. The masterpiece of the album which constitutes the eponymous title of the album arrives at the end of the album with its 10 minutes and takes us on a remarkable progressive saga which makes us wander to the rhythm of harmonious melodic lines with choirs à la ' Crosby, Still, Nash & Young'.

In summary, the Swedes of 'Manticore' remain anchored in the 70s by offering us a very beautiful album filled with catchy melodies to listen calmly to the headphones on the ears to decompress after a hard day's work, which should appeal to a whole public in love with calm and refined progressive bringing us back to the 70s...

Line Up / Musicians

Goran Holmberg (Vocal, Bass, Guitar), Ulf Holmberg (Guitar, Keybords), Jon-Terje Sundberg (Guitar, Choirs), Per-Åke Saavedra ( Drums), Kjell Godberg


Artist : Royal Hunt

Album : Dystopia, Pt. 2

Release Date : 28-10-2022

Added : 16-11-2022

Like the magnificent last album of the Danes of 'Royal Hunt' (see chronicle of myprogmusic here), did not refer to a first part, we did not expect to get over it a little bit, and then… we now have the sequel to put on between the ears. So, given the level of the first opus, what about this sequel to this story inspired by 'Ray Bradbury' novel, 'Fahrenheit 451'? No need to make you languish, we are at the same level as the little brother with, icing on the cake, the experience of the two years of pandemic which made it possible to refine it and adapt it to reality, I quote the group: "Looking back to the release date of 'Part I' in 2020, one realizes the crazy times we've all been through in the last two years: who could have imagined that our project 'Dystopia' would reflect the harsh reality with so much details? And the madness is still going on. In any case, 'Dystopia, Part II' is even more relevant than ever: we followed the general concept, but filled it with images of current events in order to make it resonate with every single person, having lived the past two years, watching the madness unfold in real time.”

First, it is now necessary to take the whole of the two parts as a whole: the proof, to begin and plunge us directly back into the story, the introduction 'Midway (Resumption)' is the logical continuation of the last title of the first album 'Midway (Intermission Ii)' and the cast implements a line up with the same guest singers (and what a cast!!). We get to the heart of the matter with 'Thorn In My Heart', a composition that will get you in shape for a whole day and which pours out a first melody that will trigger you to lose your voice by dint of screaming the chorus and which, despite the length of nearly 9 minutes, shows all the talent of this formation to tape us from the beginning to the end without any weariness. The vocal duo 'Dc Cooper'/'Mats Leven' accompanies us on an epic 'The Key Of Insanity', which shows a face mixing progressive and symphonic metal, the melodic lines being always very catchy, then, we are welcomed by keyboards to electronic sounds on 'Live Another Day' which is gradually gaining momentum with the arrival of bass and guitars to offer us a magnificent title with remarkable alternations of intensities bringing this progressive side while keeping a terrible melodic efficiency, the kind of composition that borders on 10 minutes but, despite this length, keeps us spellbound from beginning to end thanks to sophisticated vocal and instrumental arrangements. Follows the short instrumental 'Live Another Day' which highlights the catchy rhythm section and keyboards and guitar which pass the ball in an admirable sound contest, then, 'One More Shot', it is with the former singers of 'Royal Hunt', 'Henrik Brockmann' and 'Mark Boals' that we continue our symphonic-progressive adventure in a catchy new saga with an addictive melody that will freeze directly deep in our brains and automatically start the headbanging machine in the chorus. We arrive at the long development 'Scream of Anger' which alone is worth the purchase of this album and which mixes rock and inventive progressive metal, embarking us for 14 minutes in a remarkable sound labyrinth made of alternations of atmospheres, instrumental arrangements are always very sought after and leave a good place for the majestic guitar solos of 'Jonas Larsen'. And to rest from this pharaonic title, 'Left in the Wind' arrives at the right time to distill us a very beautiful power ballad which unfolds memorable melodic lines before closing this second part of 'Dystopia' with the short and epic orchestral instrumental 'Resurrection F451' which gives an irresistible urge to press the play button.

In summary, as you will have understood, the little brother of 'Dystopia' has the same assets as the big brother and the Danes of 'Royal Hunt' still release an admirable album which in the end makes it a double CD for nearly two hours of progressive with unstoppable melodies which means that the set should join the ideal discotheque of any amateur and any progressive metal lover in the same way as the great productions of Arjen Lucassen' with, among others , his project 'Ayreon', or the albums of 'Tobias Sammet' with his project 'Avantasia' (see the latest album here) or the metal opera 'The Astonishing' from 'Dream Theater'...

Line Up / Musicians

Andre Andersen (Bass, Keybords), Andreas ‘habo’ Johansson (Drums), Andreas Passmark (Bass), Dc Cooper (Vocal), Jonas Larsen (Guitar) + Guest : Alexandra Andersen (Vocal), Henrik Brockmann (Vocal), Kenny Lubcke (Vocal), Mark Boals (Vocal), Mats Leven (Vocal)


Artist : MindAhead

Album : 6119, Pt. 1

Release Date : 28-10-2022

Added : 17-11-2022

Definitely, at the moment, very good progressive metal albums are coming out, because at the same time as the Danes of 'Royal Hunt', it's the Italians of 'MindAhead' who return with a second studio album '6119, Pt. 1' which is also an album which should be followed by a second part, the whole telling the story, I quote the group: "of 6119, the main character, through a surreal and dreamlike journey, always in balance between physical space and the domain Trapped in this dreamlike kaleidoscope, he proceeds unconcerned about the consequences, hoping to find at the end of the journey (the "Part II", currently in production) the reason why all this is happening to him". Musically, the references I had used for 'Royal Hunt' ('Ayreon', 'Avantasia' and 'Dream Theater') can still be extended because Italians are influenced by different styles of progressive and mix rock and metal in all their shapes.

On the program of this opus, there are 9 compositions for nearly an hour of listening including two long developments which are offered to us and everything begins, as often in this style, with an instrumental introduction with 'Prologue' which sets the scene for this surreal story with various sound effects and sound extracts, then, 'Burning Horizon' tumbles with a muscular introduction, the drums pouring out an impetuous rhythm which then alternates different intensities with a very beautiful break in the middle of the title, the vocal duo 'Kyo Calati'/'Sandro Macelloni' giving us an admirable first vocal performance, their voices fitting together perfectly. Placed quite early, the long development 'Dancing in the Desert' is the main course of the album which takes us on a progressive saga starting with a dialogue with doctored voices and which continues in an atmosphere mixing Eastern and Western sounds with a catchy melody embellished with multiple changes of atmosphere, sometimes highlighting muscular metal and sometimes softening the subject in much calmer passages (magnificent section at 6.20 with magnificent vaporous choirs). The suite also shows the same variety within the compositions themselves with 'What You Are' and its very contrasting sections, the construction offering multiple breaks highlighting the very beautiful singing of 'Kyo Calati' which has this gift to adapt his voice according to the intensity of the moment and which contrasts with the furious growls of 'Sandro Macelloni'. Make way for the ballad from the album 'The Last Tide', introduced by a narration with doctored sounds, and which in a refined atmosphere, once again highlights the vocal duo which this time transmits extraordinary emotion to us, then, 'Beautiful Mistake' is certainly the most extreme title in the first half of the title with a constantly changing rhythm section and a mix of clear vocals and growls, the central part offering us a magnificent guitar solo quite offbeat compared to the beginning, and the end of the title highlighting an addictive melody in a remarkable crescendo. Small refined break on the piano with 'Innocence' which flirts with Erik Satie' and which, as you can imagine, given the parallel, offers a total break with what precedes, then, place to 'At The Gate Of Night', in three parts very far from each other: first of all, 'The Old Poet' and 'At The Gates' take us on a melodic title in which the vocal section is still highlighted in sections alternating sweetness and power, the vocals of 'Sandro Macelloni' releasing the same emotion as singers like 'Tommy Karevik' could do with 'Kamelot' or 'Georg Neuhauser' from 'Serenity', then total break for the third part 'Lost in the Loop' which is an instrumental tal on the classical guitar which ends the album on an acoustic note embellished by a melancholic cello.

In summary, the Italians of 'MindAhead' release a magnificent album of progressive metal which contains all the ingredients that one wishes to find in this style and if you like the big gaps as I like them with for example metal well soaked followed by an acoustic guitar, you are in the right place and you should join this first part of this story of '6119'...

Line Up / Musicians

Kyo Calati (Vocal), Sandro Macelloni (Vocal, Keybords, Choirs), Matteo Prandini (Bass), Matteo Ferrigno (Drums), Guido Scibetta (Guitar)


Artist : Joe Lynn Turner

Album : Belly Of The Beast

Release Date : 28-10-2022

Added : 18-11-2022

Still a young man who is doing wonderfully, I named singer 'Joe Lynn Turner' who, at 71, has toured with quite a few bands including 'Rainbow' and 'Deep Purple' and is releasing a new solo album 'Belly Of The Beast', his last studio recording under his own name, 'Second Hand Life' dating back to 2007. In fact, when I say "solo", the two names of 'Joe Lynn Turner' and 'Peter Tägtgren' ('Hypocrisy', 'Pain') could appear on the cover because, we feel the work of the Swede on the whole of this cake which, contrary to what we are entitled to expect from 'Joe Lynn Turner', from classic hard rock bringing us back to the 70s, is a kind of judicious mix between hard rock roots and much more modern sounds brought by the more extreme influences of 'Peter Tägtgren', showing that the bugger, to say the least, still has very nice leftovers. We therefore embark on a sort of melting pot merging the influences of the two protagonists with, first of all, explosive titles à la 'Pain', such as the eponymous title (see the video above), 'Rise Up', 'Tears OF Blood', 'Don't Fear The Dark' or even 'Fallen World'. Other compositions come to be inserted in mid-tempo rhythms, in a more classic hard rock, on which 'Joe Lynn Turner' also shows all his talent with the magnificent 'Black Sun', 'Tortured Soul' (see the video here), 'Desire', without forgetting the melodic jewel 'Living The Dream', more lively but still very classic from the 70s/80s. And for those over fifty, the American has not forgotten to place two beautiful ballads to rest after all the energy deployed, with, first of all, 'Dark Night Of The Soul' in the middle of the album and finally 'Requiem' which, as its name suggests, is necessarily darker but which is a real melodic gem, with magnificent choirs.

In summary, in the series of albums "it's in the old pots that we make the best soups", this new album by 'Joe Lynn Turner', 'Belly Of The Beast' comes directly from add to it and, icing on the cake, the contribution of the Swede 'Peter Tägtgren' made it possible to bring greater modernity and a heavier sound, forcing the American to adapt his singing by showing us that he is still an essential reference in hard rock...

Line Up / Musicians

Joe Lynn Turner (Vocal), Peter Tägtgren (Guitar, Bass, Drums, Keybords)


Artist : Sede Vacante

Album : Conium

Release Date : 22-10-2022

Added : 07-11-2022

'Sede Vacante' is a Greek-Finnish metal formation created in 2015 mixing symphonic and gothic influences and which released a first 'Skies Infernal' in 2016 with a first singer 'Constantine Alex', 'Michael Tiko' taking care of all the instruments. But at the time, despite compositions showing a certain talent of the Greek, the production was not up to par and the album did not hit the headlines. Six years have passed and the line up has evolved with the arrival of bassist 'Nick Gkogkomitros' and drummer 'Jannis K' and the replacement of the former singer by the Finnish 'Stephanie Mazor' who has a clear vocal register and who has the power to tackle the compositions of 'Michael Tiko' but who also has the gift to modulate his voice in the more moderate passages.

The album is composed of 11 tracks in a radiophonic format, not exceeding 5 minutes including an instrumental introduction and the cover of 'Paint It Black' by the 'Stones', completely rearranged in a gothic way but which is ultimately a great success. Regarding the original compositions, after the short epic introduction 'Furia' highlighting an imposing orchestration, 'Mistaken' delivers us a first symphonic metal hit with a remarkable first vocal performance from 'Stephanie Mazor'. The following title 'Dead New World' (see the video above) demonstrates the talent of composer of 'Michael Tiko' with this alternation between verses with intense rhythm and a powerful chorus in a slower tempo and which benefits from a nice instrumental section in the second part. Follows the title song (see the video here), which is typical of a mix between symphonic and gothic, the first part being darker and heavier but which continues with catchy melodic lines and a memorable chorus. On the same pattern as its predecessor, 'Raindrops' offers a remarkable alternation of tempos between verses and chorus with a new memorable melody, then, after the 'Paint It Black' cover of the 'Stones' already mentioned above, 'Melancholy Bled' changes register for more electro sounds with a catchy rhythm, the sounds of electronic keyboards masking guitars which are relegated to the background. The suite scrolls through the energetic 'Walk on a Lie' with beautiful variations in the rhythm section and which highlights the guitarist talent of 'Michael Tiko' in a masterful guitar solo, then, 'The Bride', introduces by muscular guitar riffs, continues in this alternation of intensity that 'Stephanie Mazor' perfectly controls in her singing, the rhythm remains catchy on the whole of the title and 'Wheel of Misfortune' is more moderate, moving away from metal and boasting outstanding instrumental and vocal arrangements with a catchy new melody. And it is with the magnificent ballad 'Tattoo' that the album ends by highlighting a very touching vocal performance by 'Stephanie Mazor' reminding me of those of 'Marcela Bovio' on the refined compositions of 'Stream Of Passion'.

In summary, the 'Sede Vacante' project of 'Michael Tiko' definitely takes off with this second album which, thanks in particular to quality compositions and a talented singer, demonstrates that this formation will have to be counted on in the future to compete with all tenors of symphonic and gothic metal...

Line Up / Musicians

Stephanie Mazor (Vocal), Michael Tiko (Guitar, Keybords, Choirs), Nick Gkogkomitros (Bass), Jannis K (Drums)


Artist : Grand

Album : Grand

Release Date : 21-10-2022

Added : 03-11-2022

Album of the playlist 2022: Mini playlist of rock albums, melodic hard-rock of the moment

After 'Wildness', it's still Swedish but this time with the new project 'Grand' and an eponymous debut album. Always at 'Frontiers Music', this new formation was created in 2020 by singer 'Mattias Olofsson' who realized his dream of releasing an AOR album. And the least we can say is that he joins the best melodists of his country because we spend a wonderful time listening to these 11 varied compositions which all have catchy melodic lines. The start of the album with the two singles which have each been the subject of a video, 'Caroline' (see video here) and 'Stone Cold' (see the video here) highlight an elegant and luminous AOR that will get you in shape for a whole day and the sequel continues in the same way with a 'Make It Grand' which has a chorus giving an irresistible desire to accompany the choirs. With a good variety alternating more or less energetic atmospheres, then parade compositions all as addictive as each other and the album ends with the very beautiful ballad 'Anything for You' to add to the best ballads of AOR. In short, no need to add more, I let you discover this new Swedish gem which closes my mini playlist of melodic rock, and which is added to the three other albums, the whole being of course to be consumed without moderation...

Line Up / Musicians

Mattias Olofsson (Vocal, Choirs), Jakob Svensson (Guitars, Bass, Keybords, Choirs), Anton Martinez Matz (Drums, Bass)


Artist : Avantasia

Album : A Paranormal Evening With The Moonflower Society

Release Date : 21-10-2022

Added : 05-11-2022

The leader of 'Edguy', 'Tobias Sammet' is back with his project 'Avantasia' and after the remarkable 'Moonglow' in 2019, 'A Paranormal Evening With The Moonflower Society' is yet another album with a host of prestigious guests from the international rock or metal scene and, we says to himself that, given the frequency of releases of his productions with 'Avantasia', this is gradually becoming his main project, 'Edguy' being relegated to the background.

But back to the line up with, first of all, his faithful stage companions, guitarist 'Sascha Paeth', keyboardist 'Michael Rodenberg' and drummer 'Felix Bohnke' to which are added the singer ' Floor Jansen' ('Nighwish') and singers 'Bob Catley' ('Magnum'), 'Eric Martin' ('Mr Big'), 'Geoff Tate' ('Sweet Oblivion'), 'Jorn Lande' ( 'Jorn'), 'Michael Kiske' ('Helloween'), 'Ralf Scheepers' ('Primal Fear') and 'Ronnie Atkins' (latest solo album 'Make It Count'). Nice cast you might say, but does this new German baby continue the 'Avantasia' adventure at the same level as the last opus 'Moonglow'.

Let's not make the suspense last, fans of Avantasia' will in no way be disoriented because, 'Tobias Sammet' has again done everything possible to offer us an epic and grandiose album as he has the secret in a melodic power metal with catchy melodies at first listen, and this, from the start with 'Welcome To The Shadows' which is stamped 'Made in Avantasia' with an addictive first chorus and which takes us on a succession of alternating between energetic sections and other calmer ones, the general atmosphere being very theatrical. In the same style, we can mention the very beautiful duo 'Floor Jensen'/'Tobias Sammet' from 'Kill The Pain Away' (see the video above), 'I Tame The Storm' goes everywhere with a very beautiful vocal performance of 'Jorn' and a magnificent guitar solo, but also the radiant 'The Moonflower Society' (see the video here) also very typical 'Avantasia' with a new chorus to sing in concert, without forgetting 'Scars' which also shows a flamboyant and lively face. And in a heavier power metal, 'Ralf Sheepers' sends heavy in 'The Wicked Rule The Night' (see the video here) then, 'The Inmost Light' (see the video here) takes us on a melodic hit with an addictive chorus accompanied by a raging double pedal and 'Rhyme And Reason' picks up the pace to a new blast of melodic metal. Amidst all this energy, the quieter moments are also present with 'Misplaced Among The Angels' (see the video here) in which we enjoy the new duet 'Floor Jensen'/'Tobias Sammet' and with new memorable melodic lines, then, 'Paper Plane' brings a tender and touching side with a chorus which comes to be grafted immediately in the head. And to end on a high note, the 10 minutes of 'Arabesque' offer a majestic finale in the form of an epic and progressive saga with oriental emanations, and with all the ingredients that one wishes to find in a metal opera and which benefits from a shocking vocal duo 'Jorn'/'Michael Kiske'.

In summary, 'Tobias Sammet' continues the 'Avantasia' adventure with a new album on the same level as these previous productions and we still let ourselves be carried away by catchy melodies that we play on a loop and which, we hope, will be able, depending on everyone's schedules, to be the subject of a new tour by the German and his little troupe as he did with 'Moonglow' in 2019...

Line Up / Musicians

Tobias Sammet (Vocal, Bass, Keybords), Michael Rodenberg (Keybords), Felix Bohnke (Drums), Sascha Paeth (Guitar, Bass) + Guests : Bob Catley (Vocal), Eric Martin (Vocal), Floor Jansen (Vocal), Geoff Tate (Vocal), Jorn Lande (Vocal), Michael Kiske (Vocal), Oliver Hartmann (Guitars, Choirs), Ralf Scheepers (Vocal), Ronnie Atkins (Vocal)


Artist : Realisea

Album : Fairly Carefree

Release Date : 21-10-2022

Added : 06-11-2022

I presented to you the new project of the founder of 'Silhouette' in 2020 with his first album 'Mantelpeace', and 2022 sees the release of a new studio recording with 'Fairly Carefree' which 'Brian de Greave' describes as follows: "this album will feature new melodic and progressive rock anthems with guitar solos worthy of 'Pink Floyd', dreamy keyboard textures and darker songwriting". Always accompanied by his wife on vocals, the line-up has evolved somewhat with 'Mark op ten Berg' taking the main place of bass player and 'Jos Uffing' of drummer, guest artists being added to the basic formation.
Overall, 'Fairly Carefree' is a continuation of the first album, that is to say that we find these refined and inventive progressive atmospheres which bring us back to the best of this style, the vocal duo from the couple to the life of 'Greave' bringing this very endearing little extra, especially since I find that Marjolein has made further progress in her singing, repeatedly transmitting beautiful emotions to us. Nearing the hour of listening, eight more or less long compositions await you and, at the start, we are greeted by the long development 'I Could Never Learn' which begins by making us wander in a 'Floydian' landscape thanks to a few notes of 'Gilmourian' guitars, then, a soft melody takes over, with the soft singing of 'Brian de Graeve', then joined by his companion, and lulls us to a slow tempo, punctuated by beautiful guitar interventions by 'Rindeert Bul', the finale accelerating the rhythm with luminous keyboards that fill the whole space: we are already under the spell! We continue with 'Crackled Colorite' in the same peaceful atmosphere, the soft singing of 'Marjolein de Graeve' bringing this melancholic touch, then, there are two shorter and more direct titles with 'Your Lies' and 'Pretending', the first leading in a light atmosphere and the second most calm with a delicate song of 'Marjolein de Graeve' which can recall that high perched of 'Annie Haslam' of the formation 'Renaissance'. With 'Out in the Cold', although the introduction appears more removed, the lightness is still appropriate with a semi-acoustic composition which unrolls endearing melodic lines and which has a very beautiful break in the second part, the finale adding beautiful vocal harmonies. Led by a few birdsongs, 'Sheltered Dreams' is a ballad in which the vocal harmonies are beautiful and the melody reminds me of certain compositions from the beginnings of 'Barclay James Harvest', the keyboard interventions bringing a bucolic side. Make way for the centerpiece of the album, 'Trilemma', which alone is worth the purchase of this album, and which is a long development of more than 15 minutes in which we travel through captivating soundscapes with alternations between sections sung by 'Marjolein de Graeve' releasing an intense emotion, and instrumental parts highlighting 'Floydian' guitar solos, passages on atmospheric keyboards or even acoustic strolls of flutes or guitar. And like all good things must come to an end, 'Malgré les Vagues' concludes this magnificent album in a very beautiful way with a harmonious ballad of which you can see the video above, the finale rewarding us with a last marvellous guitar solo.

In summary, the Dutch of 'Realisea' confirm all the good that we thought of them with their first album and 'Fairly Carefree' should appeal to an audience that loves a peaceful and refined progressive rock with melodic lines harmonious...

Line Up / Musicians

Brian de Graeve (Vocal, Guitar), Marjolein de Graeve (Vocal), Christophe Rapenne (Keybords), Mark op ten Berg (Bass), Jos Uffing (Drums), Rindert Bul (Guitar) + Guests : Ton Scherpenzeel (Keybords), Erik Laan (Minotaur), Tamara van Koetsveld (Clarinette), Suzan van den Engel (Harp), Mila Kamstra (Violin), Geoffrey de Graeve (Bass)


Artist : Anthony D'Amato

Album : At First There Was Nothing

Release Date : 21-10-2022

Added : 08-11-2022

I had discovered 'Anthony D'Amato' in 2016 with the release of his latest album 'Cold Snap' and a new studio recording, 'At First There Was Nothing', is now available, which continues to carry on a varied legacy of decades of American songwriting, centered on country and folk, all this being sprinkled with soul and even some jazzy influences. We therefore embark on the endearing universe of Anthony', starting with 'Long Haul' (see the video above) which, in a country atmosphere, takes us back to America in the 1930s with an old steam train and a Ford from that era and 'Ships In The Night' (see the video here) continues with a melancholy ballad then, 'Kinda Strange' offers a beautiful Latin rhythmic song with a jazzy section led by a trumpet. The suite scrolls through the magnificent and refined ballad 'Enough', 'Broken Tooth Smile' which takes us into a kind of harmonious blend between country and soul, the rhythmic 'Everything Doe' with its addictive slide guitar and the hymn melodic country 'The Oyster and The Pearl', classic but so effective. Make way for the second ballad, this time in the form of a beautiful piano/voice duet with some nonchalant brass accompaniments, then, 'Trying To Change' lulls us to a composition with a repetitive melody, and the album ends with the melancholic 'But I Go' which well illustrates the journey of this troubadour of song who goes where the wind takes him.

In summary, his trip to Utah allowed 'Anthony D'Amato' to release a new quality album with a set of compositions that can be tasted with pleasure, and which should appeal to all audiences who love music rooted in country atmospheres in the great tradition of American song...

Line Up / Musicians

Anthony D'Amato (Vocal, Tous les instruments)


Artist : The New Roses

Album : Sweet Poison

Release Date : 21-10-2022

Added : 09-11-2022

They are German, they make muscular rock that we are not necessarily used to hearing from their compatriots 'Scorpions', 'Doro', 'Accept', 'Blind Guardian', 'Avantasia' or even 'Helloween' and their journey has shown different faces with, at the start of energetic rock with 'Without a Trace', then, while keeping a strong style, they incorporated some touches of country in 'Dead Man's Voice', then, after an excellent 'Nothing but Wild' in 2019 filled with melodic anthems, 2022 sees the release of a new album 'Sweet Poison' which is a kind of melting pot between the best of hard rock without borders.

So here we go for 40 minutes of catchy melodies on first listen with choruses to scream in chorus and entrance, if you don't hang on to the addictive chorus of 'My Kinda Crazy' (watch the video above), it's that you're not made for this kind of music and for the others who have already had a blast on this first title, you will undoubtedly love the energetic 'Playing with Fire', 'The Usual Suspects' (see the video here), '1st Time for Everything' (see video here), 'Sweet Georgia' or even 'The Lion in You', without forgetting the well-paced mid-tempo 'Dead of Night' e t, to avoid sound saturation, three well-placed breaks allow well-deserved breaks to recover from all this excess of energy: these are the three beautiful ballads 'All I Ever Needed', 'Ture Love' and 'The Veins of This Town'.

In summary, the Germans of 'The New Roses' release an album filled with explosive compositions with addictive melodic lines which give this impression of already heard but which are so effective that one is instantly caught up in the game at listening to this 'Sweet Poison': recommended to all fans of classic hard rock who are moving...

Line Up / Musicians

Timmy Rough (Vocal, Guitar), Norman Bites (Guitar), Hardy (Bass), Urban Berz (Drums)


Artist : The Tirith

Album : Return of the Lydia

Release Date : 21-10-2022

Added : 10-11-2022

'The Tirith' is a formation which was created in 1971 under the name of 'Minas Tirith' but which separated a few years later and it was not until 2010 that 'Richard Cory' and 'Tim Cox' decided to continue the adventure by changing the first name to keep only 'The Tirith'. Five years later came their first studio recording 'Tales from the Tower' with 'Carl Nightingale' on drums which was followed in 2019 by 'Leap in the Dark'. In a progressive style bringing us back to the 70s with various influences ranging from peaceful rock to energetic hard rock, they offer us their new album 'Return of the Lydia' released a few weeks ago. Favouring long developments, out of the seven titles in this opus, five have durations exceeding 9 minutes, which allows us to wander through sound labyrinths in which it is good to get lost by letting oneself go according to catchy melodic lines.

It is with the title song which is also the longest composition of the album that we begin our adventure with a 'Floydian' atmospheric introduction which continues on a slow tempo by unrolling a first endearing melody with the sweet singing of 'Richard Cory', and which gains vigour after about 5 minutes, picking up the pace for a catchy four-minute section (it is in fact this extract which was the subject of the title 'What Do You Say to an Alien' released as a single released in August 2022) and then returns to the slow tempo from the start in the last third. After this very beautiful title, 'Dying to Live' shows a more marked tempo which takes us into an epic composition which develops a more incisive atmosphere on new memorable melodic lines reminiscent of the Swedes of 'Jono' who unfortunately ended their adventure in 2021. Lighter, we find ourselves a few decades back with 'My People' which can make us think of the first 'Barclay James Harvest' and which conveys very well this atmosphere of carelessness which characterized the 70s with radiant guitars, then, we stay in this decade with 'Go the Drifter', a more direct title, which takes us into a rhythm and riffs à la 'Black Sabbath'. Follows 'Crystalwell' which shows a more relaxed face with guitars that light up the whole, the melodic lines being always catchy and the long central guitar solo being quite remarkable, then, 'The Uncertainty Principle' takes us into a mid -tempo with a more classic melody, and the album ends with the 10 minutes of 'The Meeting of the Ways' in a semi-acoustic atmosphere reminiscent of 'Barclay James Harvest' again but in their period of the 80s.

In summary, the English of 'The Tirith' continue their adventure with a new quality album mixing influences of progressive rock and classic rock of the 70s/80s and benefiting from still very harmonious melodic lines allowing to appropriate very quickly the whole at the first listening...

Line Up / Musicians

Richard Cory (Vocal, Bass, Guitar, Keybords), Tim Cox (Guitar, Keybords), Paul Williams (Drums, Percussions) + Guests : Erire (Choirs), Taga (Choirs), Anthony Hill (Piano)


Artist : Sunstorm

Album : Still Roaring (Live)

Release Date : 21-10-2022

Added : 11-11-2022

Only a few months after their last studio recording 'Brothers in Arms' that I put in my playlist of myprogmusic summer chronicles of 2022, supergroup 'Sunstrom' release an album of a live studio session that was recorded when the band got together to film promotional clips for the songs from 'Brother In Arms'. The result is this 'Still Roaring (Live)' which sees the quintet performing songs from their various albums. The latest opuses are well represented since 'Brother In Arms' has four compositions and the penultimate album 'Afterlife' two, the last four tracks being taken from other albums, 'This Is My Heart' from the self-titled album from 2006, 'Never Give Up' from 'Emotional Fire' from 2012, 'Edge of Tomorrow' from the album of the same name from 2016 and 'Road To Hell' from the album of the same name from 2018. And not to do things by halves, a video of the entire live was also made, the link being available above by clicking on the youtube logo.

In summary, this live film is a great gift for all 'Sunstorm' fans who, a few months after the release of the last album, can put between their ears a performance under the concert conditions of these different artists made up of the best of the best of the international melodic hard rock scene...

Line Up / Musicians

Ronnie Romero (Vocal), Luca Princiotta (Guitar), Alessandro Del Vecchio (Keybords), Nik Mazzucconi (Bass), Michele Sanna (Drums)


Artist : Canvas

Album : Darkness

Release Date : 21-10-2022

Added : 25-11-2022

'Canvas' is a Swedish rock band influenced by different currents, notably progressive, symphonic and atmospheric, the whole being built around catchy melodic lines which allow a fairly immediate accessibility. After a first EP in 2020 (see here), they have just released their first LP, 'Darkness', which makes us discover their musical universe. Led by guitarist 'Sören Cederberg' who has worked with progressive big names like 'Hasse Fröberg' ('The Flower Kings', 'Hasse Fröberg Musical Companion') or 'Rikard Zander' from the band 'Evergrey'.

'Darkest before the dawn' begins this album in a style reminiscent of 'Genesis' for the oldest references but also more recent formations such as 'Arena' who have just released a very nice album not yet available for streaming, and which delivers us a memorable first melody in a verse/chorus construction, 'Jacob Runhamn' giving us a remarkable first vocal performance on the level of the singers of Arena', the old one, 'Paul Manzi' and the new one, 'Damian Wilson', and the ensemble integrating a few touches of progressive with, in particular, an instrumental introduction of more than a minute and an also shorter instrumental finale. We continue with 'When I'm alone' which offers new catchy melodic lines on a catchy rhythm, then, the single 'Fields on fire' continues with keyboard sounds taking us back a few decades in a style flirting with AOR. Follows the short atmospheric instrumental 'Fading light' which serves as an introduction to 'Intensity of black' and which takes us into a title mixing symphonic arrangements with melodic rock on a catchy tempo, the short guitar solo in the second part of the title being remarkable. Make way for 'So many tears' and its addictive rhythm which automatically turns on the foot tapping machine and which once again highlights the expressive vocals of 'Jacob Runhamn' and the album ends in a very beautiful way with a remix of 'It's called life' which was part of the first EP and which brings us back to the atmospheres of Arena' in a style that is certainly more direct but which adds a few touches of progressive, immediate accessibility still being required thanks to new lines memorable melodies and which offers us a beautiful succession of guitar and keyboard solos in the middle of the title.

In summary, the Swedes of 'Canvas' are releasing a remarkable first album offering melodic lines that are still very catchy to which they add a few pinches of progressive and symphonic and, 'Darkness' should appeal to a large audience who love melodic rock direct and accessible from the first listen...

Line Up / Musicians

Jacob Runhamn (Vocal), Sören Cederberg (Guitar), Fredrik Lemoine (Keybords), Geir Jordfald (Bass), Johan Persson (Drums)


Artist : Millenium

Album : Tales from Imaginary Movies

Release Date : 14-10-2022

Added : 27-10-2022

Whether with his project ' tRKProject' or with 'Millenium' or with 'Framauro' with a new release in January 2022 , 'Ryszard Kramarski' always offers us magnificent albums and it is the turn of the last 'Millennium', 'Tales from Imaginary Movies' to see the light of day. Remember, this project was created by Ryszard in the late 90s and the first album eponymous dates to 1999. Since then, many studio recordings have marked the career of the Pole and his discography of around fifteen albums, shows the impressive frequency of releases of 'Millenium'. For this last opus, he recalled 'Dawid Lewandowski', who is the singer of the band 'Fizbers' and who participated in the reissue of the 'tRKproject' albums in two versions, one sung by him and the other sung by 'Karolina Leszko'. The rest of the line-up remains unchanged and we find 'Piotr Plonka' on guitar, 'Krzysztof Wyrwa' on bass and 'Grzegorz Bauer' on drums.

This new album from 'Millenium' tells the story of an artist who makes various castings to try to play in a big budget film, like the first title which tells the story of a superhero who tries to save the world of the human race extinction as a result of wars and ecological disaster, each composition depicting a film with a specific theme. We are welcomed by an epic and cinematographic introduction well in tune with the chosen theme, then, 'Invisible Superhero' offers a first composition with these atmospheric 'Floydian' influences well known to fans of 'Millenium' and with a memorable first melody, the singing of 'Dawid Lewandowski' being filled with very beautiful melancholy. Follows 'A World Full of Spies', more energetic, which, this time, takes us on a spy movie with a lively rhythm and a catchy new melody, then, 'Brightness Hidden In The Dark' returns to a 'Floydian' atmosphere, but, this time, as if 'Ryszard Kramarski' had wanted to reunite 'Roger Waters' and 'David Gilmour' again after their split, the melodic lines resembling a 'Final Cut' written by 'Roger Waters' and the solos guitar bringing the endearing side of 'David Gilmour'. With, 'A Comedy of Love', it's still a change of style imagining this cast for a musical, the vocals of 'Dawid Lewandowski' displaying a much more optimistic mood, and this composition unfolds a beautiful romantic melody interspersed with very beautiful guitar solo. The following theme contrasts with the previous one, since after a comedy, it is a casting for a war film with 'The Sounds of War' which is still a superb title with a chorus releasing a beautiful emotion and which presents a marked rhythm and a very nice break in the second part of the title recalling the atmospheres released by 'Roger Waters'. Place in the casting for the melodrama 'Memories in Tears' which takes us on a slow tempo, in a melancholic atmosphere with a magnificent vocal performance by 'Dawid Lewandowski' releasing real emotion, the final guitar solo being simply sublime. The last title is dedicated to a science fiction theme with 'Second Earth' which depicts a humanity destroyed by man but which shows a soothing musical face on which we completely abandon ourselves with refined arrangements, the piano / voice duo being beautiful. To close this very beautiful album, 'Tales From Imaginary Movies (The End Credits)' is the end credits which could be a perfect mix between 'Pink-Floyd', Ennio Morricone' and 'Hans Zimmer' because everything comes together for an epic and grandiose finale.

In summary, this original multi-drawer theme allows 'Ryszard Kramarski' to deploy all kinds of different musical atmospheres which makes 'Tales from Imaginary Movies' a varied album which shows all the talent of a melodist of the Pole who has succeeded, once again, in triggering in the listener that I am beautiful emotions and this last 'Millenium' should join in good place the other albums of the group in the ideal music collection of any amateur progressive rock lover...

Line Up / Musicians

Dawid Lewandowski (Vocal), Ryszard Kramarski (Keybords, Guitar), Piotr Plonka (Guitar), Krzysztof Wyrwa (Bass), Grzegorz Bauer (Drums, Percussions)


Artist : Perfect Plan

Album : Brace for Impact

Release Date : 14-10-2022

Added : 28-10-2022

The waltz of melodic rock albums by Swedish bands continues, because after 'Captain Black Beard' and 'Alicate', it's the turn of 'Perfect Plan' to remember their last album 'Time for a Miracle' dating from 2020 and 2021 having seen the release of the live 'Live at Sharpener's House'. 'Brace for Impact' therefore continues the path traced by previous albums with a series of melodic hard rock hits which follow each other starting with 'Surrender' (see the video above), quite classic and which is not necessarily the composition that struck me the most but which is followed by a beautiful skewer of melodic jewels offering us addictive choruses with the catchy 'If Love Walks In' and 'Can't Let You Win' (see video here), the rhythmic 'Gotta Slow Me Down' or even 'Stop the Bleed' with its rhythmic changes between verses and chorus before arriving at the first break ballad 'My Angel' to make many jealous in the profession. The second part of the album does not weaken and offers us new memorable melodies with, for example, 'Bring Me a Doctor' and its radiant choirs and with the beautiful second ballad 'Emilie' placed as the penultimate title on a rhythmic mid -tempo, the album ending with 'Walk Through Fire' with its chorus which immediately anchors itself in the head.

In summary, the Swedes of 'Perfect Plan' continue to offer us catchy melodies as if it were raining cats and dogs, and this 'Brace for Impact' adds to the melodic hard rock albums released in October 2022 and should satisfy all fans of this style...

Line Up / Musicians

Kent Hilli (Vocal), Rolf Nordstrom (Guitar), Leif Ehlin (Keybords), Mats Byström (Bass), Fredrik Forsberg (Drums)


Artist : Evership

Album : The Uncrowned King:Act 2

Release Date : 14-10-2022

Added : 30-10-2022

A little over a year after the release of the first part of 'The Uncrowned King', the Americans of 'Evership' offers us act 2 which continues the story of Harold Bell Wright' from 1910 and which, musically, continues in rock progressive rooted in the 70s with catchy melodic lines from the first listen and with a notable diversity of atmospheres, long developments still being in order but without having, this time, very long durations, the compositions not exceeding 8 minutes (see the presentation video of the different compositions of the album above).

The soft introduction 'The Voice of the Night', which begins with a few notes of acoustic guitar and which continues in a vaporous atmosphere, serves as an introduction to 'Missing Pursuits' which takes us into 8 minutes full of twists with an energetic rhythm section which leads the dance throughout this title and in which we find the beautiful expressive and high-pitched vocals of 'Beau West' and a beautiful instrumental section in the second part with a succession of keyboard and guitar solos. Without transition, the atmosphere is much calmer with 'The Law of Ages' (see the very nice video here) which, on a slow tempo, begins in acoustics with very beautiful choirs and a memorable melody which slightly gains momentum with some string accompaniments, always led by the very beautiful piano/voice duo and which offers us a masterful guitar solo in the second part, the finale returning to the serenity of the beginning. The alternation between softness and energy continues with 'Coronation' which sends heavy with a marked and driving tempo on an almost oriental melody in certain places, and which keeps a magnificent progressive aspect with, in particular, this break in intensity in the first part with remarkable new guitar and keyboard solos. Make way for an epic 'The Voice of the New Day' whose melodic lines and keyboard accompaniments are strongly reminiscent of 'Emerson, Lake & Palmer', which features special guest 'Michael Sadler', lead singer of Saga which gives us a beautiful and very expressive vocal demonstration, the general atmosphere being resplendent. Make way for the semi-acoustic ballad with the very beautiful 'Nobody' which makes us climb warm on a small cloud and which brings a very special emotion. In the same demonstrative style as 'The Voice of the New Day', 'Fading Away' begins with beautiful catchy melodic lines and presents original rhythmic changes and is embellished with magnificent choruses bringing us back a few decades and reminiscent of the 'Beatles'. The a capella introduction to 'Uncrowned' is particularly gripping and continues with a new, long, particularly melodic development that can recall 'Queen' moods with a radiant lightness that makes you draw a blissful smile on your face and is still accompanied by lush choirs. And it is with 'Pilgrim's Reprise' that the album ends by reminding us of one of the acoustic parts of the first title of the first part with an addictive melody: the circle is complete and in a very beautiful way.

In summary, the Americans of Evership' closes the story of this allegory of life with a second part that has nothing to envy to the first and, together, the two albums now allow us to be able to enjoy this very beautiful epic in its entirety, which should join the ideal discotheque of any amateur and any progressive rock lover...

Line Up / Musicians

Beau West (Vocal), James Atkinson (Guitar), John Rose (Guitar), Shane Atkinson (Keybords, Vocal, Drums, Programmation), Ben Young (Bass) + Guest : Michael Sadler (Vocal)


Artist : Orianthi / Chez Kane

Album : Rock Candy / Powerzone

Release Date : 14-10-2022

Added : 31-10-2022

One is blonde, the other is brunette and they both signed to 'Frontiers Music' for their latest solo albums which were released a week apart, the first by Australian 'Orianthi', 'Rock Candy', on October 14, and the second of the Welsh 'Chez Kane', 'Powerzone', on October 21. Given a certain similarity between the two, I have grouped the two opuses together in the same column. For 'Orianthi', I had reviewed his live released in 2022, 'Live from Hollywood', his latest studio recording 'O' from 2020 and, for 'Chez Kane', its self-titled debut album was also reviewed in myprogmusic. In short, the two ladies offer us a nice mix of rock and melodic hard rock with hits that parade one behind the other.

As for 'Orianthi', these are nine compositions which are accompanied in intro and outro by two short instrumentals highlighting the Australian guitarist's talents. It starts at full speed with a 'Light It Up' (see the video above) which gives the irresistible urge to press the play button each time you listen to it, then hard rock titles scroll by, just as catchy each other, with the energetic 'Fire Together' and 'Red Light', the powerful 'Void' with beautiful alternations of intensity, 'Burning' and its well-tempered rhythm, the heavy 'Witches_The Devil' and its slow tempo or even 'Getting To Me' with its super effective chorus. To vary the atmosphere, 'Where Did Your Heart Go' (see the video here) shows a more moderate face, flirting with international variety, and 'Living Is Like Dying Without You' is a very beautiful ballad that allows a well-deserved break from all this energy.

As for 'Chez Kane', the whole is more substantial, the 10 compositions displaying 50 minutes on the clock (compared to just over 30 minutes for 'Orianthi') and the clear atmospheres are slightly more moderate and bring us back in the 80s starting with an 'I Just Want You' (see the video here) that 'Bonnie Tyler' could have sung he a few decades ago. The sequel continues in these completely addictive melodic atmospheres and if you don't feel like yelling at the chorus of '(The Things We Do) When We're Young in Love', you can go your own way. For the others, you will certainly also be seduced by the melodic jewels that are the mid-tempo 'Rock You Up', the catchy 'Love Gone Wild' (see the video here) and 'Powerzone', the classic rock but so effective of 'I'm Ready (For Your Love)' or even the last title 'Guilty of Love' with a very beautiful instrumental section in the second part of the title on which the foot tapping machine starts automatically. And like 'Orianthi', 'Chez Kane' also knows how to alternate with more moderate atmospheres with the magnificent mid-tempo 'Children Of Tomorrow Gone' or the melancholy ballad 'Streets Of Gold' to add to the best melodic rock ballads.

In summary, no need to draw a picture, for all fans of catchy melodies, you have not one but two completely addictive albums to play on repeat and I strongly advise you to discover them on spotify with the link I made above and to trigger the random mode to benefit from this wonderful mix between the compositions of the Australian and the Welsh...

Line Up / Musicians

Orianthi :
Orianthi Panagaris (Guitar, Vocal), Jacob Bunton (Bass, Guitar, Keybords, Piano, Violin, Choirs), Kyle Cunningham (Drums)

Chez Kane :

Chez Kane (Vocal), Danny Rexon (Tous les instruments) + Guest : Jesse Molloy (Saxophone)


Artist : Eleine

Album : Acoustic In Hell

Release Date : 14-10-2022

Added : 01-11-2022

Around the same time as 'Sonata Arctica' which released the second part of 'Acoustic Adventures', the Swedes of 'Eleine' also unplugged their electric guitars to offer us this acoustic set 'Acoustic In Hell', their latest album reviewed in myprogmusic, 'Dancing in Hell' going back to 2020. And it's not necessarily a coincidence since these two bands are undertaking an acoustic tour now with several dates in France. We are therefore taken into reinterpretations of compositions with a completely different face in which the melodic side stands out particularly, the whole highlighting the vocal talent of 'Madeleine Liljestam' and guitarist of 'Rikard Ekberg'. To give you an opinion on the two versions, I have put you, like 'Sanata Arctica', the original versions below. It should be noted that the last album of the Swedes is well represented half of the compositions, the first eponymous album having three and the album 'Until The End' of 2018 only one. In short, this acoustic album shows even more the talent of the Swedish melodists of Eleine' and we can even regret that the album is so short because we would have taken a little extra dose of it.

List of original tracks (title, album, year):
01 - 'Whisper my Child' – Until The End – 2018
02 - 'Enemies' – Dancing in Hell – 2020 – Youtube Video
03 - 'Memorian' – Dancing in Hell – 2020
04 - 'Ava Of Death' – Dancing in Hell – 2020 – Youtube Video
05 - 'All Shall Burn' – Dancing in Hell – 2020 – Youtube Video
06 - 'Death Incarnate' – Eleine – 2015
07 - 'Break Take Live' – Eleine – 2015
08 - 'Hell Moon (We Shall Never Die)' – Eleine – 2015

Line Up / Musicians

Madeleine "Eleine" Liljestam (Vocal), Rikard Ekberg (Guitar, Vocal), Jesper Sunnhagen (Drums)


Artist : Killer Kings

Album : Burn For Love

Release Date : 14-10-2022

Added : 02-11-2022

Album of the playlist 2022: Mini playlist of rock albums, melodic hard-rock of the moment

To start this melodic rock mini playlist, here is the new project 'Killer Kings' set up through the intermediary of the person in charge of 'Frontiers', 'Serafino Perugino' which brought together the American singer 'Gregory Lynn Hall' ('101 South') and the American-Canadian guitarist 'Tristan Avakian' who rolls his bump on a lot of scenes (with among others 'Red Dawn', 'Queen Extravaganza' and even a participation in 'Cirque du Soleil' – see his facebook page here). And, of course, when we talk about 'Frontiers', 'Alessandro Del Vecchio' is not far away and comes to lend a hand to the two artists on bass and keyboards, the rest of the line-up including drummer 'Nicholas Papapicco'. No surprise, we embark on 11 compositions of catchy melodic hard rock that we appropriate on the first listen. In short, without revolutionizing the style, this new project 'Killer Kings' puts forward two talented artists who are not necessarily very well-known who combine for the best with this first album 'Burn For Love' which should seduce all fans of rock and melodic hard rock...

Line Up / Musicians

Gregory Lynn Hall (Vocal), Tristan Avakian (Guitar), Alessandro Del Vecchio (Bass, Keybords), Nicholas Papapicco (Drums) + Guests : Tommy Denander (Keybords), Joel Hoekstra (Guitar)


Artist : Satin

Album : Appetition

Release Date : 14-10-2022

Added : 02-11-2022

Album of the playlist 2022: Mini playlist of rock albums, melodic hard-rock of the moment

It is still in a Nordic country that this AOR project leads us, which is the work of one man, I named the singer, producer and multi-instrumentalist 'Tom Satin' who is releasing his third studio recording, the first two albums 'Satin' and 'It's About Time' released in 2014 and 2017 respectively. with melodies that immediately stick in your head, you've come to the right place because 'Appetition' contains 10 little melodic gems that would have caused a stir in the 80s and would certainly go down in history along with the best songs of 'Toto', 'Journey', 'Foreigner', 'Bon Jovi' or even 'ASIA'. The first two titles that were the subject of a video, 'Going Your Way' (see here) and 'Angels Come, Angels Go' (see here) give you a very representative overview of this album, the first lively and radiant, and the second with this completely addictive mid-tempo rhythm. The suite does not weaken and continues in this path all traced with unstoppable melodic lines and the ballad is not forgotten with the magnificent 'A Dream Coming True' to which we can add 'Jenny (I'm Bringing You Down)' in two parts mixing ballad and catchy rhythm. In short, 'Tom Satin' offers us a remarkable new album with a series of melodic hits that we have great pleasure in listening to and which shows all the talent of this outstanding melodist and we hope that this 'Appetition' which has been signed on the label 'Art Of Melody Music / Burning Minds Music Group' allows him to reach a much wider audience...

Line Up / Musicians

Tom Satin (Vocal, Tous les instruments)


Artist : Wildness

Album : Resurrection

Release Date : 14-10-2022

Added : 03-11-2022

Album of the playlist 2022: Mini playlist of rock albums, melodic hard-rock of the moment

We are back in Sweden with 'Wildness' for the continuation of this melodic rock mini playlist which is releasing a third album 'Resurrection', the first two, the eponymous album and 'Ultimate Demise' dating from 2017 and 2020 respectively, the latter being part of the myprogmusic playlist of rock and melodic hard-rock albums from the second half of 2020. For this last baby of the Swedes, it is now the inevitable 'Frontiers Music' which has been chosen and which replaces 'AOR' but, whether at the level of the line up or the style, we do not change a winning team. with a new studio recording that continues the melodic path traced in the previous opuses. Whether it's the energetic compositions like 'Nightmare (see video here), 'Release the Beast', 'The Final Fantasy' or even 'Eternity Will Never Fall', but also the songs featuring radiant keyboards like 'Tragedy' or 'Best of Me', we have a great time savoring all these refreshing melodies. The calmer moments are not forgotten with the remarkable mid-tempos that are 'Love Resurrection', 'Lonely Girl' very close to 'Foreigner', 'One and Only' or even 'Fading Sun' without forgetting the ballad 'Dawn Of Forever' which transports us on a small cloud and which also shows all the talent of the singer 'Erik Forsberg' in more moderate moments. In summary, you understand why I have grouped together several albums of this quality because I could not dismiss any of them and this latest album from the Swedish 'Wildness' is still one of the melodic nuggets released in October...

Line Up / Musicians

Erik Forsberg (Vocal), Marcus Sjösund (Bass), Adam Holmström (Guitar), Pontus Sköld (Guitar), Érik Modin (Drums)


Artist : Riven Earth

Album : The World is Turning

Release Date : 10-10-2022

Added : 04-11-2022

A few days ago, I received an e-mail from the Germans of 'Riven Earth' which I did not know and which presented their latest studio album 'The World is Turning'. This progressive rock formation was created in 2016 and they have already released two albums that can be streamed on spotify, 'Project One' in 2018 and 'Space of Time' in 2020. It is therefore at the frequency of an album every two years that we can put a new German baby between our ears and I therefore discover them with this third studio recording whose title brings us back to this obvious observation after two years of health crisis: whatever happens, the world will continue to turn!

Musically, the influences are drawn from the progressive currents whether in its beginnings in the 70s or over the decades that followed and we could cite in bulk, for the oldest, 'Pink Floyd', 'Genesis', 'Alan Parsons Project', 'Barclay James Harvest' and 'Eagles' (for the first title 'Ready for Take Off') but also more recent artists like 'Nad Sylvan', 'Cosmograf' or 'tRKProject'. The album is quite dense since it contains 9 compositions for more than an hour of music, each of them delivering peaceful and melodic progressive with constructions in which we let ourselves go according to beautiful alternations between sung parts and instrumental and which are revealed, little by little, listen after listen. In order not to make a title for a title and considerably lengthen this chronicle, I will comment on the last composition of more than 16 minutes which sums up the whole very well and which takes us on a progressive labyrinth, inventive and refined on a slow tempo which makes one succeed varied and endearing landscapes that we happily travel through, letting ourselves be guided by the always very catchy melodic framework, the numerous guitar solos punctuating this title in a beautiful way. Apart from the slightly more rhythmic compositions 'Running Away' and 'Fight for Your Right', the atmospheres developed are generally developed on slow tempos and we walk through quiet and peaceful atmospheres on which we let ourselves be lulled by the melodious singing by 'Uli Krücken', 'Günter Schlünkes' offering us remarkable guitar solos and 'Wolfgang Beckers' enveloping the whole with luminous keyboards.

In summary, if you are a fan of progressive rock favoring the soft side of the style rather than more energetic atmospheres, you have come to the right place because this latest album from the Germans of 'Riven Earth' delivers us beautiful compositions that it makes good to enjoy quietly the helmet on the ears to relax after a hard day...

Line Up / Musicians

Günter Schlünkes (Guitar, Bass), Uli Krücken (Vocal, Guitar), Wolfgang Beckers (Keybords)


Artist : Signs

Album : Uchronia

Release Date : 09-10-2022

Added : 29-10-2022

Despite two periods of activity at the end of the 80s and in the 2000s which resulted in a separation without any real discographic production (the 'Code Source' mini CD in 2004), the Dutch of 'Signs' reformed in 2018 and have just released their first LP 'Uchronia'. Influenced by the progressive rock of the 70s, they mix different musical landscapes with, in particular, parallels with the 'Floyds' whether in atmospheric parts or more energetic rock sections, the whole being always supported by catchy melodic lines. The menu of this opus is made up of six compositions between 5 and 10 minutes long, which gives good possibilities of developing constructions in several drawers, especially since the first three titles and the last two follow one another without any gaps.

We are welcomed by 'Shadows of the Lesser Gods' which begins calmly with a few piano notes accompanied by synthetic sounds of strings, and which unrolls a first harmonious melody in an atmospheric atmosphere which gradually gains momentum and which then weaves between quiet sections and other more spirited ones, the bass/drums rhythm section leading the dance is very beautiful, the end of the title offering a very beautiful 'Gilmourian' guitar solo. Without transition, the title song 'Uchronia' continues with a more energetic instrumental introduction and then develops a succession of alternation between remarkable tensions and relaxations, protesting voices bringing on several occasions a feeling of revolt and the crescendo of the second part accentuating this sense of urgency. We continue with 'Zero Gravity' which continues in a mixture of neo-progressive and influences drawn from the 70s and, on many occasions, I found certain atmospheres released by the Germans of 'RPWL' with certainly more contrast between sections with saturated guitar riffs and atmospheric passages like this magnificent guitar solo in the middle of the title sandwiched between two energetic sections or this final break which passes from an imposing intensity to a calm and bucolic melody. Follows 'Cryogenic Jetlag' which unrolls a new memorable melody which alternates impetuous parts with other more peaceful ones, then the long development 'The Heretic' takes us into a remarkable labyrinth with multiple nooks and crannies in which we walk through soundscapes very contrasting, and which shows all the talent of this formation to offer us sophisticated and imaginative progressive, the final in crescendo bringing us back to that of 'Uchronia'. And to end this very beautiful album, 'Nigredo' also shows a construction alternating different rhythms and intensities with a peaceful and melancholy first part then, two minutes later, we are embarked on an instrumental section bordering on an explosive hard rock with a lot of riffs sharp, the calm falling then to return to the starting theme in the form of a crescendo with a remarkable guitar solo, the end returning to the softness of the introduction and sound effects which gradually fade.

In summary, the Dutch of 'Signs' finally release an album worthy of the name and offers us progressive with contrasting atmospheres alternating atmospheric sections and other much more energetic which brings a real originality to 'Uchronia' which should make happy all fans of a progressive varied and influenced by different currents of this style...

Line Up / Musicians

Hans de Graaf (Vocal, Bass, Taurus pedal), Ron van der Park (Guitar, Choirs), Marcel Faas (Keybords, Choirs), Louis Carlebur (Drums)


Artist : Charlotte Wessels

Album : Tales from Six Feet Under Vol. II

Release Date : 07-10-2022

Added : 19-10-2022

She had shown us all her talent with the first part of 'Tales From Six Under Feets' released in 2021 and we had discovered another facet of 'Charlotte Wessels', the former singer of 'Delain' which have started touring with their new singer 'Diana Leah', with a series of concerts scheduled from November 2022. Using the platform 'Patreon', she continues her adventure by releasing one composition per month for its subscribers and this second compilation allows a wider audience to put between the ears the production of a year of the Dutch singer. With 10 compositions, this new baby shows a heavier face than the first without either returning to the symphonic metal style of 'Delain', and is particularly focused on harmonious and catchy melodic lines, the whole being very diversified with a mix of different styles and different sounds.

And it is with 'Venus Rising' (see video above) that we are welcomed in a 'Kate Bush' atmosphere, mixing pop sounds and more muscular passages, the melodic lines coming directly into your head, then, 'Human to Ruin' (see video here), with its slow tempo, shows a more symphonic face with magnificent changes in intensity that make it one of my favorites from the album, the melody having this gift of enveloping you completely. Follows 'The Phantom Touch', in an atmosphere approaching slightly to 'Delain', and which exudes a kind of quiet strength and still sends us a heady chorus, the break in the second part being simply divine. Without transition, 'Against All Odds' (see the video here) is a very beautiful acoustic ballad showing a fragile and moving face of Charlotte which rocks us with a peaceful melody filled with serenity, then, 'A Million Live' returns to this delicious mix between the power of metal and the lightness of a melodic pop, the singing of 'Charlotte Wessels' being particularly endearing in this sensual atmosphere. With 'The Final Roadtrip', I have the impression of hearing a marriage between the high-pitched singing of 'Kate Bush' and the style of Eurythmics' with catchy sections, the melodic lines bringing again and again this immediate pleasure, then, 'Good Dog' is certainly the composition offering the most contrast with orchestral arrangements and sung parts which cohabit with sudden rises in power bringing a progressive and modern face. Follows 'Toxic' (see the video here) which is also a good example of striking contrast between pop with electronic sounds and extreme atmospheres, and which shows all this fabulous work of ' Charlotte' to be able to go from shadow to light in an instant. Always very contemporary, 'I Forget' is less direct melodically but just as endearing and takes us on a new ballad in sounds that 'Björk' who has just released his new album would not have denied 'Fossora' and which shows that 'Charlotte Wessels' is increasingly part of a current artistic movement. And it is in a more refined atmosphere that the album ends with 'Utopia' which takes us into a final airy composition with electro sounds, Charlotte's light vocals bringing a very touching delicate and airy side.

In summary, this new album by 'Charlotte Wessels' offers us wonderful compositions which are gradually revealed, the clear atmospheres bringing a beautiful modernity. Beyond the stylistic labels that we will try to stick to it, this second volume of 'Tales from Six Feet Under' shows all the talent of this artist who knows how to renew herself and who leads her boat solo by breaking down musical borders, her first two solo albums testifying to this creative freedom that she was able to find outside of 'Delain'...

Line Up / Musicians

Charlotte Wessels (Vocal, Tous les instruments) + Guest : Tomi Somers (Guitar)


Artist : Teramaze

Album : Flight of the Wounded

Release Date : 07-10-2022

Added : 18-10-2022

After the very good 'Sorella Minore' in 2021 and 'And the Beauty They Perceive' still in 2021, the Australians of 'Teramaze' are back, just a year later, with a new album 'Flight of the Wounded' released in early October 2022. As with their first two opuses, they continue to offer us progressive metal that we appropriate very quickly thanks to catchy melodic lines which can be a good introduction for all those who want to discover this particular style. With 9 original compositions ranging from 5 to 10 minutes, 'Flight of the Wounded' and yet another rich and dense opus which displays an hour of music on the clock.

As they had done in their first two albums, it's the title song that welcomes us, but this time with the longest title which exceeds 10 minutes and which takes us into memorable melodic lines and which offers, in the second part, a guitar solo worthy of the name with 'Gilmourian' intonations. Follows 'Gold' (see the video above) which alternates energetic parts with an unbridled rhythm section and a catchy chorus in a slower tempo bringing this beautiful progressive diversity, then 'The Thieves Are Out' (see the video here) continues in this inventive and accessible progressive and we let ourselves get carried away in a catchy rhythm with a good alternation of the sung parts (magnificently by 'Dean Wells' who is always so expressive) and provided instrumental parts in which we delight with remarkable guitar solos. With 'Until the Lights', the first half offers us a very beautiful piano/moving voice duo which gains vigor in the second part with a faster rhythm, then, 'Ticket To The Next Apocalypse' is the title, par excellence progressive, which very well images this formation with this subtle mix between the power of metal and the immediate accessibility thanks to catchy melodic lines, atmosphere which we also find with 'For the Thrill' (see the video here), which follows and unrolls a catchy rhythm with a chorus that easily enters the head. The end of the album continues in this catchy progressive style with, first of all, 'Dangerous Me' which is cut in two parts, beginning in an energetic way and which halfway through, becomes more leisurely with a magnificent second part atmospheric, then 'Battle' is more direct and moves slightly away from progressive offering us a new memorable chorus and 'In The Ruins Of Angels' closes this beautiful album in imaginative progressive with beautiful variations of intensity throughout the title, 'Dean Wells' giving us a last magnificent vocal performance with this talent to adapt perfectly to the atmosphere of each moment and 'Christopher Zoupa' gratifying us with a magnificent guitar solo.

In summary, the Australians of 'Teramaze' continue at a fairly high frequency (we are at three albums in a year) to deliver good progressive metal with accessible melodic lines and if you liked the previous albums , you should also join this one and, for the others who don't yet know this formation and who like a catchy progressive metal at first listen, 'Flight of the Wounded' is also a good gateway to discover this Australian training...

Line Up / Musicians

Dean Wells (Vocal, Guitar), Christopher Zoupa (Guitar), Andrew Cameron (Bass), Nick Ross (Drums)


Artist : Haven of Echoes

Album : The Indifferent Stars

Release Date : 07-10-2022

Added : 20-10-2022

'Haven of Echoes' is a new progressive rock project which was put together by 'Andreas Hack' of the band 'Frequency Drift' and who boarded with him, harpist and keyboardist 'Nerissa Schwarz', drummer 'Wolfgang Ostermann' (both also 'Frequency Drift') and singer 'Paul Sadler' ('Spires' and in solo here). They offer us a first studio recording 'The Indifferent Stars' which takes us into progressive rock which is obviously close to 'Frequency Drift' with sought-after constructions implementing rich arrangements in an atmosphere combining melancholy and serenity, the singing of 'Paul Sadler' quite high pitched bringing a very particular emotion and is close to the range of Einar Solberg' from 'Leprous'.

With 6 compositions between 5 and 12 minutes, the album begins with 'Sirensong' which introduces us to the melodious singing of 'Paul Sadler' in a quiet atmosphere, the vocal and instrumental arrangements being of great beauty and the final bringing a poignant side. With its very beautiful introduction highlighting haunting percussions, 'Orator's Gift' follows by offering us beautiful melodic lines and the instrumental break at the end of the title shows all this beautiful work of progressive research, then, 'Stasis' continues in this atmosphere merging the airy vocals of 'Paul Sadler' with a deep-sounding piano that completely overwhelms us. More energetic in its introduction, 'Endtime' then moderates the subject with a song of extreme sensitivity that literally carries us away and the lull in the middle of the title between the two sections punctuated by a sweet melody is simply divine, the finale returning to a haunting and almost hypnotic sequel. Punctuated by a few drum beats, the slow procession 'The Lord Giveth…' raises the emotional slider even further with 'Paul Sadler' which gives us, on multiple occasions, that little shiver of pleasure so characteristic, the instrumental section in the second part adding again to this intense force and constitutes my favourite of this very beautiful album. And to conclude, the long development 'Let Them In' unfolds a last gripping composition in several drawers made up of multiple breaks and rhythmic changes embellished with arrangements featuring classical instruments such as a flute, a piano or strings and which offers us a last vibrant performance by 'Paul Sadler' and a very beautiful guitar solo, the melodious finale ending this magnificent progressive epic in a very beautiful way.

In summary, for those who know the progressive metal of 'Leprous', we could say that 'Haven of Echoes' is a bit the counterpart in progressive rock, and we understand why 'Andreas Hack' chose 'Paul Sadler' because he has this gift to bring a palpable emotion to these magnificent compositions...

Line Up / Musicians

Andreas Hack (Keybords, Guitar), Paul Sadler (Vocal, Guitar), Nerissa Schwarz (Harp, Keybords), Wolfgang Ostermann (Drums)


Artist : Queensrÿche

Album : Digital Noise Alliance

Release Date : 07-10-2022

Added : 21-10-2022

Casually, 'Queensrÿche' will celebrate the 40th anniversary of its first eponymous EP in 2023 and 'Digital Noise Alliance' is the 16th album of the Americans who continue after 'The Verdict' released in 2019 to distill some good progressive metal and, as usual, the topics covered remain quite dark and in tune with the moods deployed, the 11 original compositions highlighting a 'Todd La Torre' in top form. Overall, this new opus has catchy melodic lines from the first listen and the progressive parts remain limited, and, although 'Tormentum' displays 7 minutes on the counter with a fuller instrumental section, the durations of the titles vary between 4 and 5 minutes and the melodies have been particularly worked: this is what the first titles attest with, at the start, an energetic 'In Extremis' (see the video above) and its well-muscled guitar riffs or 'Chapters' which has guitar sounds like 'Thin Lizzy' or 'Lost In Sorrow' which delivers a memorable chorus or 'Sicdeth' with its original break in the second part. Slightly more progressive, 'Behind The Walls' (see the video here) brings rhythmic changes with a catchy refrain in a faster tempo, then, 'Noctural Light' shows the heavy and well-tempered side of the Americans turning on the headbanging machine and 'Out Of The Black', more moderate, adds a catchy chorus. Place the ballad break of the album with 'Forest' (see the video here) which unrolls a slow tempo on which 'Todd La Torre' also shows all his vocal talent in more subdued, then, the end of the album scrolls 'Realms' with beautiful vocal harmonies and guitar tones that take us back to the beginning of 'Queensrÿche', 'Hold On' in which we find the more moderate progressive side of the group with original rhythmic changes and the long 'Tormentum' which is the archetype of an inventive progressive metal with its remarkable instrumental break in the middle of the title, the album ends with a muscular cover of 'Rebel Yell' by 'Billy Idol' bringing 'Queensrÿche' back to its origins.

In summary, 'Queensrÿche' continues to offer us quality progressive metal with a fairly immediate hook thanks to accessible melodic lines and 'Digital Noise Alliance' has just added a good position in the discography, already substantial of the Americans , which show that after 40 years and a few more wrinkles, they are still there and continue to occupy a good place among the best formations of this style...

Line Up / Musicians

Michael Wilton (Guitar, Choirs), Eddie Jackson (Bass, Choirs), Mike Stone (Guitar, Choirs), Todd La Torre (Vocal), Casey Grillo (Drums)


Artist : Saro Cosentino

Album : The Road To Now

Release Date : 07-10-2022

Added : 22-10-2022

What I like are these big gaps between different styles of music and, after the progressive metal of the Americans from 'Queensrÿche', it's the turn of the Italian 'Saro Cosentino' to release a new album which is in a way the continuation of his album 'Ones and Zeros' originally released in 1997 and reissued with an additional title (see here). So, we find three of the artists who accompanied him on 'Ones and Zeros' with 'Time Bownes' , 'Peter Hammill' and 'Karen Eden'. The delicate and refined atmospheres highlight magnificent vocal and instrumental arrangements and, of the eight compositions, seven are sung and we let ourselves be carried away by a soothing melancholy starting with 'You're The Story', sung by 'Tim Bowness', which makes us go directly warm on a small cloud. The other titles continue this relaxing journey with, first of all, the four compositions sung by 'Peter Hamill' which shows all the vocal talent of the founder of 'Van der Graaf Generator' in these ethereal atmospheres and then, with 'Karen Eden' which brings a beautiful feminine sensibility with her moving vocals on the two very beautiful titles 'Pray' and the melodic jewel 'US (Scars on Skin)'. The eighth track, entirely instrumental, is slightly more energetic with some more heavy guitar riffs but does not differ from the rest of the album, the muted brass adding a feeling of fullness to the whole. In short, this latest album by 'Saro Cosentino' is to be enjoyed quietly with headphones on to evacuate the stress of a good day's work and should appeal to all those who like calm and refined atmospheres with performers passing beautiful feelings...

Line Up / Musicians

Saro Cosentino (Guitar, Keybords, Bass, Cordes, Piano), Peter Hammill (Vocal, Guitar), Tim Bowness (Vocal, Choirs), Karen Eden (Vocal), Dorota Barova (Cello, Vocal), Gavin Harrison (Drums), John Giblin (Bass), David Rhodes (Guitar), Trey Gunn (Guitar), Nicola Alesini (Saxophone), Radim Knapp (Trumpet)


Artist : Statement

Album : Dreams From The Darkest Side

Release Date : 07-10-2022

Added : 23-10-2022

After the restful break of 'Saro Cosentino' put on line yesterday, I'm taking you to Denmark with melodic heavy metal band 'Statement' on their 4th studio recording, latest album 'Force of Life' being released in 2019. For this new opus, I first entered it backwards, the creepy cover reminded me rather reminiscent of a death metal album, a style that I don't particularly like, and then, title after title, I very quickly revised my first position and, by dint of headbanging on powerful and addictive melodies, and after the very good final ballad 'Fade Away' (see the video above), I hastened to press the button 'repeat again'. This 'Dreams From The Darkest Side' is a series of compositions that will get you in shape for a whole day, starting with an explosive 'Don't You Hide It' with everything you want to find in good heavy metal with a production with small onions, incisive guitar riffs with 'Niels Alex Larsen' and 'Lars Ulrik Le Fevre', a rhythm section that brings an extraordinary dynamic with bassist 'Martin Poulsen' and drummer 'Daniel Nielsen' on drums, and finally, the singer 'Jannick Brochdorf' who, as they say, wets his shirt and brings all the vocal power necessary for all this debauchery of energy. Whether it's the powerful compositions and taken on a hellish tempo like 'Don't You Hide It', 'Sacrifice' (with its original central break), 'Here I Am', 'Escaped' or even 'Indestructible' (see video here), or the catchy tracks with memorable melodies like 'Dreams From The Darkest Side' (see video here), 'Lifeline' or 'Beyond Control', without forgetting the heavy mid-tempo 'The Reaper' (see video here) that will knock your head off from headbanging, everything is done to have a good time. intense listening. In short, to quote an old French ad for a certain cereal bar, "this latest album from the Danes of 'Statement' is dynamite on the bar" and, if you are a fan of melodic metal soaked, there's a good chance you'll be playing this 'Dreams From The Darkest Side' on repeat...

Line Up / Musicians

Jannick Brochdorf (Vocal), Niels Alex Larsen (Guitar, Choirs), Lars Ulrik Le Fevre (Guitar, Choirs), Martin Poulsen (Bass), Daniel Nielsen (Drums)


Artist : Lobate Scarp

Album : You Have It All

Release Date : 07-10-2022

Added : 24-10-2022

'Lobate Scarp' is a progressive rock project led by keyboardist and singer 'Adam Sears' who has only released one album in his ten-year career ('Time and Space') and which has just released 'You Have It All' at the beginning of October. He had already invited an impressive number of artists for his first studio recording and we understand the spacing of the albums given the line-up because his latest baby brings together a large number of musicians again with, among others, bassist 'Billy Sherwood' and guitarist 'Jon Davison' from 'Yes' who sings the title song and we can also mention drummer 'Jimmy Keegan' from 'Pattern-Seeking Animals' and keyboardist 'Ryo Okumoto' from 'Spock's Beard'.

the album begins with the instrumental 'Conduit' which sets the stage for a classic progressive with some jazzy incursions taking us back a few decades with the highlighting of beautiful keyboard sections, then, 'Nothing Wrong' takes us into a psychedelic introduction with keyboards imitating celestial voices and which continues in a melody with a refrain which repeats the phrase 'Nothing bad with my life' in a crescendo with original keyboard peregrinations and 'Mike Gerbrandt' which gives the drums an increasingly fiery rhythm. The short instrumental 'In the Night I', which follows, serves as a bridge to the more energetic 'Life-Line', which begins with more stressed guitar riffs and continues in a tempo reminding me of the bass lines of 'Sting' with 'Police', the comparison stopping there because the progressive aspect remains very present with beautiful sections embroidering around the main theme. Make way for the first long development with the eponymous title of the album which starts with an instrumental part accompanied by strings with contemporary sounds, and which continues by alternating jumpy sections and a symphonic progressive which can recall certain melodic lines of Electric Light Orchestra', the choirs adding to this radiant side, all of this taking a little over three minutes. The second part of the title is quieter and highlights in a semi-acoustic atmosphere the beautiful singing of 'Jon Davison' and a magnificent central guitar solo worthy of the name in a magnificent crescendo, the finale returning to symphonic progressive with strings à la 'Kansas' and the memorable main melodic theme. New peaceful interlude with the second part of 'In the Night' then, 'Beautiful Night' unfolds a beautiful melody in a relaxed atmosphere with luminous choirs, the kind of light and carefree compositions that do good to the soul, and, without transition, 'Our Test Tube Universe' is much more avant-garde with surgically striking drums that give you an irresistible urge to move your whole body in time and which is interspersed by a harmonious refrain with new choruses that we want to accompany, the break in the second part bringing a beautiful originality to this title out of the ordinary but at the same time very catchy with its final in crescendo. And to end on a high note, the 17 minutes of 'Flowing Through The Change' take us on a magnificent progressive journey in five stages that contain everything we want to find in this kind of composition in which we let ourselves go by going through several different soundscapes, influences reminding us of the progressive great names of the 70s like 'Kansas', 'Pink Floyd', 'ELP' or even 'Yes'.

In summary, even if some compositions were already known with the EP released in 2016, this rich and dense second album of 'Lobate Scarp' is a great success and 'You Have It All' should make everyone happy those who like a sought-after and inventive progressive influenced by the major historical bands of this style...

Line Up / Musicians

Adam Sears (Vocal, Keybords, Piano, Organ), Andy Catt (Bass, Vocal), Peter Matuchniak (Guitar) + Guests : Hoyt Binder (Guitar), Nate Olmos (Guitar), Eric Moore (Drums), Jimmy Keegan (Drums), Mike Gerbrandt (Drums), Billy Sherwood (Vocal), Jon Davison (Vocal), Ryo Okumoto (Keybords), Aiko Jimena Richter (Violin), Yvette Holzwarth (Violin), Thomas Lea (Viola), Hillary Smith (Cello), Andrea Whitt (Viola, Pedal Steel), Rachel Grace (Violin), Tawnee Lynn Lilo (French horn), Steve Huber (Violin, Viola), Michael Bernard (Keybords, Drums Programming), Raul Hernadez (Guitar), Steven Leavitt (Piano, Keybords, Maracas, Tambourine, Glockenspiel, Vocal), Rich Mouser (Guitar, Mandolin, Shaker, Tambourine, Dilruba)


Artist : Captain Black Beard

Album : Neon Sunrise

Release Date : 07-10-2022

Added : 25-10-2022

Guess where I'm taking you for melodic rock from the 80s. It was easy, since it's still Swedes who are honored in this country where bands of this style are springing up like mushrooms. 'Neon Sunrise' is therefore the sixth studio recording of 'Captain Black Beard' of which I had put the fifth album, 'Sonic Forces', in the playlist of melodic rock and hard-rock albums from the first half of 2020. No surprise, we sail in the footsteps of 'Foreigner', 'Journey', 'Survivor', 'Europe', 'ASIA' or even 'Toto' and all the compositions therefore take us back a few decades with unstoppable melodies that can be enjoyed with immense pleasure. Needless to make the title of the title, but listening to the addictive choruses that parade one behind the other, we say to ourselves that the Swedes must have had a terrible time extracting a few singles from all these potential hits. To get an idea, you can discover videos of those who have been selected, with 'Flamenco' (see the video above), 'Physical' (see the video here) and 'Wasted Heart' (see the video here) and if you stick with all three of these titles, chances are you'll like it all together. The only downside I would make is that they did not include ballads which would have brought additional diversity to this very beautiful opus and which could certainly have replaced the very short, rather dispensable last title of the eponymous song.

In summary, the 80s are very popular at the moment, because after 'Meridian' which released 'The Fourth Dimension' at the end of September 2022, this 'Neon Sunrise' is added to the list of albums filled with melodic hits from this era , and this will certainly not displease all fans of this style, many formations of which flourish in the four corners of the earth with a much greater density in the countries of northern Europe...

Line Up / Musicians

Martin Holsner (Vocal), Christian Ek (Guitar), Daniel Krakowski (Guitar), Robert Majd (Bass), Yngve Strömberg (Drums) + invités : Anna Brygård (Choirs), Anna-Mia Bonde (Choirs), Jona Tee (Keybords)


Artist : Alicate

Album : Butterfly

Release Date : 07-10-2022

Added : 26-10-2022

Decidedly, at this time, the 80s do not stop giving wings to many Swedish formations, and, to return to the golden age of melodic rock, what could be better than to have started scratching some agreements about forty years ago. This is the case of the Swedes of 'Alicate', which was founded at the end of the 80s with only two songs, the title of the first being perhaps a little premonitory at that time since it was called 'The End' and which I found on YouTube here). Since then, they got back together in 2006 and recorded three albums, 'World Of Anger' in 2009, 'Free Falling' in 2013 and 'Unforgiven To Be Forgiven' in 2018. 2022 therefore sees a new opus see the day which offers us good varied melodic hard rock as we navigate through energetic titles like 'I Can Run', 'Rise Once Again' (see the video above), 'Let It Out' (see the video here) or even 'Out Of Control', but they also know how to modulate atmospheres with remarkable m id-tempos such as 'My Last Goodbye', 'Monday', 'We Will Get By' and 'Done For The Weekend', without forgetting the two ballads 'Butterfly' (see the video here) and 'Highway'. In short, this latest album from 'Alicate' continues to perpetuate this talent of Swedish melodists and 'Butterfly' should make happy all fans of melodic hard rock and AOR taking us back a few decades…

Line Up / Musicians

Jonas Erixon (Vocal, Guitar), Glenn Ljungkvist (Keybords), Fredrik Ekberg (Bass), Jesper Persson (Drums)


Artist : Trust

Album : Propaganda

Release Date : 30-09-2022

Added : 13-10-2022

I read here and there mixed opinions on the latest album 'Propaganda' by 'Trust' which was released at the end of September but there will always be people to say: it's not enough like that or it's too like this... Still, after more than forty years of career, they have nothing more to prove and they continue their merry way by offering us this French-style rock denouncing all the evils of the earth, 'Bernie' having always this talent for direct and incisive texts. After the very good 'Dans le même sang' in 2018, 'Fils de lutte' in 2019 and the re-recording of their first three albums 'RE' 'CI' 'DIV., they offer us 12 new compositions with two different covers reminding us of tragic moments of the 20th century, as if to tell us that they remain rooted in this era.

We are greeted by the well-soaked mid-tempo 'Cette prière sur tes lèvres et ce sang sur tes mains' with guitar riffs that set you in motion a metronome throughout your body, and in which they authorize vocal arrangements which, for my part, bring a real originality to this title, then, 'Tout ce qui nous sépare' rocks a direct and effective hard rock title with the three basic chords that take us back a few decades. In the same tempo as the first title, 'La première pierre' slowly rises to a crescendo and delivers a new rhythmic composition with a tailor made solo of 'Nono' and with new addictive choirs, then, 'Salaud d'pauvre?' sends us in the head all the rage intact after so many years of 'Bernie', which still echoes that of the Abbé Pierre in 1954 but which, for my part, taking into account the text, would have deserved more muscular arrangements. Make way for 'Les vagins impatients' with a 'Trust' in ballad mode which shows that the legendary rebellious side of the group hides, as usually in this case, a great sensitivity, then, it's off again with 'Dimanche au bord du gouffre' which delivers us hard rock to dismantle your head by dint of headbanging, the acerbic text being simply delicious (any resemblance… blablabla…) and the guitar solo of 'Nono' intoxicating. The second part of the album scrolls through a catchy 'Le jour lèvera' with a 'Bernie' in full vocal form, then, 'Petite elle' is the "torrid blues" break, quite far from the historical style (it's the least we can say) but which works wonderfully thanks to a remarkable interpretation in a cosy and delicate atmosphere with very beautiful choirs, and 'Ce que tu donnes' is a lively, more classic title, in which 'Bernie' shows a less rebellious face and 'Nono' sends us two short well-crafted solos. Follows 'Le conteur' which is a magnificent crescendo in a new rhythmic mid-tempo and which falls on the end in a few guitar chords, then, the introduction of 'L'Europe des 27' echoes the end of the previous title but quickly turns into a composition filled with a beautiful energy in which 'Bernie' pushes his voice and which recalls the muscular style of the first albums (the live finale being already set for the concerts), like what, no offense to some, 'Trust' hasn't aged a bit, the album ending with 'Ma vie' with that addictive mid-tempo rhythm that automatically turns on the toe-tapping machine and, one last time, features chiselled lyrics from 'Bernie' which hasn't lost of its legendary eloquence.

In summary, between the assertive style of the first albums and more moderate atmospheres, 'Trust' takes us on board in new varied compositions as were already those of 'Dans le même sang' and 'Fils de Lutte' with, cherry on the cake, again an impeccable production of 'Mike Fraser', and 'Propaganda', even if it may not be unanimous among historical fans who seek the raw energy of the 70s/80s, shows that the French are still one of the major rock bands in France...

Line Up / Musicians

Bernie Bonvoisin (Vocal), Norbert Nono Krief (Guitar), David Jacob (Bass), Izo Diop (Guitar), Chris Dupuy (Drums)


Artist : Trishula

Album : We All Fall Down

Release Date : 30-09-2022

Added : 14-10-2022

After his second album 'Time Waits For No Man', dating from 2020, which had made a very good impression on me, the ex 'Ten'/'Rage Of Angels', 'Neil Fraser' releases a new studio recording with his project 'Trishula'. The line-up has evolved slightly since it is the drummer 'Loyd Daker' who replaces 'Neil Ogden' and 'We All Fall Down' is a continuation of the first two albums with 12 original compositions between rock and melodic hard rock, the together being always quite moderate and taking us back to the best of this style in the 70s/80s.

We therefore sail through atmospheres that could be described as harmonious and refined, starting with 'I'm Not Falling' which opens the debate and which is filled with seductive vocal harmonies then, 'Caught In The Middle' unfolds a slow tempo which could be a cross between 'Electric Lighe orchestra' and 'The Alan Parsons Project'. The sequel is in the image of these first two titles with catchy rhythms and the 'Nice and Dirty' and 'Why Should I Apologise' offer us beautiful melodic lines with, for the first, keyboards à la 'Supertramp' and for the second, a very beautiful guitar solo by 'Neil Fraser', both benefiting from radiant choirs, then, the suite scrolls through new melodic jewels which take us back a few decades, and the names of 'Toto', 'Survivor' , 'ASIA' or even 'Foreigner' immediately come to mind. In the second half of the album, the lights dim with the magnificent 'Two Umbrellas' (a little peek at the vintage keyboard sounds of the 'Beatles') and 'It Doesn't Matter' and its slow tempo on which we give up completely, and the album ends with two catchy last melodic titles with 'Don't Walk Away' and 'Never Gonna Stop' with its slightly stronger guitar riffs.

In summary, 'Neil Fraser' continues his adventure with 'Trishula' by offering us a new album filled with catchy compositions and 'We All Fall Down' should undoubtedly appeal to all those who love melodic rock accessible, taking us back to the best of the major formations of the 70s/80s...

Line Up / Musicians

Jason Morgan (Vocal), Neil Fraser (Guitar), Rick Benton (Keybords), Dan Clark (Bass), Loyd Daker (Drums)


Artist : Sonata Arctica

Album : Acoustic Adventures – Volume Two

Release Date : 30-09-2022

Added : 15-10-2022

The Finns of 'Sonata Arctica' enchanted us with their first acoustic album 'Acoustic Adventures – Volume One' and since it had the "volume 1" extension, we obviously expected a volume 2 which was released at the beginning of October. We therefore find all these compositions reinterpreted and rearranged in a very beautiful way for an acoustic set and, as I had done for the first album, I have put the original titles in the list below. For my part, the ballads 'Letter To Dana' and 'Shamandalie' are even more moving and the other much more energetic titles are transfigured like 'San Sebastien' which offers us a second face far removed from the first. In short, the acoustic adventure continues for 'Sonata Arctica' who are finally making their great acoustic European tour with, it's quite rare to specify it for a metal formation, several dates in France and, if you are an amateur or amateur of beautiful melodies and you're not necessarily a fan of metal, you should find a date near you to go see this formation which has succeeded in transforming all the energy they have conveyed for years into a magnificent series of compositions putting showcasing all the melodist talent of 'Tony Kakko'...

List of tracks:
01 – 'I Have A Right' – Stones Grow Her Name – 2012
02 – 'Black Shape' – Silence – 2001
03 – 'Half A Marathon Man' – Pariah's Child – 2014
04 – 'Broken' – Winterheart's Guild – 2003
05 – 'Letter To Dana' – Ecliptica – 1999
06 – 'FullMoon' – Ecliptica – 1999
07 – 'Shamandalie' – Reckoning Night – 2004
08 – 'San Sebastien' – Silence – 2001
09 – 'Gravenimage' – Winterheart's Guild – 2003
10 – 'Flag In The Ground' – The Days of Grays – 2009
11 – 'My Land' – Ecliptica – 1999
12 – 'Victoria's Secret' – Winterheart's Guild – 2003

Line Up / Musicians

Tony Kakko (Vocal, Choirs), Elias Viljanen (Guitar, Banjo, Choirs), Henrik Klingenberg (Keybords, Choirs), Pasi Kauppinen (Bass, Choirs), Tommy Portimo (Drums, Percussions)


Artist : Scarlet Dorn

Album : Queen of Broken Dreams

Release Date : 30-09-2022

Added : 17-10-2022

For those who find that 'Nightwish' is a bit too energetic or doesn't like growls from 'Epica' or who no longer adhere to the latest 'Within Temptation' but who like catchy melodies, here is 'Scarlet Dorn', which is a formation with a few years of existence discovered by 'Chris Harms', leader of 'Lord Of The Lost', and which has already released two albums, 'Lack of Light' in 2018 and ' Blood Red Bouquet' in 2021. Their third studio recording 'Queen of Broken Dreams' has just been released at the end of September with the same line up as the previous opus and they continue to surf on a melodic style that we appropriate at first listen.

Led by the singer who bears the band's name, this latest baby contains 12 varied compositions in a radio format and, the label of symphonic metal that we stick to them is quite restrictive even if the start of the album 'Falling' (see the video above) plays in the court of the tenors of the genre and begins the album with a first memorable melody. But from 'Born to Suffer' (see the video here), more subdued atmospheres will be used throughout the album and this track mixes peaceful rock and international variety. Make way for the title track which continues with catchy melodic lines, the guitars being relegated to the background behind ubiquitous keyboards, then, 'Your Highness' shows a more theatrical face with a marked rhythm on which 'Scarlet Dorn' gives us a performance very expressive vocals well in tune with the unfolding atmosphere, alternating hushed parts and a powerful chorus. We continue with 'A Light That Blinds the Truth' which adds a new melodic jewel with an 'Abbaesque' side, the diction of Scarlet being close to that of the Swedish women, then 'Meteor' (see the video here) is the first ballad break that deploys a melancholic melody that takes us back to the 70s, then, 'Unstill Life' (see the video here), slightly more energetic, puts the guitar forward slightly more while remaining in a peaceful mid-tempo. We continue in this alternation between ballads and peaceful rock with the moving 'When You See Me Again' which begins with a magnificent piano / voice, then, 'Love Wasn't Made for Me' offers us a new addictive melody which comes directly stick in the head. The end of the album is under the sign of serenity with new moving serenades: attest to this 'What Are We To Do' which alternates a catchy tempo with much calmer parts, then, 'Tonight' begins in a melancholic ballad and takes vigor to unroll a new catchy melody that never leaves you and finally, 'A Million Miles Away' closes this beautiful album in a very beautiful way with a last addictive melody in an epic and pathetic atmosphere.

In summary, the Germans of 'Scarlet Dorn', far from the label of symphonic metal that we want to stick to them, continue to offer us a clever mix between soft melodic lines and catchy atmospheres with melodies catchy which intends 'Queen of Broken Dreams' to the general public because everything is implemented for an immediate accessibility...

Line Up / Musicians

Scarlet Dorn (Vocal), Bengt Jaeschie (Guitar), Benjamin Mundigler (Bass), Gared Dirge (Keybords), Henrik Petschull (Drums)


Artist : Fleesh

Album : Home Again (A Tribute to Pink Floyd)

Release Date : 24-09-2022

Added : 11-10-2022

I remember that in 2019, I discovered the Brazilian duo 'Fleesh' with their third studio recording 'Across The Sea' and that I had, at the time, literally flashed on their cover of 'The Final Cut' of the 'Floyds'. They had already made covers of 'Rush' and 'Marillion' and, since then, they have also delighted us with two very beautiful albums of covers of 'Renaissance' and 'Genesis' but also with the three other opuses featuring different artists ('Fleesh - Versions I', 'Fleesh - Versions II' and 'Fleesh - Versions III').

This time, they tackle the discography of 'Pink Floyd' and we embark on a wonderful journey through the different eras of the group. So, of course, it's not the kind of cover that flourishes all over the world (the best known being 'The Australian Pink Floyd Show' but there are others less known but just as good, or even better, like the French group 'So Floyd' that I saw twice in a row in the arenas of Fréjus and who each time makes a magnificent impression), but the Brazilians, with limited means, far from the big 'Pink Floyd' machinery, bring another equally endearing face to all these compositions which have become timeless. First of all, 'Celo Oliveira' realizes this tour de force, by playing all the instruments, to recreate the atmospheres of the 'Floyds' in all the instrumental compartments and in particular with 'Gilmourians' guitar solos which are filled with the same feeling than those of English. And then, the angelic sweetness of the singing of 'Gabby Vessoni' makes us rise each time, very warm, on a small cloud and she has this gift to transform atmospheric compositions into melodic jewels as in 'Breathe', 'Time' , 'Hey You', 'Mother', 'Us and Tem' or even the essential 'Shine On Your Crazy Diamond' and in the more energetic compositions, her singing brings remarkable nuances as in 'In the Flesh', 'Dogs ', 'The Final Cut' or in 'Comfortably Numb'. Moreover, in addition to the essential compositions of the 'Floyds' repertoire, the Brazilians offer us lesser known compositions from the first albums of the English of the psychedelic period: 'Fat Old Sun', taken from 'Atom Heart Mother' from 1970's 'Julia Dream' which appeared on the B-side of the single 'It Would Be So Nice' from 1968, 'Burning Bridges' from the album 'Obscured By Clouds' or even 'Green Is The Colour' from the soundtrack of the movie 'More'.

In short, this new cover of 'Fleesh' is a wonderful peregrination in the discography of the 'Floyds' which will dig into the different eras of the English, and 'Home Again' shows again all the talent of this duo who knows how to appropriate a repertoire without distorting it and, icing on the cake, by bringing a personal touch that is always very endearing...

Line Up / Musicians

Gabby Vessoni (Vocal), Celo Oliveira (All Instruments)


Artist : Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso

Album : Orlando: Le Forme dell'Amore

Release Date : 23-09-2022

Added : 05-10-2022

In France, we have 'Ange' which, as its leader, 'Francis Descamps' likes to say, is the 'most famous French group... to have gone unnoticed' and which has just celebrated its 50th anniversary (the concert du trianon is available on spotify here) but, on the other side of the transalpine border, the Italians also have their 'Angélique' world with the emblematic formation 'Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso' which celebrates the 50th anniversary of its album 'Darwin' and which unfortunately lost its singer 'Francesco di Giacomo' in a car accident in 2014. Despite this, this band continued to release albums, the latest being 'Transiberia' released in 2019. 2022 therefore sees the release of a new baby 'Orlando: Le Forme dell'Amore' which is a concept album based on an Italian epic poem 'Orlando Furioso', written by 'Ludovico Ariosto' in 1516 and of which you have the detail in wikipedia here. Musically, faithful to their image, they offer us a dense album with 15 compositions for a total duration of an hour and a quarter in sought-after and unique progressive that mixes rock and classical influences, the whole being always imbued with their musical culture.

The short 'Premio' welcomes us in a peaceful acoustic with harmonious melodic lines and which serves as an introduction to 'La Pianura Rossa' (see the video above) which develops a contemporary first part highlighting a piano and which continues in a lively atmosphere, then, 'Serve Orlando Adesso' is a beautiful ballad with beautiful instrumental arrangements on a slow tempo which is followed, without transition, by 'Non Mi Spaventa Piú L'amore' on a rhythm of magnificent tango with an accordion leading the dance and with a very expressive singing of 'Tony D'alessio'. 'Non Serve Tremare' then shows a more contrasting face with keyboard accompaniments with electronic sounds that blend with the more classic sounds of a piano bringing a beautiful instrumental fusion, then, 'Le Anime Deserte Del Mondo' continues in this inventive progressive with a magnificent new vocal performance by 'Tony D'allessio', then, 'L'isola Felice' begins with whispers and takes us to an exotic country punctuated by xylophone sounds, gradually gaining momentum and unwinding a melody with a haunting tempo. Make way for the instrumental 'La Maldicenza' which offers different peregrinations with many rhythmic changes, and which presents a more contemporary aspect, more difficult to access, then, 'Cadere O Volare' is a perfect mix between classical arrangements and Italian song with a beautiful central break in a melancholic atmosphere followed by a more energetic section with keyboards imitating flamboyant brass. This is followed by the short instrumental 'Il Paladino' which deploys a fast tempo, and which gives a sense of urgency with an accompaniment of light and stirring keyboards, then, without transition, calm returns with the magnificent romantic ballad 'L'Amore Accade' which is followed by another restful moment with 'Non Credere Alla Luna' and its sensual saxophone accompaniment, the vocals of 'Tony D'alessio' adapting remarkably well to this languorous atmosphere. We arrive at the 11 minutes of 'Moon Suite' which develop an inventive progressive with a succession of atmospheres which alternate different intensities and rhythms, leaving a good place for provided instrumental sections which require several listenings to draw all the richness from it. The end of the album offers us two last compositions with 'Come È Successo Che Sei Qui' which takes us into a moment of tranquility lulled by the sweet voice of 'Tony D'alessio' and with 'Cosa Vuol Dire Per Semper' which, like its predecessor, is a ballad as the Italians know so well and which unrolls a last peaceful melody and which offers us a finale with a magnificent guitar solo.

In summary, this new album by the Italians of 'Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso' shows that the Italian progressive is doing well, like 'Premiata Forneria Marconi' who released 'I Dreamed of Electric Sheep' in 2021 and 'Orlando: Le Forme dell'Amore' is to be tamed, little by little, listen after listen and should find a good place in the discotheque of any amateur and any fan of progressive rock through the ages...

Line Up / Musicians

Tony D’alessio (Vocal), Vittorio Nocenzi (Keybords, Piano, Voice), Filippo Marcheggiani (Guitar), Marco Capozi (Bass), Nicola Di Già (Guitar), Fabio Moresco (Drums)


Artist : Stratovarius

Album : Survive

Release Date : 23-09-2022

Added : 06-10-2022

The Finns of 'Stratovarius' had not released an album since 2015 with 'Eternal' and, after the compilation 'Enigma: Intermission 2' that only really contained 4 new titles, the fans were eagerly waiting for the new recording which was finally released in September. With all the line-up changes since the band's creation in 1984, we're almost surprised to have the same artists on this new baby, and 'Survive', which is perhaps just a nod to the fact that the formation is still present after so many years and ups and downs, demonstrates that the Finns are still part of the major formations of power melodic metal.

And it all starts with the supercharged 'Survive' (see the video above) which delivers considerable power and energy, and which offers us a catchy first chorus with a 'Timo Kotipelto' in top form and with radiant choirs, then, 'Demand' follows suit and sends us a fast rhythm and new simple but so effective melodic lines. Alternating different tempos but just as powerful, 'Broken' sends us heavy with keyboards a little more present reminding us of the symphonic side of 'Stratovarius' and 'Matias Kupiainen' takes the opportunity, on this title, to throw us a guitar solo masterful, then, 'Firefly' (see the video here) continues on this well-trodden path with new catchy melodic lines and a muscular rhythm section that adds double pedal adding a little more to that awesome feeling of strength. In comparison to this beginning of the album releasing a considerable power, 'We Are Not Alone', although keeping a beautiful intensity, acts as a "little song" and offers us a new addictive chorus, the accompaniments on the keyboards of 'Jens Johansson' largely contributing to the very catchy character of this title, then, 'Frozen in Time', much calmer, brings us back to the symphonic metal influences of the Finns with magnificent vocal and instrumental arrangements bringing an imposing force, which makes it one of my favourites from the album. And here we go again with a hopping 'World on Fire' (see video here) which deploys new rather classic but very effective melodic lines, then, 'Glory Days' adds a new title of speed power metal with a party drum and a refrain to sing in concert. Back to orchestral sounds with 'Breakway' which, even if the tempo is quite fast, acts as the ballad of the album and offers us a magnificent melody which comes to be grafted very quickly in the head and 'Before the Fall' gives one layer with a new energetic composition in the image of the beginning of the album. And to end in style, 'Voice of Thunder' takes us on a new progressive saga (facet that we knew of 'Stratovarius' with river compositions like 'Elysium' dating from 2011 which is for me one of the best titles of the Finns), which takes us on an epic journey with everything we want find in this kind of compositions, alternating intensities and rhythms, high-class vocal and instrumental arrangements and a grandiose finale that gives you goosebumps and remains etched in your head for a long time.

In summary, the Finns of 'Stratovarius' continue their way by releasing a new album of great quality which is in line with their previous productions and, as always, we are conquered by the talent of this group which, even after forty years, shows that they must always be counted on and that they remain an indisputable reference in terms of melodic power metal...

Line Up / Musicians

Timo Kotipelto (Vocal), Jens Johansson (Keybords), Matias Kupiainen (Guitar, Choirs), Lauri Porra (Bass, Choirs), Rolf Pilve (Drums)


Artist : Lastworld

Album : Escape The Eclipse

Release Date : 23-09-2022

Added : 07-10-2022

I introduced you to the duo 'David Cagle'/'Jim Shepard' with their second studio recording 'Over The Edge' released in 2020 which was followed a year later by 'Fractured Mirror' and the one-year frequency between two albums continues for 'Lastworld' with a new baby released two weeks ago. Despite the close releases, we could have feared a breathlessness of creativity from our two Americans, but it is not so because 'Escape the Eclipse' continues the road mapped out from the previous albums with a radiant AOR which offers us new catchy melodies. Listening to the first titles, we embark on compositions that smell good of the 80s and this, from the start with 'The Sanity Is Lost' which automatically triggers the foot tapping machine, then, 'I'm Never Gonna Let You Go' continues in this melodic style with a chorus that we have the impression of already knowing by heart but of a formidable efficiency. The sequel is the image of this beginning'Just the Same' offers us keyboards from another era and, in the same lively and accessible style from the first listen, we can mention 'She Wants More' which has a little air of 'Old Time Rock And Roll', the energetic 'Take Me Away' and 'Tonight I Don't Wanna Die' in a more hard rock style or even the melodic jewels 'Go' beginning in a ballad and continuing in a catchy rhythm and 'It's Hard' with its addictive chorus. And our two Americans also know how to vary the atmospheres well since they offer us much quieter compositions with, first of all, the magnificent ballad 'Who Holds Your Heart' which 'Elton John' would not have denied, then the acoustic 'A Letter to a Friend' on which we completely abandon ourselves, the album ending with the title song in the form of an instrumental highlighting the talent of 'Jim Shepard' who rocks us with his guitar accompaniment. In short, with their project 'Lastworld', 'David Cagle' and 'Jim Shepard' shows that you don't need to be super famous to make good melodic rock and 'Escape the Eclipse' is the proof and, you who love beautiful melodies between pop, rock, and hard rock, linger over this latest American baby and you will see that you will have a wonderful time listening...

Line Up / Musicians

David Cagle (Vocal), Jim Shepard (Tous les instruments)


Artist : Kings of Mercia

Album : Kings of Mercia

Release Date : 23-09-2022

Added : 09-10-2022

We know that the label 'Frontiers Music' is very fond of creating supergroups with the latest find 'Ginevra' but for the album that interests us here, it's the label 'Metal Blades Records' which produces this new project which is a meeting between the progressive metal of the Americans of 'Fates Warning' featuring guitarist 'Jim Matheos' and bassist 'Joey Vera' and the AOR style of the English singer 'Steve Overland' whose various projects and participations in various albums are countless (among others to name only the latest chronicles of myprogmusic, 'White Spirit', 'Lonerider', 'FM' or 'Overland'), the fourth thief being none other than the eclectic drummer 'Simon Phillips' ('Toto', producer of 'Mike Oldfield', 'Derek Sherinian', 'Steve Hackett' or his jazz albums). Like what, musical encounters are full of surprises and this first album of the quartet is a clever mix between the style of each to make it a total success. Given the pedigree of each man, we suspected it a little, but it should be noted that in this case, the mayonnaise takes well and there is a real osmosis between all these artists.

We are welcomed by an energetic 'Wrecking Bell' which sets the tone of the album, and which marries melodic lines that we could find in 'FM' for example and a muscular style of guitar closer to ' Fates Warning' which makes it a very successful first composition. Normal will you tell me, and we continue with 'Humankind' in which the rhythm section 'Simon Phillips'/'Joey Vera' prints a rhythmic to unhook the head by dint of headbanging and in which 'Steve Overland' knows how to adapt his voice very well powerful with a muscular style, the guitar solo of 'Jim Matheos' being masterful. The suite continues in this atmosphere that takes us back to the 70s and to formations like 'Deep Purple', with swaying tempos like 'Sweet Revenge' which also brings variations of intensity used in progressive metal. We stay in very good melodic hard rock punctuated by sharp guitar riffs with 'Set the World on Fire' then, 'Too Far Gone' shows a calm first part allowing a first break in the album with an addictive melody that hardens the tone in a second part, 'Steve Overland' showing that it adapts perfectly to the intensity of the moment, the end returning to the quiet atmosphere of the beginning. The second part of the album continues to offer us this mix between catchy and melodic hard rock and progressive peregrinations: the very good 'Liberate Me' (see video above) with its fast tempo or 'Is It Right?' with its radiant choirs or even 'Your Life' which closes the album on a mid-tempo restarting the headbanging machine. And to vary the moods, 'Nowhere Man' is more oriented towards melodic AOR and the power ballad 'Everyday Angels' also shows a very endearing face with very beautiful vocal arrangements.

In summary, 'Kings of Mercia' is a magnificent mix between classic hard rock and a few peregrinations of progressive metal, the whole being accessible thanks to catchy melodic lines, which is what makes this first album, made of a heterogeneous assembly of talented artists, to an audience that loves melodic and energetic hard rock...

Line Up / Musicians

Steve Overland (Vocal), Jim Matheos (Guitar), Joey Vera (Bass), Simon Phillips (Drums)


Artist : Meridian

Album : The Fourth Dimension

Release Date : 23-09-2022

Added : 10-10-2022

In the family of formations that take us back to the 80s, here are the Danes of 'Meridian' who, after three studio recordings since 2013, the latest being 'Margin of Error' of 2019, released a new album 'The Fourth Dimension'. This latest baby is a continuation of their previous productions and they continue to distill unstoppable melodies that have a little air of already heard with saturated guitars and a powerful sound that classifies them in the metal box but all 10 compositions presents a beautiful variety with a sort of melting pot of influences ranging from 'Scorpions' to 'Whitesnake' via 'Pretty Maids', 'WASP', 'Accept' or even 'Bon Jovi'.

And yet, the introduction of 'Warning Shots', with a few fairly quiet guitar riffs, does not in any way bode well for the future, but after a few seconds, the machine gets carried away and we embark on a fast rhythm with a simple but super effective first melody. Follows 'Life Is Today' which slightly moderates the ardour and which flirts with good catchy hard rock and if you have adhered to these first two titles, chances are that you will like the sequel with accessible melodic lines supported by guitars incisive as in 'Stay' (see the video above), 'The Road Back To Hell', 'Remove Your Crown' or even the title song which closes the album with a tempo printed by guitars to make everyone headbang audience. But the Danes also offer us melodic jewels in a more AOR style in the middle of the album, with the magnificent 'Follow Your Heart', 'Trust' and its swaying rhythm and the catchy 'Dreamers' (see video here) and 'Say What You Want Me' .

In short, the Danes of 'Meridian' continue their merry way by rewarding us with a brand-new album filled with accessible compositions that take us back a few decades and 'The Fourth Dimension' is intended for all those and those who navigate between hard rock and melodic metal and who like the major bands of this style that emerged in the 80s...

Line Up / Musicians

Lars Märker (Vocal), Martin J. Andersen (Guitar), Marco Angioni (Guitar), Peter Bruun (Bass), Klaus Agerbo (Drums)


Artist : Ginevra

Album : We Belong to the Stars

Release Date : 16-09-2022

Added : 30-09-2022

'Ginevra' is yet another great group set up by 'Frontiers Music' and created by Swedish singer and keyboardist 'Kristian Fhyr' who officiates in the formation 'Seventh Crystal'. The rest of the line-up consists of guitarist 'Magnus Karlsson' who participates in many projects (in the latest releases, 'Allen/Olzon', 'The Ferrymen' or his collaboration with 'Anette Olzon'), bassist 'Jimmy Jay' ('H.E.A.T') and drummer 'Magnus Ulfstedt' ('Eclipse', 'Nordic Union', 'Ammunition'), 'Alessandro Del Vecchio' coming to lend a hand on the keyboards and who produced, recorded and mixed the whole thing and 'Chez Kane' making an appearance on the track 'Masquarade'. As you can imagine, given the pedigree of each artist, we are embarked on melodic hard rock with a highlighting of saturated guitar riffs which lead the dance, most of the compositions being energetic and giving off an imposing power.

From the first title 'Siren's Call' (see the video above), the siren's call is not strictly speaking bewitching and delivers a well-soaked first hard rock rush which is followed, in the same style, by its little brother 'Unbreakable' (see video here) with a catchy chorus, then, 'Apologize' (see the video here) continues in this melodic hard with a rhythmic base that releases a beautiful energy, the song of 'Kristian Fhyr ' being completely in tune with this catchy style. In the same style, we can also mention the rhythmic 'Break the Silence' with a 'Magnus Karlsson' which illuminates this title with mad guitar solos, the rapid 'Brokenhearted' and 'Falling to Pieces' and their refrain declaimed at a hundred to the hour, 'We Belong to the Stars' and its headbanging tempo, 'I'll Be Around' and its addictive choirs or even 'The Fight' and its devastating guitar riffs. And in the midst of all this burst of energy, the ballad breaks are not forgotten with the magnificent 'Masquerade' with a very moving vocal duet 'Chez Kane'/'Kristian Fhyr' and the last title 'My Rock'n'Roll ' with its chorus that we find ourselves humming or whistling when the song is finished.

In summary, even if this new melodic hard rock project is not going to change much in the world of music, we are always happy to put this melodic style between our ears which feels good, especially more than the interpretation is made by talented artists whether at the vocal level with an imperial 'Kristian Fhyr' and also at the instrumental level with a 'Magnus Karlsson' who delivers riffs and enjoyable guitar solos, without forgetting the rhythm section which offers a solid and energetic base to the whole...

Line Up / Musicians

Kristian Fhyr (Vocal, Keybords), Magnus Karlsson (Guitars, Keybords), Jimmy Jay (Bass), Magnus Ulfstedt (Drums) + Guests : Alessandro Del Vecchio (Keybords), Chez Kane (Vocal)


Artist : Edenbridge

Album : Shangri-La

Release Date : 16-09-2022

Added : 28-09-2022

'Edenbridge' is still a formation that I particularly appreciate; created 25 years ago now by the multi-instrumentalist 'Lanvall' and her companion on stage and in life, 'Sabine Edelsbacher', and with already 10 albums (see the discography on their site here), they have always been for me the very definition of symphonic metal: a perfect fusion between metal and classical orchestral music. The rest of the line-up consists now and for a few years already, of guitarist 'Dominik Sebastian', bassist 'Stefan Gimpl' and drummer 'Johannes Jungreithmeier'. After the release of a compilation of the last five albums that I reviewed here and in which I was happy to add an additional playlist of other compositions here, 2022 sees the release of a new album, 'Shangri-La', which is inspired by the novel 'Lost Horizon' by 'James Hilton' released in 1933, the place 'Shangri-La' being described as a mystical place where people live in peace and harmony.

When I read certain chronicles here and there which deplore that 'Edenbridge' always makes 'Edenbridge' style, I do not think that many people reproached 'Mozart' for always making 'Mozart' style (and I don't say that because the band is Austrian!!). Admittedly, when we put between the ears these long developments and its addictive melodies which enamel the discography of the group, we are always waiting for even more, a kind of infinite quest towards an even stronger musical grail. But, for fans of the group, put aside all this intense musical past and imagine that this latest offering from the Austrians is their first studio recording by discovering each composition, listen after listen, because an 'Edenbridge' album requires linger there to draw all the substance of it.

'At First Line' takes us on a first long development of 8 minutes with all the ingredients of a symphonic metal admirably mixing saturated guitar riffs with sumptuous orchestral and vocal arrangements, the central part with these grandiose choirs being fabulous, just like this quiet section in the second part of the title, the finale bringing this powerful and imposing side with a gripping melody highlighted by the expressive singing of 'Sabine Edelsbacher': we are already be in heaven! Follows 'The Call of Eden' (see the video above) which highlights the super melodic side in a much more direct title with this refrain which comes to be grafted automatically in your head, then, 'Hall of Shame' is still another facet that combines the melodic side with a more elaborate and energetic construction with a guitar solo worthy of the name in the second part. Very well placed, after all the vigour of 'Hall OF Shame', 'Savage Land' this time takes us on a melancholy ballad with an interpretation of Sabine who give goosebumps and this flute which transports us for a few seconds to a distant country, then, 'Somewhere Else but Here' is another hit that we want to listen to on repeat with a new addictive melody. And what about 'Freedom Is A Roof Made Of Stars' which develops in less than 6 minutes a succession of different atmospheres showing all the progressive symphonic side with changes of intensities and tempo throughout the title. Follows 'Arcadia, (The Great Escape)' which is the second ballad of the album and which shows all the compositional talent of 'Lanvall' for melodies filled with a serenity which are well in phase with the delivered messages of wisdom and spirituality (the very object of the Shangri-La place), then 'The Road to Shangri-La' (see the video here) shows us the way of this mystical place in an exotic then lively atmosphere with a very beautiful instrumental part in the second part of the title.

And to end this magnificent album, we come to the centrepiece that all 'Edenbridge' fans have been waiting for, and which is the second part of 'The Bonding', whose first release in 2013 is one of my must-have progressive compositions and that I always enjoy listening to it again. And for this new epic composition, 'Lanvall' recalled 'Erik Gunnar Mårtensson' who this time took a good part in this magnificent title which develops a succession of diversified soundscapes which take us from grandiose symphonic orchestral sections to parts much quieter which suddenly take energy by adding saturated guitar riffs, the alternation of rhythms being always well done. And as we are now used to, the end of these titles makes us go up on a small cloud to deliver us an addictive melody which remains engraved in our memory. In this case, in this 'The Bonding (Part 2)', we could say that the fourth part ('Round and Round') which already gives goosebumps, already acts as a pre-final thanks to the vocal duet between Erik and Sabine (after the first part wonderfully sung by Erik, Sabine takes over and moves us to tears), then, 'Lanvall' adds a simple but so moving 'Floydian' guitar solo before the finale which takes up the starting theme and which never ceases to dazzle us with these imposing orchestral and vocal arrangements ending with a final masterful chromatic rise.

In summary, as you will have understood, this latest album from Edenbridge' is still a total success which improves from listening to listening, which, for my part, is a sign of quality, and again shows all the talent of this formation which does not have, to my taste, all the recognition it deserves in the world of symphonic metal...

Line Up / Musicians

Sabine Edelsbacher (Vocal), Arne "Lanvall" Stockhammer (Guitar, Bouzouki, Keybords, Bass), Dominik Sebastian (Guitar), Stefan "Steven Hall" Gimpl (Bass), Johannes Jungreithmeier (Drums) + Guests : Erik Gunnar Mårtensson (Vocal), Daniel Tomann-Eickhoff (Flute)


Artist : Adventure

Album : The Tales of Belle Part 2: Unveiled by Fire

Release Date : 16-09-2022

Added : 29-09-2022

I introduced you to the first part of 'The Tales of Belle: Across the Ocean' in early 2022 and Norway's Adventure' didn't take long to release the second part 'Unveiled by Fire' which continues the story of serial killer 'Belle Gunness' and continues to offer us symphonic progressive rock with the same line up. We are once again embarked on this macabre story that we left with the suspicious death of her first husband and his exile to La Porte in the United States. Musically, the melodic lines are still as harmonious and we find magnificent vocal arrangements with the trio of singers, the influences remaining strongly rooted in the 70s with the major formations of this style, such as 'Uriah Heep', 'Kansas', 'Jethro Tull', 'Camel' or 'Renaissance'.

The story takes us to the United States, which sees 'Belle Gunness' pursue its funeral destiny until the fire of its farm: 10 titles to explore all the adventures of this dark story, starting with 'Cruel Mind' in which we find the beautiful warm and deep vocals of 'Kjell Myran' in a first catchy melody, then, 'I Finally Knew' follows suit on a new composition which begins on a rhythmic mid-tempo and which smells good the 70s with very original rhythmic breaks in the middle of the title. With 'Belle's Lament the Heat', we are greeted by the melodious singing of 'Elen Cath Hopen Furunes' accompanied by a cello and this composition then turns into a slow rhythmic procession with haunting melodic lines, the vocal harmonies reminding me of the English of 'Renaissance', then, 'Absurd Scene' is a very beautiful ballad with a magnificent very calm guitar section in the middle of the title, the vocal harmonies being still magnificent. Follows the short instrumental 'Inside Her Mind' which unrolls melancholic melodic lines, then, 'Golden Ore' puts a little spice with a more energetic title which could be the meeting between 'Uriah Heep' and 'Jethro Tull'. We continue our journey in the seventies with 'No Regrets' which takes us into an epic and theatrical atmosphere highlighted by the very expressive singing of 'Kjell Myran', then, 'La Porte Mort' takes us into a catchy melody highlighting automatically starts the toe-tapping machine with again, this beautiful mixed vocal duet. The end of the album offers us two beautiful compositions with, first, 'In Court' which, against a background of narration and a marked rhythm, displays a theatrical atmosphere thanks to the expressive singing, this time, of the male duo and 'Confession' closes the story in a beautiful way on an energetic title à la 'Uriah Heep' with Hammond organ sounds characteristic of the 70s.

In summary, this second part of the story of 'Belle Gunness' still shows all the talent of the Norwegians of Adventure' who continue the adventure (it was easy!) by offering us good progressive rock that the 'we take a real pleasure in listening and which brings us back, for a moment, to the atmosphere of the major formations of this style of the 70s...

Line Up / Musicians

Odd-Roar Bakken (Hammond, Keybords, Guitar, Mandolin), Kjell Myran (Vocal), Elen Cath Hopen Furunes (Vocal, Piano, Flute), Terje Flessen (Guitar), Terje Craig (Vocal, Bass, Keybords), Alf Helge Lund (Drums, Percussions) + Guest : Clive Nolan, Marit Aspås (Cello)


Artist : Turin Brakes

Album : Wide-Eyed Nowhere

Release Date : 16-09-2022

Added : 01-10-2022

After the energy deployed by the Swedes of 'Ginevra', a little calm can only do good and I'm taking you to the UK with 'Turin Brakes' who, after their last two albums quite close together 'Lost Property' in 2016 and 'Invisible Storm' in 2018, release a new album 'Wide-Eyed Nowhere'. We therefore find these soft and relaxing atmospheres in the great tradition of English pop on which we have a lot of pleasure to let go: the album begins with 'When You're Around' and its melody which comes to lull our senses with melodious vocals and some slide guitar accompaniments, then 'Up for Grabs' continues by rolling out a melody with a cool rhythm à la 'Chris Rea'. The semi-acoustic titles then follow with beautiful vocal harmonies: we can cite the suite 'World Like That', 'Into the Sun' (see the video above) and 'The Ride' which deploy melodic lines filled of serenity. Change of scenery with the sparkling 'Isolation' which offers electro sounds and more vigorous guitars then, 'All Love' continues in modern "electropop". With 'Solid Ground' and 'Wild-Eyed Nowhere', the end of the album returns to the semi-acoustic atmospheres of the first titles with more nonchalant melodies and the album ends with the melodic jewel 'No Rainbow' bringing us back to a blues atmosphere filled with serenity and we are rocked one last time by the beautiful vocal harmonies and the slide guitar.

In summary, the English of 'Turin Brake' continue to offer us a subtle pop that we taste quietly and 'Wide-Eyed Nowhere' adds a new stone to the building of the English which should please all lovers and all lovers of soft and melodious pop...

Line Up / Musicians

Olly Knights (Guitar, Vocal), Gale Paridjanian (Guitar, Vocal), Rob Allum (Drums), Eddie Myer (Bass)


Artist : House Of Lords

Album : Saints and Sinners

Release Date : 16-09-2022

Added : 02-10-2022

Their latest album 'New World – New Eyes ' of 2020 had shown that the Americans 'House Of Lords' had not aged a bit and that they continued to deliver good melodic hard rock bringing us back to the best of the 70s/80s. They continue their journey with a new album freshly released in mid-September, 'Saints and Sinners'. Resulting from a teamwork, the leader 'James Christian' being well assisted in the writing of the compositions by the guitarist 'Jimi Bell' and keyboardist 'Mark Mangold', they offer us 11 original compositions which distil melodies that we want to go on a loop. We are welcomed by the title song (see the video above) with a first chorus which gives this impression of already known and which is already completely addictive, then, 'House of the Lord' here) continues this beautiful journey in time and could be the ideal cross between 'Foreigner', 'ASIA' and 'Rainbow'. Follows 'Take It All' which has nothing to envy to its predecessors and which offers a mid-tempo with radiant and with a new melody that immediately gets stuck in your head, then, 'Road Warrior', faster and with its 'John Lord' style keyboards, starts the headbanging machine and with 'Mistress Of The Dark', the 'AC/DC' sharp riffs of guitars, even if we are in a more moderate style, are quite close to a 'TNT'. Recovery break (for those over fifty who are beginning to have some osteoarthritis pain!) with 'Avalanche' which takes us on a ballad with a sweet melody that we have already heard hundreds of times but is so effective and which always does so much good. And the second part of the album does not weaken because it starts again with the energetic 'Roll Like Thunder' and its little air of 'Def Leppard' with chanted choirs, then, 'Razzle Dazzle' (not that of 'Deep Purple' from the 2003 album 'Bananas'), sends us a missile with its frantic rhythm. A little slower but just as impetuous, 'Dreamin It All' also does the job, then, 'Takin My Heart Back' is still a remarkable well-muscled hard rock brulot and it's with 'Angels Fallen', a rythmic mid-tempo, that the album ends in a very beautiful way.

In summary, this latest baby from the Americans of 'House of Lords' continues to offer us good hard rock with influences drawn from the 70s/80s and 'Saints and Sinners' should make people happy and go on repeat among all those who knew the golden age of hard rock, a few decades back, and who have excellent memories of it...

Line Up / Musicians

James Christian (Vocal, Guitar), Jimi Bell (Guitar), Mark Mangold (Keybords), Johan Koleberg (Drums)


Artist : Hartmann

Album : Get Over It

Release Date : 16-09-2022

Added : 03-10-2022

After the very good 'Shadows And Silhouettes' in 2016 and 'Hands on the Wheel' in 2018, the German guitarist 'Oliver Hartmann' who officiates in various projects ('Junkyard Drive, 'Ronnie Atkins' and 'Avantasia') releases a new album with his project 'Hartmann', his two companions 'Armin Donderer' on bass and 'Markus Kullmann' on drums being always present. We therefore do not change a winning team and this new baby from the German contains 11 varied compositions between melodic hard rock and AOR that we take a real pleasure to listen to, starting with an energetic 'Remedy' which puts you directly in the bath in a classic but particularly effective style. In the same kind of tiltle, we can cite the catchy 'One step Behind', 'What You Give Is What You Get' which instinctively triggers the toe-tapping machine or even 'The Gun' and its addictive rhythm (see the video above). In a more moderate atmosphere also showing all the talent of Oliver Hartmann', the melodic jewel 'In Another Life' (see the video ici), offers us a chorus which is automatically grafted into the head and the second part of the album also shows a more peaceful face with new melodic lines still as catchy as the mid-tempo 'Just Drive', the magnificent semi-acoustic ballad 'Can' t Keep Away From You', the title song and its quiet rhythm, the other ballad 'Stay True to Me' which can recall the style of 'Sting' with a slightly more intense chorus or even 'When We Were The Young' which ends this excellent album in a very beautiful way and whose refrain should be taken up in chorus in concert by a whole public clapping in the hands.

In summary, even if it does not revolutionize the style, we take immense pleasure in listening to this latest album by Oliver Hartmann', which continues to offer us beautiful compositions influenced by the best of melodic rock through the ages, and 'Get Over It' is still an album intended for a general public and to be consumed without moderation because all the compositions catch ears from the first listen...

Line Up / Musicians

Oliver Hartmann (Vocal, Guitar), Armin Donderer (Bass), Markus Kullmann (Drums) + Guests : Mario Reck (Guitar), Jimmy Kresic (Keybords), Ina Morgan (Choirs)


Artist : Terra Atlantica

Album : Beyond The Borders

Release Date : 16-09-2022

Added : 04-10-2022

Lovers of epic power metal, here is the latest album from the Germans of 'Terra Atlantica' who have already released two albums, 'A City Once Divine' in 2017 and 'Quest into the Sky' in 2020 and their vocalist and multi-instrumentalist 'Tristan Harders' also released the recording studio 'Drifting Into Insanity' beginning of 2022. We therefore find our storytellers, like 'Visions Of Atlantis' which takes us this time to meet the mythical Altlantis. We are again immersed in a series of festive and epic compositions and the Germans have this gift for diversifying their albums by bringing different atmospheres which avoids an album that is too linear as certain power metal formations tend to do.

We are welcomed by the orchestral intrumental 'Overture' which gently increases the pressure with remarkable classical arrangements and which serves as an introduction to the energetic 'The Scarlet Banners' (see the video above) with joyful choirs and a first melody which is grafted directly into the head, then, 'Far from Alive' changes register for a catchy refrain quite far from metal which offers us a beautiful more muscular section in the second part, bringing a beautiful variety in this very remarkable title. We find a flamboyant power metal on the title track which follows and which deploys a new addictive melody which could be a fusion between the music of Disney magic and the vigor of sailor's refrains. With 'Sun of Pontevedra', the introduction takes us into Latino atmospheres and continues with a new grandiose piece with a lot of remarkable symphonic and vocal arrangements, then, the short 'Guns and Drums' shows a lively and festive face thanks to to a flute that twirls throughout the title. Make way for the ballad of the album 'Just One Look' which highlights the beautiful vocal duo 'Khatarina Stahl'/'Tristan Harders' and which offers a syrupy but so effective melody. Without transition, 'Hellfire' sends heavy with a galloping rhythm section and radiant choirs, the central instrumental section with its variations of intensities and tempos being quite remarkable, then, we embark on 'Pirate Bay' (see video here) which shows a completely different face, made of a mixture of piano bar music and sailor tunes which brings an additional exotic touch. We continue with the centerpiece of the album which is a long development of 8 minutes and which highlights peregrinations as original as an 'Abbaesque' introduction with a piano or a good part of the Turkish march of 'Mozart' taken from the electric guitar or even this finale with memorable melodic lines close to the atmospheres of 'Disneyland', the group seeming to have fun like crazy in this style of super catchy compositions, which for my part largely contributes to this joyful and communicative atmosphere. And to end this very pleasant album, 'Takes us Home' sends us a final fast and catchy melodic hymn with a final masterful vocal performance by 'Tristan Harders' and choirs that should make an entire audience sing.

In summary, no need to draw a picture for you, this latest album from the Germans of 'Terra Atlantica' is made for older children (including myself) who takes us into an intense and harmonious musical world which intends 'Beyond The Borders' to an audience that loves a festive power metal and filled with melodies that we immediately appropriate and that we want to sing along...

Line Up / Musicians

Tristan Harders (Vocal, Guitar), David Wieczorek (Guitar), Julian Prüfer (Bass), Nico Hauschildt (Drums, Choirs) + Guests : Khatarina Stahl (Vocal), Anders Sköld (Vocal), Alex Hunzinger, Joan Pabon


Artist : Allen/Olzon

Album : Army of Dreamers

Release Date : 09-09-2022

Added : 21-09-2022

After 'Worlds Apart' of 2020 which had made a very good impression on me, the duo 'Anette Olzon'/'Russell Allen' are doing it again with a new album 'Army of Dreamers', 'Magnus Karlsson' being always present on the guitar and of course having composed all 11 compositions in this studio recording. As I had already said in my previous columns, the 'Nightwish' years are far away and 'Anette Olzon' has established herself as one of the best metal singers (note her participation in the latest project of the Japanese women of 'Ultima Grace) and 'Russell Allen' is still as effective which means that this new baby of the duo is still a great success in an energetic metal still composed by the multi-instrumentalist 'Magnus Karlsson' and supported by a powerful rhythm section. If you like this type of metal, everything is there to have a good time listening, starting with the eponymous title of the album (see video above) which shows a muscular face with a frantic rhythm section. In the same style, we can also cite the fast 'Out of Nowhere' or the melodic 'A Million Skies', but the majority of the compositions, while keeping an important power, bring variations of intensity on more moderate rhythms: attest to the mid-tempo 'So Quiet Here' with its effective chorus, 'Carved into Stone' with its orchestral arrangements in more classic symphonic metal, 'All Alone' (see video here) which brings beautiful breaks in intensity with beautiful vocal arrangements or again the refreshing 'Look At Me' and its catchy melodic lines. The end of the album is like this beginning and despite the more measured atmospheres in certain places of 'Until Its Over' or 'I Am Gone', we regret the absence of less sustained rhythms as it was the case in the first opus which brought a greater diversity.

In summary, the 'Allen/Olzon' duo continues to deliver powerful metal, the strong point being, without a doubt, this remarkable vocal complementarity which brings that little extra which makes it a very good album and which 'Army of Dreamers' has an audience that loves catchy metal fusing symphonic and melodic...

Line Up / Musicians

Anette Olzon (Vocal), Russell Allen (Vocal), Magnus Karlsson (Guitar, Bass, Keybords), Anders Köllerfors (Drums)


Artist : Laurence Jones

Album : Destination Unknown

Release Date : 09-09-2022

Added : 22-09-2022

In the field of blues/rock, there are essential artists like 'Joe Bonamassa' and there are others who don't have this notoriety but who have the same musical fiber. The English 'Laurence Jones' is one of them: his career started very early since at the age of 20, he signed his first contract with the aptly named 'Promise Records' label with a first album 'Thunder in the Sky'. Since then, after winning a 'British Blues Awards' from the young artist 3 years in a row, he has released 4 other studio recordings and another opus under the name 'John Laurence Band' in 2019 with a first tour in France. 2022 sees the release of the Englishman's new baby, 'Destination Unknown' which delivers good blues/rock, taking us back a few decades.

From the start, the classic but so addictive rhythmic of 'Anywhere With Me' puts us directly in the bath and awakens all our auditory senses. This punchy blues/rock atmosphere that gives us ants in the legs, we find it in the following titles 'Can't Keep from Loving You' and 'Give Me That Feeling' but also with 'In Too Deep'. In a more moderate style, the driving 'Gave It All Away', 'I Won't Lie Again' and its westcoast influences and the melodic 'Said and Done' flirts with melodic pop and 'John Laurence' also has a talent for more subdued atmospheres with the very beautiful ballads 'Tonight', 'Holding Back' (for those nostalgic for artists like 'Bob Dylan') or even the title song which ends the album on a sensual blues. In short, 'Laurence John' offers us a very beautiful album that we taste with great pleasure, and which brings us back to the best of a classic blues/rock but so effective, which intends 'Destination Unknown' to a large audience who love this timeless style that has not aged a bit through the ages...

Line Up / Musicians

Laurence Jones (Vocal, Guitar), Bennett Holland (Choirs, Hammond, Piano, Keybords), Jack Alexander Timmis (Bass), Samuel Jenkins (Drums, Percussions)


Artist : Ozzy Osbourne

Album : Patient Number 9

Release Date : 09-09-2022

Added : 23-09-2022

He returned in 2020 with a new studio recording, 'Ordinary Man' in which, at the time, he had invited artists as diverse as the rapper 'Post Malone' or 'Elton John' and, 2022 sees the release of a new album, 'Patient Number 9', which shows, again, a beautiful skewer of guests, this time instrumentalists and parades names that made the golden years of 70s rock, with 'Jeff Beck', 'Eric Clapton ' and 'Tony Iommi' (for those under fifty, one of the founders with Ozzy of 'Back Sabbath') but also younger ones like 'Mike McCready' and 'Zakk Wylde'. He also surrounded himself with a luxury rhythm section that many artists would like to have with bassist 'Robert Trujillo' of 'Metallica' and drummer 'Chad Smith' of 'Red Hot Chili Peppers'.

With this impressive line-up, he offers us a good hour of very varied good rock which makes the album very pleasant because it alternates different atmospheres with a very catchy start to the title song (see the video above) which automatically turns on the foot tapping machine and in which 'Jeff Beck' sends us some very nice riffs and guitar solos. 'Immortal' follows suit and shows a heavier face, then, 'Parasite' continues in this energetic atmosphere with a swaying rhythmic à la 'Led Zeppelin' with a crazy solo from 'Zakk Wylde'. Alternately, the three following compositions bring more moderate atmospheres with 'No Escape From Now' and its slow tempo, then, the quiet 'One Of Those Days' (see the video here) is a real melodic gem and, finally, the semi-acoustic ballad 'A Thousand Shades' (see the video here) is also a real treat, these three titles each benefiting from the masterful interventions of the trio of guitarists 'Tony Iommi', 'Eric Clapton' and 'Zakk Wylde'. The second part of the album continues in this diversity with a 'Mr Darkness' (see the video here) which as its title suggests is quite dark and very beautiful module way of the calm parts and others much more muscular, then, 'Nothing Feels Right' (see the video here), on a slow tempo, is still illuminated by the feeling of 'Zakk Wylde' which releases a grandiose guitar solo. The same 'Zakk Wylde' is also present on 'Evil Shuffle', more classic but very effective with its original rhythmic changes, then, 'Degradation Rules' continues in this strong hard rock taking us back a few decades with, this time, 'Tony Iommi' accompanying his partner from the first decade of 'Black Sabbath'. Much smoother, 'Dead And Gone' is no less catchy with its bass line conducive to headbanging, the album ending, first of all, with the magnificent ballad 'God Only Knows' reminding us of one last time that Ozzy' has this talent to lay out compositions with memorable melodic lines and, finally, the short offbeat comma 'Darkside Blues' (but hey, we're still in an 'Ozzy Osbourne' album), accompanied by Ozzy at the harmonica reinforcing the southern side.

In summary, at 73 years old and after more than 50 years of good and loyal service, 'Ozzy Osbourne' continues to live up to his image as a rock demon and this new offering shows that he is still in the game. suddenly and that he knows how to accompany himself with talented artists to release us a quality album with all the ingredients of a timeless rock...

Line Up / Musicians

Ozzy Osbourne (Vocal, Harmonica), Andrew Watt (Guitar, Keybords), Josh Homme (Guitar), Robert Trujillo (Bass), Chad Smith (Drums) + Guests : Jeff Beck (Guitar), Mike McCready (Guitar), Zakk Wylde (Guitar), Tony Iommi (Guitar), Eric Clapton (Guitar), Chris Chaney (Bass), Dave Navarro (Guitar), Duff McKagan (Bass), Taylor Hawkins (Drums)


Artist : Ultima Grace

Album : Ultima Grace

Release Date : 09-09-2022

Added : 26-09-2022

Anette Olzon's activity is busy now because, on the same day, her duet album 'Army of Dreamers' with 'Russen Allen' and the first studio recording of Japanese keyboardist 'Yuhki''s new project 'Ultima Grace' with this first eponymous album in which she sings on all the titles are releasing. After a first listen, the first impression is to have alternated classic symphonic metal with melodies of international variety and explosive metal, sprinkled here and there with neo-classical metal. 'Yuhki' being a keyboard player, the whole thing is supported by ubiquitous keyboards, with overdriven guitars being relegated to the background.

And yet, the symphonic introduction accompanied by the singing of Anette Olzon' and choirs in no way augurs well for the sequel which starts with a catchy 'Getting on with Life' and with a memorable first chorus, then , 'Cry for the Rain' continues in a symphonic metal that strangely reminds me of the Finns from 'Amberian Dawn' and their melodies close to 'ABBA'. Follows the fast 'Powers of North and East' which gives a layer of it with a wild rhythm section, then, 'Beguile by Night' continues in melodic lines which flirts with variety music bringing us back to the 70s, but of course slightly more muscular. Small moment of respite with the first ballad 'Ripples' which unfolds a syrupy melody with imposing orchestral arrangements, then, 'Rise' returns to more classic symphonic metal, the melodic lines still bringing us back again to the Finns of Amberian Dawn', the guitar solo in the second part having a neo-classical side and the sounds of the keyboard solo bringing us back to the 80s. We continue in the same atmosphere with the catchy 'Night Hunt' which unrolls a new memorable melody for those nostalgic for the eighties and, without transition, then tumbles an energetic and fast 'Double Caution', the rhythm section being once again at the party and the guitar and keyboard solos recalling the 'Purpulian' wanderings of the 70s, the central instrumental part being particularly remarkable. We arrive at the main course of the album with the 11 minutes of 'Lost' which alone sums up the whole with all the ingredients heard previously, the orchestral and vocal arrangements bringing in the second part of the title a majestic and the melody very kitsch but so effective adding again to this feeling of grandiose. And to drive the point home, the final ballad takes us on a new syrupy melody with new imposing orchestral arrangements, the finale being modeled on a symphony of classical music.

In summary, the Japanese of Ultima Grace', well supported by a 'Anette Olzon' in great shape, offers us a very accomplished first offering and this first eponymous album should please all fans of Amberian Dawn' and, more broadly, to all lovers of imposing symphonic metal with catchy melodic lines bringing us back to the 80s...

Line Up / Musicians

Anette Olzon (Vocal), Yuhki (Keybords), Toshihiro Kajihara (Guitar), Atsushi Hasegawa (Bass), Hideki Harasawa (Drums)


Artist : Lunarian

Album : Burn the Beauty

Release Date : 09-09-2022

Added : 27-09-2022

Decidedly, symphonic metal releases multiply in this month of September and after the duo 'Allen/Olzon' and the 'Ultima Grace' Japanese group's first album, it's yet another new project that sees the light of day with the Spaniards of 'Lunarian' which is centered on the singer ' Ailyn' ('Pilar "Ailyn" Giménez García') who already has a full CV because she was part of the group 'Sirenia' from 2008 to 2016 and participated in various projects including the metal opera by 'Magnus Karlsson' or the latest album by 'Chaos Magic' by 'Caterina Nix', her latest project being 'Her Chariot Awaits', the first eponymous album being released in 2020. And for this new project 'Lunarian', she collaborated with the producer 'Aldo Lonobile' with, as a result, the release of this first studio recording 'Burn The Beauty'.

Overall, it's a "traditional" symphonic metal and I put this term in quotation marks given the youth of this style which only dates back to the end of the 90s: from the first title 'Don't Wait Until I'm Gone', fans of symphonic metal will not be out of place because we find the atmospheres of the first 'Within Temptation' and it reminds me of this first DVD from the Dutch, 'The Silent Force Tour' from 2005 which displayed this extraordinary positive energy, especially since 'Ailyn' is in the same vocal register as 'Sharon den Adel' and often has the same sentence. Same feeling on the hit 'Dream Catcher' (see the video above) which sends a melodic hymn giving an irresistible desire to move in rhythm, then, the mid-tempo 'Embrace' follows suit and continues in an atmosphere at the marked rhythm, just like 'Bleeding Out' which follows and which offers new catchy melodic lines and which are, both, in the same style as titles like 'Stand My Ground' or 'Memories' from 'Within Temptation'. With 'Embers', we return to more modern metal and closer to what 'Ailyn' does with 'Her Chariot Awaits', the sounds becoming more electronic, then, 'Burn The Beauty' returns to powerful classic symphonic metal in bringing beautiful variations of intensities and rhythms and 'Endless Sleep' (see the video here) continue in this direction with new addictive melodic lines, 'Ailyn' continuing to charm us with her melodious vocals and high up. Make way for the ballad 'Invincible' which offers a nice moment of respite, then, 'Never Ending Circle' is added to the unstoppable melodies which take us back to the beginning of symphonic metal, just like the mid-tempo 'Scarlet' which follows with a marked tempo, the album ending with 'Sacrifice' which delivers catchy melodic lines backed by a muscular rhythm section.

In summary, this latest project from Ailyn' offers classic symphonic metal bringing us back to the beginning of this style and strongly reminiscent of the Dutch of 'Within Temptation', pioneers of the genre in the mid-90s, which intends 'Burn the Beauty' to a whole audience of fans of this original style which has since seen an impressive number of groups emerge all over the world...

Line Up / Musicians

Ailyn (Vocal), Aldo Lonobile (Guitar), Antonio Agate (Keybords, Arrangements orchestraux), Mattia Gosetti (Bass), Michele Sanna (Drums)


Artist : Crosson

Album : Ready, Aim ...Rock !!

Release Date : 08-09-2022

Added : 20-09-2022

After the Germans of 'Mad Max', we stay in the same decades of the 80s with the Australians of 'Crosson' who, after 'Rock’N’Roll Love Affair' in 2020 and the 'Live at the Orpheum' which followed in 2021, return with a new studio recording 'Ready, Aim...Rock!!'. And just like 'Mad Max', they deliver catchy hard rock anthems that take us back a few decades and the 10 tracks of this latest opus parade one after the other and make us have a great time starting by the supercharged 'United' (see the video above), followed by a no less addictive 'Stop Preventing That You Love Me'. More moderate, the mid-tempo 'Fallen From Grace' (see the video here) follows with beautiful vocal harmonies, then 'One Love Affair' follows suit with a new memorable chorus, and the first ballad break is brought by 'The Wait It Is' with a rather original acceleration in the middle of the title. The second part of the album is not to be outdone with the eponymous title and 'Take On The World' which deliver new catchy melodies with choruses to be taken up in chorus, then, 'Love Is Endless', after a quick introduction, quickly turns into a beautiful syrupy ballad, the album ending with 'Roll The Dice', mixing up-tempo and mid-tempo and 'Afterlife', an energetic and catchy last anthem.

In summary, the Australians of 'Crosson' continue to release albums filled with good positive energy drawn from the hard rock of the 70s/80s with classic catchy melodies but very effective to listen to without moderation...

Line Up / Musicians

Jason Crosson (Vocal), Marko Rado (Guitar), Kyle Barr (Drums)


Artist : Sedate Illusion

Album : Time is not the End + Black Untold

Release Date : 07-09-2022

Added : 25-09-2022

I've been following the Greeks of 'Sedate Illusion' since 2016 and I introduced you to 'Glass Delusion' in 2016 and 'Ungod Me' in 2020. Their discography now stands at seven albums with the recent arrival of their new baby which is a sum of two EPs, 'Time is not the End' and 'Black Untold', each featuring four tracks, featured on their bancamp page as different, the former in an approachable progressive style and the latter showing a darker, depressing face. For my part, this difference exists but to speak of depressing for the second which is certainly heavier and perhaps slightly less direct, is not necessarily the vocabulary that I would have used because it does not give you much desire whereas it is just as remarkable as the first one.

To begin 'What If' welcomes us in a powerful progressive metal always so inventive with a first chorus which fits very easily in the head and which offers two magnificent successive solos in the second part, from Anastasios Kibizis' to the guitar and 'Vangelis Kakarougkas' on keyboards, then 'Does It Matter' continues in a lighter and lively atmosphere, unrolling new catchy melodic lines, the progressive side being a little less highlighted. 'Time Is Not The End' returns to an inventive progressive and shows a rhythmic structure moving between a slow quiet tempo in the verses and a faster chorus, especially as it brings a very nice calm middle part with vocal arrangements magnificent which is followed by a much more energetic instrumental part. To close this first EP, 'Stars' is one of my favorites of the album, unfolding on a mid-tempo very beautiful melodic lines alternating moderate verses and an addictive chorus, the guitar solo of the second part adding a little more listening pleasure. The second EP begins with 'Breathe' which, on a moderate tempo, begins in an atmosphere reminiscent of 'Blackfield' and then picks up momentum with a rhythmic acceleration accompanied by electronic-sounding keyboards, 'Vangelis Kakarougkas' adapting its vocals magnificently to this beautiful crescendo. Much more powerful at first, the very beautiful instrumental 'Elevated', unrolls a massive metal on a slow tempo which then takes on an atmospheric 'Floydian' face in the middle of the title and which comes back, little by little, in a new crescendo accompanied by the guitar of Anastasios Kibizis' to the heaviness of the beginning, the end returning to a much more moderate climate. Follows 'Black Untold' which shows a dark face punctuated by an impetuous drum/bass section and whose vocal arrangements are masterful thanks to the contribution of the singer 'Lia Kolita' (we would like to hear her more often in duet with Vangelis) , then, 'Inside the Void' concludes this very beautiful album with a moving ballad in which the flute of 'Athina Doukani' and the oboe of 'Maria Katechaki' invite themselves magnificently and in which 'Vangelis Kakarougkas' shows all his vocal talent in a quieter atmosphere.

In summary, the Greeks of 'Sedate Illusion' continue their momentum with this new offering of the two EPs 'Time is not the End' and 'Black Untold' together which offer us an inventive and catchy progressive metal thanks to accessible melodic lines which will make it, for me, one of the major releases of 2022 in this style of music...

Line Up / Musicians

Vangelis Kakarougkas (Vocal, Keybords), Anastasios Kibizis (Guitar), Vangelis Glavinas (Bass), Andreas Alamanos (Drums) + Guests : Lia Kolita (Vocal), Athina Doukaki (Flute), Maria Katechaki (Hautbois)


Artist : Epica

Album : Live at Paradiso + We Will Take You With Us

Release Date : 02-09-2022

Added : 13-09-2022

20 years, let's celebrate!! and when you're called 'Epica', as we've been used to for a few years now, you don't skimp on the means and everything is done to make it grand. This anniversary was therefore marked by a spectacular show in 'Tilburg' on September 3 with many guests, which was filmed, and which is being streamed for two days while certainly awaiting the release of a DVD/ Blu ray. And for those who couldn't make it to the Netherlands or who haven't watched the last concert yet, 'Epica' is releasing the 2006 'Live in Paradiso' concert at the same time which had never made it object of a DVD/Blu-ray and which already shows, at that time, four years after the creation of the group, that they had already taken an essential place on the symphonic metal scene. We find with great pleasure the titles of their first two albums which were part of the concerts of that time and which have since disappeared from the setlists, such as 'Dance Of Fate', 'The Last Crusade', 'Solitary Ground', 'Force Of The Shore' or even 'Seif al Din' and so on (see also videos of 'The Last Crusade' above, 'Blank Infinity' here and 'Sensorium' here). Icing on the cake, they also bring out their first three CDs as well as the concert 'We Will Take You With Us' given in 2004 for Dutch television in the program 'Twee Meter Sessies' and, on this occasion, the videos of this concert are available in full on youtube (see below the list containing the moving cover of 'Memory', taken from the musical 'Cats'). Also present in this album, the cover in German of 'Run for a Fall' and the two compositions 'Cry for the Moon' and 'Illusive Consensus' of the only EP of the first group 'Sahara Dust' of 'Mark Jansen' from the end of 2002 which will be taken over later by 'Epica'. The spotify link above is a playlist of these two concerts. In short, as we suspected, 'Epica' celebrates its 20-year career as it should for this formation which has become, in the same way as 'Nightwish' or 'Within Temptation', the spearhead of symphonic metal and which has had a lot of emulators since with multiple international projects, the latest that I reviewed being the 'Uruguayans of 'Crystal Gates', this style has no borders...

List of 'We Will Take You With Us' videos:
1 = 'Facade of Reality'
2 = 'Sensorium'
3 = 'Illusive Consensus'
4 = 'Cry for the Moon'
5 = 'The Phantom Agony'
6 = 'Seif Al Din'
7 = 'Feint'
8 = 'Run for a Fall'
9 = 'Memory'

Line Up / Musicians

Live At Paradiso
Simone Simons (Vocal), Mark Jansen (Vocal, Guitar), Coen Jansen (Keybords), Ad Sluijter (Guitar), Yves Huts (Bass), Jeroen Simons (Drums)

We Will Take You With Us
Simone Simons (Vocal), Mark Jansen (Vocal, Guitar), Coen Jansen (Keybords), Ad Sluijter (Guitar), Yves Huts (Bass), Jeroen Simons (Drums) + Guests : Annie Göbel (Choirs), Bridget Fogle (Choirs), Amanda Somerville (Choirs), Linda van Summeren (Choirs), Georgina Chakos (Choirs), Leigh Adoff (Choirs), Melvin Edmondsen (Choirs), Previn Moore (Choirs), Jonas Pap (Cello), Lois van Driel (Cello), Pieter Althuis (Bass), Marleen Veldstra (Allto), Karen Dekker (Violin), Lenneke Dijkens (Violin)


Artist : Steve Hackett

Album : Genesis Revisited Live: Seconds Out & More

Release Date : 02-09-2022

Added : 14-09-2022

'Steve Hackett' never stops revisiting 'Genesis' for our greatest happiness, and after 'Genesis Revisited Band and Orchestra – Live''Genesis Revisited Band and Orchestra – Live' in 2019, the remastered album of the concert at the Royal Albert Hall from 2013 released in 2020 and 'Selling England by The Pound & Spectral Mornings: Live at Hammersmith' dating also from 2020, he offers us the concert given by 'Genesis' in 1976 and 1977 in Paris and which was the subject, at the time, of the double vinyl 'Seconds Out'. For the occasion, it's the Manchester concert on September 24, 2021, from the 'Genesis Revisited 2021 - Seconds Out + More' tour which was recorded and filmed and which has been released in early September. The album is split into two parts, firstly compositions from Steve's albums, 'Clocks' and 'Every Day' from 1979's 'Spectral Morning', 'Surrender of Silence' and 'The Devils Cathedral' (see video here) from his latest album 'Surrender of Silence' and the magnificent 'Shadow of the Hierophant' from the 1975 album 'Voyage of the Acolyte' which we now have usual, is sung by 'Amanda Lehmann'. The sequel is of course devoted to the complete cover of 'Seconds Out' with the essential titles of 'Genesis' from the first half of the 70s and we are re-embarked on this fantastic journey to the sounds of the mythical 'The Carpet Crawlers', 'Aferglow ', 'Firth of Fifth', 'The Cinema Show', 'Dance on a volcano' or even 'Los Endos' (If you want more details on each title played, you can refer to the very nice column of 'David Edwards' from the blog 'The Progressive Aspect' here). Note that 'Steve Hackett' continues, at 72, to make impressive tours and that 2023 is devoted to the album 'Foxtrot' of 'Genesis' which will be 50 years old. In short, with 'Steve Hackett', there is something to fill your ears with, whether with the covers of 'Genesis' or whether with his solo career and 'Genesis Revisited Live: Seconds Out & More' is directly added to this list of must-have live albums for any progressive rock fan through the ages...

Line Up / Musicians

Steve Hackett (Vocal, Guitar, Charango, Oud), Nad Sylvan (Vocal), Roger King (Keybords), Rob Townsend (Saxophone, Clarinette), Jonas Reingold (Bass), Craig Blundell (Drums) + Guest : Amanda Lehmann (Vocal, Guitar)


Artist : Mike Tramp

Album : For Første Gang

Release Date : 02-09-2022

Added : 15-09-2022

'Mike Tramp', who was known in the 80s with his glam metal band 'White Lion' (all the albums plus some bonuses are available on spotify in the imposing box set 'All You Need is Rock 'n' Roll') continued his solo career and, after 'Stray from the Flock' in 2019 and 'Second Time Around' in 2020, 'For Første Gang' is his 13th album. For the occasion, this last baby is entirely sung in his native language, Danish, and all the lyrics were written by friends of Mike. Once is not custom, he takes us into a quiet and relaxing universe and this from the first title 'Dét Jeg Var' which sets the tone of this album with a magnificent piano/voice duet, Mike's singing bringing a real emotion. Admittedly, there are a few slightly more lively compositions like 'Vejkort' (see the video above) or 'Hjem' but the rest deliver magnificent melodies and we have a great time listening to the slow tempos that are 'For Første Gang For Altid' (watch the video here), 'Jeg Holder Fast' and its beautiful vocal arrangements, the subtle 'Drømme' and its delicious stripping, the delicate 'Kys Jeg Ikke Gav' or the moving 'Flamme Og Benzine', the album ending with two other melodic jewels, 'Min By' (see the video here) and 'Album'.

In short, we find a sensitive and moving 'Mike Tramp' which transports us to a delicate and relaxing universe with very beautiful melodic lines and 'For Første Gang' is to be enjoyed quietly with headphones on the ears to relax from the daily stress...

Line Up / Musicians

Mike Tramp (Vocal, Guitar, Piano), Søren Andersen (Guitar, Keybords), Søren Bigum (Pedal Steel, Mandolin, Cello), Søren Skov (Keybords), Claus Langeskov (Bass), Morten Hellborn (Drums)


Artist : King's X

Album : Three Sides of One

Release Date : 02-09-2022

Added : 16-09-2022

I must admit, I never really followed the career of the Americans of 'King's X' who released a dozen albums between the end of the 80s and 2008, the year that saw their last opus 'XV' out, the band no longer recording but continuing to tour. 'Three Sides of One' therefore arrives after 14 years of discographic silence and it is likely to divide the band's fans because, the least we can say is that 'King's X' sweeps wide in this latest opus: those who do not like diversity may be disappointed. However, if you like to go from symphonic to modern metal to pop, rock and hard rock, all sprinkled in places with progressive, you should adopt 'Three Sides of One'.

It all starts with a muscular 'Let It Rain' which takes us into hard rock with a marked rhythm and with unbridled guitar riffs and an equally unbridled singing of 'Doug Pinnick' completely in tune with the atmosphere of the title, then, 'Flood Pt. 1' shows a much more contrasting face with heavy sections, close to metal, interspersed with rather quiet popish verses which makes it one of the most original titles of the album. Without transition, place in the ballad of the album 'Nothing but the Truth', rather conventional, which unrolls a beautiful calm and restful melody with a remarkable guitar solo of 'Ty Tabor' in the second part, then, 'Give It Up' (see the video above) sends us effective and lively rock before the very beautiful 'All God's Children' (see the video here) which, on a slow tempo, develops an endearing melody and which highlights very beautiful vocal harmonies. Follows the semi-acoustic ballad 'Take the Time' which brings us back to modern pop with catchy melodic lines, then, 'Festival' picks up the pace again for a lively title with a very pleasant three-way song 'Ty Tabor' and 'Jerry Gaskill' backing up 'Doug Pinnick' vocals. Heavier and harder to grasp, 'Swipe Up' brings at the same time a progressive psychedelic side with multiple changes and rhythmic breaks and this improbable mixture makes it an innovative title, then, without transition, we then embark on an atmosphere à la 'Beatles' with the song 'Holidays' and its light and refreshing melody. We attack the last three compositions with 'Watcher' which continues in melodic pop, then 'She Called Me Home' is a beautiful bucolic ballad which offers us a long instrumental section in the second part with a very beautiful guitar solo and, to finish, 'Every Everywhere' ends the album with a new 'Beatlesian' ritornello with, one last time, splendid vocal harmonies.

In summary, the Americans of 'King's X' are releasing a diversified album which may disturb some, accustomed to more linear compositions, but it is precisely this variety of compositions which attracted me to this 'Three Sides of One' which, even if it does not revolutionize the musical world, is very pleasant to listen to if you take the time to ask yourself to listen to it in its entirety, each composition bringing its own originality...

Line Up / Musicians

Doug Pinnick (Vocal, Bass), Ty Tabor (Vocal, Guitar), Jerry Gaskill (Vocal, Drums)


Artist : Rosa Nocturna

Album : Angels and Beasts

Release Date : 02-09-2022

Added : 17-09-2022

'Rosa Nocturna' is a very original formation from the folk metal scene and 'Angels and Beasts' is their fourth studio recording which they had already released in their native language, Czech, at the end of 2020 ('Andělé A Bestie'), their first three albums 'V Tmách' from 2010, 'Zapomenuté Příběhy' from 2016 and 'Za Hradbami Času' from 2017, being also in Czech. I guess that, to try to make themselves known internationally, they decided to release this last album sung in English. Tagged metal, as I told you in the preamble, this is not necessarily what emerges from listening to 'Angels and Beasts', even if certain compositions highlight powerful atmospheres sprinkled here and there with extreme vocals.

'Lightbringer' (see the video above) opens the album with catchy melodic lines in a catchy mood and the title hardens in the second part with the alternation of clean vocal and growls, then, 'Pharmacist' continues in this harmonious style and, even if the saturated electric guitars lead the dance, the folk influences begin to make themselves felt. Folk sounds take precedence over metal in the following title, 'Falling', which deploys a new memorable melody magnificently interpreted by the two singers, the flute reinforcing the rural side. Follows 'Desires In Mist' (see the video here) which continues in this well-balanced mix between the energy of the guitar riffs and the sweetness of the vocals , then, 'Fear' deploys a quieter atmosphere, while keeping a disturbing side, on a mid-tempo with very beautiful choirs mixing extreme voices and clear voices. With 'Once', we are now far from metal and this ballad, accompanied by melancholy strings, highlights the very beautiful singing of 'René "Perry" David', then, we find this alternation between the power of metal and the more moderate folk sounds of the first title 'Lightbringer' with 'Skinchangers' which makes it one of the most original titles of the album, the catchy melody bringing a certain fluidity. We stay in a folk metal atmosphere with 'Intruders' which highlights sharp guitar riffs which can remind those of 'Therion', the resemblance ending there, then, supported by a twirling violin, it is again the folk side that takes over above with 'Letters To The Front' which unrolls a lively and melodic refrain on a waltz beat. The album ends with the instrumental 'Periculum' bringing a symphonic side thanks to a rich orchestration and the magnificent ballad 'Of Love, Of War, Of Blood' which was part of their penultimate album ('O lásce, o válce a o krvi') of which we can see the video in English here and in Czech here.

In summary, this latest album by the Czechs of 'Rosa Nocturna' is a very nice surprise for 2022 which offers us an original mix of folk and metal with beautiful catchy melodic lines and shows all the talent of this atypical formation which certainly made the right choice to offer this version in English because they have every chance now to make themselves known to all folk metal fans...

Line Up / Musicians

Tonda "Gabriel" Buček (Guitar), Petr Vosynek (Guitar), David Koudela (Bass), Dan Havránek (Drums), M. Mathias Novak (Vocal), Viktorie Surmøvá (Vocal), Aneta Zatočilová (Vocal) + invités : René "Perry" David (Vocal), Shirley Tracanna (Vocal), Lenka "Ereis" Šíková (Vocal)


Artist : Mad Max

Album : Wings Of Time

Release Date : 02-09-2022

Added : 18-09-2022

The Germans of 'Mad Max' have already clocked up quite a few flying hours and they celebrated their 40th anniversary, the group's self-titled debut album dating from 1982. Of the original formation, only guitarist 'Jürgen Breforth' remains, drummer 'Axel Kruse' having joined the band in 1984. Compared to the magnificent last album 'Stormchild Rising', it's 'Julian Rolinger' who now officiates as a singer replacing 'Michael Voss' and 'Fabian "Fabs" Ranft ' is the new bassist replacing 'Roland Bergmann' and, both having joined band two years ago. Created at the beginning of the 80s, 'Mad Max' continues its way and, after about fifteen albums and a few periods of inactivity, they release a new album 'Wings Of Time' which smells good of the melodic hard rock of their beginning which was flooding the airwaves at that time.

We are therefore immersed in melodic and catchy compositions with tasty arrangements that take us back a few decades with, to begin with, the trio 'Too Hot To Handle' (see video above), 'Days Of Passion' (see the video here) and 'A Woman Like That' which send rhythms to knock your head off by dint of headbanging. The suite does not weaken and, in a flamboyant AOR, gives us a little taste of nostalgia while listening to 'Best Part Of Me' (see the video here) and its addictive chorus, the beautiful ballad 'Rock Solid' offering a moment of respite, the energetic 'The Stage is For You' showing a group in great shape or even the melodic jewel 'When It Stops' that I play on a loop and whose chorus has a little air of 'Video Killed The Radio Star' of 'The Buggles' band but in a much more rock, without forgetting 'Stormchild Rising' style highlighting 'hohoho' than we want to resume in chorus. And it's not the last three titles that will lower the quality of the album because, 'Heroes Never Die' is a magnificent mid-tempo, then 'Miss Sacrifice' drives the point home with a melodic and effective AOR, and finally, 'Freedom' offers us the ballad that all the melodic rock formations of the 80s would have liked to compose.

In short, no need to add more, all you have to do is press the play button and let yourself go in the time machine, to a time when melodies flowed freely because 'Mad Max' continues to deliver albums filled with beautiful melodies that we appropriate from the first listen and which will, without a doubt, go on a loop among a lot of fans of rock and melodic hard rock of the 80s...

Line Up / Musicians

Julian Rolinger (Vocal), Jürgen Breforth (Guitar), Fabian "Fabs" Ranft (Bass), Axel Kruse (Drums)


Artist : Gallia

Album : Obscura

Release Date : 02-09-2022

Added : 19-09-2022

Decidedly, the start of the school year in September is under the sign of new symphonic metal albums and it is the turn of the Belgians of 'Gallia' to release their first LP 'Obscura' which will certainly make noise in the small world of metal. symphonic. Created in 2014 by guitarist 'Yannick Maris' and bassist 'Laurens Vandebroek', it is Yannick who is the main composer of the group, and, in their press kit, the Belgians present themselves very fairly as " a female fronted, 4-headed, Belgian cinematic metal band. Cinematic metal? Yes, this band creates symphonic metal with an amount of epicenes and storytelling that would fit a dark fantasy trilogy on the big screen. It combines bombastic orchestration, choir elements and imaginative lyrics with heavy guitar riffs and hard-hitting drums. It’s a beautiful melting pot of the best of both worlds. It scratches the itch for movie-lovers, fantasy-geeks and metalheads alike." And indeed, after the release of the first EP 'Everflame' in 2019 which already showed impressive maturity, 2022 sees the release of the first LP 'Obscura' which continues the story begun with 'Everflame': in short, it is the story of the band whose mission is to keep the flame alive, synonymous with 'hope. Thanks to their hard work to achieve this goal, it will allow them, by remaining united, to return to a life of freedom and to find a new world which they travel and of which each song of Obscura' tells the discovery of a new part of it.

Musically, we are indeed in the very definition of epic symphonic metal which remarkably combines the theatricality of classical symphonic music with metal. After the introduction 'Aperture' which gently increases the pressure with a clock ticking and strings which draw a disturbing atmosphere, 'Return To Time' tumbles and delivers us an explosive first composition with everything we wants to find in symphonic metal: a rhythm to make an entire audience headbang, sharp guitar riffs, orchestral arrangements adding to the breadth of the whole, a very catchy melody and a singer who has nothing to envy to the best frontwomen of the genre, I named 'Elyn Vandenwyngaert' who, thanks to her classical training, has the necessary power for this style of music. Follows 'Blackout Queen' which offers a catchy melody and a break of original intensity on the finale bringing a very beautiful diversity to this very beautiful title which could make jealous among 'Nightwish' and 'Epica'. Without transition, 'Mirage' begins with a ritornello in a waltz time taken by barrel organ sounds reminiscent of old French songs and which unfolds an addictive melody that never leaves you with very beautiful breaks returning to the ritornello, 'Elyn Vandenwyngaert' adding a palpable emotion to this atmosphere and the finale falling superbly in a few piano notes. With 'Reflection', the musical inventiveness of 'Yannick Maris' continues with a music box that we wind up and which delivers a few melodious notes quickly overtaken by the power of the electric instruments in a remarkable epic and theatrical atmosphere, then, 'Path of the Nomad' deploys a grandiose and catchy symphonic atmosphere with a new catchy chorus and a rhythm that automatically activates the toe-tapping machine. Small symphonic / folk break with 'Free Me' which delivers peaceful melodic lines, the strings bringing a romantic side to the whole, and which serves as an introduction to 'Spirit of the Sea' which flirts with folk metal on a rhythmic marked and which offers very beautiful vocal arrangements and a nice break in intensity in the middle of the title bringing an admirable originality. We find a heavier metal with 'Chaos' which develops new catchy melodic lines in a majestic atmosphere, and which is embellished with a very beautiful oriental break taken up all in power by the electric instruments, then, 'Euphoria' begins with an instrument traditional in an exotic atmosphere which presents a new addictive melody conducive again to the headbang. We arrive at the last two titles and, like a final bouquet following the fireworks, 'Tears Of Gold' develops seven minutes of an inventive symphonic metal summarizing well this extraordinary album then, 'New World' delivers us a magnificent mix between a first part in the form of a ballad on which we abandon ourselves completely listening to the melodious singing of 'Elyn Vandenwyngaert' and a second, brought gently by tribal percussions, proposing a grandiose finale with imposing choruses which spin this shiver so characteristic of an intense listening pleasure (I would have liked to take a small dose of it to lengthen this very beautiful title!).

In summary, the Belgians of 'Gallia' enter directly by the great door of symphonic metal and deliver us an exceptional first album both musically and in terms of the proposed concept and, if I have already praised this year some new symphonic metal formations, I have the impression that Obscura' will be my favorite symphonic metal album of 2022...

Line Up / Musicians

Elyn Vandenwyngaert (Vocal), Yannick Maris (Guitar), Laurens Vandebroek (Bass), Ties Jehoul (Drums)


Artist : Figure Of Speechless

Album : Tunnel at the End of the Night

Release Date : 02-09-2022

Added : 24-09-2022

In a successful cooking recipe, you obviously need good ingredients and, even if you have some, it is necessarily necessary to have the right helping hand to achieve it. This is no doubt what the Australian 'Glen McMaster' said to himself who does not, strictly speaking, have a huge business card but who wrote and composed an album that takes us on a journey between rock and progressive metal in through the ages: those are the right ingredients. And the helping hand, you might say: our creator of this 'Figure Of Speechless' project simply called on the cream of progressive artists and, excuse me, we find keyboardist 'Derek Sherinian', guitarist 'Ron Bumblefoot Thal' (both now part of, among others, the very good progressive metal band 'Sons Of Apollo'), singer 'Ray Alder' (ex 'Redemption', 'Fates Warning' and his latest project 'A-Z') and, as 'Mike Portnoy' was certainly not free (lol), he fell back on 'Brian Tichy' who is also a drum breaker with a cv as long as a day without bread (among others 'Foreigner', 'Dead Saisies', 'Billy Idol', 'Derek Sherinian', 'Whitesnake' and so on).

We are welcomed by 'Day And Night' (see the video above), between rock and metal, which takes us on an original progressive journey with catchy melodic lines that we could compare to those of 'Threshold' which will be released an album soon. Follows, in a similar register, the no less melodic 'Carve a Smile' in which 'Ray Alder' shows all his vocal talent in a more moderate atmosphere and in which 'Derek Sherinian' and 'Bumblefoot' follow one another in a beautiful instrumental section, then, we continue in this first part of the album, focused on melodic titles, with the two mid-tempo 'Escape Hatch' and 'Midnight Desert Rendezvous' which can be tasted with pleasure and which are both very catchy from the first listen, an atmosphere that can also be found in the title song that follows (see video here). The following composition 'The Cast-Out' shows a slightly orientalised face which brings additional originality and the instrumental part in the second part of the title is magnificent, then, 'Draw the Line' continues in lighter and catchy progressive rock with some variation well-placed rhythms so as not to make the whole thing too linear. Change of atmosphere with 'Inside Room 6' (see video here) which is much darker and in which 'Ray Alder' goes remarkably from a calm vocal register to a much more impetuous song, then, back to a more moderate atmosphere with 'Turn A New Leaf' but which hardens the subject in a final much more energetic which shows the diversity of the atmospheres developed by 'Glen McMaster' in this album. And it is by the melodic 'DysUtopia' in which 'Derek Sherinian' offers us a masterful solo of keyboards and by the bucolic semi-acoustic atmosphere of Unfolding' with a last magic solo of 'Bumblefoot' that this opus ends in beauty.

In summary, 'Glen McMaster' shows all his talent as a composer in this first album of his project 'Figure Of Speechless' and, thanks to talented artists, transforms this 'Tunnel at the End of the Light' into a total success which should mark the year 2022 in the field of rock and melodic progressive metal...

Line Up / Musicians

Glen McMaster (Guitar), Derek Sherinian (Keybords), Ron 'Bumblefoot' Thal (Guitar), Ray Alder (Vocal), Tony Franklin (Bass), Brian Tichy (Drums)


Artist : Lonely Robot

Album : A Model Life

Release Date : 26-08-2022

Added : 07-09-2022

A week before the release of the last 'Arena', the man with multiple projects (see myprogmusic search for this artist), 'John Mitchell', releases his latest album from his 'Lonely Robot' project and, after the last two very close opuses, ' Under Stars' in 2019 and 'Feelings Are Good' in 2020, he gave himself two years to release this new baby 'A Model Life' which is once again close to listening time.

As a fan of progressive rock, when a new 'John Mitchell' offering comes along, I look forward to it and usually set the bar relatively high, given the talent of the guy and the hours already spent putting his entire impressive discography between his ears. So, when I started listening to the first title 'Recalibrating', even if this title would certainly have seemed very pleasant to me in another progressive project, I found it quite common, and I must say that I was quite disappointed with this start which seemed to me below what the Englishman used to offer us. And then, the titles being linked, this impression gradually faded for another which took over and each composition gave me a little more listening pleasure than the previous one like a rise in power towards a kind musical grail reached in the middle of the album not to fall back until the end, the emotional slider only growing and showing a 'John Mitchell' who certainly signs his most moving album, both musically and lyrically. (for many, the covid period has been a revelation to externalize deep feelings). In short, all the ingredients are still there for a real listening pleasure and, like any good progressive album, it takes on more and more flavor as you listen to it with a great diversity of moods and rhythms (musically, I found in a lot of compositions like 'Starlight Stardust' or the title song the same emotions encountered listening to the German neo-progressive band 'RPWL'). To avoid a tedious title by title (there would be so much to say), I will quote the last three compositions which take us on an intense musical journey with, first of all, the melancholic 'Rain Kings' with its delicious accompaniment and the melodious vocals of 'John Mitchell' which deals with that silly image that boys shouldn't cry (and which could well move some to tears!!), then, 'Duty of Care' rolls out beautiful melodic lines on a very personal theme of his adoption and his unhealthy relationship with his father , and, finally, 'In Memoriam' closes the album, with the continuation of the previous theme continuing to highlight very deep feelings in a new composition bathed in an atmospheric 'Floydian' atmosphere.

In summary, as you will have understood, 'John Mitchell' takes us on an intense musical journey in which he makes us go through all kinds of feelings by revealing himself certainly more than in these previous albums and, for my apart, 'A Model Life' is added to my ideal progressive discotheque, which should also be the case for a lot of English fans and more generally fans of progressive pop/rock...

Line Up / Musicians

John Mitchell (Vocal, Guitar, Bass, Keybords), Craig Blundell (Drums)


Artist : Anthea

Album : Tales Untold

Release Date : 26-08-2022

Added : 08-09-2022

In symphonic metal, formations continue to flourish all over the planet and the Americans of Anthea' are part of these new groups raised to the sounds of 'Nightwish' and 'Within Temptation' which emerge to water us with energetic and melodic with this time, once is not custom, two singers because 'Diego Valadez' shares the microphone with 'Juan Pina', the first in clean vocals and the second accompanying him with growls. After a first album 'Illusion' in 2019, 2022 sees the release of their second 'Tales Untold' studio recording. They therefore continue to ride the wave of symphonic metal by adding an impressive power and we could easily add the qualifier power to their style because it takes off like a rocket with the title song of the album (see video above) which mixes power metal and metal symphonic with a frantic rhythm and with some growls of 'Juan Pina'. Follows 'Ascendance', in the same style, with slightly more marked symphonic effects and, with the same energy deployed, we can also mention 'The Deceiver' and 'Looking Glass' in which the growls take a more important place or 'Empyrean' (see video here) and its fast rhythm which moves away from symphonic metal for heavy metal or even 'Sunder Heart' with an opposition between extreme verses and a chorus with catchy melodic lines. Some compositions are in a more classic symphonic metal with for example 'Song for Winter' and its catchy chorus or the cover 'In Time' of 'Robbie Robb' in a much more muscular version as you can imagine. Another striking composition, 'Sapiens' takes us on an exotic journey with oriental scents and the Americans do not miss the beautiful power ballad with 'Memorian' which allows a break in the middle of the album and in which 'Diego Valadez' makes great vocal performance. In short, even if they are not going to revolutionize the style, the Americans of Anthea' release a good album in which they add a good dose of power and more growls compared to their first opus and which should make everyone happy. lovers and all lovers of power metal and symphonic metal...

Line Up / Musicians

Diego Valadez (Vocal, Keybords), Juan Pina (Guitar, Vocal), Marcos Mejia (Guitar), Eric Guerrero (Bass), Peter Vasquez (Drums)


Artist : Imperial Age

Album : New World

Release Date : 26-08-2022

Added : 09-09-2022

My last column of the Russians of Imperial Age' dates from 2020 with the 'Live on Earth (The Online Lockdown Concert)' and, in the meantime, strong of this concert given in streaming with an impressive number of views, they did it again with another concert given on December 26, 2021 with the participation of a chamber orchestra and a choir, a performance that brought together nearly 100,000 internet users and an extract of which can be seen on youtube with the latest Russian hit (see video above), a composition that makes also part of the latest album released at the end of August, 'New World', which is the subject of this review. For this last opus, I quote 'Aor' ('Alexander Osipov'): "it is not a concept album, and the subject will no longer be about ancient civilizations. The album will talk about freedom, exploring, going beyond borders and finding your own way. It's a bit like when you feel inside that modern society is not for you and you are looking to find something completely different. This is what gives the album its name. ". This theme is particularly strong for them at the moment, since they have taken a stand on the war in Ukraine and four of the band members have left Russia.

With the same line up as the live of 2020 and faithful to their previous productions, they offer us an epic and catchy symphonic metal from the first listen with for this opus 7 rather short titles and a long development of more than 18 minutes (we will come back to this). Regarding the first 7 titles, 'Windborn' opens the ball with a mid-tempo with an addictive first melody which gives an irresistible desire to accompany the song and which automatically starts the foot tapping machine, then, the title song (see the video above) adds a melodic nugget in a faster atmosphere but just as endearing as the first title, the sung parts being always admirable by highlighting the three vocal registers respectively of mezzo-soprano for Jane , soprano for Anna and tenor for Alexander. Follows 'The Way is the Aim' which continues in this voice and which, in the form of a ritornello spinning in a loop in our head, in addition to the magnificent vocal parts, adds a beautiful catchy instrumental section in the second part of the title. With 'To the Edge of the Known' the epic symphonic side is at its peak and the vocal exchanges between Alexander and the two singers in the verses are remarkable, the three singers coming together for a grandiose chorus amplified by flamboyant keyboards, then ' The Wheel' adds a new unifying melody, just like 'Shakless of God', which follows, with a folk/metal side brought by the violin and 'Distant Shores' closes the unstoppable melodies with an alternation between aerial and dancing verses and a chorus with grandiose choirs accompanied by a roaring rhythm section. We arrive at the main course of the album, the symphonic-progressive saga 'Call of the Towers' which is a lush epic with all the ingredients of this kind of compositions and which unfolds on a slow rhythm, an imposing melody highlighting always masterful vocal arrangements, the clear and lyrical songs intertwining and the instrumental passages spicing up the whole with imposing symphonic atmospheres like this passage with resplendent church organs.

In summary, the Russians of Imperial Age', despite all the roadblocks brought by the events of the last two years, release a new album showing that they continue to offer us this unique style of the symphonic metal scene by offering epic and luxuriant atmospheres that they draw from their roots with this vocal music which has taken a very important place in Russia, in particular, thanks to the various world-famous choirs...

Line Up / Musicians

Alexander “Aor” Osipov (Vocal, Keybords), Jane “Corn” Odintsova (Vocal, Keybords), Anna “Kiara” Moiseeva (Vocal), Max Talion (Drums), Paul “Vredes” Maryashin (Guitar), Dmitry “Belf” Safronov (Bass)


Artist : Dynazty

Album : Final Advent

Release Date : 26-08-2022

Added : 11-09-2022

It's still in Sweden that I take you with the melodic heavy metal of 'Dynazty' which had released two melodic bombs, 'Firesign' in 2018 and 'The Dark Delight' in 2020. They continue their small cruising rhythm with an album every two years and, with the same line-up that the latest opus, 2022 sees 'Final Advent' released, bringing their discography to 8 albums. No need for a long column to tell you that if there was a perfect energetic melodic metal album standard, those of 'Dynazty' would certainly be chosen because this latest baby is still flawless and each title is a hit in power which send hymns of powerful and melodic metal which all give a crazy desire to resume (what am I saying to scream at the top of the lungs) the chorus in chorus (see the video above of 'Advent', that of 'Natural Born Killer' here and that of 'The White' here). And when you put this kind of musical missile between your ears, you become a little fussy and you start dreaming that the Swedes could vary the compositions a little more by modulating the intensities because we have a good overview with the magnificent 'Yours' between power ballad and mi-tempo (see the video here) which unfolds a very catchy melody. In short, if you're a fan of melodic heavy metal, you've come to the right place with this latest album from Sweden's 'Dynazty' which still offers us catchy melodic anthems on every corner...

Line Up / Musicians

Nils Molin (Vocal), Rob Love Magnusson (Guitar), George Egg (Drums), Mikael Lavér (Guitar), Jonathan Olsson (Bass)


Artist : Thundermother

Album : Black and Gold

Release Date : 19-08-2022

Added : 03-09-2022

'Thundermother' is a project created in 2010 by four Swedish hard rockers who have already released 4 albums, 'Rock'n Roll Disaster' in 2014, 'Road Fever' in 2015, 'Thundermother' in 2018 and 'Heat Wave' in 2020. They are coming back in 2022 with a new baby that continues to offer us good energetic and unbridled hard rock to listen to for breakfast to get in shape for a whole day. The line-up has evolved since the formation of the group by the leader of this formation, the guitarist 'Filippa Nässil', having been joined in 2017 by 'Guernica Mancini' on vocals and 'Emlee Johansson' on drums and since 2019, it is now 'Majsan Lindberg' who is on bass.

To give you the tone of the album, the first title 'The Light in the Sky' gives us a hard rock noise and a first chorus with 'hohohoho' to be repeated in chorus until the extinction of voice, and if you don't buy into this burst of energy, you can move on. For the others, the label 'AFM Records' having not skimped on the means, the videos available on youtube give a good overview of the whole with the 4 four compositions 'Black and Gold' , 'Watch Out', 'I Don't Know You' and 'Loud And Free'. The rest is therefore in the image of these four videos and to recover from all this ardor, our four hard-rockers also show their tender side with two beautiful ballads that are 'Hot Mess' (see the video here) and 'Borrowed Time'.

In short, the four Swedes of 'Thundermother' continue their way with an explosive new album which contains all the ingredients of a good fiery hard rock and filled with good positive energy...

Line Up / Musicians

Guernica Mancini (Vocal), Filippa Nässil (Guitar), Mona Lindgren (Bass), Emlee Johansson (Drums)


Artist : SiX By SiX

Album : SiX By SiX

Release Date : 19-08-2022

Added : 05-09-2022

'Robert Berry' is no stranger to progressive lovers since he collaborated with the late 'Keith Emerson' and released with him the album 'To The Power of Three' in 1988 under the name of project '3' which could have been named 'Emerson, Berry & Palmer' since the drummer 'Carl Palmer' was also present (we also remember the album 'Emerson, Lake and Powell' with 'Cozy Powell'). It is therefore him who is at the origin of this original trio 'SiX By SiX' and, it is two other known artists who accompany him with first of all, 'Ian Crichton', the guitarist of 'Saga' and drummer 'Nigel Glockler' from 'Saxon'. As for 'Nigel Glockler', it's not necessarily in this style of music that we expect to find him, but the drummer of 'Saxon' has always been a fan of 70s progressive and he's very well adapted to the atmospheres of this album by bringing a surgical strike very in phase with the released atmospheres. In this album, 'Robert Berry' highlights the guitarist talents of 'Ian Chrichton' and gave him carte blanche to accompany his various compositions, the whole being recorded in the manner of a live. Very eclectic (as is the trio), he offers us 10 compositions which all have their originality, the influences being of course drawn from the 70s.

the two singles 'Yearning to Fly' (see video above) and 'China' (see video here) start the album with each their own atmosphere, the first being well-paced with a catchy chorus bringing us back to classic progressive that 'Saga' would not have denied and the second, much more direct which deploys good energy with a new rhythm section to make a whole audience handbang. In third position and, for me, the major composition of the album, 'Reason to Feel Calm Again' deploys its 8 minutes with all that one wishes to find in progressive, alternations between sung and instrumental parts and changes frequent in rhythm and intensity. With 'The Upside of Down', we continue in this register of the seventies merging different influences, certain sung parts reminding me of the atmospheres of 'Police' (the intonations of 'Robert Berry' being like those of 'Sting'). Follows 'Casino' which continues in this melodic progressive and 'Ian Chrichton' offers us an extraordinary guitar solo (as indeed on each title), 'Robert Berry' not being outdone with a keyboard solo which should recall some well-known sounds to ELP' fans, then, 'Live Forever' is a short guitar/voice break well placed in the middle of the album and very endearing. The first part of 'The Last Words on Earth' is more difficult to grasp with melodic lines that are not necessarily accessible, and I must say that I appreciate less the (slightly forced) singing of 'Rober Berry' while the second part brings a calmer section and remarkable instrumental peregrinations. We continue with an energetic and rhythmic 'Skyfall' with beautiful variations in the sung parts and an admirable new guitar solo, the instrumental bridges bringing an extraordinary magnitude to the whole thanks to the keyboards. With 'Battle of a Lifetime', we are once again fully in the masterful progressive with this time alternations between acoustic and electric sections which brings a real originality and makes it one of the other major titles, then, the album ends with an energetic and catchy 'Save the Night' all by itself amalgamating rock, hard rock and metal intonations, 'Ian Chrichton' also showing all his talent in muscular interventions with his saturated "howling" guitar.

In summary, our trio finally shows a fabulous homogeneity with compositions that necessarily require that we linger over them to draw all their richness, and 'Robert Berry' has entirely succeeded in his bet of bringing together artists from from different backgrounds to produce a progressive album filled with great creativity and, at the same time, imbued with seventies influences while having a very contemporary style...

Line Up / Musicians

Robert Berry (Vocal, Bass, Keybords), Ian Crichton (Guitar), Nigel Glockler (Drums)


Artist : Sunstorm

Album : Brothers in Arms

Release Date : 12-08-2022

Added : 24-08-2022

Album of the playlist myprogmusic 2022 summer chronicles

We continue our little summer tour of the releases of memorable melodies with this time 'Sunstorm' which, after 'Afterlife' dating back a little over a year, continues its journey with a new album 'Brother in Arms'. We don't change a winning team and the two leaders 'Ronnie Romero' and 'Alessandro Del Vecchio' who need no introduction and who has surpassed himself again for this opus, offer us a collection of melodic jewels that parade one behind the others with well-established specifications now: a fairly fair alternation between powerful melodic hard-rock and more moderate AOR, the middle of the album delivering the magic ballad of the outstanding melodist that is 'Alessandro Del Vecchio': in the first register, the title song (see video above), 'I Will Remember', 'No Turning Back', 'Lost In The Shadows Of Love' and 'Living Out Of Fear' bring all the positive and communicative energy of this style, and in a more subdued AOR style, the melodic lines of 'Games We Play' (see the video here), 'I'll Keep Holding On', 'Taste Of Heaven', 'Hold The Night' and 'Miracle' are a real treat, the beautiful power ballad being 'Back My Dreams' which I added to my playlist of rock/hard-rock/metal ballads. In short, even if the recipe always remains the same, this last 'Sunstorm' is still a total melodic success thanks to the talents of composer and keyboardist of Alessandro Del Vecchio' and the remarkable vocal performances of 'Ronnie Romero' to which we can add the new guitarist of 'Doro', 'Luca Princiotta', and the rhythm section made up of bassist 'Nik Mazzucconi' ('Jorn', 'Shining Black' and 'Edge Of Forever') and drummer 'Michele Sanna' ('Brother Against Brother' and 'Black Rose Maze')...

Line Up / Musicians

Ronnie Romero (Vocal), Luca Princiotta (Guitar), Alessandro Del Vecchio (Keybords), Nik Mazzucconi (Bass), Michele Sanna (Drums)


Artist : Generation Radio

Album : Generation Radio

Release Date : 12-08-2022

Added : 26-08-2022

Album of the playlist myprogmusic 2022 summer chronicles

Bizarre, a great group produced by 'Frontiers Music' in which 'Alessandro Del Vecchio' is not present!! It must be said that the artists constituting the line-up have a CV to make people jealous since we find, at the base of the project, the multi-instrumentalist 'Jay DeMarcus' of the American country group 'Rascal Flatts' who released in 2020 a Best Off of two decades of album releases but not necessarily well known on the European continent, then 'Jason Scheff' the former bassist and singer of 'Chicago' who just released their 38th album in July 2022 'Born For This Moment', the line-up being completed by drummer and vocalist 'Deen Castronovo' who returned in 2021 with 'Journey', and guitarists 'Tom Yankton' and 'Chris Rodríguez ' best known in the country world. No surprise, with this fine team, we are embarking, not without nostalgia, on a time when melodic jewels flowed naturally and all the compositions on this album would have each made a hit in the 70s and 80s. The majority of the compositions are in a refined and relaxing AOR, except for one 'Time to Let It Go', energetic as one might wish, in which 'Deen Castronovo' gives us an exceptional demonstration of drum breaker and 'Smoking', more rock and which wouldn't have gone wrong in the 70s sung by 'Joan Jett', which stand out. By the way, I've added the four ballads from the album to my rock ballads playlist/ hard-rock/metal. In short, this album brings us back to a classic AOR that we play over and over and, among all the albums that I presented to you in my summer playlist, is certainly the one that gave me the most pleasure (and there was material!!) and which should also make a whole audience happy with an AOR that takes us back a few decades...

Line Up / Musicians

Jay DeMarcus (Bass), Deen Castronovo (Vocal, Drums), Jason Scheff (Vocal), Tom Yankton (Guitar), Chris Rodriguez (Guitar)


Artist : Hydra

Album : Point Break

Release Date : 12-08-2022

Added : 28-08-2022

Album of the playlist myprogmusic 2022 summer chronicles

Another new addition to the summer playlist with a new Swedish melodic hard-rock band (yet one more) which is produced by the essential label 'Frontiers Records'. This new project was born from the meeting of the songwriter, singer and guitarist 'Henrik Hedströmand' and the well-known drummer and keyboardist 'Daniel Flores' ('Find Me', 'The Murder Of My Sweet', 'Angelica', 'First Signal',...). The rest of the line-up is made up of singer and guitarist 'Andi Kravljaca' ('First Signal', 'Nergard',...) and bassist 'Jonny Trobro' ('First Signal', 'Find Me'). No surprise with this beautiful bevy of artists, we navigate in a catchy AOR from the first to the last title with melodic jewels at every street corner starting with a 'Stop the Madness' with an addictive chorus and the whole is good balanced between catchy compositions and other quieter ones, the album contains three magnificent ballads with 'Stay A While', 'Forever My Love' and 'To Say Goodbye'. In short, at the same time as 'Generation Radio', the Swedes of Hydra' release an album just as endearing and filled with good AOR hits which makes 'Point Break' a new opus to be consumed without moderation...

Line Up / Musicians

Henrik Hedström (Keybords, Guitar), Daniel Flores (Drums, Keybords), Andi Kravljaca (Vocal, Guitar), Jonny Trobro (Bass)


Artist : Restless Spirits

Album : Second to None

Release Date : 12-08-2022

Added : 30-08-2022

Album of the playlist myprogmusic 2022 summer chronicles

Guitarist 'Tony Hernando' from the band 'Lords Of Black' also has another melodic hard-rock side project, 'Restless Spirit', and 'Second to None' is his second album, following 'Restless Spirit' dating from 2019. As with the first opus, he surrounded himself with singers known from the international scene and we find again 'Johnny Gioeli' ('Axel Rudi Pell' and 'Hardline') and 'Kent Hilli' ('Perfect Plan' and in solo here) already there in the first album, and two little new ones came to be added with, honour to the ladies, 'Chez Kane' and 'Renan Zonta' ('Skills', 'Brother Against Brother' and 'Electric Mob'). At the risk of repeating myself in relation to the other chronicles of my summer playlist, even if it's not yet an album that will revolutionize rock music, it's still an album filled with memorable melodies, simple but devilishly effective providing immediate pleasure listening. Each singer has been assigned three titles except 'Kent Hilli' who has only two and who is in charge of starting the album with the catchy 'Need A Lil' White Lie' with a first chorus to resume in choirs (see the video above) but also to close the album with the energetic 'Dirty Money'. The rest is in the image of these two compositions and, to quote the title that struck me the most for each of the other three artists, it is 'Dreams Of The Wild' for 'Chez Kane' which is completely cut out for her (see the video here), 'And Yet It Breaks' for 'Renan Zonta' and the beautiful ballad 'Always A Pretender' for 'Johnny Gioeli'. We can add that 'Tony Hernando' is not to be outdone with remarkable guitar solos, and this in each composition. In short, it's yet another album that I'm adding to the summer playlist of July and August 2022 releases, and which should make all fans of melodic hard rock and AOR happy...

Line Up / Musicians

Tony Hernando (Guitar, Bass, Keybords, Choirs), Victor Diez (Piano, Keybords), Matt De Vallejo (Drums) + Guests : Johnny Gioeli (Vocal), Kent Hilli (Vocal), Chez Kane (Vocal), Renan Zonta (Vocal)


Artist : The Bardic Depths

Album : Promise of Hopes

Release Date : 12-08-2022

Added : 02-09-2022

'The Bardic Depths' is a progressive rock project that was created by songwriter, keyboardist and guitarist 'Dave Bandana' with an band's self-titled debut album in 2020. The rest of the line-up consists of vocalist and keyboardist 'Peter Jones' ('Tiger Moth Tales', 'Camel'), guitarist 'Gareth Cole' ('Paul Menel', 'Fractal Mirror') and drummer 'Tim Gehrt' ('The Streets', 'Steve Walsh') but this basic formation is accompanied by a large number of other artists including 'Robin Armstrong', the leader of 'Cosmograf', which is also producing the album. The subject matter is relatively dark as it is the story of a queen who tries to kill herself but heaven will not allow it and offer redemption instead. Musically, it's not too in tune with the theme because we navigate between rock and progressive pop which brings us back to the 70s, the atmospheres being quiet and relaxing.

And it is with the 8 minutes of 'And She Appeared' that the album begins and we embark on classic progressive and catchy with a first chorus that goes directly into your head and which can make you think of the atmospheres pastorals of the first 'Barclay James Harvest', then, 'Regal Pride' continues in a more measured rhythm, the saxophone bringing a nonchalant side. Follows 'Consumed', introduced by a classical acoustic guitar, and which continues for a sung part with folk intonations, the flute and the violin further amplifying the feeling of lightness of the whole. With 'The Burning Flame', after the instrumental introduction highlighting the electric guitar of 'Gareth Cole', the title continues with a very beautiful relaxing ballad with a 'Floydian' look, then, 'Colour and Shapes' is an instrumental which takes us on a very beautiful musical journey, to the sound of the saxophone of 'Peter Jones', melancholy at the beginning then more catchy then with the arrival of the drums and which continues in the second part with a magnificent guitar solo. We return to more classic pop like 'Barclay James Harvest' with 'Why Are You Here?' which unfolds a beautiful peaceful melody, then, 'Returned' shows a completely different face with vocal sound effects and more electronic keyboard sounds of the 80s and 'The Essence' (see video here) continues in this same decade and can recall certain electronic sounds that Alan Parsons ' brought to rock at that time. And it is with the 9 minutes of Imagine' that the album ends: it opens with a church organ and continues with a serene sung part with a beautiful melody. At 2.30, the drums enter the track and accompany the vocals, then, the second part of the title gives pride of place to instrumental interventions, with successively luminous keyboards, a very beautiful 'Hackettian' guitar solo (reminiscent of 'Genesis') and, finally, again a beautiful saxophone solo, the sung finale returning to the main theme and ending on the same church organ sounds as the beginning of the title.

In summary, 'Dave Bandana', well helped by quality artists (special mention for 'Peter Jones' and his saxophone) releases a very beautiful album that takes us back to the early 70s with melodic compositions that should satisfy all lovers of imaginative progressive rock that can be listened to quietly through headphones to decompress after a hard day's work...

Line Up / Musicians

Dave Bandana (Keybords, Guitar), Peter Jones (Keybords, Saxophone, Vocal), Gareth Cole (Guitar), Tim Gehrt (Drums) + Guests : Robin Armstrong (Keybords, Bass, Hammond), John William Francis (Marimba), Paolo Limoli (Piano, Keybords), Kevin McCormick (Guitar), Mike Warren (Cello), Donny O'Connell (Violin), Olga Kent (Voice), Richard Kreuger (Voice), Sally Minnear (Voice), Graham Smith (Vocal), Cliff Pearson (Vocal), Phil Clayton (Vocal), Lily Miller (Vocal), Tim Martin (Vocal), Kevin Thompson (Vocal), Rob Birnholz (Vocal), Miles Alexander Schofield (Vocal), Scotty Scott (Vocal), Paul Turner (Vocal), Kimberley Jones (Vocal), Dick Dapre (Vocal), Debbie Dapre (Vocal), Martin Haskell (Vocal)


Artist : A-Z

Album : A-Z

Release Date : 12-08-2022

Added : 01-09-2022

Album of the playlist myprogmusic 2022 summer chronicles

Early September is here, and to end my summer playlist of rock and melodic hard rock albums providing immediate listening pleasure and released in July and August 2022, here is the new project 'A-Z', led by drummer 'Mark Zonder' (among other things to take only recent reviews, 'Shumaun', 'Pentesilea Road' and 'Enzo and the Glory Ensemble') and the singer of 'Fates Warning', 'Ray Alder' (logical, the A of Alder and the Z of Zonder). Joined by 'Philip Bynoe' on bass, 'Joop Wolters' on guitar and 'Vivien Lalu' on keyboards, the duo offers us more direct melodic hard rock for a wider audience than the progressive metal offered in their various respective projects. Although some titles include some more progressive sections, the objective is completely achieved and, from the start, with 'Trial by Fire' sends us good powerful hard rock with a memorable first melody, then, 'The Far Side of the Horizon' is less direct but brings a good dose of progressive. The suite is more accessible with energetic and more fluid titles: 'The Machine Gunner', 'Windows Panes', 'Run Away' or even 'Borrowed Time' attest to this and these titles alternate with more sedate atmospheres such as ballads 'Rise Again', the powerful 'Stranded', 'At the Waters Edge' eyeing towards AOR or even 'Sometimes' alternating ballad and mid-tempo with a very beautiful guitar solo in the second part of the title, the album ending with the bonus track 'The Silence Broken' which sums up well the philosophy of this opus with a catchy rhythm and a simple but very effective melody.

In short, even if the progressive side comes out in small touches, this first album of this new project put together by 'Mark Zonder' and 'Ray Alder' shows a more immediate accessibility than their other respective projects and should appeal to a wide audience. public loving a metal that one appropriates quite quickly...

Line Up / Musicians

Mark Zonder (Drums), Ray Alder (Vocal, Choirs), Philip Bynoe (Bass), Vivien Lalu (Keybords), Joop Wolters (Guitar)


Artist : H.E.A.T

Album : Force Majeure

Release Date : 05-08-2022

Added : 21-08-2022

Album of the playlist myprogmusic 2022 summer chronicles

I continue my summer series to consume without moderation (see playlist above) with the latest 'H.E.A.T'. After the very good 'Into The Great Unknown ' released in 2017 and their latest baby soberly titled 'II' in 2020, here is their successor 'Force Majeure'. The singer 'Kenny Leckremo' who officiated on their first two albums is back in business, replacing 'Erik Grönwall' who left the group for the Americans of 'Skid Row'. No surprise with the Swedes, we're embarking on a series of melodic hard rock hits and if you don't hang on to the first four energetic titles with an explosive 'Hollywood' in the last position with an ultra-classic but completely addictive chorus, you can go your way. For the others, after a more moderate and AOR-like 'Harder to Breathe' allowing you to recover from all the energy already deployed, it's off again with a boosted 'Not for Sale' then the beautiful ballad 'One of Us' offers another well-deserved break. The end of the album scrolls through the lively 'Holdd Your Fire' which is always very melodic, then 'Paramount' is much more general public with a chorus to be taken up in chorus, unlike 'Demons Eyes' which sends heavy, and which is the heaviest title, the album ending with 'Wings of an Airplane', a very good mid-tempo on which you can't help beating time. In short, the Swedes of 'H.E.A.T' continue to lay us compositions of melodic hard rock always as effective and to parody a famous French saying, I would say that "everything is good in an album of H.E.A.T"...

Line Up / Musicians

Kenny Leckremo (Vocal), Dave Dalone (Guitar), Jona Tee (Keybords), Jimmy Jay (Bass), Don Crash (Drums)


Artist : Fascination Curve

Album : Corona Times in Amerika

Release Date : 04-08-2022

Added : 31-08-2022

'Fascination Curve' is a new project created by composer 'Karl Lundeberg', also a musician and singer, who is a jack-of-all-trades musically and is known for working in styles as disparate as contemporary classical, jazz, world music or traditional Norwegian folk music (see his website here). With his well-filled address book, he has called on many talented artists (see the impressive CVs of each of them here) and this time he tackles progressive rock which he declines in different forms with this first album 'Corona Times in Amerika' which, I quote his presentation on its site: "is a courageous and moving statement concerning racism, political extremism and societal confusion seen through the prism of the Coronavirus pandemic".

The album contains 5 compositions, including a long development of 20 minutes, and we are greeted with 'Land of the Free, Home of the Slave' which takes us on an imaginative progressive in a blues / rock style with magnificent vocal arrangements and remarkable instrumental interventions highlighting electric guitar and keyboards, the whole remaining very accessible thanks to melodic lines that we immediately appropriate. The following title, 'Sometime, Somehow' is one of my favourites from the album in the form of a ballad which has a 'Floydian' look and can recall the style of 'Dark Side Of The Moon', the harmonies vocals bringing again an additional emotion to this very beautiful title. Follows 'I Will Breathe with you' which, after the short prelude deliciously accompanied by the saxophone of 'Tim Riess', continues in this cosy atmosphere in which we find progressive symphonic 'Floydian' influences but this time with some jazzy incursions. We arrive at the title song and the centrepiece of the album, made up of a patchwork of various influences that intersect and weave together in a very beautiful way, and we navigate in this great fresco in which it is good to abandon oneself. and let yourself go to this musical mosaic integrating different styles, ranging from pop, rock, jazz, fusion and funk, the epic finale ending as it should for this kind of composition, in a grandiose way for fall back into a few much calmer musical phrases. And it is with 'Dip Them in Gold', which is dedicated, I quote, "to the doctors, nurses and doctors of the world who fought against covid and who are now fighting for democracy in Ukraine", that the album ends wonderfully in a new composition which again highlights, in the first part, the quiet and relaxing style of the two compositions 'Sometime, Somehow' and 'I Will Breathe with you' and which then gains vigor and ends on an addictive melody with, one last time, magnificent vocal arrangements. To this we can add that the production is impeccable and highlights the many details that we discover over repeated listenings.

In summary, after the projects that are not necessarily very media-friendly such as 'Hott Mess' and 'Cyber Band', is added 'Fascination Curve' which shows an inventive and imaginative progressive shaped by the talented artist 'Karl Lundeberg' and we hope that this first album not be the last and that we can continue, in the future, to get back between our ears, new albums as original as this one which brings a breath of fresh air to this style of music...

Line Up / Musicians

Karl Lundeberg (Keybords, Guitar, Vocal), Marc Bonilla (Guitar, Vocal), Ken Stacey (Vocal), Amy Keyes (Vocal), Mha Bhati (Bass), Tim Riess (Saxophone), Gregg Bissonette (Drums)


Artist : Adellaide

Album : Deja Vu

Release Date : 29-07-2022

Added : 11-08-2022

Album of the playlist myprogmusic 2022 summer chronicles

With the Brazilians of Adelaide', we are fully immersed in summer atmospheres because we are bathed in an AOR that goes off the beaten track by integrating different original components such as saxophone accompaniments, dancing rhythmic bases and keyboards that often dominate the guitars which are rather used in the solos. 'Déjà Vu' is their 4th studio recording following the 'New Horizons' released in 2019 and, they offer us 10 new compositions for 44 minutes of listening, starting with a 'Transcendence' which unfolds a moderate pop/rock atmosphere with a relaxed rhythm section and in this rather measured style, we can also mention 'Without You ' which mixes funk and AOR influences, the catchy 'Unia' with its memorable chorus and its aerial keyboards, 'Fell From The Sky' and 'Time Riders' which bring us straight back to a dancing atmosphere of the 80s and whose first highlights a beautiful vocal performance of 'Julianna Rossi', or even 'It's Not The End' which, even if some saturated guitar riffs add a little spice to the whole, remains in a classy and moderate AOR. In a more incisive atmosphere, 'Superfanic' and 'To Live Forever' show a more energetic face and, in more classic melodic rock, we can't miss the hit 'Girl From Syria' (see the video above) and the beautiful ballad 'Falling Petals'. In summary, 'Adellaide' brings us a freshness of South America with melodies which provide great immediate listening pleasure in this hot summer period, and which should appeal to all audiences who love a refined and harmonious AOR...

Line Up / Musicians

Daniel Vargas (Vocal), Leandro Freitas (Keybords), Vitor Balconi (Guitar), Marcello Naudi (Bass), Allan Julliano (Drums), Deraldo Matos (Saxophone), Gigolette Angeline (Choirs), Eddie VANTEZ (Choirs), Rod Marenna (Choirs), Julianna Rossi (Vocal, Choirs), Tito Falashi (Choirs), Marcello Naudi (Choirs)


Artist : Gathering of Kings

Album : Enigmatic

Release Date : 29-07-2022

Added : 12-08-2022

Album of the playlist myprogmusic 2022 summer chronicles

If you follow myprogmusic reviews, you must know the Swedes of 'Gathering of Kings' because I presented their first two albums to you ' First Mission' in 2019 and 'Discovery' in 2020 and their last studio recording,'Enigmatic', Just saw the light of day. We do not change a winning formula and 'Victor Olsson' continues to lay compositions for us which would all have been the subject of a single in the 80s. give you some bands that came to mind when listening to these 13 tracks with addictive melodies: I found myself back a few decades with, in bulk, 'Toto', 'Survivor', 'Alan Parsons Project' , 'Asia', 'Journey', 'Magnum' and even a little more progressive formations like 'Saga' or 'Genesis', in short, only beautiful people, to which we can add on this cake, the Swedes of ABBA' because one of the compositions 'Feed You My Love' takes us with the group 'One More Time' in a title that would certainly have caused a hit in the 70s, normal because the members of 'One More Time', Anne Grönvall, Maria Rådsten and Peter Grönvall, who is none other than the son of ABBA's 'Benny Andersson', have been very popular. res in Sweden in the 90s, with among others their participation in Eurovision in 1996 with 'Den Vilda' and continued to bring the melodic style of their elders to life. In summary, 'Ron Dahlgren' and 'Nina Dahlgren' had a very good idea of wanting to bring together the cream of Swedish melodic rock but when you know the talent of this country in this area, you are not surprised to be able to between the ears a new album of 'Gathering of Kings' filled with completely addictive melodies that can be listened to on repeat...

Line Up / Musicians

Victor Olsson (Vocal, Guitar, Keybords, Choirs), Jonny Lindkvist (Vocal), Rick Altzi (Vocal), Alexander Frisborg (Vocal), Apollo Papathanasio (Vocal), Tobias Jansson (Vocal), Magnus Mild (Guitar), Joel Selsfors (Keybords), Mikael Planefeldt (Bass), Efraim Larsson (Drums), Jonas Källsbäck (Drums)


Artist : Whiskey Myers

Album : Tornillo

Release Date : 29-07-2022

Added : 13-08-2022

Album of the playlist myprogmusic 2022 summer chronicles

Direction the United States and more particularly Texas with 'Whiskey Myers' which is a formation that has become essential across the Atlantic but not necessarily very well known in Europe. They perpetuate a traditional southern rock and are on their 6th studio recording which bears the name of 'Tornillo'. We are therefore taken into compositions mixing southern rock and country with melodic lines that we immediately appropriate and which automatically start the foot tapping machine starting with a 'John Wayne' which gives ants in the legs and which shows a very catchy rhythm. In the same style, you will also, without a doubt, be seduced by the classic but so effective archis 'Antioch' and 'Feet's' on which it is impossible to stay unmoved, but also by the mid-tempo 'The Wolf' or still by the rhythmic 'Whole World Gone Crazy' and 'Bad Medicine', without forgetting 'Mission To Mars' and its addictive country rhythm. And when country melancholy takes over, the Americans also unleash magnificent anthems such as 'For The Kids' which deals with the difficult subject of divorce, but also the magnificent acoustic ballads 'Heavy On Me' and 'Heart Of Stone'. In short, if you like traditional southern rock alternating catchy rhythms and more melancholic moments, you should like this latest album from 'Wiskey Myers' which takes us on a journey into the great tradition of American song that has become timeless...

Line Up / Musicians

Jean Jeffers (Guitar), Cody Tate (Guitar), Cody Canon (Vocal, Guitar), Gary Brun (Bass), Jeff Hog (Drums), Tony Kent (Percussions, Keybords)


Artist : Cats In Space

Album : Kickstart The Sun

Release Date : 29-07-2022

Added : 14-08-2022

Album of the playlist myprogmusic 2022 summer chronicles

As I had already mentioned two days ago with the release of the latest album 'Enigmatic' from the 'Gathering of Kings' project, here is another project where I could copy/paste my previous chronicles, because our 'cats in space' , after the very good ones 'Scarecrow' in 2017, 'Day Trip to Narnia' in 2019 and 'Atlantis' in 2020, are back with a new album, very dense, since they are 13 titles framed by the two short 'Kickstart The Su n' for a little over an hour of listening that are offered to us.

And, from the start, we take a good breath of melodic rock and catchy with an over-vitamined 'King of Stars', then, 'Poke the Witch' (see the video above) continues in this momentum of the 60s / 70s with radiant choirs that give an irresistible desire to accompany them and 'Teenage Millionaires' (see the video here) delivers a layer with the same energy. The sequel is in the image of this beginning of the album with, for example, the joyful 'Smoke & Mirrors' and the English also offer us very beautiful breaks with the ballads which are three in number, '1,000,000 Miles', 'A Big Balloon' and 'Hero', but also with the title track which adds a good pinch of progressive rock and 'Charlie's Ego' brings us back to the lightness and carelessness of the 'Beatles', just like 'Last Dance Saloon' which is dancing and whose melodic lines are closer this time to 'Electric Light Orchestra'. And before the cover of 'Kickstart The Sun', the album ends with the long development 'Bootleg Bandoleros' showing a more pronounced progressive side of 'Cats In Space' with a more complex construction which alternates different moods and which highlights a magnificent section of the two guitarists who pass the buck in the second part of the title.

In summary, the English of 'Cats In Space' continue to offer us good melodic rock by making us travel in their spaceship which takes us back a few decades and the atmospheres released, joyful and filled with a beautiful positivity naturally have their place in the summer playlist that I have concocted for you since the end of July...

Line Up / Musicians

Damien Edwards (Vocal, Choirs), Greg Hart (Guitar, Choirs, Keybords, Tubular Bells), Steevi Bacon (Drums, Percussions, Timpanin Gong, Harmonica), Jeff Brown (Bass, Choirs), Andy Stewart (Keybords), Dean Howard (Guitar) + Guests : Jack Birchwood (Cuivres), Ian Cooper (Vilon, Cello, Viola), BJ Cole (Pedal Steel), Emily Lynn (Choirs), Julie Maguire (Choirs), Lara Smiles (Choirs), Mick Wilson (Choirs)


Artist : White Spirit

Album : Right or Wrong

Release Date : 29-07-2022

Added : 19-08-2022

Album of the playlist myprogmusic 2022 summer chronicles

With the album releases at the end of July and beginning of August, I will add a few more melodic nuggets to the summer playlist (here). So, we continue with the British of 'White Spirit'. Regarding this band, here's what can happen when you store these things badly: after a first eponymous album released in 1980 which had done well at the time, the group, with a few line-up changes, recorded a second album which would never see the light of day due to a separation of all the musicians while all titles are already on tape. Forty years later, after the death of 'Brian Howe', during a move, 'Mal Pearson' finally finds the tapes of this album and, after some technical exploits and with the participation of new artists both at the instrumental level than vocal (see the guests below), the album is finally out and we can finally put between our ears this melodic hard-rock which has not aged a bit during all this time with energetic and catchy compositions which put automatically starts the headbanging machine starting with the title song which delivers a memorable chorus on which 'Jeff Scott Soto' makes a remarkable vocal performance. The sequel continues in the same style, and everything is done to have a great time listening with references here and there to bands from that era like 'Deep Purple', 'Van Halen', 'Rainbow', 'Uriah Heep' or 'UFO'. Note that to pay tribute to 'Brian Howe', 'Steve Overland' covers 'Holly Water' from 'Bad Company'. In short, as we are used to say, it's better late than never because this unexpected album of 'White Spirit' is a good breath of melodic hard rock coming straight from the eighties and, 'Right or Wrong' is filled with accessible and very effective to consume without moderation...

Line Up / Musicians

Mal Pearson (Keybords), Mick Tucker (Guitar), Brian Howe (Vocal) + Guests : Russell Gilbrook (Drums), Neil Murray (Bass), Jeff Scott Soto (Vocal), Lee Small (Vocal), Steve Overland (Vocal)


Artist : Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate

Album : The Confidence Trick

Release Date : 29-07-2022

Added : 23-08-2022

After the beautiful 'Nostalgia for Infinity' dating from 2020, the English of 'Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate' only took two short years to offer us a new studio recording, 'The Confidence Trick' which is still dense since the set borders on 70 minutes. The duo 'Malcolm Galloway'/'Mark Gatland' therefore continues to offer us a sought-after and complex progressive rock that must be tamed little by little, listen after listen and this latest album is no exception to the rule. It's also a concept album which, I quote 'Malcolm Galloway', " is a collection of tracks on the theme of cognitive errors, particularly overconfidence... and our repeated failure to learn from history... We all better stop sometimes and ask ourselves: Why am I wrong? ".

On the menu of this magnificent opus, 13 compositions with 5 instrumentals alternating with the sung titles and we are welcomed by 'Silence Is a Statement' which unfolds a memorable first melody with electronic sounds and with a repetition of the musical phrase to send us the message: "When we say nothing, we speak. When we say nothing, silence is a statement" which reflects the expression: "Who says nothing, consents". Follows 'Back Where I Started', with a beautiful warmth in the singing of 'Malcolm Galloway' and a delicious performance of 'Kathryn Thomas' on the flute, the chorus "And when I find myself where I started, I leave the same mistakes repeat themselves…” which is hammered out several times, expresses the fact that man is incapable of learning from the mistakes of the past. With 'End of the Line', the soft atmosphere developed shows a hypnotic side accentuated by the nonchalant singing and flute tones which, this time, are much more peaceful. Change of scene with 'Perky Pat' which is the first instrumental with electronic effects and which highlights very beautiful keyboard sections, then, the short 'World War Terminus', more direct, renders very well a feeling of this race ahead of the human who thinks of solving problems by waging wars. More energetic than 'Perky Pat' in the introduction, the instrumental 'Pretending to Breathe' then turns into ambient music close to 'Jean-Michel Jarre', then 'Another Plague' is one of the major titles of the album with exceptional emotional strength in a magnificent crescendo to denounce, among other things, the harmful effects of government decisions during the health crisis. We arrive at the instrumental 'Refuge', which further raises the emotional slider, and which shows a resolutely contemporary and avant-garde progressive face with a limitless patchwork of influences, certainly forming the most sought-after title of the album and which makes me want to play it again every time I listen to it. More accessible than its predecessor, the instrumental 'Interlude' develops a 'Floydian' atmosphere, then, the title song is also a strong moment which alternates melancholic sections and other more energetic ones, unfolding magnificent melodic lines and which has a poignant ending. The end of the album scrolls through three shorter titles, first of all, the instrumental 'Lava Lamprey' tinged with a very endearing modern jazz, then 'All Empires Fall' is a more direct song with a spoken part of Very expressive 'Malcolm Galloway' to which very beautiful choirs respond and finally, 'Cygnus' closes this magnificent opus with a magnificent piano/voice duet which denounces the disastrous policy of governments, at the start of the first epidemic, sending medical first lines with the lack of means that we know. And to finish, I would like to highlight the very beautiful album cover made by 'Malcolm Galloway' showing all his artistic talent in this area.

In summary, it's another masterful opus from the English of 'Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate' who offer us, once again, a diversified progressive work with multiple influences that they know how to mix to make something something unique, which is intended for 'The Confidence Trick' for all lovers of a refined and ambitious progressive that will, without a doubt, be added to their ideal music collection...

Line Up / Musicians

Malcolm Galloway (Vocal, Guitar, Keybords), Mark Gatland (Bass, Guitar, Keybords, Choirs), Kathryn Thomas (Flute, Choirs)


Artist : Amanda Shires

Album : Take It Like A Man

Release Date : 29-07-2022

Added : 25-08-2022

Direction the United States with the seventh studio recording 'Take It Like A Man' of the American singer and violinist 'Amanda Shires' whose previous opus I reviewed 'To the Sunset' and which is now available since the end of July. In the meantime, she created the formation 'The Highwomen' with 'Brandi Carlile', 'Natalie Hemby' and 'Maren Morris' and whose first eponymous album of the group was released in 2019. In parallel, she continues her solo career accompanied by her husband 'Jason Isbell' and this latest baby shows an evolution of style partly printed by 'Lawrence Rothman' whom she had met when she had decided to stop the song, because we navigate in more intimate compositions alternating dark but so moving atmospheres and others much lighter.

From the start, we are under the spell of 'Hawk for the Dove' (see the video above) which shows a tormented face in a heavy and moving atmosphere while having a melodious melodic frame and 'Take it Like A Man', although more measured, continues in this striking climate in which Amanda's singing is of a palpable emotion that triggers the shiver so characteristic of deep listening emotion. With 'Empty Cups' (see the video here with 'Maren Morris'), the style is more serene, and we are pleasantly lulled by the melancholy melodic lines, then, 'Don't Be Alarmed' is a magnificent semi-acoustic ballad in which the crescendo brings an extraordinary force. Follows 'Fault Lines' which adds another fantastic emotional layer that Amanda' uses as a means of communication with her husband 'Jason Isbell' when the exchanges are no longer sufficient then, 'Here He Comes' slightly relieves the pressure with a composition lively while continuing to talk about complicated human relations topics. We remain musically in a more carefree atmosphere with 'Bad Behavior' (see the video here) and 'Stupid Love' which continue to deal with her relationship issues then, the singing of 'Amanda wants to be more playful on 'Lonely At Night' which shows a more classic face in a blues club atmosphere, the album ending with the beautiful melancholy ballad 'Everything Has Its Time'.

In summary, we can only thank 'Lawrence Rothman' for having stood firm against 'Amanda Shires' to offer her tailor-made compositions that she transcends throughout this album and 'Take It Like A Man' is a very emotional album which should reach a large audience, fans of moving songs on beautiful melodies...

Line Up / Musicians

Amanda Shires (Vocal, Violin), Lawrence Rothman (Keybords, Percussions, Guitar), Jason Isbell (Guitar), Fred Eltringham (Drums, Percussions), Julian Dorio (Drums, Percussions), Jimbo Hart (Bass), Peter Levin (Keybords, Organ, Piano), Brittney Spencer (Choirs), Maren Morris (Choirs), Austin Hoke (Cello), Kristin Weber (Violin), Kris Wilkinson (Viola), Ben Zelico (Keybords, Mellotron), Peter Stroud (Guitar), Audley Freed (Guitar), Marc Franklin (Trumpet), Art Edmaiston (Saxophone), Kirk Smothers (Saxophone), Kameron Whalum (Trombone)


Artist : Cyber Band

Album : The Light

Release Date : 29-07-2022

Added : 29-08-2022

It's another formation that is not making the buzz on the internet that I present to you today: 'Cyber Band' is a formation of three young Filipinos who have already released the album 'In My Dumb Perspective' in 2020 which was released on streaming platforms. Even if they are part of the generation of the 2000s, this first opus showed influences of artists from the 70s/80s with a style turned towards melodic pop. For this last opus, we find these same influences, but they diversify their style because 'The Light' includes a first part with more rock compositions and a second where we find pop melodies. From the first titles, we go back a few decades with a tasty patchwork of names that come to mind like 'Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young' ('First Light'), 'Led Zeppelin' ('Fire'), the 'Stones' ('One Way Ticket') or U2 ('Don't You Ever Give Up') and the album continues with other references like 'Pink-Floyd' ('Where Are You'), ' Alan Parsons' ('Wars'), The 'Beatles' ('Without A Doubt'), 'Elton John' ('Love'), the 'Beach Boys' (I'm Doing Fine') or even 'Eagles' ( 'A Million Things'). Also note the instrumental 'Aveda Kedavra' which merges different influences ranging from film music to jazzy atmospheres and the last title 'As I Sail' which, with its 7 minutes, brings a good dose of progressive with an incredibly epic central part surrounded by very original instrumental sections and a grand finale. In short, even if the production is not yet flawless, the three young Filipinos of 'Cyber Band' release a very good album, diversified and melodic and, 'The Light' should make happy all those who love pop and rock of the 70s/80s...

Line Up / Musicians

Andrew « Andoy » P. Patuasic (Guitar, Vocal), Isaac Villegas Abogatal (Guitar, Bass, Keybords, Choirs), Germund John Alacantara (Drums, Choirs)


Artist : Crystal Gates

Album : Torment & Wonder: The Ways of the Lonely Ones

Release Date : 29-07-2022

Added : 10-09-2022

After the Americans of 'Anthea' and the Russians of 'Imperial Age ', in the same style of music, I return to a symphonic metal album released at the end of July by the Uruguayans of 'Crystal Gates', 'Torment & Wonder: The Ways of the Lonely Ones'. Uruguay is not at first sight a famous country in this kind of music but this formation, created almost 10 years ago with a first EP 'A Quest of Life' in 2015, already showed all the qualities of this combo with a fairly average production. They return almost eight years later with a first studio recording and offer us good symphonic metal, the production having been much improved with a sound worthy of the major groups of the genre, the tenor 'Carolina Pérez' having nothing to envy to the best singers of this style.

They offer us a varied album of 10 compositions, and like the Americans of Anthea', the power side is highlighted thanks to a muscular rhythm section: witness the start of 'My Glorious Fall' which tumbles at hundred per hour after the short instrumental introduction 'The Way of the Lonely Ones' which slowly increases the pressure. We find this energy in other titles like the melodic 'Alive for the Journey' and 'Winter Ghost', but to a lesser extent because they are more diversified. In a more moderate style but just as effective, 'Moonshine & Sorrow' (see the video above) has a very danceable side to more classic symphonic metal and should work very well in public and the catchy 'Soul of Rain' and 'Nightmares', sporting catchy melodic lines, flirts with 'Xandria', 'Delain', 'Sirenia' or 'Imperia'. We can also note 'The Stars Temple' which shows an epic and majestic side with oriental melodic lines which reinforce this imposing side, and which constitutes one of my favorites of the album and, in this same majestic style, the Uruguayans also offer the beautiful 'A Lonely Dreamer's Wish', half ballad, half mid-tempo. But the centerpiece of the album is, without a doubt, the long final development 'Torment & Wonder' which takes us on a saga of symphonic metal alternating rhythmic changes and intensities, the whole offering a fair balance between sung parts and instrumental.

In summary, the Uruguayans of 'Crystal Gates' are releasing a very good album, certainly modeled on a fairly classic symphonic metal and influenced by the tenors of the genre, which should make fans of this genre happy. style and which should, for sure, be in the top five releases of this year in symphonic metal...

Line Up / Musicians

Benjamín Machín (Guitar), Carolina Pérez (Vocal), Guillermo Albano (Bass), Juan José Leyton (Keybords), Gastón Lorenzo (Drums)


Artist : Lessmann/Voss

Album : Rock Is Our Religion

Release Date : 22-07-2022

Added : 07-08-2022

Album of the playlist myprogmusic 2022 summer chronicles

In line with a melodic rock straight from the 80s, the German duo 'Claus Lessmann'/'Michel Voss', known for being the producers of 'Michael Schenker' released a first studio recording 'Rock Is Our Religion'. We therefore embark on a series of melodic hits and this, from the first titles, 'Medicine Man', 'Smoke Without A Fire' and 'Runaway Days' which unfold unifying hymns with heady refrains that give an irresistible desire to resume them in chorus. The suite is on the same level and quieter compositions allow to bring a beautiful variety to the whole with the mid-tempo 'Fight For Our Love', 'Take My Heart And Run' and 'Look Around' and the very beautiful ballad 'Slow Dance'. Note the cover of 'Sister Golden Hair' from the group 'America' released in 1975 which fits perfectly into the light and radiant atmosphere of the whole. In summary, the German producers 'Claus Lessmann' and 'Michel Voss' also show all their talent as composers and performers with this very beautiful album 'Rock Is Our Religion' which should appeal to an audience loving a harmonious and refined melodic rock. which takes us back a few decades...

Line Up / Musicians

Claus Lessmann (Vocal, Choirs, Guitar), Michel Voss (Vocal, Choirs, Guitar, Bass, Keybords) + Guests : Vincent Goly (Drums), Kenny Lessman (Drums), Martin Huch (Pedal Steel)


Artist : She Bites

Album : Super Hero

Release Date : 22-07-2022

Added : 08-08-2022

Album of the playlist myprogmusic 2022 summer chronicles

Unlike symphonic metal which very often puts forward female singers, in the field of melodic rock, singers are the majority and, 'She Bites' is a German melodic rock group which has always had front women since 'Melanie Stahlkopf' who officiated on the first album 'Joyride' has been replaced by 'Marion Welch' which is now the titular singer on this second album 'Super Hero'. The guitarist 'Lärs Konig' who is also the composer of the group, is not unknown since he also participates in other projects including 'Lioncage' and this last baby has its place in a summer playlist because all the compositions are very accessible and unfold harmonious melodies highlighted by the beautiful voice of 'Marion Welch' which brings a certain sweetness to the whole, even on the most energetic titles. The album starts in this way with 'Eye of the Storm' and 'Little Song' and, in the same style, we can also mention the catchy 'Running', 'Crazy', 'Holy Ground' and 'Say It'. When the group adopts more moderate atmospheres, we are also seduced by an enchanting AOR with the mid-tempo compositions that are 'Hunter', the eponymous title of the album, 'Ghost' and 'Out In The Open'. The composition 'Never ending Story' is particularly successful and alternates catchy parts and others calmer and we will not miss the ballad 'True Love' in which 'Dan Reed' and 'Marion Welch' offer us a very beautiful vocal duo. In summary, this second studio recording by the Germans of 'She Bites' is varied and offers accessible and classy melodic rock that is tamed from the first listen, which makes 'Super Hero' an album that lends itself very well to listening. during this summer...

Line Up / Musicians

Marion Welch (Vocal), Lärs Konig (Guitar), Arvid Lucas (Bass), Carsten Kohl (Drums) + Guest : Dan Reed (Vocal)


Artist : Fatal Vision

Album : Once

Release Date : 22-07-2022

Added : 09-08-2022

Album of the playlist myprogmusic 2022 summer chronicles

Fans of melodic rock of the 80s, you certainly do not know the Canadians of 'Fatal Vision' who formed in this decade which saw all the major formations of this style flourish but who did not, at the time, album release. It was only in 2019 that they decided to reform with, as a result, this first album 'Once', and, to get an idea, if you listen to 'Haven't We Been Here Before?' , you are likely to have the melody in your head all day and have a mad desire to play it over and over again just to give yourself a small dose of this catchy chorus. The rest may not be as addictive but pack in unstoppable melodies that could have done each a single some decades ago, starting with a catchy 'Hertbreaker' with a gorgeous, expressive saxophone intro, followed by a no less seductive 'Burning For You' and a radiant 'Open Your Eyes'. In the same luminous atmosphere, we can mention 'Little Rebel', 'Do You Remember Me?' or even 'Wings Of The Night' and when the light dims, we are also seduced by much calmer titles to add to the best melodic rock ballads with 'Into The Twilight', 'Time Keeps Slipping Away' and the title song which brings the album to a close. In summary, the Canadians of 'Fatal Vision' have done well to revive this project from the 80s because they offer us beautiful melodies which would have all been hits a few decades back, which makes 'Once' a natural addition. to my list of summer listens...

Line Up / Musicians

Simon Marwood (Vocal), Juan Miguel Gomez Montant (Guitar), Scottie Irving (Keybords), Andrew Burns (Bass), Alex Wickham (Drums)


Artist : Dreamtide

Album : Drama Dust Dream

Release Date : 22-07-2022

Added : 10-08-2022

Album of the playlist myprogmusic 2022 summer chronicles

After the Canadians of 'Fatal Vision' who reformed in 2019, it is the turn of the Germans of 'Dreamtide' to return to the forefront of the melodic hard-rock scene after a last album, 'Dream and Deliver' in 2008. It must also be said that the leader of this formation, 'Helge Engelke', has been busy during all these years, because he also has another project 'Fair Warning' with which he released 3 albums during this long period. 'Drama Dust Dream' is therefore the fourth offering of the German combo and, what an offering: 12 compositions of good hard-rock for a short hour of listening which begins with a wild 'Stop Being Deep' which reminds me, in certain places, of their compatriots from 'Scorpions' ('Olaf Senkbeil' has some vocal similarities with 'Klaus Meine'), then, 'Spin' continues on this path and is for me the hit of the album that we play over and over again. And if you have already started the headbanging machine on these first 2 compositions, you should also be seduced by the energetic 'All Of Us', 'Merciless Sun' and 'Leisure Saints'. But, and that's why this album is worth the detour, the Germans alternate other atmospheres which bring a very pleasant diversity of styles: first of all, in a more moderate style, the hymns 'Around' and ' Drop The Curtain' can be enjoyed with a desire to sing along to the refrains. Then, the small acoustic breaks 'Ni Dos Ni Aqua' and 'A Fairy Prank' allow well-deserved breaks and the two ballads 'Dawn' and 'For the Fairies' (the latter takes us back a few decades) are to be added to the best melodic rock ballads. For lovers of a more refined style, you will certainly like 'One Rule' with its construction which flirts with melodic progressive, and which makes me think of the atmospheres of certain titles of 'Sting'. In summary, the Germans of 'Dreamtide' offer us a very beautiful album, dense and varied which can be tasted with great pleasure from the first to the last composition and 'Drama Dust Dream' is certainly the most varied album of this summery selection, mixing rock, hard-rock, ballads and little acoustic breaks with beautiful accessible melodies...

Line Up / Musicians

Helge Engelke (Guitar), Olaf Senkbeil (Vocal), Thorsten Lüderwaldt (Keybords), Lars Lehmann (Bass), Host Guntram (Drums)


Artist : Oknos

Album : From Ashes

Release Date : 22-07-2022

Added : 18-08-2022

After the progressive metal of 'Atomic Symphony' and the festive power metal of 'Fellowship', here is a new metal release but in symphonic with the Germans of 'Oknos' who had not released an album since 2017, date of their first opus 'Old World'. It will therefore have taken 5 years for this 'From Ashes' to see the light of day and, for the occasion, it should be emphasized that the band put on a great spread because, if you look at all the people who participated in this new baby of the Germans in addition to the members of the group, the cast is impressive with the addition of a large number of classical instruments and many choirs and I have spared you the list of names of the children's choir (we will talk about it again). It's not a concept album with a plot and the topics covered are as diverse as the persecution of witches, the myth of Lorelei, adventures, friendship, hate, death, love and hope. Another point to note, the singer 'Anna' who officiated on the first album has been replaced by 'Johanna Bensmann' which offers remarkable vocal performances throughout the album.

With 16 compositions (for more than an hour of listening), 'From Ashes' is very varied and alternates different atmospheres and styles, the whole being focused on classic symphonic metal, orchestral arrangements and vocals being particularly worked and often bringing an imposing sound breadth which is particularly adapted to this style of music. After the epic introduction 'Confrontation' reminiscent of the atmospheres of 'Nightwish', (especially thanks to the flute) and integrating magnificent choirs, the hit 'Haven of Tranquility' offers a catchy first title with harmonious melodic lines, then, 'Everything Affects Everything' continues in powerful symphonic metal with a chorus that never leaves you and 'Rotten to the Core' follows suit with a new energetic title. In this direct and melodic style, we can also mention the 'Lost in the Matrix' whose introduction reminds me of certain atmospheres of 'Therion', 'World of Insanity', in a more modern style, with some electro effects, but also the melodic jewel 'Searching' that the Dutch of 'Delain' would certainly not have denied and finally 'Heresy' which is certainly the most fitting composition of the whole album. Between all this power deployed, the strength of the Germans is to integrate other more measured compositions with the very beautiful 'Coming Home' (see video here), but also 'Burning Heart ' (see video here) and the mid-tempo 'From Ashes' which can recall the style of 'Within Temptation' or even 'Loreley' (see video here),, introduced by 'Waves', which unrolls a slow addictive rhythm with very beautiful melodic lines and with remarkable vocal arrangements. We can also mention the radiant 'Inner Voice' which brings a touch of folk, and which is very catchy with its chorus giving this irresistible desire to take it up in chorus but also the beautiful instrumental break 'Memories' highlighting the classical instruments. And to end this very beautiful album, the 8 minutes of 'Power of Mind' are a good summary of the whole and show all the talent of composer of 'Johannes Erdmann' which offers us a magnificent title with all the ingredients that the we want to find in symphonic metal and even more with the participation of a children's choir, a process that was used, also with great success by 'Christofer Johnsson' in the very beautiful 'Children of the Stone: After the Inquisition' from the 2010 album 'Sitra Ahra'.

In summary, this second album of the Germans of 'Oknos' shows all the progress compared to the first and is a total success, thanks in particular to the quality of the compositions of 'Johannes Erdmann' but also to the orchestral and vocal arrangements which remarkably densify the whole and, for my part, 'From Ashes' will certainly be one of the best symphonic metal revelations of 2022...

Line Up / Musicians

Johanna Bensmann (Vocal), Johannes Erdmann (Guitar, Trumpet, Cor d’harmonie), Benjamin Offeney (Guitar), Arne Kinast (Bass), Philipp Schräder (Keybords, Flute, Saxophone, Choirs), Sebastian Brunn (Drums) + Guests : Georgi Gürov (flûte), Thorsten Scholz (Trumpet), Ferdinand Pottoff (Cor d’harmonie, Trumpet, Trombone), Charlotte Wolff (Violin), Magdalena Sokolov-Korbel (Violin), Elsa Joppich (Violin), Lara Schaiper (Violin), Angela Irnich (Violin), Sophia Rogge (Violin), Waldemar Berger (Accordion) + Choirs : Friedemann Petter, Johannes Erdmann, Philippe Schräder, Johannes Ludwig, Simon Littlejohn, Marius Strenger, Benjamin Offeney, Sebastian Brunn, Joshua Bredemeier, Arne Kinast, Sinas Bredemier, Hannah Altevogt, Annika Wesselkampt, Johanna Bensmann, Kristin Hartmann, Franziska Hochäuser, Lara Schaper, Marina Bachmann, Nadine Gausann, Jelena Herdmann, Andrea Schräder, Angela Irnich


Artist : COMPASS

Album : Theory of Tides

Release Date : 22-07-2022

Added : 20-08-2022

I presented to you in 2020 his first album with his project 'COMPASS', 'Our Time on Earth', and 'Steve Newman' returns with a second offering 'Theory of Tides' which tells us about the life and works of the famous astronomer and scientist Galileo Galilei. Always driven by a desire to embark on long developments to bring a progressive side that he cannot offer in his AOR project 'NEWMAN', he concocted 8 compositions for us between 5 and 10 minutes in a mixture of rock and progressive metal with always this melodic constant allowing an almost immediate approach.

And it is with the longest title, 'Mountains on the Moon', that the album begins with an introduction which slowly increases in power, and which then delivers some sharp guitar riffs leading to a melodic section with a very beautiful guitar solo, the sung part arriving after more than three minutes and showing a more subdued face with a magnificent chorus. This composition already shows this delicious alternation of energetic atmospheres and other calmer ones, then, 'Searching for Answers' continues in this way and this title makes me think of the atmospheres developed by the Canadians of 'Saga' in the vocal parts, 'Ben Green' having much the same expressive vocals as 'Michael Sadler'. Same impression with the following title 'The Assayer', which begins in an energetic way, but which continues to take us into variations of intensities and original rhythms which requires several listens to draw all its richness, then, 'Once in a Lifetime' is certainly the composition which most highlights these rhythmic changes between catchy sections close to the AOR and other much calmer ones, the transitions being done very naturally. We then attack the centrepiece of the album, 'Laws of Nature', in three parts, which is a progressive saga in which it is good to get lost and let yourself be tossed around according to the melodic and rhythmic changes, the whole always remaining very accessible thanks to the paw of the outstanding melodist that is 'Steve Newman'. And to end this beautiful journey, the title song shows a more dancing face with a catchy rhythm that gives you ants in the legs and with a magnificent last guitar solo in the second part of the title.

In summary, thanks to artists highlighting the compositions of the Englishman, 'Steve Newman' confirms with 'Theory of Tides' all the good that we thought of him with his first album and offers us new compositions combining accessible melodic lines, catchy rhythms and original progressive research which highlight multiple influences, but which require a few repeated listens to draw all the substantive marrow...

Line Up / Musicians

Ben Green (Vocal), Steve Newman (Guitar, Keybords), Dave Bartlett (Bass), Toni Lakush (Drums)


Artist : Palace

Album : One 4 The Road

Release Date : 15-07-2022

Added : 03-08-2022

Album of the playlist myprogmusic 2022 summer chronicles

I presented you the last 'Palace' in 2020 with 'Rock and Roll Radio' and the singer and multi-instrumentalist 'Michael Palace' continues his road with a new album 'One 4 The Road' which he has again entirely realized, from the composition to the production by also ensuring all the instrumental registers. On this latest opus, various singers known from the melodic hard-rock scene have collaborated and who come to reinforce the vocal section for an always perfect result. And I could not even extract a few titles that marked me the most because each composition gave me a great immediate listening pleasure: at the start, 'Fifteen Minutes' puts you in the bath with its addictive melody, then 'Westbound' drives the point home with a catchy new chorus and the catchy 'Too Old for This' gives you an irresistible desire to accompany the chorus in choirs. The sequel is on the same level with melodic lines as harmonious as ever and 'The Driver' is to be added to the best ballads of AOR. In short, 'Michael Palace' shows once again all his talent for memorable melodies and, of Lithuanian origin, it is perhaps not by chance that he migrated to Sweden, a country which is renowned for being one of the greatest purveyors of rock and melodic hard-rock in the world...

Line Up / Musicians

Michael Palace (Vocal, Guitar, Bass, Keybords, Drums, Harmonica, Saxophone) + Guests : Harry Hess (Vocal), Goran Edman (Vocal), Jakob Samuel (Vocal), Toby Hitchcock (Vocal)


Artist : Taz Taylor Band

Album : Nocturnal

Release Date : 15-07-2022

Added : 04-08-2022

Line Up / Musicians

Taz Taylor (Guitar), Val Trainor (Drums), Barney Firks (Bass), Richie Klaar (Guitar) + Guests : David Reece (Vocal), Mark Boals (Vocal), Graham Bonnet (Vocal), Doogie White (Vocal)


Artist : Orianthi

Album : Live from Hollywood

Release Date : 15-07-2022

Added : 05-08-2022

Album of the playlist myprogmusic 2022 summer chronicles

Strangely, the Australian singer and guitarist 'Orianthi' is not very well known in Europe but she is one of the essential artists of the global melodic rock and hard-rock scene. With a well-filled CV (she has collaborated, among others, with 'Mickael Jackson', 'Carlos Santana' or even 'Alice Cooper'), she released a live album recorded at Hollywood's 'Bourbon Room' on January 8, 2022, and the setlist, (rather short because it does not exceed the hour), highlights a variety of styles ranging from rock to hard-rock through blues/rock and the concert atmosphere shows a real complicity with its audience which creates a very good atmosphere. And from the first title 'Contagious', from his latest album 'O', we are under the spell of this catchy style which gives a great energy and which unrolls a first memorable melody then, the titles follow one another without downtime with some nice interactions with the public and the quieter moments are not forgotten with 'Blues Don't Leave Me Alone' and 'How Do You Sleep' which are very good and torrid blues/rock. In summary, this live performance of the beautiful Australian 'Orianthi' highlights all the talent of this artist who takes on her full dimension in concert to convey to the public all her feeling, whether through her powerful singing but also through her guitar, the solos being of great beauty and having given me on several occasions this little shiver characteristic of an intense listening pleasure...

Line Up / Musicians

Orianthi (Guitar, Vocal), Nick Mayfield (Guitar), Carmen Vandenberg (Guitar), Justin Andres (Bass), Michael Bearden (Keybords), Glen Sobel (Drums)


Artist : Phil Vincent

Album : No Respect

Release Date : 15-07-2022

Added : 06-08-2022

Album of the playlist myprogmusic 2022 summer chronicles

After 'Stigmata' en 2021 and the other album 'Quantum 8' with his 'D'Ercole' project in early 2022, 'Phil Vincent' continues his breakneck pace of recording albums and July 2022 saw the release of his new baby 'No Respect'. We therefore find the punchy and percussive style of the American who offers us this time 10 compositions for 41 minutes of listening and, at the start, 'Nobody Cares' sends us a good dose of heavy metal with a big sound supported by an energetic rhythm section. We find this heavy atmosphere on most ('War Arrow', 'The Rifleman', 'Fair Game', 'Feel so Bad' and 'When Will It End?') and 'Make It Last' and 'Anywhere at All' can remind some riffs of 'Status Quo'. And in the middle of all this sound power, some compositions are more moderate and the 'Road to Nowhere' and 'Since I Lost You' bring a variety to the whole. In short, between hard-rock and metal and as stipulated on its page bandcamp, the "one man band" 'Phil Vincent' continues to shower us with melodies that we immediately assimilate and, for all lovers of big sound with a singer with a powerful voice, you should subscribe to his latest opus 'No Respect'...

Line Up / Musicians

Phil Vincent (Vocal, Tous les instruments), Max Piccolo (Drums, Percussions), Vince O'Regan (Guitar)


Artist : Alan Parsons

Album : From the New World

Release Date : 15-07-2022

Added : 15-08-2022

Album of the playlist myprogmusic 2022 summer chronicles

And to end this summer playlist of albums released in July 2022 on a high note, this latest album from Alan Parsons' 'From the New World' is quite appropriate for listening in this hot period by the pool. After his latest album 'The Secret' which had been one of the very good surprises in 2019 and despite his concert cancellations for medical reasons which did not allow me to see him at the Colmar wine fair, I made up for it with the very beautiful DVD 'The Neverending Show: Live in the Netherlands' released at the end of 2021 and the magnificent blu-ray 'One Note Symphony: Live in Tel Aviv' from early 2022. This latest album 'From the New World' shows that the Englishman is still very active at 73 and allows us to recover between ears a new cake full of memorable melodies.

And hearing the first notes of 'Fare Thee Well', a few shivers of pleasure accompany me so much we find the atmospheres deployed at the end of the 70s and this title would have had its place in an 'I Robot' or in 'Eye In The Sky'. The suite also shows this 'Alan Parsons' touch with melodies that give the impression of having always been part of our life, bringing at every moment this nostalgic and somehow timeless side of these compositions which, gently, deliciously touch our soul. We therefore get caught up in the game, once again, to listen religiously to these first 9 titles which seem to me difficult to classify so much each one brings its share of listening pleasure. Indeed, although the album offers 11 titles, for me, they are 9 original titles since the last two compositions are in fact covers: first of all, 'Alan Parsons' who titled his album 'From the New World ' in reference to the post-global health crisis, gives us a wink by taking up one of the movements of the 9th symphony of the new world by Antonin Dvorak ' of which one of the students, ' William Arms Fisher ', had added lyrics and which is a moving elegy of the threshold of death. But, not to end on this melancholy note, the last title and a cover of 'Be My Baby' by the 'Ronnettes' which closes the album on a happy note.

In summary, even if some will regret an absent progressive side, 'Alan Parsons' takes us back a few decades with melodic lines that are still of high quality and, 'From the New World' will, without no doubt, happy among historical fans but will be able to reach a very large audience because all the compositions are very accessible from the first listen...

Line Up / Musicians

Alan Parsons (Vocal, Guitar, Keybords) + Guests : Dan Tracey (Vocal), David Pack (Vocal), James Durbin (Vocal), Mark Mikel (Vocal), P.j. Olsson (Vocal), Tabitha Fair (Vocal), Todd Cooper (Vocal, Saxophone), Tommy Shaw (Vocal), Kim Bullard (Keybords), Matt Mccarrin (Keybords), Doug Powell (Keybords), Tom Brooks (Keybords), Guy Erez (Bass), Joe Bonamassa (Guitar), Mika Larson (Cello), Danny Thompson (Drums)


Artist : Fellowship

Album : The Saberlight Chronicles

Release Date : 15-07-2022

Added : 17-08-2022

'Fellowship' is a newcomer to the wonderful world of power metal which is now populated by many bands with, for example and to name only albums released in 2022, the 'Powerwolf', 'Signum Regis', 'Trick or Treat', 'Serious Black' or 'Battle Beast', each delivering memorable anthems that come into your head immediately. For all those who are fond of the groups mentioned, you will not be out of place with this first album 'The Saberlight Chronicles', because the English have concocted 12 tracks for us with choruses to be repeated at the top of your voice.

Let's go with a joyful 'Until the Fires Die' (see the video above) in a universe of power fantasy with a first title with an addictive chorus and if you're not tempted to play this first again title in loop, you can stop there because the continuation is with the image of this first devastating title. Indeed, each composition that follows contains an unstoppable melody and has all the ingredients of a festive power metal: a rhythm section that tumbles at high speed with double pedals at every street corner, guitars delivering incisive riffs, a singer who does not spare himself and, in this case, who offers us remarkable vocal performances, and epic orchestral arrangements at will. And as often in this case, the simple melodic lines always give the impression of already knowing them by heart, which means that some will find the album too linear. But, in defense of the English, it is precisely this immediate efficiency that they are looking for to strike us with memorable refrains. And to completely fulfil the specifications inherent in this type of album, the ballad break is not forgotten with 'Silhouette' which deploys a new addictive melody.

In summary, with this first album filled with melodies of formidable efficiency which loop in the head, the English of 'Fellowship' have chosen to privilege the carefree and immediate side of power metal which should quickly raise to the same level as the tenors of the genre...

Line Up / Musicians

Matthew Corry (Vocal), Sam Browne (guitares), Brad Wosko (Guitar), Daniel Ackerman (Bass), Callum Tuffen (Drums)


Artist : Journey

Album : Freedom

Release Date : 08-07-2022

Added : 24-07-2022

In the series "it's in the old pots that we make the best soups", it's the turn of the Americans of 'Journey' to remember our good memories, because after 'Eclipse' in 2011, it was a radio silence for 11 long years for this legendary group which made the beautiful days from the AOR in the 70s/80s with no less than 9 albums, ranging from The self-titled album in 1975 at 'Raised On Radio' in 1986. So, what about this 2022 'Journey' cuvée? The least we can say is that it's a dense album since the Americans offer us 15 titles for nearly 75 minutes of listening and, to begin with, the fans of the group of the first two decades will not be confused because we find in half compositions which made the popularity of 'Journey' with melodies that we immediately appropriate and with choirs always so radiant. We can cite the melodic hits that are the classy 'Together We Run', 'Don't Give Up on Us' with its addictive chorus, the catchy 'You Got The Best Of Me' and 'Don't Go', the mid -tempo 'The Way We Used To Be' already known for a year now and 'United We Stand' in the same register which can also recall the best of 'Foreigner' or the rhythmic 'All Day, All Night'. And when 'Journey' pushes the sound slightly and borders on a more muscular melodic hard rock, the 'Come Away With Me', 'Let It Rain' and 'Holdin On' can confuse some of them but allow to vary the styles taking into account the album density. And then, you can imagine, the quieter moments are not forgotten and are very well represented with no less than three very beautiful ballads which are 'Still Believe In Love', 'Live To Love Again' and 'After Glow'. And to finish, the 7 minutes of 'Beautiful as You Are' mix softness and radiant AOR what constitutes a good summary of the album with a last melody which does not leave you anymore. In summary, the kings of the AOR of the 70s/80s offer us a dense and varied album, and the title 'Freedom', in these troubled times, brings us back to a time when this notion of freedom still had a real meaning, the proof is with these luminous and harmonious melodies which have now become timeless...

Line Up / Musicians

Arnel Pineda (Vocal), Jonathan Cain (Keybords, Choirs), Neal Schon (Guitar, Choirs), Randy Jackson (Bass, Choirs), Narada Michael Walden (Drums, Choirs), Deen Castronovo (Choirs), Jason Deralta (Choirs)


Artist : Powerwolf

Album : The Monumental Mass: A Cinematic Metal Event

Release Date : 08-07-2022

Added : 26-07-2022

The Germans of 'Powerwolf' released ' Call of the Wild' in 2021 but, deprived of concerts because of what you know and, knowing the search for the spectacular of this power metal band, here we are in 2022 with the DVD/Blu-Ray release of the pharaonic project which had been broadcast in livestream between December 17 and December 22, 2021, satisfying all fans of the combo with in particular a festival of impressive pyrotechnic effects. It's a kind of best off of their best compositions for 1 hour and a quarter of a show and everything is done to impress us because all the addictive hymns of the 'Germans' follow one after the other. Consequently, musically, nothing new since these are already known titles but to give you an idea of the visual aspect of this show, 3 videos are available on the site of 'Napalm Records': in the order of the set list, first 'Venom Of Venus', then 'Glaubenskraft' and finally 'Demons Are A Girl's Best Friend. In short, no need to add more, with this grandiose show, the Germans of 'Powerwolf' still set the bar a little higher in bombast. We already have a good overview with the CD which shows an irreproachable production and a beautiful burst of energy of a concert atmosphere, but 'The Monumental Mass' cannot be conceived without the image because everything has been implemented for a unique musical show...

Line Up / Musicians

Attila Dorn (Vocal), Falk Maria Schlegel (Keybords), Charles Greywolf (Guitar), Matthew Greywolf (Guitar), Roel van Helden (Drums)


Artist : Crossing Rubicon

Album : Perfect Storm

Release Date : 08-07-2022

Added : 31-07-2022

Album of the playlist myprogmusic 2022 summer chronicles

To start, in chronological order of releases, it is the Americans of 'Crossing Rubicon' who are in the spotlight with a new project born from the collaboration of multi-instrumentalist/producer 'Cenk Eroglu' and singer 'John Bisaha'. In an AOR style bringing us back to the best of the 80s, they offer us 11 compositions in the style of 'Foreigner' or 'Journey' and the duo recorded this first family album because the sons of 'Cenk Eroglu' are part of the adventure with Efe on guitar and keyboards and Reis Ali on drums, to which we must add the participation in the singing of the companion of 'John Bisaha', 'Holly Bisaha'. In summary, we have a great time listening to this 'Perfect Storm' with various compositions alternating energetic atmospheres ('Perfect Storm', 'Reason to Die', 'On the Run', 'Cry Me a River' , 'Time (Without You') and quieter moments ('Scar', 'Tool Late', '100 Thousand Years', 'Never Again', 'Get Away', 'Crash & Burn')...

Line Up / Musicians

Cenk Eroglu (Guitar, Keybords), John Bisaha (Vocal, Bass), Efe Eroglu (Guitar, Keybords), Reis Ali Eroglu (Drums) + Guests : Holly Bisaha (Vocal), Reb Beach, Pat Mastelotto, Ray Coburn


Artist : Altaria

Album : Wisdom

Release Date : 08-07-2022

Added : 01-08-2022

Album of the playlist myprogmusic 2022 summer chronicles

The second chronicle of this summer period is dedicated to the Finns of 'Altaria' who began their career in 2003 with two albums in stride 'Invitation' in 2003 and 'Divinity' in 2004. Followed 'The Fallen Empire' and 'Unholy', respectively in 2006 and 2009, then nothing until 2018, the year during which they decided to continue the 'Altaria' adventure with a new album 'Wisdom' which was due to be released in 2019 but which, due to the health crisis, has only been available since the beginning of July 2022. They therefore offer us a new slab of 10 compositions made of good melodic hard-rock with memorable refrains which bring a pleasure to immediate listening starting with the eponymous title of the album and we can also quote the addictive melody of 'Diablo Roj o', the energetic 'Power to Heal', 'Sometimes' which takes us back to the 80s with a little air of 'Survivor', just like 'Victory of Winter' and 'History of Times to Come' which follow with new melodies to sing along to. We won't miss either the 8 minutes of 'Crimson Rain' and the last title 'Kingdom of the Night' but we can regret the absence of ballads which would have allowed some breaks. In summary, the Finns of 'Altaria' are back with a good melodic hard-rock album that should please all fans of the genre...

Line Up / Musicians

Taage Laiho (Vocal), Pétri Aho (Guitar), JP Alanen (Guitar), Marko Pukkila (Bass), Tony Smedjebacka (Drums)


Artist : Cleanbreak

Album : Coming Home

Release Date : 08-07-2022

Added : 02-08-2022

Album of the playlist myprogmusic 2022 summer chronicles

We continue our summer series with the Americans of 'Clenbreak' led by 'James Durbin' who release a new album, 'Coming Home', in a melodic heavy metal style with powerful compositions which parade happily one behind the other, ' James Durbin' providing all the vocal power needed, 'Mike Flyntz' sharp guitar-driven riffs repeatedly triggering the headbanging machine and 'Perry Richardson'/'Robert Sweet' rhythm section providing the perfect accompaniment throughout . In short, no need to add more, I let you discover this very beautiful album 'Coming Home' which is a suite of hits with melodies that we immediately appropriate and which should make any fan of a bright and powerful heavy metal...

Line Up / Musicians

James Durbin (Vocal), Mike Flyntz (Guitar), Perry Richardson (Bass), Robert Sweet (Drums)


Artist : Atomic Symphony

Album : Hybris

Release Date : 08-07-2022

Added : 16-08-2022

'Atomic Symphony' is a Swiss formation created in 2015 as a symphonic metal band with a first album, 'Redemption' and which evolved towards progressive metal that we discover with this second album which is now available since July 8, 2022.

6 tracks, for 42 minutes of listening, here is the menu of Hybris': after the short introduction 'Overture' which gently increases the pressure, in the form of an instrumental crescendo, the 10 minutes of ' Nightfall' tumbles by embarking us in powerful progressive metal with many changes of tempos and intensity while keeping a harmonious melodic framework that we appropriate very quickly. Follows the second long development 'Oath Taker' which is even more sought after and complex in the form of a sound labyrinth in which one abandons oneself with pleasure while browsing the multiple nooks and crannies and, like its predecessor, it shows an immediate accessibility. at the melodic level with in particular influences mixing East and West, 'Jasmin Baggenstos' bringing in its song particularly delicious exotic scents. Follows 'Metamorphosis' which is an instrumental developing a more complex construction and which embeds a beautiful epic section in the second part, the end returning to a more technical part highlighting remarkable guitar and keyboard solos, then, without transition, the title song starts as the previous title ended and continues with a sung part whose chorus is more direct. The album ends with the 7 minutes of 'Chimera', more moderate and more direct, the progressive side being less present than in the two long developments of the beginning but brings beautiful variations of intensity throughout the title and memorable new melody lines.

In summary, 'Atomic Symphony' releases a very good progressive metal album that combines the complexity of this style with a fairly immediate accessibility thanks to melodic lines that we quickly appropriate and the compositions of Hybris' show that the Swiss, if they continue on this path, should very quickly increase their notoriety and compete with the sizes of this style...

Line Up / Musicians

Jasmin Baggenstos (Vocal), Roberto Barlocci (Guitar), Carlo Beltrame (Keybords), Thomas Spoegler (Bass, Guitar), Marc Friedrich (Drums, Choirs)


Artist : Amarok

Album : Hunt Live 2018

Release Date : 07-07-2022

Added : 22-07-2022

I reviewed his album 'Hunt' upon its release in 2017, and Amarok' bandleader 'Michal Wojtas', after 'The Storm' in 2019 and 'Hero' in 2021, just released a live recorded in Poznam in 2018 which contains 5 of the 9 compositions of 'Hunt'. Accompanied by 'Konrad Pajek' on guitar and backing vocals, 'Maciej Caputa' on keyboards and 'Paweł Kowalsk' on drums as well as the distinguished guest, British musician 'Colin Bass' ('Camel'), he takes us back to his atmospheric progressive universe led by aerial keyboards that take us back to the beginning of this style in the 70s, and parade 'Anonymous' and its subtle crescendo, the melodic and hovering 'Distorted Soul' with its haunting section of theremin and the haunting 'Winding Stair' with a vocal accompaniment on which we gives up completely, the album ending in apotheosis with the long development 'Hunt' and the magnificent 'Nuke' on which 'Colin Bass' lends his voice. In short, this short live from Amarok' allows you to come back to the very beautiful album that is 'Hunt' and, for those who are not yet familiar with this project, to discover a progressive musical universe to quietly enjoy the headphones on the ears...

Line Up / Musicians

Michał Wojtas (Vocal, Guitar, Keybords, Percussions, Drums Electronique, Theremin), Konrad Pajek (Guitar, Choirs), Maciej Caputa (Keybords), Paweł Kowalsk (Drums) + Guest : Colin Bass (Vocal)


Artist : Backfire

Album : The Two of Us

Release Date : 04-07-2022

Added : 08-10-2022

I come back to an album released in early July 2022 which did not make the buzz on the internet, and which is the work of the Italians of 'Backfire'. For this young group, 'The Two of Us' is a first album at the level of the best progressive metal bands, because, listen after listen, 'The Two of Us' gradually reveals all its density and richness and becomes an album to keep warm in his disco. First, this disc displays more than 80 minutes on the clock which could be considered by a lot of bands as a double CD. Then, for an amateur that I am of varied progressive mixing different styles, the Italians make us travel in multiple musical landscapes which go from a peaceful rock to energetic metal passing by pranks in jazzy atmospheres, all this with many successive tensions and relaxations. Finally, like any good formation of this type, they offer us, not one, but two long developments at the end of the album which together are worth the purchase of this opus.

To whet our appetite, the very short eponymous instrumental title gently increases the pressure with already a glimpse of the impeccable production, the bass lines already taking you to the guts, then, 'Omega', also instrumental, takes the relay for an ambitious first title which already shows in 6 minutes the full extent of the talent of 'Backfire' in an atmosphere unfolding an inventive and energetic first part at will, the guitars and the keyboards filling all the space and with then, two beautiful breaks in intensity, the second of which highlights a very beautiful guitar solo, the end of the title returning to a progressive metal with a swaying rhythm deploying enormous force with a very short but very original jazzy prank: we are already well left ! 'A Mind By Itself' follows suit by displaying a quiet first part, in which we discover the melodious singing of 'Naomi Gemignani', and hardens the subject quickly enough to become much more muscular, Naomi showing that she knows how to adapt admirably to the intensity of the moment, the melodic lines being always very catchy and the finale with Hindu scents bringing the transition to the following title 'Killed Freedom'. The beginning of the track flirts with fairly classic driving symphonic metal and, after 3 minutes, the break in intensity unfolds a disturbing atmosphere which continues on a slow and heavy tempo highlighting again the powerful vocals of 'Naomi Gemignani', the end of the title returning to the starting theme with a new remarkable guitar solo. The level does not weaken with 'A Story to Tell' which is still a digest of alternating intensity and completely addictive rhythms for any amateur or any lover of imaginative and creative progressive with in particular this jazzy section in the middle of the piece, then, we attack two compositions bordering on 10 minutes with, first of all, 'Lex Natularis' (see the video above) which is built in a series of tensions and relaxations and which makes very diversified musical landscapes follow one another who parade one behind the other for our greatest happiness. Follows 'The Illusion Of Life' which takes us into a 'Floydian' introduction which hardens quite quickly with a rhythmic alternating tempos and which introduces the singing of 'Naomi Gemignani' alternating memorable melodic lines and more tormented sections; At 4 minutes, there is a very calm part with a melancholy piano accompanying Naomi's singing which becomes very soft and then rises gradually and becomes extremely powerful and which gives way to a new extremely expressive guitar solo filled with a beautiful emotion, the finale returning to an instrumental part led by a fiery rhythm section with a last masterful vocal section of 'Naomi Gemignani'. To recover from all the energy deployed in the previous title, 'Fade Away' is the power ballad of the album which offers us a beautiful moment of emotion and, at the risk of repeating myself, shows an imperial 'Naomi Gemignani' and a long guitar solo by Alberto Barsi' completely addictive, the title ending in a calm atmosphere with a few piano notes: simply sublime. But, enough talk, I think I've already made your mouth water with the first 8 titles and, therefore, I won't describe the last two titles to you, which would make this column lengthen considerably. If you're still here reading these lines, I'll let you discover for yourself the 13 minutes of 'Ghoulish Sight' and the 17 minutes of Alpha' which contain everything that any progressive fan is looking for and which highlights everything I have already described in the previous compositions.

In summary, I don't need to draw you a picture, this first studio recording of the Italians of 'Backfire will certainly be for me on the podium of the progressive metal albums of the year 2022 and, if you are like me, amateur of a progressive mixing different influences and styles, you should, without a doubt, adopt 'The Two of Us'...

Line Up / Musicians

Giacomo Bruno (Keybords), Luca Riccomini (Bass), Alessandro Giusfredi (Drums), Naomi Gemignani (Vocal), Alberto Barsi (Guitar) + Guests : Ruben Marza (Saxophone)


Artist : CEN-ProjekT

Album : C4

Release Date : 01-07-2022

Added : 17-07-2022

Always very discreet on the web, the German 'Chris Engels' is nonetheless very active musically because after the release of 'The Lost One' at the start of 2022, albums are springing up like mushrooms and spotify presents three new ones with release dates so close together that it's hard to believe that all this production was done in a few months: the albums 'One' and 'The Wind' appear in May 2022 but their releases date a priori, respectively from 2020 and 2021. He also released the solo album 'Tesla' which can be heard on youtube here and this review is therefore about his latest album from the 'CEN-Projekt' project, 'C4', released a few days ago.

For this opus, the lyrics are borrowed from different poets and, musically, we find this progressive inherited from the 70s which had me much more in the previous album: 'Peace Restored' welcomes us with a catchy melody at the marked rhythm in a semi-acoustic atmosphere mixing folk and progressive influences, then, 'Arrival in the Land of Freedom' is quieter and deploys a slow tempo, the second part bringing a very beautiful break to start again on the starting theme . Follows 'Memory' which continues in this atmospheric progressive unrolling a new memorable melody, then, we will find this atmosphere later on titles like the very beautiful 'Bedouin Song', 'The Princess', 'The Two Friends' or even ' Solitude' which ends the album in style, the whole benefiting from remarkable vocal performances which can make one think of the atmospheres released by certain artists like 'Ray Wilson', 'Bjørn Riis' or 'Yogi Lang', lead singer of 'RPWL'.

In summary, it is still a beautiful album to be credited to the German 'Chris Engels' who takes care of all the stages, from composition to recording, bassist 'Wolfang Kropf' accompanying him on certain compositions, and this last album 'C4' should appeal to a whole audience that likes the references I mentioned above and we could add others who have released an album recently like the Germans of 'starfish64' or Norwegians from 'Laughing Stock' or even the English from 'Kaprekar's Constant'...

Line Up / Musicians

Chris Engels (Vocal, Tous les instruments), Wolfgang Kropf (Bass)


Artist : Derek Sherinian

Album : Vortex

Release Date : 01-07-2022

Added : 20-07-2022

His latest album 'The Phoenix' end date 2020 and keyboard player from 'Sons Of Apollo', 'Derek Sherinian', brings out a new opus with again an impressive list of renowned guitarists who each participate in at least one composition: we find 'Joe Bonamassa', 'Michael Schenker', 'Mike Stern', 'Nuno Bettencourt', 'Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal', 'Steve Lukather', 'Steve Stevens' and 'Zakk Wylde'. Built on a patchwork of different styles, he offers us 8 titles ranging from rock to funk through jazz and metal, all this of course being part of sought-after and quite complex progressive paths in which our artists deploy all their talent, the whole always remaining very melodic. We are therefore embarked on an instrumental whirlwind taking us from energetic hard-rock with 'The Vortex' to an exotic 'Die Kobra' mixing East and West via a catchy 'Fire Horse', merging rock and jazz, climate which we also find in 'Seven Seas' but which this time alternates rock and jazz without forgetting the funky 'Key Lime Blues' and 'Nomad's Land' mixing jazz and funk reminiscent of 'Herbie Hanckock' in the 80s. And for fans of long developments, 'Aurora Australis' summarizes the whole by bringing together all the styles present on the album with a complex and imaginative construction in which 'Derek Sherinian' and 'Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal' demonstrate a very nice complementarity. In short, as he had already done with his last opus 'The Phoenix', 'Derek Sherinian' continues to offer us sought-after and imaginative compositions highlighting his talent as a composer and his virtuosity as an interpreter that he shares with the cream of the guitarists invited for the occasion, which makes 'Vortex' a very rich and very dense album intended for an informed public who like instrumental progressive music...

Line Up / Musicians

Derek Sherinian (Keybords), Simon Phillips (Drums), Tony Franklin (Bass) + Guests : Joe Bonamassa (Guitar), Michael Schenker (Guitar), Mike Stern (Guitar), Nuno Bettencourt (Guitar), Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal (Guitar), Steve Lukather (Guitar), Steve Stevens (Guitar), Zakk Wylde (Guitar)


Artist : Porcupine Tree

Album : Closure / Continuation

Release Date : 24-06-2022

Added : 06-07-2022

I guess you're like me, what could we curse these two years of Covid!! And yet, I've always been told that out of every bad thing comes good. Well, this new 'Porpucine Tree' album is the good thing that might not have seen the light of day without these years of global pandemic. Indeed, the leader of the group 'Steven Wilson' had implied that the confinement had made it possible to rework certain compositions which he had written 7 years earlier with 'Richard Barbieri' without any follow-up at the time. So, after the last album 'Incident' released in 2009 and which hadn't necessarily hit the headlines, is the 2022 'Closure / Continuation' a good vintage?

Might as well tell you right away, 'Porcupine Tree' has not only lost none of its avant-gardism, but the trio's long years as a soloist are certainly a major asset in this latest opus because we really have the impression that they were able to bring about a kind of perfect fusion between their different musical experiences while keeping the progressive spirit of 'Porcupine Tree' because, for my part, apart from the label of 'progressive music ', I could not put any other for this formation completely apart in the musical landscape. The result is therefore an album from the 2020s and not a rehash of 'Porcupine Tree' from the 2000s and I'm not even talking about the impeccable production.

We therefore embark on a dense and intense musical whirlwind which necessarily requires that we linger there to draw all its richness and in which we find a whole heritage of several decades of different styles of music. The sequence of compositions was certainly not made at random because, one has a feeling of being the captain of a boat which navigates alternately in dismounted waters then much calmer which gives an admirable feeling of a succession tension and relaxation. And, within this duality, each composition also brings its share of contrasts brought by structures that are often complex (highlighting an always remarkable playing on the drums of 'Gavin Harrison') but which remain melodically accessible and is perhaps the greatest strength of 'Porcupine Tree' to reconcile density, complexity, and accessibility. And as you will have understood, I will not launch into title by title because dissecting each composition at a certain moment makes no sense: to take only the first two titles, depending on the time of listening, I will certainly be more sensitive to 'Harridan' (see video above) and its communicative ardor and, at another time, 'Of The New Day' (see video here) will be more beneficial for escaping me, for a moment, by letting the music gently insinuate itself into my spirit.

In summary, if I am asked to define the music in 2022 of 'Porcupine Tree', I will simply say that it is a kind of musical marker of our time which merges and crystallizes all the musical currents of music rock of the last 50 years. And finally, to choose, in 'Closure / Continuation', I definitely opt for 'Continuation'...

Line Up / Musicians

Steven Wilson (Vocal, Guitar, Keybords), Richard Barbieri (Keybords), Gavin Harrison (Drums)


Artist : Eye of Melian

Album : Legends of Light

Release Date : 24-06-2022

Added : 05-07-2022

The announcement of the separation of 'Delain' in 2021 had caused a stir in the world of symphonic metal, then, each member of the group left for other projects, 'Charlotte Vessels' releasing the solo album 'Tales From Six Under Feets' which showed another side of the singer, guitarist 'Timo Somers' going to participate in the latest album 'Revel In Time' from Arjen Anthony Lucassen's 'Star One' project, bassist 'Otto Schimmelpenninck van der Oije' joining melodic death/doom metal band 'Coldbound' and drummer 'Joey Marin de Boer' participating in several projects including alternative rock/metal band 'Dear Mother'. As for keyboardist 'Martijn Westerholt', he has created a new project, 'Eye Of Melian', with Finnish singer 'Johanna Kurkela', partner of keyboardist 'Tuomas Holopainen' from 'Nightwish' with whom she shares the project 'Auri'. With the American lyricist 'Robin La Joy', the Finnish orchestral arranger and producer 'Mikko P. Mustonen', to whom we can add renowned guests, they offer us their first album 'Legends of Light' resulting from crowdfunding .

To introduce you to this album, I will use the very beautiful (and very fair) presentation of their page bandcamp: " Come wander a star-less void, find solace in a silent snow-covered forest, and sail past the edge of the map. This is Eye of Melian. Eye of Melian's music has been described as lush symphonic movie score-like music - unfolding epic and elegant storyscapes in the mind. Their fantasy inspired music and lyrical themes readily whisk the listener away to otherworldy realms. ". We are therefore taken into a musical universe made of sweetness and serenity in which the teamwork of the four artists is a pure delight: the atmosphere of the compositions of 'Martijn Westerholt' are a real source of escape, the orchestrations of 'Mikko P. Mustonen' brings that little extra which largely contributes to the magical side, the lyrics of 'Robin La Joy Westerholt', Martijn's wife, add a poetic and imaginary dimension and, finally, the angelic voice of 'Johanna Kurkela ' makes us rise warm on a cozy little cloud from the beginning to the end of this very beautiful album.

In summary, 'Eye Of Melian' is a very special project that takes us to imaginary lands by immersing ourselves in enchanting music filled with tranquility and, I often borrow this stanza of the invitation to travel by 'Charles Baudelaire' which is still fully adapted to 'Legend of Lights': "there, all is order and beauty, luxury, calm and voluptuousness"...

Line Up / Musicians

Martijn Westerholt (Keybords, Choirs), Johanna Kurkela (Vocal), Robin La Joy Westerholt (Choirs), Mikko P. Mustonen (Orchestrations) + Guests : Troy Donockley (Bagpipe, Flutes), Leah (Vocal), Shir-Ran Yinon (Violin, Viola)


Artist : Dawn of Destiny

Album : Of Silence

Release Date : 24-06-2022

Added : 07-07-2022

The Germans of 'Dawn of Destiny' are already around 15 years old and after 'To Hell' in 2015 and 'The Beast Inside' in 2019, here is their 8th studio recording, 'Destiny Of Silence'. I've always liked this group, which has evolved over time, so much so that we've given them a lot of labels related to metal: power, death, trash (perhaps excessive), gothic, dark and finally symphonic, which is not false in itself and which finally shows the variety of styles. Of course power metal is a kind of common thread because everything is done to offer us incisive and powerful guitar riffs throughout the album and for the rest, at first listen, we find this patchwork of styles described above and more or less integrated into the 13 compositions and the big hour of listening to 'Destiny Of Silence'.

And to start, the long development 'We Are Your Voice' contains quite a few different ingredients with a sought-after construction alternating different intensities but also with remarkable symphonic arrangements and a particularly rich vocal section thanks to the magnificent duet mixed 'Jeanette Scherff'/'Jens Faber' who offers us a very expressive first performance. Lovers of big riffs that make you headbang to your head, follows a huge 'Judas In Me' which overthrows everything in its path with a simple but so effective melody, then, 'Childhood' adds a layer with lines addictive melodies that come close to what the Germans of 'Mono Inc.'. In a hellish train, then tumbles 'Say My Name' which can recall certain compositions of 'Therion' thanks to rich vocal arrangements and melodic lines close to what 'Christofer Johnsson' composes, then, change of scenery with the tribal rhythm of 'White Mystery' which strikes us a powerful hymn with accelerations in which 'Jeanette Scherff' deploys an energetic song alternating with furious growls of 'Jens Faber'. With 'Not The Way Is', the catchy melodic lines continue in a catchy rhythm and the memorable chorus can recall the fire and enthusiasm of the symphonic metal of 'Visions Of Atlantis', then, place at the moment ballad with 'Little Flower' which offers a very classic melody but so effective which should see a whole audience swinging their arms slowly from left to right in concert with this additional tone at the end of the title bringing an additional emotion. Given the diversity of this first part of the album, the compositions passed very quickly and the second part continues on the same rhythm, with 'Burning Heart' which brings us back again to 'Mono Inc.' with its catchy melody and the deep voice of 'Jens Faber' which sounds like 'Martin Engler', then 'Silence' is a new ballad, just as addictive as the first, which is followed by 'Run' with its joyful chorus to be sung in concert and 'The Curse' continues in this direction with new catchy melodic lines, a string accompaniment that fits very well with the lively rhythm and a remarkable guitar solo. And the album ends on a high note with, first of all, a very pleasant dancing 'Inner Voice' and its catchphrase which is likely to run through your head all day and, then, the long and very original development which brings together a classic piano with saturated guitar riffs and which offers a construction containing several different parts bringing a slight dose of progressive.

In summary, the Germans of 'Dawn Of Destiny' release a very beautiful album, varied, dense and melodic which can be listened to with happiness from the first to the last composition without any weariness: whether you are an amateur or lover of power metal, symphonic metal, gothic metal or even melodic metal, you should, without a doubt, adhere fairly quickly to this 'Of Silence'...

Line Up / Musicians

Jeanette Scherff (Vocal, Choirs), Jens Faber (Bass, Piano, Vocal, Choirs), Veith Offenbächer (Guitar), Dirk Raczkiewicz (Keybords), Philipp Bock (Drums) + Guests : Chris Harms (Vocal), Laura Wessels (Violin), Gerd Fischer (Cello)


Artist : Yael Naïm

Album : Live Solo In Paris

Release Date : 24-06-2022

Added : 14-07-2022

I've always liked the big gaps in music, and I try particularly in myprogmusic to put one after the other, choruses from very different artists. The last 3 reviews were dedicated to the metalhead from 'Black Stone Cherry', then to the talented American singer 'Janiva Magness' and finally to the energy of the Swedish anthems from 'Sole Syndicate'. So, without transition, it is the singer, author, and composer 'Yael Naïm' who is now in the spotlight with an intimate concert that she recorded in the Church of Saint-Eustache in Paris, which brings a very special acoustic to this magnificent live. Obviously, her repertoire lends itself admirably to this spare style and allows her, I quote her, "to be able to improvise and let the songs take me where my emotion of the moment takes me. During these moments, I feel that I can fly away." And to illustrate his words, I will simply give you the example of the emblematic title 'New Soul' which has toured the planet, and which is unrecognizable but so moving. We therefore let ourselves be carried away for an hour and a quarter on a magnificent journey out of time and to realize this wonderful atmosphere, three videos are available on youtube in which she is accompanied by guest artists: first of all, the poignant Daddy with his brother 'Eyal Naïm', then Watching You with the singer 'Anaiis' and Lonely with singer 'Celia Kameni'. In short, no need to add more, this magnificent concert allows us to share these unique moments with 'Yael Naïm' and we rediscover this authentic artist in a refined atmosphere which only keeps the substance of the music, bringing an additional dimension uniquely emotional...

Line Up / Musicians

Yael Naïm (Vocal, Piano, Guitar) + Guests : Eyal Naïm (Vocal), Anaiis (Vocal), Celia Kameni (Vocal)


Artist : YYNOT

Album : Light and Shade

Release Date : 24-06-2022

Added : 09-07-2022

I didn't know the Americans from 'YYNOT', a band that was created by multi-instrumentalist producer and author 'Billy Alexander' and bassist 'Tim Starace' in 2015. They started by making covers of 'Rush' which can be found on their page bandcamp. It was in 2018 that they released their self-titled debut album which is followed by 'Resonance' in 2019. 'Light and Shade' is their third album which was recorded with singer 'Rocky Kuner' who has now left the band and is now replaced by 'Patty PerShayla'. They offer us a clever mix of pop, rock and hard-rock with marked influences from the great groups of the 70s, 'Rush' necessarily being one of them.

The instrumental 'Wire and Wood' welcomes us with an acoustic guitar on a classical theme then, after a short minute switches to a rhythmic and lively rock, the rhythm section, bass and drums leading the dance of beautiful way, the whole bringing a good dose of progressive with changes of intensity and tempo, then, 'Living Proof', between pop and rock, shows a catchy face with a melody that easily enters my head and makes me a bit reminiscent of the style of some early titles of 'Pretenders', certainly through guitar playing. Cooler and flirting with a Westcoast atmosphere, 'Fall from the Sky' offers us a soft harmonious singing of 'Rocky Kuner' and a very beautiful guitar solo of 'Billy Alexander', then, more energetic, 'Mask' continues in this direct and effective rock very seventies. Change of scenery with the magnificent semi-acoustic ballad 'Firefly' in the great tradition of American song, then 'Weight of the World' and 'Burning Bridge' return to more classic rock with remarkable new vocal performances from 'Rocky Kuner ', the album ending with the melodic and driving 'Stars, Sun and Moon', which sums up this album well with a memorable final chorus.

In summary, the Americans of 'YYNOT' release a very pleasant album to listen to which makes us surf on accessible pop/rock by taking us back to the 70s/80s and we hope that they will continue, with their new singer 'Patty PerShayla', to offer us this quality of music in the future...

Line Up / Musicians

Rocky Kuner (Vocal), Billy Alexander (Guitar, Vocal, Choirs, Keybords), Tim Starace (Bass), Mike Hetzel (Drums) + Guest : Tony Morra (Drums)


Artist : Supersonic Blues Machine

Album : Voodoo Nation

Release Date : 24-06-2022

Added : 10-07-2022

'Supersonic Blues Machine' is a band from California which is quite recent as their first album, 'West Of Flushing, South Of Frisco' dates from 2016, and I discovered them in 2017 with their second album 'Californisoul'. 'Voodo Nation' is therefore their third baby, and, with a change of line-up, the singer and guitarist 'Kris Barras' having replaced 'Lance Lopez', they continue to offer us good blues/rock. For the occasion and as we are used to now, they have invited prestigious artists from the blues scene: we find there, honor to the ladies, the Serbian singer 'Ana Popovic', lead singer 'Charlie Starr' from 'Blackberry Smoke', singer and guitarist 'Eric Gales' and also 'Solomon Hicks', guitarist 'Josh Smith ', guitarist 'Sonny Landreth', singer and guitarist 'Joe Louis Walker' and vocalist and guitarist 'Kirk Fletcher'.

At the level of the theme developed, no surprise, we are right in the news and 'Fabrizio Grossi' declares the evidence that some are beginning to understand: "The general discontent in the world at the now is so widespread that we're told to accept it because that's life. No, that's not life! That's the way we're forced to live these days. 'Voodoo Nation' refers to the "Time we live in, at least here in the United States, but I think the whole world can relate to it. We're getting to a point where we're living our lives almost like zombies. We're little machines. ". To give you an idea of this opus, here are three videos that are available on youtube: 'Too Late', '8 Ball Lucy' and 'All Our Love'.

In short, in a varied blues/rock and with talented artists, 'Supersonic Blues Machine' continue their way by offering us a new studio recording very pleasant to listen to and 'Voodoo Nation' is yet another album to add to the nightclub for all fans of the great tradition of American blues song that has become somehow timeless...

Line Up / Musicians

Fabrizio Grossi (Bass), Kris Barras (Vocal, Guitar), Kenny Aronoff (Drums) + Guests : King Solomon Hicks (Vocal), Josh Smith (Guitar), Sonny Landreth (Guitar), Eric Gales (Vocal), Joe Louis Walker (Vocal), Ana Popovic (Vocal), Kirk Fletcher (Vocal), Charlie Starr (Vocal)


Artist : Black Stone Cherry

Album : Live From The Royal Albert Hall – Y'All!

Release Date : 24-06-2022

Added : 11-07-2022

For any musical artist, to play at the 'Royal Albert Hall' is a kind of consecration and the Americans of the heavy metal formation 'Black Stone Cherry', for the twentieth anniversary of the group, had the pride of being able to tread the stage at this legendary London venue. And to tell you the truth, they offer us an anthology concert in which they go through their imposing repertoire with a total of 18 titles played in a crazy atmosphere, the public being in perfect osmosis with the quartet which releases a phenomenal set without downtime by linking the titles one after the other, 'Chris Robertson' leading his boat with a masterful hand by releasing a communicative energy throughout the concert. To give you an idea of the overheated atmosphere of this live, four videos are available on youtube: Again, Ringin' In My Head, Things My Father Said and Blame it on the Boom Boom. In short, no need to add more, for all lovers of good heavy metal, all you must do is turn up the sound a few decibels and let yourself be carried away by the 'Black Stone Cherry' wave. and, if you have more affinities, you can get the Blu Ray because, in this kind of atmosphere, the video is a significant plus to take full advantage of these fantastic moments of communion between the artists and the public...

Line Up / Musicians

Chris Robertson (Vocal, Guitar), Ben Wells (Guitar), Steve Jewell Jr. (Bass), John Fred Young (Drums)


Artist : Janiva Magness

Album : Hard to Kill

Release Date : 24-06-2022

Added : 12-07-2022

Little known on our side of the Atlantic, 'Janiva Magness' a renowned artist in the United States since she is already seven times winner of a 'Blues Music Award' and also nominated for the 'Grammy Awards'. His debut album 'More Than Live' dates from 1991 and this latest studio recording 'Hard to Kill' is the 16th of his already busy career, his last opus of 2019 'Change In The Weather' having been devoted to covers of 'John Fogerty'. This new opus shows the diversity of this artist who mixes blues, rock, pop, soul and funk, starting with a catchy 'Strong as Steel' (see video above) with a chorus that immediately hits your head, followed by 'The Last Time' which smells good intense funk showing all the feeling of Janiva's singing in this atmosphere with a marked rhythm. Follows 'Don't You Forget About Me' and which takes us on a playful and dancing soul, then 'Fireman' is a very beautiful ballad in which the American expresses all her sensuality. In four titles, we already have a diverse range of styles and the sequel continues to alternate these different atmospheres and we can mention the other equally catchy funky titles such as 'Lover Girl', 'You And Me' and 'Standing on the Moon ' and the second part highlights magnificent more intimate compositions such as 'Comes Around', 'Right Here', 'Closer' and 'Oh Pearl' which closes the album in a very refined atmosphere in which the American passes a palpable emotion. In summary, 'Javina Magness' offers us a great variety of compositions which demonstrate all her talent as a singer, and which should reach a large audience who love this mixture of styles in the great tradition of American song...

Line Up / Musicians

Janiva Magness (Vocal), Zach Zunis (Guitar), Dave Darling (Guitar), Jim Alfredson (Keybords), Matt Tecu (Drums), Gary Davenport (Bass), Brie Darling (Percussions), Andrew Lowden (Choirs), Bernie Barlow (Choirs), Sasha Smith (Keybords), John Németh (Vocal)


Artist : Fallen Sanctuary

Album : Terranova

Release Date : 24-06-2022

Added : 15-07-2022

'Fallen Sanctuary' was born from the meeting of singer 'Georg Neuhauser' from 'Serenity' and guitarist 'Marco Pastorino' from the Italian band 'Temperance' and 'Terranova' is their first studio recording. Knowing the pedigree of each of the two artists, we are not out of place and, moreover, the name of this formation takes up the title of one of the albums of 'Serenity' dating from 2008 (see here).

And indeed, from the start with 'Terranova' (see video above), we find the spirit of 'Serenity' brought by the always expressive singing of 'Georg Neuhauser' (the last single of 'Serenity ', 'In the Name of Scotland', is further proof) and the suite continues in this energetic melodic metal with melodies that immediately enter your head: follow 'Now and Forever' (see the video here) and 'Broken Dreams' (see video here) completely in the spirit of the Austrian combo with their chorus f editor. And if you adhere to this beginning of the album, you should also like the catchy 'Rise Against The World' with its beautiful vocal harmonies, the fast 'Destiny' with its addictive chorus or the effective 'Trail of Destruction' with his keyboard accompaniment. And when lights dims, 'Georg Neuhauser' has no equal to offer us melodic jewels, and in this album, the ballads are two in number with 'I Can't Stay' and 'Wait for Me' bizarrely relegated to a bonus title. The end of the album offers three rather dispensable instrumental covers.

In summary, this new project 'Fallen Sanctuary' of the two friends 'Georg Neuhauser' and 'Marco Pastorino' offers us good melodic metal with compositions marked with the imprint of 'Georg Neuhauser' which should please all the fans of 'Serenity' but also to all those who navigate between melodic and symphonic metal...

Line Up / Musicians

Georg Neuhauser (Vocal), Marco Pastorino (Guitar), Alfonso Mocerino (Drums), Gabriele Gozzi (Bass)


Artist : Inhalo

Album : Sever

Release Date : 24-06-2022

Added : 19-07-2022

'Sever' is the first album of a new project 'Inhalo', Dutch formation between rock and progressive metal, but 'Fons Herder' is not unknown since he was the creator of the progressive group 'A Liquid Landscape' whose the last album 'The Largest Fire Known To Man' dates from 2014. multiple influences in their music and we can cite all the major bands with multiple progressive labels that are 'Porcupine Tree', 'Haken', 'Pain Of Salvation' or still 'Riverside'. Considering these references, you can imagine that their compositions require a few listenings before soaking up and drawing all the richness from them because they take us on a very beautiful journey, dense and made of multiple changes of atmosphere.

To illustrate this, the first two titles 'Omiscient Being' and 'Subterfuge' form one and we are welcomed by a magnificent instrumental on the piano, reminding me of certain improvisations of the late 'Keith Emerson' who does not, in any way, predict the future, because 'Subterfuge' takes us into a universe made of tensions and relaxations, alternating powerful sections and others much calmer, the melodic side being very present and bringing a certain accessibility. Moreover, the recording benefits from an impeccable production with extraordinary dynamics, whether in the powerful passages or the quieter ones, the powerful vocals of 'Fons Herder' integrating remarkably into the whole. The following title 'Sisyphean' continues in big sound in a calmer atmosphere which benefits from an inventive rhythm section and a remarkable instrumental passage in the second part, then, 'Pretenders' further softens the subject and is a very beautiful atmospheric ballad in crescendo completely in the same climate as some title of the last 'Porcupine Tree'. Follows 'Eventide' which begins with some Hindu sounds which take us on an exotic sonic journey, the percussion section further adding to this exotic climate, and which then alternates with powerful sections with memorable melodic lines. With 'Mirror Door', we find this juxtaposition of tension and relaxation brought about by alternations between calm passages and others releasing an extraordinary energy (magnificent passage at 2.50 with the a capella part of 'Fons Herder' which then hardens its singing by bringing a remarkable power) which makes it, for me, one of the major pieces of the album, just like the long development 'Last Vestige', which follows, and which shows a more tormented climate with a repetitive rhythmic section which brings a palpable tension throughout the title and which is released in a powerful and percussive chorus. And the opus ends, as it had begun, with the short and soft piano comma 'Sever' with contemporary sounds.

In summary, this new project 'Inhalo', produced by the new Dutch label 'Construction Records' is a very good surprise for 2022 and should reach an audience that loves a modern and inventive progressive, like what the major formations mentioned in the introduction of this chronicle can produce...

Line Up / Musicians

Fons Herder (Vocal), Roy Willems (Guitar), Peter Cats (Bass), Pepijn Gros (Drums) + Guest : Tim Gros (Piano), Vincent Sjoerd Swierstra (Sarangi)


Artist : Hott Mess

Album : Prometheus Book One

Release Date : 24-06-2022

Added : 27-08-2022

In some cases, we come across a new project not publicized at all on the internet and that allows us to discover new musical horizons. This time, I was helped by a review from the very good progressive music site 'Prog Critique' which presented the concept album 'Prometheus' by 'Gareth Kitch' which has had quite a substantial output in recent years under his name (see 'here) and 'Prometheus' is the second studio recording of the 'Hott Mess' project, 'Leche And The Dark Emerald Book Of Ishtar' being the first, released in 2021.

First of all, this project is based on, I quote bandcamp, "Ishtar's Black Glass Book and the hidden world of the Immortals... The book tells of when worlds about to collide would end humanity forever. However, the genius PROMETHEUS was able to impart a gift on mankind, at least it seemed a gift at first. But the truth revealed it as a curse that changed humanity forever into dark immortal vampiric creatures...". Musically, we are embarked on a completely unusual journey with various influences ranging from classical music to dance music, passing through atmospheric and pop, all of this being mainly brought about by rather disparate keyboard sounds. And this from the first titles, this patchwork of styles makes scroll very different musical landscapes: the introduction 'Unfound', shows a classic face of symphony orchestra accompanied by electronic sound effects which is transformed halfway into music of atmosphere with layers of aerial keyboards, then, 'Prometheus' is turned towards a calm and peaceful symphonic and progressive rock and 'Earth' reveals a dancing side and recalls the sounds of disco hits from the 80s. With 'Worlds Collide', it's the catchy pop side of the same period which is put forward with some oriental scents in the middle of the piece, then the instrumental 'Star Caravan' begins in a catchy way to evolve in the middle of the title towards a neo-classical section and end as he had begun. The suite is like this beginning with a few instrumental commas and compositions not exceeding 4 minutes, each title presenting its own personality and style: after the short 'Crash Landing', embellished by strings, we go into the islands with the small minute of 'A New Home', then 'Tau Ceti Blues' flirts with a sensual blues and 'Angel Walking' shows a Westcoast face, unrolling a sweet melody. Follows 'Tower of Love' which brings us back to the 70s with an atmosphere that the 'Bee Gees' would not have denied, especially since the vocal accompaniment rises high in the treble, then 'Fake' shows a rhythmic swaying and 'Magini's Mirror' brings a touch of psychedelia bringing us back to the 70s. We stay in this decade with 'Where Are You Now?' with an accompaniment of keyboards with church organ sounds and an acoustic finale accompanied by aerial choirs, then, after the sound effects of 'The Camber of Ishtar', 'Forever Moonlight' ends this album with a syrupy ballad bringing us back this times in the sixties.

In summary, 'Hott Mess' is a project presenting a patchwork of styles that are put end to end, the whole being focused on fairly quiet atmospheres which contrasts with the deployed theme of science fiction but which makes very pleasant listening because the diversity of the compositions of 'Prometheus' allows you to remain captivated throughout the album...

Line Up / Musicians

Gareth Kitch (Vocal, Guitar, Keybords), Michael Teems (Vocal, Guitar, Keybords), Greg Ondo (Bass), Pablo Vazquez (Drums, Percussions)


Artist : Chaos Magic -- Caterina Nix

Album : Emerge

Release Date : 17-06-2022

Added : 29-06-2022

The latest 'Chaos Magic' led by 'Caterina Nix' dates from 2019 and 'Emerge' is her new baby which came out a few days ago. She continues to collaborate with her compatriot 'Nasson' who released a first solo album a few months ago (see here) and this latest album shows an evolution towards more modern metal, the whole being always supported by catchy melodic lines.

And to begin, we are welcomed by the title song which has been the subject of a video (see above) and which develops a memorable first chorus, then, with a more jerky rhythm section, 'Beneath Your Skin' (see the video here) delivers another powerful track with catchy new melody lines, 'Caterina Nix' confirming all the vocal talent that we knew on these previous productions. Slower but just as melodic, 'The Impossible' is another metal hit that shows a modern face then, 'Garden Of Winter' is the first break of the album which highlights the magical vocal duo between 'Caterina Nix' and 'Elina Siirala', singer of 'Leaves 'Eyes' and which is to be added to the best ballads of symphonic metal. And here we go again with a powerful 'Hearts Gone Dark' with an unleashed rhythmic then, we stay in the energy of the saturated guitar riffs with 'Beyond the Silence' which deploys a new catchy melody. The rest of the album continues in the same style with the heavy mid-tempo 'Days of Lions', then 'In the Depth Of The Night', which was the subject of a video (see here) is a metal, melodic and modern hit. The last part of the album offers us the second ballad break with 'Victims of Our Heaven' in which 'Caterina Nix' shares the microphone with 'Nasson', then, the last two titles 'When If Not Today' and 'What's Your Fuel' form a good summary of the whole with two energetic atmospheres and with choruses that stay in your head.

In summary, without revolutionizing metal but bringing an original modernity, the 'Chaos Magic' project by the Chileans 'Caterina Nix' and 'Nasson' offers us a good album with catchy melodic lines that moves away from metal traditional symphonic to integrate modern components to make it an accessible metal with catchy melodic lines from the first listen...

Line Up / Musicians

Caterina Nix (Vocal), Nasson (Bass, Vocal), Mario Torres (Guitar), Mistheria (Keybords), Carlos Hernández (Drums) + Guests : Elina Siirala (Vocal)


Artist : Lazarus Dream

Album : Lifeline

Release Date : 17-06-2022

Added : 30-06-2022

In my playlist of Rock and hard albums -melodic rock of the second half of 2020, I presented to you the new project 'Lazarus Dream' created by the singer 'Carsten Schulz'. 'Lifeline' is their second album and, it is clear that everything has been done to offer us good melodic hard rock. With several guests including keyboard player 'Derek Sherinian' who had released the very beautiful opus 'The Phoenix' in 2020, these are 13 compositions that parade one behind the other with catchy melodies and if you are seduced by the first three titles 'Dead End Symphony' (see video above), 'Don't Look Down' and 'Mind Like A Windmill' (see video here), there's a good chance you'll buy into the set as they represent a fine sample of 'Lifeline'. The suite is therefore in continuity with a nice variety of more or less energetic atmospheres, the common denominator being that each composition benefits from catchy melodic lines from the first listen and we can mention the melodic jewels that are the rhythmic mid-tempo ' Freedom', the catchy 'Your Voice Inside My Head' and 'Modern Lies' or even the energetic 'Once Upon A Time' which brings us back to the best of 70s/80s hard rock without forgetting the beautiful ballad 'Love Without A Net'. In short, 'Lazarus Dream' confirms with this second album all the good that we thought of them with their first LP 'Alive' and 'Lifeline' should be added to the discography of a good number of amateurs and fans. fans of melodic hard rock...

Line Up / Musicians

Carsten Schulz (Vocal), Markus Pfeffer (Guitar, Bass, Keybords) + Guests : Derek Sherinian (Keybords), Jorris Guilbaud (Keybords), Thomas Nitschke (k), Markus Kullmann (Drums), Andy Lübbert (p), Thomas Rieder (Piano)


Artist : Jorn

Album : Over the Horizon Radar

Release Date : 17-06-2022

Added : 04-07-2022

The Norwegian 'Jorn Lande' has been well known on the heavy metal scene for more than 20 years with a discography that is becoming very substantial: for his fiftieth birthday, he released in 2018 the anniversary box set '50 Years On Earth - The Anniversary Box Set' with no less of 12 albums then his last studio recording of 2020, 'Heavy rock radio II – Executing the classics' was all about covers that happily took us back a few decades, without forgetting in the meantime his participation in the project 'Avantasia' by 'Tobias Sammet'. Still under the effigy of 'Frontiers Music' (we now naturally find 'Alessandro Del Vecchio' on keyboards), 'Over the Horizon Radar' is therefore his latest baby with always guitarists who have been following him for quite some time, 'Tore Moren' and 'Adrian SB', bassist 'Nik Mazzucconi' ('Shining Black', 'Edge Of Forever', 'Sunstorm') and drummer 'Francesco Jovino' ('Hardline'). Without revolutionizing the genre, they continue to distill good heavy metal with 10 new titles plus the extended version of 'Faith Bloody Faith' which was written for the Norwegian song contest to represent Norway at Eurovision, and which ends the album in a beautiful way. To give you an overview of this album, 3 videos are available on the 'Frontiers Music' youtube page, 'Over The Horizon Radar', 'Dead London' and 'One Man War', which are a good summary of what awaits you in this new opus. And if you hang on to these compositions, you should also adopt the powerful mid-tempo that are 'My Rock and Roll' conducive to the headbang, 'Special Edition' showing all the vocal talent of 'Jorn Lande', 'Ode to The Black Nightshade ' and its memorable melody or 'Believer', more classic but very effective. In short, we spend a very good time listening to this latest opus of 'Jorn Lande' which shows us that he is still one of the best singers of this style and 'Over the Horizon Radar' should please not only all the Norwegian's fans but to a whole audience that loves catchy and melodic heavy metal...

Line Up / Musicians

Jorn Lande (Vocal), Adrian SB (Guitar), Tore Moren (Guitar), Nik Mazzucconi (Bass), Alessandro Del Vecchio (Keybords), Francesco Jovino (Drums)


Artist : Sole Syndicate

Album : Into The Flames

Release Date : 17-06-2022

Added : 13-07-2022

In my playlist of Rock and hard albums-melodic rock of the second half of 2020, I introduced you to the Swedes of 'Sole Syndicate' who released their 2nd studio recording 'Last Days of Eden'. Always led by singer and guitarist 'Jonas Månsson, they are doing it again with a new album, 'Into The Flames', well filled since it totals 65 minutes of listening, and the line-up has undergone some changes at the section level guitar, since the two guitarists present on the previous album have left the group, and 'Katja Rasila' adds a keyboard section to modulate the ardor of the saturated guitars.

From the start, with the first three titles 'Forsaken', 'Count to Zero' and 'Brave Enough', we embark on big sound and catchy melodies, keyboardist 'Katja Rasila' allowing the group to bring a binder to the whole. Among the powerful hits, we can also mention the fast 'Miss Behave', the huge 'Dust of Angels' with its addictive chorus and the second part of the album has nothing to envy to the first with a 'Sunset Strip' with AOR looks, the mid-tempo 'Do You Believe' and 'Freak Like Me' with their marked rhythm and their memorable refrains or the catchy and powerful 'Back Against the Wall'. In the middle of all this energy deployed, the Swedes offer us breaks with the magnificent 'Shadow of My Love' to add to the best power metal ballads but also, the power ballad 'In the Absence Of Light' with its very beautiful breaks still putting forward 'Katja Rasila', this time on the piano. And to end this superb album, the 10 minutes of 'Back Against the Wall' takes us a long development alternating quiet sections and other more energetic ones bringing a good dose of progressive, the whole continuing to benefit from accessible melodic lines.< /br>
In summary, the Swedes of 'Sole Syndicate' release a second album in which scroll titles which could each have been the subject of a single which should make people happy and happy not only among fans of the group but also among all those who navigate between hard rock and powerful and catchy melodic metal at first listen...

Line Up / Musicians

Jonas Månsson (Vocal, Guitar), Katja Rasila (Keybords), Henrik Zetterlund (Drums), David Gustafsson (Bass)


Artist : Solace Supplice

Album : Liturgies Contemporaines

Release Date : 15-06-2022

Added : 03-07-2022

In parallel with the project 'Nine Skies', the French 'Anne-Claire Rallo' and 'Eric Bouillette' joined by 'Jimmy Pallagrosi' created a new project 'Solace Supplice' in 2020 and a first eponymous EP was released in July 2020 with 5 compositions (see here). With 'Liturgies Contemporaines', they offer us a pleasant marriage between rock and French song and deliver us in addition to the 5 compositions already known from the EP, 6 other titles, the whole being composed by 'Eric Bouillette' and the texts written by 'Anne -Claire Rallo'.

We are therefore embarked on this universe, sometimes quite dark and sometimes more playful, starting with 'Le tartuffe exemplaire' with its fast rhythm in an atmosphere of urgency with a magnificent fiery and corrosive text. In this style, we are also seduced by 'Les miradors' and a poignant new text, 'Sunset Street' and its haunting rhythm and 'Schizophrénie Paranoïde' which also shows a tormented face. More moderate but just as endearing, we will not miss 'A demi-maux' with its 'Floydian' guitar accompaniment and with its very beautiful saxophone solo, then the poetic 'Cosmos adultérin' unfolds its slow haunting melody then that with 'Au cirque des âmes', we are embarked on a magnificent catchy refrain which then gains momentum with the entry into the tracks of the saturated guitar. In the great tradition of French progressive rock, 'En guidant les hussards' is reminiscent of the poetry released by certain compositions by Ange and, on this track, 'Laurent Benhamou' delivers a moving saxophone solo, then, after the instrumental of the title song (see video above), 'Dans la couche du diable' is another melodic gem which slowly unrolls a slow tempo pouring out a captivating text and which offers a very beautiful guitar solo in the middle of the title, the album ending with another strong moment with 'Marasmes et décadence', in an atmosphere admirably merging an enormous tension and a sweetness brought by the piano accompaniment and some bewitching vocals.

In summary, the French of 'Solace Supplice' release a very emotional first album which shows all the talent of this original formation which manages to merge texts at the same time gripping and filled with poetry with rock tinged with progressive...

Line Up / Musicians

Eric Bouillette (Vocal, Guitar, Keybords, Violin), Anne-Claire Rallo (Keybords, Bass), Jimmy Pallagrosi (Drums), Willow Beggs (Bass) + Guests : Laurent Benhamou (Saxophone)


Artist : RanestRane

Album : Apocalypse Now

Release Date : 14-06-2022

Added : 02-07-2022

I presented you their cover of the soundtrack of 'Starchild' from the 'Space Odyssey' series by 'Stanley Kubrick' which they released in 2018 and 'RanestRane' have since recorded the soundtrack for the Alan Parker film', 'The Walls' by 'Pink Floyd' which can be found on spotify here. For their latest album, the Italians have chosen to revisit the soundtrack of the 'Francis Ford Coppola' film, 'Apocalypse Now' released in 1979 and they have chosen to sing the lyrics in their native language. We therefore find interpretations that transform this soundtrack into a series of progressive atmospheres with accessible original melodic lines, such as the first title 'Saigon' which is divided in two with a first instrumental part reminiscent of the beginning of the 'Floyds' with the sounds of 'One Of These Days' then, a magnificent second sung part which unrolls a peaceful melody. In the area of long developments, we are spoiled since these are 3 titles which exceed 10 minutes with the 20 minutes of 'Napalm', in 4 parts, in which we cross multiple different soundscapes, then 'The Eden Cries' offers us contrasting atmospheres alternating different intensities with keyboards à la 'Keith Emerson' taking us back a few decades and finally, the 16 minutes of 'The Horror', cut into 6 sections, plunges us into a remarkable patchwork of different atmospheres, sometimes peaceful, sometimes more tormented. Around these gargantuan compositions, come to be added equally endearing compositions with the two parts of 'Cuore di Tenebra' which are declined in two different versions, 'Playmate' which brings us again to 'Floyds' but this time in the period of 'The Wall' and the final composition 'Un Nuovo Dio' which closes the album in a beautiful way with memorable melodic lines. In short, the Italians of 'RanestRane' once again show all the talent to cover soundtracks that they appropriate, and this latest album 'Apocalypse Now' is added to previous covers and should appeal to a whole public who love a progressive imaginative and melodic...

Line Up / Musicians

Massimo Pomo (Guitar), Riccardo Romano (Keybords, Choirs), Maurizio Meo (Bass), Daniele Pomo (Drums, Percussions, Vocal)


Artist : Signum Regis

Album : Made In Switzerland (Live)

Release Date : 10-06-2022

Added : 24-06-2022

After the studio recordings 'Decennium Primum' in 2017, 'The Seal of a New World' in 2019, the Slovaks of 'Signum Regis' with their Brazilian singer 'Jota Fortinho' continue to water us with effective power metal with addictive melodies and this time it's a concert that they offer us with this 'Made In Switzerland (Live)' which was recorded in the midst of the epidemic in September 2021. This live highlights the latest album with 8 songs played on the 14 titles and parade of hymns one behind the others with a production that captures this concert atmosphere well and with a 'Jota Fortinho', in great shape, who leads the boat 'Signum Regis', a duo of guitarists who strike us with ravaging riffs ers and a rhythmic section which ensure from the first to the last title in a communicative ardor. To give you an idea of the atmosphere, two videos are available on youtube, 'Fly Away' and 'Wrath of Pharaohs'. In short, 'Signum Regis' sign a remarkable live which reflects well the overheated atmosphere in this kind of concerts and 'Made In Switzerland (Live)' should be adopted by all an audience loving a direct and effective power metal with melodies which come directly to be engraved in the head...

Line Up / Musicians

Jota Fortinho (Vocal), Filip Koluš (Guitar), Majo Sucháň (Guitar), Ronnie König (Bass), Ján Tupý (Keybords, Choirs), Jaro Jančula (Drums)


Artist : Seventh Wonder

Album : The Testament

Release Date : 10-06-2022

Added : 27-06-2022

Singer 'Tommy Karevik' from 'Kamelot ' has another side project, 'Seventh Wonder', whose latest album 'Tiara' dates from 2018. 2022 sees the release of the 6th album, 'The Testament', with an unchanged line-up, and they continue to offer us varied compositions in an accessible progressive metal, the melodic side having been particularly worked on for this last opus.

And it's by the two singles 'Warriors' (see the video above) and 'The Light' (see the video here) that we start this very beautiful album which highlights energetic and powerful atmospheres with catchy melodic lines, the first offering us a very beautiful guitar solo and the second a very beautiful break in the second part, both benefiting from remarkable vocal performances by 'Tommy Karevik'. First break, 'I Carry the Blame' is a magnificent mid-tempo which develops a new catchy melody on which 'Tomy Karevik' shows that it is in this more moderate style that he knows how to transmit real emotion, then, 'Reflections ' is an instrumental which is more progressive in construction, and which shows all the talent of each artist with a succession of admirable solos. Follows 'The Red River' which further reinforces the progressive side with a more refined construction in which 'Tommy Karevik' adapts his song to the different changes of intensities with always this moving side in the quieter passages and in which 'Johan Liefvendahl' offers a remarkable new guitar solo. As for 'Invincible', it is lighter and more direct with a catchy chorus and the rhythm section remains muscular by bringing the powerful side of metal. Follows 'Mindkiller' which is the typical composition in which 'Seventh Wonders' shows all its know-how with original instrumental parts presenting a succession of breaks, melodic sung sections and a very beautiful guitar solo, then 'Under a Clear Blue Sky ' begins calmly with a few guitar notes and a magnificent accompaniment of the bass, then gains momentum with a driving rhythm and weaves in different melodic sections by offering a long admirable instrumental passage in which the keyboards, the guitar and the bass are return the ball for more than 3 minutes, which makes it, for my part, the major composition of the album. And to end on a high note, the melancholy semi-acoustic ballad 'Elegy', far removed from metal, ends this very beautiful album with a final catchy melody on which 'Tommy Karevik' gratifies us with a final moving vocal performance.

In summary, 'The Testament' is still a great success of 'Seventh Wonders' and still shows all the talent of its frontman 'Tommy Karevik' who offers us, accompanied by talented artists, compositions that are always very accessible thanks to catchy melodic lines; beyond the fans who will undoubtedly be won over by this latest studio recording, 'Seventh Wonders' can be a gateway to all those who want to discover progressive metal...

Line Up / Musicians

Tommy Karevik (Vocal), Johan Liefvendahl (Guitar), Andreas Blomqvist (Bass), Andreas Söderin (Keybords), Stefan Norgren (Drums)


Artist : Sideburn

Album : Fired Up

Release Date : 10-06-2022

Added : 22-06-2022

You take a singer with 'Brian Johnson' tunes, sharp guitar riffs that make you think of the well-known Kangaroos again, and you get 'Sideburn', a Swiss band that never made too much noise but has everything to remind us of the best hard rock of the 70s/80s. Amateurs and amateurs of novelty, it is not here that you will find your happiness, but for the others who start at quarter turn by listening to good hard rock energetic and devilishly effective by starting at the same time the machines to headbang and tapping your feet, you're exactly where you need to be because this latest album 'Fired Up' is a suite of 12 hard rock nags that gives you a hell of punch. And from the start with 'Feel The Heat' (see the video above) we embark on a certain 'Highway to Hell' and you will only come out some 40 minutes later with 'Tired of Road', certainly, a little tired (it's not me who says it but the title of this song) but so happy to have listened to all these melodic hits with some more moderate rhythms like 'Bad Side Of Town' or 'Mystical Lady', just to keep a little energy for the future. And, to make your mouth water, in addition to the video above, here are two other equally effective ones with 'Standing In The Headlines' and 'Heading Down The Road 69'. In short, no need to add more, all you have to do is turn up the sound and press the play button, the Swiss from 'Sideburn' will do the rest and make you have an excellent listening time: to consume without any moderation...

Line Up / Musicians

Roland Pierrehumbert (Vocal, Harmonica), Mikael Riffart (Guitar), Sickyy Lyo (Guitars, Choirs), Thierry Nydegger (Bass, Choirs), Lionel Blanc (Drums, Choirs)


Artist : The Tangent

Album : Songs From The Hard Shoulder

Release Date : 10-06-2022

Added : 23-06-2022

I have never embarked on a review of 'The Tangent', this group which is one of the references in progressive music, all styles combined, because, tackling one of their albums, it's like climbing Everest, there are so many things to describe in their music with complex compositions that you have to take the time to listen to and listen to over and over again to draw all the richness (in the vast majority of long developments that can last more than 20 minutes which means that their albums, even if they are limited in number of titles, generally border on 80 minutes). After 'Proxy' in 2018 and 'Auto Recognition' in 2020, it is at the rate of a studio recording every two years that we can put between the ears a new opus of this formation composed of talented artists of the progressive scene with 'Andy Tillison' ('Karmakanic'), 'Jonas Reingold' ('The Flower Kings' and many other projects – see search for his name in myprogmusic here), 'Luke Machin' (ex 'Karnataka' and guest in 'Ian Jones' latest project 'ILLUMINAE', 'Steve Roberts' and 'Theo Travis' ('Steven Wilson', 'Moonparticle'). 'Songs From The Hard Shoulder' is therefore the 12th album of 'The Tangent' and it is no exception to the rule because of the 5 compositions, 3 exceed 17 minutes for 75 minutes of listening.

In order not to make too long a review by detailing each title, I will focus this one on the diversity of the musical landscapes interspersing these different compositions: apart from the short and energetic 'Wasted Soul' which is quite direct and which unfolds a light and pop melody highlighting the saxophone of 'Theo Travis', we are immersed in a patchwork of atmospheres starting with progressive rock, taking us back to the best of the 70s/80s and we can hear here and there influences of 'Genesis', 'Pink-Floyd' or even 'Yes' and I certainly pass a lot of others. In the midst of all these influences, one of the particularities of 'The Tangent' is to mix other styles, this time coming from jazz to make it something completely apart, with for example from Andy Tillison' which takes us into its original universe like this keyboard section in 'The Changes', a little before the 10th minute, and which combines a light rhythm with sounds of the first 'Pink Floyd'. It is besides the predominant style in the second title, 'The GPS Vulture', entirely instrumental which is certainly more complex, and which embarks us in a more jazzy sound labyrinth. And we also cannot miss this fantastic assembly of different atmospheres that we find in the 20 minutes of 'The Lady Tied To The Lamp Post' and in which each artist brings his own stone to this sound edifice which is centred on progressive always very sought after but deeper, sometimes melancholic, sometimes more tormented and which brings admirable alternations of tensions and relaxations. And to end this beautiful album, 'The Tangent' offers us a medley that they borrow in part from the band's eponymous album 'U.K. dating from 1978, and which still shows all the talent of these artists who form one in this title mastered by master hands from the first to the last second.

In summary, 'The Tangent' still release a dense and rich album which requires that we linger there to draw all the substance from it which intends 'Songs From The Hard Shoulder' to an informed public appreciating a progressive mixing different styles that bring us back to the 70s and who likes to discover, little by little, every corner of long, complex and inventive developments...

Line Up / Musicians

Andy Tillison (Vocal, Keybords), Jonas Reingold (Bass), Luke Machin (Vocal, Guitar), Steve Roberts (Drums), Theo Travis (Saxophone, Flute)


Artist : Joanne Shaw Taylor

Album : Blues From The Heart Live

Release Date : 10-06-2022

Added : 25-06-2022

After 'Made In Switzerland (Live)' of the Slovaks of 'Signum Regis' and their festive power metal, in a completely different style and after their wonderful album of covers 'The Blues Album' released a year ago, 'Joanne Shaw Taylor' offers us a concert featuring the entire of this last opus to which she added other compositions for 1 hour and 15 minutes and the title of the album is a perfect summary of this magnificent moment of communion with prestigious guests such as 'Kenny Wayne Shepherd', 'Mike Farris' and 'Joe Bonamassa'. And as often, it is in concert that we take the full dimension of the talent of these artists who show a real pleasure to play together, and if you are not yet completely convinced, watch the video above of ' Can You See What You're Doing To Me' with this guitar battle between Joanne and Kenny and with this magnificent shot at 5.40 where, in the middle of the two guitars, in the background, bassist 'Steve Mackey' dodges a small smile which says a lot about this happiness to be able to share this beautiful moment with these two artists. Another magic moment, the video of 'Summertime' with 'Joe Bonamassa' is also available on youtube here. In short, no need to add more, this album is still to be added to the ideal discotheque of any amateur and any authentic blues/rock lover and, if you want more, it is also available on DVD and Blu-ray which brings an added dimension to this magnificent concert...

Line Up / Musicians

Joanne Shaw Taylor (Vocal, Guitar), Rob McNelley (Guitar), Steve Mackey (Bass), Jimmy Wallace (Keybords, Piano), Nick Buda (Drums), Devonne Fowlkes (Choirs), Kim Fleming (Choirs) + Guests : Kenny Wayne Shepherd (Guitar), Mike Farris (Vocal), Joe Bonamassa (Vocal, Guitar)


Artist : Deep Sun

Album : Dreamland – Behind The Shades

Release Date : 10-06-2022

Added : 28-06-2022

The Swiss of 'Deep Sun' gave us a very good first album in 2016 with 'Race Against Time' and 2019 saw the release of their second album 'Das Erbe der Welt'. With this third studio recording 'Dreamland – Behind The Shades' they confirm that they have become a solid value on the symphonic metal scene. Always led by the singer 'Debora Lavagnolo' who has again taken ease in all vocal compartments, the only line-up change is the replacement of the guitarist 'Pascal Töngi' by 'Stephan Riner'. We embark on 47 minutes of classic symphonic metal with rich orchestrations, an energetic rhythm section and guitars bringing the power of metal, the whole being very melodic and, therefore, accessible from the first listen.

After the orchestral introduction 'Prologue', typical in this style of music, the title track gives a very good overview of the style of the Swiss with an alternation of powerful sections and others much calmer, which brings a great variety and originality on the whole, 'Debora Lavagnolo' already showing all her vocal talent in the calmer parts which highlight her even more. Follows the catchy hit 'Dreammaster' which was the subject of a video (see above) and which delivers memorable melodic lines, then, 'Living The Dream' continues in this direction with a new energetic melodic jewel which should work well in concert. Benefiting from very beautiful choirs, 'Killer In A Dream' (see the video here) is typical of a grandiose symphonic metal with remarkable orchestrations, then, ' In Silence' is the ballad of the album in which 'Debora Lavagnolo' charms us with her melodious vocals and which shows all the way covered since the first EP of 2014, the emotion released making me draw the parallel with a certain 'Tarja'. Follows 'Secret Garden' which develops very beautiful rhythmic alternations, going from a slow marked procession to a very catchy tempo, then, 'Mitternachtstanz' takes us into a joyful dance with folk sounds and 'Hands In Anger', after a short and calm introduction, then flirts with gothic metal highlighted by growls accompanying 'Debora Lavagnolo', all in a frantic cadence that we also find in the following title 'Rogue (Dreaming Leprechaun Pt. II)' but, this time, in a style close to power metal which offers us an addictive melody, the album ending with 'Euphoria' which sums up the whole thing well with a succession of different atmospheres typical of an epic and melodic symphonic metal.

In summary, the Swiss of 'Deep Sun', even if they do not revolutionize the genre, release an excellent album with a singer who now rivals the best frontwoman of symphonic metal, and 'Dreamland – Behind The Shades ' feature varied compositions that all have catchy melodic lines that should make all fans of this style happy...

Line Up / Musicians

Debora Lavagnolo (Vocal), Stephan Riner (Guitar), Tom Hiebaum (Keybords), Tobias Brutschi (Drums), Angelo Salerno (Bass)


Artist : Kerion

Album : Cloudriders: Age of Cyborgs

Release Date : 03-06-2022

Added : 19-06-2022

It's been 7 years since the French of 'Kerion' released an album, ' CloudRiders, Part II: Technowars' dating from 2015. In line with previous albums, they continue their futuristic saga 'Couldriders' in a power metal integrating different ingredients including electronic sounds and this time, we are going to the world cyborgs with guests 'Elisa Martin' (ex 'Dark More'), 'Raphael Dantas' who was the singer of the rather crazy metal opera of 'Rémi Carrairou', 'Gates of Paris', released in 2018, and 'Vitor Veiga' from Aquarius' whose last album 'Alethea' is from 2020.

We are therefore embarked on this science fiction story punctuated by short recitatives which sets the scene, and, at the outset, the cinematographic instrumental 'Theme Riders (Age of Cyborgs)' shows a melancholic symphonic face which continues with choirs accompanied by a narration presenting the theme of the album. And off we go with the energetic and catchy 'Nova Prime' which develops a memorable first melody with a chorus punctuated by lively choirs and which highlights, here and there, electronic sounds, then, after the first recitative 'The Mission', continues with a no less catchy 'Red Square' in the same spirit as 'Nova Prime'. With 'One Way Love', a change of scenery with a much more moderate atmosphere beginning as a ballad with a beautiful vocal performance of 'Flora Spinelli' and which gains momentum and speed in the middle of the title before returning to the quiet atmosphere of the beginning. New little comma recited 'The Desert', then, 'Nowherland' takes us on a patchwork of atmospheres mixing oriental and electronic sounds in an original way and which continues with power metal which alternates sections more or less fast thanks to a section inventive rhythm. Follows 'Final Race' with a beautiful vocal duet between 'Flora Spinelli' and 'Vitor Veiga' on a new catchy melody, then, 'Virtual Rhapsody' is an instrumental mixing epic symphonic atmospheres and electronic sounds. After the short recitative 'Alert' which continues to immerse us in this universe of science fiction, 'Cyborg Hunt' deploys a beautiful energy with a new memorable melody while continuing to stick with the futuristic theme through electro breaks and which is certainly the most contrasting title with calm sections brought by a few piano notes. Last little comma recited, 'Before the Storm' takes us to the long development 'Global Annihilation' which presents different landscapes in which we find this juxtaposition which is the strength of this album of epic symphonic atmospheres and electronic sounds constantly bringing us back to the theme of the album, an album that ends in serenity, far from power metal, with the melancholic ballad 'Electric Requiem' in which 'Flora Spinelli' charms us with her bewitching voice.

In summary, 'Kerion' continues to surprise us with this original style which requires adhering to the mix between epic symphonic power metal and electronic sounds that the French call 'Comics metal' and this new chapter in the saga ' Cloudriders' should appeal to all power metal and symphonic metal audiences who love direct and effective melodies that go round and round in head...

Line Up / Musicians

Flora Spinelli (Vocal), Remi Carrairou (Guitar), Stephane Papasergio (Bass) + Guests : Elisa Martin (Vocal), Raphael Dantas (Vocal), Vitor Veiga (Vocal)


Artist : Lunear

Album : Gostraks

Release Date : 03-06-2022

Added : 20-06-2022

I introduced you to their second album 'Curve.Axis.Symmetry' released in 2020 and 2022 sees the release of a covers album, of course, with 'Lunear' sauce, that is to say, they reclaim the original compositions without distorting them. The list below refers you to the performer and the original album when it is available on Spotify. And to start, it's not easy to recognize 'Turn It On Again' from the start with its a capella introduction which slowly brings us back to the theme of this beautiful composition of 'Genesis' which is followed by 'Modern Love' with a gentle introduction which gradually gains momentum and which presents a beautiful instrumental part in the middle of the title. We are then seduced by a mixture of styles with covers that are not necessarily known as 'Warriors Of The Wasteland' by 'Frankie Goes To Hollywood' or 'Inside' from the 'Stiltskin' period by 'Ray Wilson' and even more 'Britney Spears' with 'Perfume' which is covered in slightly more rock, the album ending with a very nice cover of 'This Is the 21st Century' by 'Marillion'. In short, the whole thing is very pleasant to listen to with this mix of pop/rock through the ages and the French of 'Lunear' offer us original interpretations and show that they can adapt to any style by bringing their own personality...

List of original titles (Artist – Album – Year)
01 – Turn It On Again (Genesis, Duke, 1980)
02 – Modern Love (David Bowie, Let's Dance, 1983)
03 – Warriors Of The Wasteland (Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Liverpool, 1986)
04 – Inside (Stiltskin, The Mind's Eye, 1994)
05 – Sleeping Satellite (Tasmin Archer, Great Expectations, 1994)
06 – Perfume (Britney Spears, Britney Jean, 2013)
07 – Shake the disease (Depeche Mode, The Singles 81-85, 1985)
08 – Venice Bitch (Lana Del Rey, Norman Fucking Rockwell!, 2019)
09 – Renée (Talk Talk, It's My Life, 1984)
10 - 'This Is the 21st Century – (Marillion, Anoraknophobia, 2001)

Line Up / Musicians

Jean-Philippe Benadjer (Vocal, Guitar, Bass), Paul J.No (Vocal, Keybords), Sébastien Bournier (Vocal, Drums)


Artist : Fortis Ventus

Album : Vertalia

Release Date : 03-06-2022

Added : 21-06-2022

'Fortis Ventus' is a Greek symphonic metal formation which was created in 2015 and which underwent a big upheaval in 2018, the duo 'Nancy Mos'/'George Halliwell' finding themselves alone to continue the adventure. With the arrival of the guitarist and bassist 'Grégory Koilakos' in 2019, they offer us their first studio recording 'Vertalia', 'Grigoris Giarelis' officiating as session drummer. It's a concept album written by 'George Halliwell' that tells us a fairy tale about an imaginary planet 'Vertalia' where the main character embarks on a journey to discover his inner truth and the truth of life itself. Musically, they develop a symphonic metal bringing us back to the 2000s, the clear atmospheres highlighting rich orchestrations, the metal often taking second place.

12 titles for one hour of listening, here is the menu of this first opus of the Greeks which begins with 'Between Love and War', composition which slowly gains momentum and which introduces 'Nancy Mos' with a admirable first vocal performance, its register between clear and lyrical reminiscent in certain places of 'Simone Simons' and 'Tarja'. Follows 'Birth of Sadness' which continues with a ballad beginning calmly with orchestral arrangements deploying a certain melancholy, the electric instruments arriving quite late in this very beautiful title, then, the eponymous title 'Vertalia' continues in the same style, the piano accompaniment bringing a very romantic classical atmosphere. Make way for the melodic hit 'Cave of Glass' (see video here),, more stirring, which once again highlights the harmonious lyrical singing of 'Nancy Mos' in a performance of great beauty, then, after the instrumental introduction 'Living Thorns (Prelude)' with a remarkable piano accompaniment, 'Gothecia' deploys a symphonic composition with grandiose choirs and a memorable melody, the whole alternating in a beautiful way powerful sections and others calmer. With the 10 minutes of 'Unveiling Path', the Greeks develop their characteristic symphonic style with sophisticated orchestral arrangements, the guitar being relegated to the background, then, 'My Death Is My Devotion' (see the video above) is another catchy melodic hit that got a single and should work well live. The instrumental 'Door to the Unknown' then serves as an introduction to 'Reflections of Myself' which still deploys an addictive chorus with a new break in the second part of the title highlighting a piano accompanied by a melancholic cello, the album ending with a new melodic jewel, 'The Eagle's Chase' with a lot of imposing choirs and 'Homeland' which is a magnificent ballad in which we let ourselves be lulled by the moving song of 'Nancy Mos'.

In summary, the Greeks of 'Fortis Ventus' release a very beautiful album which brings us back to the beginning of symphonic metal with sumptuous orchestral arrangements, catchy melodic lines and a singer who is as comfortable in a register lyrical than clear, and 'Vertalia' should appeal to an audience favoring the symphonic side to the power of metal...

Line Up / Musicians

Nancy Mos (Vocal), George Halliwell (Keybords, Vocal), Grégory Koilakos (Guitar, Bass) + Guest : Grigoris Giarelis (Drums)


Artist : Terra Nova

Album : Ring That Bell

Release Date : 27-05-2022

Added : 14-06-2022

I introduced you to 'Terra Nova' with their ballad album, 'Terra Nova Ballads' released in 2019 which also saw two best songs albums released ('Highlights' and 'Highlights II' ) for this Dutch melodic hard rock band who had their first period in the 90s and who reunited again in 2005 with 4 new albums, the latest being 'Raise Your Voice' released in 2019. Still led by the two Hendrix brothers, 2022 therefore sees the release from a new album, 'Ring That Bell ' which is in the continuity of the previous albums, and which offers us 13 new compositions for almost an hour of listening. In short, we can say that everything is done to have a great time listening to hits with memorable melodies, starting with the first third of the album with catchy songs such as 'Carpe Diem', 'Crank It Up', 'What's Broken Can Be Mend' and the eponymous composition which offers us radiant choirs bringing us back to the 80s/90s. We find the same energy in 'Touch Down' or 'Bust Your Balls' and the other titles are intended to be more moderate in a classy but equally melodic AOR: witness the playful 'Angel & Demons' or 'Where Do We Go From Here', 'Touch Down' and 'Second Chances' with this Westcoast side bringing us back to the 70s. And finally, as we already knew, the Dutch have no equal to offer us magnificent ballads which are among the of three with 'Home', 'Give Me Shelter' and 'Lightning Rod' and which I added to my playlist of the best rock/hard rock/metal ballads.

In summary, with this latest album, the Dutch show that they have not lost any of the talent that made them famous thirty years ago and 'Ring That Bell' should undoubtedly be well received and run on repeat among all fans of rock and melodic hard-rock bringing us back to the 80s/90s...

Line Up / Musicians

Fred Hendrix (Vocal), Ron Hendrix (claviers), Gesuino Derosas (Guitar), Hans in't Zandt (Drums)


Artist : Def Leppard

Album : Diamond Star Halos

Release Date : 27-05-2022

Added : 12-06-2022

In the series "it's in the old pots that we make the best soups", here is a formation that has certainly made the most emulators in the style of melodic hard rock since the 80s because, if you are looking for 'Def Leppard' in myprogmusic, it's quite often that I quote the British group which, for forty years (it's been a long time since my vinyls 'On Through The Night' and 'High 'N' Dry' gave up the ghost after repeated listening), have built a worldwide reputation with more than 100 million albums sold. of the group has always lasted during all these years and, after the eponymous album 'Def Leppard' released in 2015 which had plunged us back into the cauldron of melodic hard rock of the 80s, all the fans will still recover a small dose with this new baby from the British, 'Diamond Star Hallos'. And since they don't do the work halfway, they offer us 15 compositions that they have been able to refine during the past 2 years. No need for a long review (there are already enough on the web) to tell you that this latest opus is the bomb!! whether it's the compositions that take us back to the early 80s with the addictive melodies that are 'Take What You Want' (see the video above), 'Kick' (see the video here) or 'Fire It Up' (watch the video here) and those choirs that marked us so much, or whether it's compositions like 'This Guitar' in collaboration with blues/country artist 'Alison Kraus' or 'Liquid Dust' and 'From Here To Eternity' with their psychedelic side of the 'Beatles' or even 'Goodbye For Good This Time' and 'Angels (Can 't Help You Now)' with this time the participation of the pianist of 'David Bowie', 'Mike Garson', which also show all the talent of this legendary group for softer compositions, we are completely under the spell and everything is done to have a great time listening. In short, no need to add more, this latest baby of 'Def Leppard' is a succession of melodic hits in a panel of quite different atmospheres which should certainly make 'Diamond Star Halos' one of the contenders for the best album of melodic rock/hard rock in 2022...

Line Up / Musicians

Joe Elliott (Vocal, Guitar), Phil Collen (Vocal, Guitar), Rick Savage (Bass), Vivian Campbell (Guitar), Rick Allen (Drums) + Guests : Alison Krauss (Vocal), Mike Garson (Keybords)


Artist : Galaxy

Album : Runaway Man

Release Date : 27-05-2022

Added : 15-06-2022

'Galaxy' is a Dutch formation which had a first period of activity in the 90s and which recorded a first album in 1997 which unfortunately never came out. It was therefore necessary to wait until 2022 to get between the ears of this 'Runaway Man' and we wonder why it was not released at the time because all the compositions bring us back to the best of the formations of the 80s of progressive rock, and we can hear, here and there, resemblances with 'Genesis', 'Asia', 'Saga', 'Marillion' or even 'Kansas' and the singer 'Bart Schwertmann' is none other than that of 'Kayak'.

The album begins with 'Answers' which sets the scene for this classy progressive with melodic lines that we appropriate from the first listen, 'Bart Schwertmann' gratifying us with a very beautiful delicate song which fits perfectly with the proposed style and 'Ard Ofers' highlighting luminous keyboards. Listening to the next title, 'Look Into My Eyes', I have the impression of hearing a cross between 'Genesis' and 'Kansas' with a new memorable melody showing a very pleasant symphonic rock side, then, ' Never The Same' continues in this refined progressive with beautiful alternations of intensity and tempo. As for 'In Her Head', the very endearing open atmosphere also shows all the talent of this group for magnificent, quieter compositions and 'Lady In Fire' takes us back a few decades with keyboards à la 'Genesis', a melody à la 'Asia' or a freshness à la 'Saga'. Kicking off energetically and rolling out a few more overdriven guitar riffs, 'Talk To Me' is more direct and in a melodic AOR style bringing extra variety to the mix and, 'Gallery Play' is the only instrumental on the album that highlights keyboards bringing us back to 'Deep Purple' and addictive guitar solos. And to end this very beautiful album, the title song offers us a very beautiful ballad of almost 8 minutes in a languorous and melancholy symphonic atmosphere with a magnificent and grandiose finale in which, after a guitar solo 'Floydien', 'Bart Schwertmann ' offers us a last intense and moving vocal performance.

In summary, the Dutch of 'Galaxy' have done well to persevere so that this album sees the light of day and, even if the compositions necessarily take us back a few decades, we are conquered by this progressive which is ultimately timeless and which should appeal to any audience that likes the references mentioned above...

Line Up / Musicians

Bart Schwertmann (Guitar, Bass, Vocal), Niels Lingbeek (Guitar, Vocal), Ard Ofers (Keybords), Nils Ofers (Drums)


Artist : Sarayasign

Album : Throne of Gold

Release Date : 27-05-2022

Added : 16-06-2022

Definitely, after 'Galaxy' which has just taken out of its cartons a 25-year-old album, here is another album which could also have been released at the same time, because the drummer of this Swedish formation 'Sarayasign', 'Jesper Lindbergh', had concocted, at the 'era, a story about the 'Saraya' world which is detailed on their site (see here) and which is therefore the subject of this album 'Throne of Gold'. Musically, they offer us hard rock that takes us back a few decades with catchy melodic lines and progressive incursions, the whole being relatively varied.

And it starts well with an energetic 'The Book of Wisdom' which is a direct composition in which we are already conquered by the expressive and powerful vocals of 'Stefan Nykvist', then, 'When Worlds Collide' (see video above) continues in this effective style with a memorable new melody that may recall the best of 80s/90s hard rock. With 'Distant Memories', the Swedes add a touch of progressive brought by alternations of tempo and intensity, the central part bringing a very beautiful break in which 'Stefan Nykvist' shows all his talent and 'Daniel Blohm' rewards us with a wonderful guitar solo. And when the light dims, 'If Only For a Moment' (see the video here) is a wonderful power ballad with catchy new melodic lines, then, 'Sandman' has nothing to envy to its predecessor and offers us another melodic gem with a magnificent alternation of tempo between verses and chorus. More classic, it's off again for an addictive hard rock rush with 'Run (The Hunt for the Book of Wisdom)' which automatically starts the headbanging machine, then, 'Stranger in Ice' continues with an up-tempo just as effective with muscular guitars that lead the dance. And to finish, the long development of the title song deploys its 9 minutes with incursions into imaginative progressive, the whole scrolling through varied soundscapes by alternating energetic atmospheres and others much calmer.

In summary, the Swedes of 'Sarayasign' plunge us back into good catchy and effective hard rock with a good dose of progressive bringing us back a few decades and my little finger tells me that 'Throne of Gold' should be the first of a series of albums: we are therefore impatiently awaiting the rest...

Line Up / Musicians

Stefan Nykvist (Vocal, Choirs), Daniel Blohm (Guitar), Andreas Axelsson-Hofgren (Keybords), Daniel Lykkeklev (Bass), Jesper Lindbergh (Drums, Percussions, Guitar)


Artist : Michael Schenker Group

Album : Universal

Release Date : 27-05-2022

Added : 17-06-2022

It's still an old timer coming out with a new album, I named 'Michael Schenker' who made his 'Gibson Flying V' a legend starting in the 70s with 'Scorpions'. After relaunching the 'Michael Schenker Group' in 2021 for its 50-year career with studio recording 'Immortal' which saw all the cream of hard rock parade, here is its little brother, 'Universal' with, also, a lot of guests and a 'Ronnie Romero' who is now in the main line up. No surprise, we are immersed, from the first bars of Emergency' (see video above), in good hard rock with sharp guitar riffs and the duo 'Schenker'/'Romero', respectively, offer us a masterful guitar solo and a remarkable vocal performance, then make way for the addictive melodies of 'Under Attack' (see video here) et de 'A King Has Gone' (see video here),, and if your head doesn't start beating in time, it's because you can move on, but for the others, you should also be conquered by the series of hits constituted by 'Long Long Road' in which we find 'Ronnie Romero' and which smells good of the 70s/80s (I hear 'Rainbow' here and there), 'Wrecking Ball' and its frantic rhythm, sung by 'Ralf Sheepers' which is followed by a 'Yesterday Is Gone' in the same spirit or 'Au Revoir' with its dantesque guitar accompaniment. And when the tempo is slower, we put ourselves between the ears of real melodic jewels with a catchy 'London Calling' and its chorus which bring us back to the 80s, just like the mid-tempo 'Sad Is The Song' which follows which shows an almost psychedelic face in the verses or the two final titles 'Turn Off The World' and 'Fighter', the last of which offers us a last memorable chorus, without forgetting the ballads 'The Universe' transcended by the vocal duo 'Ronnie Romero'/'Gary Barden'.

In summary, the saying that I used for 'Def Leppard' only a few days ago ("the best soups are made in old pots"), applies perfectly to 'Michael Schenker' which shows us that at 67, surrounded by talented artists, he is still in great shape to offer us good melodic hard rock like a few decades ago...

Line Up / Musicians

Michael Schenker (Guitar), Ronnie Romero (Vocal), Barend Courbois (Bass), Steve Mann (Guitar,Keybords), Bodo Schopf (Drums), Michael Voss + Guests : Barry Sparks (Bass), Bob Daisley (Bass), Bobby Rondinelli (Drums), Brian Tichy (Drums), Gary Barden (Vocal), Michael Kiske (Vocal), Ralf Scheepers (Vocal), Simon Phillips (Drums), Tony Carey (Bass)


Artist : The Damnation Project

Album : 4

Release Date : 22-05-2022

Added : 18-06-2022

'The Damnation Project' is a Greek band that was formed in 2009, with the band's self-titled debut album (see here) in 2012, and, of the basic line up, only vocalist and guitarist 'Ioannis Degdekis' remains, the other members being 'Dimitris Papaioannou' on drums, 'Theodoros Chrysanthidis ' on bass and 'Manos Skaramankas' on keyboards. They offer us with this fourth album which bears the sober number 4, a mix of classic rock and hard rock tinged with psychedelia and with some progressive incursions.

The album begins with 'Show Me' which takes us back a few decades with a nice alternation between energetic parts and other calmer ones, then, 'Decisions' is more measured and offers a memorable melody which unrolls a slow repetitive tempo on which we abandon ourselves completely. This is followed by the quiet and relaxing semi-acoustic instrumental, 'A Secret Walk to The Beach', with a beautiful guitar accompaniment, then, 'I Can See You', which was the subject of a single, takes us on an 8 minutes psychedelic ride time machine to stop us between the 60s and 70s, the clear atmosphere being able to think of certain titles of the beginning of 'Pink Floyd'. More muscular, 'Saturday Night' unfolds a memorable melody which this time is reminiscent of the great names of hard rock of the 70s and, with the instrumental 'Memories', we continue in a quieter atmosphere, the guitar bringing, again, a vintage side. The second part of the album continues in this direction with a return to the 70s: witness 'A Game of Chess' with its repetitive but effective theme, the beautiful ballad 'Go to Hell' in crescendo, the acoustic guitar/voice 'Soul Kitchen Blues' brings us back to more traditional song with artists like 'Cat Stevens', the rhythmic 'Woman' which gives an irresistible desire to headbang, the driving 'Fool to Cry' with its remarkable guitar solo , the album ending in a refined atmosphere with the exotic instrumental 'Siempre' which rocks us gently with a very beautiful accompaniment of a classical acoustic guitar which makes us escape under the sky of the Mediterranean as a certain 'Steve Hackett'.

In summary, this new album from 'The Damnation Project' takes us back a few decades with a nice sample of different styles ranging from acoustic songs to hard rock, passing through very beautiful instrumentals and, if you are amateur or amateur of atmospheres of the 70s, you should without a doubt adhere to this number '4' of the Greeks...

Line Up / Musicians

Dimitris Papaioannou (Drums), Manos Skaramankas (Keybords), Ioannis Degdekis (Guitar, Vocal), Theodoros Chrysanthidis (Bass)


Artist : Whispering Tales

Album : A Matter of Time

Release Date : 20-05-2022

Added : 02-06-2022

It's already been more than 10 years since the first album 'Echoes Of Perversion' from Marseille's 'Whispering Tales' was released, and I remember that in 2012, I really liked the 'Ad Abolendam' EP, which offered catchy symphonic metal but didn't have a production worthy of their talent at the time. A second LP followed in 2014, 'Mechanism' which showed a nice evolution (among other things a much more careful production) and took us on a novel written by bassist 'Stéphane Castelli' and which had been the subject of a teaser setting the scene for the story taking place in the 1920s (see here). And then, the album being announced as the first part of a trilogy, we were therefore impatiently awaiting the sequel and it was only 8 years later that 'A Matter of Time' came to the fore.

In the continuity of the previous opus, we find this symphonic metal with melodic lines that we immediately appropriate and the formation has evolved somewhat since 'Gérald Coissard' and the new drummer and 'Nicola Caruana' is now the main singer, 'Lucy Freckles' having stepped back but, fortunately for all fans of the Frenchwoman, is still present on two compositions. 'The Spark' welcomes us in a catchy atmosphere with a first chorus that goes straight into your head and with a good alternation between the sung and instrumental parts. 'Heap Of Ashes' and 'Copper Wire' continue on this path, with for the first a beautiful rhythmic alternation in the middle of the title with a remarkable guitar solo, 'Julien Tournoud', from 'Amon Sethis', providing his vocal contribution to this title, and for the second a new catchy melody. We find the delicious 'Lucy Freckles' in 'On the Edge' which is a magnificent power ballad in which the Frenchwoman charms us with her delicate vocals, the piano and string accompaniment further increasing the emotion of this very beautiful title. Follows 'Lazarus' (see video here) which brings a pinch of progressive with its instrumental introduction bringing a new catchy title with again the participation of 'Julien Tournoud', then, 'The Quantum Clock' accelerates the tempo for a fast title, the double pedal being of put but always well balanced because several more moderate sections make it possible to soften here and there the frenetic rhythm, in particular with a central instrumental part highlighting the ticking of a clock which makes it one of the centerpieces of the album . With 'Embers', we are again in the company of 'Lucy Freckles' who offers us a remarkable vocal performance in a catchy title with a catchy chorus which comes to be grafted directly into the head and which ends with an offbeat but very endearing section musette ball animated by an accordion and a violin. The end of the album continues to offer us long developments of more than 8 minutes with first of all, the very beautiful 'Falling Dominos' in which 'Nicolas Caruana' shows all his vocal talent in a much more moderate register at the beginning , and which is gradually gaining momentum and again presents a progressive face with alternations of different tempos and intensities with a very beautiful guitar solo in the second part of 'Jérémie Chabod', then, 'Zugzwang' (see video here) ends the album in style with catchy symphonic metal that offers a memorable melody and remarkable instrumental arrangements, the piano break followed by the guitar solo and the instrumental section in the central part bringing a beautiful originality.

In summary, the French of 'Whispering Tales', after long years of absence, return to the front of the symphonic metal scene by offering us a very beautiful album which should certainly be well received by all fans. of the band and, beyond, by an audience that loves accessible metal thanks to catchy melodic lines from the first listen...

Line Up / Musicians

Nicolas Caruana (Vocal), Jérémie Chabod (Guitar), Stéphane Castelli (Bass), Gérald Coissard (Drums) + Guest : Julien Tournoud (Vocal), Lucy Freckles (Vocal)


Artist : Lonerider

Album : Sundown

Release Date : 20-05-2022

Added : 09-06-2022

'FM' latest album, 'Thirteen' was released less than 3 months ago and the English 'Steve Overland' who, in addition to 'FM', has several projects to his credit (for example in solo with 'Overland', the latest album 'Scandalous' being released in 2020), gratifies us of a new album, 'Sundown', with the formation 'Lonerider' which in addition to Steve is composed of 'Steve Morris' (ex 'Heartland, 'Shadowman' ), 'Chris Childs' ('Thunder') and 'Simon Kirke' ('Bad Company'). After a first album 'Attitude' released in 2019, this second baby is, like you can doubt it, given the pedigree of each artist, filled with melodic hits that take us back to the best of the 70s/80s in an AOR style, starting with an energetic 'Fantasyland' in a classic style with its addictive chorus and the following titles continue in this effective melodic rock with the driving 'Cross the Border' and the rhythmic 'Undefeatable' until the first ballad break 'Harder Love'. The sequel is in the image of this beginning of the album with new melodies that we tame on the first listen, the whole being punctuated by magnificent new ballads that are 'Any Way the Wind Blows' and 'Prayer for the Lonely', this last title flirting with Westcoast and can recall 'Eagles'. In short, needless to add, 'Steve Overland', accompanied by talented artists, offers us a remarkable new album filled with beautiful melodies in a classy and timeless AOR and 'Sundown' should, without a doubt, make people happy and turn on repeat for all fans who love melodic rock, bringing us back to the 70s/80s...

Line Up / Musicians

Steve Overland (Vocal), Steve Morris (Guitar, Keybords, Hammond), Chris Childs (Bass), Simon Kirke (Drums)


Artist : CoreLeoni

Album : III

Release Date : 20-05-2022

Added : 03-06-2022

For all fans of 'Gotthard', the guitarist 'Leo Leoni' is inseparable from the Swiss formation and Leo also has another project, 'CoreLeoni'. Initially, he took drummer 'Hena Habegger' with him and the first album 'I' of 2018 was devoted to songs set aside by 'Gotthard' on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Swiss group. Four years later, exit 'Hena Habegger' who also left 'Gotthard' and replaced by 'Alex Motta' and, after their second album 'II', here is the last baby released in May 2022 and which, as expected, is number 3. Another major change, 'Ronnie Romero' ('Lord Of Black', 'Destinia', 'Sunstorm', 'The Ferrymen') who was part of the adventure of the first two albums, left the ship and was replaced by the Albanian 'Eugent Bushpepa'. But, despite all these changes, 'Leo Leonie' and his troupe continue in the momentum of previous albums with strong hard rock but this time with original compositions (except the last 3 titles), certainly to induct the new line up and make it a formation really apart from 'Gotthard'. Admittedly, it's very similar but, from the first listen, we are taken by a whirlwind of energetic compositions to take your head off by dint of headbanging: to take a few examples, I will cite the titles that have been the subject of a video on youtube: to urge us to resume a normal life after confinement 'Let Life Begin Tonight' opens the proceedings with an energetic and effective first title followed by a 'Purple Dynamite' which, as the name suggests, is pure dynamite, then, 'Like It Or Not' is not to be outdone with a chorus that will certainly be screamed in concert. In the same genre, we can cite 'Guilty Under Pressure' and 'Sick & Tired' and their devastating riffs or even the effective 'Would You Love Me' with a little air of AC/DC' and when the atmosphere wants more moderate, 'Leo Leoni' has this talent to lay us magnificent ballads which are two in number on this album, 'Sometimes' and 'Deep In My Soul'. And, we can't miss the 3 covers at the end of the album, first of all an energetic 'Jumpin' Jack Flash' by the 'Stones' and the two titles of 'Gotthard', the ballad 'Say Goodbye' and 'Good Time Lover' which ends on a frenzied note this very beautiful album.

In summary, 'Leo Leoni', accompanied by a very talented new line up, gives us an excellent album and this third offering from the Swiss should raise the sound level among a lot of 'Gotthard' fans and the beyond because everything is done to have a wonderful time listening to this energetic, efficient, and somehow timeless hard rock...

Line Up / Musicians

Eugent Bushpepa (Vocal), Leo Leoni (Guitar), Jgor Gianola (Guitar), Mila Merker (Bass), Alex Motta (Drums)


Artist : James Labrie

Album : Beautiful Shade of Grey

Release Date : 20-05-2022

Added : 04-06-2022

For anyone who knows singer 'James Labrie' from 'Dream Theater', the label stuck to him is obviously that of progressive metal and if you search the internet for the style of his latest solo album, a lot of sites classify it in this category. And yet, on the first listen to his latest album 'Beautiful Shade of Grey', we are far from the progressive atmospheres of his main line-up. Almost 10 years ago, he released 'Impermanent Resonance' in duet with the growler 'Peter Wildoer' but, this time, he offers us a mix of pop and melodic rock, the whole highlighting acoustic instrumentation. The rest of the line up consists of guitarist and bassist 'Paul Logue', keyboardist 'Christian Pulkkinen', guitarist 'Marco Sfogli' and James' son 'Chance Labrie' on drums.

We navigate through peaceful and melodic atmospheres, starting with a 'Devil in Drag' (see the video above) which brings us back to light pop that we could listen to in the 80s , the accompaniment of the acoustic guitar bringing a fresh and luminous side. Follows 'SuperNova Girl' which reinforces this soft and quiet musical direction with a ballad with catchy melodic lines, climate that we find with 'Give and Take' (see the video here) which shows that 'James Labrie' knows how to move us in these more intimate atmospheres and which still highlights 'Paul Logue' on the acoustic guitar. With 'Sunset Ruin', place to a soft melancholy brought by languorous strings which rock us on a gripping melody, then, slightly more energetic, 'Hit Me Like A Brick' shows beautiful variations of intensity and is in the same register than 'Devil in Drag' which takes us back to the carefree atmospheres of the 80s, just like 'Wildflower' which follows and which this time makes me think of 'Elton John'. The short and very beautiful 'Conscience Calling', sung a capella, serves as an introduction to 'What I Missed', a new delicate and playful ballad which offers us new very endearing melodic lines, then, 'A I Right' (see the video here) takes us up on a cozy little cloud for a new acoustic ballad in which the duo 'James Labrie'/'Paul Lorgue' continues to charm us. To end this magnificent album, 'James Labrie' offers us a magnificent cover of 'Ramble On' from 'Led Zeppelin' in which the singer takes on the air of 'Robert Plant', then the cover of the electric version of 'Devil in Drag ' highlights, this time, the guitarist 'Marco Sfogli'.

In summary, far from the progressive metal of 'Dream Theater', 'James Labrie', accompanied in a very beautiful way by the acoustic guitar of 'Paul Logue', shows us a very endearing facet that we know much less, and 'Beautiful Shade of Grey' should appeal to a wide audience who love a light and melodic pop that you can enjoy quietly with your headphones on...

Line Up / Musicians

James Labrie (Vocal), Paul Logue (Guitar, Bass), Christian Pulkkinen (Keybords), Marco Sfogli (Guitar), Chance Labrie (Drums)


Artist : Volturian

Album : Red Dragon

Release Date : 20-05-2022

Added : 05-06-2022

'Volurian' is an Italian formation born from the meeting of the singer 'Federica Lanna' who is the singer of the symphonic metal band 'Sleeping Romance' and who was invited by 'Georg Neuhauser' for the album 'Lionheart' by 'Serenity', and guitarist and keyboardist 'Federico Mondelli' who is also the composer and who is a member of the power metal band 'Frozen Crown'. After a promising first album in 2020 (see here), the Italians are releasing a second opus 'Red Dragon' inspired by the detective novel 'Dragon Rouge' by 'Thomas Harris' published in 1981. In an original style on the margins of traditional melodic and symphonic metal formations, they offer us 10 titles which mix different styles ranging from, pop to metal, all this being tinged with electronic sounds.

After the instrumental introduction 'Rebirth' with electro sounds which gently raises the mood, 'Stay' is one of the two energetic titles of the album with a marked rhythm, a catchy melody and, in this composition, 'Federica Lanna' sounds like 'Charlotte Wessels' (ex 'Delain'). The other energetic title is 'Freeze' in which the melodic lines make me think, this time, of the band 'Stream Of Passion' which stopped its adventure in 2016, 'Frederica Lanna' having some resemblance this time with 'Marcella Bovio'. The other titles, more measured, also show this resemblance to 'Stream Of Passion', starting with the very beautiful 'Harley' (see the video above) which presents beautiful alternations of intensity between verses and chorus, then, 'Empty World' (see video here) is closer to a melodic rock with modern keyboard sounds interspersed, here and there, by some saturated guitar riffs. We find this contemporary spirit with electro sounds and a 'rhythm machine' battery in 'Torn Asunder' which brings a pop side and moves away from metal, then, 'Burn It Up' brings us back to the atmospheres of 'Stream Of Passion' with a powerful mid-tempo with a marked rhythm. We find electronic sounds with 'Distant Caress' which highlights all the vocal talent 'Federica Lanna' which fits beautifully into the repetitive accompaniments and which flies over this title with its angelic singing still reminiscent of 'Marcella Bovio' in certain places, then, 'Bury Me' returns to more classic metal with a catchy melody and catchy rhythm, the album ending with the short instrumental 'Descent' à la 'Jean Michel Jarre', quite dispensable, which again highlights keyboards with electronic sounds.

In summary, the Italians of 'Volturian', led by an admirable singer who largely bears comparison with the gratin of singers of this style, offer us a resolutely modern metal mixing electro sounds with saturated guitar riffs that which makes them a very original group on the fringes of the traditional symphonic and melodic metal scene...

Line Up / Musicians

Federica Lanna (Vocal), Federico Mondelli (Guitar, Keybords), Massimiliano Rossi (Bass), Andrea Zannin (Drums)


Artist : Assignment

Album : Assimilation

Release Date : 20-05-2022

Added : 06-06-2022

'Assignment' is a progressive power metal band from Germany and since the early 2000s they have released various LPs and EPs, the latest album being 'Reflections' which dates from 2020. 2022 sees the release of a 30-minute EP, and for all those who do not know this band (which I am also discovering with this EP), 'Assimilation' is a good way to realize the diversity they offer in a few titles (and in video) with covers offering a nice variety of styles. First, muscular blues/rock with 'Black Velvet' (see video above) which is by 'Alannah Myles' and dates from 1989, then 'Shadow of a Doubt' (see video here), is a song by 'Roxette' from 1986 which develops direct and energetic melodic metal. Without transition, the following track takes us into an ABBA cover, 'Lay All Your Love on Me' (see the video here) in a version slightly more saturated than the original, this title having already been covered by 'Amberian Dawn' in the album 'Looking for You'. Two instrumentals follow, 'The Running Man' (see the video here) and 'Christine' (see video here) which present the progressive side of Assignment' with different original variations on each musical theme and the end of the album is dedicated to the sequel 'Cimmerian Tales' which is taken from the soundtrack composed by 'Basil Poledouris' of the film 'Conan The Barbarian' , in an epic construction highlighting a powerful metal with alternating intensities and tempos in the first part and which deploys much more moderate folk atmospheres in the two following parts.

In summary, the Germans of Assignment' are releasing an EP which is a very varied and very original sample of different influences, which allows us to discover this formation which offers us relatively accessible progressive and melodic metal...

Line Up / Musicians

Goran Panic (Guitar), Eiko Spaarmann (Bass), Diego VValdez (Vocal), Michael Kolar (Drums), Gert Sprick (Keybords), Maria Jose Ledy Pot (Vocal, Choirs)


Artist : Shameless

Album : So Good, You Should...

Release Date : 20-05-2022

Added : 07-06-2022

Back in the late 80s when bassist 'Alexx Michael' created the band 'Shameless' and after 10 years of inactivity, the group reformed with a first album 'Backstreet Anthems' in 1999. Since then, 6 other albums were released, the latest being 'The Filthy 7' in 2017, and 2022 sees the release of 'So Good, You Should...' which is sort of a sample of 80s melodic hits as most of the tracks are covers, the only original tracks being 'Shout It Out' and ' So Good, You Should...'. We are therefore taken on a journey through time with memorable melodies that go from the end of the 60s with for example 'Get Ready' which was originally sung (more subdued of course) by 'The Temptations' in the 2010s with 'Stay The Night' from 'Green Day' but this time taken up as a ballad, via 'Hiding From Love' by 'Bryan Adams' or 'Does Your Mother Know' by 'ABBA'. The 2 original compositions to which we can add the last title 'Live Your Dream' released in 2021 fit perfectly into this varied and original patchwork. And to discover this album, the Germans are giving us four videos, which can be seen on youtube: 'Shout It Out', 'Hiding From Love', 'Love Is Blind' and 'Live Your Dream'. In short, the Germans of 'Shameless' are releasing an album filled with good positive energy that will keep you in shape for a whole day with hits that parade one behind the other and, for an audience that loves hard rock, bringing us back some decades back, 'So Good, You Should...' is to be consumed without moderation...

Line Up / Musicians

Charlotte Tybalt (Vocal), Frankie Muriel (Vocal), Stevie Rachelle (Vocal), Dennis Post (Guitar), BC (Guitar), Alexx Michael (Bass), Tod T Burr (Drums) + Guests : Jaret Reddick (Vocal), Bruce Kulick (Guitar), Tracii Guns (Guitar), Alex Kane (Guitar), Adam Hamilton (Drums)


Artist : Spheric Universe Experience

Album : Back Home

Release Date : 20-05-2022

Added : 08-06-2022

'Spheric Universe Experience' is a French progressive metal formation which has already existed for twenty years, and which had a first period of activity in the 2000s, with 4 albums between 2006 and 2012, the latest being 'The New Eve' in 2012. The band then toured and 2017 has given the release of the live 'Live in London 2016' and we can emphasize that the French groups are not legion to manage to perform in the United Kingdom. After ten years without studio recording, it is the return of 'Spheric Universe Experience' to the front of the progressive metal scene with 'Back Home' which smells of the influences of the pioneers of this style in the end of the years. 90 and which takes us on a long science fiction journey for 70 minutes aboard the spaceship 'SUE5-2469'.

And, precisely, from the start, we are greeted by the short instrumental 'On Board SUE5-2469' which sets the scene and which shows an epic and cinematographic face to approach 'Final Fate' which begins with riffs of furious and fast guitar and which gives way to an energetic and melodic first title whose chorus comes directly to freeze in the head and which already shows a remarkable first vocal performance of 'Frank Garcia' and beautiful keyboard and guitar solos, the finale falling beautifully with some piano notes. It's off to a good start and 'Where We Belong' continues by bringing a dimension of classical music perfectly integrated into the energy of metal, the second part integrating a piano section which continues with a memorable melody quite admirable, then ' Transcending Real Life' is not to be outdone with new catchy melodic lines whose refrain can recall certain compositions of 'Threshold' and which alternates different atmospheres including a magnificent Arabic central part. The suite continues to offer us memorable melodies in elaborate constructions with 'Senses Restored' and its beautiful central break where we find the use of the piano and with the catchy 'Legacy', more direct, and presenting a new chorus. catchy. With 'Defenders Of Light', we hold the most energetic title which, on an up-tempo, develops a remarkable unbridled instrumental section in the second part of the title, then, the instrumental 'Synchronicity', with its organ sounds of space travel prepares the suite 'The Absolution' which begins with an epic rise with grandiose choirs and which continues on a long development with all the ingredients of an inventive and sought-after progressive metal while keeping catchy melodic lines. Follow 'Rebirth' and 'Of The Last Plague' which form only one title, the first of which begins with a recitative and which is more technical with a series of instrumental sections presenting numerous breaks and which gives way to the second in the same atmosphere but, sung this time, and which deploys a beautiful energy with a muscular accompaniment of guitars with heavy and powerful riffs and with some oriental digressions. And to end this dense album, 'Dreams Will Survive' deploys its 9 minutes with a long instrumental introduction in crescendo and a succession of varied sections including this central break with again the use of the piano or the sung part which follows on a tempo slower with harmonious melodic lines or even the following more unbridled instrumental part highlighting an inventive rhythm section with multiple facets, the finale taking up the melodic theme that never leaves us.

In summary, after a good while of absence, this new album 'Back Home' should put 'Spheric Universe Experience' back in a good place among the best formations of progressive metal, and if you are fans of formations like 'Dream Theater' or 'Threshold ' or Sons Of Apollo', you should, without a doubt, adopt this new offering from the French who show that you can also make good music in France...

Line Up / Musicians

Frank Garcia (Vocal), Frédéric Colombo (Keybords), Vince Benhaïm (Guitar), Julien Negro (Bass), Romain Goulon (Drums)


Artist : Evergrey

Album : A Heartless Portrait (The Orphean Testament)

Release Date : 20-05-2022

Added : 11-06-2022

The Swedes of Evergrey' have not been idle for a few years because, after the last part of the trilogy 'The Atlantic' from 2019, 2021 saw the release of 'Escape of the Phoenix', followed by live 'Before the Aftermath (Live In Gothenburg)' in early 2022. Meanwhile, frontman 'Tom S. Englund' has also released 'Nectar' with his project 'Silent Skies' and just 4 months later, Evergrey's last recording, 'A Heartless Portrait (The Orphean Testament)' was released, which somehow sequel to Escape of the Phoenix', the themes deployed by 'Tom S. Englund' revolving, among other things, around the growing importance of social networks and their harmful effects to keep a critical mind to build one's own personality and not foolishly follow the herd. From a musical point of view, 'Evergrey' continues to make Evergrey', that is to say, melodic, powerful and epic metal at will. On the menu of this new opus 10 compositions for 50 minutes of listening.

And it starts strong with 'Save Us' (see the video above) and 'Midwinter Calls' (see the video here) which display extraordinary power with catchy melodic lines and all the ingredients that we know from the Swedes, including these grandiose vocal harmonies. The 'Evergrey' machine is running and 'Ominous' offers us a first break also showing all the talent of this formation to lay us more moderate compositions but just as effective, then, 'Call out the Dark' continues with a bass which prints a marked tempo and which starts the headbanging machine to accompany a new memorable melody. Make way for the title track which is more progressive in construction with different sections that follow each other and many tempo changes thanks to a more complex rhythm section. Follows 'Reawakening', faster but still as energetic in a less immediate melody then, 'The Great Unwashed' is much more original and shows that it is in this kind of slower title that Evergrey' shows its best face with a chorus that sends you an incredible power and with a remarkable break in a long central part highlighting the poignant vocals of 'Tom S. Englund' then a masterful guitar solo of 'Henrik Danhange'. We stay on very good 'Evergrey' with the energetic 'Heartless' which deploys an addictive chorus and which offers a new break in the middle of the title before an instrumental part with a new fantastic guitar solo. I hang less on the following title 'Blindfolded' (see the video here) certainly because of a rather repetitive and rougher rhythm section and 'Wildfires' ends this beautiful album with an acoustic ballad in which 'Tom S. Englund' gives us a last moving vocal performance.

In summary, the Swedes of Evergrey 'continue to offer us very good progressive metal, powerful and melodic with a singer always at the top of his art, but who is not necessarily immediate which destines 'A Heartless Portrait (The Orphean Testament)' to an audience that likes to linger over an album and repeat the listening to draw all its richness...

Line Up / Musicians

Tom S. Englund (Vocal, Guitar), Henrik Danhage (Guitar), Johan Niemann (Bass), Rikard Zander (Keybords), Jonas Ekdahl (Drums)


Artist : Pymlico

Album : Supermassive

Release Date : 20-05-2022

Added : 13-06-2022

'Pymlico' is a Norwegian group that has just released its seventh studio recording 'Supermassive' and whose discography you can find on spotify here. Entirely instrumental, they offer us a patchwork of progressive styles, mixing rock, jazz rock, fusion, AOR and pop with the contribution of a large number of instrumentalists and on this last album, appears 'Roine Stolt' by 'The Flower Kings' for a beautiful guitar solo in 'Clockwork'. We are therefore embarked on an exotic journey starting with a refreshing 'Breaking Protocol' with beautiful guitar sections, then, 'Confusion' continues in this light atmosphere and offers in the second part a 'Floydian' section with a guitar solo 'Gilmourian', atmosphere that we find in 'Clockwork' which follows with more jazzy sounds thanks to the accompaniment of brass. With 'Are We There Yet?', we remain in atmospheric influences with a saxophone which brings a nonchalant side to a catchy melodic theme, then, 'Time Out' alternates melancholic passages and other more energetic ones, the brass being still featured throughout the title. We continue with 'Little Nellie' and its funky atmosphere which is filled with a beautiful lightness which can recall certain titles of 'Santana', the central part offering a moderate tempo closer to a cozy atmosphere of a jazz club. The end of the album is in the continuity of the whole with 'Doppelmayr' which displays beautiful variations of intensity and tempo and 'WTG' shows a more melancholic face with beautiful catchy melodic lines and with an accompaniment of keyboards with sounds bringing us back a few decades.

In summary, the Norwegians of 'Pymlico' continue to offer us a beautiful range of different musical registers in relaxed and light atmospheres which make 'Supermassive' an album to be enjoyed quietly with headphones to relax with a good busy day...

Line Up / Musicians

Øyvind Brøter (Keybords), Stephan Hvinden (Guitar), Andreas Sjo Engen (Guitar), Arild Brøter (Drums, Keybords), Oda Rydning (Percussions), Robin Havem Løvøy (Saxophone), Are Nerland (Bass, Keybords, Guitar) + Guests : Mattias Krohn Nielsen (Guitar), Ole Michael Bjørndal (Guitar), Roine Stolt (Guitar), Erlend Lindvåg Solemdal (Keybords), Filip Brekke Steigedal (Trombone), Petter Lien (Trumpet)


Artist : Visions Of Atlantis

Album : Pirates

Release Date : 13-05-2022

Added : 28-05-2022

In my last review devoted to 'Visions Of Atlantis' (see here), I had regretted that they still performed too often in the first part and, the covid years, past, they are now a formation which finally ensures entire concerts: this long tour in the United States in 2021 which had been interrupted because of the global pandemic and which has been revised upwards as a sign to show this (well-deserved) notoriety in full growth at the international level. 2022 therefore sees the release of their new opus 'Pirates', which is devoted, as its name suggests, to the world of piracy and, the least we can say is that this album is a series of hits that parade one behind the other.

And it starts very strong with the beautiful skewer of the first 6 titles which each have their own personality: 'Pirates Will Return' opens hostilities with an epic symphonic composition that immediately highlights the vocal duo 'Clementine Delauney'/'Michele Guaitoli' with some haunting background vocals in the calmer parts of Clémentine. The stage is set and 'Melancholy Angel' (see the video above) continues in a more sedate atmosphere with a melodic jewel whose refrain will certainly remain engraved in your head for a long time and should make a whole concert audience sing, then, ' Master the Hurricane' (see the video here) regains vigor and offers us a single containing all the ingredients of what any lover of symphonic metal wishes to find in this style with a special mention for outstanding vocal arrangements. We continue with this piece full of enthusiasm that is 'Clocks' written by 'Michele Guaitoli' and which shows a marked and cadenced rhythm which gives an irresistible desire to accompany the ticking in time with an undisguised joy then, first moment of calm with the magnificent ballad 'Freedom' which allows a well-deserved break after so much energy. And it's with the other single 'Legions of the Seas' (see the video ici) that this first half of the album ends with a new epic title which has two beautiful breaks of intensity in which 'Clémentine Delauney' shows all her vocal talent. After this series of hits, we tell ourselves that it will be difficult to maintain such a level of quality and, however, thanks to a variety of styles, we remain glued to a 'Wild Elysium' which is eyeing symphonic metal à la 'Kamelot' with a remarkable orchestration and a 'Michele Guaitoli' who sounds like 'Tommy Karevik' in the verses. A rhythmic and dancing 'Darkness Inside' would certainly not have been denied by a certain 'Tarja' in an atmosphere almost of international variety (this not being at all pejorative) with some more saturated guitar riffs, then, 'In My World' brings the folk and festive side to 'Nighwish' thanks to the contribution of the flute of 'Ben Metzner' and thanks to a catchy melody and 'Mercy' takes us on a new melodic hit with magnificent vocal arrangements and a chorus to resume in chorus. And to end this very beautiful album, 'Heal the Scars' offers us a ballad filled with emotion which is to be added to the best ballads of metal but which, for my part, would have increased the emotional cursor if it had been sung in duo with 'Michele Guaitoli', my wish being granted with the epic 'I Will Be Gone' which ends in tranquility with some bagpipe notes.

In summary, 'Visions Of Atlantis' certainly offers us its best album with a series of varied compositions which each bring their personality in epic, rhythmic, festive and melodious atmospheres and 'Pirates' will certainly be an album which will turn into loop for all lovers and all lovers of symphonic metal...

Line Up / Musicians

Clémentine Delauney (Vocal), Michele Guaitoli (Vocal), Christian Douscha (Guitar), Herbert Glos (Bass), Thomas Caser (Drums), Ben Metzner (Flute, Bagpipe), Lukas Knoebl (Orchestration)


Artist : Silver Lining

Album : Go Out Nowhere

Release Date : 13-05-2022

Added : 30-05-2022

I was seduced by the first album 'Heart and Mind Alike' from Norway's 'Silver Lining' and their new studio recording 'Go Out Nowhere' have just been released. They continue to offer us beautiful melodies in a style mixing folk, pop and country with, among other things, influences drawn from the other side of the Atlantic in the 'West Coast', the slide guitar being very often used. The other point that should also be underlined is the quality of the vocal harmonies, three of the artists also being singers, which brings a particularly endearing dimension to the whole. We are therefore taken on a very beautiful relaxing and exotic journey and if you adhere to the first title 'Your Everything', you should also like the whole album, with for example the eponymous song which has a little air d'Eagles' or 'The Dream', which follows and which shows all the vocal talent of this formation or even 'Days Like These' with its variations of intensity. And when the style is more refined, we are also seduced by very beautiful acoustics such as 'Awake' or 'I Can Stay' or even 'Master of Disguise'. In short, the Norwegians of 'Silver Lining' do it again with magnificent melodies interpreted in a very beautiful way thanks to remarkable vocal harmonies and 'Go Out Nowhere' is to be classified in the category of albums to be listened to quietly with headphones to rest from a hard day at work...

Line Up / Musicians

Stine Andreassen (Vocal, Guitar, Bass), Bjørnar Ekse Brandseth (Guitar, Pedal Steel, Dobro), Halvor Falck Johansen (Vocal, Guitar, Keybords), Live Miranda Solberg (Vocal, Guitar, Piano, Keybords, Glockenspiel), Kim Åge Furuhaug (Drums, Percussions), Chris Holm (Bass), Yngve Sætre (Piano)


Artist : Junkyard Drive

Album : Electric Love

Release Date : 13-05-2022

Added : 31-05-2022

If you are a fan of good hard rock that takes your breath away, we are heading to Denmark with 'Junkyard Drive' which is releasing its third album 'Electric Love', after 'Sin & Tonic' in 2017 and 'Black Coffee' in 2018. No need to make you languish, to parody an advertisement from the 70s, this new opus, "it's dynamite in bar": entry with ' Let It Burn', let's go for a completely unleashed hard rock bang and if the headbanging machine doesn't start automatically in the chorus, it's because you can go your way. For the others who stayed, you should also adopt the rhythmic 'Electric Love', 'Mr. Rock N' Roll' with its devastating riffs à la 'AC/DC' or even 'Home' but this time with riffs reminiscent of 'Black Night' from 'Deep Purple' and the mid-tempo 'Let Me Love You', slightly more measured acts as a break after all this excess of energy. Still just as effective, it's back with 'Tomorrow I'll Be Gone' and new devastating riffs, then 'Mind Eraser' softens the subject while keeping a catchy rhythm and an addictive chorus. The ballad break is provided by 'The Wonderland of Temptations' (see video above) with its magnificent crescendo, and the album ends with the heavy mid-tempo 'Mama' and 'Free Your Mind' which could be a subtle mix of 'Deep Purple' and from 'Led Zeppelin'.

In summary, the Danes of 'Junkyard Drive' release an album filled with direct but dreadfully effective hard rock anthems that bring us back to the best of the 70s, with modern production bringing all the necessary power for this style of music, and 'Electric Love' should be adopted by all audiences who love catchy hard rock from the first listen...

Line Up / Musicians

Kris (Vocal), Oliver Hartmann (Guitar), Sjus (Bass), Claus (Drums)


Artist : Skills

Album : Different Worlds

Release Date : 13-05-2022

Added : 01-06-2022

It is still a project set up by 'Frontiers' which is in the spotlight with the super group 'Skills' composed of the singer 'Renan Zonta' ('Brother Against Brother', 'Electric Mob'), guitarist 'Brad Gillis' ('Night Ranger'), bassist 'Billy Sheehan' ('Octavision', 'Sons Of Apollo', 'Mr. Big) and drummer 'David Huff' ('Giant'), without forgetting of course the Swiss army knife of the label, the Italian 'Alessandro Del Vecchio' who comes to support the quartet on keyboards and choirs. Given the pedigree of each artist, it's no surprise that we find good melodic hard rock, the album comprising mainly AOR coming straight from the 80s with titles like 'Writings on the Wall', 'Show Me The Way', 'Just When I Needed You', 'Stop The World' (see the video above), 'Hearts Of Stone' or even 'Don't Break My Heart'. The two opening titles, 'Escape Machine' and the up-tempo 'Blame It On The Night' are slightly more muscular with catchy melodic lines and we cannot miss the two quieter compositions that are 'Losing The Track' and 'Just When I Needed You' (see video here) which are to be added to the best hard rock ballads.

In summary, this new project 'Skills', mounted by 'Frontiers', takes us back a few decades by offering us good melodic hard rock performed by artists who ensure from the first to the last title and who take us a very pleasant moment listening to these effective and catchy melodic lines...

Line Up / Musicians

Renan Zonta (Vocal), Brad Gillis (Guitar), Billy Sheehan (Bass), David Huff (Drums) + Guest : Alessandro Del Vecchio (Keybords, Choirs)


Artist : SayWeCanFly

Album : Secondhand Heartbreak

Release Date : 06-05-2022

Added : 27-05-2022

The Canadian 'Braden Barrie' who is completely independent begins to make a good reputation internationally in the song and, after a career start with a first album 'Heaven Is Hell' in 2013, 4 other albums followed, 'Between The Rose' in 2015, 'Blessed Are Those' in 2016, 'Beautiful Mess' in 2018 and 'Nosebleed (Unmasked)' in 2020. He also released an album of songs of Christmas in 2021, 'Cup of Cheer' and 2022 sees the release of his first live recorded during various public performances during his last tour. He offers us a kind of best off with songs from all of his albums and we embark on the universe of the entire singer who touches us with his singing filled with emotion while being just accompanied by his acoustic guitar which puts even more forward the talent of this artist in these refined atmospheres keeping only the substance of the music. In short, this live is a good way to discover 'Braden Barrie' who has succeeded in this bet of distributing his albums himself through channels parallel to record companies and who, thanks to social networks, is now followed by several hundred thousand of fans...

Line Up / Musicians

Braden Barrie (Vocal, Guitar, Keybords)


Artist : Sheryl Crow

Album : Sheryl: Music From The Feature Documentary

Release Date : 06-05-2022

Added : 20-05-2022

After her latest album 'Threads' of 2019 which was announced as the last studio recording and the concert 'Live From the Ryman And More' which followed in 2021, the American 'Sheryl Crow', with numerous 'Grammy Awards' and multiple albums, offers us a sort best of as part of the documentary on her career which was presented at the beginning of May 2022. Many songs punctuate this album with studio recordings and live performances, but also three unreleased tracks at the end of the album, 'Forever' (see the video below), 'Still The Same' and 'Live With Me' which is a cover of 'The Rolling Stones'. The ensemble takes us on a two-and-a-half-hour tour of titles that have marked her career. We also find on the second part the collaborations with other artists like the well-known 'Prove You Wrong' sung in trio with 'Stevie Nicks' and 'Maren Morris'. In short, this double album is a fine tribute to the thirty-year career of 'Sheryl Crow' and, beyond the fans who will undoubtedly be delighted by all these timeless songs, 'Music From The Feature Documentary' is a good way to discover this American artist who left her mark on American music by mixing rock, pop, folk and country...


Artist : starfish64

Album : Scattered Pieces Of Blue

Release Date : 06-05-2022

Added : 26-05-2022

It's now been 6 years that the Germans of 'starfish64' release albums at the frequency of a metronome, every two years, because 'Scaterred Pieces Of Blue' will be the fourth chronicle that I do of this progressive pop/rock band , after 'An Altered State Of Joy' in 2016, 'The Future in Reverse' in 2018 and 'The Crimson Cabinet' in 2020. The band at 'Dieter Hoffmann' once again takes us into their progressive universe made up of delicate and refined atmospheres often tinged with a beneficial melancholy. Apart from the centerpiece of the album, 'Time's up Utopia', which exceeds 9 minutesn and which highlights keyboards with soft electronic sounds unfolding a captivating melody, all the compositions do not exceed 4 minutes. and if, from the start, you adhere to the first title 'Blue Piece (Of Something In The Air)' developing a memorable first chorus, chances are that you will be seduced by the following titles starting with the ballad 'Birdsong' (see video above), then by the rhythmic 'Forget Me Now' (see the video here) or by the refined 'Happiness' highlighting all the vocal sensitivity of 'Dieter Hoffman' or by the languorous 'Intersection One' or even by 'Space Junk' which closes the album in a 'Floydian' atmosphere with a magnificent guitar solo by 'Jörg Hoffma n'.

In summary, the Germans of 'starfish64' continue their merry way by offering us a new album which transports us for a moment in their universe filled with sensitivity and serenity conducive to escape and that we savor quietly the headphones on the ears to get out of the daily hustle and bustle...

Line Up / Musicians

Dieter Hoffmann (Vocal, Guitar, Keybords), Henrik Kropp (Drums), Martin Pownall (Bass, Keybords, Vocal), Dominik Suhl (Guitar), Tobias Kassühlke (Bass, Guitar), Didier Mollart (Vocal), Julie Pownall (Choirs), Dyko (Vocal), Jörg Hoffmann (Guitar), Tobias Kassühlke (Guitar), Jan Thiede (Guitar), Christian Wahl (Bugle), Eddy SR (Moog), S3E3 (Vocal), The choir of true believers (Choirs), Major T., Annalei


Artist : Saffire

Album : Taming The Hurricane

Release Date : 29-04-2022

Added : 14-05-2022

'Saffire' is a Swedish melodic hard rock band releasing their 4th album 'Taming The Hurricane', the first 3 albums 'From Ashes to Fire', 'For the Greater Good' and 'Where the Monsters Dwell' respectively from 2013, 2015 and 2018. And the least we can say is that this new studio recording is at the level of the best Swedish bands in this style, which is a reference in the matter, this country being known for having an immense reservoir of very good melodic hard rock formations. Everything is there to have a great time with these 10 titles, for a total of 48 minutes of listening. We are therefore welcomed to the sound of a hammond-sounding organ with 'Triumph Of the Will' with a first melody that goes directly into your head and the hits of the same level then follow one after the other with a catchy 'Mr . Justified', the remarkable mid-tempo 'The Rapture' and 'Read Between The Lies' (see the video above) which take us back a few decades with two addictive tracks to sing along to or even the title track (see the video here) which offers a memorable new chorus. The second part of the album continues without weakening with new melodic lines quite classic but so effective and we can quote 'Fortune Favors the Bold' which was the subject of a video on youtube and which is available here, but also the ballad at the end of the album 'Flight Of A Thousand Wings' which is a tribute from guitarist 'Victor Olsson' to his deceased grandfather.
In summary, this latest album from Sweden's 'Saffire' is a compendium of what you can find best in melodic hard rock today with influences drawn from the 70s/80s and 'Taming The Hurricane' should undoubtedly turn on a loop among fans of classic hard rock that we appropriate from the first listen...

Line Up / Musicians

Victor Olsson (Guitar, Choirs), Efraim Larsson (Drums, Choirs), Tobias Jansson (Vocal), Magnus Carlsson (Bass), Dino Zuzic (Keybords, Choirs)


Artist : Kaipa

Album : Urskog

Release Date : 29-04-2022

Added : 15-05-2022

It is still the Swedes who are in the spotlight but in a classic progressive rock style since it is the formation 'Kaipa' which historically was the group of 'Roine Stolt' which, as we know, created in 1994 'The Flower Kings' and which at the time had not really succeeded with keyboard player 'Hans Lundin' to relaunch 'Kaipa' which had released 5 albums in the 70s/80s. It was only in 2002 that the two artists released an album under the name 'Kaipa' ( 'Notes From the Past', the latest album, 'Children Of The Sounds' dating from 2017. For this new opus, we find the long developments of a classic progressive drawing its influences from the 70s because on the 6 titles, the half exceed 10 minutes, the whole thing making us travel for a good hour.

And it is with the 18 minutes of 'The Frozen Dead of the Night' that we begin our progressive journey with a title in multi-drawers that we browse one behind the other with happiness and which shows the multiple influences of 'Hans Lundin' who has chosen to take us into Swedish nature and who brings together on a symphonic atmosphere, folk and jazz, with many instrumental parts where his keyboards offer multiple variations, the sections sung being quite reduced at the beginning and at the end of the title. 'In a World of Pines' continues in this symphonic style with, this time, the melodious singing of Aleena Gibson' which illuminates this title and which is accompanied by remarkable choruses, the guitar solo in the second part of 'Per Nilsson' followed by that of 'Hans Lundin' keyboards being truly magnificent. Follows the title song which is almost completely instrumental, and which continues in an inventive progressive alternating different soundscapes by modulating different rhythms. With the instrumental 'Wilderness Excursion', the jazz-fusion side is highlighted in the first part of the title and evolves towards a rougher atmosphere in the second part, then, 'In the Wastelands of My Mind' takes us on a melodic compositions à la 'Kansas' with a very characteristic violin. And it is with the 15 minutes of 'The Bitter Setting Sun' that we end this very beautiful album with a new composition typical of an inventive progressive that can recall the pioneers of progressive music and for my part, I have the feel like hearing a mix of 'Genesis', 'Yes' and 'Focus'.

In summary, 'Kaipa' continues to make 'Kaipa' and offers us a new studio recording that could have been among the reference albums of progressive rock in the 70s and which should appeal to an audience that loves long developments leaving a good place for instrumental sections that we take the time to discover, slowly, listen after listen...

Line Up / Musicians

Hans Lundin (Keybords, Choirs), Aleena Gibson (Vocal), Patrik Lundström (Vocal), Jonas Reingold (Bass), Per Nilsson (Guitar), Darby Todd (Drums)


Artist : Poets of the Fall

Album : Ghostlight

Release Date : 29-04-2022

Added : 16-05-2022

If you are looking for beautiful melodies in a style between pop and rock, the latest album 'Ghostlight' by the Finns of 'Poets of the Fall' should undoubtedly seduce you because after a rock period in the early 2010s, they have slightly inflected their style and the latest studio recording 'Ultraviolet' already marked this change with melodic jewels in a pop style bringing us back to the 80s. For this latest opus, they take us into their universe made of an original mix between modern sounds and symphonic pop bringing warmth to all these beautiful compositions.

And, from the start, we are taken on board by this delicious mix with 'Firedancer' which welcomes us in an atmosphere bathed in electro sounds and which gently brings an addictive chorus that we wish would never end, the central instrumental part also being a pure moment of happiness. Follows 'Requiem for my Harlequin' which was chosen as a single and which shows a remarkable orchestration à la 'Ennio Morricone' with a catchy new melody which comes directly to the head, then, 'Sounds of Yesterday' decreases the tempo for the first ballad of the album, reminiscent of artists like 'Chris de Burgh' and 'Revelations', regains vigor for a catchy title that should work well in concert to make a whole audience headbang. New break with the slow 'Heroes and Villains' with its very successful alternation of intensity between the verses and the chorus, then, 'Lust for Life' continues, this time in a more refined atmosphere, with a very beautiful acoustic guitar/voice composition accompanied by strings which slowly grows with the arrival of electric instruments. We continue our beautiful melodic journey with 'Chasing Echoes' which could also have been the subject of a single with its memorable chorus, then, 'Weaver of Dreams' beautifully alternates acoustic verses and a chorus with an imposing bass and possesses a magnificent acoustic guitar solo in the second part. And to end this very beautiful album, 'Hello Cabaret' and 'Beyond The Horizons' offer us two beautiful ballads which show all the melodic talent of the Finns and which benefit from epic orchestrations and remarkable vocal performances from 'Marko Saaresto' and whose the last title has a magnificent 'Floydian' guitar solo.

In summary, this latest baby from the Finns of 'Poets of the Fall' is filled with beautiful melodies that we play one after the other with happiness and 'Ghostlight' is to be recommended to a wide audience because all the compositions are accessible and catchy from the first listen...

Line Up / Musicians

Marko Saaresto (Vocal), Olli Tukiainen (Guitar), Markus Kaarlonen (Keybords), Jani Snellman (Bass), Jaska Mäkinen (Guitar), Jari Salminen (Drums)


Artist : Thunder

Album : Dopamine

Release Date : 29-04-2022

Added : 17-05-2022

The least we can say is that the covid period was conducive to the English of 'Thunder' because after ' All the Right Noises' in 2021 followed by 'Bonus Songs' at the end of 2021, here is not an album, but two albums in one, with a total of 16 compositions which deal with the evolution of our society towards this need for immediate pleasure, dopamine being this hormone allowing to provide this addiction and social networks being a indicative of this harmful addiction.

Musically, the English offer us a wide range of different styles with melodic lines that immediately catch the eye, starting with energetic atmospheres with good incisive guitar riffs: as evidenced, at the start, 'The Western Sky ' (see video above) and we find this energy in compositions like 'One Day We'll Be Free Again' with its guitars reminiscent of a certain 'Angus Young' or 'The Dead City' and 'All The Way', direct but so effective, or even 'Across The Nation' (see video here) to knock your head off from headbanging. We are also won over by more measured titles with addictive choruses like the rhythmic 'Black', 'Dancing In The Sunshine' (see video here) which takes us back fifty years and could be a clever mix of 'Bruce Springsteen' and 'Stones' or l 'Driving 'I Don't Believe The World' with its beautiful vocal harmonies drawing towards gospel or even 'Disconnected' with its choirs close to the 'Beatles'. We also can't miss the magnificent 'Even If It Takes a Lifetime' in a country/blues atmosphere, an atmosphere found in the energetic 'Last Orders' and 'Big Pink Supermoon' brings, as for him, a jazzy touch to the whole. And when 'Danny Bowes' softens the subject and raises the emotional slider, we are entitled to sublime ballads with the acoustic 'Unraveling' and 'Just a Grifter' and its accordion accompaniment reinforcing the melancholic side or even 'Is Anybody Out There?' who plays in the court of a certain 'Elton John'. Finally, 'No Smoke Without Fire' offers us a last memorable melody and concludes this magnificent album in a very beautiful way.

In summary, this new album from the English of 'Thunder' offers us a varied panel of different styles and we travel a kind of journey through 50 years of songs that could all have been the subject of a hit and, even if 'Dopamine' develops a theme, each composition can be taken separately and you will see that you will always find in this opus a title which will give you immense pleasure according to the mood of the moment...

Line Up / Musicians

Danny Bowes (Vocal), Luke Morley (Guitar, Vocal), Ben Matthews (Guitar, Keybords), Chris Childs (Bass), Gary 'Harry' James (Drums)


Artist : Silver Dust

Album : Lullabies

Release Date : 29-04-2022

Added : 18-05-2022

It is in Switzerland that we go with the group 'Silver Dust' which will celebrate its tenth anniversary in 2023 and which will release its fourth studio recording 'Lullabies', after 'Lost in Time' in 2013, 'The Age Of Decadence' in 2016 and 'House 21' in 2018. I admit it, it was with this fourth opus that I discovered them, and, after a first listen, they offer us an original style close to gothic metal and, on several occasions, I made the parallel with 'Therion'. And like 'Therion', they also have the distinction of performing in costumes with steampunk and Victorian influences (see video here).. But it would be reductive to compare them only to 'Therion' because they also bring other atmospheres ranging from rock to metal, the whole being generally bathed in a theatrical atmosphere. On the menu of this opus, 10 direct titles with durations of about 4 minutes and the orchestral cover of 'Forever' from the album 'House 21'.

After the introduction 'The Pact' which highlights orchestral arrangements and grandiose choirs in a disturbing atmosphere, 'Emeline' continues in a gothic atmosphere with catchy rock, the vocal arrangements bringing a certain grandeur to this title, then, 'Follow Me' also shows a very catchy face and mixes sounds of electronic keyboards, saturated guitar riffs and a vocal performance of 'Lord Campbel' bringing this dark side to the whole. With the mid-tempo 'Eternity', the language of Molière is used and continues with this original fusion between electronic sounds and powerful and heavy gothic rock, an atmosphere found in the slow tempo of 'Stand By Me' which follows. Follows 'I'll Risk It' which is much more dynamic and certainly the title giving off the rawest energy, accentuated by the growls of 'Lord Campbel', then, the single 'There's A Place Where I Can Go' (see the video above) softens the tone for the album's ballad in which 'Lord Cambell' shows yet another, much more delicate register. Make way for a catchy rhythm with 'Animal Swing' with an original construction highlighting a very expressive and demonstrative atmosphere with a remarkable break in intensity in the middle of the title, which makes it, for me, one of my favorites of the album, and 'Burlesque', which follows, continues in this communicative theatrical atmosphere. And to end on a high note, 'Echoes of History' deploys all the ingredients of good gothic metal with catchy melodic lines and we find choirs à la 'Therion' and the orchestral version of 'Forever' concludes the album with some great new choirs.

In summary, the Swiss of 'Silver Dust' are releasing a very pleasant album to listen to and 'Lullabies' should make happy all lovers of melodic gothic rock/metal...

Line Up / Musicians

Lord Campbel (Vocal, Guitar), Magma (Drums), Neiros (Guitar), Kurghan (Bass)


Artist : Ann Wilson

Album : Fierce Bliss

Release Date : 29-04-2022

Added : 19-05-2022

We know the fine career of the two 'Wilson' sisters with 'Heart' who released their latest album 'Beautiful Broken' in 2016 and which, unfortunately, since this last opus and the tour that followed, fell out but 'Ann Wilson', who passed 71 spring, continues to release solo albums and 'Fierce Bliss', having released 'Immortal' in 2018, is its latest baby. It is composed of 7 original titles and 4 covers. Regarding the original titles, we are necessarily close to the style of 'Heart', the singing of Ann Wilson' bringing us back to the English formation: at the outset, 'Greed' (see the video above) offers us an energetic and catchy first track, an atmosphere found in the melodic jewel 'A Moment in Heaven' (see the video here) but most compositions are more moderate starting with mid-tempos like 'Black Wing' and 'Fighten for Life', their style taking us back a few decades with a few psychedelic pranks, or 'Gladiator' which alternates power and tranquility with a remarkable guitar solo of 'Warren Haynes' or the torrid blues 'Angel's Blue', very classic but always so effective, without forgetting the beautiful ballad 'As the World Turns' in crescendo which closes the album and which takes us on a small cloud. As for the covers, 'Bridge of Sighs' by 'Robin Trower' takes us back to the 70s and stays in the mood of the original with an added emotional charge brought on by the singing of Ann Wilson', then she s attack on the well-known 'Love of My Life' (see video here)by 'Queen' in which her duet with 'Vince Gill' is filled with beautiful emotion and holds the comparison that one cannot help making with 'Freddy Mercury'. The other two covers are 'Missionary Man' by Eurythmics' which is taken up in a more powerful way than the original and in which 'Kenny Wayne Shepherd' offers us a very beautiful guitar solo, then, the ballad 'Forget Her' by 'Jeff Buckley' showing the sensual side of Ann Wilson'.

In summary, fans of 'Heart' should be delighted by this new album by Ann Wilson' which takes us once again, thanks to her vocal qualities still intact, in a classic and catchy rock, taking us back to the years 70/80 which also intends 'Fierce Bliss' to a wide audience because all the compositions are very accessible to the first listening...

Line Up / Musicians

Ann Wilson (Vocal), Tom Bukovac (Guitar), Tony Lucido (Bass), Sean T Lane (Drums, Percussions), Gordon Mote (Keybords), Tim Lauer (Keybords) + Guests : Vince Gill (Vocal), Kenny Wayne Shepherd (Guitar), Warren Haynes (Guitar), Tyler Boley (Guitar), Danny Louis (Keybords), Dan Walker (Keybords), Jorgen Carlsson (Bass), Andy Stoller (Bass), Matt Abts (Drums), The Rev Nathan Young Singers (Choirs)


Artist : Audrey Horne

Album : Devil's Bell

Release Date : 22-04-2022

Added : 11-05-2022

The advantage with music is that if you are attracted by different styles, you have the choice of getting in shape all day with catchy and energetic melodies and resting in the evening with much calmer albums. The last review of 'Returned To The Earth ' was more evening but the last 'Audrey Horne', 'Devil's Bell' is perfect to start the day and get between the ears of the hard rock spirited. After 'Blackout' dating of 2018 and the very good live 'Waiting for the Night' which followed in 2020, the Norwegians return with a new studio recording 'Devil's Bell'. And to start, just to get us in the mood, 'Ashes to Ashes' offers us an introduction with his guitar to the sounds of the bells of 'Hells Bell' (normal for an album called the bells of the devil!) and continues with a first melodic brulot in a hellish train with its choirs reminiscent of 'Def Leppard'. Everything is there to bring us back to the 70s/80s with energetic compositions like the impetuous 'Animal' or 'Break Out' with its marked guitar riffs and which benefits from a remarkable break in the middle of the title or the instrumental 'Return to Grave Valley' with this fusion of the two guitars which brings us back to the sounds of 'Thin Lizzy' in the 70s or the effective 'Danse Macabre' (see the video above) with its tempo to start automatically the headbanging machine. The second part of the album is made from the same barrel with the eponymous song (see the video here) and 'All Is Lost' which were co -written with 'Frank Hammersland' ('Pogo Pops') and the last two compositions are happily added to the whole, 'Toxic Twins' still setting fire by tumbling down at a hundred miles an hour and finally the last melodic hymn 'From Darkness' which is a catchy rock close to 'Thin Lizzy' and which has a nice central instrumental break.

In summary, the Norwegians of 'Audrey Horne' are releasing an album with compositions that would undoubtedly have each made hits in the 70s/80s and 'Devil's Bell' should turn on a loop and raise the sound in the living room of all those who were raised on the bottles of major rock and hard rock bands with, icing on the cake, a modern production...

Line Up / Musicians

Toschie (Vocal), Espen Lien (Bass), Ice Dale (Guitar), Kjetil Greve (Drums), Thomas Tofthagen (Guitar) + invité : Frank Hammersland (Choirs)


Artist : Adventure

Album : Tales of Belle Part 1: Across the Ocean

Release Date : 22-04-2022

Added : 12-05-2022

After 'Audrey Horne', it's still in the direction of Norway that we are heading again but in a progressive and symphonic style with the formation 'Adventure' which releases a new album 'Tales of Belle Part 1: Across the Ocean' which is on its