“Bite!” is the debut album from the Croatian band Animal Drive and it was released on 23rd February 2018 by Frontiers Music. The band is fronted by Dino Jelusic who was one of the vocalists on the Trans Siberian Orchestra’s recent North American tour. Fellow TSO performer Jeff Scott Soto recommended Jelusic and his band to Frontiers. I included the track “Had Enough” on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 2nd March.

 

Last Updated (Tuesday, 20 March 2018 21:39)

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I’ve been a big fan of Swiss band Gotthard for a while so when I heard about the new album from CoreLeoni I was keen to check it out. CoreLeoni is essential a project led by Gotthard guitarist and founder Leo Leoni which aims to re-visit and re-release tracks from the early Gotthard albums. The first CoreLeoni release is “The Greatest Hits Part 1” and it was issued via Frontiers Music on 23rd February. The album also includes a new track called “Walk on Water” which is featured on the NI Rocks A-Z Show on 27th February. “All I Care For” was included on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 23rd February.

 

Last Updated (Sunday, 04 March 2018 06:24)

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Salem is another of those 80’s British rock bands who reformed and have now found a home with Dissonance Productions. Their third studio album, entitled “Attrition”, was released on 23rd February. Unusually, the five band members in 2018 are the same as when the band split initially back in 1983. The new album features 11 tracks, recorded in their home town of Hull, and I included the track “Taking Control” on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 2nd March.

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“Sinister Sides” is the third album from Californian stoner band Blackwülf and it was released on 23rd February by Ripple Music. In little over five years the band have gained a significant fan base that includes Metallica’s Lars Ulrich. The latest album also features a guest appearance from Geof O’Keefe from Pentagram and Bedemon on three of the eight tracks. The title track “Sinister Sides” is included on the Friday NI Rocks Show this week.

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In my previous album recommendation (for the new Desolation Angels album) I was praising Dissonance Productions for releasing albums from some great British bands founded in the 80’s. The same label also releases albums by some great rock bands formed more recently and one example of that is “All Men Shall Fall” from California rockers Kill Ritual. The album was released on 23rd February and I’ve included the track “Megalomaniac” on the Friday NI Rocks Show this week.

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Dissonance Productions have a growing reputation for bring us some great music from British rock bands that were around in the 80’s. The new album from NWOBHM band Desolation Angels called “King” is another fine example and it is released on 23rd February. I have included the track “Another Turn of the Screw” on the Friday NI Rocks Show this week.

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It’d be fair to say that 2017 witnessed a few changes in the Thundermother camp. Four of the five members left and were replaced by three new members, with guitarist and founder Filippa Nässil seemingly being the only stabilising factor. However, musically the band hardly missed a step, heading out on tour within weeks, playing some great festivals and then heading into the studio to record the band’s third album. Their excellent, self-titled album is released through Despotz Records on 23rd February. I included the single ‘Fire in the Rain’ on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 9th February and the band have just released a video for the track “Whatever” which is on the Show this week.

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“Cheated Death” is the fifth album from American band Against The Grain, but their first with Ripple Music, and it was released on 9th February. As I’ve said before, I’m not a big fan of genre labels being assigned to bands, and it seems Against The Grain might be of the same mind as the music ‘press’ seem to have problems labelling them. I’m sure someone will come up with a label to cover a hybrid of speed-metal, punk, rock, doom and thrash! On their Facebook page the band refer to it as “gear-shifting rock ‘n’ roll”. Whatever you want to call it, I like it! The title track “Cheated Death” was included on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 2nd February.

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“Conqueror’s Oath” is the second album from American metal band Visigoth and it was released on 9th February through Metal Blade Records. The band has a sound that is instantly agreeable – blending influences from the classic NWOBHM scene and the US Power Metal scene. I included the track “Warrior Queen” on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 2nd February and then “Steel and Silver” on the Show on 16th February.

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A few years ago I posted a succession of recommendations for albums by Chicago-based bands. I can’t recall as many recently, so this one is perhaps overdue. The Outfit hail from Chicago and they released their self-titled debut album through Pavement Music on 2nd February. It came to us via our friends at Palmer Turner Overdrive and I played the lead-off single “Soldier Boy” on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 26th January.

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Sons of Apollo, the new supergroup featuring Mike Portnoy, Derek Sherinian, Jeff Scott Soto, Billy Sheehan and Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal have announced European tour dates that see them coming to Belfast to play at Limelight 1 on Tuesday 3rd July. Tickets are on sale this Thursday 22nd February at 9am from usual outlets. Press release below via SD Entertainment. The band have also just released their latest video for the track “Alive” from their debut album “Psychotic Symphony”.

 

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