“Silent Soldiers” is the third album from Finnish melodic rock band Prayer and it was released on 19th January via Escape Music. I hadn’t previously heard of the band and obviously therefore had never listened to the previous albums released in 2005 and 2012. However a quick listen to the promotional links provided by Escape Music convinced me that this was an album worth checking out in more detail. I included the track “Silent Treatment” on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 19th January.

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“Pounding The Pavement” is the latest album from Canadian rock legends Anvil. There are a number of common factors connecting this recommendation and the previous one posted for Magnum’s “Lost on the Road to Eternity”. Both bands play The Limelight, Belfast in the next few weeks (Anvil on 13th February), both albums are released via Steamhammer / SPV on 19th January and whilst producing very different sounds, both bands could justifiably be labelled as iconic.  I included the track “Ego” on the NI Rocks A-Z Show on 12th December and on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 19th January.

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Iconic rockers Magnum return to Belfast on 1st March to play The Limelight. That gig is part of the tour to support the release of their latest album. “Lost On The Road to Eternity” is released through Steamhammer / SPV on 19th January. I’ve posted recommendations for all the studio albums by Magnum since I started doing them back in 2012 and this one wasn’t going to be the exception. I’m a fairly recent convert to the band, but have been a fan of all their work since then. The lead-off single “Without Love” was featured on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 8th December and again on 12th January.

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My third consecutive recommendation this week for an album from a female-fronted band is for “Cry Witch” by Texan band Witchcryer. This one is quite a bit heavier than the other two (Leave’s Eyes and Rexoria) as Witchcryer tick all the boxes for classic doom metal. The band’s debut album is released through Ripple Music on 19th January. I included the title track “Cry Witch” on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 21st December.

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When I recorded an interview with Marco Mendoza on 3rd January he accidently let slip the name of the new album from The Dead Daisies and we had to bleep it out when the Show was uploaded – http://www.rockradioni.co.uk/interviews/3279-ni-rocks-interview-with-marco-mendoza.html .  This week the band have officially announced that the album will be entitled “Burn It Down” and that it will released via Spitfire Music/ SPV on 6th April 2018. The new album will be the first to feature drummer Deen Castronovo of Bad English / Journey fame. Tour dates have also been announced, but unfortunately they don’t include Belfast or Dublin. However, Marco Mendoza does play a gig in Voodoo, Belfast on 18th February with support coming from the Pat McManus Band.

 

Last Updated (Thursday, 18 January 2018 05:16)

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Norwegian band Audrey Horne released their sixth album, called “Blackout” via Napalm Records on 12th January. I had the opportunity to speak to lead singer Toschie via Skype the evening before the album was released. We chatted for around 30 minutes about the new album, upcoming plans for the band and more. That interview, along with 4 tracks from the new album, was included on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 19th January. That Show is now available on our MixCloud page - https://www.mixcloud.com/NIRocks/interview-with-toschie-from-audrey-horne-on-the-friday-ni-rocks-show-19th-jan-2018/

 

Last Updated (Saturday, 24 March 2018 15:56)

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“Queen of Light” is the debut album from female fronted Swedish melodic metal band Rexoria and it is released on 19th January through Pride & Joy Music. Rexoria formed in 2016 and has toured in support of bands such as Hardcore Superstar and Electric Boys. After digitally releasing a couple of EPs the band signed with Pride & Joy Music n 2017and started work on their debut album. I included the title track “Queen of Light” on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 5th January.

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“Sign of the Dragonhead” is the first Leave’s Eyes album to feature new vocalist Elina Siirala and it was released on 12th January via AFM Records.  This is the seventh release from the symphonic metallers since they formed in 2003 and like all the others, the album is focused on a specific story. “Sign of the Dragonhead” once again focuses on the Viking legends and the eleven great tracks on the album all tell specific stories. The track “Across The Sea” is included on the Friday NI Rocks Show this week.

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“Darkness Remains” was the second full-length album released by Californian metal band Night Demon. It was originally released via Steamhammer/SPV in April 2017 and for some reason escaped my attentions at the time. On 12th January an “Expanded Version” of the album is released, featuring different mixes of all the tracks, a commentary on each and a number of bonus tracks. To make up for my previous lapse, I wanted to get a recommendation posted for this new release. I played the track “Life on the Run” from the album on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 22nd December.

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I’ve seen bass player Marco Mendoza performing with a few bands over the years – Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy, Black Star Riders and most recently The Dead Daisies – and he never fails to impress. I arranged to speak to Marco via Skype on 3rd January to talk about his new solo album “Viva La Rock” which is released through Mighty Music on 2nd March, and the tour that is planned to coincide with the album launch. The tour includes a date in Voodoo, Belfast on Sunday 18th February.  We chatted for almost an hour, about the new solo album, the upcoming tour, working with Ted Nugent, Neal Schon and others, the new Dead Daisies album and more. We could have talked for even longer to be honest!

Last Updated (Friday, 16 March 2018 01:09)

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My first album recommendation for 2018 is for the debut album from multi-national group Panorama. The album “Around the World” is released through Rock of Angels Records (ROAR) on 12th January. Reading the PR material from Rock n Growl, what sparked my interest was the involvement of Dennis Ward; not just in production, but as a member of the band. A quick listen to the album confirmed that it was definitely worth checking out further. To date I’ve played two tracks from the album on the Friday NI Rocks Show – “Around The World” on 1st December and “Standing my Ground” on 5th January.

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