A regular feature highlighting some of the best album releases each month. I don’t do album “reviews” – this is simply a few words about the artists and the albums that appeal to me. It is just a personal recommendation to check out an album. These will also be albums from which I’ll have been playing tracks on the Friday NI Rocks Shows recently.

This month there are albums from Autumn's Child, Nocturna, Giant, Kissin Dynamite, Edge of Forever, The Ferrymen, Scarlet Rebels, Kraemer, Nasson and Praying Mantis.




AUTUMN’S CHILD – “Zenith” – Pride & Joy Music 14th Jan


“Zenith” is the third album from Swedish melodic rock band Autumn’s Child in just over two years and it was released on 14th January through Pride & Joy Music. The band is fronted by Mikael Erlandsson who has previously fronted groups such Secret Service and Last Autumn’s Dream as well as releasing a number of solo albums. The Autumn’s Child track “Emergency” was featured on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 7th January.

Autumn’s Child released their self-titled debut album in Japan in December 2019 via Avalon and then worldwide in January 2020 through AOR Heaven. It featured Erlandsson, drummer Robban Bäck (previously from Eclipse), guitarist Pontus Âkesson, guitarist Claes Andreasson, keyboard player Jona Tee (from H.E.A.T) and bass players Joel Starander and Peter Samuelsson.

The band’s second album “Angel’s Gate” was released a year later with Erlandsson, Bäck, Âkesson and Andreasson returning, this time with the latter on keyboards. The latest album continues with the same line-up and the addition of bass player Magnus Rosen. Erlandsson plays keyboards and guitar as well as being lead vocalist. There are guest appearances from Jona Tee as well as guitarists Sayit Dölen, Rasmus Ehrnborn and Roberth Nygren; bass player Martin Olsson and singer Anna-Mia Bonde.




NOCTURNA – “Daughters of the Night” – Scarlet Records 21st Jan


“Daughters of the Night” is the debut album from Nocturna, a band that features the vocals of Grace Darkling and Rehn Stillnight. The album mixes gothic symphonic and power metal influences and it was released on 21st January by Scarlet Records. The track “New Evil” was included on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 21st January.

The band was created by Federico Mondelli who is the guitarist and keyboard player with Frozen Crown and Volturian. I’m presuming that he is “Hedon” the guitarist on Nocturna but can’t say for sure at the moment! The other band members are “Antares” on bass and “Deimos” on drums. “Grace Darkling” is Greta Cangelosi from the band Angelize and “Rehn Stillnight” is Serena Cetra from the band Septum.

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/officialnocturna




GIANT – “Shifting Time” – Frontiers 21st Jan


“Shifting Time” is the fifth album from melodic rock band Giant, but their first in twelve years and also the first with new vocalist Kent Hilli. The album was released on 21st January by Frontiers Music. The track “Let Our Love Win” was featured on the Friday NI Rocks Show in November followed by “Never Die Young” in December and “The Price of Love” on 28th January 2022.

Giant was formed in 1987 and originally featured Dann Huff on lead vocals and guitar, his brother David Huff on drums, Alan Pasqua on keyboard and Mike Bridnardello on bass. The band released two albums initially – “Last of the Runaways” in 1989 and “Time To Burn” in 1992 – the latter in particular being in demand with vinyl collectors now! The band then split up before reforming briefly to release the album “III” through Frontiers in 2001.


The band reformed again for the release of “Promise Land” in 2010, but this time Dann Huff was unable to commit fully as he had a hugely successful career as a song-writer, producer and session guitarist in the country music scene. That album featured David Huff and Bridnardello along with  guitarist John Roth from Winger and singer Terry Brock from Strangeways.

There was another big gap of time before the latest album “Shifting Time” was released, but the only change in the line-up is the arrival of Swedish singer Kent Hilli from Perfect Plan. Hilli had actually covered the Giant track “Stay” with Perfect Plan. Original singer Dann Huff had provided some song writing on “Promise Land” as well as playing guitar on two tracks. This time he performs guitar on “Never Die Young”

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/GiantRockBand




KISSIN DYNAMITE – “Not The End of the Road” – Napalm Records 21st Jan

German band Kissin’ Dynamite released their seventh album “Not The End of the Road” through Napalm Records on 21st January. It’s the band’s first studio album in four years and their first with Napalm. Six of the tracks from the album have featured on the Friday NI Rocks Show since the title track appeared in August – “What Goes Up” in September, “Good Life” in November, “Yoko Ono” in December, “Coming Home” on 7th January and “No One Dies A Virgin” on 28th January.


Kissin’ Dynamite formed in 2007, having previously performed as Blues Kids for five years. Their debut album “Steel of Swabia” was released by EMI in 2008, followed by “Addicted to Metal” in 2010. They then moved to AFM Records for the release of “Money, Sex & Power” in 2012, “Megalomania” in 2014, “Generation Goodbye” in 2016 and “Ecstacy” in 2018. The band also released a live album in 2017 and a ‘Best O’ album in 2021.


Kissin’ Dynamite are vocalist Hannes Braun, guitarists Ande Braun and Jim Müller, bass player Steffen Haile and drummer Sebastien Berg. The latter replaced original drummer Andi Schnitzer just last year. Hannes Braun has his own production company and produced, recorded and mixed the new album.


Website - https://www.kissin-dynamite.de/en/



EDGE OF FOREVER – “Seminole” – Frontiers 21st Jan


Italian band Edge of Forever released their fifth album, “Seminole”, through Frontiers Music on 21st January 2022. The band is fronted by Alessandro Del Vecchio the multi-talented musician, producer and song-writer who is involved in many Frontiers projects. The track “Shift The Paradigm” was featured on the Friday NI Rocks Show in November followed by “Get Up on Your Feet Again” on 17th December.


Edge of Forever formed in 2003 and released their debut album “Feeding The Fire” in 2004 and their second album “Let The Demon Rock n Roll” the following year. A third album, “Another Paradise”, was released in 2009. There was then a ten year gap until the release of “Native Soul” in 2019.


The band’s first two albums had featured Bob Harris on vocals with Del Vecchio on keyboards and backing vocals. By the time “Another Paradise” was released in 2009 Del Vecchio was fronting the band and the only other original member was drummer Francesco Jovino. “Native Soul” in 2019 featured Del Vecchio with a brand new line up of bass player Nik Mazzucconi, drummer Marco Do Salvia and guitarist Aldo Lonobile. Those four remain in place for “Seminole”.

Website - https://www.edgeofforever.it/


THE FERRYMEN – “One More River to Cross” – Frontiers 21st Jan


The Ferrymen features one of the best rock vocalists around at the moment, Ronnie Romero, and prolific guitarist, producer and songwriter Magnus Karlsson. They are joined by drummer Mike Terrana from the Axel Rudi Pell band. “One More River to Cross” is the third album from The Ferrymen and it was released on 21st January by Frontiers Records. The track “The Last Wave” was played on the Friday NI Rocks Show in December, followed by “One More River To Cross” on 28th January.


The Ferrymen formed in 2016 and released their self-titled debut album in 2017. That was followed by “A New Evil” in 2019. Magnus Karlsson was my guest on the Show in October 2019 to talk about the new album and his other projects - http://www.rockradioni.co.uk/interviews/3674-ni-rocks-interview-with-magnus-karlsson.html


Ronnie Romero has fronted Rainbow, Lords of Black, Sunstorm, CoreLeoni, Michael Schenker Group and much more. Magnus Karlsson has been a part of many bands and projects including Primal Fear, Allen-Lande, Heart Healer, Allen/Olzen, Magnus Karlsson’s Free Fall, Kiske/Somerville etc. Mike Terrana has played in bands such as Axel Rudi Pell, Masterplan, Yngwie Malmsteen etc.


Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/TheFerrymenofficial



SCARLET REBELS – “See Through Blue” – Earache 28th Jan


“See Through Blue” is the second album from Scarlet Rebels and it earned the Welsh band a UK Top 10 Albums slot. The album was released on 28th January through Earache Records. I’d pre-ordered the album download and purchased it on blue vinyl as well. So far four tracks frpm “See Through Blue” have featured on the Friday NI Rocks Show – “Storm” in July, “Take You Home” in October, “I’m Alive” in December and “I Can’t Say” on 4th February. “Storm” was also included on the NI Rocks A-Z Show in August.


Three members of Scarlet Rebels were originally in a band called VOiD which released three albums between 2008 and 2015. Those three were vocalist/guitarist Wayne Doyle, bass player Wayne ‘Pricey’ Esmonde and drummer Gary Doyle. A change in musical direction, along with a change in name saw the arrival of guitarists Chris Jones and Josh Townshend.


The band’s first album “Show Your Colours” was released in 2019. The new album is full of tracks that are a commentary of the times we’ve been living in.

Website - https://scarletrebels.com/



KRAEMER – “All The Way Down” – Frontiers 28th Jan


“All The Way Down” is the first solo album by Finnish singer Erik Kraemer and it was released on 28th January by Frontiers Records. Kraemer has fronted the band Simulacrum and been involved in the projects Infinite Visions and Circus of Rock. The track “Tonight” was played on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 7th January followed by “The King Will Come” on 11th February.

Joining Erik Kraemer on the album are guitarist Andrea Seveso, drummer Michele Sanna and Alessandro Del Vecchio who plays bass and keyboards. In a relatively short period of time Kraemer has went from acting in theatre to fronting bands such as Simulacrum and working with Timo Tolkki on the Infinite Visions project and Mirka Rantanen on the Circus of Rock project.


Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/erik.kraemer.7



NASSON – “Scars” – Frontiers 28th Jan


“Scars” is a solo album from Chilean guitarist, song-written and producer Nasson Prudant and it was released on 28th January by Frontiers. Nasson had previously come to my attention through his work with singer Caterina Nix on the Chaos Magic album “Furyborn” and with singer James Robledo on the Sinner’s Blood album.  The track “We Are The Army” was featured on the Friday NI Rocks Show in December followed by “Bringer of Sorrow” on 11th February.

Nasson has previously fronted the bands Inferis, Resilience and Rising Angel. He produced and performed on the second Chaos Magic album, “Furyborn” which was released in 2019 and the following year worked with singer James Robledo on the Sinner’s Blood album “The Mirror Star”. Both those albums were also released by Frontiers.


Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/nassonchile



PRAYING MANTIS – “Katharsis” – Frontiers 28th Jan


“Katharsis” is the latest album from British rock legends Praying Mantis and it was released through Frontiers Records on 28th January. Amazingly this is only the eleventh full studio album from the band over the course of their forty-plus year history. The track “Closer To Heaven” was included on the Friday NI Rocks Show in December, followed by “Cry For The Nations” on 7th January and then “Ain’t No Rock n Roll in Heaven” on 11th February.


Praying Mantis can trace their roots back to the early 70’s but the first release from the band wasn’t until 1979 and their debut album “Time Tells No Lies” appeared in 1981. The band then split in 1982, only to reform in 1990. Over the next thirteen years the band released six more albums before taking another hiatus between 2003 and 2008. The four studio albums released since 2009 have all been issued by Frontiers.


Brothers Tino Troy on guitar and Chris Troy on bass are the only original members of the band. There have been quite a few vocalists and drummers in the band over the years, but since 2013 those have been Jaycee Cuijpers and Hans In ‘t Zandt respectively. The other guitarist in the band since 2008 has been Andy Burgess.


Website - https://www.prayingmantis.rocks/