A regular feature highlighting some of the best album releases each month. I don’t do album “reviews” – this is simply a personal recommendation to check out an album - just a few words about the albums that appeal to me and about the artists releasing them. These will also be albums from which I’ll have been playing tracks on the Friday NI Rocks Shows recently. This month it includes albums from Nita Strauss, Mitch Malloy, Bloodbound, Turkish Delight, Robledo, Scream Maker, Tony Mitchell and Sevendust.


NITA STRAUSS – “The Call of the Void” – Sumerian Records 7th July

"The Call of the Void" is the second album from guitarist Nita Strauss and it was released by Sumerian Records on 7th July. Her first album "Controlled Chaos" was released in 2018 and was all instrumental, but "The Call of the Void" features guest vocals from Lzzy Hale, Alice Cooper, David Draiman, Alissa White-Gluz, Dorothy, Chris Motionless, Anders Friden and Lilith Czar. Guitarist Marty Friedman also makes a guest appearance.


The first single from the new album was “Dead Inside” which was released in 2012 and featured David Draiman from Disturbed on vocals. That track was played three times on the Friday NI Rocks Show during 2021 and again in May 2023. Two more tracks were released during 2022 and both featured on the Show – the instrumental “Summer Storm” and “The Wolf You Feed” which features Alissa White-Gluz on vocals. More recent releases, during 2023, were “Winner Takes All” featuring Alice Cooper (on the Show in March); “Victorious” featuring Dorothy (on the Show on 10th June) and “Digital Bullets” featuring Chris Motionless (on the Show on 7th July). The track “Through The Noise”, featuring Lzzy Hale on vocals was included on the Show on 21st July.


I had pre-ordered the album from the Sumerian Records European store in a very cool orange / hot pink / blue marble vinyl. There were some great packages on Nita's website too.

Nita plays guitar and bass on the album, whilst Josh Villalta plays drums and Katt Scarlett plays keyboards. Additional guitar and bass is provided by Kyle Odell.


Nita was a guest on the Friday NI Rocks Show in 2014 just after she'd joined the Alice Cooper Band. It is the second most popular article on the Rock Radio NI website - http://www.rockradioni.co.uk/interviews/1674-ni-rocks-interview-with-nita-strauss-alice-cooper-band


Website - https://www.nitastrauss.com/



MITCH MALLOY – “The Last Song” – Cargo Records 7th July

“The Last Song” is the new solo artist from singer Mitch Malloy and it was released on 7th July by Godsend Records in the USA and by Cargo Records internationally. The track “One of a Kind” was included on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 9th June, followed by “Building A Bridge” on 21st July.


Mitch Malloy has been around the music scene since the 80’s, releasing eight solo albums between 1992 and 2012 and fronting Great White between 2018-2022. In 1996 he also recorded some demos for Van Halen following the departure of Sammy Hagar.


After leaving Great White, Malloy went into the studio to work on “The Last Song” and did all the songwriting, production, mixing and mastering himself. He also plays all the instruments on the album.


Website - https://mitchmalloy.com/



BLOODBOUND – “Tales from the North” - AFM Records 7th July

“Tales from the North” is the tenth studio album from Swedish power metal band Bloodbound and it was released on 7th July by AFM Records. The track “Odin’s Prayer” featured on the Friday NI Rocks Show in January, followed by “The Raven’s Cry” in February and “Tales from the North” on 4th August.


Bloodbound formed in 2004 and released their debut album “Nosferatu” the following year. The band have had four different vocalists, with Urban Breed singing on the first and third albums and Kristian Andren featuring on the second album in 2007. Michael Bormann also fronted the band briefly during 2007. Current vocalist Patrick J Selleby has been with the band since 2010, appearing on the last seven studio albums as well as a live album in 2016.


Guitarist Tomas Olsson and keyboard player Fredrik Bergh are founding members of Bloodbound, whilst guitarist Henrik Olsson joined in 2006. The other band members are bass player Anders Broman who joined in 2011 and drummer Daniel Hansfeldt who joined in 2017.


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




KHALIL TURK & FRIENDS – “Turkish Delight Vol 2” – Escape Music 14th July

On 14th July Escape Music released the second album celebrating owner Khalil Turk’s thirty years in the music business. Like the earlier release in 2022, “Turkish Delight Vol 2”, features a wealth of musical talent including Jeff Scott Soto, Robin McAuley, Billy Sheehan, Jean Beauvoir, Andrew Freeman, Ralf Scheepers, Steve Mann, Lee Small, James La Brie; Dan Reed, Rudy Sarzo, Marc Storace, Tony Harnell, Marco Mendoza, Steve Newman, Dino Jelusick, Dennis Stratton etc.


Two tracks from the album were featured on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 14th July – “Crazy” which features Jeff Scott Soto on vocals and “We Carry On” which features Dino Jelusick on vocals.


The first album was released in October 2022 and was credited as Turkish Delight. It included many artists who also appear on Vol 2, but also many others who don’t, including James Christian, Jeff Beck, Steve Overland, Joel Hoekstra, Jeff Pilson etc. Following some legal issues “Vol 2” is credited as Khalil Turk & Friends.


Website - http://www.escape-music.com/



ROBLEDO – “Broken Soul” – Frontiers 14th July

On 14th July, “Broken Soul” became the second solo album to be released by Chilean singer James Robledo through Frontiers Music. The same label has released albums by Sinner’s Blood and Demons Down; both of which feature Robledo on vocals. So far three tracks from the new album have featured on the Friday NI Rocks Show - “Broken Soul” in May, “Real World” on 10th June and “My Own Hope” on 14th July.


James Robledo some from a family with a long musical history in Chile and he has been performing for over twenty years. The big break came when he signed with Frontiers in 2019, releasing the Sinner’s Blood album “The Mirror Star” alongside fellow Chilean musician Nasson. His first solo album, “Wanted Man” was released in 2021 and in March of this year the Demons Down album “I Stand” was released.


The new solo album features James Robledo on vocals, Nasson on guitar, Alessandro Del Vecchio on keyboards, Alex Jansen on bass and Jacopo Martignoni on drums.


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



SCREAM MAKER – “Land of Fire” – Frontiers 14th July

Polish band Scream Maker released their fourth album, “Land of Fire”, through Frontier Music on 14th July. The band have been around since 2010, releasing three albums before signing with Frontiers in 2022. The track “Can’t Stop The Light” was included on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 26th May, followed by “See The Light” on 16th June and “Everybody Needs Illusions” on 14th July.


Scream Maker formed in Warsaw in 2010 and released an EP in 2012 before their debut album “Livin’ in the Past” was released in 2014. Their second album “Back Against The Wall” appeared in 2016 and then “BloodKing” in 2022. The latter was re-released later in 2022 when the band signed with Frontiers.


Only guitarist Michal Wrona remains from the original line-up, but singer Sebastian Stodolak joined in 2011 and has been involved in all the releases. Bass player Jan Radosz has been with the band since 2014 and drummer Tomek Sobieszek since 2017. The newest band member is guitarist Bartosz Ziólkowski who joined in 2022.


Website - https://screammaker.com/



 TONY MITCHELL – “Radio Heartbeat” – Pride & Joy 21st July

“Radio Heartbeat” is the latest solo album from singer Tony Mitchell and it was released in Europe by Pride & Joy Music on 21st July. Tony had been a guest on the Friday NI Rocks Show in October 2022 when the new album from Mitchell’s Kiss of the Gypsy was released. In between that album and the release of “Radio Heartbeat”, Mitchell had also released a Christmas album called “Tales from the Christmas Inn”.


So far two tracks from the new album have featured on the Friday NI Rocks Show – “Another Beat of My Heart” on 26th May and “Rockin a Hard Place” on 28th July.


Tony will be known to many as the frontman for Kiss of the Gypsy in the early 90’s and Dirty White Boyz in 2017, but he has also released albums with Kingdom of Deadmen, Boneyard Zombies and Shapeshifter as well as several solo albums.


Tony plays guitar and keyboards on the album as well as providing lead vocals. He is joined by guitarist Miles Meakin, bass player Nigel Bailey and drummer Eddie Anthony.


The interview with Tony can be found here -  




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



SEVENDUST – “Truth Killer” – Napalm Records 28th July

“Truth Killer” is the fourteenth studio album from Sevendust and it was released on 28th July through Napalm Records. The Friday NI Rocks Show on 21st July included a promo feature with guitarist Clint Lowery talking about the new album alongside the tracks “Everything”, “Holy Water” and “Fence”.


Sevendust formed in Georgia in 1994 and have had a remarkably stable line-up over the past thirty years, with no changes other than a few years when lead guitarist Clint Lowery departed from the band. The band is fronted by vocalist Lajon Witherspoon and also features Vince Hornsby on bass, Morgan Rose on drums and John Connolly on rhythm guitar.


The band released their self-titled debut album in 1997 and have been fairly prolific ever since, releasing a new studio album every two or three years. During that time they’ve released just one live album – an acoustic recording in 2004 – as well as two compilation albums.


Website - https://sevendust.com/