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 FM, Slash and Black Diamonds.


FM – “Old Habits Die Hard” – Frontiers 3rd May

“Old Habits Die Hard” is the fourteenth studio album from British rock legends FM and it was released on 3rd May via Frontiers Music. The first single, “Out of the Blue” featured on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 15th March, whilst “Whatever It Takes” was on the Show on 3rd May and “Don’t Need Another Heartache” featured on 13th April and 31st May.


FM formed in 1984 and released their debut album, “Indiscreet”, in 1986. They released another four albums before going on hiatus for 12 years and reforming on 2007. Since 2010 they have released nine studio albums and two live albums.


Three members of the band have been guests on the Friday NI Rocks Show over the years – singer Steve Overland (https://www.rockradioni.co.uk/interviews/3890-ni-rocks-interview-with-steve-overland), guitarist Jim Kirkpatrick (https://www.rockradioni.co.uk/interviews/3825-ni-rocks-interview-with-jim-kirkpatrick-from-fm ) and bass player Merv Goldsworthy (https://www.rockradioni.co.uk/interviews/3760-ni-rocks-interview-with-merv-goldsworthy-from-fm ) The other band members are drummer Pete Jupp and keyboard player Jem Davis.


Website - http://www.fmofficial.com



SLASH – “Orgy of the Damned” – Gibson Records 17th May

Slash’s recent albums have all been with Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators, but his latest release, “Orgy of the Damned”, sees him collaborate with a number of vocalists on covers of some blues classics. The album was released on 17th May through Gibson Records.


There was a special promo feature for the new album on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 10th May that included the tracks “Oh Well” (with Chris Stapleton) and “Killing Floor” (with Brian Johnson). Both tracks had been played before – the former on 15th March and the latter on 13th April. The promo feature was repeated again on 17th May with three different tracks – “Key to the Highway” (featuring Dorothy), “Born Under a Bad Sign” (featuring Paul Rodgers) and “Stormy Monday” (featuring Beth Hart).


Other artists featured on the album include Chris Robinson, Gary Clark Jr, Billy F Gibbons, Iggy Pop, Tash Neal and Demi Lovato.



BLACK DIAMONDS – “Destination Paradise” – Metalapolis 31st May

Swiss band Black Diamonds released their fifth album, “Destination Paradise” through Metalapolis Records on 31st March. The track “After The Rain” was featured on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 22nd March and we’ll be featuring more over the coming weeks.


The band formed in 2004 and released their debut album, “First Strike” in 2008. That was followed by further studio albums in 2013 and 2017, before they signed with Metalapolis for the release of “No-Tell Hotel” in 2021 (and a subsequent extras album “Floor 13”).


Black Diamonds are Mich Kehl on vocals and guitar, Andi Barrels on bass, Chris Blade Johnson on guitar and Manu Peng on drums. Maverick frontman David Balfour features on the track “Leave A Light On”.


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