The Fill-In’s had one of my favorite albums last year with their debut full length album Hipster Killers. I got it a little late to review it, but it was such an amazing record I had no choice but to make it one of my Top 5 releases of 2014. When I was given the chance to preview and write about their second full length album Fifth Time’s the Charm, I was beyond ecstatic. It looks like they’re going to wind up as one of my favorites of 2015 too.
Deadlock NCHC hails from the rural county of Rutherford in NC. The band has been around for a long time now. I remember seeing them live in the late 90’s. Mostly dormant the last couple years, they have returned to the scene and are stronger than ever. I have many fond memories of watching Deadlock play to their adoring fans.
One thing’s for sure: Powerwolf knows what their fans want, and they’re certainly willing and able to deliver it time and time again. Ever since their incredible third album Bible of the Beast, these Germans have stuck to a specific formula, using elements of classic German power metal as their base, and adding their own unique flavor with the use of church organs and the epic vocals of Attila Dorn, to go with their always fun lyrics, which mix together werewolves, vampires and religion in imaginative ways. Over the course of three albums the band has perfected this formula, with each album making minor refinements to the same basic template.
Deep Purple, a band who defined a new genre of Rock and an even bigger definition of what it takes to play live Rock n Roll are back with a 70 minute album ‘Long Beach 1971’. With 4 of their classic hits remastered in this magical live recording Deep Purple fans can get ready to be transported back in Time to the Long Beach, California Concert in 71.
For a country of its size, the small island of Ireland stands tall in its production of world famous and highly influential musical acts across a wide range of genres. From the gritty blues rock of Rory Gallagher, the traditional jigs of The Chieftains, the jazz, soul and R&B mixed brew of Van Morrison, and of course the all out rock assault of Thin Lizzy, it’s more than left its mark. But as far as pure Heavy Metal bands go, Ireland has never really pricked the map.
There are many great melodic metal bands coming from Italy, but one band that I think deserves more attention than they get is the relatively unheralded but consistently impressive Hollow Haze. They started out as a solid progressive heavy metal band in the early 2000’s, putting out four albums in that style, with their third album “End of a Dark Era” serving as my introduction to the band.
Despite being a very major band in their country, and really melodic metal in general, Brazilian group Angra has never been one of my favorites. I’ve always enjoyed their music, but aside from their masterpiece Temple of Shadows, I tend to like them but not love them.
Every time I see or hear Helloween, I always come over with a massive feeling of regret. For a band who more or less founded the subgenre of power metal, and released two of the most innovative and iconic metal albums in history, Keeper Of The Seven Keys 1 & 2, they never truly reached the heights of success that those records promised.
UK melodic rockers Ten return with their follow up to the fantastic Albion with their latest release Isla De Muerta. Gary Hughes, an undisputed warlock of songwriting, and the lads deliver a masterclass with this themed epic that flutters effortlessly between the melodic and the metal.