Slower than usual week in the new release department, but there is always something to check out. There is always good new music coming out.
Sons of Apollo – MMXX
Back in 2017 when this band was announced I was very skeptical that I’d like any part of it. My train of thought was “great another super-group with people just going through the motions”. But being a fan of each of the members’ work outside of this band, I had to give it a shot. The album Psychotic Symphony ended up being one of my favorite releases of the year, and ranked high on a lot of year end polls. MMXX is them taking things to the next level, the album sounds as if this is a cohesive band that’s been around for a long time, and this is everyone’s main band, not another one of their projects. Let’s hope that they continue to release more albums going forward.
Mark Morton – Ether EP
One of my favorite releases of 2019 was Lamb Of God guitarist Mark Morton’s solo album Anesthetic. A lot of artists have released similar albums, where it’s full of guest singers, but the songs are just kind of blah. Either cheap imitations of what the singer normally does, or something that’s pretty forgettable. Anesthetic is cool because each song is different, no two tracks sounded a like, and although Morton could have just released a L.O.G. lite album, he didn’t. The album meandered between flat out metal, and plain old hard rock. A lot of artists wouldn’t have done that for fear it would alienate their fan base. But Morton did it in a way where he wasn’t looking for the obvious top 40 radio hits, that make so many others put out these types of albums. It really feels like he wrote what he wanted without compromising to anything or anyone. He’s about to release a new acoustic EP called Ether, it will feature some of the same people involved on his previous solo debut, along with others, like Lzzy Hale and Howard Jones that weren’t on the full length.
British Lion – The Burning
This is the second outing by Steve Harris’ side project. This may sound weird, but although the band sounds nothing like Iron Maiden, it still sounds 100% like Steve Harris. His playing and sound is so distinct, that it’s difficult not to think that it’s him. There are many that try to imitate him, but his feel is very unique, and stands out from all of those trying to do what he does. The band has kicked things up a notch this time around, call it evolution, or maybe even them saying screw it, we’re more than just a side project, we’re a great band in our own right. If you’re remotely a Maiden fan it will be worth your wild to check the album out.
Magnum – The Serpent Rings
Here is a classic case of a band that’s had a huge following everywhere but the US. As a kid vacationing in Europe I’d see them in all of the hard rock and metal magazines, their albums would be all over the record stores as well. And I’d always think the same thing, when are going to get this kind of exposure in the states? Sure there were people that knew of them, but for the most part, they weren’t even a blip on most people’s radar. I posted this video last week on the Mark Strigl Patreon page, and it received nothing but good reviews.
Here are some other releases that may interest you:
Steve Moore – Bliss Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Anti-Flag – 20/20 Vision
Bonded – Rest in Violence
Victorius – Space Ninjas From Hell
Ether Coven – Everything Is Temporary Except Suffering