BPMD, HOUSE OF LORDS, MICHAEL ANGELO BATIO, ELECTRIC MOB, AND SMACKBOUND RELEASE NEW ALBUMS
BPMD – American Made
For the months we had heard rumblings of a nameless new supergroup. We’ve seen pictures of Overkill’s Bobby Blitz Ellsworth, Winery Dogs/Sons Of Apollo ex-Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy, Metal Allegiance bassist Mike Menghi, and Vio-lence ex-Machine Head guitarist Phil Demmel together in various photographs.
And people have been wondering since, what exactly is going on? So BPMD, Blitz, Portnoy, Menghi and Demmel are BPMD. Their album American Made drops today.
This album is essentially a covers album. The title comes from the fact that these are all tracks that were originally released by American artists. Most people will recognize the majority of the tracks they’ve recorded, and will also appreciate each component’s signature sound.
It pays tribute to the forefathers of American hard rock and metal, while also putting enough of a spin on the music to make it modern, and as alluded to above, sound like each member of the band.
Electric Mob – Discharge
For as much crap as I give Frontiers for some of their projects, they’ve been doing an outstanding job in releasing music by newer bands like Electric Mob. Today specifically they’re releasing several albums that have caught my attention instantly. Both of these albums have ridiculous voices on them, here you have Renan Zonta from Brazil. While further down the post I’ll discuss the Finish band Smackbound.
Electric Mob has the perfect name, and the album title Discharge suits it exceptionally well. Look they aren’t inventing anything new here, but the album is exciting and entertaining. Something that is missed in most rock-based music these days.
A few weeks back I posted the video for the band’s track “Upside Down” on Talking Metal’s Patreon. The track and its video received rave reviews from everyone that commented on it.
This is the perfect album to check out for anyone that insists that rock is dead, or as many have said to me in the past “nothing good has come out after 89”. This is a great exciting new band for those looking to get turned onto something new.
Smackbound – 20/20
I recently posted about Smackbound here on Talking Rock. The band was formed back in 2015 by the ultra-talented Netta Laurenne. She is a powerhouse and has previously lent her vocal talents to bands like Amorphis, Lordi, Black Sun, and Elvenking to name a few.
She is a classically trained singer that has also dabbled in pop, jazz, and folk singing. She’s also an actress, appearing as Venla Korhonen in the Netflix series Bordertown. She also plays Nini Korhonen on the Finish series Hotel Swan Helsinki.
The band is rounded out by Teemu Mäntysaari of Wintersun on guitar. Rolf Pilve from Stratovarius on drums. VIli Itäpelto and Tuomas Yli-Jaskari from Tracedawn respectively on keys and bass. Take a ride down YouTube rabbit hole, and see the band flawlessly covering Dio’s “Don’t Talk To Strangers“, Deep Purple’s “Burn“, Whitesnake’s “Still Of The Night” and Yngwie Malmsteen’s “I’ll See The Light Tonight“. They are no slouches to say the least.
RELATED: SMACKBOUND “THOSE WHO BURN” VIDEO
What drew me to the band is Netta’s voice. Let’s be honest, there are a lot of beautiful singers in hard rock and metal nowadays. It’s a lot harder to find someone with her vocal talent than someone that’s as aesthetically pleasing.
It reminds me of hearing a pop singer with killer pipes and thinks “wow, I wish she’d release a hard rock or metal album.” I’ve thought this a ton of times, but it never happens.
Netta is doing just this, and I’m thrilled. As mentioned above with Electric Mob, this is the kind of release that I want from Frontiers. A relatively fresh band, that is very talented, whose album entertains me top to bottom.
Again, no good new music? Take 20/20 for a spin, and let me know if you still have that opinion.
Magnus Karlsson’s Free Fall – We Are The Night
Magnus is best known for his work with Primal Fear and is one of the go-to guys on Frontiers Records. His credits are all over the label’s releases.
The Ferrymen is my favorite project that he’s worked on for them. This is the third release under Magnus Karlsson’s Free Fall moniker. His first since 2015’s Kingdom Of Rock. We Are The Night has a rotating lineup of lead singers, including former Black Sabbath lead singer Tony Martin, and another powerhouse from Finland, Noora Louhimo of Battle Beast, Electric Mob’s Renan Zonta, Dino Jelusick of Animal Drive, his The Ferryman bandmate, and Rainbow lead singer Ronnie Romero. Not too shabby to say the least.
The album is full of what I’ve come to appreciate about Magnus as a player and composer. On the album, he cuts loose and shows what an explosive player he can be.
There are times where he reminds me of John Sykes. Especially when it comes to some of the more technical playings. Although I may not appreciate some of the other projects he works on.
I get it and understand why he’s on call for the label. At the end of the day, he’s trying to do the best for those projects, and you can’t fault him for trying to heat his pool.
Michael Angelo Batio – More Machine Than Man
What is there to say about Michael Angelo Batio that hasn’t been saying before. If you’re a fan, you know what you’re getting. This is obviously a must-have for anyone that’s a fan.
A new fan? Well, he’s one of the most prolific instrumental guitarists that focuses mainly on metal. He’s never been ashamed to play this style of music, while others have shied away, he’s welcomed it.
You might have seen him with his four-string, and think it’s a gimmick, but Michael Angelo Batio can shred on one, two, or four necks without an issue. Check the album out if you just want some unadulterated shredding.
HERE ARE SOME OTHER RELEASES THAT MAY INTEREST YOU
House Of Lords – New World – New Eyes
Vega – Grit Your Teeth
Stinky – Of Lost Things
Aversions Crown – Hell Will Come For Us All
Tia Carrera – True And True
Blue Oyster Cult – Curse Of The Hidden Mirror Vinyl Reissue
High On Fire – Bat Salad Vinyl Reissue
High on Fire – De Vermis Mysteriis Vinyl Reissue
High On Fire – Snakes For The Divine (10th Anniversary) Vinyl Reissue
Immortal – The Seventh Date Of Blashyrkh Vinyl Reissue
Vision Divine – Send Me An Angel Reissue
Blue Oyster Cult – iHeart Radio Theater
Steve Hackett – Genesis Revisited: Live At Royal Albert Hall CD + Vinyl Boxed Set Reissue
Power Trip – Live In Seattle 05.28.2018
The Acacia Strain – Y