UPDATED May 7, 2021


The German band DAWNATION was kind enough to send me their debut album on vinyl, which of course also results in a lengthy detailed review, because this is very much appreciated over here. Thankfully we are spoiled here with a lovely album by this interesting band, who are combining elements of Classic Rock, AOR/Melodic Rock and Progressive Rock. The band is formed around bassist Robert Reich, drummer Clemens Reichard, guitarist Christoph Piel, keyboardplayer Bert Wenndorff and lead singer Jan Mecklenburg, and for a debut album they are doing things very well. Opener Don't Bother Me is a traditional uptempo Classic Hardrocksong with 70s influences, although the sound is up-to-date and actually shows an own identity. Following track Behind The Mad takes a different route, because at first sight this is a calmer and quite brilliant clever melodic AOR/rock ballad with a lovely proggy soaring guitarsolo (a la PINK FLOYD) and really superb vocalwork. However, this song also has a twist halfway, because then it changes into an exciting uptempo symphonic/neo-progressive rocker, with some really cool spacey Pomprock kinda keys and very nice guitar shredding besides a catchy melodic chorus. All together this song is sounding quite sensational and offers something for both the AOR/Melodic Rockfan and the Progrockfan, so it's the best of both worlds with a focus on melodies all the time. They remind me a bit of KAYAK in this song, so I think you'll get an idea what this 9 minutes counting song is all about. Despite only 6 tracks are included on this album, they are all quite lengthy, with Side-A's closing track The Hypocrite being a 7 1/2 minutes counting melodic 70s progrocksong with similarities to CAMEL, including lovely clean vocalwork, and just like the previous song there is also an interesting twist halfway the song when the tempo changes into an uptempo rocking piece, so basically this epic song is another winner for the proggies out there.

Side-B opens with Cheap Pills, a midtempo hard hitting progressive rocksong at first sight, sounding a bit dark with a groovy guitar riff, yet when the chorus comes around we are heading into a catchy melodic rock/AOR direction, although there are also clear LED ZEPPELIN imitations halfway the song. As already mentioned before, also this song is quite lengthy at 7 minutes, while the other 2 songs on Side-B are even longer (9 and 10 minutes), so you'll definitely get value for your money here. Lovely Child (another great melodic Progrocker with several twists and a huge anthemic Pomprock-ish chorus that reminds me a lot of classic STYX!) and Far Away (and yet another great pure progrock song with some memories of SUBSIGNAL and PINK FLOYD) are the final 2 songs on The Mad Behind. The CD version of the album has 2 bonustracks, Mr. Trumpet and a radio edit version of The Hypocrite. Overall, the band reminds me a bit of fellow countrymen SUBSIGNAL and THRESHOLD here and there, while the aforementioned KAYAK comparison is also worth mentioning again, but there's much more to discover here and secretly this is one of the most surprising releases of the past few years!

Without a doubt, this vinyl record should be checked in case you want to hear high quality melodic music that blends AOR/Melodic Rock, Classic Rock and Progressive Rock perfectly together. More info at:

(Points: 8.8 out of 10)

One of the ultimate Alternative Rockbands are back in town with the release of their new album Sweep It Into Space. DINOSAUR JR. has been active since 1984 and they were along with bands like PIXIES, REM and HUSKER DU, the founding fathers of the Grunge Rocksound that exploded in the early 1990s. They broke up for a while between 1997 and 2005, but in their active years they managed to release more than 20 records, performed everywhere and built up a huge name. Sweep It Into Space is basically featuring the expected melodic alternative rocksound they are known for, which is quite melodic actually and from start to finish a joy to listen to. This is actually almost classic rock now, with as highlights among the 12 included tracks, I Met The Stones ( a great hard hitting melodic heavy rocker like NEIL YOUNG crossed with TEENAGE FANCLUB), To Be Waiting (this rocker even features a soaring guitarsolo, like WEEZER a bit if I am allowed to say so), Hide Another Round (uptempo melodic rocker) and And Me (another uptempo melodic rocker). Check out DINOSAUR JR. at: and

(Points: 8.3 out of 10)



ADRIAN CROWLEY is an Irish singer, composer, songwriter, lyricist from Galway, based in Dublin, while he was born in Matla. The Watchful Eye Of The Stars is his 9th album since he made his debut in 1999. His music is modern singer/songwriter music with a somewhat melancholic dark sinister depressing approach in a way you could link him to LEONARD COHEN and NICK CAVE. If those singer/songwriters are up your alley, then you will definitely like this album. Here and there when the songs get a bit more tempo, he even reminds me of DAVID BOWIE somehow, such as during Bread And Wine. 10 songs are included and most of them go in a similar direction, which is kinda slow and calm, with the dark sininster melancholic approach of the aforementioned artists. More info at:

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)



Out of Marseille, France comes POSTCOITUM, a project based around Damien Ravnich and Bertrand Wolff, who together created a fantastic and very interesting instrumental modern sounding album titled News From Nowhere. With the help of Rudy Romeur, who took care of the drums and mastering, the duo’s new album offers many twists and changes that connects indie rock, progrock and krautrock in a hypnotical way we haven’t heard before. 6 songs that take you into this journey of improvisations and atmospheric melodies, with as one of the absolute highlights Calipolis, which starts calm, but gets very exciting and uptempo towards the end of song, almost going for a noisy krautrock climax, while the . It’s almost impossible to describe the music of POSTCOITUM, so if you’re open-minded musically speaking, this is definitely recommended to check out at:

(Points: 8.4 out of 10)


Out of Nantes, France comes composer/sound engineer SEBASTIEN GUERIVE and he released his debut album back in 2001. Omega Point is his latest album, and musically speaking this is a fantastic 80s Sci-Fi movie/Retrowave ish album that really takes you into an adventure in a galaxy far away with the help of haunting synths and keys, as played by Sebastien. 9 songs are included and it’s a joy to listen to sensational hypnotical songs such as Omega, which comes in 5 parts. It has a touch of the old kraut and prog of acts like TANGERINE DREAM and ALAN PARSONS PROJECT, but also of the newer generation of Retro/Synthwave of acts like MAGIC SWORD and movies like TERMINATOR and BLADE RUNNER of course. Highly recommended if you’re interested in such instrumental synth based music. More info at:  

(Points: 8.5 out of 10)



Where One Begins and The Other Stops is the debut album of OH NO NOH, an act formed around MARKUS ROM, who is a guitarist that uses programmed robots and a Tapedeck on stage to perform his music live. There are all kinds of interesting strange noises and actually this kinda music is a form of art. You could call it Indierock, Alternative Rock, Ambient, Minimal Music, Kraut or Electronica, but OH NO NOH really does something on his own and creates an own sound with a lot of room for melodies nevertheless. It is quite interesting to listen to and at one point you may ask yourself how does he do it! Well, it goes even further than that, because it doesn’t matter how you play the 7 songs, full-speed, half-speed, backwards or any other way, OH NO NOH’s music changes the way you want to hear it and this is something we haven’t heard before, so go check for yourself at:  

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)



Here we have experimental instrumental krautrock/hi-tech electronic music that is not far removed from the classic sounds of TANGERINE DREAM, KLAUS SCHULZE, CAN and such, yet with a clear modern approach. SOUNDS OF NEW SOMA is a duo consisting of ALEXANDER DJELASSI and DIRK RAUPACH. Trip is their new album and it definitely is a trip you’re going through when listening to the song, because it is actually 1 full-length song titled Trip, which takes you in various directions, but we should overall describe it as hi-tech modern sounding experimental kraut/electronic music. Fans of aforementioned acts will definitely enjoy this and I would recommend you to check it out for yourself at:

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)



LOTUS TITAN is an experimental band from France, with a female singer and a sound that combines elements of PIXIES, THE POLICE, SONIC YOUTH and THE MARS VOLTA. Their debut album Odysees is a 7 tracks counting record that goes in various directions and is quite experimental at times, with a sorta modern progressive rock touch as well. Singer JULIE CASTEL is a great singer, which you can hear very clearly when the band slows things down and come up with a beautiful calmer song like Silence. However, most of the time the band likes to experiment, which they do quite well and in case you want to hear how this sounds like, then check out their site at:

(Points: 8.1 out of 10)



The German band HOUND released their debut Settle Your Scores back in 2018 and now the follow-up I Know My Enemies is released. It's also available on a vinyl record, and I received it this way in order to review it. I have to say once again that it's always nice to listen to a new release on vinyl, because it gives you a much clearer view of a band's sound. HOUND are playing Melodic Hardrock with a clear 1980s approach and actually they remind me a lot of the legendary bands CZAKAN, AXXIS and SATROX, if anyone is familiar with those bands from the past. It means that their sound is somewhere between melodic hard/heavy rock and melodic metal, with a focus on high-pitched typical German style vocals, memorable choruses to sing-a-long to as well as classic 80s guitarwork and as finishing touch a prog metal touch instrumentally speaking. 10 songs are on their new album, and you can hear the band has a lot energy to become a household name in the near future. Their line up consists of Wanja Neite/vocals, John Senft/drums, Yannick Aderb/bass and Nando Grujic/guitars, and the highlights on I Know My Enemies are the midtempo melodic heavy rockers Head Under Water and Fortune, and the lovely epic progressive rocker I Smell Blood. One of the more interesting songs is the complex epic 70s progrock piece Loyalty, which somehow reminds me of Canadian bands like MAX WEBSTER, RUSH and TRIUMPH, although towards the end of the song SAVATAGE also comes to mind, while the classic rocking guitarsolo finishes it off very nicely. While listening to the album, we can also hear some keys here and there, which gives the band a rich sound, so all together HOUND has released a diverse record that is quite interesting to explore. Although this release might not become the greatest album of 2021, HOUND still delivers a good strong record that has more to offer than you might think at first sight. Check them out at: and

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)



Still Thick As A Brick is the debut album of REFLECTION CLUB, a band formed around German, English and American musicians. Thick as a Brick by the legendary JETHRO TULL is the biggest inspiration for this band and you can call this album a tribute to that band. The CD comes in a DVD like package that contains a complete issue of a music magazine in newspaper form with a background article illuminating on the narrative background of the album, and all together this looks quite impressive. The band's line up consists of Nils Conrad (CRYSTAL PALACE) – electric guitar, Paul Forrest (JETHRO TULL EXPERIENCE, ex DAYGLO PIRATES) – lead vocals, acoustic guitar, flute), Ulla Harmuth – flute and Lutz Meinert (MARGIN) – drums, percussion, organ, piano, harpsichord, electric and double bass, vibraphone, glockenspiel, background vocals. The CD also has a 72-page media-book and after a calm start, it gets to monumental classic melodic 70s prog during Time Out. Of course there are the obvious JETHRO TULL comparisons all throughout the album, but somehow REFLECTION CLUB gives it an own face, and I am really impressed by their lovely music, which sounds sensational from start to finish. There is not a single dull moment to be found here, and you can name any song as highlight, because that is basically what is going on here from the Prelude until the very end with Look Across The Sea. Years On The Fast Track for example is a wonderful instrumental piece, while Rellington Town is the cheerful folky progrocktune like JETHRO TULL, KAYAK and also YES created back in the 1970s. Another masterpiece is the melodic The Club Of Hopeful Pinions, which could even be a classic from 1973. This band is doing something of an incredible high level and anyone into classic JETHRO TULL and/or 70s prog, they should check out this sensational band at: and

(Points: 8.6 out of 10)



KASCHALOT is a is a band from Estonia that started back in 2014, and Zenith is their 2nd album so far. They started as one-man-solo-project, but are a full band now formed around guitarist Aleksandr Ivanov, bassist Dmitri Orlov and drummer Sten Loov, guitarist Sulo Kiivit. The 4 long songs on their new album are a lovely trip through their thoughts of creating innovative instrumental music that is mostly in the melodic progressive rock direction, with an overall post-rock kinda atmosphere. From start to finish you can hear the high quality of the 4 musicians, who are having a great time and are doing what they like to do, and sometimes this is straight-ahead really hard rocking, and at other moments, the music is slightly calmer. Check it out for yourself at:


(Points: 8.2 out of 10)



The frontcover of this album is such a great picture, as it captures the innocence of 2 young girls doing something politically incorrect and the funny thing is that BEND THE FUTURE asked permission and therefore got in touch with one of the girls 26 years after the original photo was taken, and she agreed! You might have seen the picture before, because it is an iconic picture taken somewhere in Phoenix, Arizona back in 1994. Anyway, thankfully the included music is of a very high level, so we have a great combination here. BEND THE FUTURE are coming out of Grenoble, France and they were formed in January 2019, so they have quickly managed to come up with this full-length debut album. The band consists of drummer Piel Pawlowski, piano/mellotron player Samy Chëbre, bassist Rémi Pouchain, saxophone players Pierre-Jean Ménabé and Nemo Pawlowski, and vocalist/guitarist/synthesizerplayer Can Yıldırım. 7 songs are included, and opener Lost In Time shows right from the start that we are dealing here with a sensational release that is basically pure melodic progressive rock, yet we can also trace the influences of other music genres (Jazz and World Music), while the vocals/melodies keep things open and melodic enough for the regular music fans. Following As We Party is instrumental and combines calmer progressive rock with jazz. Merely features vocals again, and is a lovely uptempo melodic progressive rocker with some SPOCK’S BEARD similarities and featuring amazing melodies played on guitar and sax. Slightly more complex and proggy is the following semi-instrumental We Aim Higher, which also features a lovely soaring guitarsolo. Miniature is a short instrumental, while Mus is also instrumental, but then more into a calmer jazzy prog direction like SOFT MACHINE did back in the 1970s. Closing the album is the titletrack Without Notice, which is a lovely instrumental jazzy progressive rocksong. The band is mostly focused on melodies via instrumental jazz and prog directions, as played on guitar and sax, with in addition a bit of keys, some (great) vocals here and there and a tight rhythm section (bass/drums). I would love to hear more vocals next time, because they do sound pretty good the few moments we can hear then on the album, but nevertheless, this is a highly recommended album to check out at:  

(Points: 8.6 out of 10) 




ARKAIK COSMIK is a one-man-project around the French musician Arkaik, who delivers a wonderful instrumental album that contains a lot of various influences, such as Krautrock, Psychedelic Space Rock, Progressive Rock, Surfrock and a whole lot more. It’s a trip through different sounds and from start to finish you’re hooked and want to hear more and more. There is definitely a lot of improvisation going on, which is a good thing for sure, because that is where the magic happens. This is one of those albums you can put on without doing the math what is really going on, because it feels like a great concert where the musicians on stage are creating a vibe we all miss so much nowadays. The most interesting thing of course here is that it’s all done by one musician only and he truly delivers a fantastic album with the release of Time Or Infinity?. Check out more info at:


(Points: 8.5 out of 10)




The Spanish band WILD FUZZ TRIP is the music project of PedalTVChannel along with the Icelandic artist Bjarki Omarsson on drums. Their debut album Surreal Surroundings/Fuzznaut is a very interesting and diverse record, because after a short calm, dark and melancholic start, it slowly becomes heavier and is in the beginning basically a lovely instrumental journey through the fields of doom, kraut and psychedelic rock with fantastic guitarwork. I have the Promo CD version of this album, which is also available through vinyl, but the songs 3 and 4 on this CD are exceptionally beautiful calmer progrock orientated, sounding very melodic and PINK FLOYDish. This part of the album is wonderful, kind of atmospheric and melancholic at the same time and really giving you the feeling that you’re somewhere in Iceland. Track number 5 is very calm and haunting, while the last couple of songs are going into a classic synthwave/kraut direction like TANGERINE DREAM meets BLADE RUNNER/THE TERMINATOR, with some very nice synths, so all together this album is a great diverse adventure which you can check out at:


(Points: 8.6 out of 10)




Out of Dortmund, Germany comes ROCCOs RED CLOUD, a trio formed around bassist Luce Bertermann, drummer Louis Lenger and guitarist/vocalist Rocco Wiersch. They play the classic rockstyle of the late 1960s/early 1970s when acts like CREAM, JIMI HENDRIX, TASTE, RORY GALLAGHER, BLUE CHEER, MOUNTAIN and countless more were ruling the rockworld. Circus De Plague is their debut album and fans of aforementioned acts will absolutely love this strong and impressive record of these young musicians. The material is diverse enough to keep the attention, so after an uptempo rocking start, what follows is a healthy mixture of groovy tunes, calmer bluesy songs and more uptempo rocking pieces, basically finding a perfect balance between rocking out all the way (Down, Down, Down) and going for a calmer direction here and there (Another time), while always delivering top-notch groovy guitarwork. The vocals of guitarist Rocco somehow remind me of KURT COBAIN of NIRVANA, but as mentioned, the music is going for a more late 60s/early 70s groovy trio-classic rock/hardrocksound. The album is also released as a double vinyl album, so for the collectors among us, this is definitely a highly recommended band to check out at:


(Points: 8.1 out of 10)



Out of Moscow, Russia comes the instrumental band THE RE-STONED. They were formed back in 2008 and have released quite a lot of albums so far, of which Thunders Of The Deep is their latest record. The band consists of lya Lipkin (guitars, effects, mandola, grass flute), Vladimir Kislyakov (bass) and Anton Yalovchuk (drums), and musically speaking it is clearly going for a classic 70s hardrock approach. After the short opener Intro (A Blaze of Distant Stars), the band jumps on to the full swing uptempo 70s inspired classic hardrock wagon on the following song Farther Beyond Moon Dust. Adding some cool groovy 70s hardrock influences into the next song Where Heather Blooms. Supernova speeds up the tempo again, and is a great almost BLACK SABBATHish uptempo Classic 70s Hardrock/Heavy Rocker. Rusty Shuffle slows things down a bit to a bluesier late 60s/early70s rocksound a la CREAM and JIMI HENDRIX, while Watch the Undines Play is even calmer, with a  southern rocking acoustic guitar as main instrument. Sea Monk is a great massive sounding almost Doom Metal ish song with those classic BLACK SABBATH guitar riffs. The outro (Moon Eclipse) continues this slow Doom Metal/Fuzz guitar orientated soud, while the CD version of this album closes with Faces of Earth, a 10-minutes counting. It is instrumental from start to finish, which you don’t hear that much in the classic 70s hardrock scene, but done very well and therefore recommended to check out at: 

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)



DOMO is a Spanish band formed around Óscar Soler (Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Synth, Vocals), Paco García (Drums, Percussion), Pablo Criado (Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Tambura, Trumpet, Effects) and Samuel Riviere (Electric Guitar, Sitar, Effects) and they have delivered a few albums so far, of which I received the CD version of their combined albums Domonautas volume 1 and 2. Their music is clearly going for the 70s BLACK SABBATH doom metal sound with fuzzy guitars and that pure retro rocksound with guitarsolos and raw vocals all over the place, but there’s so much more to discover here, because they also take parts of classic rock, psychedelic rock and other influences (even a bit reminding of DE WOLFF here and there on the fantastic volume 2 of Domonautas), with a groovy rhythm section, but then instrumental only). 8 songs are included in total and from start to finish it is great experience that feels like you’re discovering something new every time you listen to the band. Especially the aforementioned volume 2 is quite sensational with amazing guitar melodies, so go check it out for yourself at:

(Points: 8.6 out of 10) 



The Berlin, Germany based band VUG has a sound that is clearly influenced by the classic late 1960s/early 70s psychedelic and bluesy hardrocksound of CREAM, JIMI HENDRIX and even THIN LIZZY, because the band’s lead singer (and guitarist) FELIX ‘BOMMI’ SCHOLL sounds like a cross between JIMI HENDRIX and PHIL LYNOTT vocally speaking. I received 2 albums of this exciting band, who took their name from a song of the band ATOMIC ROOSTER, and besides the comparisons to aforementioned acts, VUG also has similarities to the current Swedish retro hardrocksound of bands like BULLET, STEELWING, RAM, AIR RAID, SCREAMER, ENFORCER, DEAD LORD, HALLAS, etc, especially when you listen to a song like Prophecy or White Room, 2 guitar-dueling up-tempo melodic heavy classic rockers with the THIN LIZZY influences upfront for sure. Both albums are giving us that interesting healthy mix of classic retro hard rock with a focus around the guitar solos and guitar riffs. Their latest album Onyx has a slightly different line-up than their same titled debut album, because besides Felix, the other band members of VUG are now guitarist MAXIMILIAN ‘MAX’ REINE, bassist PHILIPP HENNERMANN and drummer LEONARD VAESSEN. Musically no real big changes as already mentioned, perhaps a little more melodic, song based and less bluesy, with as highlights on this album the uptempo classic rockers Blue Onyx, Easy, Tired Of and Inferno, all of them going even more into the classic THIN LIZZY direction. Check out this interesting band at:

(Points: 8.3 out of 10)




Out of Dortmund comes DAILY THOMPSON, a band formed in 2013 and named after a British athlete. The band is a threesome formed around Vocalist/Guitarist Danny Zaremba, Vocalist/Bassist Mercedes „Mephi“ Lalakakis and drummer Matthias Glass, who recently replaced the band's previous drummer. Anyway, they are quite a great band actually with an international sound and Oumuamua is their 4th album so far. Although only 7 songs are included, of which the last one is an unplugged tune, it's still a full-length record, because 2 songs are around the 11-12 minutes of playing length. Opener She's so cold is a mixture of all kinds of styles actually, with also a shared female/male lead vocal and combining calmer progressive rock in the beginning, developing into psychedelic rock meets krautrock before ending in a heavier alternative meets stoner rock direction a la SPIDERGAWD. Sad Frank is a very strong and quite excellent slowtempo song that could be seen as THE BLACK KEYS ish heavier blues/stoner rock with an almost 1970s BLACK SABBATH ish Doom Metal chorus. The song also shows that the male vocals are better than the female vocals. Fuzzy Stoner Rock heaven can be heard during the massive guitar riff sounding On my mind, which again has clear 70s BLACK SABBATH similarities, although the smell of early 90s Alternative Rock (SOUNDGARDEN) is also present. Slow me down is the finest song on the whole album, as this is an excellent midtempo modern heavy blues rocker with a groove and vibe that is impossible to ignore and here the vocals also sound superb. Half thompson is more or less following this direction, but is perhaps a bit heavier and actually close to bands like BLACK STONE CHERRY and RIVAL SONS, so this is definitely sensational heavy modern bluesy classic hardrock/heavy rock. Cosmic cigar is a dark slow Alternative Stoner Rocksong that even recalls memories of classic ALICE IN CHAINS, while the final song is as already mentioned an unplugged version of their song River of a ghost. Without a doubt, this is a highly recommended German band and you check them out at:


(Points: 8.4 out of 10)




Out of Potsdam, Germany comes KASKADEUR, a band which changed their name recently and they are now making their debut on their new label NOISOLUTION. They used to be called STONEHENGE, under which they released quite a lot of albums, EPs, cassettes, etc. Now under this new name they want to start all over again and I have to say that their album really impresses. The band's line up consists of Enrico Semler (guitar / vocals), Johannes Walenta (organ / synths), Michael Paukner (bass), Ole Fischer (drums), and they play a mixture of all kinds of styles actually. Enrico has a great voice, although it seems that KASKADEUR are more focused on instrumental material. I think the progrockfans will love this, although they are not a pure progband at all actually. Opener Uncanny valley is a strong complex tune that combines progrock, groovy hardrock, fuzzy stoner rock and alternative rock like KING'S X meets PSYCHOTIC WALTZ meets ZAPPA if you can imagine that, because actually KASKADEUR has an own identity. They really like a groovy and proggy rhythm section (drums/bass), while the guitarist and vocalist seem to be pure Hardrock/Metal minded. Interesting mixture and in-between the short intro's/outro's and an instrumental tune here and there such as the sensational 70s heavy progrock/stoner rock influenced Flashback fatkids, there are some interesting songs with vocals, such as the aforementioned titletrack and also the lovely 70s prog/spacerock driven Part of your DNA. There is a lot to enjoy here, but if you're interested in a mix between 70s progrock, fuzzy stoner rock and a touch of modern psychedelic post/math-rock with still melodic catchy choruses here and there, then this might be up your alley! They surprised me with this original album and I am sure this will find it's way to people who appreciate quality music. More at:

(Points: 8.4 out of 10)




Out of Dortmund, Germany comes THE PIGHOUNDS, an interesting duo who have been longtime friends and already worked together in a previous band called FITCHES in the past. Since 2018 however, Peter Bering and Alessandro De Luca decided to start up THE PIGHOUNDS on their own as a duo, with as result their strong debut album titled Hilleboom. Musically speaking this is a mix of Stoner Rock and Classic Rock, with here and there an Alternative Rock touch. Highlights include the catchy uptempo rocking Doing Doe, THE BLACK KEYS-ish Love Yourself and the uptempo FOO FIGHTERS-ish melodic rocker Chairclimber. It sounds raw, dirty, mean and still quite melodic, thanks to the tight musicianship and excellent vocalwork. This duo could easily breakthrough in the near future, so go check them out a.s.a.p. at:  


(Points: 8.2 out of 10)




Stress is the debut album of the all-female trio 24/7 DIVA HEAVEN from Germany. The band is formed around KARO PASCHEDAG (bass), MARY WESTPHAL (drums) and KATHARINA OTT-ALAVI (guitar/vocals) and the music on their first album is Punkrock orientated, uptempo most of the time, slightly aggressive and reminding of early 90s female fronted punkacts like L7, LUNACHICKS, BIKINI KILL, CYCLE SLUTS FROM HELL and a tougher version of THE DONNAS, especially during a catchy and more melodic song such as Everything Sucks. When the band slows the tempo down a bit we are hearing an almost 90s alternative/grunge/dreampop melted rockband in a fantastic song like Everyman. However, most of the time Fans of rebellion raw punchy aggressive original classic Punkrock will love this band, and you can check them out at:


(Points: 8.1 out of 10)




Keep Me From Drowning is the 3rd album of the Swiss multi-instrumentalist/singer/songwriter ANDREA BIGNASCA. In Switzerland he has built up a reputation and when hearing this new album I am convinced he will become more popular in the future to come elsewhere too. He sang and wrote all of the 11 included songs by himself, while Andrea also plays guitar, drums, keys and percussion, but Keep Me From Drowning also features bassist GIAN-ANDREA COSTA, OLIVER HILL (keys on a few songs), drummer CHRIGEL BOSSHARD and producer MATTEO MAGNI (who also plays some synths). Opener Mending Dreams is an excellent opener, a midtempo melodic pop/rock piece with both a modern and retro kinda vibe. Next song Most Times is moving slowly into mature AOR/Poprock, kinda like MICHAEL ZEE, JUDE COLE, BILLY SQUIER and JIMI JAMISON crossed with the modern sound of FLEET FOXES and some BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN-ish influences. It rocks for sure and Andrea is a gifted singer as well, so a perfect combination that could work really well. Other highlights on this lovely album are the catchy uptempo modern melodic rocker How To Love (a song that would make THE KILLERS and KINGS OF LEON jealous for not writing), the superb semi melodic rockballad Anywhere The Wind Blows (a bit like BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN) and the melancholic midtempo pop/rocker Stranded. Definitely a musician you need to check out


(Points: 8.6 out of 10)




JOCHEN VOLPERT comes out of the German city of Wurzburg, and Six is his 6th album since he started his career back in the early 2000s. Jochen is a guitarist and Six was released just before corona hit Europe in February 2020. Of course what followed were not the gigs that usually take place after releasing a new album, but instead a lockdown at home. Anyway, it’s great that I get to hear and review this instrumental album, because it is good to pass by. Jochen is a fantastic guitarist and his music is funky, bluesy and melodic rock based, with quite some variation going on. Highlights include the groovy midtempo melodic rocker Batshit Crazy, the smooth melodic bluesy Jeannie Out Of The Bottle, the classic westcoast-ish For Your Soul, and the beautiful bluesy ballad Blue Blues. Check out this talented musician at: and let’s hope corona will leave us soon, so we can see a guitarist like Jochen live on stage, because he is able to let his guitar sing.


(Points: 8.5 out of 10)




The British band SUNBIRDS has connections with THE HOUSEMARTINS and THE BEAUTIFUL SOUTH, because the band’s lead singer DAVE HEMINGWAY started his musical journey in those bands. Songs like Caravan Of Love and Rotterdam (my birthplace!) will forever be in my memory, so it is great to see Dave starting up a new adventure after leaving THE SOUTH, the band that evolved out of THE (NEW) BEAUTIFUL SOUTH. Together with PHIL BARTON (guitars, banjo, mandolin), MARC PARNELL (drums) and LAURA WILCOCKSON (vocals, violin), Dave recorded a great debut album as SUNBURDS entitled Cool To Be Kind. The album starts with a couple of summer friendly 1970s inspired up-tempo melodic pop/rock songs (Meet You On The Northside and Hatred Lies In The Ruins Of Love) with a focus on catchy choruses. The combination of lead male vocals and backing female vocals sung in melodic verses and choruses, with a somewhat laid-back up-tempo folky smooth pop rock sound in classic 70s style continues throughout the rest of the album. It’s a very pleasant cheerful album that will appeal to people who like to hear something that is not far removed from the FLEETWOOD MAC sound circa Rumours and of course THE BEAUTIFUL SOUTH, while also BIG COUNTRY and DEACON BLUE come to mind here and there, yet it also has a certain modern touch as well. Besides the first 2 songs, the other highlights are Insert Answer Here (a calmer ballad), When I’m Gone (uptempo 70s melodic harmony/close-harmony vocal driven pop/rock with a certain westcoast feeling), Big Moneymaker (uptempo melodic pop/rock) and Please Yourself (beautiful relaxing calmer westcoast-ish semi-ballad). Concluded, this is quite a strong album that will absolutely be loved by the fans of THE BEAUTIFUL SOUTH, but in case you’re not that familiar with them, then you’re missing out some great feel-good music to get through this tough period and then I highly recommend you to check out SUNBIRDS at:


(Points: 8.3 out of 10)




Feel-good music comes in different shapes and adventures, and singer/songwriter/guitarist/harmonica player (and kayamb player) CHRISTINE SALEM from the small French Island of Reunion (situated between Madagascar and Mauritius) is creating her own kinda music on her latest album Mersi. She has been in the music business for quite some time now, starting in the band SALEM TRADITION and since 2010 solo. Mersi is her 4th solo album so far and without a doubt, this is one of the better sounding World Music related albums of the past few months. After an acapella intro in the song Anou, we are heading into an excellent Desert Blues Rock direction with all kinds of other influences due to the use of a violin, a rockin’ guitar and percussions that beat to the rhythm of the Reunion Island.  Following Gerye is a very relaxing and melodic song, sounding like a cross between African Music, Latin rhythms and pop melodies, and this could easily become a huge hit due to the fact it is very catchy. The whole album feels like one big adventure to a different place in the world, and if the Reunion Island are as cheerful and sunny as the music on Christine’s album Mersi, then I will book a flight as soon as corona has left us! Other highlights are Yala, Tyinbo, Je Dis Non, the lovely bluesrocker Dolo and the uptempo Desert Bluesrocker Why War. From start to finish, this is an excellent journey through the fun summer-ish sounding music of the Reunion Island, the place where Christine combines all kinds of music styles, with always the focus on melodies and a bluesy approach, yet with that Violin (as played by FREDERIC NOREL) also being an important part of the music. Check out more info at:


(Points: 8.5 out of 10)




The German band NATURAL BLUES was formed all the way back in 1982 by guitarist/singer/songwriter NORBERBT EGGER and they had several line up changes throughout the years, but on their new album Elementary Power the band consists besides Norbert of Alex Meik (bass), Hubert Hofherr (harmonica), Stefan Schubert (guitar) and Peter Bachmayer (drums), while guests include Michael Alf on piano and Florian Speth on drums. The band is Blues all the way, but still very diverse due to the fact they have songs in all available Blues formats, which includes classic Mississippi Delta Blues, Chicago Blues, Modern Heavy Bluesrock and much more. Classic slow Blues influenced songs like Muddy Waters, Leave you in the Morning, I Hear My Phone Ringing, What My Boss Wants and Three O’Clock in the Mornin’ as well as uptempo straight-ahead rockers like I Can’t Breathe and Weepin’n’Moanin’ show NATURAL BLUES at its best. There’s also some RANDY NEWMANish material included (Fishing Blues), while the politics are being criticized in a song like Mr. President and especially Shame On You, Mr. Trump, so overall there is a lot to enjoy here from start to finish. Bluesfans will absolutely love this record, because NATURAL BLUES is doing the Blues the way it needs to be done! More info at:


(Points: 8.3 out of 10)




Formed back in the early 1990s, the German band JESTER’S TEARS has been around for a long time now, with 2 album releases between 1996 and 2001, but we had to wait until now for their 3rd album Perception. The band consists of vocalist DIMI TSIKTES, guitarist TOBIAS DORNER, bassist BERND HUBER, keyboardplayer PHILIPP SCHULTHEISS and drummer MIKE SAUTER, and their music is a healthy mix of melodic heavy rock/metal, progmetal and symphonic melodic power metal. Their new album Perception is a professional sounding record with a lot of sensational songs. You can clearly hear this band and its members have been active for over 25 years now, and I can easily say that this is their best record so far. After the short instrumental intro The Wish, the album is on its way with the faster uptempo melodic heavy rocker Harmony, which sounds a bit like PRETTY MAIDS, yet with some prog metal influences as well. Following The Only Way is a superb uptempo symphonic melodic power metal tune with strong hooks and a lovely catchy chorus, while the vocals are really perfect here, reminding a lot of classic KAMELOT meets HELLOWEEN. I Can’t Deny starts massive with big harmony vocals and is basically a great melodic progressive metal tune that reminds me of a cross between PAGAN’S MIND and PYRAMAZE. The calmer Dreams Aside is a beautiful progressive semi-rock ballad with once again strong vocals, a superstrong chorus, some nice keyboardwork and a bombastic almost QUEEN like feeling. Scream Into Darkness is back to faster melodic symphonic power metal in the classic HELLOWEEN style, while Thorns In His Mind is a great midtempo Melodic Metal piece. Sorry speeds up the tempo again to KAMELOTish Melodic Progressive Power Metal, with again some PRETTY MAIDS similarities due to the vocals of Dimi, who reminds me a lot of RONNIE ATKINS of PRETTY MAIDS, while instrumentally speaking the neo-classical guitarwork versus the virtuoso keyboardwork is even revealing similarities to ROYAL HUNT. Who Decides? starts calm, but develops into a massive sounding progressive/power melodic metal piece like KAMELOT meets late 80s QUEENSRYCHE, including one of the album’s finest choruses. Closing track Critical Thinking follows in the same bombastic epic melodic Power Metal direction. Without a doubt, JESTER’S TEARS delivered something magical here! Please make sure to check out this fantastic album a.s.a.p. at:  and


(Points: 8.8 out of 10)




I have followed the Belfast, Northern Ireland based band MAVERICK for quite some time now after they delivered their fantastic  3rd full-length album Cold Star Dancer in 2018. 3 years after this sensational album MAVERICK released its 4th album Ethereality. The band’s sound is still the same, which is pure 80s inspired Melodic Hardrock, but I think this time all of the included 10 songs are absolute winners. The band’s line up consists of the brothers Balfour (David on vocals and Ryan on guitar), guitarist Ric Cardwell, bassist Richie Diver and drummer Jason-Steve Mageney, and due to corona it took a bit longer to record the new album, but it was worth the wait for sure. Opener Falling is a superb midtempo Melodic Hardrocksong that reminds me a bit of classic JADED HEART, including a catchy hook and a lovely massive chorus that sticks in your head and never lets go. Following Thirst keeps up this incredible high level, as this is a terrific uptempo Melodic Heavy Rocker, with again a catchy hook and memorable melodic chorus as if it was still 1989. The band’s sound is huge and reminds me a lot of the classic late 80s Melodic Hardrocking days when bands like FIREHOUSE, TRIXTER, SKID ROW and WHITE LION were on top of the charts in the USA. MAVERICK seems to have released their finest album so far, with almost every song being a highlight, because when listening to the uptempo Never, we get to hear one of the strongest Melodic Rocksongs I have heard in a long time, which is also thanks to the excellent vocals of David. Switchblade Sister is a little edgier with its SKID ROW approach, although H.E.A.T. also comes to mind here. Back to full swing sensational high class uptempo Melodic Rock with the lovely 80s BON JOVI sounding Bells Of Stygian. Angels 6 follows and is another superb sensational uptempo melodic/AOR rocker with a chorus that will make fans of H.E.A.T. dance all night! Up next is The Last One, a midtempo 80s melodic rocker with a superstrong hook and chorus again, a bit reminding of PAUL LAINE, THE DEFIANTS and such. Following Dying Star is uptempo melodic heavy rock in the PINK CREAM 69 style, with a classic HAREM SCAREMish guitarsolo, while Light Behind Your Eyes is a great midtempo melodic rocker. Ares closes the album very nicely as this is yet another sensational midtempo melodic rocker with a brilliant chorus. This new MAVERICK album is a must-have to every Melodic Rockfan out there! If you like bands such as STORMZONE, JADED HEART, H.E.A.T., THE DEFIANTS, ECLIPSE, GOTTHARD, ONE DESIRE, PERFECT PLAN, INGLORIOUS, etc., then you absolutely do not want to miss this gem! More info at: and


(Points: 9.0 out of 10)



Heartbreaks & Breakdowns is the 2nd album of the Hamburg, Germany based band THE GOLDEN CREEK, and it’s weird I haven’t seen much written about them so far, because they have a wonderful relaxing sound that is basically pure Americana orientated, reminding of bands like WILCO, RYAN ADAMS, TOM PETTY, CALEXICO, TIM KNOL, STEVE EARLE, THE BAND, TOWNES VAN ZANDT, etc. The band is formed around Matthias Abel: Vocals, guitar, harp, Axel Lemmerz: Lap steel, guitar, Wojtek Manteufel: Bass, vocals and Martin Lohmann: drums. There are 10 songs on the album, with most of them sounding calm and relaxed with that typical Lap Steel guitar, but a song like We Loved Elvis is more uptempo Americana melodic pop/rock orientated like CALEXICO, TOM PETTY and such, while Under The Halo is a strong midtempo rockier song with a certain VENICE comparison. Another highlight is closing track Woodrow’s Tale, which is a lovely uptempo rootsy rocker with a strong chorus and a full rich sound that even has some BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN similarities. THE GOLDEN CREEK sounds very international, and fans of any of the aforementioned acts will absolutely love them! Check out this wonderful band at:

(Points: 8.4 out of 10)



German singer/songwriter/guitarist Markus „Don Marco“ Naegele is formerly of the band FUCK YEAH, with whom he released 2 English sung records, but on this first 'solo'  album as DON MARCO & DIE KLEINE FREIHEIT, he is making German spoken music that is quite diverse actually. 20 songs are included in total and after the acapella intro D.O.N.M.A.R.C.O., opener Nervos is a catchy early 80s quirky poprocker, while the lovely Wir haven genug follows in a smooth uptempo melodic 80s rockstyle that sounds like a German version of RICK SPRINGFIELD. Gehst Du mit mir unter is going into a different direction, a somewhat depressing lo-fi dark, almost NICK CAVE/LEONARD COHEN-ish singer/songwriter direction. Other highlights are the uptempo catchy poprocker Osnabruck, the punky rocker Topspiel der Woche, the jazzy Das Fest and the uptempo poprocker Warten (a bit like JACKSON BROWNE, but then with German lyrics). The song Leon Russell is likewise a tribute to the legendary singer/songwriter, and the 7 bonustracks are demos and additional songs to the original 13 tracks on the album, so there is a lot to enjoy here. The music is diverse enough to keep things interesting and I think in Germany it will definitely might become a big success. Check more info at:

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)



MOON is an American duo consisting of producer SILVER and singer-songwriter Chelsea Dawn, who are making a mix of diverse styles, although the album feels like a soulful groovy bluesy classic rockalbum. 5 songs are on the EP, and sometimes they remind me of BETH HART. The songs are sometimes really rocking (Never Cross Me), while at other times it goes slowly in a poppier almost R & B ish pop direction, such as Shine and Sweetest Magic. Chelsea has a great Rockvoice and it’s a pleasure to listen to this talented duo who seem to come up with a sound that might appeal to a lot of people. Check for yourself at:

(Points: 8.3 out of 10)



Out of Seattle comes PIKEFRUIT, a duo playing melodic calm chamber pop with some ambient influences, while also taking bits of synthpop from both the 80s and the modern retro synth based popmusic sound. They are doing it quite well on their debut album Infloresence, which consists of 10 songs. The music is as mentioned calm and electronic based with lush higher pitched female vocals (Nicole) that makes it drift into dreampop quite easily. Alex is the musician, although he played all the sounds you hear on the keyboard. However, the overall sound is still quite rich, thanks to Alex’ diversity on the keyboard that sometimes makes it go into modern electronic territory, while at other times it feels like a trip into the past when Synthpop ruled the charts. All together nicely done and for more info you can check out this duo at: and

(Points: 8.1 out of 10)



The German band RPWL is one of the finest progrockbands to emerge the past 20 years, with many great album releases, but since the lockdown they have been quite active in releasing live albums that feature recordings from the past and lead singer YOGI LANG even managed to released a solo album. Anyway, the band has so far released 10 studio-albums and 7 live-albums, and to mark the 20th year anniversary of their debut album God Has Failed, they decided to re-record this album live on the 14th and 15th of November 2020, yet without an audience likewise due to the corona restrictions. Now this recording has been released on CD and LP, and without a doubt, it is an enjoyable journey back to the RPWL past. 14 songs filled with beautiful melodies, it's like they are really the modern PINK FLOYD, because most of the time their music is calm, cool and collected with a focus on melodies created by subtle keys (as played by MARKUS JEHLE), a slightly soaring guitarsound (KALLE WALLNER) and the superb vocals by Yogi, while drummer MARC TURIAUX keeps the rhythm section under control along with guest bassist FRANK THUMBACH. Here and there backing vocalists BINE HELLER and CAROLINE VON BRUNKEN can be heard, and I really have to say that this feels like a new RPWL record, despite we are talking about a re-recording. These guys show they are in the upper league of pure calmer melodic progressive rock, sitting nicely between PORCUPINE TREE and PINK FLOYD's finest moments. Check them out a.s.a.p. if you're still not convinced at:

(Points: 8.8 out of 10)



The German Progressive Rockband SYLVAN has been around for a long time now and their new album One To Zero marks their 10th record so far. Musically speaking they have always played their own brand of melodic progressive rock. The band's sound is very relaxed, calm and smooth, the kinda melodic progressive rock like we also know it from JADIS, FOR ABSENT FRIENDS and especially RPWL. The comparison to RPWL is not that strange, because the 2 main members of that band (guitarist KALLE WALLNER and vocalist YOGI LANG) produced the new SYLVAN album. The band's line up consists of Marco Glühmann (vocals), Matthias Harder (drums), Sebastian Harnack (bass), Volker Söhl (keyboards) and Johnny Beck (guitars), with a few guests appearing as well. 10 songs are included on this new concept album that is based around A.I. Despite most of the songs have that calmer slow progrock approach with a focus on melancholic melodies like PINK FLOYD and RPWL, one of the highlights however is the short but superb catchy uptempo melodic progressive pop/rocker Start of your Life. However also the calmer melancholic PINK FLOYD/CAMEL/RPWLish Encoded at Heart and Unleashed Power should be mentioned, because they sound so lovely and relaxing, you slowly move into a sorta trance of prog overdose. Also the heaviest song on the album, the epic progressive rocker Go Viral as well as closing track Not A Goodbye should be mentioned, because this is the longest song on the album (10 minutes). This album is definitely another German progrock gem that you want to have in your collection. I saw SYLVAN once live on stage, but they have clearly progressed throughout the years and perhaps this new album might be their finest effort so far. Check out more info at:

(Points: 8.7 out of 10)



Instead of waiting for the lockdown to end, the Swedish band ZITTER released 2 studio albums in 2020, of which Tick Tock is their most recent. The band has been around for a while and on this new album we can hear their somewhat dirty mean sleazy classic rock and roll sound with a sorta HANOI ROCKS meets NEW YORK DOLLS meets DEAD BOYS kinda mixture. Not bad at all, the 8 included songs are a trip back in time when rock was totally king. The band also throws in a classic Glam ballad in the ALICE COOPER/MOTLEY CRUE style titled Reach out a Hand, although most of the time the music is as earlier described sitting nicely in the classic dirty mean uptempo rock and roll/punkrocksound of the 1970s, yet due to the use of software instruments, ZITTER has a slightly different and more modern approach than the aforementioned bands. If you’re starting to become interested, check them out at:

(Points: 7.8 out of 10)



Formed back in 2014 in Perth, Australia by Jack McEwan (guitar and vocals), Luke Parish (guitar), Danny Caddy (drums), Luke Reynolds (bass), and Chris Young (keyboard), the band PSYCHEDELIC PORN CRUMPETS are the latest sensational psychedelic rockband to emerge from down under. Following the footsteps taken by other Aussie bands like KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZARD, TAME IMPALE and WOLFMOTHER, PSYCHEDELIC PORN CRUMPETS are creating psychedelic rock/hardrock at a very high level on their 4th album Shyga! The Sunlight Mound. After repeated listens to the 14 included songs, I am safe to say that this band might be the finest Aussie band at the moment, because their retro classic rock/psychedelic rocksound is sensational, with many highlights on their new album, such as Sawtooth Monkfish, the LED ZEPPELINish Tripolasaur, The Terrors and the uptempo hard rocking Mundungus. The vocals are perfect and they take classic 70s influences of BLACK SABBATH, URIAH HEEP, LED ZEPPELIN, THE DOORS straight into a modern rocksound approach, so it doesn't sound dated at all. There's a lot of cool groovy rhythms floating around, but they always throw in memorable melodies in both the vocal and guitar department, such as can be heard very clearly during the aforementioned highlights. Check out this sensational band at:

(Points: 8.8 out of 10)