UPDATED July 1, 2023


Out of Sheffield, UK comes the superb band DOOMSDAY OUTLAW. They already released 4 albums, of which 1 was released on FRONTIERS RECORDS, but they are now back independently with this new album Damaged Goods. The band is fomed around Phil Poole (lead vocals), Alez D’Elia (guitar), Rowan O’Sullivan (guitar), Indy (bass) and Nic Rudd (drums). 12 songs are on the new CD, and In Too Deep opens the album in a punchy hard hitting American influenced modern heavy blues rock direction with a slight hardrock/metal touch. Following On My Way is a sensational uptempo heavy blues rocker with a catchy melodic rocking chorus, sorta like melting THE BLACK CROWES, RIVAL SONS and a band like XYZ or HAREM SCAREM. During this song the band shows they have an incredible lead singer and a fantastic tight band that knows how to play their music. The soulful semi-ballad If This Is The End also features brilliant melodic vocals and harmonies as well as a brilliant soaring guitarsolo, kinda reminding me of good old THUNDER meets GLENN HUGHES. Next track Turn Me Loose speeds up the tempo to a catchy straight-ahead hard rock direction like for example KINGS OF THE SUN or AIRBOURNE. You Make It Easy is big hard hitting American influenced modern melodic heavy rock in the ALTER BRIDGE style, yet with a rather catchy melodic chorus. Runaway follows, and this is a catchy uptempo melodic (hard) rocker in the style of HAREM SCAREM and TYKETTO. My Woman Comes On Strong is a swinging groovy blues rocker with a great vibe and once again amazing guitarwork as if TESLA, LILLIAN AXE and XYZ were mixed in a British microwave! Up next is Nowhere Left To Hide, a nice semi-melodic rock ballad in the THUNDER meets GLENN HUGHES meets FREE/BAD COMPANY meets CINDERELLA direction, and once again Phil shows that he is one of the better lead singers in the rock scene! One More Sip is a great catchy uptempo melodic rocker in the HAREM SCAREM / TYKETTO meets classic WHITESNAKE style. It Never Gets Old is a big fat groovy guitar riffing heavy bluesy hardrock piece a la RAINBOW, DEEP PURPLE, WHITESNAKE and such, while Walking The Line is a nice midtempo rocker, and finally closing track The Little Things finishes the CD in a calmer bluesy rock direction like JOE BONAMASSA meets KENNY WAYNE SHEPHARD.

Concluded, this band is highly recommended to fans of both heavy modern blues rock and classic late 80s/early 90s American mature melodic hardrock like all the aforementioned bands. Do not miss this sensational British band and their excellent new album Damaged Goods. More info at:

(Points: 8.7 out of 10)



15-20 years ago there was a sorta new wave of melodic (power) metal bands emerging from Sweden, because almost every month there were all these fantastic new releases of mostly new bands, but in the end only a few survived, although even the best ones (DREAM EVIL and NOCTURNAL RITES) do not seem to be active anymore. SAINT DEAMON was one of many new bands that was formed during the mid-00s and they managed to release 2 strong albums before disappearing. However, in 2019 they made a comeback album, and now in 2023 there is a 4th album in the shape of League Of The Serpent. The lineup of the band is almost the same as on their debut album from 15 years ago, which is JAN THORE GREFSTAD on vocals, TOYA JOHANSSON on guitar, NOBBY NOBERG on bass and newcomer ALFRED FRIDHAGEN on drums. I received a beautiful yellow vinyl version of their new album, and having a vinyl version of an album like this is even more interesting due to the fact that the cover artwork of the album is simply amazing. THOMAS HOLMDSTRAND created the excellent drawings of the album artwork, and along with the lyrics inside the gatefold sleeve as well as the picture of the band, there is a lot to look at while listening to this fabulous new album of this Swedish band. The album was mixed by OSCAR NILSSON (SCORPIONS, CRASH DIET, IN FLAMES) and mastered by THOMAS JOHANSSON (THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA, NOCTURNAL RITES), while OSCAR NILSSON produced it together with the band. Without a doubt everything sounds exactly the way it needs to sound, so make sure to read on.


Opener At Break Of Dawn is the kind of Swedish Melodic Power Metal we all love so much, containing a lovely catchy chorus and a sound dangerously close to DREAM EVIL. Following League Of The Serpent is faster and very catchy melodic power metal with once again a brilliant chorus that would make NOCTURNAL RITES, HELLOWEEN and DREAM EVIL very jealous. Their lead singer Jan Thore is really amazing, because his voice is just superb and goes up and down without any problems, and you can hear that very clearly during the sensational melodic hardrock/metal piece The Final Fight, which has a typical Scandi Eurovision AORish chorus that even reminds me of bands like THE POODLES, WIGWAM, TREAT, HEAT, PERFECT PLAN, etc. etc. The band balances on this new album somewhere between the classic 00s Melodic Swedish Power Metal and the current revival of Swedish Melodic Rock/AOR, which for me personally works really well. Lord Of The Night is a typical happy HELLOWEEN Power Metal tune, while closing Side-A of the vinyl version of this new album of SAINT DEAMON is the epic lengthy A Lie To Be Undone, another nice semi-uptempo melodic metal piece with a great progressive metal ish chorus that even sounds like a heavier SCORPIONS somewhere towards the end of the song, while the calmer breaks here and there give it a nice original direction.


Side-B opens with Raise Hell, which features gang-vocals in an ACCEPT style, although the song itself is another Power Metal anthem in the HELLOWEEN meets DREAM EVIL style. Following Lost In Your Sin is another absolute highlight, because this superb hookladen melodic progressive metal piece features a brilliant catchy memorable chorus that will wet the appetite of everyone looking for that combination of big fat guitar riffs, soaring guitarsolo’s and picture perfect vocals. Neo-classical Melodic Metal influences of the old school MALMSTEEN kind can be heard during Gates Of Paradise, which during the chorus speeds up the tempo to a SONATA ARCTICA/HELLOWEEN level. Back to a more Melodic Hardrock/Metal sound on Load Your Cannons, which combines early EUROPE with DREAM EVIL. Heaven To Heart is a rather catchy uptempo melodic heavy rocker and finally closing track They Call Us Demons is another nice faster paced uptempo melodic power metal piece.


Concluded, this might well be SAINT DEAMON’s finest record so far, and it is a true masterclass in Swedish Melodic (Power) Metal perfection, that is what this League Of The Serpent Yellow is all about. Do not miss this album, and especially the vinyl edition is definitely one to own! More info at:  


(Points: 8.9 out of 10)




LIV KRISTINE is a Norwegian singer who is probably familiar among most music fans out there, because she has so far had a stunning career the past 30 years that took her in various directions, although most of the time she was part of the gothic and metal community, singing in bands like THEATRE OF TRAGEDY, LEAVES’ EYES and MIDNATTSOL, but meanwhile she always kept a solo career going. In fact, her debut solo album was released all the way back in 1998, and now 25 years later her 6th solo album River Of Diamonds is released. I received a beautiful blue vinyl version of the album, and along with wonderful looking pictures on the front and back of the sleeve and inside the liner notes, which also contains all the information you need to know as well as the lyrics, it is very enjoyable to listen to this new solo album of Liv. Besides Liv on vocals there are several guests, although all instruments were played by TOMMY OLSSON (ELUSIVE, THEATRE OF TRAGECY, etc.). 10 songs are included on this vinyl album, and it opens with the uptempo fantasy symphonic rocker Our Immortal Day, while the following No Make Up is a lovely calmer slowtempo semi-/midtempo ballad that has the old WITHIN TEMPTATION touch. Up next is Maligna, a straight-ahead uptempo melodic rocker with a catchy chorus, kinda reminding of ANNEKE VAN GIERSBERGEN. So far so good, and it seems to get better and better with every song. Gravity is a calmer fantasy/gothic sympho piece and In Your Blue Eyes closes side-A of this beautiful blue vinyl album in an uptempo symphonic melodic rockstyle like LANA LANE did so many years ago.


Side-B opens with a typical uptempo gothic rocker in the style of Liv’s earlier band LEAVES’ EYES titled River Of Diamonds, and perhaps this is the best song of the album, because it also includes an incredible high falsetto opera range of Liv and a darker gothic rocking guitar like we know it from for example bands like THE CULT, THE CURE and/or DOOL, while FERNANDO RIBEIRO (of MOONSPELL) appears as guest singer. Following Shaolin Me is slightly sweeter and slower, yet it has an angelic Icelandic/Norwegian kinda winter charm like WITHIN TEMPTATION once again. Love Me High and Serenity are rather catchy somewhat 80s inspired uptempo melodic rockers with strong hooks and a catchy chorus, like a cross between LANA LANE, ANNEKE VAN GIERSBERGEN and a touch of 80s KATE BUSH. The record closes with If I Am Dreaming, a calmer gothic ballad that is really close to KATE BUSH and it even touches a bit TORI AMOS somehow. Side-B is definitely much better than Side-A, and fans of aforementioned acts as well as the people familiar with Liv’s previous work, they will all very much appreciate Liv’s new solo album. More info can be found at: and please make sure to get this beautiful blue vinyl release of the album!


(Points: 8.3 out of 10)




Out of Italy comes KLIDAS, a very interesting and original sounding band that has a certain 70s soulful groove into their sound. Their debut album is titled No Harmony and there is a really lovely mixture of prog, jazz and psychedelic rock to be heard on their first album. The band was formed in 2014, and their bandname KLIDAS comes from a Czech word meaning "giant of silence".  6 songs are included, and it really takes you into different worlds during each and every song, because you go from smooth jazz, experimental alternative rock to heavy big guitar dominated prog metal riffs and back again to calmer sax led jazz-fusion with a soulful groove. There are some vocals to be heard, but most of the songs are instrumental, because that is what KLIDAS is actually all about. The band consists of Emanuele Bury: Guitar, Voice, Francesco Coacci: Bass guitar, Voice, Samuele De Santis: Saxophone, Alberto Marchegiani: Keyboard, Synth and Giorgio Staffolani: Drums, and what they are doing on their first album is of an incredible high level, sounding very melodic and still quite adventurous, making them one of the finest newcomers in the experimental/semi-instrumental prog/jazz/fusion scene. The album was mixed by ALEX WILSON (SLEEPMAKESWAVES) and from start to finish this is a fantastic adventure! Go check out this sensational band at:


(Points: 8.7 out of 10) 




LEAGUS is a duo from Norway consisting of pianist HERBORG RUNDBERG and guitarist KRISTIAN SVALESTAD OLSTADT, and together they create calm contemporary experimental jazz-fusion with a proggy touch here and there. Along with a list of guest musicians and singers (Elina Waage Mikalsen and Frode Larsen) the result is a nice diverse album that might not be that interesting for all the proggy fans out there, because it goes sometimes a bit too much into an experimental jazz direction. Not bad at all, and I love the bass work a lot, and also the variation of other World Music influences, it makes the album interesting enough to listen to from start to finish, but somewhere along the way I miss a bit of consistency. On the other hand, this could be a real grower Check for yourself at:


(Points: 7.7 out of 10) 




Summit is the 3rd album of the Bergen, Norway based band SEVEN IMPALE. There was a long pause since their last album because the members each went their own direction for a while. Lead singer/guitarist STIAN graduated as an opera singer and launched an international career, while keyboardplayer Hakon joined the band ENSLAVED, and the other members got kids, finished their education, but eventually they got back together and now there is a new album. The band mixes progressive rock and jazz with some serious heavy riffs here and there, ending up sounding like a progressive metal band actually, not that far from SOEN and OPETH for example dure to the beautiful melodies spread throughout the album, yet the jazz fusion complexity here and there gives SEVEN IMPALE definitely an own face. 4 longs songs are included, and it is a pleasure to listen to such a talented band that both vocally and instrumentally sound extremely impressive and entertaining from start to finish. There is so much to discover, so many melodies and interesting passages… the open-minded progfans will go nuts when hearing this high quality album of SEVEN IMPALE. More info can be found at:


(Points: 8.8 out of 10) 




Here we have a large BOX that includes multiple CDs, DVDs and BlueRay discs of 3 concerts the German band PILEDRIVER performed before corona hit the world. This band is a sorta STATUS QUO tribute band, although I believe they also have material of their own (their studio albums), but the main part of their setlists consists of STATUS QUO songs. Their line up consists of MICHAEL SOMMERHOFF (Guitars, Lead & Harmony Vocals), PETER WAGNER (Lead-Guitars, Lead & Harmony Vocals), MARC HERRMANN (Bass-Guitars & Harmony Vocals), TIM DEMUTH (Drums & Harmony Vocals) and the late RUDI PEETERS (*1978 † 2020) (Keyboards & Harmony Vocals), and they have been doing this for 25 years now. They do it very well actually, which you can hear and see when checking out this immense box set that contains concerts they did in Germany, UK and The Netherlands in 2019 and 2020. With a running time of approx. 200 minutes there is so much to enjoy here that any fan of the rock and roll sound of STATUS QUO will definitely like it and conclude that there is a life after STATUS QUO, although the original band is still performing (despite only their 1962 founding guitarist/vocalist FRANCIS ROSSI is left from the original line-up). When the original QUO is really finished (together with ROLLING STONES one of the longest running bands that is still active), then this PILEDRIVER is without a doubt a good alternative. The box also contains many pictures, a poster and an extensive booklet to enjoy, so go check out this new generation of STATUS QUO influenced musicians! More info at:


(Points: 8.0 out of 10)




The Leipzig, Germany based multi-instrumentalist/singer/songwriter MARTIN MILLER kicks off his solo debut album Maze Of My Mind with the song Something New, which has an incredible sound that could be labelled as TOTO ish light Symphonic AOR rock with a lovely groovy approach, tempo changes, catchy hooks, a memorable melodic chorus, strong lead- and harmonyvocals and a soaring guitar. This is everything you want to hear when putting on something new! Martin is a gifted guitarist and singer, kinda like TOMMY DENANDER meets STEVE LUKATHER, with the voice of the WORK OF ART or MR. MISTER singer (and even STEVE PERRY!), so combine all of this and you basically have the MARTIN MILLER sound. The first song Something New has 9 minutes of playing time, but it never gets bored, because of the high quality performance of combining all these melodies from his AOR and Progressive Rock influences. Of course the TOTO link is easily made, because it is like we stepped back in a time machine to the year 1987 when TOTO released The Seventh One, but it still sounds very fresh and up-to-date with an own approach to the classic 80s AOR sound. Martin did most of it on his own, so this makes it even more exciting! Sensational is one simple word I would describe this! Besides Martin there are a few other musicians appearing on the album, such as SEBASTIAN LANSER (drums), BEN JUD (bass) and MARIUS LEICHT (keys). The opener is a perfect TEN! What follows are 4 more songs in a similar style, sometimes calmer and at other times a bit rockier, mainly in the aforementioned TOTO direction (and a bit of JOURNEY during Fragments). I am somewhat surprised this is an independent release, because it is one of the strongest AOR / Sympho / Prog related releases in a long time. Martin is amazing on both the guitar and when singing, so all I can say is that you need to check out his first album a.s.a.p.! More info at:


(Points: 8.9 out of 10) 




Here we have an interesting mixture of old and new styles, somewhere balancing between 70s DAVID BOWIE, 80s Gothic Rock a la DEPECHE MODE/TALKING HEADS and some modern electronic music meets a bit of indiepop and dreampop, and actually it works really well on their 2nd album Sliding Lines. The act is called WAKING DREAMS, and they are a duo formed around ANGELA CHAMBERS and JASON LETKIEWICZ, whom met each other while living in New York City. Eventually they moved to Berlin where they started recording, and now the follow-up to their 2020 release Askew is released. It’s a very nice record to listen to from start to finish, and they definitely have an own identity, although you can hear the mentioned influences here and there very clearly. 13 songs are included in total, and especially Best Of and the DAVID BOWIEish Glance are very strong songs. Check them out at:


(Points: 8.1 out of 10) 




MELT MOTIF comes out of Bergen, Norway, and their 2nd album Particles, Death Objective is filled with Industrial/EDM music. The act is formed around vocalist RAKEL, JOE IRENTE (synths, programming, electric guitar, bass) and KENNETH RASMUS GREVE (synths, programming, electric guitar), and as aforementioned, the music is Industrial orientated (and a bit experimental sometimes), although you can hear also clear melodies due to the haunting dreampop alike vocals of Rakel. 10 songs are included, and MELT MOTIF is at their best during the uptempo pieces such as the Industrial/EBM piece Full Moon that even recalls DEPECHE MODE a bit. Of course there are influences of acts like HEALTH, GRIMES, NINE INCH NAILS, DAVID NLYNCH,. MASSIVE ATTACK, GOLDFRAPP, etc, but nevertheless MELT MOTIF creates a certain own catchy melodic vibe in their music that probably live on stage will appeal to fans of this genre. More info at:


(Points: 8.3 out of 10) 




Normally speaking LARS FREDRIK FROISLIE would have recorded a new WOBBLER album by now, because he is the keyboardplayer oif that Norwegian progrockband, but due to the corona years he found himself alone composing and eventually recording a solo-album, which is now released on KARISMA RECORDS under the title Fire Fortellinger. The album is filled with semi-instrumental 70s Mellotron/Mini-Moog/Hammond Organ dominated 70s prog that is split into 4 long songs that are as expected situated around long instrumental passages, although Lars also sings in the Norwegian language here and there. A dream come true for the fans of classic 70s prog, so go check it out if that is your favorite genre at:


(Points: 8.1 out of 10) 




Cloud Souvenirs is the 6th album of American singer/songwriter CHRIS STAPLES. Musically speaking going into a nice calmer indie singer/songwriter direction that sounds rather nice on a rainy spring afternoon. It is not too far removed from the countless other singer/songwriters out there, although 70s singer/songwriter influences are also present. Chris has a story-telling voice if you know what I mean, and that’s makes this album a nice one to listen to, and during the song Sunny Afternoon the rain eventually also goes away, even on this cloudy rainy day when writing this review. Check for yourself at:


(Points: 7.4 out of 10) 




L'Orée is the 2nd album of the Lyon, France based 5-piece band ASHINOA, which is comprised of Chris Poincelot, Matteo Fabbri, Jérémy Labarre, Paul Renard and Ghazi Frini. The band was formed in 2015 and this new album is a perfect modern sounding record that is instrumental from the beginning until the end, and it focuses around creating this psychedelic trip that combines modern electronic influences with the old krautrock and other experimental directions, yet always keeping that cool groovy vibe in the rhythm department. It starts and is a bit experimental during the beginning (and also during the closing track Yzmenet), but during the album there are some serious cool groovy vibes going on, with as one of the absolute highlight the awesome Disguised In Orbit that takes you into a psychedelic 70s krautrocking groovy tribe that will put everyone in trance when played loud. Definitely a recommended band to check out at:


(Points: 8.5 out of 10) 




A surprisingly interesting high quality independent CD I received from a band called CHAOS AND THE COSMOS. They hail from Seattle, USA, and basically they consist of 2 musicians, PAUL LANGER (vocals, guitars, bass and drums) and JOHN ALLDAY (keys, trumpet, vocals). The band describes themselves as an original Indie Art Rock Band that experience Space Rock, Dream Pop with deeply rooted influences in 60's Psychedelic and Folk, 70's Art Rock, Classical Music, and Vintage and Newer Electronica! A rather long description, but I think they definitely succeeded in combining all these influences here! Opener The Singularity is a melodic and clearly 70s influenced song that is all about melodies, and it could be classified as uptempo prog light melodic rock with memories of classic ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA (especially the classical arrangements), some ALAN PARSONS PROJECT, PINK FLOYD and such. It is more or less going in that direction all throughout the CD, and I have to admit that if it was still 1975, these guys would have been signed to a major label, because what they are doing is really well and clearly reflect the sound of 50 years ago! There’s some DAVID BOWIE influences also to be heard, such as during U Go-Go, which also once again have the ELO classical music (violin/cello) arrangements. On the other hand TAME IMPALE also comes to mind sometimes, so mix that up with ELO, and you have CHAOS AND THE COSMOS! From start to finish this is high quality pure music like you don’t hear it that often anymore, especially from an independent band! Check them out at:


(Points: 8.3 out of 10) 




At first sight the Oklahoma, USA based band HILLBILLY VEGAS sounds like the next new US Southern Rockband in the style of LYNYRD SKYNYRD, so slowly following the footsteps of other newcomers like ROBERT JON & THE WRECK and BLACKBERRY SMOKE, yet there is more than meets the eye for sure! The band delivered an EP sometime ago and I believe also an independent album, but The Great Southern Hustle is their official first full-length CD released outside the USA. The band consists of Steve Harris (Lead Vocals & Guitar), Stacy Thornburg (Guitar), Jason Meredith (Guitar), Marty Lynch (Bass), Troy Hollinger (Drums) and Andy Wise (Backing Vocals), and there are 12 songs on the CD. The band's singer has a fantastic crystal clean voice, the band sounds energetic and fresh, while all of the songs are a joy to listen to.

Opener High Time For A Good Time is right from the start showing that HILLBILLY VEGAS is a sensational band with a sound that has clear similarities to late 80s/early 90s American groovy Melodic Hardrock, sorta reminding of bands like TYKETTO, TANGIER, BADLANDS, BAD MOON RISING, BANGALORE CHOIR, BEAU NASTY, COMPANY OF WOLVES, FIREHOUSE, HEAVEN'S EDGE, HERICANE ALICE, SALTY DOG, SOUTHGANG, etc. etc. Yet it also has a Southern Rock meets Bluesy Rock touch during following song Shake It Like A Hillbilly that reminds a bit of the modern day of American bands such as BLACK STONE CHERRY or BLACKBERRY SMOKE or THE BLACK CROWES for good old time's sake. Of course then there's also the ballad included and you can hear that during Little Miss Rough And Tumble that has a slight reference to the classic power ballads of POISON, NELSON, WARRANT, TRIXTER and early 90s BON JOVI. Also next track Just Say You Love Me has that similar feeling, although a bit more semi-ballad/midtempo based. Livin' Loud speeds up the tempo to high class uptempo southern melodic rock like JOHNNY VAN ZANT BAND. Slowing things down to a real southern ballad like LYNYRD SKYNYRD on the following song Losin' To Win. Halfway the album and so far so good, a real sensational band you absolutely need to check out for sure!

The 2nd part of the CD starts with I-Tsu-La/Let's Get Together, which is introduced by a 70s soulful hammond organ part and develops into a cool straight-ahead classic rawer American Hardrock piece. Next track Can't Go Home is a lovely groovy southern rocker in pure classic LYNYRD SKYNYRD style, Hell To Pay is a fantastic uptempo late 80s/early 90s American Hair Metal a la HERICANE ALICE and even a slight bit of SKID ROW! Long Way Back is a TYKETTO/TRIXTER ish melodic rocker with once again that early 80s US sound of melodies, while 2 Gun Town is a nice uptempo southern fried rocker, and finally closing track Ring Of Fire is a cool fast uptempo rockin' cover of the JOHNNY CASH classic!

Concluded, this band is a total must-have, sounding really American, like a mix of the late 80s/early 80s southern fried American mainstream groovy melodic hardrock/hair metal and the current revival of southern retro classic rock. They fit in both categories and do it extremely well on their superb new album! More info can be found at: 

(Points: 9.0 out of 10) 




The Swedish band AURA has a very long history that goes back to the 1970s when they were formed. One of their original members was TONY BORG before he went on forming ALIEN in the 1980s. AURA was mainly active in the 1970s and 1980s, releasing a few records and reaching a cult status before splitting up. However after the year 2000 they reformed and since then they have been performing and recording again. Their new album is titled Hallucinations, and this is a great adventure through the fields of 70s progressive rock, a bit of pomprock and URIAH HEEPish classic Hardrock, but the band also reminds me a lot of DEMON and LUCIFER’S FRIEND if anyone remembers them? Anyway, there is some great material on here, and it really feels like you’re back in 1975 or something. The uptempo 2023 version of Casus Belli is for example a great uptempo classic URIAH HEEPish melodic rocker, but there is also a lot of slower almost PINK FLOYDish symphonic progrock that doesn’t bad either. It takes a few moments to realize that it concerns new material, because it all sounds so much like the good old 70s. Job done well and check out the band at:


(Points: 8.0 out of 10) 


The Polish band VOLOSI has already released several albums since they were formed in the mid-2000s. They are formed around Krzysztof Lasoń – violin, Zbigniew Michałek – violin, Jan Kaczmarzyk – three-string viola, pipes, Stanisław Lasoń – cello and Robert Waszut – doublebass, and their music is instrumental violin music but with an attitude, because when listening to a song like Harpagan it’s like we’re listening to a gypsy jazz metal band that takes you into an outrageous adventure with a lot of shredding, but VOLOSI is also doing the calmer classical music kinda stuff and then it sounds beautiful (Bitter Sweet), although I prefer when they go for the uptempo ‘rockier’ stuff like Red Light. This combined makes VOLOSI a true experience and I’ll bet live on stage they will impress even more, because despite the band consists of mainly violin/cello players they can put on a real show that may appeal to all kinds of music fans. Sometimes it reminds me of the good old APOCALYPTICA material, so perhaps you now get an idea what this VOLOSI is all about! Definitely a high quality instrumental CD release to check out at: 

(Points: 8.5 out of 10) 


JAWA means the power of passion, and that’s exactly what you feel when listening to this CD. It was released on the Belgian label MUZIEKPUBLIQUE, a non-profit organization to help folk and world music musicians to celebrate their music via concerts, courses, projects and releases through their own label. This CD here concerns as you can tell from the CD title World Music as it is created in the middle eastern, and the Syrian city of Aleppo in particular. It is basically pure Syrian music created by a group of musicians originally from Syria (Khaled alhafez : singing, Yousef Zayed : oud, Youssef nassif : qanun, Tammam alramadan : nay, Marwan fakhir : violin, Simon leleux : percussion, Hatim aljamel : dervish), and the result is breathtaking as you can truly feel the passion and soul of these people who have experiences so many tragedies throughout their history. This is true World Music in it’s absolute most pure way and the booklet of the CD tells everything you need to know about Aleppo and the Syrian musicians that have created this wonderful CD. More info at: 

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


RAIZ is an Italian singer, in particular from Naples, and his new album is a tribute to the legendary singer SERGIO BRUNI from Naples, Italy. The music is typical for the Napoli/Italy area, so with a certain melancholic Italian folk/traditional style of which the best known song is probably Carmela from 1975, which was a big hit for SERGIO BRUNI. Done very well, an enjoyable for fans of the classic Italian troubadour folk music genre. More info at:

(Points: 7.8 out of 10)


The British pianist/composer DEMIAN DORELLI already released a few albums, including a NICK DRAKE tribute album he recorded at PETER GABRIEL’s studio, and now there is a new solo album entitled My Window. This is a solo piano effort on which Demian shows he is a fantastic pianist and also a composer of his own material. It’s solo piano music with only Demian behind the piano, and he does a great job as a classical music trained pianist. The melodies are beautiful and this could well have been used as background music for an arthouse movie. More info at: 

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


Out of Belgium comes TRISTAN DRIESSENS, a composer/Oud player who is making a sorta oriental chamber jazz and along with his SOOLMAAN SEXTET that consists of the Belgian jazz saxophonist and flutenist Nathan Daems, the Greek ney virtuoso, pianist and singer Christos Barbas, percussion masters Andrea Piccioni and Simon Leleux and cellist from Luxemburg Annemie Osborne, they recorded the album Kashgul. The instrumental music on the album contains many influences from traditional music from India, Persia and the Ottoman empire, resulting in an exciting album that takes you into different directions. The middle eastern influences really come alive quite well and with a playing time of 75 minutes there is a lot to enjoy here! Make sure not to miss this beautiful instrumental album. More info at:

(Points: 8.2 out of 10) 


As the title already predicts, this here concerns a CD filled with classic Italian folk songs, sung beautifully by LLARIA PILAR PATASSINI. Featured musicians are DANIELE DI BONAVENTURA on bando, MARCELLO PEGHIN on guitar, FELICE DEL GAUDIO on contrabass and ALFREDO LAVIANO on percussion. Together they present 10 beautiful versions of classic Italian folk songs with likewise the focus around the beautiful voice of Llaria. There are also clear elements of world music and jazz around the corner, but that is typical for the classic Italian Folk sound. More info can be found at: 

(Points: 8.2 out of 10) 


12 songs are included on this CD, on which over 80 Portuguese musicians participate to celebrate Tugabeat, a Portuguese traditional rhythm/music style. RETIMBRAR is actually the name of the band that was formed in 2008 in Porto and it features the steady line up of Afonso Passos  (percussion), André Nunes  (percussion), Andres Pancho Tarabia  (percussion), António Serginho  (percussion, keyboard, cavaquinho), Daniela Leite Castro (vocals, flute, violin), Jorge Loura  (guitar, vocals, percussion), Miguel Ramos  (bass, vocals, percussion) and Sara Yasmine  (vocals, percussion, cavaquinho). However, on their new album there are many guests, so therefore the remark of over 80 musicians, but RETIMBRAR is as mentioned a real band with a strong Portuguese rhythmic folk-rocksound that has this traditional old school 60s/70s approach (due also to the fact some songs are covers/traditional songs) and it also shows that the Brazilian samba sound originated from Portugal. Tugabeat however has all kinds of 60s psychedelic influences as well, so to speak that it sounds a bit like ALTIN GUN, but then with a Portuguese twist in the female vocalwork and catchy Brazilian alike samba gang vocal driven choruses to sing-a-long to. The result is a very fun album actually that live on stage will probably go down very well! Party music at it’s very best! More info at: 

(Points: 8.5 out of 10) 


THE MAGPIE ARC is a new folk/rock band from Sheffield/Scotland formed around Nancy Kerr - Vocals, fiddle and strings, Martin Simpson - Vocals and electric guitars, Findlay Napier - Vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, Alex Hunter - Electric bass guitar and Tom A. Wright - Vocals, drums, percussion, keyboards, programming, electric, acoustic and pedal steel guitars. Their first album is titled Glamour In The Grey and musically it is a nice mixture of old school 70s folk-rock (like STEELEY SPAN or LINDISFARNE) and modern Celtic Rock, with even a touch of prog like MOSTLY AUTUMN when Nancy sings (such as the great opener All I Planted). What surprises me that it rocks more than you would imagine, and the variety of singers (4 of the 5 musicians sing lead vocals) makes this quite an interesting band. I absolutely love going from a female fronted proggy folk-rock song like All I Planted to a strong tough uptempo southern country-fried male fronted folk rocker like Don’t Leave The Door during the following song, because that song even recalls the 90s 38 SPECIAL, THE OUTLAWS or POCO sound. However there’s also the classic folk here and there, such as Pans Of Biscuits and Jack Frost and a few times also BIG COUNTRY comes to mind, so mix up all these bands, then you might have THE MAGPIE ARC. Wassail is one more highlight I would like to mention, especially due to the lovely mixture of big fat groovy prog meets bluesy rock (70s HEART) and the high falsetto folk voice of the amazing Nancy. And how about the tough male fronted uptempo southern rocker Tough As Teddy Gardner! There is a lot to discover on this impressive debut album of this band, which offers much more than just folk-rock. THE MAGPIE ARC is definitely worth checking out, because they do things slightly different than all the others out there! More info can be found at:

(Points: 8.3 out of 10)


Bergenfield Blues is already the 6th album of the band COSMIC AMERICAN DERELICTS from Bergenfield New Jersey, USA. The band’s line up consists of co-founding Member, Bandleader & Producer-George Kapitanellis- Fender Bass, Acoustic Bass, Songwriter/Arranger, Eddie Rainey-Guitar, Mandolin, Lap Steel, Slide Guitar, Dobro, Drums/Percussion and Vocals, Sotiri Karlis-Drums, Scott Lauro-Guitar/Banjo/Lap Bender, Vocals/Songwriter, Danny Pavas-Guitar, Songwriter, Guitar & Vocals, Nick Reeb Fiddle-Vocals and Rob Clores- Acoustic & Electric Piano/Hammond Organ & Synths. On 5 of the 15 featured songs we can hear the British legendary singer TERRY REID on vocals, and he was part of THE JAYWALKERS whom supported THE ROLLING STONES during a tour back in the mid 60s! Anyway, here he shines as if time stood still and we went back 60 years in time! COSMIC AMERICAN’s DERELICTS’ new album is a fantastic classic blues rock meets southern rock melted record with a lot of great songs. The vocals are perfectly settled in the rawer, almost southern rock direction, while the guitarwork is soaring melodic and even touches ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND here and there, although likewise the band also firmly loves the classic blues (check a song like Married Girl Blues) all throughout the album. Highlights on their new album include the slower southern rocker Aces & 8’s (a la LYNYRD SKYNYRD), Blues 22 (instrumental piece a la ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND), the slower JOE BONAMASSA ish Black Sunrise and Now That You’re Gone. Definitely a great album to check out and you can find more info at:

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)


JOHNNY REED is one of those musicians who does literally everything on his own. He comes out of Redondo Beach, Los Angeles, California, USA and he sent me 3 CDs he released the last couple of years, of which the latest Octa Or Infinity was released in 2023. He really did everything on his own, including playing all instruments, singing, production, artwork, recording, producing, songwriting and also handling the merchandise and his website/postal mail, so a busy bee for sure, and that is definitely impressive, because his music actually sounds pretty nice. My only complaint would be that the songs are rather short (around 1-2 minutes), which is a pity, because he is a good singer and also his guitarplaying is quite good, and when listening to a DAVID BOWIE influenced song like Rainbows On Mars some more stretching would be interesting to see. The best songs on his new CD are the groovy opener Octa Or Infinity, the powerpop piece Girl In A Bathing Suit, the THE BEATLESish close-harmonyvocal driven ballad turn uptempo rocker halfway To Everyone, THE KNACKish Do What You love and the catchy uptempo RICK SPRINGFIELD poprocker Another Great day. JOHNNY REED reminds me both vocally and musically speaking of artists like GEORGE HARRISON, TOM PETTY, PHIL SEYMOUR, DWIGHT TWILLEY and such old school rockers. It has this retro early 80s Powerpop sound overall, and also his 2 other CDs that were sent reflect that direction, although there is also a cool 60s raw power blues sound to be heard in a song like Where Your Heart Lives (with even a touch of JIMI HENDRIX during the guitarwork!) and some more blues influences here and there (other highlight is the strong Secret Desires), with also THE BEATLES influences upfront during a song like Double Life. However, most of the time it’s short-sharp catchy uptempo powerpop material that if it had a bigger budget could have sounded even better. Now it’s perhaps a bit raw and edgy, very independent orientated, yet Johnny is on the other hand without a doubt a talented musician you can check out at:

(Points: 7.9 out of 10)


BEND THE FUTURE comes out of Grenoble, France, and they have already released 2 albums since their formation 4 years ago. Sounds So Wrong is their 3rd album, and their current line up is as follows; Piano / Synthesizers / Rhodes: Samy Chëbre, Drums / Percussions: Piel Pawlowski Rhodes, Bass / Bass Synthesizer: Rémi Pouchain, Alto Saxophone: Pierre-Jean Ménabé, Soprano Saxophone: Nemo Pawlowski and Vocals / Guitars / Bass / Can Yıldırım. Their new album has a dark side that sounds quite heavy and reflects OPETH influences as well as some screaming vocals (although not that much), and from these 4 songs Jemlematur is a fantastic modern instrumental progressive rock/jazz fusion piece that would make a band like SNARKY PUPPY quite jealous I think. However as mentioned BEND THE FUTURE leans closer to heavier progrock than jazz fusion, but the 2nd part of the album has a slight change in sound, because here we can also notice clear World Music influences, especially in the vocal department, because during a song like Vast there are influences of the Anatolian, French and Portuguese culture, although also during the 2nd part the band is mainly progrock driven, with as other absolute highlights Those Little Things and closing track Now Is The Moment (which has an uptempo progrock approach that features clean vocals, quite a modern catchy piece actually, kinda like FROST and HAKEN). Concluded, this is an interesting mainly instrumental progrock driven album that also reflects other influences, and here and there do recall a bit of the 70s jazz-fusion, while on the other hand modern influences are not avoided as well. This makes the album a recommended diverse album to check out. More info can be found at:

(Points: 8.4 out of 10)


Violinplayer CATHERINE GRAINDORGE has worked with IGGY POP, NICK CAVE and such well-known musicians, but also runs an own experimental instrumental project called NILE ON WAX (formerly known as NOX) since 2007, and After Heaven is their 4th album as such. Besides Catherine, other musicians whom are part of this act are bassist DAVID CHRISTOPHE and drummer ELIE RABINOVITCH. Their music is hard to describe, and perhaps therefore very interesting to listen to, because you will discover so many things when listening to the 7 included songs on the new album of the band. There is a mix of strange sounds and noises that could be described as dark psychedelic post-avantgarde rock but a cinematic feeling you also get sometimes, while on the other hand during a song it mostly develops into a bombastic climax that could be seen as intelligent progrock or jazz fusion. Especially opener In Heaven is a perfect example how that works, because this 12 minutes counting song builds up to a gigantic climax that is for the open-minded progrockfan really a dream come true! I think it’s best to check this out for yourself, because for me personally I love this album that really goes further than a standard progrock album. More info at:

(Points: 8.6 out of 10)