CD

Majesty

It’s been seven years ago since the last ‘new’ album was released by this German band.  They did release a compilation and a DVD in that period however.

I’d almost forgotten about the existence of this band, but I was greatly pleased by this new effort.  It’s not innovative, but somehow it manages to mix epic power metal à la Manowar with classic heavy metal à la Judas Priest.  Now both of the aforementioned bands have always been high on my list of preferred bands, so imagine what a combination of both styles could do.

High Hopes

The United Kingdom has been on top of its game the last months when it comes to delivering great metalcore music. Bands such as Bring Me The Horizon and Last Witness are just a tip of the iceberg. High Hopes is the newest upcoming act to put in that bucket. They hail from Hampshire England and released a self-titled 5-track EP.

Generator Ohm

This band was created in 2010 in Brooklyn, NY. This is their debut album, and a rather strange album it has become.  It is hard to fit their music in a certain style.  One moment you’re thinking you’re listening to a band that has been influenced by The Pixies, but a bit later it’s like you’re listening to a grunge or post-grunge band.

Focus

If you know this band, you surely are of my generation or older. This band was quite popular in the seventies. Mastermind behind the band was then, and is still now Thijs van Leer.

Drive Like Maria

Since I received both the single and the full album at the same moment, I found it a bit stupid to write two distinct reviews.

This is the second album by this Belgian/Dutch band, that I’d never heard of before.  To say they play hard rock wouldn’t do justice to their music.  This is much more than plain hard rock.  It’s more something in the vein of poppy stoner rock, with also hints of other genres hidden in the songs.

Carry-All

Carry-All is a ska punk band from Italy. They have already been around since 2002, but they are pretty unknown outside of their own country. A few weeks ago, they released their new record, Drink It Yourself. This was a DIY project which went together with the unfortunate event of the departure of both the original drummer and bass player of the band. They didn't let this letdown get to them and recorded Drink It Yourself in their practice room and produced it themselves.

Zarpa

Spanish metal band Zarpa comes across with a definite verve and energy, but ultimately falls prey to such things as unoriginality and cliché.

Xavier Rudd

I first came across this relatively prolific (this is his 7th studio album since 2002's To Let – not counting two live albums, that means he comes with a new album every two years) Australian singer/ songwriter/ multi-instrumentalist “World Music” artist thanks to his previous album Koonyun Sun, which was released through the elitist Anti- label (review posted...somewhere in April 2010, I guess – I am quite unable to check that at the time of writing, and forgot to do so when I would've been able to).

Venefica

This Melodic Rock/ Metal Czech quintet was founded in 2007, and as far as I know their line-up has always consisted of lead singer Ray, guitarists Jeff (also backing vocals) and Sasha, bassist/ backing singer Marian, and drummer Frankie.

Vanderbuyst

There’s three dutchmen flying through my speakers as we speak and you best clear a path for Barry van Esbroek – drums, Willem Verbuyst – guitars and Jochem Jonkman - vocals, bass.

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