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Steve Hackett: Wolflight- wow....what a wonderful album! Great, memorable songs, lush production, gorgeous acoustic guitar work as well as shredding electric, this is Hackett at the top of his game! Review coming!
Peter Hammill: Over/pH7/The Future Now- as I continue to make my way through the Hammill discography, here are a couple of very strong releases that show the many sides to this underrated artist.
Robin George: Dangerous Music- funny enough, I had this on LP briefly back in the mid-80s and lost it shortly after I bought it, and never owned it again till now. Very strong pop-metal with George's stellar guitar work. Sadly, this proved to be the peak of his rise.
Lucifer: Lucifer 1- awesome debut from this female fronted doom act, who started up from the ashes of the band The Oath. Featuring killer riffs from ex-Cathedral guitarist Gary Jennings, this could very well be the doom album of 2015.
Four Sticks: Electric Celebration- anyone who still missed the band Badlands should really check out this great new Swedish act featuring the former vocalist of Company of Snakes. Catchy, heavy, funky '70s styled blues rock & metal.
Badlands: Badlands- been rediscovering this and their sophomore release quite a bit lately.
Armored Saint: Win Hands Down/March of the Saint/Symbol of Salvation/Revelation- new and classic Saint, all great, and all in heavy rotation these days.
Soft Machine: Bundles/Softs/Six/Seven- been on a little Soft Machine tear lately, and these later releases are some of their most jazz-fusion oriented. Killer!
Robert Plant: Now and Zen- just hearing this album in full for the first time ever. Really digging it.
Wishbone Ash: New England/There's the Rub/Locked In- three excellent mid/late '70s albums from this terrific band. Argus gets all the 'rub', but this band has so many great albums to their credit, and these three are stellar.
Pablo Cruise: A Place in the Sun/Worlds Away/Pablo Cruise/Lifeline/Part of the Game- severely underrated pop/rock band who had some serious musical skills to go along with catchy songwriting. They had a handful of hits in the '70s but also some really strong deep album cuts. Perfect summertime fare.
Player: Player/Danger Zone/Room With a View/Spies of Life- another really strong US pop/rock band from the late '70s who were much more than their mega hit "Baby Come Back". If you love Toto, Ambrosia, The Doobie Brothers, and Pablo Cruise, I urge you to check these guys out.
Yes: Progeny- the 2 CD set which highlights the best from the 7 unearthed 1972 US shows is a great sampling from the much larger box set. Yes at their best!
Ozric Tentacles: Technicians of the Sacred- wonderful new 2 CD set of all new material from the space rock/jam/prog veterans.
Between the Buried and Me: Coma Ecliptic- killer new concept album/rock opera from the band that just keeps getting more epic.
Chris Caffery: Your Heaven is Real- his latest solo album just might be his best. Great hooks, heavy, melodic, strong vocals, and sizzling guitar.
Helloween: My God Given Right- perhaps not their best, but still a very solid power metal album from one the originators.
George Kollias: Invictus- easily one of the best death metal albums of the year. The drum virtuoso basically does it all here, and contributes killer guitar work and death growls in addition to his unbelievable drumming. As good as any Nile or Immolation album of recent note.
Angel: Sinful/On Earth as it is in Heaven- two lesser known Angel gems but both very strong. A band that should have been huge.
Architects of Chaoz: The League of Shadows- surprisingly fun new album from Paul DiAnno and Co. that's a great throwback to the early days of the NWOBHM and thrash.
Chris Squire: Fish Out of Water- we miss you Chris....
Europe: Secret Society/Start From the Dark/Bag of Bones/War of Kings- this latter period Europe is way heavier and darker than their '80s material. I'm way lovin' it!
Gruesome: Savage Land- fantastic tribute to the legendary Death!
Gravy Train: Gravy Train/Second Birth- wonderful late '60s/early '70s bluesy hard rock & prog for any fan of early Jethro Tull.
Kamchatka: Long Road Made of Gold- this Swedish band just keeps getting better and better. If you love the retro '70s hard rock sound that so many bands are doing these days, you need to hear Kamchatka!
Lucifer's Friend: Awakening- their back!!! 2CD set with some classic tunes as well as 4 new tracks from the reunited band. John Lawton sounds better than ever!
Travers & Appice: It Takes a Lot of Balls- fun set of bluesy hard rock from legends Pat Travers & Carmine Appice.
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