Inglorious — Heroine

Inglorious is back with their second release of 2021 with an all covers record. But this isn’t just any covers record, the band has decided to cover 11 different female artists and to donate a portion of the proceeds to a charity that supports women and young girls that have suffered domestic abuse.

For rock fans, some of the songs are going to be familiar and the band has stayed true to the originals. Heart’s “Barracuda”, Evanescence’s “Bring Me To Life”, Halestorm’s “I Am The Fire” and Joan Jett’s “I Hate Myself For Loving You” stick pretty…

Iron Maiden — Senjutsu

Iron Maiden is back with their 17th studio album and first since 2015’s “Book of Souls”. “Senjutsu” is over 80 minutes long with only ten songs. Steve Harris is the main songwriter again but there are three tracks written by the Dickinson/Smith tandem. The album was recorded in 2019 but the pandemic caused delays pushing the album back almost two years.

“Senjutsu” is well worth the wait. Stylistically, it continues down the path of “Book of Souls”. 8 of the 10 songs are over six minutes and four clock in at over nine minutes.

“Senjutsu” is…

After a fairly slow year in 2020, mostly due to the pandemic, 2021 has been a much busier year for rock releases. 2021 should have a strong finish with quite a few big records slated for release in the year’s last four months.

Here’s what I’m looking forward to and will be reviewing in the coming weeks and months.

Iron Maiden : Senjutsu — September 3

Almost 6 years to the day after “Book of Souls” was released, Maiden finally release their new studio record. Look for this review in two weeks.

Inglorious : Heroine — September 10

After releasing…

Heaven & Earth — V

Heaven & Earth is back for the fifth studio album, appropriately titled “V”. Guitarist Stuart Smith started the band in 1999 which has gone through multiple lineup changes over the years. The current lineup includes Italian vocalist Gianluca Petralia who makes his album debut with the band.

I haven’t heard much of the band’s music but they are billed as being influenced by Deep Purple/Rainbow, Whitesnake and Bad Company. Those are some big names to throw out there. …

Night Ranger — ATBPO

Night Ranger is one of those “release day” bands for me. You know, back in the day when we used to go to record stores and buy the album when it came out. There were a few bands that were “release day” bands. I didn’t need to hear anything, I just knew I was going to like it. Those bands earned their “release day” status because they had a proven track record.

To me, Night Ranger’s first three records rank among the best first three records by any artist of all time. They were my first…

Toby Hitchcock — Changes

Toby Hitchcock released his latest record, “Changes”, on July 9 via Frontiers Music. Hitchcock is most known for fronting Jim Peterik’s Pride of Lions. Hitchcock has teamed up with Frontiers house producer Alessandro Del Vecchio, who has written and produced for many of Hitchcock’s label mates at Frontiers.

“Forward” opens the album and is what you would expect from the powerhouse vocalist. It’s a driving melodic rock track that shows off Hitchcock’s vocal range. If Survivor was still together and producing music I imagine this is what it would likely sound like.

The title track has…

Hardline — Heart, Mind And Soul

Hardline is back with their latest release “Heart, Mind And Soul”. Johnny Gioeli has been quite prolific over the last few years with a solo record, a release with Dean Castronovo and now the second Hardline record in the last two years.

The band has stuck close to their original sound back when Neal Schon was in the band at the start. From the first few notes of the opening track, “Fuel To The Fire”, you can hear the Neal Schon influence on this rockin’ opener.

“Surrender” starts with another Schon-like riff. The opening…

Styx — Crash of the Crown/Dennis DeYoung — 26 East, Volume 2

Styx released their 17th studio album the week after Dennis DeYoung released his final solo record. “Crash Of The Crown” has a loose concept album feel to it. It offers 15 tracks with a couple of short interludes and multiple songs checking in at under three minutes.

There are a couple of classic sounding Styx songs. “Reveries” has that classic early 80s Styx sound while “Our Wonderful Lives” has a very similar acoustic intro to Styx classic “Fooling Yourself”.

A couple of highlights include “Save Us From Ourselves”…

Levara — Levara

Levara is a brand new band featuring guitarist Trev Lukather, son of Toto guitarist Steve Lukather. The band also features Jules Galli (vocals) and Josh Devine (drums). Their debut self-titled record was released in May and I’ve wanted to check it out so here we go.

The first band I think of when I hear Levara is Maroon 5, or at least what Maroon 5 would sound like if they still sounded like they did on their first two records. The opening track, “Heaven Knows”, has a catchy beat and big hooks. There’s enough guitar to make…

Mammoth Wvh — Mammoth Wvh

Wolfgang Van Halen’s highly anticipated debut record is out this week under the moniker “Mammoth Wvh”, a tribute to the original name of his famous father’s band. The album was originally supposed to be released in 2018 but was shelved while Eddie Van Halen fought cancer. Nearly a year after his father’s death, Wolfgang has finally released “Mammoth Wvh” after releasing a few singles over the last few months.

We need to get this out of the way first. This record sounds nothing like Van Halen. Wolfgang is clearly talented as he sings and plays…

Dave Maturo

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