It is all white here in Maine, and it’s snowing in London too.
The Atkins May Project features Al Atkins, the original lead singer of Judas Priest, and continues his work with guitarist Paul May to produce some damn good metal. Their second album, Valley of Shadows, is quite a tour de force and can stand up to some of the best metal out there today. If you like traditional metal from the black country then have a listen.
Speaking the black country, there is what is possibly the final album from Black Country Communion called Afterglow. And if this is their swansong, then they could not have chosen a better way to make an exit. It is the most solid of all their releases, with Glenn Hughes’ voice used to its full potential. Modern blues rock gets no finer than this. Wonder if there is any chance the egos can be calmed and we see more from these guys.
Another release that snuck under my radar is Chickenfoot’s second album entitled III. Fortunately the music on here is not as confusing as its title. This is the sound of band that has hit its stride and is firing on all cylinders. There are tunes that sound like Van Hagar and some bluesy numbers that will tickle your fancy. Van Halen’s comeback album was ok, but this sucker blows it off the CD player. Fingers are crossed this lot can keep it together.
Jorn has released Symphonic and it is a collection of his tunes and covers, which are given the symphonic metal treatment. I was skeptical about this exercise at first, wondering why we need him singing these songs again. While in no way essential, there is a certain charm to the over-the-top renditions of these tracks. Of special note is his loving tributes to the late Ronnie James Dio, “The Mob Rules” and “Rock and Rock Children”.
Wheels of Fire are a melodic rock bunch who have released Up for Anything. There is a certain fascination with Bon Jovi that trickles through the album. My biggest gripe overall with this album is the often dire lyrics. A lustful track with cringe-worthy line “come kiss me, my child” shows that song-writing in English needs some work. More or less, this is decent hard rock with big choruses.
Whispers of Wonder show up with their debut release, The First Year EP, and it is very modern-sounding heavy rock. Screamo vocals are combined with “clean” vocals in the right proportion. Songs are pretty much instantly forgettable but the musicianship is up to scratch. The best I can muster is to say it is ok, if you like this sort of thing.
That is all for this week, so stay safe and rocking out there.