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Music Reviews: Hardline, Jorn, Lita Ford, Malice, Crystal Viper, and Galahad

It’s another week and another bunch of cracking releases to review.

Hardline is back with Danger Zone, a solid release that will please fans and newcomers alike to their brand of AOR. It is really hard to find any fault in what these guys consistently produce. “Ten Thousand Reasons,” for one, is pure AOR goodness and is worthy of inclusion on any rock playlist. Not one duff track can be found on here, and it’s possibly their best release since their debut.

Journeyman poly-voiced frontman Jorn is back with some more quality heavy rock. Bring Heavy Rock to the Land is quite a ponderous title to an album that is not as instant as it could be. This is a solid release by any standard but it lacks a huge standout track. Two average covers don’t help, though when he conjures up his best David Coverdale on “Black Morning,” it is quite enchanting. I confess to singing along to this one on the second run through.

Lita Ford is back after a long time away and lots of drama in her personal life that clearly has influenced her music. Living Like a Runaway is a pretty raw, emotional record and I am not quite sure it works that well. There are no outstanding tracks and I had a very hard time getting into this. I think it might be a slow burn but will approach it with some caution.

Malice are back after quite a bit of time away from the scene. Last time they were seen, it was the late ’80s and hair metal was at its height. Well, they are back with New Breed of Godz and no they haven’t gone all Slade on us. This is a solid metal album from a much missed band. If you are keen on hearing an American version of Judas Priest, this bunch might just be your bag.

Crystal Viper are back with a fine new album that reminds me a bit of Mercyful Fate if their lead singer was a woman instead of a man. Crimen Excepta is significant leap forward for the band from their decent if unimaginative last release, Legends. If you like your metal with ludicrous vocal high note screams then this will be just up your street. Think a more over the top Warlock from Poland.

And now, for something completely different. Galahad are back with their Battle Scars release. This is an odd amalgam of electronica that borders on techno and heavy prog rock. The first listen you could be forgiven for wondering if you got the wrong album in the player. There is no denying the quality of the musicianship here, so if you don’t mind a variety of styles in your prog release, this might be for you.

Well that is the column for the week, so have fun and stay dry and safe out there.

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