It is that time of week again, and there is plenty of rock to keep you content.
Astral Doors are not a trip-hop or electronica group specializing in chill out music. They are in fact straight-on heavy metal with a lead singer who does not sound unsimilar to Ronnie James Dio, thus the band sounds Dio-esque. Their latest is called Jerusalem and it is worth your attention.
Steve Hogarth of Marillion fame and Richard Barbieri of Porcupine Tree have teamed for a new album called Not the Weapon But the Hand. This is mellow, trippy prog rock, dense enough to be almost impenetrable. Despite repeated attempts, I could not get into this at all. To my mind it is just turgid.
A Sound of Thunder is not in fact prog, despite the name, but in-your-face heavy rock with a belter of a frontwoman. Out of the Darkness is worth it, if merely for the song "Kill that Bitch." There is a strong hint of old Heart on here, as well as Lita Ford and Joan Jett. This is a damn good album from a band I am happy to have discovered.
Huntress is stalking the metal scene with their album Spell Eater, which delivers the goods. While maybe not the most original album, it is a solid release. Quite satisfactory considering this is their debut album. This band stakes their claim that all female-led metal bands need not be dealing in frock metal. Huntress and A Sound of Thunder should team up for a tour as they would fit nicely together.
Craaft have re-released their album Second Honeymoon, which was known as merely Craaft when it was released in the U.S. It is a damn good album from a bunch of German hard rockers, all of whom I seem to remember had PhDs (that was in the PR for the band). Most notable about this album was the track "Jane," for which a video was produced that reduced friends to tears for its over the top unintentional cheese. All of that doesn't distract from a solid melodic hard rock release with catchy choruses and damn good playing.