Froniters have a long history of creating collaboration albums with varying degrees of success it has to be said. Two of the most recent are Steve Overland with Robert Sall in Groundbreaker and Ronnie Atkins with Erik Martensson in Nordic Union.
Both of these are solid melodic rock albums which sound just like you expect them to. Not groundbreaking, but well worth a listen.
Vision Quest are to release their self-titled debut on Rockshots Records. A rock opera inspired by the 1985 coming of age drama “Vision Quest” and bands such as Magnum, Kansas and Asia. They describe is as a “epic journey into melodic rock”. Let’s hope they can live up to the tagline. We will find out on 14 Dec.
In the interim period between their debut and their second album UK outfit Into The Unknown are releasing a mini-album of covers. Called The Other Side Of The Wall it features a variety of songs ranging from Pink Floyd to I Wanna Be Like You from Jungle Book! Here is their version of Don’t Pay The Ferryman from their debut.
Dale Sanders has his debut album released later in November. produced by Mario Percudani (Hungryheart, Hardline), it is called Handle With Care. Described as a blend of FM driving rock, americana, blues and new country, it reminded me of the late Brett Walker.
Dream Theater will release a new album called “Distance Over Time” on 22 Feb 2019. The video below is a very short teaser. No doubt there will be more, and hopefully longer, teasers, over the coming months. If you were to ask me who my favourite band are, I would quickly answer “Dream Theater”, but the truth is my interest has been waning and The Astonishing hasn’t been listened to for quite a while. It will be interesting to see if this new album can reverse the trend.
And while I’m posting about new releases, Ten have a new album called Illuminati. I loved their early material, but have lost touch with their most recent material. The first track I heard from the new album didn’t impress me that much, but since then I’ve been reading reviews that say this is return to form and the best album by the band for some time. Here is that first video I mentioned so you judge for yourself.
Colorvine have recorded a new album and are in the process of putting a video together to support the first single. Whilst the Tower City material was melodic rock, from what I remember the Colorvine material was more modern and whilst I can recall the Tower City album with fond memories, exactly what Colorvine sounded like evades me. We will have to wait and see. In the meantime, have a listen to one of Tower City’s best tracks.
And while I’m thinking about funding campaigns, Tommy Funderburk and Bruce Gaitsch, are running a Kickstarter campaign to release a new King of Hearts album. Here is one of my favourite tracks from the band.
Conception have a new EP coming out shortly. It their first new music in 20 years since their last album in 1998, Flow. I have Flow tucked away somewhere in my collection and possibly one of their other albums. I haven’t listened to them for a long time. Their music isn’t the normal power metal which I’m sure is how I picked up on them. It combines power metal with progressive and they have a almost hypnotic quality, which the album title Flow always seemed to sum up perfectly. Listen to their album and you get sucked in and immersed in the music. But afterwards I’d be hard pushed to recall an individual track. Normally that isn’t a good sign as it indicates lackluster songwriting, but in Conception’s case I don’t think that is what is happening. It is more a case having to experience the album as a whole to get the most out of it. I’m looking forward to hearing the EP, with hopefully a full album to follow.
ELO were at the SSE Arena in Belfast last night. In preparation I’ve been playing some of their music over the last couple of days. I have to say the comeback album released on Frontiers a while back is a bit of a snoozy affair.
The concert was good. Jeff isn’t one for between songs banter with the crowd, restricting himself to saying thanks a few times, even leaving the musical director to introduce the other musicians and singers. As expected most of the music was from their heyday, concentrating of the hits. When I was a Boy from that comeback album made an appearance, as did a Travelling Willburys song. The big finale was Mr Blue Sky, with Roll Over Beethoven being perhaps an odd choice for the encore during which it seemed the band were more into it than the fans.
My fave moment from the show was when they cranked it up for “Do Ya”. The following video is taken from the American leg of the tour.