Category Archives: Music Discovery Monday

Music Discovery Monday – 2/20/17

music-discovery-monday-grumpynators

Music Discovery Monday – 2/20/17

Music Discovery Monday shines a light on artists that are not getting the radio attention that they deserve, while also showcasing new singles by established bands that are likely to get airplay in the future.

In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Music Discovery Monday can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
 

 

 

 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher/Editor, Hard Rock Daddy)

GRUMPYNATORS – “Take The Last Dance With Me”

“Danish Motorbilly” – now there’s a genre that you don’t hear much about (because it was most likely coined by Denmark’s Grumpynators).  When you listen to “Take The Last Dance With Me,” you’ll understand why the band needed to create their own sub-genre of rock.

Although their sound is vastly different, you can hear the influence of the most well-known band coming out of Denmark these days – Volbeat.  The band features former members and crew from Taggy Jones and Volbeat.  They also supported Michael Poulsen and company on tour.

Grumpynators cite a number of artists spanning a wide spectrum as their influences on their Facebook page: Motorhead, Metallica, Twisted Sister, Social Distortion, Megadeth, Volbeat, Ramones and ‘40s/’50s Country and Rockabilly.  A handful of these jump out at you on “Take The Last Dance With Me,”  making for a unique, entertaining, high-energy mix that leaves you tapping your feet and moving your head along to the beat.

 

 
PRIDE OF LIONS – “All I See Is You”

You may not know Jim Peterik by name, but it’s almost impossible not to be familiar with his work.  In addition to being responsible for Survivor’s greatest hits during his time as the band’s guitarist/songwriter, he also penned classics such as Sammy Hagar’s “Heavy Metal,” .38 Special’s “Hold On Loosely” and a number of other songs from well-known artists.

In 2003, Peterik formed Pride Of Lions with Toby Hitchcock.  According to Peterik, Pride Of Lions is…“my vision of the best elements of the great melodic rock era of the ‘80s updated with more modern production sounds.”  That is exactly what Pride Of Lions delivers with “All I See Is You,” from their latest album, Fearless.  If you are a fan of feel-good ‘80s hard rock, this track will take you back to a time when the world felt like a happier place.
 

 

 

ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

OVERKILL – “Goddamn Trouble”

From their latest release, The Grinding Wheel, this classic thrash metal band from New Jersey is back.  “Goddamn Trouble” is legendary Overkill…speed punk and thrash metal roots.  Bobby Blitz screams with wild abandon just as well now as he did 30 years ago.  Being one of the oldest thrash bands around – even before the “Big Four” – Overkill remains one of the most legendary and influential thrash bands in history.  Even after all these years, the band’s sound has remained true.

 

KREATOR – “Fallen Brother”

Kreator is another old school thrash metal band that has been around since the ‘80s.  One of the pioneering bands of the death metal and black metal genres, the band has evolved and changed over the years.  Their latest album, Gods of Violence, retains the speed and heaviness from their early days.  Even with their dark, evil messages and lyrical content, “Fallen Brother” pays homage to departed musicians and artists who were big influences of the band.  Watch the video and see how many faces you recognize. Thrash metal is alive and well in 2017!
 

 

 

ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout

BLOODBOUND – “Battle In The Sky”

Swedish power metal giants Bloodbound return with their seventh studio album, War of Dragons, (due out at the end of this week).  It’s another fine entry into the genre, with blazing twin guitars, some amazing choral arrangements and powerful vocals by Patrik J. Selleby.

 

CRYSTAL VIPER – “When The Sun Goes Down”

Crystal Viper is a female-fronted Polish metal band that delivers some heavy (but always melodic) music.  They were formed in 2003 by vocalist Marta Gabriel and released their debut album in 2007.  They have just released Queen of the Witches, their ninth album in only ten years.

 

SUBMISSIONS

To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to – submissions@MusicDiscoveryMonday.com

Music Discovery Monday – 2/13/17

music-discovery-monday-phil-campbell-and-the-bastard-sons

Music Discovery Monday – 2/13/17

Music Discovery Monday shines a light on artists that are not getting the radio attention that they deserve, while also showcasing new singles by established bands that are likely to get airplay in the future.

In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Music Discovery Monday can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
 

 

 

 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher/Editor, Hard Rock Daddy)

PHIL CAMPBELL & THE BASTARD SONS – “Spiders”

It was just over a year ago that the hard rock and heavy metal world said goodbye to a true pioneer – Lemmy Kilmister.  Shortly after Lemmy’s passing, the members of Motorhead released a statement that they would no longer continue on without the man whose name is synonymous with the band.  The end of Motorhead didn’t mean that fans would never hear from the other members again.

For over 30 years, Phil Campbell helped to shape the Motorhead sound with his raw, gritty guitar riffs.  Campbell has been around long enough to have spawned another generation of heavy metal musicians.  With Motorhead in the rear view mirror, Campbell and his sons [Todd – guitars, Dane – drums, Tyla – bass] joined forces with vocalist Neil Starr to write and record an album under the moniker Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons.

On “Spiders” – the first single from Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons – you can hear the Motorhead influence as it chugs along with a heavy riff and thick rhythm section.  However, because of Starr’s soaring vocals and the melodic vocal harmonies, this band has its own distinct sound.

Starr may not be one of Campbell’s “bastard sons,” but this unit works so well together, you’d think that he was a part of the family.  The Motorhead connection obviously helps, but even without it, this band has tremendous potential to become one of the top hard rock acts around.

 

 
CHRISTOPHER SHAYNE – “Give A Damn”

“Hard southern rock with a blast of desert heat” is how Arizona’s Christopher Shayne describes his sound.  A cool description that accurately portrays what Shayne is all about.  Phoenix is not exactly a “hotbed” of southern rock, but that doesn’t mean that this brand of bluesy, country rock takes a back seat to those who hail from the south.

If anyone doubts that a southern rock revival is well under way, you need to look no further than artists like this who are bringing the genre back in a meaningful way.  “Give A Damn” has a definite country feel, but the edgy guitars, heavy backbeat and gang vocals place this song distinctly in the rock category.  Shayne’s soulful vocals take you back in time to southern rock’s heyday.  This song will have instant appeal to fans in both the country and rock genres.
 

 

 

ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

SEPULTURA “Phantom Self”

From their fourteenth studio album, Machine Messiah, the guys from Brazil are back with their brand of tribal-influenced, groove-filled heavy thrash.  Still without the Cavalera brothers (and to be honest, I don’t think anyone cares at this point), this album is a continuation of the Sepultura sound that is led by original guitarist Andreas Kisser.  Derrick Green is no slouch either as he screams and belts his way through dark lyrics describing our society, religion and mankind’s demise.  A great thrash album by some OG thrashers.

 

AMON AMARTH – “Raise Your Horns”

The brutal melodic death metal veterans from Sweden released their eleventh album in 2016, Jomsviking“Raise Your Horns” is a great single from this album with a video that is always a fun watch.  Continuing with their viking mythos, Johan Hegg screams about victory after a battle as we raise our beers for the warriors that have made it home and ones that have fallen.  The melody begs the listener to sing along as the band chugs along with power and precision.  (See how many musicians you recognize in the video).
 

 

 

ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout

SINNER – “Battle Hill”

Bassist/vocalist/producer Mat Sinner is a busy man in the metal world.  His work has been covered here many times with artists such as Primal Fear, Voodoo Circle, and Level 10 (to name just a few).  He starts off 2017 strong with a new album from his original band, Sinner, which dates all the way back to 1982.  Here’s a taste from Tequila Suicide (due out March 31st).

 

BONFIRE – “Locomotive Breath”

The German metal band Cacumen, founded way back in 1972, would change its name in the ’80s (for marketing purposes) to Bonfire.  The band has gone through many lineup changes, but the one constant (aside from a brief interval away) has been founder and guitarist Hans Ziller.  In 2015, the band ended an era as it shook up its whole lineup (except for Ziller), even parting ways with long time vocalist Claus Lessman.  To fill the spots, Ziller brought in bandmates from his other group, EZ Livin, including David Reece on vocals and Ronnie Parkes on bass.  The new lineup put out a quality album that year and toured hard, reassuring their fan base, but have since parted ways with Reece.  The plan then was to bring in Michael Bormann (Jaded Heart, Charade, Silent Force), who had briefly been the band’s vocalist once before, in the ’90s.  In the interim, Alexx Stahl (Purple Rising, Roxxcalibur) agreed to fill in temporarily.  However, he worked so hard and meshed so well with the band, that they made him the permanent frontman.  Here he is performing with them on their newest album, Byte the Bullet (due out in March).

 

SUBMISSIONS

To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to – submissions@MusicDiscoveryMonday.com

Music Discovery Monday – 2/6/17

music-discovery-monday-jack-russells-great-white

Music Discovery Monday – 2/6/17

Music Discovery Monday shines a light on artists that are not getting the radio attention that they deserve, while also showcasing new singles by established bands that are likely to get airplay in the future.

In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Music Discovery Monday can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
 

 

 

 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

JACK RUSSELL’S GREAT WHITE – “Sign Of The Times”

The year was 1984.  Words cannot describe how psyched I was to finally get to see Judas Priest in concert.  I missed out on the Screaming For Vengeance tour, so the adrenaline was flowing when I arrived inside the hallowed halls of the Nassau Coliseum for the Defenders Of The Faith tour.  Priest is a tough band to open for, because the crowd walks in the door ready to see the headliner.  Of course, most openers are not Great White!

Despite my eager anticipation to see Judas Priest, I was blown away by Jack Russell and company.  It was the first (and only) time that I went out the next day and purchased an album by a band that I had never heard before after seeing them in concert.

Things were simpler back in 1984.  Great White was a new band that had just released their debut album and was on the rise.  The songs from their self-titled debut fed into the debaucherous times of the decade.  Two of my favorites from the album were “On Your Knees” and “Stick It.”  They would later go on to use more innuendo, but the sexual component remained.

Time marches on, and like many bands, there was a falling out between the members.  One of the advantages that the singer has when a band breaks up is that they are often times thought of as “the sound,” especially when the vocal style is distinct.

Russell has been a favorite vocalist of mine for over 30 years (since that fateful night in 1984).  Although I hate to see tension between bands that helped shape the soundtrack of my youth, I still keep an open mind when they release new music separately.

“Sign Of The Times” lives up to its title.  Lyrically, it’s pretty far from the sexually charged songs of the ‘80s, but musically, it still hits home as much as Great White did back in 1984.  Having grown up with Great White, I’m also at a different place in life, so these lyrics resonate just as much with me (albeit in a different way).  The older that I get, the more I long for the simpler times of the ‘80s.  “Sign Of The Times” perfectly taps into the feelings that many Gen Xers feel about longing for simpler times.  Although technology and social media are largely responsible for the existence of Hard Rock Daddy, there is something to be said about the more peaceful, carefree life that I experienced before we all became slaves to the internet.  A “Sign Of The Times” indeed!

 

 

PRIMAL FEAR – “At War With The World”

It feels like Primal Fear’s “At War With The World” could have been written in recent weeks (given the current political climate), but in actuality, the song was released in 2016 before much of the chaos set in.  The lyrics… “I’m on attack, at war with the world” seem particularly poignant at the moment.  However, the song is not really about anything political (as far as I can tell).  If anything, it feels more like an inside look at someone’s internal struggle.

Regardless of the meaning, the fact remains that this is classic power metal that will appeal to all fans of the genre.  The chorus has an Udo Dirkschneider-eque angst to it that really makes you feel the song in a visceral way.  It’s unfortunate that “At War With The World” flew beneath my radar last year.  Otherwise, it definitely would have been included in the Top 100 Hard Rock Songs of 2016.
 

 

 

ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

OBITUARY – “Sentence Day”

For almost 30 years, Florida’s Obituary has continuously cranked out classic death metal.  Their self-titled tenth album is no different, with classic Obituary blast beats, heavy crunchy riffs, growling vocals, horror-filled lyrics and screeching guitar solos.  It’s all part of the equation for a band that has excelled in this genre for so long.  Fans of traditional death metal will surely love this new tune.

 

WARBRINGER – “Silhouettes”

From the beginning crunch and fast tempo of the drums to the first scream, Warbringer entices the listener to bang your head along with the rest of the band.  This recent thrash metal band from California takes influences from bands such as Obituary and Overkill and mixes it with tinges of modern metal.  The result is a modern-edged thrash metal masterpiece with screaming vocals, heavy distorted guitars and fast, progressive drums and rhythm section.  Their new album, Woe to the Vanquished, is set for release in March.  If the rest of the songs are anything like “Silhouettes,” it should make for a great album!
 

 

 

ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout

STEPHEN PEARCY – “Rain”

Stephen Pearcy, best known as the lead singer for ‘80s metal superstars Ratt, has released many solo albums that have largely flown under the radar.  His latest, Smash, might just prove to be his next breakout album.  Loaded with classic melodic hard rock, and dripping with groove, it beautifully recaptures that old Ratt sound for new times.

 

RENEGADE TWELVE – “Heroes Of Mine”

Twin guitars burst to the forefront on the debut album from this five-piece, unsigned melodic metal band out of England.  Great vocals and catchy songwriting help to set this band apart from its peers.

 

SUBMISSIONS

To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to – submissions@MusicDiscoveryMonday.com

Music Discovery Monday – 1/30/17

music-discovery-monday-black-star-riders-when-the-night-comes-in

Music Discovery Monday – 1/30/17

Music Discovery Monday shines a light on artists that are not getting the radio attention that they deserve, while also showcasing new singles by established bands that are likely to get airplay in the future.

In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Music Discovery Monday can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
 

 

 

 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

BLACK STAR RIDERS – “When The Night Comes In”

It has never been more challenging than the present day to make a living in a rock and roll band.  That doesn’t mean that “rock is dead,” as many are quick to proclaim.  It just means that there is so much great music out there, and a limited amount of dollars to go around.  The one advantage that longstanding artists have over up-and-comers is name recognition and history.

Black Star Riders come from the DNA of legendary Irish rockers, Thin Lizzy, in particular guitarist Scott Gorham (who was in the band with Phil Lynott).  Numerous bands have stayed the course with a revolving door of lineup changes (especially singers), but to their credit, Black Star Riders wanted to blaze their own trail.  Even though their sound is similar to Thin Lizzy with Ricky Warwick’s vocals, they chose to honor Lynott by continuing on under a new moniker.

If you’re a Thin Lizzy fan, you will also be a Black Star Riders fan.  However, if you are too young to fully appreciate the brilliance of Thin Lizzy, you will have a second bite at the apple with Black Star Riders.  The timeless quality to all of their music (including their latest single, “When The Night Comes In”) would have made them just as relevant throughout the past four decades as they are today.  As the saying goes…”it doesn’t have to be old to be classic.”

 

 

DROPKICK MURPHYS – “Blood”

With the exception of AC/DC’s “It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock And Roll),” bagpipes in the rock genre are far from commonplace.  Of course, if you’re familiar with Boston’s Dropkick Murphys, you already know that bagpipes most certainly have their place in rock and roll.

What started out as a bunch of friends looking to play music for fun in the basement of a barber shop has evolved into a band with staying power.  Formed in 1996, Dropkick Murphys have just released 11 Short Stories Of Pain & Glory (the tenth studio album of their career).

If ever there was a band of the people, Dropkick Murphys are it.  They state as much in their bio…

“The band’s main goal is to play music that creates an all for one, one for all environment where everyone is encouraged to participate, sing along, and hopefully have a good time.  In the true spirit of punk rock, we view the band and the audience as one in the same.  In other words, our stage and our microphone are yours.”

Because of the bagpipes and Irish influence of this Celtic-American punk rock band, there was a temptation to feature the band’s latest single (“Blood”) closer to St. Patrick’s Day, but the song is too good to wait on.  The more you play this one, the more it gets your “blood” pumping!
 

 

 

ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

WITHERFALL – “Nobody Sleeps Here”

What do you get when you sum up the talents of musicians from bands such as Iced Earth, White Wizzard and Into Eternity?  You get a masterpiece of a band called Witherfall.  A combination of power and progressive metal (I tend to lean more towards the progressive side), “Nobody Sleeps Here” comes from the band’s new album, Nocturnes and Requiems.  This album was a long time in the making.  While originally recorded in 2014, Adam Sagan unfortunately passed away during the final mixing of this album.  If the rest of the album is as dynamic and powerful as this song, it should be a great release.

 

EQUILIBRIUM – “Rise Again”

This folk/progressive metal band from Germany has released their fifth album, Armageddon.  Like the title, the subject matter on this album is dark and nihilistic, singing about the plight of the earth, the evils of mankind and how we are all to blame for the destruction of life.  The music is heavy and fast with death metal growls.  Couple that with the lyrical content, Equilibrium makes for one hell of a metal album.
 

 

 

ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout

PLACE VENDOME – “Light Before The Dark”

Place Vendome united ex-Helloween frontman Michael Kiske with musicians from Pink Cream 69 and Vandenplas, to perform melodic rock crafted specially for Kiske by various songwriters in the field. The collaboration was a great success that has seen the band put out a new album every four years. They are right on schedule to release their fourth album, Close To The Sun, late next month.

 

XANDRIA – “Call Of Destiny”

They went through six singers in six albums, but Xandria may finally have settled on Dianne van Giersbergen as their vocalist.  She becomes the Dutch/German symphonic metal band’s first singer to last for more than one album, as she fronts the band on their just-released seventh album, Theater Of Dimensions.

 

SUBMISSIONS

To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to – submissions@MusicDiscoveryMonday.com

Music Discovery Monday – 1/23/17

music-discovery-monday-dimino

Music Discovery Monday – 1/23/17

Music Discovery Monday shines a light on artists that are not getting the radio attention that they deserve, while also showcasing new singles by established bands that are likely to get airplay in the future.

This week, we feature an exclusive interview with Frank Dimino, who discusses working with his former Angel band mate (Punky Meadows) on a song from Dimino’s most recent solo album.

In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Music Discovery Monday can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
 

 

 

 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

DIMINO – “Never Again”

Back in the mid-‘70s, Gene Simmons discovered the band Angel.  They were eventually signed to Casablanca Records (with Kiss).  The band enjoyed early success as the alter-ego (of sorts) to Kiss, dressed in all white vs. the all-black ensemble sported by their label mates.  For reasons that are still unclear, the band enjoyed more of a cult following than mass commercial success.

The ride ended quickly, as both frontman Frank Dimino and guitarist Punky Meadows left in 1981.  Dimino has kept busy through the years, although not with any projects as high profile as Angel.  When Dimino and Meadows both released albums this year, rumors swirled that there would be an Angel reunion, but nothing has materialized to date.  Meadows did provide guest guitars on this bluesy rocker that is in the same wheelhouse as classic Deep Purple.  Dimino shines on vocals, proving that he still has the pipes that once made him a part of a band that should have been bigger than they were. [Review from Hard Rock Daddy’s Top 100 Hard Rock Songs of 2016]

 

Frank Dimino discusses working with Punky Meadows (his Angel band mate) on “Never Again” in an exclusive interview with Hard Rock Daddy…

“The song was one of the first ones that I wrote with Oz Fox (Stryper) for the album.  When we finished writing the song, Oz had mentioned that the chord structure came from an idea that he had from Angel.  He said to me that it would be great to get Punky to play on the song.  When I called Punky to ask him to play on the album, he agreed right away.  I told him that I had a song that’s kind of like an Angel song.  I sent him the song and he recorded it in North Carolina (where he lives), and then he sent it back to me.  Even though we weren’t in the studio at the same time, we were both involved in the track itself, so that was a lot of fun.

The song, when I first started with it, was kind of just about word play.  It was fun, like a Steven Tyler or John Lennon type of thing with a story around the word play.  The lyrics just popped into my head when we started playing around with the melody.  The story is a guy/girl kind of thing, where the girl was screwing over the guy.  He’s in love with her, but he’s had it with her.  Even though he’s stuck loving her, he vows never to be with her again.”

 

 

ONE DESIRE – “Hurt”

It’s always great to discover bands for Music Discovery Monday early on in their careers.  You can’t get much earlier than this, given that One Desire will be releasing their debut album on March 24th.  If you are a regular Hard Rock Daddy reader, you know how we feel about the music coming from Frontiers Music in Italy.  This label not only gives the musicians from the ‘80s an outlet for new music, but they also deliver some of the best melodic rock around from new bands.

Finland’s One Desire was formed in 2012 when drummer Ossi Sivula started putting together musicians for his new project.  The writing process took a few years with various players.  Everything changed in 2014 when they met Jimmy Westerlund (who had several gold and platinum albums as a producer, songwriter and guitarist).  Westerlund recruited his longtime friend (vocalist) Andre Linman to add the final piece to the puzzle.  If you’re a fan of AOR music, you are going to be an instant fan of One Desire.  Within the first minute of “Hurt,” I was hooked!  Definitely looking forward to hearing more from what these Finnish rockers have to offer.
 

 

 

ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

PAIN OF SALVATION – “Meaningless”

Swedish progressive metal band Pain of Salvation recently released their tenth studio album, In the Passing Light of Day.  It is as sad and emotional as it can get.  The lyrical content and mood of the single, “Meaningless,” is depressing (at best) while showcasing the bands instrumental talents and heavy sound.  Take every tear you’ve ever shed and bottle it up.  That’s what listening to Pain of Salvation is like.
 

 
RED FANG – “Flies”

I featured a song from Red Fang when the album was released a few months back, but I have to admit, I can’t stop listening to it.  The band from Portland, Oregon released their fourth album Only Ghosts, a solid metal album that has enjoyed some commercial success.  The chords are fuzzy and heavy, and the choruses beg the listener to sing along.  Even though the subject matter of most of the songs are comical, their musicianship is nothing to laugh at.  The band is chock-full of groovy chops, memorable riffs, syncopated beats and growling vocals to boot.  My favorite album to listen to in 2017 so far!
 

 

 

ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout

ECLIPSE – “Vertigo”

Vocalist Erik Martensson pairs again with guitarist Magnus Henriksson for some premium melodic hard rock.  Sweden’s Eclipse is preparing to release their newest album, Momentum, and they deliver strong here with this first sampling.
 

 
HOUSE OF LORDS – “Oceans Divide”

House of Lords returns in 2017 with a new album, Saint of the Lost Souls.  James Christian’s vocals are as appealing as ever, with lots of layered support from the rest of the band.  Jimi Bell’s guitar work stands out, as always, even among the contributions of so many other amazing musicians.

 

SUBMISSIONS

To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to – submissions@MusicDiscoveryMonday.com

Music Discovery Monday – 1/16/17

music-discovery-monday-as-lions

Music Discovery Monday – 1/16/17

Music Discovery Monday shines a light on artists that are not getting the radio attention that they deserve, while also showcasing new singles by established bands that are likely to get airplay in the future.

In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Music Discovery Monday can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
 

 

 

 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

AS LIONS – “Bury My Dead”

Children of highly accomplished people in any field take a risk when they follow in the same footsteps of parents that have achieved great success (especially those that are household names).  I must admit that had I known that Bruce Dickinson’s son Austin was the frontman of As Lions, it would have inspired me to check out the band.  However, I only discovered the familial connection after being instantly drawn to “Bury My Dead” as soon as it came on the Octane, and then doing follow-up research about the band.

While Austin followed in his father’s larger-than-life footsteps, he is to be commended for doing his own thing, with his own sound, in a band that doesn’t even remotely resemble Iron Maiden.  As Lions more than stand on their own as a band that blends a variety of influences to develop a sound that is an ideal fit for today’s active rock scene.

Many younger bands strive to just become relevant, but the one thing that may have been passed down from one rock generation to another is the desire to be much more than relevant.  From the beginning, the band has had high aspirations.  According to their bio…“We had a mission statement to each other and to the music.  And that was to create the biggest, baddest, hard rock we could, and on an almost cinematic scale.”

If “Bury My Dead” is an indication of what’s to come from As Lions, their goal certainly seems attainable.
 

 
NIGHT RANGER – “Somehow Someway”
The opening notes of Night Ranger’s latest single, “Somehow Someway,” have a classic Motley Crue vibe before transitioning back into the more melodic, AOR sound that they have become known for since they began 35 years ago.  Nicely blended into the song is a Journey influence on some of the vocal runs and the harmonies.  It’s fitting that L.A. is mentioned in the song, as it was once the hub for melodic hard rock.  Some people may classify this incredible, feel-good song as “nostalgic,” but I’d prefer to call it timeless.  If you have an appreciation for musicianship, melody and harmonies, you’re going to love this track as much as you did the early work that turned you on to Night Ranger in the first place.
 

 

 

ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

SOEN – “Sectarian”

Being a fan of original Opeth drummer Martin Lopez, I was thrilled to hear a new Soen single from their upcoming new album, Lykaia.  Much like Opeth, Soen is progressive metal at its finest.  It combines the drumming chops of Lopez with the style of metal he excels at; progressive, heavy, and intricate.  Borrowing his influential playing from Opeth (with a Tool-esque sound), Soen soars to new heights with a great first single.  I am excited to hear the rest of the album when it is released.

 

WHITECHAPEL – “Mark of the Blade”

Deathcore titans Whitechapel returned in 2016 with a new album, Mark of the Blade.  Fans of the deathcore genre will find this album a pleasing saga of the continuation of the Whitechapel sound.  Typically, the band screams and growls through every song with a frenzy, but this album boasts some clean vocals by lead singer Phil Bozeman.  The band also features three guitar players to add to the chaos of heavy, fast riffing.  You want chaos with death metal vocals?  Whitechapel is your band.
 

 

 

ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout

HEVIDENCE – “Dig in the Night”

Hevidence produces melodic metal with virtuoso guitar work that shifts effortlessly between neoclassical speed and classic rock.  Guitarist Diego Reali and his brother Stef founded the band Evidence in 2010 and released their debut album the following year.  They’ve since changed the name slightly and switched out some band members, returning with their second album, Nobody’s Fault.

 

NITERAIN – “Don’t Fade Away”

This Norwegian glam metal band’s debut album, Crossfire, was a hit with critics and fans in 2013.  They returned in late 2016 with their sophomore effort, Vendetta, and have crafted another fun melodic album with heavy Motley Crue influences.  This catchy number is one of the more laid back tracks (and the lone ballad on the album), with a chorus that really stays in your head long after the last note is played.

 

SUBMISSIONS

To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to – submissions@MusicDiscoveryMonday.com

Music Discovery Monday – 12/26/16

music-discovery-monday-w-a-s-p

Music Discovery Monday – 12/26/16

Music Discovery Monday shines a light on artists that are not getting the radio attention that they deserve, while also showcasing new singles by established bands that are likely to get airplay in the future.

In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Music Discovery Monday can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
 

 

 

 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

W.A.S.P. – “Scream”

As 2016 comes to an end, and the year-end top song list is being worked on, I thought that I would take the opportunity to shine a light on some songs from 2015 that may have flown beneath the radar of many hard rock fans.

W.A.S.P. has been a personal favorite band of mine dating back to the ‘80s, due in large part to Blackie Lawless, the band’s larger-than-life founder and frontman who boasts one of the most unique voices in rock or metal.  In my youth, I was also drawn to Lawless’ over-the-top persona, and lyrics that would make biker gangs blush.

Like many artists who have managed to survive all of the changes to the rock genre, Lawless has evolved, although his evolution is more of the personal variety than musical.  If you loved W.A.S.P. back in the day, there is nothing to stop you from feeling the same way about the current sound.  The main difference is that Lawless has found religion as a born again Christian, which has shifted the lyrical focus of his songs away from the shocking debauchery of yesteryear.

“Scream” is the lead track on W.A.S.P.’s 15th studio album, Golgotha, and album that was years in the making, marking the longest gap between albums in the band’s history.  If you missed out on this album, make sure to go back and check it out.

 

 

FATE’S RIGHT BAND – “My World Is Falling”

Although I am constantly in “music discovery mode,” there is simply too much music out there these days to find everything in a timely manner.  Such is the case with a recent discovery, Fate’s Right Band, a 5-piece Swedish rock act that boasts two sets of brothers.  Other than that interesting tidbit, there is very little information available about the band on their site or their Facebook page, but it doesn’t matter.  Great music is great music.

“My World Is Falling” is an upbeat, melodic rocker with a driving rhythm.  The song opens with subdued vocals in the first verse that are in the same vein as David Bowie’s “Heroes,” before launching into pure power metal vocals and shredding guitars throughout.  Listening to this song, you might think that you’ve stumbled upon a basement tape from the ‘80s, when power metal was all the rage (at least in America).  Europe has always had an appreciation for the genre, so this band is more likely to gain traction in their homeland than in the U.S., but that’s more a condemnation of the American rock market than the band itself.
 

 

 

ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

SEPULTURA “I Am The Enemy”

It is refreshing to see older bands continue to perform and record new material.  Case in point, Brazil’s Sepultura.  This longtime running thrash metal band has been going strong since 1984 (minus the original founding members Max and Igor Cavalera).  Even with the departure of founding members, the band has continued their brand of fast-paced, aggressive thrash metal with the vocals of Derrick Green.  From their anticipated 14th new release, Machine Messiah, “I Am The Enemy” is the epitome of Sepultura…political, nihilistic, and aggressive.  Looking forward to hearing the rest of the album.

 

DEATH ANGEL “Lost”

In my opinion, one of the best albums of 2016 was Death Angel’s The Evil Divide.  It’s one of those albums that you can listen to over and over again.  “Lost” shows the genius of Death Angel.  Musicianship, lyrics, delivery…Death Angel excels at all of these and more.  This song almost has a Dio feel, with Mark Oseguada’s vocals soaring over the heavy riffs of Rob Cavestany and Ted Aguilar and the thunderous rhythm section of Will Carroll and Damien Sisson.  This Bay Area band has been around since 1982.  They are one of the top thrash bands that have helped to shape the genre over the years.  Their latest album proves that they are still on top of their game.
 

 

 

ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout

FIREWIND – “Ode To Leonidas”

Greek power metal giants Firewind return in 2017 with their newest album, Immortal (due out January 20th).  From the early releases, they appear to have crafted another album with the heavy harmonies and blistering guitars that made them famous.  In this epic piece, they pay homage to Leonidas, the Spartan warrior king who fell at Thermopylae, celebrated in tales told through the ages and more recently in popular culture in the movie 300.  To Leonidas, the Immortals were the elite guard of the Persian army – though the album title more likely refers instead to him and his fellow Spartans.

 

RAVENIA – “We All Died For Honor”

Three years ago, vocalist Armi Päivinen and guitarist Samuli Reinikainen formed the Finnish symphonic metal band Ravenia.  In 2014, the band released the two-track EP, Wingless.  Shortly thereafter, they decided that they wanted to do something more than traditional symphonic metal; they chose to combine their brand of metal with film score music.  The result is their first full-length album, the stirring and haunting Beyond The Walls of Death.

 

SUBMISSIONS

To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to – submissions@MusicDiscoveryMonday.com

Music Discovery Monday – 12/19/16

music-discovery-monday-nickelback-dirty-laundry

Music Discovery Monday – 12/19/16

Music Discovery Monday shines a light on artists that are not getting the radio attention that they deserve, while also showcasing new singles by established bands that are likely to get airplay in the future.

In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Music Discovery Monday can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
 

 

 

 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

NICKELBACK – “Dirty Laundry”

The band that everyone seems to love to hate has delivered an energetic cover of Don Henley’s “Dirty Laundry” that dials the heaviness up a notch and adds a cool groove, while staying fairly true to the original.  It seems fitting that a song about mass media sensationalism and yellow journalism is featured today, as we are reminded about how ineffective the media has become in a world where facts no longer seem to matter.  Critical message aside, this song can still be enjoyed by those who don’t care about the meaning behind the lyrics (provided that you are willing to listen with an open mind to one of the most maligned artists in recent memory).

 

AFFIANCE – “Africa”

There are two ways to approach a hard rock / metal cover song.  Some choose to stay somewhat true to the original, while others choose a different path and infuse a softer song with a heavy dose of adrenaline to make it their own.  Affiance chose the latter with their cover of “Africa” (arguably the most well-known song by Toto).  Those familiar with the original will hear the striking difference from the first note, and realize that “you’re not in Kansas anymore” (Wizard Of Oz reference for our younger readers).
 

 

 

ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

TRIVIUM – “The Storm”

Although this isn’t a new song, it is a new re-mix of the song ,so for those not familiar with Trivium, I present you a “new” song by the band.  “The Storm” was originally featured on Trivium’s first album, Ember to Inferno.  It has now been re-mixed for their new album, Ab Initio.  One of the best songs from their earlier days, fans of the band can hear the progression of the band’s music and vocals.  Matt Heafy’s voice has changed considerably over the years; the music was heavier and thrashier than recent releases.  Keep in mind that the guys in the band were all around the age of 17 when this album first came out.

 

IN FLAMES – “Save Me”

The melodic death metal founders from Gothenburg, Sweden are back with their 12th studio album, Battles.  Their first single from the album – “Save Me” – is classic In Flames (minus the harsher death metal vocals of yesteryear and with a lot more melody).  Older fans may not appreciate the change in direction, but regardless, the band’s attempt at moving forward and changing with the times is welcomed at a time when a lot of metal bands end up sounding the same.  Their melodic death metal roots have transformed the band into an almost melodic metalcore (which for some is not a bad thing at all).
 

 

 

ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout

DAYRIDE RITUAL – “Breaking Down”

Dayride Ritual assembles a cast of talented Florida musicians for hard rock with an abundance of groove.  Some of the guys have been playing together since they were kids, and the chemistry certainly comes through in the music.  “Breaking Down” is from their new album, Waking up Screaming.

 

WHITE WIDDOW – “Surrender My Heart”

Australian melodic rockers White Widdow return with their fourth album, Silhouette.  They continue to capture that ‘80s vibe with uplifting music delivered in layered harmonies and big, catchy choruses.

SUBMISSIONS

 
To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to – submissions@MusicDiscoveryMonday.com

Music Discovery Monday – 12/12/16

music-discovery-monday-rik-emmett-and-resolution-9

Music Discovery Monday – 12/12/16

Music Discovery Monday shines a light on artists that are not getting the radio attention that they deserve, while also showcasing new singles by established bands that are likely to get airplay in the future.

In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Music Discovery Monday can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
 

 

 

 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

RIK EMMETT & RESOLUTION 9 – “Human Race”  (f. Alex Lifeson)

When you think of Canadian power trios, the first band that comes to mind for most is Rush.  For me, it’s always been Rush and Triumph, two bands that I love equally for different reasons.  So, when I saw that Alex Lifeson and Rik Emmett were collaborating, I was immediately intrigued.

It’s been almost three decades since the release of the last Triumph album with the original lineup (Surveillance).  One of the albums that has remained a personal favorite to this day is 1986’s The Sport Of Kings.  The album had an uplifting, melodic vibe that doesn’t really exist much these days.

“Human Race” is not only nostalgic for me because of the marriage between Triumph and Rush, but also because this song takes me back to the sound of the The Sport Of Kings album.

 

When discussing “Human Race,” Emmett stated…

“I’ve been around the block a few times, and one of the things that I like about the lyrics in ‘Human Race’ is when we get to the last verse, where it says ‘I am still this guy.  I still live this.  There’s also a line in there about a raising joyful noise – and I still want to do that too.”

 

Lifeson, who added 12-string guitar work to the song, added…

“When Rik asked me to play on this new album, I didn’t hesitate for a second.  He’s the consummate musician, a wonderful guitarist, and a terrific person.  It’s always been my pleasure to play with him any chance I can get.”

For those like me who are big fans of Triumph and Rush, this is a great gift for the holiday season.

 

 

RIK EMMETT & RESOLUTION 9 (f. James LaBrie & Alex Lifeson) – “End Of The Line”

Alex Lifeson also made a guest appearance on RESolution 9’s “End Of The Line” (alongside Dream Theater’s James LaBrie).  This song has a heavier, edgier groove than “Human Race,” blending a classic ‘70s rock sound with the sweet sound of Emmett’s signature vocals.  The song is perfectly complemented by a mesmerizing lyric video, which takes you on a virtual train ride through a tunnel that gives it a psychedelic effect.

“End Of The Line” is a nice surprise that takes you on an unexpected journey, given that it is not the norm for any of the legends playing on the track (including Emmett).

 

Like Emmett and Lifeson, LaBrie also hails from Canada.  He shared his thoughts about being asked to contribute on this album…

“I’ve been extremely blessed and fortunate to meet so many great musicians and beautiful people throughout my career, and to have the opportunity to record with some of them is really the icing on the cake.  What a thrill it was to record with Rik, who is such an incredible musician and overall down-to-earth cool guy.”

“End Of The Line” brings to mind the saying…“it doesn’t have to be old to be classic.”
 

 

 

ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

VIMIC  “She Sees Everything”

Ever wonder what Joey Jordison has been doing since he departed from Slipknot?  Look no further.  A series of songs have been released from Vimic (Jordison’s new band) from their upcoming album, Open Your Omen.  The songs are a good mix of Jordison’s thrash/fast double bass drumming with a more classic metal feel.  It’s always refreshing to see a band member from one genre of metal release an album with a very different sound.  First, Corey Taylor traded in his death screams in Slipknot for melodic singing and vocal phrasing in Stone Sour.  Now Jordison has done it with Vimic.  It’s a far cry from Slipknot, but if you’re a fan of Jordison’s, you’ll be glad to hear his drumming again in his new band.

 

DEVILDRIVER “Daybreak”

Devildriver’s seventh studio album, Trust No One, is classic Devildriver at their best.  For those not familiar with Devildriver, the band is fronted by Coal Chamber’s Dez Fafara.   The songs on this album are brutally aggressive that groove in the right way with their new addition of Chimaira’s drummer Austin D’Amond.  The lyrics are full of death, destruction and drips of desolation and despair while the music backing those lyrics are equally evil sounding.  Fans of the band and the groove metal genre will not be disappointed.
 

 

 

ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout

DARIO MOLLO’S CROSSBONES – “Gates of Time”

I’ve reviewed the work of songwriter/guitarist Dario Mollo before as part of his collaborations with Tony Martin (ex-Black Sabbath) on the three Cage albums, and with Glenn Hughes (Black Country Communion, Deep Purple, California Breed) as part of Voodoo Hill.  Here, Mollo pays tribute to his very first band, Crossbones, which was formed in 1981 and released its first studio album in 1989.  He brings back original drummer Ezio Secomandi, together with Dario Patti on bass and keyboards and Carl Sentance (Nazareth, Don Airey Band, Krokus) on vocals.

 

BONEYARD DOG – “Lonely Room”

Vocalist Rob Mancini (Hotwire, Crush) and guitarist Davy Kerrigan team with drummer Ron Wikso (Foreigner, The Storm, Eddie Money) and keyboardist Tony Carey (ex-Rainbow) to produce classic rock with a strong blues influence.  They formed the band Boneyard Dog barely a year ago, and have recently released their debut album, Bluesbound Train.  They’ve crafted some fine tunes and have guest appearances from Marc Lynn (Gotthard), John Pratt (Firefly), and Neil Murray (Whitesnake).

 

SUBMISSIONS

To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to – submissions@MusicDiscoveryMonday.com

Music Discovery Monday – 12/5/16

music-discovery-monday-greg-billings-band-brian-johnson

Music Discovery Monday – 12/5/16

Music Discovery Monday shines a light on artists that are not getting the radio attention that they deserve, while also showcasing new singles by established bands that are likely to get airplay in the future.

In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Music Discovery Monday can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
 

 

 

 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

THE GREG BILLINGS BAND (f. BRIAN JOHNSON) – “Old Friends Don’t Come Easy”

When Brian Johnson’s hearing problems forced him to suddenly leave AC/DC, fans were hoping that someday he would return to the stage (or at the very least, the studio).  It’s safe to say that most people didn’t expect his return to happen as a guest vocalist (on a fitting song) with The Greg Billings Band.

You might be wondering how the band was able to land Johnson for a guest vocal spot.  I must admit, I wondered the same thing, having not heard of them until recently.  It turns out that Billings has a history that dates back to the ‘80s with a band called Romeo (which was signed to Epic Records).  The band – who gained popularity in Florida – changed their name to Stranger before the album was released.

Stranger, with their “hook-laden songs” and “electrifying stage show,” became well-known in the southeast.  Although the band released a number of albums through the years, most were independent.  Fast forward to 2003…two original members of Stranger – Billings (vocals) and Tom King (bass) – continue the phenomenon that began in the ‘80s.

“Old Friends Don’t Come Easy” – from the band’s upcoming album Boom Boom All Night! – captured my attention because of the reemergence of Johnson, but the band more than stands on its own with its brand of feel-good, gin-soaked, honky-tonk rock and roll.

The smooth vocals of Billings are the Johnnie Walker Blue to Johnson’s edgy shot of Jack Daniels.  Together, this vocal duo makes for an interesting blend that works perfectly together.

It just so happens that the lyrics of the song paint a picture of a nostalgic bar memories, but even if they didn’t, listening to “Old Friends Don’t Come Easy” makes you want to hit the bar for happy hour.  Bluesy guitar, great vocals and rollicking piano…what more can you ask for?

 

 

ICE ON MERCURY – “Blind Leading The Lifeless”

Hailing from South Australia, Ice On Mercury hits you with a rare blend of aggression and infectious melody from the first note on “Blind Leading The Lifeless.”  The band cites Anthrax as one of their influences, which is something that you definitely hear in the song, along with shades of fellow Down Under rockers Parkway Drive, Bullet For My Valentine and Hellyeah.  Like Anthrax, who excels at combining blood-pumping, in-your-face metal with humor, Ice On Mercury can rock out with the best of them without taking themselves too seriously.  After you listening to this killer track, I checked out the band’s bio on Facebook and learned that they like “long walks on the beach, romantic candle-lit dinners and rocking out with ye Ol’ Cock Out!!!”  Make sure to check these guys out!
 

 

 

ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

KREATOR – “Gods of Violence”

One of the founding fathers of death metal are back with their new single, “Gods of Violence” (the title track from their new album).  Having been a fan since the late ‘80s, it’s great to this band still writing new material.  The new single is not much of a departure from their earlier work, just updated to sound a little more modern.  Kreator still has fierce aggression and nihilistic lyrics, but the songwriting has become more melodic (and even anthemic in its choruses).  Their 14th album looks to be a strong one.

 

VADER – “Prayer to the God of War”

The death metal giants from Poland are back with their 13th studio album, The Empire.  The album is heavy – like skull-crushing heavy – and full of double-bass drumming, growls and old school, thrashing guitar riffs.  Vader is one of the rare bands in the genre to enjoy longevity and still be writing great new music.  Since 1983, this band has brutally impressed their fans with their brand of speed/thrash/death metal in the same vein as Slayer.  This album does not disappoint.
 

 

 

ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout

DEFIANT – “Time Isn’t Healing”

Ukrainian power metal band Defiant has opted for English-lyrics-only on their sophomore album, making some high quality music instantly more accessible to the metal world. This is the title track, which conveys an idea of their melodic approach with some speed and progressive influences.

 

FEANOR – “We Are Heavy Metal”

Feanor is another power metal band that has just elected to release their first English-lyrics-only album this year.  After a five-year stretch, this is the Argentinian band’s third album. Check them out rocking hard (but melodically) here on the title song, and listen for a guest appearance on vocals from Tony Martin (ex-Black Sabbath) on the excellent “Crying Games.”

 

SUBMISSIONS

To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to – submissions@MusicDiscoveryMonday.com