Blog Archives

Music Discovery Monday – 6/8/15

Music Discovery Monday - Crucified Barbara

Hard Rock Daddy presents Music Discovery Monday – 6/8/15.

Each week, the HRD team shares songs that fly below radio’s radar, ranging from lesser-known artists to deeper cuts from both up-and-coming and established artists.

In addition to exposing the Hard Rock Daddy audience to new music that isn’t getting the attention that it deserves from radio, Music Discovery Monday also features a segment called “Hard Rock Music Time Machine,” which showcases older songs (from the 70s to today) that hard rock music fans may have missed at the time of release.

In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlists beneath each section, all songs featured on Music Discovery Monday can be listened to by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles.

This week’s Music Discovery Monday features an exclusive interview with Crucified Barbara front woman / lead guitarist, Mia Coldheart, who shares the surprising inspiration behind the band’s latest single, “Lunatic #1.” 



 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)


For over a decade, this quartet of Swedish badass women has been delivering ballsy, punk-infused hard rock.  Although they have started to garner some attention as a supporting act in the United States, they are vastly underrated here, which is somewhat surprising given the rise of female-fronted bands being played on Active Rock radio.  The band’s latest single, “Lunatic #1,” showcases what Mia Coldheart (vocals/guitar), Klara Force (guitar), Ida Evileye (bass) and Nicki Wicked (drums) have to offer – unrelenting, kickass, anthemic hard rock.  A driving punk rhythm lays the foundation for Coldheart to shine with her haunting, defiant vocal style.  You would never know by listening to this song that she was ever reluctant about taking over the lead vocals for the band. The gang vocals are as good as it gets, and the guitar shredding and harmonies harken back to the glory days of metal.  Coldheart is a rare talent that makes you stand up and take notice for not only her vocals, but also her lead guitar play.


In a recent interview with Hard Rock Daddy, Mia Coldheart discussed the unexpected inspiration and meaning behind “Lunatic #1”…

“When we began writing the song, I had a feeling about what I wanted to say, but didn’t have anything to tie it all together. I got the final inspiration for the song when I was doing horse riding in Sweden. I had met one of the best riders in the country, and we had a really nice chat. He was telling me about how he had made it to the absolute top just by changing his mindset and the way that he practiced everyday, and how much effort that he put in. I was very touched by the meeting because I really look up to him. It left me very inspired when we went in to start recording the album. It also helped me to put more effort into the songwriting.

For this song, I finished the lyrics after returning home from this meeting. “Lunatic” is the name of his horse; he’s kind of like a rock star in the horse world. So, I thought that it was fun because it fit the lyrics quite well. I didn’t tell the band what the lyric was about because it’s not actually a song about a horse. It was a dedication to this rider because the meeting with him helped me to finish the song and the album with so much more inspiration.

The meaning behind the song is that when someone brings out the best in you, that you have no limits together. It ties back into my band. We are the best when we are together, but when I’m doing solo stuff or playing with other people, I feel quite alone because I don’t know exactly what I’m doing. When I’m with my band, I know exactly what I’m doing. For me it’s my band, but it could also mean a team player, a best friend or anything that brings out the best in you.”

The full interview with Mia will be posted in the near future on Hard Rock Daddy.  For a sneak peak at some of her influences, take a look at my picks in this week’s Hard Rock Time Machine segment below…


AMARANTHE – “Digital World”

Amaranthe made a huge splash with “Drop Dead Cynical” – the juggernaut debut single off of their latest album, Massive Addictive.  Proving that there is more to the band than just one mega-hit, this Swedish six-piece “dance-metal” act is back with their latest single, “Digital World.”   The pop synthesizer intro quickly collides head-on and blends with driving intensity and Henrik Englund’s “unclean vocals,” which provides a nice contrast to the beauty of Elize Ryd’s angelic vocals and Jake E’s melodic vocals.  A lot of bands incorporate aspects of other genres into their music, but few are able to take elements that don’t usually exist in hard rock and make it feel so natural.  Amaranthe is the exception to the rule, but that’s no surprise given that they make their own rules (see three lead singers).





CITY OF THIEVES – “Incinerator”

New name, new members, new style for the former Four Wheel Drive.  The element that carries over is a heavy brand of rock that doesn’t seem bashful about kicking the listener in the gut, and I don’t expect that they’d be inclined to apologize to anyone for rockin’ this hard either.  A solid debut that should provide a solid foundation on which to build.


SOUTHERN GENTLEMEN – “If You Just Believe”

After interminable delays in the release of their album stalled the promising rise of Stellar Revival (“The Crazy Ones”), a new band featuring two members of that group has emerged.  The first sound of the new Florida-based trio is definitely different; a long way from the anthemic signature of their previous project, and to be honest, it may take a little getting used to.  That said, the debut is definitely worth a listen and suggests that the new project is one to keep an eye on.





BONFIRE – “Can’t Break Away”

David Reece (Accept, Bangalore Choir, Tango Down) comes out firing as the new front man for German melodic rockers Bonfire, on their new album, Glorious. His powerful, distinctive vocals and some other notable lineup changes have revitalized the band.  The songs are full of energy and groove, with some big hooks and killer choruses.


AKASAVA – “The Deep”

French band Akasava produces 70’s style psychedelic rock with a modern touch and some doom metal influences.  “The Deep,” from their self-released debut album, captures that heavy, pulsing groove of the era and jams out from it towards madness.  There are some H. P. Lovecraft allusions in the lyrics.





VOYAGER – “Breaking Down”

Prog metal from Down Under, “Breaking Down” is a riveting, energetic piece, which is rather opposite from its depressive theme.  Voyager plays with great power and rhythm, mixed with time shifts that you’d expect from prog.  Melodic vocals, intricate pic work on the guitars and well-timed keyboard interludes round out this terrific track.


JUDICATOR – “At The Expense Of Humanity”

John Yelland’s vocal power is the clear standout on the title track from Judicator’s latest release, At the Expense of Humanity.  Smooth and intense, this epic, power metal anthem is made in the USA.  Other notables are the rhythm line of Joseph Palomares on bass and Jordan Elcess on drums.


To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to…




SISTER SIN – “Fight Song” (2012)

When asked who her vocal influences were during our interview, Crucified Barbara’s Mia Coldheart named just one – fellow Swede and Sister Sin front woman, Liv Jagrell.  Vocally, Coldheart is definitely in the same realm as Jagrell, but not quite as lyrically intense as her counterpart.  If you’re easily offended by salty language delivered with an ample amount of piss and vinegar, then Sister Sin probably isn’t for you.  If, however, you love listening to a singer that doesn’t adhere to gender expectations, crank “Fight Song” up to eleven!  I’m man enough to admit that I wouldn’t want to be the one to cross Jagrell and feel her wrath, but there is something very refreshing about her no-holds-barred approach.  You know that any song that begins – “Fuck you! Fuck them and fuck the world too!  Do I look like some bitch to you?” – is going to grab you by the throat and never let go until the final note.  “Fight Song” delivers just what you’d expect, as you throw your fist in the air and revel in an intensely powerful musical experience.  This is what metal rebellion is all about!


MEGADETH – “Tornado Of Souls” (1990)

If you read the rest of my picks this week, you were probably expecting another Swedish, female-fronted band.  Not so fast!  Remember, this week’s Hard Rock Music Time Machine artists were chosen because of their inspiration to our featured artist, Mia Coldheart.  When asked who her biggest guitar influence was, Crucified Barbara’s lead guitarist instantly replied – “Marty Friedman.”  Megadeth’s “Tornado Of Souls” is an underrated, hard-driving, aggressive, balls-to-the-wall metal song.   The riffs and rhythm hit you like a freight train, and Friedman’s solo is as good as it gets.  A quarter century has gone by since this song was released, and it is still every bit as relevant as it was when it came out in 1990.





GIRLSCHOOL – “Play Dirty” (1984)

While the band remains active, and is among the most venerable of female rockers, the title track of their fourth album is still one of my favorites three decades after its release.  Although it may depart somewhat from the more raw sound of their previous work, I agree with a quote attributed to Girlschool drummer, Denise Dufort, that this represented a “more mature” outing for the band at the time.


SAVATAGE – “Gutter Ballet” (1989)

With an upcoming reunion appearance set for this summer at Wacken Open Air, it seems like a good time to revisit and remember the brilliance that dotted the too-short career of Savatage.  While subsequent work with Trans-Siberian Orchestra eclipsed the success of the forerunner, this turning point to a less metal/more progressive sound was striking in its own right.  There are better (and there may be more technical) Savatage songs, but there aren’t many that are more pivotal.





HARTMANN – “The Same Again” (2005)

When not fronting the German power metal band At Vance, or collaborating with the other symphonic metal superstars in Avantasia, Oliver Hartmann has been known to put out some amazing solo material.  Here his voice and guitar both stand out on a hard-hitting ode to a vicious cycle of misplaced trust.


PRAYING MANTIS – “Playing God” (2009)

Praying Mantis has been around since the 70s, hit their stride during the NWOBHM of the 80s, and has kept on producing amazing music since.  Yet they’ve never received the recognition that their talents and dedication deserve. Their 2009 album, Sanctuary, was yet another artistic triumph that should have brought them much more fame.  With great hooks and a gripping guitar solo, “Playing God” stands out on an excellent album.




VOX TEMPUS – “What About” (2005)

One-and-done, was the album history of Vox Tempus, who morphed from the group Equinox back in 2002.  You’ll hear a heavy Dream Theater influence with terrific vocals from Dana Reed out in front on “What About.”  The solo work from Ray Mantor (guitar) and Eric Ragno (keyboards) is also notable. Jim Turba (bass) and Gregg Bissonette (drums) round out this short-lived (but talented) band.


BLACK SABBATH – “Over And Over” (1981)

This is one of the lesser known tracks that never saw much air time from Mob Rules.  It’s got top-notch Dio, a completely off the hook, two-part Iommi jam and the greatness of Geezer Butler and Vinny Appice (in his first album with Sabbath) keepin’ it all together.  Dark, moody and emotional – one of my all-time favorites!

Music Discovery Monday – 5/18/15

Music Discovery Monday - Burnos

Hard Rock Daddy presents Music Discovery Monday – 5/18/15.

Each week, the HRD team shares songs that fly below radio’s radar, ranging from lesser-known artists to deeper cuts from both up-and-coming and established artists.

In addition to exposing the Hard Rock Daddy audience to new music that isn’t getting the attention that it deserves from radio, Music Discovery Monday also features a segment called “Hard Rock Music Time Machine,” which showcases older songs (from the 70s to today) that hard rock music fans may have missed at the time of release.

In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlists beneath each section, all songs featured on Music Discovery Monday can be listened to by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles.

This week’s Music Discovery Monday features an exclusive interview with Melissa Burnos, who shares the inspiration behind Burnos’ single, “Syndrome Of Decay.” 



 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

BURNOS – “Syndrome Of Decay”

When you think of hard rock, two things that probably don’t come to mind are the Miami Dolphins and The Bee Gees, but both have a connection to this week’s featured artist, Burnos (fronted by Melissa Burnos).

Like The Pretty Reckless’ Taylor Momsen, Burnos’ first exposure to the public did not begin with music.  However, her time as a Dolphins cheerleader helped with her music, as cheering in front of a stadium full of people taught her how to work a crowd.  Also giving her a boost of confidence was her association with the late Maurice Gibbs, who read some of her writing and told her that she could write songs.

Burnos was first heard on SiriusXM’s Octane with a song called “Octane.” Perhaps it was a serendipitous coincidence; perhaps it was a clever way to grab the attention of the most powerful Active Rock station in the country.  Either way, it got her noticed.  Her follow-up single, “WarShip,” also received attention from Octane, and was included in Hard Rock Daddy’s Top 100 Hard Rock Songs of 2014.

Burnos’ latest single, “Syndrome Of Decay,” from her forthcoming debut album, is once again getting airplay on Octane, yet she still remains under the radar to a large degree.  Burnos’ powerfully melodic, sultry vocals are delivered over a sound that is reminiscent of Alter Bridge and Tremonti, which is not surprising given that she is writing and recording her album with Michael “Elvis” Baskette, Eric Friedman and Garrett Whitlock.


In a Hard Rock Daddy exclusive, Melissa shares the inspiration and meaning behind her latest single…

“Although I feel that all poetry and lyrics are open to interpretation by readers and listeners from their own unique perspectives, I was inspired at the time by my own perspective. ‘Syndrome of Decay’ is definitely one of my favorite songs out of the ones we’ve written and recorded so far.  I was inspired by some darker life experiences and observations.

The song is about some people’s need for, and affinity towards, the destruction of happiness, which is the opposite of life.  It’s about the weak, inexperienced, unwilling, fearful observer who is constantly judging, naysaying, tearing down, and is throwing away all hope and ambition for his/her own life, ultimately projecting that onto the dreamers and go-getters.  Simply put, it’s about attempts by those who gave up on their dreams to berate and destroy those who refuse to do so.

‘Syndrome of Decay’ is about coming to terms with the fact that these people won’t ever change and basically can’t help themselves.  Coming to this conclusion, the dreamer and go-getter walks away leaving the destructive person flailing pitifully in their own negativity and darkness.

Erock (Eric Friedman) and Garrett Whitlock crafted and laid the perfect blend of dark and heavy riffs and rhythms, which drive home the story of ‘Syndrome of Decay.’  I think it’s the perfect marriage of music, melody and lyrics.  What the guys are playing is aggressive and eerily haunting at the same time.  I really love how Erock launches the song out of the gate and his ethereal guitar solo.  Garrett’s attack and sick combinations really drive it!  I hope everyone enjoys this one as much as we all do!”


SISTER SIN – “Chaos Royale”

Although I discovered Sister Sin on Octane (like I did Burnos), this is not a band that is likely to ever get tons of radio airplay.  Based on the lyrics to “Chaos Royale,” you have to believe that suits the band, more specifically, front woman Liv Jagrell just fine…

“Enslave the earth with an iron fist, now the whole world is my personal bitch…I’ll put an end to all music that sucks, according to my flawless taste…No hipster shit, radio rock, bubble gum, DJ pop…Heavy metal all the way…make no fucking mistake!”

Deeply rooted in 80s heavy metal (not hair), Sister Sin is a Swedish powerhouse that takes no prisoners with their aggressive sound.  Though their original plan was to have a male singer, it’s hard to imagine anyone other than Jagrell at the helm because she is such a perfect fit (and I’m not just saying that because I fear that she will hunt me down with her iron fist and make me her “personal bitch”).  If there was a sub-genre called “ballsy female-fronted metal,” Sister Sin would rule the throne.  From their latest album, Black Lotus, “Chaos Royale” is an ideal introduction to this vastly underrated band.





ONE BAD SON – “Black Buffalo”

While there seems to be no shortage of bands displaying 70s rock influences lately, most simply aren’t as good at doing so as this quartet from Vancouver.  That skill has made them one of the more consistent rock radio performers in Canada over the past couple of years.  Yet another “ten year overnight success story,” they’re a band that – if you appreciate a more straight-ahead traditional rock sound – really deserves more attention outside their native country.



Thoroughly modern sounding (in a good way) five-piece from Orlando, Florida has recently released the first single from their new album RegeneratE, and it’s a solid effort.  If released by one of the Active Rock format staple “big name” bands, this song would be all over the radio in a hurry.  Instead, it’s a good song with some teeth that has to hope to get that breakthrough by being in the right place at the right time just as all the stars align.  In the meantime, there’s no reason that any fan of good work should miss out, so take a listen.





SANDMARX – “Band On Fire”

Vocalist Sandra Szabo gets gritty in a commanding performance on the bluesy, modern rock song “Band On Fire.”  With shades of Guns N’ Roses and even some Black Crowes, the Norwegian band Sandmarx finds a sweet groove and hits on some addictive riffs. The other songs on their album, The Perfect Storm, vary at times in style, but rarely in intensity.


NEAL MORSE – “Doomsday Destiny”

Progressive rock superstar Neal Morse (Spock’s Beard, Transatlantic, Flying Colors) scores again with his latest solo release, The Grand Experiment.  Bonus track “Doomsday Destiny” is a highlight, opening with some light keyboard before launching into a fuller, funkier orchestration and some striking vocal harmonies. Mike Portnoy mans the drums with the precision and flair he’s renowned for.





BLACK FATE – “Lines In The Sand”

Terrific power/progressive metal from Greece.  Black Fate’s “Lines in the Sand” is a well-executed, driving track about the subject seeking out their destiny.   Great rhythm line (Nikos Tsintzilonis -drums and Vasilis Liakos- bass) showcases the progressive talent through timing shifts, and sets the stage for Gus Drax’s screaming guitar work.


DAMNATION ANGELS – “Everlasting”

From Damnation Angels’ upcoming US album, The Valiant Fire, “Everlasting” showcases great lead vocals from Per Fredrik Asly (aka PelleK) and vocal harmonies, along with background orchestration overlaid onto smooth, driving, impassioned power.  This is the second full-length album from this symphonic metal band from the UK, led by Will & John Graney (on drums and guitar respectively).






THE LETTER BLACK – “Pain Killer” (2013)

From The Letter Black’s 2013 album, Rebuild, “Pain Killer” features a perfect blend of power, beauty, mystique and melody.  Sarah Anthony’s angelic vocals shine as she taps into the emotion of the lyrics over churning power chords.  When the band (which includes Anthony’s husband, Mark on guitar), dials up the intensity, Sarah follows suit with melody-drenched, anthemic vocals.  Like, Skillet (another Christian rock band that features a husband and wife team), The Letter Black aspires to give people hope with their lyrics.  Personally speaking, “Pain Killer” is a song of hope, but not because of the lyrical content.  This is the one hard rock song that my daughter – whose taste has unfortunately shifted to mainstream pop – will listen to on her own.


MARAGOLD – “Evergreen Is Golder” (2013)

When it comes to music, sometimes less is more.  AC/DC has built a legendary career by adhering to this adage.  Aside from their approach on “Evergreen Is Golder,” Maragold’s similarities to AC/DC end there.  The straight-forward groove of the song provides an ideal canvas for Meghan Krauss to bring a mental picture to life with her incredibly powerful, raspy, melodic delivery of poetic lyrics. Krauss is a star in the making. Guitarist, Greg Howe, has collaborated on numerous projects ranging from jazz fusion to hard rock (Richie Kotzen, Jordan Rudess).  There is no telling how far this band can go if they are able to build a fanbase worthy of their talent.





IRON MAIDEN – “Still Life” (1983)

Released 32 years ago this week, the album Piece Of Mind added several notable songs to the list of Iron Maiden staples.  This particular track isn’t considered as classic as, say, “The Trooper,” but is not only a worth a nod musically, but also for the cheeky bit of blatant backwards masking that takes place at the beginning as a shot across the bow of their detractors at the time.


DIO – “Killing The Dragon” (2002)

Title track from the next-to-last studio album from the iconic Ronnie James Dio, who left us five years ago this past weekend.  I chose it to mark the passing largely because it provided the backdrop for the first time my son saw the legend in person, a moment that I’ll always treasure.  Rest in peace Ronnie…never forgotten and sorely missed.





BUDDY GUY, B.B. KING, ERIC CLAPTON – “Let Me Love You Baby” (2005)

The music world was devastated last week by the loss of the great and prolific B.B. KIng.  Here he shares the stage and shines with two other modern legends, capturing the heart and emotion of every note like only he could.  Buddy Rich improvs during their jam…“I say B.B. King, man, play that thing for me.” Nothing more needed to be said.


LANA LANE – “Someone To Believe” (2005)

When it comes to the lesser known but greatest female rock vocalists, Lana Lane ranks near the top of the list.  Here she demonstrates her full power in a gripping, yearning piece. Comparisons to Heart (whose music she covers on other albums) are probably unavoidable. Husband, Eric Norlander ably mans the keyboards.





AIRGED L’AMH – “Glide On The Wings” (2008)

More metal from the Greeks!  A great find from back in 2008, “Glide on the Wings” is straight-forward, gritty, energetic heavy metal with themes of glory and heroics.  Curiously, this Greek band used to be called Ragnarok – of Norse, rather than Greek Mythology – but changed to Airged L’ Amh (Gaelic for “Silver Arm”) because of other bands with the same name.  Stand-out guitar work from Alexander Vasilopoulos and George Sofikitis, plus great work on the skins from George Thanasopoulos.


DIO – “My Eyes” (1990)

An ode to great Ronnie James Dio’s on the 5th anniversary of his passing (May 16th, 2010).  “My Eyes,” – from Dio’s 1990 release, Lock Up The Wolves – is complete with the styles and references you need to know about his great legacy in rock & metal. ‘Nuff said…


To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to…