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Articles: 2008 Articles
AC/DC - 2008 Black Ice
Eight years between albums is an eternity, but if there is one band who can get away with it then it is certainly AC/DC, who at this point of their career are entitled to do anything they please. Given the long wait I couldn't help but wonder if the band might recreate the steaming boogie of the Bon Scott years, the hard rock muscle of 'Flick Of The Switch' or even the good time rock and roll of 'Blow Up Your Video'. On those counts the answer is 'no, vaguely and yes'.

Action - 2008 Action
Here's a band that is twenty years too late it would seem. If you like listening to past glory days faves like Firehouse, Biloxi, Mitch Malloy and Nelson, then Action will fit the bill nicely. There are a heap of vocal harmonies which is the essence of any good AOR/melodic rock band.

Airbourne - 2008 Runnin' Wild
Warrnambool Australia is hardly the place of legends in terms of Australian folklore. No famous racehorses have come from here, nor are there any famous bottles of rum named after this place, unlike a certain little town in Queensland. However, what Warrnambool can lay claim to is sprouting new Aussie rock stars in-the-making - Airbourne.

Alkemyst - 2008 Through Painful Lanes
Combining the speed of Dragonforce and intensity of Symphony X, Alkemyst pick up in 2008 where they left off five years earlier - without missing a beat.

Anthem - 2008 Black Empire
Joining the best bits of Loudness and Fair Warning, Anthem have come up with a recipe that should have hard rock fans investigating their back catalog with haste!

Asia - 2008 Phoenix
Mostly, the songs here will appeal greatly to AORsters, and for me I'll take what's on offer, knowing that we've got an album from the original band, even if it's nowhere near the bombast of the Geffen years.

Asian Typhoon - 2008 Wings
When I first listened to this album I was prepared to give it a very harsh mark. Then I listened again and found that there are plenty of good things going on.. Not a completely bad album, but there are so many more out there that are so much better and Asian Typhoon do not have enough puff to blow their competitors away.

Avantasia - 2008 The Scarecrow
Tobias Sammet's returns with the third Avantasia instalment. While the earlier two are both recommended listening, I feel 'The Scarecrow' stands in a field on its own in terms of successfully using multiple vocalists.

Axminster - 2008 About Face
Local Boston rockers Axminster are still a going concern, after 25 years of being in the biz.

Ayreon - 2008 01011001
This 2CD set from Ayreon master commander Arjen Lucassen has all the makings of something 'big'. I mean lets face it.. the album concept, the amazing lineup of musicians, the different array of product surrounding the release of '01011001'.. it just screams into your face.. 'BIG'!!

Barnaby Bye - 2008 Interview
Dec 2008 interview with Bobby and Billy Alessi, Peppy Castro and Mike Ricciardella.

Barnaby Bye - 2008 Thrice Upon A Time
Featuring Balance's Peppy Castro, the uber talented Alessi Brothers and former Network/Aviator drummer Mike Ricciardella, Barnaby Bye are back with a stellar pop record worthy of your attention. Gone for the most part are the Wings, Pilot and Harry Nilsson-isms in favor of a modern pop sound that in a perfect world should be all over the radio.

Benedictum - 2008 Seasons Of Tragedy
Without doubt, Veronica Freeman's voice is the catalyst for the rest of Benedictum to show their wares. As I was at the start of 2006, I was impressed then, and remain so two years on.

Best Of 2008 - 2008 Dangerzone
Here's my best and worst of 2008!.. Alun

Best Of 2008 - 2008 Richard Baldwyn
I have found much to enjoy about the current melodic rock scene. The 'old timers' continue to come up with some surprises (take a bow Messr's Rundgren and Springfield), there's a steady stream of 'classic' AOR reissues (e.g. Russia, Cobra)`and some great new acts such as Ladyhawke, The Bright and The Script.

Binges, The - 2008 The Binges
Highly revered pop rock musical doyen Kim Fowley has made the declaration that 'The Binges are the future!'

Black Tide - 2008 Light From Above
Do not confuse with this band in terms of whether they are thrash, nu metal or what have you. Simply put, Black Tide is the spirit of old school metal wrapped up in young bodies and minds.

Blackmore's Night - 2008 Secret Voyage
Overall, an excellently produced CD, musicianship second to none, of course that's expected, but you feel a real 'enjoyment' of making this a great release, the feeling, the care.. and this comes across to the listener.

Blood Of The Sun - 2008 Death Ride
lood Of The Sun play classic hard prog/rock with a fantastic Hammond Organ, courtesy of Dave Gryder who previously played with Prog band Covenent. If you like your classic Deep Purple then Blood Of The Sun are their bastard sons.

Brainstorm - 2008 Downburst
'Downburst' has a formularized sound to it - one that is known only to Brainstorm. They know what works for them and keep to it without too much variation to the recipe.

Bright, The - 2008 In Lucid Dreams
The Bright live up to their name, with a sound guaranteed to take them places. 2008 continues a great run of melodic rock music, and you can easily add The Bright to the list of year-end contenders!

Brooke, Billy Miles - 2008 All Dressed Up And Nowhere To Go
'It's Only Rock 'n Roll' to quote The Rolling Stones.. right Billy? Damn straight, and speaking of the Stones, those bad boys of rock are the touchstone for 'All Dressed Up And Nowhere To Go', We're talking the down and dirty period of 'Sticky Fingers' with a greasy helping of early skinny and cool haired Rod Stewart and a smattering of the glitter rock ala David Bowie and Mott The Hoople.

Brother Firetribe - 2008 Heart Full Of Fire
Well, I am going to keep the summary brief. So early on in 2008 you have some very good investment choices to make. Brother Firetribe without doubt, is an automatic compulsory addition to your music collection if you are regular reader of this site, and/or a fan of melodic hard rock/AOR. That's it - pure and simple. Buy!!

Bullet (Sweden) - 2008 Bite The Bullet
Anyone who thought the sound of early 80's Krokus, AC/DC and Judas Priest was dead and buried, never to be revived might want to lend an ear to up and coming Swedish metalheads Bullet.

By, Kjetil - 2008 Kjetil By
It's hard not to ignore the Stage Dolls influence, more so from their later studio albums. Stylistically it's easy to compare, but without their glossy production.

Circle II Circle - 2008 Delusions Of Grandeur
Circle II Circle will appeal to those of you who have a penchant for the heavier side of the alleyway, in preference to the pink and fluffy flamingo lined boulevards of AOR!

Cirkus - 2008 Let The Madness Begin
We continue the run on Swedish glam rock with the band Cirkus. You can easily tell these guys have their hearts, minds and guitar strings sourced from the late great 70's. Take a dose of glam a la T-Rex, a pinch of classic 70's rock a la Aerosmith and Zeppelin, and you've pretty much summed up Cirkus in a sentence or two.

Cotton Soeterboek Band - 2008 Twisted
The Cotton Soeterboek Band might be a new name on people's lips, but the two main personnel of this outfit have their own history to tell. Thankfully they get to tell it together.

Crowcuss - 2008 Crowcuss [2 on 1]
Just recently, Duluth based novelty/reissue label Super Oldies has released a great tribute to this Canadian band with a limited edition CD release of their two albums on a 2 on 1 format.

Cut Lips - 2008 China White [ep]
Cut Lip's Myspace page says they are 'The best shit you ever heard!!!' Brave words indeed, but these guys match the bravado with some attitudinal Swedish rawk and rawl not heard since.. well.. I'll leave that up to you to decide.

Cyclops (USA) - 2008 Resurrection
Here is a New York band from the late 70s that flew so low under the radar that they could have been a lawnmower! We're talking about the one and only Cyclops. To my way of thinking, they were the East Coast's answer to Angel.

Damien, Dannie - 2008 A Cowboy No One Gets
We've reviewed a few Italian bands of late, you can now add glam rocker Dannie Damien to the list. Don't be put off by the dubious album title, this is actually pretty good, given the frugal resources afforded this self released effort.

Danger - 2008 First Touch
Last year, we had the Swedish band CC Rock thrill us with their debut EP. This year in 2008, countrymen Danger do the honours, with their EP 'First Touch'.

Danger Avenue - 2008 Danger Avenue [ep]
Earlier this year we bought to you a great new AOR act called Elevener. From Gothenburg Sweden, they are now joined by another outfit breaking out of the Swedish capital of prog metal. These boys are called Danger Avenue, and present a very Americanised sound that is mainly AOR but with a slightly glammy/pop edge too, but don't tell them that!

Dark Sky - 2008 Empty Faces
For me, 'Empty Faces' wasn't as exciting as some of their previous work. I felt that the keys weren't as prominent on this set than on earlier recordings, therefore the album just lacked slightly in texture and colour.

Def Leppard - 2008 Songs From The Sparkle Lounge
For discerning punters, this year has been a pretty good one thus far, but 'Songs From The Sparkle Lounge' will be struggling to make it onto everyone's top 10 list in my opinion.

Dirty Passion - 2008 Dirty Passion [demos EP]
Formed in 2006, Malmo locals Dirty Passion have been busy promoting their brand of L.A styled glam/sleaze hard rock, culminating in a raft of songs ready for presentation to interested punters.

Dokken - 2008 Lightning Strikes Again
Surprisingly, after having listen to this in its entirety, it stacks up ok. For what it's worth, 'Lightning Strikes Again' is not the total write-off people have been telling me it is. Sure, a couple of ill-advised additions to the album might drop its rating a couple of half-notches, but considering there are 12 tracks here, it still leaves a good majority in the very good category.

Dragonforce - 2008 Ultra Beatdown
ALBUM OF THE MONTH - AUG 2008. Enjoy 'Ultra Beatdown' for what it is, a sonic overkill where speed and melody collide at the crossroads!

Dreamer (USA) - 2008 We've Got The Power
ALBUM OF THE MONTH - OCT 2008. Californian band Dreamer are an 80's AOR paradise. This new album is a retrospective collection. For me, this is the best AOR-FM release so far. The packaging is pretty special, the CD is a limited collectors edition with only 750 copies being printed.

Dreamtide - 2008 Dream And Deliver
Dreamtide surely don't offer peanuts with their output. Fourteen songs are sure to keep listeners happy in terms of value for money. The songs overall are classy, without being razor sharp. The balance is definitely in favour of hard rocking songs, with three or four ballads to soften up the load.

Dupree, Robbie - 2008 Time And Tide
'Time And Tide' is his Robbie Dupree's 2008 effort, the first album in five years, and it seems to have created a bit of a resurgence in his career. If you've followed Robbie from day one then you'll be aware that not much has changed stylistically for the man from Woodstock. His songs breathe life, the production is a blend of earthy organics and lush warmth.

Echo Jet - 2008 Echo Jet
Echo Jet leave behind a contrail of edgy but melodic sound waves that lingers on the memorable, but at the same time, treads unnervingly on the disposable.

Eclipse (Sweden) - 2008 Are You Ready To Rock
Admittedly 2008 was a great year for melodic rock, even if the industry didn't have the stats to back up what was a memorable year. We've reviewed a bunch of albums, but strangely, Eclipse's 'Are You Ready To Rock' was not covered. Slap us with a feather duster why don't you.. In fact, a severe kick up the backside is required, as this album is an absolute head-turner in the world of melodic hard rock.

Elevener - 2008 When Kaleidoscopes Collide
ALBUM OF THE MONTH - JUL 2008. Just as we are getting our breath back after a slew of sensational 2008 releases, along comes a sensational new Swedish duo to set us on our way again. The project is called Elevener, and this duo are encamped in AOR territory, with a serious right to defend the melodic heartland with a serious arsenal of good songs and a supply of professional musicianship.

Elias Hulk - 2008 Unfinished Business
Recently reviewed here was a long lost album from 1970 - Elias Hulk. The last thing we expected was to hear from one of the band members. Even more shocking was the news a CD/EP had just been released!

Elliot Minor - 2008 Elliot Minor
This young British band from Yorkshire kinda appeal to me on a number of levels. They give you the outward impression that they are a bunch of geeks stuck in a 60's/70's timewarp.

Everon - 2008 North
'North' is perhaps a bit lighter than the prog rock or prog metal fare that is on offer now, but don't underestimate their ability to deliver good music.

Faith Circus - 2008 Faith Circus
These songs are firmly planted in the style of many fine bands of the mid 80s - very early 90s timeframe. I mentioned Winger in a comment on 'Turn Up The Band', and I'll throw Tyketto and early Black N Blue in there as well.

Ferras - 2008 Aliens And Rainbows
For starters, 'Aliens And Rainbows' is a good enough pointer toward the future for Mr Alqaisi. I look forward to albums number two, three.. and beyond.. well beyond..
Articles Cloud
Souther, JD - 1979 You're Only Lonely, Southern Sons - 1990 Southern Sons, Supreme Majesty - 2001 Tales Of A Tragic Kingdom, Critical Mass - 1980 It's What's Inside That Counts, Band Of Skulls - 2014 Himalayan, Ambition - 2006 Ambition, Journey - 1978 Infinity, Gasolin' - 1976 Efter Endunu Ed Dag, Montrose - 1976 Jump On It, Mayday - 1982 Revenge, Canned Rock - 1978 Kinetic Energy, Cats - 1980 Cats, Klaatu - 1981 Magentalane, Warmachine - 2005 The Beginning Of The End, Addiction - 1985 Get Hooked
Stonewall Autograph Sahara (Sweden) Starship Glass Tiger Deep Purple Todd Hobin Redd Kross Johnny Van Zant Band Van Zant Jumpstreet Metallica Maltese Falcon Richard Stepp Ange The Beatles Paul McCartney Mike Greene Jack Russell Great White Wounded Bird Rock Candy Records Henry Paul Band Ligeia John Wetton Poison The Cryers Dio Billy Greer Wounded Bird Streets Rock Candy Records Mike Slamer Steve Walsh Trees Sheila Big Big Train Wounded Bird Small Faces Wounded Bird Souther Hillman Furay Band Iron Butterfly
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