This is the tenth ”Rock Blog” so far, and the first of 2023, the ”Best Of 2022” episode not withstanding. The first weeks of the year aren’t the busiest time when it comes to new releases, but a few albums have been released already, and I’m going to take a look at some of them.
HIM was a very successful band with their ”Love Metal” sound, one of Finland’s biggest music export success stories. They broke up a few years ago, but the band’s mastermind VILLE VALO has just released his first solo album ”Neon Noir”, under the monicker of VV. I’ve played it a few times and it’s an interesting record. Less metal (more love?) than HIM, it offers a cinematic atmosphere and some fine melodies. If you’re after three minute hits with ”Don’t bore us, get to the chorus” mentality you might be disappointed, but in a certain mood this album works quite well. The again, some of the songs just flow past me and leave no trace whatsoever… I’d say at the moment this gets a RRRr rating, but it could turn into 3 or 4 R’s, we’ll see.
ISSA’s new album ”Lights Of Japan” (RRRR) is another solid effort from her. This time the songs have been penned by her husband James Martin, his brother Tom and the album’ s producer Michele Guaitoli (Visions of Atlantis, Temperance). The Martin brothers used to be in Vega, but rather than traces of that band I heard echoes of their work with Khymera. There's also a slight retro wave vibe in some of the songs, and I wouldn't have minded if that had been explored even further. Favourite tracks: ”Live Again” and ”Fight To Survive”.
I was looking forward to the new BEYOND THE BLACK album, but after the first spin of the self-titled album, I was a bit disappointed. None of the songs really grabbed me like the hits from the previous albums, but I think I’ll give it another chance.
TEN released a new album ”Something Wicked This Way Comes” last week, and I’ve only played it once, but I can already say that it’s a good one. Not necessarily as good as last year’s ”Here Be Monsters”, but good anyway. I’ll get back to this later.
Tomorrow is again Friday, and a bunch of new albums will see the light of day. CROWNE and ARCTIC RAIN are the ones I’m most looking forward to. I might have something to write about them in the next blog entry. Until then... rock on!