Here is a collection of what is happening in the world of singles, albums, tours, gigs and all that jazz in February! It may be cold outside but it’s a hot month for The Drop!
Metamorphosis, Dead Blonde Stars – Sheffield quintet Dead Blonde Stars are back and dirtier than ever! If you’re wanting a trip down memory lane to the early emergence of grunge from bands such as Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam, these are the guys for you. This is the band’s second album and they are releasing it all by themselves on 3rd February! They’ve played awesome events such as Wildfire and Rockin the Bowl and they won Band of the Year 2022, thanks to the listeners of Great Music Stories Radio. “Metamorphosis” is available for pre-order now! Genre: Grunge/Alternative Rock
Moments of Clairty, Narrowhead – US rockers Narrowhead have announced their 3rd album, “Moments of Clairty” will be dropping on 10th February 2023 via Run For Cover Records and Church Road Records. They released a single back on 16th December called “Narrowhead“, you can watch the video on YouTube now! The sound reminds me very much of mid 2000’s crunchy guitars and churning riffs, a little high school nostalgia for someone my age. If you want to catch them live, Narrowhead are touring the US throughout February supporting garage punk band White Reaper. You can pre-order the album “Moments for Clarity” now! It is available as a CD or Vinyl and they have many merch bundles to choose from too! Genre: Heavy Rock
Out of the Dark, WigWam – Norwegian hard rockers Wig Wam are back and bigger than ever with the latest album “Out of the Dark”. The band formed in Halden, Norway in 2001 and had their first taste of international stardom representing their home country in the Eurovision Song Contest. They performed their track “In My Dreams” (not to confused with Dokken’s song of the same name) and came 9th overall. The band split back in 2014 and reunited in 2019 to record and release their album “Never Say Die” in 2021. Then in 2022, director James Gunn gave the band a surge of popularity thanks to the use of their hit 2010 track “Do You Wanna Taste It” in HBO’s “The Peacemaker”. You can get your hands on the CD from 10th February 2023 but have to wait until 12th May 2023 for the Limited Edition Black LP, which has only 100 copies! Genre: Hard Rock
Hold Your Ground, Khymera – European melodic rock band Khymera and Dennis Ward are back with a brand new album, “Hold Your Ground”. After releasing albums in 2005 and 2008, Dennis wanted to take time out to do other things and returned to Khymera in 2020 with a new album “Master of Illusions”. Dennis is joined by Michael Klein (guitar), Eric Ragno (keyboard), Michael Kola (drums) and my wonderful friend Pete Newdeck on backing vocals. The album is a great progression of the work before it and is an amazing addition to the melodic rock scene. You can pre-order the album now and is released on 10th February 2023 via Frontiers Music SRL. Genre: Melodic Rock
Ascendency, Infinite & Divine – Another fantastic Swedish collaboration between guitarist/songwriter/producer Jan Åkesson and vocalist Tezzi comes Infinite and Divine and now they release their sophomore album “Ascendency” on 10th February 2023. After meeting each other in 2019, they started writing together which brought around their debut album “Silver Linings”, which was greatly received by the melodic rock community. Tezzi is also in pop metal band Venue 5. If you’re looking for the love child of Swedish melodic metal band Amaranthe and the heavier side of Def Leppard’s “Hysteria”, then this is the album for you! You can pre-order it now over on Frontiers Music Srl. Genre: Melodic Rock
Naked Soul, T3nors – If you’re after a band with three amazing vocalists at the helm, then this brand new AOR project band is just for you! Taking two American vocalists, Robbie LaBlanc and Toby Hitchock and adding a Swedish vocalist, Kent Hilli to the mix, you have an amazing AOR supergroup called T3nors. It was a project that was discussed many moons ago and then with the global pandemic arriving in 2020, everyone had more free time to dedicate to the project. Kent Hilli has been a busy man with his main band Perfect Plan, taking on the role of vocalist for GIANT and his own solo projects with guests including Restless Spirits and Lords of Black guitarist Tony Hernando. Both Toby and Robbie have amazing credentials with many solo albums and collaboration projects under their belts. This album is a must for any AOR fan and you can pre-order “Naked Soul” now and is available from 10th February 2023.
Solar Flare, Shell Beach – Hailing from Hungary, experimental post hardcore band Shell Beach have a lot going on, including a new album “Solar Flare“. Wild Thing Records are releasing this album on 17th February 2023 much to their fans eager anticipation! No stranger to the Festival scene with highlights including Groezrock Festival (BE), Sziget Festival (HU), Rock For People Festival (CZ), Electric Castle (RO), Volt Festival (HU). They are bringing their noisy festival antics to the UK shores from 29th June to 2nd July 2023 at UK Tech Fest, and tickets are still available so if you want to catch a glimpse of them, buy tickets now! You can pre-order “Solar Flare” now, but in the meantime, check out their track “Absolution”. Genre: Post Hardcore
Alive, Robin McAuley – Legendary rock vocalist Robin McAuley is back with his brand new solo album “Alive” via Frontiers Music Srl. Robin has worked with German guitarist Michael Schenker and fronted the band Black Swan. Robin released the album “Generation Mind” with the band and with his creative juices still flowing, went into the studio to work on “Alive“. The album is dropping on 17th February 2023 but if you want the Vinyl, you have to wait until 12th May 2023 (limited to only 100 copies!). The title single is available to listen to now or watch the video on YouTube, and is a brilliant taster of what is yet to come from this album! Genre: Melodic Rock
Face You Fears, First Signal – Fronted by Harry Hess (Harem Scarem), melodic rock act First Signal are back with a brand new album, “Face Your Fears”. This will be the band’s fifth release overall and each time has been lapped up by the AOR/Melodic rock community. First Signal began rocking in 2010 with Harry teaming up with German Producer Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69, Khymera), Harry was presented with some great melodic songs by Frontiers President Serafino Perugino and they had the same vibes as Harem Scarem but they were on a hiatus. Even when Harem Scarem was creating their comeback album “Thirteen”, Harry still wanted to create music under the First Signal, thank God he did. You can grab your hands on “Face Your Fears” from 17th February 2023 or pre-order it now. Genre: Melodic Rock
Eerie Monsters, All My Shadows – Founded in 2020 and signed to Frontier Music Srl, hard rocking quintet All My Shadows are releasing their debut album, “Eerie Monsters” on 17th February 2023. Guitarist Stephen Lill and vocalist Andy Kuntz are known for being in progressive metal band, Vanden Plas. Stephen talks about the writing process when coming to creating this great album, “The idea of recording and releasing some rock songs is something I’ve been thinking about for a while. While composing, I kept coming up with songs that have the spirit of the ’80s. As a big fan of bands from that era, like Whitesnake, Ozzy Osbourne, Dokken, and the like, I still have a huge love for music from that time. The goal was to transport that classic music into the here and now. Hard rock with a powerful production, peppered with modern musical elements,“. When asked if having the members of Vanden Plas being in All My Shadows could run the risk of both bands and its music becoming the same thing. Stephen said “No, Vanden Plas stands very much for progressive metal in all its variations, while All My Shadows stands very much for melodic hard rock. Musical points of contact are there, overlaps are not. All My Shadows have all the characteristics to have their own identity,”. Available to pre-order now via Frontiers Music Srl. Genre: Hard Melodic Rock
III: Weightless, Creye – Swedish melodic rockers Creye have returned with their third album “III:Weightless” dropping on 17th February 2023. Fans will be pleased to hear that they have not strayed from their catchy formula and boasting almost 87k listeners on Spotify, they are here for a good time. They released their single “Spreading Fire” back in December 2022 along with a gorgeous music video you can watch over on YouTube. After spending plenty of time touring Europe in 2019 and making appearances at great festivals such as Melodicrock Fest, Frontiers Rock Sweden, and the Rockingham Festival, fingers crossed we will catch them on a stage in a muddy field in the summer. You can pre-order now! Genre: Melodic Rock
SOMA, Half Me – New kids on the metal block Half Me announce the release of their debut album, SOMA. The band was born in Hamburg in 2018 and wasted no time in making an impact on the metal scene. They self produced their music and videos and caught the eye of Arising Empire. They are a mixture of metal and hardcore with a hard blend of 90s influenced nu-metal, nu-metalcore has been born. Five singles have been released from this album to give everyone a taste of what they are about and if you like these, you need to pre-order the album/LP now and is released on 17th February 2023. Genre: Nu-metlacore
Winter Assault, The Green Door Store, Brighton – If black metal is more your thing, then look no further than this independent festival held at The Green Door Store in Brighton! Doors open at 4pm and you have the whole day to rock your black metal heart out. Necronautical headline the night but with four other bands before them, you are in for one hell of a show! Tickets are still available now so get them while you can! The event is brought to you by South Coast Extreme Metal and for £15 a ticket, or £3 a band, what an absolute bargain! When: 4th February
Twister + Venomous Rose, Tap & Tumbler, Nottingham – The amazing Rock Vibes Nottingham presents an awesome night of rock music provided by North East hard rockers Twister with support from sleazy home town boys Venomous Rose. Doors open at 8pm and what makes it even better, is that it’s free entry! Catch two of the greatest bands on the UK rock scene for one hell of a show! You’d be daft not to!
Winter’s End, Porthcawl, Wales – Planet Rock presents one of the greatest festivals celebrating new and high raising bands. This 3 day event takes place at Trecco Bay Holiday Park in Porthcawl Wales, with 21 bands such as rocking Flamenco bandits Gypsy Pistoleros, dirty hard rockers Daxx and Roxane and smooth rocking blues man Troy Redfern taking to the stage. Day tickets and non accommodation tickets are still available just hit the link to get your tickets now! When: 3rd – 5th February 2023
Rockmantic, The Brickyard, Carlisle – Another brilliant event brought to you by Upstaged held across two days at The Brickyard in Carlisle and this year is celebrating 10 years of the event, which kicked off back in 2013. Friday night headliners are welsh rockers Florence Black with support from the gorgeous Bastette. And Saturday sees Norfolk boys Bad Touch at the helm with the incredible The Hot Damn to back them up. On both days there is so many great bands to see especially A’Priori who you will see a lot of in the coming months. If you want tickets to this fabulous weekend, hit the link now!
That is all I have for this month’s releases. Let me know your thoughts of everything and if there is anything I’ve missed, let me know! Make sure you tune into my radio shows every week, “The HRH AOR Show” Tuesdays 1pm-3pm gmt on hardrockhellradio.com and “Whole Lotta Noize” Thursdays 11pm – 12am gmt on scotlandrocksradio.com. See you there GlamRatters!