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Articles: 2004 Articles
38 Special - 2004 Drive Train
This album has a late 80's vibe, that evokes Molly Hatchet's 'Lightning Strikes Twice', hardly sounding like an album recorded in 2004. That can only be a positive sign, but it doesn't necessarily make for a consistent album, even with Jim Peterik co-writing.

707 - 2004 The Bridge
So here it is after all this time - we've heard rumours for years that an unreleased 707 gem was lurking out there somewhere, and they've proved true, as revealed in a recent interview we did with Kevin Russell. 'The Bridge' was recorded in 1982 - but released many years later..

Aces High - 2004 Forgive And Forget
Despite the passing of time, the band still retain the core of their personnel, to release their third album in ten years. Thankfully, the band have found their original form, and give us a set that goes very close to replicating their 'Ten N Out' material, but not quite.

Aerosmith - 2004 Honkin' On Bobo
Aerosmith decided to record an album of early blues classics by artists such as Willie Dixon and 'Big' Joe Williams among others. In the process they have rediscovered their original raw sound, sounding at last like the rockers fans came to expect.

Alex, Sam - 2004 Pieces
From the same stable that bought you the German band Affair, comes another budding melodic rocker with his heart (and ears for that matter) in the right place. His name is Sam Alex, and he looks like he's stepped right out of another era..

Alyson Avenue - 2004 Omega
Back in 2000, Swedish AORsters Alyson Avenue released a superb female fronted effort called 'Presence Of Mind'. 2004 effort 'Omega' struggles to maintain the good work.

Asperity - 2004 The Final Demand
Asperity is the by-product of members from the bands Steel Attack, Canal Forge and In Thy Dreams. All Swedish, and all plying the power/melodic metal path. Judging from reports on the Internet, the guys in Asperity wanted to produce music that was less metal, and with an emphasis on melody..

Axia - 2004 Axia
Good lord, what on earth is this? A Swedish band with their roots stuck way back in 1985, and featuring Pettersson, better known from those Swedish bible belters Leviticus who he joined later on.

Baltimoore - 2004 Ultimate Tribute
Bjorn Lodin's Baltimoore are back with their new album, a tribute to a bunch of 70's rock legends such as Rainbow, Montrose, Deep Purple and Thin Lizzy.

Big Big Train - 2004 Gathering Speed
I'd have to say that most of 'Gathering Speed' seems like a far cry from the sheer wonder of 'Goodbye To The Age Of Steam'. On the other hand, it's a little less complex than the overtly ambitious 'Bard'.

Black Abyss - 2004 Angels Wear Black
In the seemingly never ending parade of German Power Metal hopefuls comes Black Abyss, who to their credit have put in fifteen years of service to heavy metal. Fifteen years has translated into only three studio albums

Blind Date #2 - 2004 Blind Date
Damned if I caught up with this lot far too late. Blind Date are an excellent band, and they've retrospectively released an excellent album, steeped in the same wonderful tradition as Danger Danger, Firehouse and Hot Shot.

Bonrud - 2004 Bonrud
So what of the music? Well, if you read what some of the other melodic rock websites are saying, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the Bonrud album was a load of old cobblers! It isn't.

Boogie Stuff - 2004 Have Mercy!
Germany has the ability to turn up the odd surprise or two. Not known for delivering the rock world with acts that have been slurried on the back of Jack Daniels, a garage load of Harleys and an armful of tattoos, they have turned up an outfit called Boogie Stuff - who play, as the title might suggest, hard edged blues/boogie in that traditional 'suvvern' style!

Book Of Reflections - 2004 Book Of Reflections
This may be a super-group but it is far from a super-group performance.

Bowes Morley - 2004 Mo's Barbeque
Fans of British band Thunder will be in two camps over this release. They'll either love it or hate it. You see, it's not strictly a melodic rock release despite the appearance on Frontiers Records.

Breaking Benjamin - 2004 We Are Not Alone
2002 saw their debut 'Saturate' do just that out in the market place. Combining big riffs and even bigger harmonies, the band struck a chord, and a rich vein of popularity. Come 2004, and their sophomore release 'We Are Not Alone' amplifies their debut and then some..

Bush, Stan - 2004 Shine
'Shine' follows on from 2001's 'Language Of The Heart'. The jangly melodic lite rock/AOR a continuation of that album, a tamer but nonetheless digestible approach, it is similar to the early days of Canadians Bryan Adams and Stan Meissner, but is unlike the pomp and bombast from his 'Barrage' days.. those days long gone it would seem.

Casanova - 2004 All Beauty Must Die
Casanova was given a rebirth. Signed to Escape Music, Voss and his former colleagues (Neumeier, Attig and Eurich) returned with 'All Beauty Must Die'. Is it as good as their first two albums 'Casanova' and 'One Night Stand'..? The answer.. no. But then again, I doubt they were ever trying to scale those heavenly heights.

Chastain - 2004 In An Outrage
After his prolific output in the 80's, spread between his solo releases and bands Chastain and CJSS, David Chastain himself has been somewhat silent with his band, this was Chastain's first album in seven years, since 1997's 'In Dementia'.

Clearland - 2004 Gift From Time
This is a thoroughly likeable CD that has its moments. It veers more to the prog side of the hard rock fence, but the tight (hence less grandiose and shorter) moments will appeal to all the AORsters and hard rockers out there.

Collective Soul - 2004 Youth
Georgia's Collective Soul could best be described as Pearl Jam lite. However, their 2004 effort 'Youth' is no Pearl Jam love fest, but surprise, surprise a record for the most part influenced by '70s glam rock.

Crossfade - 2004 White On Blue
The project is mean't to be a throwback to the classic days of West Coast, a la Steely Dan, Toto, Michael McDonald and Ambrosia. Admirable yes, but the end result is but a mere forethought as to the influence as opposed to the output.

Dare - 2004 Beneath The Shining Water
As much as I liked their debut and second effort (despite the latter's metal tendencies), I have come to terms that we will never get another album like 'Out Of The Silence' again.

David - 2004 David III
Less of a science-fiction theme this time around (only the album cover passes a fleeting glance), David has given us a powerful selection of tunes; a mixture of bruising rockers, pompous and parpy keyboard arrangements, and a couple of covers.

Deacon Street Project - 2004 Deacon Street Project
Reading reports on the Deacon Street Project suggests that the material on offer, are hand-me-downs from other projects. Well then, if that is the case, then Tommy Denander and partner Chris Demming certainly know a thing or two about picking prime off-cuts for our musical digestion.

Dionysus - 2004 Anima Mundi
There is something appealing about this band that has captured my curiosity and interest since listening to their 2002 debut 'Sign Of Truth'. OK, I'll admit it, I love this band..

Distant Thunder - 2004 Welcome The End
James Rivera is back!!! The Helstar, Destiny's End and Seven Witches vocalist brings his latest incarnation to the world.

Dragonland - 2004 Starfall
Dragonland are another of the many Swedish bands populating the progressive metal circuit at present. They are a rare breed, having managed to combine super rich melodies with a full-on sonic assault.

Dream Evil - 2004 The Book Of Heavy Metal
If it were possible you would notice this page moving about violently as I bang my head while writing this review for Dream Evil's latest and greatest 'The Book Of Heavy Metal'. It is the band's third album and if you're familiar with this mini super-group then get ready for another installment of very classy melodic metal.

Dreamscape - 2004 End Of Silence
Dreamscape have been one of those bands that fate has dealt a cruel blow just on the verge of greatness. Today they are a very tight-knit unit with a monster vocalist in Roland Stoll. This guy has got the goods, and Dreamscape deliver a tidal wave of prime melodic progressive metal.

DuBrow, Kevin - 2004 In For The Kill
Kevin DuBrow's first solo album, is a covers affair of well known and obscure 70's hard rock tracks. An above average set here, heads above the majority of bland covers albums which has become the norm. At least DuBrow has put some thought and imagination into the track listing, with some familiar and not so tracks making the cut. DuBrow himself turns in a fine vocal effort, obviously enjoying the chance to sink his teeth into his favoured tunes.

Edguy - 2004 Hellfire Club
Tobias Sammet and his bunch of metal larrikins will most likely view 2004 as a very prosperous year thanks to their latest release 'Hellfire Club'.

Europe - 2004 Start From The Dark
Europe's 2004 comeback album 'Start From The Dark' is not the sort of comeback most fans would welcome. Gone are all of the elements which made their formative years - all but a distant memory.

Fates Warning - 2004 FWX
A lot of people will say this album is forgettable, and while I do agree that they played this style a lot better on 'Disconnected', FWX can certainly stand on its own and I spin the album quite frequently.

Final Frontier - 2004 The Second Wave
Final Frontier it's something quite different. 80's AOR is more the flavor, lining up alongside acts such as Honeymoon Suite and Tour De Force as a rough guide.

Firewind - 2004 Forged By Fire
'Forged By Fire' is the bands strongest effort yet. To truly stand out, the band needed to vary their songs and arrangements, and they've done it on this disc.

Flame - 2004 Blaze
This variant of Flame bring to mind the likes of fellow 80's rabble rousers Kix, Ratt, Tesla and Cinderella. In fact, lead singer Phillip Andrew Sullivan does the Jeff Keith/Tommy Kiefer thing quite well..

Foreigner - 2004 All Access Tonight: 25th Anniversary [DVD]
This DVD release from 2002, celebrates the 25th Anniversary of the bands existence. Someone should've told Mick Jones not to bother getting the cameras out. Sadly it does not show the band in their best light..

Ghost Machinery - 2004 Haunting Remains
So what of Ghost Machinery then? Fans of Burning Point will be familiar with chief destroyer Pete Ahonen. However, what will amaze hard rockin' fans is that the band have a lot in common with the likes of Talisman and Yngwie J Malmsteen, plus of course a few of their Scandinavian contemporaries in Requiem, Thunderstone and Supreme Majesty.

Grand Illusion - 2004 Ordinary Just Won't Do
Grand Illusion return in 2004 with their latest 'Ordinary Just Won't Do', and the quality-meter hasn't dropped off one bit in between times. If anything, the band have solidified their sound, with the addition of permanent guitarist Ola Af Trampe, and Peter Sundell's vocals as powerful as ever.. perhaps too over-powering at times.

Happy The Man - 2004 The Muse Awakens
The bands last official studio affair was 1978's 'Crafty Hands', which saw them accepted as leaders of the US prog rock scene (a.k.a Ameriprog), so a lot of expectations were held for this much belated studio comeback.

Harlan Cage - 2004 The Very Best Of
Of course, Harlan Cage are the logical successor to that mighty L.A based Fortune from all those years ago. Those one-album wonders who disappeared off the face of the earth before they had time to be found!

Harlequin (Canada) - 2004 II
The music is earthy rock and roll, a la Tom Cochrane, Red Rider with the occasional splash of Stan Meissner induced melody.

Heartplay - 2004 Where The Dead Ends Meet
A fine example of West Coast/AOR originating out of Finland. Heartplay, the band, originated in 1997 and featured among their alumni, the future Urban Tale singer Kimmo Blom.

Helix - 2004 Rockin' My Outer Space
'Rockin' My Outer Space' is a new record, with a new line-up, and err hmm.. a new sound?

Hibria - 2004 Defying The Rules
This Brazilian outfit give us a pure dose of 80's metal a la Iron Maiden, Priest and Helloween. Impressive.

Horizon (France) - 2004 Worlds Apart
A French/Germanic collaboration? Something you don't see too often. I was quite impressed with Horizon's debut, but this second effort is mostly buried under a substandard production.

House Of Mirrors - 2004 Nightflight To Paradise
House Of Mirrors deliver a highly-enticing brand of melodic rock, which has it's roots set firmly in the style of Swedish rockers Treat.

House Of Shakira - 2004 First Class
This is such a good album it is difficult to find a place to start. Perhaps Andreas Eklund is as a good a place as any. The guy will crown himself a vocal god with this album. For those who haven't heard him yet (shame on you) Andreas is Steve Perry and Danny Vaughn's love child, vocally so to speak. In other words a friggin' good singer. The band behind him are also first rate, kicking out music so melodic and cheerful you'll be on cloud 29 for a week.