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Articles: 2011 Articles

Airrace - 2011 Back To The Start
Let's be honest here. 'Back To The Start' is one of the better Frontiers releases during the first half of 2011. It maintains the British perception of grittiness, the fighting qualities of the bulldog (literally speaking of course) without letting the sheen of a decades worth of 80's North American AOR dominate precedings. I think this album will surprise a lot of people actually..

Alyson Avenue - 2011 Changes
Good to see Niclas and the team back in 2011. They do happen to take lengthy interludes between albums, and considering the band has been on/off now for the best part of three decades, any recorded music from Alyson Avenue is better than none.

Amaranthe - 2011 Amaranthe
Just quite what Gothenberg based melodic death metallers Amaranthe are doing here on GDAZE might be confusing, but I'll let you read on..

Angeline - 2011 Disconnected
I must say, I think I enjoyed this album more than its predecessor 'Confessions', no doubt the band have kicked on solidly since 2010, and this has manifested in what is possibly Angeline's finest moment. 'Disconnected' comes highly recommended.

Antblad, Chris - 2011 Century
The album comes across as pretty tame actually, and because of that, I was hoping to hear something a little bit more edgy, which didn't really occur.

Anvil - 2011 Juggernaut Of Justice
Having enjoyed tremendous exposure since the success of the excellent 'Anvil: The Story of Anvil' documentary in 2008, Anvil thankfully have sacrificed nothing when it comes to brandishing their trademark form of heavy metal, pioneered way back in the late 70's.

Atkins/May Project - 2011 Serpents Kiss
An album that is probably the surprise packet of the 2011 year for me. Al Atkins of course is forever linked to brummie faves Judas Priest..

Bad Habit - 2011 Atmosphere
Is there a weakness here? Not to me there isn't. Every song works well, and I could be playing this thing for weeks to come.

Beautiful Beast - 2011 Adult Oriented Candy
If you're into bands like the aforementioned London, and are still waiting for that killer 2011 glam/hair album to come along, then investigate Beautiful Beat in the meantime.

Beggars And Thieves - 2011 We Are The Brokenhearted
The fact that this CD has turned heads is a testament that classic rock in its purest form, will always rise to the surface like cream over milk. One of the better albums for 2011, that much is certain..

Beitthemeans - 2011 Head Held High
Crawling out the swamplands of Sylacauga, Alabama, comes the power trio called Beitthemeans. I can hear the influences of early grunge, Edgar Winter and Led Zeppelin.

Benedictum - 2011 Dominion
For old style HM fans, Benedictum deliver a little bit of everything, and keep the flag flying for all the old warhorses, witches and warlocks.

Big Life - 2011 Big Life
British melodic rocker Steve Newman has seen enough of his name blasted all over this website during the past decade or more. But in 2011, he tries something a little bit different.

Bridger - 2011 Bridger
Some good songs here, variable styles, but Bridger really needed to be a little more convincing overall to appeal to hard rock fans.

Bright, The - 2011 Objects Of My Affection
I was impressed with 'In Lucid Dreams' but I think 'Objects Of My Affection' is a major step in the right direction, and I'm completely sold! Hook line and sinker.

Bullet (Sweden) - 2011 Highway Pirates
There aren't too many bands worth getting excited about these days, but Bullet are a massive exception to that rule.

Cars, The - 2011 Move Like This
It was always on the cards that Bostonian faves The Cars would return to their reserved parking space held for them since their industrious days of the 80's. The band have decided to return to the sound from the 70's, and even though Roy Thomas Baker is not involved, sonically, Ric Ocasek has returned them to the era where their songs were fun and interesting.

Cassle - 2011 Cassle
Archive stuff can be hit and miss but here's one of the better offerings I've heard in recent months. Cassle hailed from Southern California and originally played in a pseudo gothic progressive rock style while later in their career borrowed from the upstart New Wave of British Heavy Metal and very much looked the part.

Coastland Ride - 2011 On Top Of The World
Sadly in a year that was rife with musical treasures, Coastland Ride's comeback album 'On Top Of The World' falls short as one of its better offerings.

Coldspell - 2011 Out From The Cold
Really, it's all bruising stuff, and you know this is one classy affair when melody pours through the speakers without Coldspell not even out of first gear!

Crossfade - 2011 Secret Love
I gave the debut Crossfade album a right shellacking back in 2004. After the debut, am I really in a position to be reviewing 'Secret Love'? Is there a chance of redemption on my part? The short answer is.. yes. It must be said that I had to dig really deep to extract words out of the aether to be cast downward into this review. I'm glad I made the effort, as this 'Secret Love' has some good moments.

Danger Zone - 2011 Line Of Fire
Though recently released as part of Avenue Of Allies pending January 2011 batch of albums, Danger Zone are in fact an old 80's band, who had resources behind them to crack the big time in the USA, but ultimately got worn down by the industry.

Daughtry - 2011 Break The Spell
Unfortunately for Daughtry, the downward trend in sales and airplay continued with this album. It's not a knock on the quality of the material, but rather that the novelty has worn off since Chris Daughty is getting further removed from his success on American Idol.

Daylight Robbery - 2011 Cross Your Heart.. And Hope To Die
Like many bands finding a new lease in the melodic rock genre, You just know that Daylight Robbery are itching to make up for lost time. The musicianship is really top-notch, and considering this is a self-produced effort, it's quite staggering the quality is this good.

Deathraiser - 2011 Violent Aggression
It's encouraging to see new thrash bands keeping the scene alive and despite being written off year after year, the genre continues because of Deathraiser and others like them.

Divinefire - 2011 Eye Of The Storm
As an album, 'Eye Of The Storm' pretty much operates on two speeds: fast and faster. If you can handle that, all power to you.

Dream Theater - 2011 A Dramatic Turn Of Events
'A Dramatic Turn Of Events' came after the worst turbulence in Dream Theater's history - the split with one of the founders of the band, Mike Portnoy. The band moved on quickly to reassure the fans they are still the band prog metal lovers know and appreciate - and maybe did it a little too well?

Dynazty - 2011 Knock You Down
Lean and mean, trim to bone, chuck in a dab of that aforementioned glam/sleaze and this lot are at the top of their game.

Elevener - 2011 Symmetry In Motion
Along with the aforementioned Bad Habit, plus new boys H.E.A.T and Houston, Elevener ensure that Swedish AOR is in pretty good hands at the moment.

Enbound - 2011 And She Says Gold
Meet Enbound. Sweden's latest prog metallers with a surprising connection to one of AOR-dom's most favourite bands of the last few years. Read on..

Fiona - 2011 Unbroken
A brace of albums from 1985 to 1992, and then kapoof.. off into the New Jersey sunset for marriage and kids.. until.. some twenty years later.. and wow.. Inspired and encouraged to get back into the groove again amid constant badgering from longtime fans, industry buddies, 'Unbroken' is the result.

Firewölfe - 2011 Firewölfe
Classic 80's metal is revived by the inter-continental US band Firewölfe. Fans of Savatage should investigate immediately.

Fowler, Rick (Band) - 2011 Discordia
Rick, now firmly established with his own Rick Fowler Band, he follows up his 2008 album 'On My Good Foot' with this five-tracker 'Discordia'. It's still a rockin' blues album for sure, slightly more on the rock side of blues rather than the other way around.

Frederiksen, Fergie - 2011 Happiness Is The Road
A pretty good set of AOR tunes from one of AOR's favourite voices.. Dennis 'Fergie' Frederiksen.

Grand Design - 2011 Idolizer
Much like a well baked cake, if the recipe ain't bust, there's no need to change it, as is the case here for this album. If you loved 'Time Elevation', then I doubt I'll be changing your mind anytime soon.

Grand Illusion - 2011 Prince Of Paupers
No two ways about it, the songs here are very strong, and I'll go out on a limb and say they are back to the sort of form that made their 2002 classic 'View From The Top' an automatic entry into my top 10 albums of the decade.

Gunner - 2011 Desire
Argentina's Gunner aren't quite the OTT surprise that their label says they are, but they are close enough to give it a good shake. Pretty good all round

Halestorm - 2011 Reanimate [The Covers EP]
Six groovy covers, and while I don't normally get my rocks off on cover albums, I'll make an exception for this one.

Hell In The Club - 2011 Let The Games Begin
Another enjoyable Italian outfit with a touch of dirt and grit, tough and street fashioned, 'Let The Games Begin' winds us back to the pre-grunge era of the late 80's and early 70's.

Hersey, Iain Ashley - 2011 Vintage Love: Best Of
Hersey has a reputation as a purveyor of guitar in the mould of six-string greats Jeff Beck and Ritchie Blackmore. A tried and true Fender Stratocaster player, Iain has described his sound as 'heavy, bluesy, classic rock with a hint of fusion'.

Hibria - 2011 Blind Ride
'Blind Ride' at the end of the day is probably not up to the same quality as 'Defying The Rules', but I'll take a lesser Hibria album over most other bands in this genre without hesitation.

Hitchcock, Toby - 2011 Mercury's Down
It astounds me that the melodic rock and AOR community still fawn over Steve Perry nearly 15 years after his self imposed move away from public view. Come on people, get with the 21st century, he ain't coming back anytime soon, so let's move onto the next vocal king of the genre - one Toby Hitchcock.

Homerun - 2011 Black World
'Black World' is not as hard as the album cover and title might suggest. If you can handle a mix of the three bands mentioned in the Background section, then there's every chance you might enjoy this.

House Of Lords - 2011 Big Money
Like navigating a heavyweight ship on the murky waters of melodic rock, House Of Lords are 'steady as she goes' yet again, and deliver their cargo with maximum payload.

Human Zoo - 2011 Eyes Of The Stranger
There are a bunch of good songs onboard that are well worth investigating. Admittedly it won't set your house on fire and there are enough references to tell that these guys are very centered among the hard rock genre outfits featured elsewhere on GD.

Infinity - 2011 Infinity
The pre-cursor to 1993's fantastic Red Dawn, this is Infinity, David Rosenthal's combination with North Dakota's favourite son: Mitch Malloy.

Issa - 2011 The Storm
Frontiers have been spoiling melodic rockers with some quality releases during 2011, 'The Storm' now added to the stockpile.

Jeffries, Gary - 2011 Middle Class Man
I have enjoyed Gary in his various guises, over the years. Some people have described this as the best Southern Rock release in a long time, I disagree.

Journey - 2011 Eclipse
Despite a handful of tunes achieving a pass mark, for the first time, I can say unequivocally that this is perhaps the most disappointing Journey album I've listened to.

Kimball Jamison - 2011 Kimball Jamison
It was kinda inevitable that two of the great voices of AOR would eventually combine for a dual effort. Incredibly it's taken them nearly three decades to join forces, on what is 80's styled AOR within a modern setting, predictably delivered with few surprises.. just what all the regulars would expect to hear from the pair.