In this day and age of the deluxe vinyl reissue, few releases are more deserving than ‘Spine of God,’ the debut album from New Jersey Stoner pioneers Monster Magnet. To whet our appetites for a forthcoming studio album later this year, on September 1st the good folks at Napalm Records are releasing ‘Spine of God’ (and its follow-up ‘Tab’) on glorious heavyweight vinyl for the very first time. Finally, this stone-cold classic of the genre can be appreciated in the same way as the Yes and Led Zeppelin classics mentioned in ‘Spine of God’’s Rock-and-Roll-as-Dark-Ritual stomper “Nod Scene;” with “seeds bustin’ up the spine.”
Thirty-five years after its beginnings in a Southern California garage, Metal Blade Records has become an enduring icon in the world of Heavy Rock. Label founder and CEO Brian Slagel’s mission to bring Metal to the masses saw him release his very first compilation, ‘Metal Massacre,’ in 1982; the now-legendary album featured the recording debuts of both Ratt and Metallica among its tracklist. Since then, the acts that have recorded for the venerated label read like a veritable Who’s Who of Hard Rock’s last four decades: Slayer and Armored Saint both released their debuts through Metal Blade, seminal works by Mercyful Fate, King’s X, Voivod, and Flotsam and Jetsam have all been graced by the imprint, and the current roster is one of the industry’s strongest, with acts like Behemoth, GWAR, Byzantine, and Cannibal Corpse currently calling the label home.
Sweet & Lynch – the melodic Metal mega-project led by Stryper’s Michael Sweet and longtime shred god George Lynch – will release ‘Unified’ on November 10 via Frontiers Music SRL. The follow-up to their 2015 debut ‘Only to Rise,’ ‘Unified’ finds Sweet and Lynch once again joined by Dead Daisies drummer Brian Tichy and Hard Rock stalwart bassist James Lomenzo on eleven tracks that promise a combination of slashing riffs and melodic sensibilities, guitar heroism and a Pop-Metal heart of gold. Continue reading
The past few years have seen a renaissance and revitalization in the career of Ace Frehley. He’s become a fixture on the concert circuit, and his two most recent albums, ‘Space Invader’ (2014) and ‘Origins Vol. 1’ (2016), have brought the former KISS axeman some of the loudest critical plaudits and highest chart positions of his Hall of Fame career. With all the hype surrounding these two releases (deserved as it may be), it can be easy to overlook the album that kicked off this new Age of Ace, his 2009 comeback ‘Anomaly’. This deluxe reissue (which is being released September 8th via eOne Music – just in time for Frehley’s run opening for Alice Cooper in Australia and New Zealand later in the month; Nexusers Down Under, this is maybe my textbook definition of a must-see show) will hopefully remedy that; ‘Anomaly’ proved to be Ace’s strongest set of songs since ’78. If you’re an Ace fan and you’ve never heard it, you’ll love it; if you haven’t heard it in a while, it’s well worth exploring again. Continue reading