Sometimes, all you need is a guitar, a story, and an insane amount of ungodly talent. Ren proves it, singing his macabre tale of Jenny on the streets of Brighton with not much beyond his striking spoken word and flair for theatrical lyric.
Part murder ballad and part alternative anthem, his infectiously rhythmic composition bursts with powerful emotion and staying power. This is no one-off either; there is much devastating beauty in his other personal works. Ren is one to watch.
They are back with their gift for riffs. Hard rockers Burning Rain has finally ended their five-year hiatus, boasting a shiny new line-up this year, with Doug Aldrich (ex-Dio/Whitesnake), vocalist Keith St. John (ex-Montrose), drummer Blas Elias (ex-Slaughter), and bassist Brad Lang (ex-Y&T).
It is no surprise that their new album Face the Music would fit right in the 80s if it had been released then, with its echoes of Aerosmith and Quiet Riot’s early years. Rock ain’t dead, is right.
Electronic music is far from something that I enjoy, but Rage of Light comes close to changing my mind. Successfully integrating trance into metal, they have somehow drastically improved the appeal of something I used to despise with a vengeance.
So does their debut album Imploder, which also features an audacious cover of Twilight Of The Thunder God. They did surprisingly well for an untouchable classic metal anthem, thanks to Melissa Bonny’s vocal prowess, which is a genuine stunner, clean or otherwise.
The 80s live on in Enforcer, who continue to bring new noise and energy to the scene. Die for the Devil reclaims the Swedish band’s top spot in the ranks of modern metal, their revamped sound yet retaining their heavy influences and Lucifer references. Having seen them live once, I would never mind a second ticket to their show.
System of a Down may not be releasing a new album anytime soon, but Serj Tankian is certainly still going strong. This time, he teams up with progressive band O.R.k., lending his prowess to their talent. Black Blooms is but one of several indelibly melancholic masterworks off Ramagehead, and LEF does well enough on his own. Even so, his emotionally charged vocal truly finds no better complement than Tankian’s powerful voice.
Have you ever done a YouTube deep dive? Nothing weird, but the delve into the endless depth of recommended videos till you stumble upon something or someone cool, like Lauren Babic. Beyond her covers of bands from Periphery to Paramore, she also fronts the amazing Red Handed Denial. I have but one valid question about her music… does it djent? To that, they say, 0-0-1-1-1-0-0.