The End Machine’s 2019 debut for Frontiers Records presented almost an hour’s worth of classic sounding hard rock. Its sound was exactly as you’d expect from a couple of musicians associated with Dokken and the ex-vocalist from Lynch Mob. It’s higher octane tracks gave George Lynch every opportunity to hammer his fretboard, while the darker and slower workouts put bassist Jeff Pilson squarely in the spotlight. Most importantly, a lot of the numbers wielded huge choruses to great effect, often giving vocalist Robert Mason (ex-Cry of Love/Warrant) plenty to work with. In terms of melodic metal, it was a great disc – certainly much better than Dokken had managed in a few years.
A new band for 2021, One Last Day features vocalist Alex Willox (ex-Bad Solution) and guitarist John Harmsworth. Launching a new project in the middle of a global pandemic isn’t the easiest thing to do, but their debut recording captures various solid riffs that should appeal to fans of bands like Shinedown and Seether.
A new band for 2020, Sinner’s Blood have similarities to Russell Allen’s Level 10 and Jeff Scott Soto’s SOTO project in that their material has a genuine heaviness, but the majority of songs on their debut release ‘The Mirror Star’ also have unashamedly huge choruses. At their best, those choruses will invite you to sing along, but with frontman James Robledo often sounding like South America’s answer to Jorn Lande or Russell Allen, there’s every chance that singing at those volumes will cause untold damage – if not to yourself, at least to your immediate neighbours.
A prolific musician, Magnus Karlsson has worked with many legends from the hard rock and melodic metal scene. You’ll find his name attached to works by Magnum’s Bob Catley, TNT’s Tony Harnell, Russell Allen, Bobby Kimball and Phenomena. He’s also been a member of Euro metallers Primal Fear. Perhaps most importantly, the Swedish multi-instrumentalist has received great press for his own project Free Fall, designed to showcase his melodic metal prowess behind an impressive roll call of guest vocalists. An enjoyable self-titled release set a high musical benchmark in 2013 with a collection of very European sounding bangers. A follow up, 2015’s ‘Kingdom of Rock‘ (not to be confused with an identically titled project from the legendary Michael Schenker), sometimes showed a lighter side with contributions from Joe Lynn Turner and Harem Scarem man Harry Hess and although a more hit and miss disc, it still provided a decent collection filler for anyone enamoured with the style.
Lindsay Schoolcraft released her solo album ‘Martyr’ in October 2019. Nominated for a Juno award, the album presents a world of melodic goth metal that should very much appeal to fans of Evanessence, Nightwish and other bands within that musical sphere.