ISSA – Run With The Pack

Issa Oversveen made her first notable appearance on the melodic rock scene back in 2010. Her debut release ‘Sign of Angels’ quickly got attention from the AOR die-hards, with some proclaiming the album “a female fronted Journey”. An odd claim, since the songs neither had a particularly 80s shine and it had a distinctly European flair. That of course seemed only fitting with Issa hailing from Norway and her hired help all being European; it was a little better than most of the second division melodic rock being released at the time, but was still quite workmanlike. A follow up, ‘The Storm’ appeared surprisingly quickly in 2011 which, on the surface, promised more of the same but upon closer inspection boasted a better production and bigger and better songs. It may have accentuated the Euro slant a little more, but the results were enjoyable.

Keen to promote Issa as the new queen of a purer AOR sound, Frontiers Records pulled a master stroke in 2012 when ‘Can’t Stop’ presented the vocalist with a selection of melodic rock covers from the 80s and 90s. Obviously the big hitters like Journey and Survivor weren’t accounted for, but the choice of second division material made the album all the more interesting. For melodic rock buffs, it was fun to hear cult material originally recorded by the likes of Aviator, Tower City and Mystic Healer re-interpreted by new hands. It also was a welcome reminder of a golden period when now defunct labels like MTM Music were cranking out interesting albums on a monthly basis. Following a three year hiatus, 2015’s ‘Crossfire’ was well received by the faithful but, predictably, didn’t make any kind of impact beyond the melodic rock fraternity. As melodic rock albums go, it was a reasonable listen – the upbeat style of ‘Long Time Coming’ harked back to 1990 and was very much a highlight – but after the covers album, it never felt like it deserved as much stereo time.

Continue reading

Watch ‘Exit Suite’, the new video from Gazpacho

Norwegian progressive rock band Gazpacho are back! It’s been a long time since the release of their dark opus ‘Molok’, but the past three years have been spent creating new music and touring.

The first fruits of that new music can now be heard with ‘Exit Suite’ and its accompanying video, which you can stream in full below.

Continue reading

“We Are All Going To Die”: Spielbergs unveil optimistic new music

Fusing elements of shoegaze and the more accessible bits of a post rock sound, Norwegian trio Spielbergs make a big impression on their new single.

‘We Are All Going To Die’ harks back to the 90s whilst keeping one foot firmly in the present.  Their wall of sound approach can be emotionally draining, yet at the same time, their new music has an intensely rousing quality that fans of shoegaze and associated subgenres shouldn’t miss.

You can listen in full below.

Continue reading