It's time for another look at the stuff I've been listening to, and actually enjoying. I'll throw in a list of the stuff I didn't like at the end, to keep in the tradition of me hating everything.
Creeper - Eternity, In Your Arms
This is not at all the sort of thing that goes down well here, but I absolutely love it. If I had to choose today, it would probably be my favorite album so far this year. Meat Loaf-ian punk rock that revels in its cheesiness. I have weird taste, I know.
Royal Thunder - Wick
I remember listening to their last record when it got a ton of buzz, but I didn't get much from it. This record isn't all that different, but it strikes me as being a dramatically better album. I'm not usually big on this kind of swampy, often screaming rock, but there's some very deft songwriting here. Won't be one of my favorites, but it's definitely good and enjoyable.
The Warning - XXI Century Blood
I found this by chance. They're three teenage sisters who are doing the Halestorm before they decided they had to prove their 'rock cred' schtick. It's totally pop/rock stuff, but it's remarkably well written and performed for them being so young. I'm definitely impressed.
Life Of Agony - A Place Where There's No Pain
This one will polarize people, even without getting into gender politics. I seemed to be one of the few people who enjoyed "Broken Valley", and this record is in that style, with maybe a touch more of their original hardcore in the mix. It's clearly not a return to "River Runs Red", and I think it's going to disappoint a lot of people because of that. It's also not a record that feels good enough, given how long it's been since the band made one. It's solid, but I was expecting a bit more.
And now for the stuff I didn't care for:
Mastodon - Emperor Of Sand (Still too sludgy with bad vocals)
Trial - Motherless (Watered down Kind Diamond traditional metal with no hooks)
Labyrinth - Architecture Of A God (Pleasant, but utterly forgettable)
I'm looking forward to:
Jorn - Life On Death Road
I don't know if the new band is what Jorn needs, but his last couple of projects have been really good, so now is the time for him to finally make a good solo record.
The Ferrymen - S/T
Magnus Karlsson has gotten a bit stale, but he's a really good songwriter, so I'm hoping he's got a few more gems in the bag for this.
Orden Ogan - Gunmen
I just saw this one announced today. They're one of the better power metal bands out there, and they haven't made a bad album yet. "Easton Hope" is one of my absolute favorites, so hopefully they can get close to those heights again.