1. PENDRAGON - Truth And Lies (8:26) Album
: Love Over Fear (2020) (Release: 14.2.) Label/Distribution
: Toff/Just For Kickswww.pendragon.mu
Never before has PENDRAGON been so close to the old Genesis as on "Love Over Fear". The album sounds very lyrical, elegiac neoprog is in the foreground, balladesque and Celtic rock moments included. The longtrack "Truth And Lies" fits exactly between Genesis and Steve Hackett and shines with an emotional guitar solo by Nick Barrett
2. LAZULI - Mers Lacrymales (4:41) Album
: Le Fantastique Envol de Dieter Böhm (2020) (Release: 14.2.) Label/Distribution
: L'Abeille rôde/Just For Kickswww.lazuli-music.com
LAZULI regularly deliver great albums. "Le Fantastique Envol de Dieter Böhm" is no exception: Dominique Leonetti's passionate singing and poetic lyrics stand out just as much as the spectacular Léode solos of his brother Claude. "Mers Lacrymales" is tristesse set to music. C'est magnifique!
3. BLIND EGO - Burning Alive (4:31) Album
: Preaching To The Choir (2020) (Release: 14.2.) Label/Distribution
: Gentle Art Of Music/Soulfoodwww.blind-ego.com
Kalle Wallner's solo project is running hot again! With BLIND EGO the guitars are allowed to shred more than with the house band RPWL. Especially during the hypnotic riffing the new record is on the home stretch. Tour singer Scott Balaban is now a permanent member. "Burning Alive" has single qualities, even reminds of Blue Öyster Cult.
4. MAGNUM - The Archway Of Tears (6:19) Album
: The Serpent Rings (2020) Label/Distribution
If one would think up a perfect MAGNUM song - this hymnic six-minute song would come pretty close to this ideal. But the accompanying album also offers many more songs, which show the Black Country band in absolute top form. It's time for a statue of Tony Clarkin in Birmingham. Album of the month!
5. SOULSPLITTER - The Maze (8:50) Album
: Salutogenesis (2019) Label/Distribution
: Soulsplitter/Just For Kickswww.soulsplitter.com
With their debut album "Salutogenesis", SOULSPLITTER cause enthusiasm, because for a long time there hasn't been a German band that combines prog metal, fusion and modern classic so skilfully. Starting with the basic theme ("How does health come into being?"), songs like "The Maze" cover a wide musical spectrum.
6. FRANCK CARDUCCI - (Love Is) The Answer (Radio edit) (4:07) Album
: The Answer (2020) Label/Distribution
: Frank Carducci/Just For Kickswww.frankcarducci.com
FRANCK CARDUCCI follows a similar path to Mystery. Retroprog is profitably coupled with AOR variants of the Styx and Boston brands. An album that is fun to listen to with its occasionally unexpected sounds. Just like the cool title track, where a nice acoustic guitar may be in the sound center.
7. THE DOGHUNTERS - Beat Me Up (4:11) Album
: Splitter Phaser Naked (2019) Label/Distribution
Is it Indie? Is it pop? Or retro rock? No matter what it is: The twelve tracks on the debut album of the Cologne band THE DOGHUNTERS are really fun. Good melodies, sparkling grooves, fine arrangements and above all a voice that is really catchy. And the album title speaks volumes.
8. COOGANS BLUFF - Sincerely Yours (4:11) Album
: Metronopolis (2020) Label/Distribution
On their seventh album, COOGANS BLUFF offer what they have always offered and what the Berlin/Leipzig quintet does better than very few others: a splendid retro rock with many unique features. In addition, the band is constantly developing and adding new nuances.
9. LAST KNIGHT - Anger (6:58) Album
: Seven Deadly Sins (2019) Label/Distribution
: Somnus Media/Just For Kickswww.lastknight.eu
The Spanish prog project LAST KNIGHT deals with the seven deadly sins on their current album, freely adapted from Dante's "Divine Comedy". On "Anger" the "Jähzorn" is treated, a primal feeling, which is staged by a sparkling piano run, haunting vocals and a melancholic violin
10. TIME SHIFT ACCIDENT - The Hand Of God (10:35) Album
: Chronosthesia (2019) Label/Distribution
: Generation Progwww.generation-prog.com
Just as relaxed and lightly as Diego "The Hand of God" Maradona once dribbled around his opponents, the Franconians TIME SHIFT ACCIDENT celebrate their casual instrumental fusion. The fun of playing becomes tangible in this long track, when the Nuremberg quintet combines rock, jazz and even metal elements.