The Answer - Solas
“Something has happened to The Answer, and specifically to Neeson. There’s a new-found sophistication here, an unmistakable quantum leap forward. Where RALH was just another Answer album, routinely rock solid in its honesty, this is something else. Maybe Neeson’s voice has matured, or maybe he’s just found his optimum timbre. Sometimes singers don’t immediately recognise their USP. Iggy only achieved completion when Bowie told him to accentuate his lower register during The Idiot sessions, Daltrey only found ultimate Roger via a prolonged stint as Tommy.” Read the full review here.
Datura4 - Hairy Mountain
“Australian rock often seems confined to a few monster names, but the country still boasts a thriving scene that, as Datura4’s follow-up to 2015’s Demon Blues debut clearly shows, has a firm grasp on garage psych and progressive blues rock.” Read the full review here.
Dee Snider - We Are The Ones
“Twisted Sister may have reached the end of a 30-year road, but Dee Snider remains unstoppable. As with previous solo records, We Are The Ones suffers from not adhering to the Twisted script: in essence, this is a polished and bombastic pop-rock album, driven at a robust clip by bellow-along anthems like the title track and the Billy Idol-esque Over Again.” Read the full review here.
Helmet - Dead To The World
“Frontman Page Hamilton is the only constant in Helmet’s ever-changing universe, but he can always be relied on to come back into our lives without having mellowed in the slightest. Dead To The World is Helmet’s eighth studio album, and finds them marking the territory they rightfully own by stamping it with some of the heaviest, most earth-shaking riffs you’ll hear this year.” Read the full review here.
- Black Sabbath Quiz: How well do you know Paranoid?
- Helmet's Page Hamilton: "David Bowie may have saved my life"
- Dee Snider: Heavy metal fans will hate my solo album
- The Answer tease every track on new album Solas
The Pop Group - Honeymoon On Mars
“Their return in 2015 with Citizen Zombie was excellent, but this year’s follow-up is even better. Produced by Public Enemy’s sonic leader Hank Shocklee and post-punk dub genius Dennis Bovell, Honeymoon On Mars sounds like the world went to war with the kitchen sink and everybody won.” Read the full review here.
Black Sabbath - The Ultimate Collection
“This isn’t the first Black Sabbath compilation. In fact it’s at least their eleventh. But it’s a good one, even if it can hardly be described as a career summary, as it focuses on the band’s first eight albums.” Read the full review here.
Uriah Heep - Salisbury
“With his compositional gifts blossoming, keyboardist Ken Hensley may have dominated the credits but frontman David Byron’s flamboyant delivery is what really cements the greatness of Heep’s most ‘out there’ album. Now crisply remastered as part of an ongoing catalogue overhaul, the 2016 edition adds a companion disc of alternative mixes, live tracks and ‘reimaginings’, lovingly compiled by long-serving Heep archivist Robert Corich.” Read the full review here.
Public Image Ltd - Metal Box/Album Reissues
“Lydon and Wobble grew up in discos, on terraces, and when they made their double Metal Box masterpiece (following the feet-finding First Issue), they used unfamiliar building blocks – dub, disco, free jazz, Krautrock – to construct an audio edifice so unique it could only be enormously influential. An excellent remaster accentuates the nuances and stresses the space in a mix that’s by turns claustrophobic and widescreen, crisps hi-hats, sharpens ice-pick guitar shards and further fattens bass subsonics. There are extra tracks, B-sides, Peel sessions, a live ‘rehearsal’ set from Manchester’s Factory, and it’s only a joy.” Read the full review here.
Saxon - The Vinyl Hoard
“Not so much buried treasure as upcycled blasts from the past, Biff and co join the surge of bands pressing vinyl versions of material previously available on CD and DVD. Here we have the The Eagle Has Landed II and III, plus part of To Hell And Back Again, renamed after their respective tours and minted onto 180g gold vinyl, your very own Saxon hoard – see what they did there?” Read the full review here.