MINI REVIEWS – November 29, 2020

  • 9/10
    SHARK ISLAND - Bloodline - 9/10
  • 9.2/10
    JEFF SCOTT SOTO - Wide Awake in My Dreamland - 9.2/10
  • 9.4/10
    L.A. GUNS - Renegades - 9.4/10
  • 8/10
    NIVIANE - The Ruthless Divine - 8/10

SHARK ISLAND - Bloodline cover

SHARK ISLAND – Bloodline 2.020
Deko Entertainment [BUY] [Facebook]

30 years after their underrated debut Law of the Order, Shark Island shows that they can still shake, rattle, and rock on Bloodline 2.020. Originally sold out in limited release, Bloodline 2.020 includes two bonus tracks and all the vibes you loved from the Sunset Strip in its ’80s heyday. In addition to energetic songs like “Make a Move,” “Rocks on the Rocks,” and “Law of the Order,” Rick Black and company present a couple of reflective and thought-provoking ballads in the form of “On and On” and “Someday.” The latter track is sure to cause some guys to shed a tear and hear a little of themselves in the lyrics. 9/10 [Interview]

JEFF SCOTT SOTO – Wide Awake in my Dreamland
Frontiers Music [Facebook]

In a career that spans 37 years and over 90 albums, there’s not much left that Jeff Scott Soto hasn’t done. He’s gone from Metal to Funk, Melodic Rock to Progressive Metal, and from balladeer to power wailer. Yet, there’s no ‘greatest hits’ collection to capture it all. Wide Awake in My Dreamland serves as that ‘best of’ when it comes to the many styles Jeff Scott Soto is known for. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the power ballad “Love’s Blind” or the energetic “Living in a Dream,” Jeff Scott Soto is at the top of his game in voice and emotion on Wide Awake in My Dreamland. The physical copy of the CD includes a bonus live show, which is actually a ‘greatest hits” song collection from Soto and his backing band. Longtime fans will be pleased, new ears will be eager for Soto’s back catalog. 9.4/10 [Interview]

L.A. GUNS – Renegades
Golden Robot Records [BUY]

It doesn’t matter which team L.A. Guns you are rooting for. Renegades by the Steve Riley/Kelly Nickels camp is worth your time and investment. While some L.A. Guns releases over recent years have been iffy, Renegades delivers a shot of nostalgia while giving a glimpse into the future. The down-and-dirty riffs of the Sunset Strip are there, but so is the spirit of ’70s punk angst and rebellion. Guitar aficionados have plenty of sweet licks and solos to relish and those that fancy themselves as singers will find themselves repeating the choruses after just one play. Renegades is infectious and addictive. The Strip lives on. 9.2/10 [Interview]

NIVIANE – The Ruthless Divine
Pure Steel Records [BUY] [Facebook]

The Ruthless Divine is not all kings, warriors, and epic battles. Sure, there’s plenty of that, but it doesn’t come off like a history lesson. The fantasy inspired songs are more tales of struggle and victory that are relatable to people who don’t follow the scene. Vocalist Norman Skinner III has quite the vocal range and can go up and down with ease. Very reminiscent of King Diamond. The production has a raw ’80s Heavy Metal atmosphere without sounding dated. Niviane manages to keep the tone dark while maintaining superb melody. Standout tracks include “League of Shadows,” “The Ruthless Divine,” “Fires in the Sky.” “Forgotten Centurion,” and “Psychomanteum.” 8/10 [Interview]


  • George Dionne

    George was a contributor here at Metal Express Radio, reviewing albums and conducting interviews, out of Massachusetts, USA. George has contributed to numerous music related websites and blogs, and even managed his own from 2004-2009. George's first assignment was covering a live show by the mighty GWAR. By contrast his later assignments featured Judas Priest, Van Halen, and Bon Jovi. George was also the front man for the South Eastern Massachusetts cover band Sound Tower from 2009-2015.  Sound Tower played 300+ shows across MA and had two original songs on the Cape Cod radio station PIXY 103. George enjoys a good whiskey, scotch, and/or bourbon and fights crime in his spare time.

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