MINI REVIEWS – April 11, 2021

Mini Reviews April
  • 6.8/10
    PRIMAL FEAR (featuring Tarja) – I Will Be Gone EP - 6.8/10
  • 9.7/10
    SWEET OBLIVION (featuring Geoff Tate) – Relentless - 9.7/10
  • 7.6/10
    SEA OF SNAKES – World on Fire EP - 7.6/10
  • 9/10
    FM – Tough it Out Live - 9/10


[spoiler title=’Metal Express Radio – Ratings Scale’ style=’default’ collapse_link=’true’]

10.0:         Cannot be improved! Perfect, instant classic! Essential in any record collection.
9.5 – 9.9:  Fantastic, spectacular and outstanding!
9.0 – 9.4:  Amazing release! It just lacks that little extra spice to make it perfect.
8.5 – 8.9:  Exceptional release! Will likely rank among top ten albums of the year.
8.0 – 8.4:  Great release! It has many different qualities.
7.5 – 7.9:  Above average! It is an enjoyable release.
7.0 – 7.4:  It is not brilliant, but has many strong points.
6.0 – 6.9:  It has its moments, but is not that strong.
5.0 – 5.9:  Slightly above average, does not stand out. Good outweighs bad by just a little.
4.0 – 4.9:  Just below average, bad outweighs good by just a little.
3.0 – 3.9:  Mediocre. There might be a song or a performance that is enjoyable, but that is it.
2.0 – 2.9:  Very weak! There might be a light at the end of the tunnel, too many flaws.
1.0 – 1.9:  This release gives the word “terrible” new meaning.
0.1 – 0.9:  Awful! Avoid at all cost. There is nothing good to say about this release.


PRIMAL FEAR (featuring Tarja) – I Will Be Gone EP
Nuclear Blast [Facebook]

The more bands are prohibited from touring, the more you are likely to see releases like this. While this EP is touted as the softer side of Primal Fear, it is just the one song. The lead single “I Will Be Gone” features Ex-Nightwish vocalist Tarja Turunen. Her angelic tones compliment the high-pitched wails of Ralf Scheepers perfectly on this emotional ballad.

The new track “Vote of No Confidence” is a preview of what’s to come from the German metallers. The EP is rounded out by bonus material that was only available on the digipak release of Metal Commando. “Second to None” rocks, “Leave Me Alone” doesn’t really work, and “Rising Fear,” despite its 90 second running time, is still epic sounding. 6.8/10

SWEET OBLIVION (featuring Geoff Tate) – Relentless
Frontiers Music [Facebook]

Relentless is the second release by Sweet Oblivion featuring Geoff Tate and it is by far the best album Tate has been a part of in the last 20 years. Super-strong melodies, powerful lyrics, and sonically pleasing musical arrangements.

While Tate may not have been a major part of the songwriting, he brings the voice that reminds you of his past, while the backing band keeps things modern. There is never a dull moment on Relentless. 9.7/10

SEA OF SNAKES – World on Fire EP
Metal Assault Records [BUY] [Facebook]

Are you ready for some no-bullshit Hard Rock & Metal? Look no further than World on Fire, the latest EP release by L.A.’s Sea of Snakes. Dirty, gritty, and full of attitude. World on Fire may be just 5 songs, but this guitar laden, drum pounding, throat bellowing ride is worth the price of admission. 7.6/10

FM – Tough it Out Live
Frontiers Music [Facebook]

Releasing another live album within two years of your last (2019’s The Italian Job) is ballsy, but the mighty FM are one of the few bands that can pull it off. FM sounds just as good today as they did back in the day. While their last live album was more of a ‘best of’ set, Tough It Out Live honors the 30th anniversary of that landmark album.

FM plays the album in order from beginning to end. Rather than following the Tough It Out set with another collection of hits, the UK band goes deep into their catalog for some fan favorites and songs rarely played live. This two disc set proves that time takes its toll on everything… except FM! Taking It to the Streets Live seems inevitable (and necessary). 9/10


  • 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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