JOURNEY       Revelation
Frontiers Records (release: June 6th, 2008)

An album with a perfect title, that's JOURNEY at its best with Neal Schon who's still so fabulous with his instrument, the guitar for those who don't know. He still plays beautiful ballads like this one: Turn Down The World. Oh, I almost forgot, it's not Steve Perry back but new Filipino singer Arnel Pineda and I hope he'll stay as long as possible, as their voices sound so similar.Jean-Luc

AMBERIAN DAWN       River Of Tuoni
Ascendance Records (release: June 16th, 2008)

They're Finn, they play Symphonic Metal, they have a female opera singer, they're young, they're beautiful, they smell warm sand good… I think you've already understood so I won't mention their main influence. Yet they try to stand apart but with this typical rhythmic… But no problem, it's well done and as I like NIGHTWISH very much… Gosh! It just slipped out!...Laurent

SOCIAL PLAGUE       A Kind Of Oppression
Inner Quest (release: June 16th, 2008)

SOCIAL PLAGUE was formed by GERBE OF LIFE's ex-singer Mickael Alarcon (who's now on drums!) and guitar player Guillaume Zeller. Next they recruited bassist Boris Helfer and NOCTURNAL FEARS' vocalist Anton Jovanovic. But the style of SOCIAL PLAGUE has nothing to do with Jovanovic's Industrial band and as every track last less than two minutes, I think you can define their music as Grindcore. But I might have called it Hardcore or furious Punk Rock too. Yeah, there's no place for a break here, the songs go straight to the point. It's wild and ultra fast but the production is clear enough to appreciate the work of each musician. True, there are a couple of slower parts nevertheless, especially on Sentence Of Life, with Anton's narrative vocals which remind me something (well, well). Despite three bonus tracks which actually are rehearsal versions (thus we can do without them), the result with this raging album is that the other ten songs of A Kind Of Oppression fly at the speed of light even if the concept is really dark (pun!), illustrated by the way on the back cover by a quite disturbing picture of prisoners shot by a firing squad.
And I'll end with the lyrics of the song A Kind Of Oppression: "They've got the money, they've got the power, they give the order, and you must obey…". A pessimistic but also realistic admission?Laurent

PILGRIMZ       Boar Riders
I Scream Records (release: June 27th, 2008)

PILGRIMZ? What a weird name! I Scream Records? It's a Punk Rock specialized label. And what an amazing cover! Do I listen to this stuff? Suddenly, I hear Jiminy Cricket telling to me: "Put the CD into your player, you moron!". OK, let's do it…
And that's how I nearly missed a killer album! Boar Riders is the first outlet of this new sensation from Denmark and their Hardcore kicks ass! But you can't limit their music to Hardcore only because you feel many different influences: Thrash Metal on Jimmy's Castle or Paramount, Rock n' Roll on Shake-A-Feather, Hard Rock on Boar Riders and so on... There are also lots of slow but definitely aggressive parts thanks to the notably varied performance of singer Max Vegas. And as the musicians change rhythm without warning on every song, it's loud most of the time! It's impossible to get tired indeed! And I can't pass over in silence the kind of bloody heavy riff I like and the roaring bass introducing Prima Donnie. The essence of Metal!Laurent