It’s that time of the week again when we focus on the best new rock and metal on the block.

And today we showcase the usual eclectic mix of guitar-fuelled mayhem featuring everyone from Ugly Kid Joe to Kamelot and The Sword (pictured) to Tiamat.

Fans of pure West Coast cheese will be flocking to hear Frederic Slama’s AOR and we bring you the latest from fast-rising female fronted Geordie kids The Karma Heart.

Every Sunday we reveal the RUSHONROCK RECORD OF THE WEEK.

And we take the liberty of rounding up the BEST OF THE REST




Frederic Slama’s AOR – LA Temptation (AOR Heaven)

Genre: AOR

Think Foreigner, Journey and just about anything from the John Waite back catalogue and you get an instant impression of what Monsieur Slama is attempting to do with the dreamy LA Temptation.

Laying his cards on the table from the off, the seasoned AORophile makes no secret of his admiration for a genre back in fashion and back in business.

The superb Silent Victory uses a late 80s/early 90s David Coverdale vocal as its fabulous foundation and there’s plenty more where that came from. There’s AOR heaven and then there’s LA Temptation – terrific. Simon Rushworth

RUSHONROCK RATED: 9/10 Slama Chameleon




Kamelot – Silverthorn (SPV Steamhammer)

Genre: Melodic/Progressive Metal

At a time when Queensryche are split into two disparate and desperate parts, questions are being asked about Dream Theatre’s future and progressive metal is searching for a fresh figurehead Kamelot could finally be about to enjoy their 15 minutes of fame.

For too long now the experienced Floridians have ridden under the radar despite compiling a canon of work rich in variety and vitality. Since 1995’s Eternity promoted excited ripples of expectation the band has rolled out 10 solid and occasionally spectacular records. But still the critics remain unconvinced.

Silverthorn sounds so powerful, so passionate and so professionally driven that it could well be Kamelot’s defiant last shot at widespread fame and deserved adulation. Indeed, if this album fails to fire the imagination of metal’s masses there’s something seriously wrong in the world. SR

RUSHONROCK RATED: 8/10 Kamelot More To Offer


The Karma Heart – Come Alive EP (Self Released)

Genre: Classic Rock

Super cool classic rockers The Karma Heart might have taken a grungier, gritter and altogether less glamorous approach to their latest release but tetchy works well for this talented Tyneside quartet.

Sounding angrier, angstier and more alienated than ever before – across three tight, terse tunes – this band hasn’t only come alive: it’s possibly come of age.

We Are Ill wouldn’t have sounded out of place hitching a ride on the back of the nu-metal revolution but the classic approach remains. It’s a mighty modern rock anthem written for a lost generation and proof that The Karma Heart has found its feet. SR

RUSHONROCK RATED: 8/10 Heart Attack


The Sword – Apocryphon (Napalm)

Genre: Trad Metal

Those buoyed by the sight of Ozzy Osbourne fronting Black Sabbath at Download this summer should already be well aware of The Sword’s one-band mission to keep classic 70s metal alive. If not, welcome to your new best friends.

In typical fashion the quartet’s fourth full lengther is laden down with doom-fuelled riffs and fuzzed-up retro-rich rhythm. The Hidden Masters doesn’t attempt to hide its influences – Ozzy-era Sabbath screams out from the hard hitting highlight of this royally thunderous record.

The psychedelic growl of the titanic title track echoes Hawkwind at their most pure and for any fan of expansive heavy music Apocryphon is a jammed-up joy. SR

RUSHONROCK RATED: 10/10 Sword Play A Blinder


Tiamat – The Scarred People (Napalm)

Genre: Gothic Metal

Depeche Mode meets Sisters Of Mercy with a number of unexpected AOR twists on this meaty slice of gothic metal.

To the untrained ear Tiamat are like so many outdated synth-obsessed 80s rockers but the Swedish band’s bludgeoning death metal roots ensure a cutting edge that pierces mediocrity with ease.

Founded in 1987 it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that Radiant Star and Love Terrorists boast soaring solos better suited to the west coast hair metal scene. Tiamat revel in object diversity. And always have done.

The downbeat Messinian Letter is an alt-rock classic in the making and is utterly at odds with the bombast or rousing opener The Scarred People. Excelling on a record of compelling contrasts, Tiamat are still taking chances in 2012. SR

RUSHONROCK RATED: 9/10 band Of The People


Ugly Kid Joe – Stairway To Hell EP (UKJ Records)

Genre: Alt Rock/Pop Metal

A triumphant Download festival set full of humour, hard riffing and nostalgic hysteria marked the official comeback of pop metal party boys Ugly Kid Joe earlier this year.

Not a band to trade on its brief but glorious chart-busting past, Whitfield Crane and the crew have backed up some stellar live shows (most recently alongside Alice Cooper and Duff Mckagan) with a six-track EP oozing cheek.

You Make Me Sick is the most natural follow-up to uber-hit Everything About You but there was always more to UKJ than pop punk cheese. Love Ain’t True, featuring Fishbone duo Angelo Moore and Dirty Walt, is deliciously wry and No One Survives is similarly sarcastic. If this really is the precursor to a brand new album then Ugly could be the new beautiful in 2013. SR