Rating: 69 / 100 “The gritty, authentic, and immensely exciting songs that open the album are valuable contributions to an NWOTHM scene that is frequently too glossy and polished for its own good. Yet Visions in the Night quickly slumps into bargain bin material for the remainder of its running time with uninspired riffs, repetitive song structures, and grating vocal performances.”

Rating: 18 / 100 “Dreamrider is a grating and often tedious effort that would be an underachiever as a debut album, even in 2012. As a release from an established artist in 2017, dropped into an ocean of synthwave music highlighted by brilliant and innovative songwriters from around the world, Dreamrider is a tragic offering that provides no comfort for fans who waited four years to hear from Lazerhawk.”

Rating: 67 / 100 “Twisting the Blade is at its best when it produces fist-pumping, headbanging old school heavy metal with a gritty attitude. When it delivers, it does it as well as any album in contemporary heavy metal. Unfortunately, the band’s attempts at diversifying the song selection tend to backfire, revealing their relatively limited songwriting abilities.”

Rating: 83 / 100 “In a year when several of synthwave’s founding artists have struggled to create quality music, Overvad delivers a meaningful tribute to the sounds of Synthwave 1.0. His intelligent and innovative approach to songwriting frequently surpasses the repetitive structure of his inspirations, offering a fresh reminder of what made synthwave great in the first place.”

Rating: 87 / 100 “Burn the World represents a frequently explosive effort that sometimes dwindles to embers. Its most compelling pieces occupy the early going, and the level of inventiveness and technical elaboration revealed upfront can’t sustain itself for the album’s duration. Many inspired and exceptional moments contribute to a respectable venture that remains enticing for its duration, even if it’s not enough to set the world on fire.”

Rating: 98 / 100 “Blazon Stone’s fourth full-length album gravitates closer to Running Wild’s ’90s sound than anything from Ced to date, yet instead of complacently following in the wake of the older band’s vessel, Blazon Stone has prepared a hostile takeover. Down in the Dark uses established techniques to challenge Running Wild for dominance of the speed metal seas, and it does so with genuine respect and admiration, even as it boards their ship and sets fire to the sails.”

Rating: 77 / 100 “There’s no denying the technical skill and innovation displayed on Monochrome, which is consistently high throughout the recording, though the album’s brilliance is occasionally curbed by minimal verse compositions, a syrup-glazed vocal delivery, and reliance on uncomplicated hooks. Monochrome reveals its boldest colors when the instrumental compositions are allowed to speak for themselves.”