JD MILLER – WORLD WAR X (Target/Mighty Music Records)

Review by Stefan: First contact, second album for Swedish act JD Miller, founded in 2011. According to my research on the Internet, “World War X” can be considered a the follow-up to the 2014 critically acclaimed “Grand Intentions”, an effort that was warmly welcomed by many renowned press and media sources like Rock Hard, who rate with a 9 out of 10 score ! Copenhagen based Mighty Music/Target Group released the band’s newest cut on the 28 th. of April 2017, my curiosity must come to an end soon and I gave the album a few spins to give a proper opinion.

First look to the cover artwork I have to admit that it’s done really awesome, dark and sinister all the way out. For a melodic Hard Rock band, quite unusual but whatever… you won’t hear me complain about the great works that had been done by C.A. Beckston/Blekkmark Studio Design… great job guys ! “World War X” was recorded by the band themselves at Studio Haga and Studio Berghem Sweden, mixed by ex-member Christian Svedin and finally mastered by the multi-Grammy Award winning Thomas ‘Plec’ Johansson at The Panic Room, established in 2001. Incoming guys in the house of JD Miller are Chris David (Bass), Alex Oriz (Lead & Rhythm Guitar) and second guitarist Eli Froejd. Adding new blood to the fold always requires an adjustment within the core but no worries, heard the album for a couples of times and It’s like they’ve been playing for many years with each other !

Opener “Journey To The Past” is exactly what JD Miller is all about, melodic Hard Rock with a nod to ProgPower and AOR. Clear, well-understandable vocals which attracts much attention, the guitar riffs are quite heavy and strong, the solo at the end gives a more Metal character so you won’t hear me complain. The drums take a leisurely rhythm and the bassist in charge has everything under control…. Nice song structure, great song anyway ! The fourth track called ‘Evergrey’ starts very calm with input of the piano use, the song gets some kind of a melancholic/emotional character and fills my heart with a warm feeling. Guitars tuning in as it should be, catchy and melodic… another good composition where Progressive Rock meets Melodic Metal in a proper way. Coincidentally or not but this songs does reminds me of the famous Swedish act Evergrey. Fans of contemporary ProgPower Metal spiced with Hard Rock elements better take a good listen to ‘Forgotten’ and its full of energy type of nature. The well done vocal use and the stunning guitars mainly bring me in a good mood. A dark and symphonic intro opens next song entitled ‘Isolation’, when the guitars starts to rumble the song gets some kind of a transformation whereby Power Metal gets the upper-hand. Sharp guitar riffage and a nice, almost shred type of solo fulfill my inner soul towards the end of the song.

The pleasure was mine meeting JD Miller, a band which has found the right combination in order to engage Rock and Metal flow into each other in an excellent manner. Fans of Dare, Evergrey, Pain Of Salvation, Brainstorm, Giant, Symphorce, Tyketto, Avian and stuff, give JD Miller a chance to find out. Familiar or not, forget ‘bout it and make sure to get your own copy of one of Sweden’s best upcoming melodic Rock bands releasing their second effort “World War X” late April 2017. Additional info at: http://jdmiller.rocks/  /  https://www.facebook.com/jdmillerband

My rating: 85/100 (Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)