I bought the latest Whitesnake and Inglorius albums. I've only heard both of them one time so I'll have to see if they grow on me but the Whitesnake one was rather disappointing, only a few decent tunes and the Inglorious album was way different to Inglorious 2 which was excellent. It had a very 90's vibe, it's got more promise then the Whitesnake album (which pains me to say since Whitesnake was one of my main bands back in the day).
Not sure what happened to this band, their newer stuff is completely different and not in a good way like Opeth. I grew up with stuff like The Jester Race, Whoracle and Colony, all of which are still excellent, but the new In Flames is terribly disappointing. At least Dark Tranquility is still great, especially live.
Sweden once gave us the greatest modern-era prog bands with groups like The Flower Kings, Pain of Salvation, Opeth, Beardfish, A.C.T., and a slew of others.
And now Sweden is giving us a resurgence in kickass solid rock that has its roots in the 70s with some amazing new talent. And they're definitely leading the way with female-fronted and all-women bands. I reckon Opeth was hip to the coming trend when they shifted style and released Heritage, and they're now more established in that retro sound. Beardfish was feeling that groove as well, before they disbanded. Pain of Salvation has also sprinkled in some of that sensibility to their music. But the all-out hard rock sound coming out of Sweden the last several years is just killer.
And it's not just the hard rock of the 70s that is influencing the sound, there's a lot of the more AM radio and easy listening influence in some of these songs. Particularly in they approach the songwriting. 70s had some of the best songwriters around. Laugh all you want, but The Carpenters and their contemporaries are as influential to some as Zep and Sabbath were. In a lot of the vocal melodies especially, you can hear those influences.