Stargazery - Eye On The Sky

Stargazery - Eye On The Sky

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(CD, Pure Legend Records, 2011)

I am not sure I like when a press release mentions the famous bands the lineup has or had been. And that is because I get the feeling of a “dark” intention to draw my interest with something different than the music itself. So, having this in mind I started with caution the listening sessions of the debut full length album by the Finnish band, named STARGAZERY.

Apparently the high expectations raised by the band’s bio were fully met as soon as the 80s guitar riff as opened the album with “Dying”. The hard hitting Hard Rock groove is absolutely addictive and has a killer melodic backbone courtesy of the underlying keyboards layers. I really love the Joe Lynn Turner era of RAINBOW that I also consider as the epitome of Hard Rock (in my mind RAINBOW with Dio were closer to Heavy Metal) that STARGAZERY manage to touch with their music. But don’t get mistaken by my saying ‘cause this is not a tribute album to RAINBOW and the Finnish band puts more things on the table. Sometimes the keyboards take the leading role and in songs like “Eye On The Sky” the name of STRATOVARIUS comes in mind especially during the fast parts and the sing along lyrics.

As the album progresses, the band leans towards the melodic Power Metal scene walking in the path of STRATOVARIUS during the mid tempo dates of the two parts of “Elements”. The guitars are not super fast and the songs are based on the vocal melodies sung by Jari Tiura who does an amazing job. Just listen to his performance in the epic “Judah (The Lion)” where his high pitched voice fits like a glove the mid tempo rhythm section of the song.

Having listened the album many times I decided that the weakest links in the tracklist are the fast songs “Puppet On A String” and “S.O.S.” that sound way too much STRATOVARIUS-esque especially during the double-bass and keyboard driven parts. If I was in a position to choose the band’s musical direction, I would go for the 80s Hard Rock where I think STARGAZERY have more to offer. The album features a cover version on BLACK SABBATH’s “Headless Cross”. Musically this version does not deviate from the original apart from the pronounced keyboards and the slightly different guitar leads and main solo. Surprisingly, the track suffers in the vocals; no, Tiura sounds amazing and presents his great vibrato but this song is characterized by Tony Martin’s distinct harsh voice. So, there is no space for comparison here…

The bottom line is that “Eye On The Sky” is a great introduction from high skilled musicians who know their way around this sound. Personally, I will keep an eye on them being anxious of their next step that I hope will present a more distinct musical direction.

7/10


Links:

www.Stargazery.Com
www.MySpace.Com/StargazeryBand


Tracklist:

01. Dying
02. Everytime I Dream Of You
03. Eye On The Sky
04. How Many Miles
05. I Am The Night
06. Jester Of Kings
07. Judah (The Lion)
08. Puppet On A String
09. S.O.S
10. Headless Cross


Lineup:

Jari Tiura - Vocals
Pete Ahonen - Guitar
Jussi Ontero - Drums
Jukka Jokikokko - Bass
Marco Sneck - Keyboard