I am always delighted that Finland is a constant wellspring of Melodic Power Metal. You can always count on the Finns to create the highest quality Metal! Stargazery is a newer band and STARS ALIGNED is their second album but my first introduction to them.
Veteran guitarist and vocalist, Pete Ahonen (Burning Point, Ghost Machinery) is the driving force behind Stargazery. This band helps him explore a slightly more melodic side of his playing and song-writing. He is joined by his colleagues from both those bands, Jussi Ontero on drums and Joki Jokikkoko on bass. So two-thirds of those active bands are now in Stargazery. The quintet is fronted by Jari Tiura formerly of the obscure band Snakegod. I actually own their only album from 2001. His voice is as good now as it was then, blending a style and tone that reminds me of cross between Jorn Lande and perhaps Doogie White. He has an excellent delivery. Last but not least is Marco Sneck formerly of Kalmah and currently with Poisonblack on keyboards, so I feel it would not be unreasonable to call this a mini-supergroup of veterans.
Musically the band play a very fine melodic Metal style in the vein of the heavier side of bands like Ten and Whitesnake. They seem to have a string UK sensibility to the sound but the technical ability of the Northern Europeans. The songs are catchy with big choruses and infect your mind. The level of technical proficiency is high with excellent solos and keyboard work as well. The standout tracks in my mind are not the lead off tracks, which are still very good but I really enjoyed ‘Missed The Train To Paradise’ and ‘Dim The Halo’ buried at track 8. The band must have liked that one too because they shot a video for it. The band also included two cover tunes for the limited edition, both pop songs. One from a Finnish singer named Lea Laven and a Cher cover.
STARS ALIGNED is a totally professional and well done job for a new band, but with veterans. The cover art keeps the same epic theme of sailing ships, and a cool winged logo, giving the album, to me a sense of epic adventure. I hope the stars do align for this band and that many more people discover them.
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