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Released: 2002, Lion Music
Star Queen is the brainchild of Yugoslavian Stella “Star Queen” Tormanoff. After working with local musicians she sent a demo tape to Lion Music where Lars Eric Mattsson took a liking to her music and decided to produce an album. He enlisted the help of Winterlong guitarist Thorbjorn Englund to help Stella with the arrangements and to play guitars. The band was soon augmented with keyboard player Bob Katsionis , bass player Erik Tornberg and drummer Tony Eriksson.
I was very interested in this CD when it showed up in my mailbox to review. I had never heard of the band before but the bio made a very interesting case for me to soon get to this review. So here we are. The CD opens with the title track which pretty much sets the tone for the whole CD. Stella introduces herself with a mix of operatic, sang and screamed vocal melodies that reside over a landscape of powermetal. “Devil’s Dance” contains a great solo section where Englund and Katsionis get to flex their musical muscle. Tormanoff uses her operatic voice to great effect on “Firewalker” where her rough singing voice contrasts nicely with the operatic backing vocals. Englund shows his multiple talents by providing backing vocals for “The Myth”. His deep voice provides the prefect backdrop to this song which deals with the Greek Gods and the evils of Pandora’s Box.
The cover artwork for the CD is an excellent piece designed by Eric Philippe. I will have to disagree with the bio which calls Star Queen epic powermetal. There really is nothing epic about it when put along side bands like Rhapsody and Thy Majestie. It is also statedin the bio that “Someone said that Star Queen is like Nightwish on speed… Definitely heavier and more powerful.” I can agree that it is heavier but more powerful? I think that Nightwish is a band that is unique and while Tormanoff does deliver some operatic vocals they are not in the league of Tarja from Nightwish. I think its great to see a Yugoslavian artist on the metal scene. Star Queen has an all star lineup but it doesn’t seem like they have gelled as a band. I look forward to the next release to see how they come together over time.
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