Finnish born and bred, melodic heavy metal 5-piece, Stargazery released their ‘Eye On The Sky’ successor, ‘Stars Aligned’ recently. For those that don’t know, Stargazery have been around since late 2005. It all started with one song that Pete Ahonen wrote, and felt that it wasn’t suitable for either of his bands (Burning Point or Ghost Machinery). That song was ‘How Many Miles’. After Stargazery released their first single in early 2007, ‘Dying/Rescue’, the band went through some line-up changes, settling on the current line-up of: Jari tiura (Vocals), Pete Ahonen (Guitar), Jukka Jokikokko (Bass), Marco Sneck (Keyboards) and Jussi Ontero (Drums).
‘Stars Aligned’ launches with ‘Voodoo’. It comes forth with Pete Ahonen’s heavy guitar, accompanied by the precise and charismatic keyboards of Marco Sneck and the beastly drums of Jussi Ontero. Jari Tiura sets off with his cultivated and powerful vocals, which are not dissimilar to Tony Martin (BlackSabbath). The song holds strong and dynamic ground from the start, right through till the end.
‘Warrior’s Inn’ is particularly notable. The potent guitar intro sets the right mood for the rest of the track, with a lively drum beat supportting it. The track really sets off with Jari’s melodic vocals, bass and keyboards maintaining continuous backing throughout the song. Two and a half minutes in, an amazingly brisk and vigorous solo kicks in, with immense support from the drums. The song continues on its previous path until Ahonen comes back with his guitar for a final show-down, and ends the track on a high note.
Another highlight is ‘Tumma Nainen’, a special bonus track Stargazery added to this release. It is basically a reworking of album track ‘Dark lady’, but with Finnish lyrics, and I think its a lovely addition to the album with the band proudly showing its origins. The track starts off very softly and melodic, before it coming to a halt, then the guitar kicks in alongside the vocals. The song keeps a lively theme going through it with some classical mixed in. This makes for a interesting twist to the listener, and works well bringing it all together. ‘Tumma Nainen’ then mellows out, ending on a dark theme.
The final track to really grab my attention is ‘Dim The Halo’. It starts off with some rousing guitar, joined by some hefty drums. This has to be my favourite track on the album. It’s melodic, catchy and I found myself singing along to it. Jari also truly shows how strong his vocals are. Two minutes in, the guitar to sets the stage for an energetic and speedy keyboard solo, before returning to the vibrant sound of before, ending on a swift guitar curtain-closer.
Stargazery released an official video for this track.
Stargazery’s influences ring throughout the album, bands like Rainbow and Black Sabbath (Tony Martin era). It is aided by immaculate and robust production, which cultivates all the tracks into an exquisite masterpiece of melodic heaviness. Fans of the bands mentioned above, and fans who enjoy melodic metal would do well to add ‘Stars Aligned’ to their collection, as Stargazery provide a very clear, melodic and sophisticated sound all round.
Review by Cassandra Jaeger Irving