Stargazery – Constellation
Pure Steel Records
Release Date: 29/05/2020
Running Time: 44:42
Review by Chris Palmer
The second chapter in my journey with Ever Metal sees me travelling to the stars with Finnish Melodic Metallers, Stargazery, as the five-piece prepare to release their third opus at the end of this week.
Formed back in 2005 by guitarist Pete Ahonen (Burning Point, Ghost Machinery), the band released its debut album, “Eye On The Sky” in 2011. Four years later saw the release of the band’s follow-up album, “Stars Aligned”, which portrayed their tableau of keyboard-driven Melodic Metal that is heavily influenced by the likes of Rainbow and Tony Martin-era Black Sabbath.
The band, which is completed by ex-MSG and ex-Snakegod vocalist Jari Tiura, Marko Pukkila (Bass), Pasi Hiltula (Keyboards) and Illka Leskelä (Drums), release a third album to a world still struggling with the knock-on effects of the COVID-19 outbreak.
For those still suffering the continuous ramifications of lockdown and self-isolation (like yours truly), this new release is a welcome surprise…
Entitled “Constellation” and containing ten tracks, this musical treasure chest will maintain a firm grip on you for almost 45 minutes, as this quintet will lift your spirits and leave you gazing at the stars, as you reach for the repeat button after virtually every song!
Released via Pure Steel Records, the album’s epicness is immediately obvious as the riff-driven sounds of ‘Sinners In Shadows’ blast from the speakers. Consisting of a chorus to die for, you’ll be singing along in no time, as cobwebs are blown away by the heavy rhythm section and powerful vocal attack.
The keyboard-led ‘War Torn’ is equally brilliant, as the band encourages you to close your eyes and absorb the sounds, before rising again to headbang your way through the heavy ‘Self-Proclaimed King’. After several stoppages to allow for usage of the repeat button, the beautiful sounds of the bass guitar lead you into the melodic ‘Ripple The Water’, which is followed by the beautiful, slow moving ballad ‘I Found Angels’.
The second half of the album begins with the breathless and powerful title track, which leads you into the Melodic Metal masterpiece, ‘Caught In The Crossfire’. The keyboard sections throughout are truly marvellous, as is the guitar solo during the song’s second half, but it’s the entire rhythm of the tune that’ll have you bouncing around the room with a stupid grin on your face! ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ meanwhile, turns the pace down a notch with its brilliant chugging rhythm. However, Jari’s vocal talents really shine here, as he treats listeners to a wonderful mixture of powerful and melodic moments.
Penultimate number, ‘In My Blood’, is another slab of Melodic Metal awesomeness, as it rumbles along at varying tempos and impressive riffs. The keyboard solo during the second half brings back memories of Paul Raymond and Jon Lord, as the song comes to an end. The album closes with the heavy and epic ‘Raise The Flag’, which contains a pounding rhythm that’ll have you punching your fists in the air in sheer delight.
After three quarters of an hour the silence is deafening, but your blood will be pumping and your face aching from the stupid grin imposed upon you earlier. This Finnish quintet have risen spirits and lifted your face to the stars as they’ve hurdled through ten tracks of epicness. You’ve discovered that the music has been so good, it deserves another round…
And what’s not to like? Everything a fan of Melodic Metal could possibly ask for is on display throughout. Each track takes up a life of its own, yet remains on the overall path of the album’s journey by being driven by the powerhouse rhythm section of Marko and Illka. The guitars and keyboards of Pete and Pasi offer moments of sheer beauty, while complimenting the aforementioned duo throughout each track. The solo offerings of both Pete and Pasi bring joy to the ears, as both musicians do what they do best. The entire work is completed by a superb performance from Jari, as the singer treats the listener to a vocal display of power, wonder, and beauty throughout.
“Constellation” has been a truly wonderful album to review, and will remain on my playlist for many years to come…or at least until the next chapter from Stargazery arrives! For any fan of Melodic Metal, this album is an essential purchase. The same can be said for any fan of good metal music… What a delightful listening experience.
01. Sinners In Shadows
02. War Torn
03. Self-Proclaimed King
04. Ripple The Water
05. I Found Angels
07. Caught In The Crossfire
08. Dark Side Of The Moon
09. In My Blood
10. Raise The Flag
Jari Tiura – Vocals
Pete Ahonen – Guitars
Marko Pukkila – Bass
Pasi Hiltula – Keyboards
Illka Leskelä – Drums
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Chris Palmer and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.