Friday, June 21, 2024

Stargazer promise Life Will Never Be The Same

Norwegian band Stargazer were all set to build on the favourable reviews garnered from their second album, The Sky Is The Limit, in 2019 but this was thwarted by… you’ll never guess what… so they used this downtime to work on a third album, and Life Will Never Be The Same is the end result. It’s the album you’d expect from a band like Stargazer, who know exactly what kind of music they want to play and they go for it in a large way.

Stargazer have been around for a decade and have built a rep for being purveyors of classic hard rock and heavy metal. They have some good melodies to go alongside some quite powerful riffage. This album is largely riff based with several powerhouse examples on offer but, from the evidence offered here, they appear to be a vehicle for the guitar histrionics of William Ernstsen, whose runs up and down the fretboard fills several of the tracks with full-on guitar histrionics. Even on songs where they appear wholly out of place, such as ‘Rock The Sky’. ‘Yes’, there’s indeed a place for guitar flash and playing an excess of notes, but not in almost every song. The band’s line-up states they have a keyboard player, Sondre Bjerkset but, apart from the intro to ‘Turn Off The Light’, if he’s on this album, then he’s been buried deep in the mix as there’s little evidence of his contribution.

They open up with ‘Can You Conceive it’, which has a touch of Dio and Saxon about it though without the mighty vocals of those two bands. It’s a fast-moving track and is the template for most of the album, with driving riffs and fast flashy guitar work. There’s little in the way of frills and subtlety on display, just full-on rock in the shape of tracks like ‘Live My Dream’, ‘Don’t Kill’ and ‘Push Me’.

They also have a mellower side, revealed in slower songs like ‘Live Today’, where the guitar heroics are toned down somewhat, ‘Rock The Sky’ and ‘Heartbroken’, a song about, well, getting your heart broken, I’m crying in the rain because life will never be the same. They even give us an instrumental, ‘Beyond The Moon’, which contains some lovely guitar touches and, ironically, little in the way of flashy guitar pyrotechnics.

This is an album which will definitely appeal to fans of classic rock who like their music to be full-on, unsophisticated and straight down the line.

Laurence Todd
Laurence Todd
Took early retirement after many years as a teacher in order to write books as well as about music. A long-time music obsessive, has wide and eclectic tastes but particularly likes prog rock and rock in general. Enjoys going to gigs and discovering new acts.

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Norwegian band Stargazer were all set to build on the favourable reviews garnered from their second album, The Sky Is The Limit, in 2019 but this was thwarted by... you’ll never guess what... so they used this downtime to work on a third album,...Stargazer promise Life Will Never Be The Same