STARGAZERY – Eye On The Sky (2011)

TOD HOWARTH Opposite Gods

STARGAZERY is the new Finnish hard rock band fronted by the ex-Michael Schenker Group vocalist Jari Tiura, formed with several ex-members of Burning Point (another Fin band).
Their debut “Eye On The Sky” is a solid european melodic hard rock album with a strong ’80s influence.
Picture this: eighties Rainbow, without Ronnie James, and then peppered with classic Whitesnake, less bluesy but just as bombastic. A good reference too is Tony Martin’s Black Sabbath era.

Stargazery works all the angles of hard rock with aplomb.
The friendliness of melody merged with the power of heaviness marks songs such as the opener “Dying”, “Judah (the Lion)” and “Jester Of Kings”, the shortest song here.
This is a remarkable aspect of this album; concise and effective songs, wasting little time and no notes, delivering forceful but catchy hard rock.
Surprisingly, the second track is a ballad. And what a great one. Not a syruped lullaby song, this is a classic metalized power ballad with extremely melodic vocal arrangements and potent guitars.

The title track “Eye On The Sky” has definitely a Rainbow bouquet, but the pace is more frenetic and modern sounding, on some places very close to the first melodic Masterplan.
Next, two great numbers in a row; the anthemic “How Many Miles” (very Whitesnake-esque) and “I Am the Night” featuring a catchy chorus and great keyboards.
“Puppet On A String” has a slightly metal edge but very melodic, with vintage, parping keyboard lines (including solo).
Additionally, in a nod to their roots, Stargazery covers Black Sabbath’s “Headless Cross”, from the Tony Martin era, with predictable success. Very good version.

Some may suggest predictability to Stargazery’s debut and they’re likely right.
But, who cares? You can’t find bands like this anymore.
This is Classic ’80s European Melodic Hard Rock with an edge done with class, perfect musicianship, very melodic, massively accessible and entertaining.
“Eye On The Sky” smokes, crank it to 10 and enjoy.

01 – Dying
02 – Everytime I Dream Of You
03 – Eye On The Sky
04 – How Many Miles
05 – I Am The Night
06 – Jester Of Kings
07 – Judah (The Lion)
08 – Puppet On A String
09 – S.O.S.
10 – Headless Cross [Black Sabbath cover]

Jari Tiura – Vocals (MSG, Snakegod)
Pete Ahonen – Guitars & Backing Vocals (Burning Point)
Jukka Jokikokko – Bass & Backing Vocals (Burning Point)
Marco Sneck – Keyboards (Charon, Pekka Tapani band)
Jussi Ontero – Drums (Burning Point, Wildcard)

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