STAR.GATE – Unbroken Diamond (2022) *0dayrox Exclusive*

STAR.GATE - Unbroken Diamond (2022) *0dayrox Exclusive* full

Unbroken Diamond” is the new album from rockers STAR.GATE, the Greek band formed by keyboardist Sakis Bandis (HORIZON’S END) and drummer Stergios Kourou (HORIZON’S END, WARDRUM), now featuring new vocalist Vassilis Papadopoulos (ex-KONAN) who give the quintet a much more melodious feel thanks to his warm and powerful voice driving the band’s sound into a new level.
STAR.GATE is a diverse outfit delivering a musical mix of classic melodic metal, hard rock groove and at places, Pomp AOR waves, with influences ranging from URIAH HEEP and KANSAS to STYX and modern day JOURNEY.

“Unbroken Diamond” navigates all over classic elements from the 70s / 80s / 90s via melodic and dynamic arrangements, clean vocals, strong guitar riffs & solos, and a bouncy rhythm section. Old-school spirit with modern production.

After the atmospheric intro “Unbroken”, a keyboard melodic line open the ‘gates’ of title track “Unbroken Diamond”. The vocal melodies are soon overtaking the first verse and the majestic chorus drive the composition on its first glory. Bandis have put some beautiful keyboard melodies in here then Anthimos Manti’s guitar solo is fabulous.
There’s a catchy, almost neoclassical mood on the following “Christmas Night”. You can start counting the repeated plays for this one as you enjoy the beautiful vocal harmonies both in the verse and chorus and of course the keyboard solo.

The album’s first ’70s touches are appear on the main verse of the “Believe”, the song that follows. Papadopoulos highlights a beautifully mysterious and melodic theme for the main vocal lines of each verse, preparing us for the chorus. David Byron would have been proud for the verse melody and Ken Hensley for the keyboard solo.
So what to we got here? URIAH HEEP Epic / Hard touches on the STAR.GATE realm? Oh yes! And this is only the beginning.

What follows is one of the album’s top moments; “Birth of a Star” is a fantastic composition highlighting the Pomp Rock orientation that can be heard on many songs of this release. Should I refer to the amazing vocal melodies? Should I refer to the epic / romantic piano parts or to the fantastic guitar solo? This is a magnum opus. If you worship bands like STYX, KANSAS, PATRIARCH, ASIA (US), BURST and the similar you would sure get the vibe of this one. Mid 70s to early 80s Pomp Rock meets early 80s Crossover & Hard / Prog, under a neoclassical touch. Well, I am in Heaven.

The overall structure and approaching on the next track intro part reminded me the “Just Between Us” song by TALISMAN. Then you realize that “Don’t Think About Tomorrow” has one of the catchiest choruses in the whole album. Musically is balances between Pomp Rock and AOR, with the keyboard orchestration to be one of the main song’s highlights. Great track.

“The Tree” is a nother winner, highlighting the Pomp Rock magic that we all hope to be a key feature into the future STAR.GATE journeys. Everything is top class in this song. I enjoyed the guitar solo very much in this one. You will loose the counting of the repeated plays for this track.
Then “Sunlight” is perhaps even better. This is one of the songs that are able to bring tears in your eyes. The URIAH HEEP influences are passing through the magical kaleidoscope of the bans and the result is magical. You got to listen the song’s verses! You got to listen the pre-chorus bridge – probably the best moment of the album – and of course you got to listen to the chorus. Bandis is offering some Hammond and piano magic in here, while the emphatic drums of Stergios Kourou are expanding the greatness.

The classic stuff appear on “I’ll Wait for You”, a pompous and emotional hymn to fantasy-romanticism (“fantasy” is for the music and “romanticism” is for the lyrics). I love Manti’s 70s oriented solo in here. A brilliant tune.
The album’s epilogue belongs to a wonderful composition of keyboardist Bandis. “Diamond Dust” is a small, melancholic musical fairy tale that carries a strong Pomp influence.

STAR.GATE is an old-school band not only songwriting wise, but also as performers and the way they recorded this album. No auto-tune, not excess of effects, no triggers, no banks with drum sound samplers, nothing like that. Just the pure, natural sound of a good rock band.
“Unbroken Diamond” combines the classic metal sound of the early 90s with the Pomp Rock sound of the mid 70s / early 80s, plus the 70s Epic / Hard neoclassical vibe that was mainly expressed by the URIAH HEEP pioneers on their golden era. I see this album as the beginning of a new age for the band.
Highly Recommended

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01. Unbroken
02. Unbroken Diamond
03. Christmas Night
04. Believe
05. Birth Of A Star
06. Don’t Think About Tomorrow
07. The Tree
08. Sunlight
09. I’ll Wait For You
10. Diamond Dust

Vassilis Papadopoulos: Vocals
Anthimos Manti: Guitars
Kostas Domenikiotis: Bass
Sakis Bandis: Keyboards
Stergios Kourou: Drums



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