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Starbreaker - Dysphoria Award winner

by Kevin Burke at 11 February 2019, 1:30 PM

The super-group, the legendary combination of the best from a host of bands talent colliding together to produce a sound that when it works is unequaled.  That said, STARBREAKER are a super-group who have exceeded expectations since their incarnation fourteen-years ago.  With the voice of ex-TNT Tony Harnell and multi-instrumentalist Magnus Karlsson of PRIMAL FEAR/LAST TRIBE, the highly anticipated new release “Dysphoria” ticks all those boxes that satisfy the senses.  When the album is heavy it is untouchable, when it slows down to a tender, musical reflection, all emotions are nailed perfectly.

The magnificent-explosion starts early on with the opener “Pure Evil”, a pounding, unchained beast of a song, all the elements that make this band worth buying into are displayed here for all to hear.  Harnell is on top form, backed with the guitar-acrobatics of Karlsson, the chemistry is sublime when it is as richly delivered as this.  Although for those who were a mild fan of previous outings, “Dysphoria” is more appealing and entertaining, and as the further nine-tracks start to reveal themselves, a better outing of the band’s talent.

“I was born in the back-seat of a car”-Wild Butterflies

The lyrics are powerful at those moments of reflection, such as on “Wild Butterflies”STARBREAKER slows things down with a sweet ballad, heavy on the backing vocal as they transcend into a choral effect.  “Last December” follows with the lovelorn theme, though the listener does get the feel the band just want to kick-out and break loose, though the solo by Karlsson shows how this man breathes fire through the strings.

The title track gets the listener back to the grime-cranking craze we all yearn for, “Dysphoria” is the definite highlight of the album.  A well controlled shrieking by Harnell proves why is such a force of nature, like a banshee on acid his vocal lines against the melodic and intense guitar licks of Karlsson makes STARBREAKER worth every penny of the admission fee.

Fire Away” ignites perfectly, for those amateur guitarists this is the track that will force you to bin your beloved six-string, the talent is a undeniable in its excellence.  “Bright Star Blind Me” has those hints of eighties SCORPIONS or even WHITESNAKE, though the rhythm section of Jonni Lightfoot-bass and Anders Köllerfors-drums is a solid foundation to build on, these guys are consistently brilliant throughout.

Taking their name from a track by JUDAS PRIEST and closing the album with that track is a strange move, however, the cover is a marvelous ending to what is both an impressive and magnificent sounding outing.  This is the true sound of the band without doubt.  My only cause for concern is that an album jammed to the rafters with non-stop musical assaults might suit this band better.  Yes, ballads serve a purpose, we all need that erection-section in our lives but this band may be best served firing on all cylinders and speeding forward.  STARBREAKER are capable of great things, musically they are untouchable and certainly one to follow on their further adventures.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 8
Memorability: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Pure evil
2. Wild butterflies
3. Last December
4. How many more goodbyes
5. Beautiful one
6. Dysphoria
7. My heart belongs to you
8. Fire away
9. Bright star blind me
10. Starbreaker
Tony Harnell - Vocals
Magnus Karlsson - Guitars, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Jonni Lightfoot - Bass
Anders Köllerfors - Drums
Record Label: Frontiers Records


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Edited 20 July 2019

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