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Stargazery - Eye on the Sky Award winner

Eye on the Sky
by Jonathan Maphet at 16 March 2011, 5:55 PM

STARGAZERYare a new melodic metal band from Finland. The band sounds very dynamic. The songs are filled with memorable hooks and riffs that you can really get into. The melodies are very catchy and engaging to the listener. I like the fact that they picked a song by BLACK SABBATH to cover that didn’t feature OZZY or DIO. I have always loved the Tony Martin era of BLACK SABBATH and they did a wonderful job covering “Headless Cross”. This is a solid heavy metal album. The playing is good and the guitar tone, while not unique, is certainly not the standard distortion I am used to. I could do without the pick scrapes, but some people think that is a good thing. Why, I do not know. “Judah the Lion”; is a good biblical reference, and may have been used to offset the evil feeling of “Headless Cross”. Jari Tiura has a great voice. Vocals are everything in a song. You can have a great sounding song totally ruined by the vocalist. If you want an example of that, try listening to the first three SACRED STEEL records. The key word is “try”.

Sometimes when I get a “melodic metal” album it means that it’s slow paced and more mellow than power metal. That is the case here as well, but not at all as close to the degree in which I am used to. This is a true heavy metal album, not AOR which is often disguised as melodic rock or metal. As I said earlier, the guitar sound is not what I hear every day. The more I listen to it, the more I appreciate the tone of the guitar on this record. Different isn’t always good, but when it works, it’s something special simply because everything has been done to death by now, thus the old expression that there is “nothing new under the sky”. While I do like the BLACK SABBATH cover a lot, I think they would have been better of using their own song. I doubt they were unable to come up with one. I feel that cover songs should only be done as bonus songs. There is an exception to that, and that would be METALLICA. They have made every song they have ever covered better by doing it their own way. I cannot think of any other band that comes even within a mile of being as good at covers as METALLICA is. They are the gold standard for cover songs.

They keyboards are used efficiently on the album. They supply a nice background sound and add backbone to the music.  Eye on the Sky is definitely user friendly heavy metal. It’s not too hard and it isn’t too soft. It’s right there in the middle to cover as wide of an audience as possible. This album caters to as many fans as the band was able to. In a very competitive market, you need to be special. You do not need to be unique, not at all, but you do need to have something special, and this album is just that. I recommend this release highly to all fans of metal that can handle a power ballad and don’t expect pounding double bass blasting through the speakers (with the exception of the title track). One could do much worse than buying this album. Give it a spin, it is well worth it.

4 Star Rating

1. Dying
2. Everytime I dream of you
3. Eye on the Sky
4. How many Miles
5. I am the Night
6. Jester of Kings
7. Judah (The Lion)
8. Puppet on a string
9. S.O.S
10. Headless Cross
Jari Tiura - Vocals
Pete Ahonen - Guitar
Jukka Jokikokko - Bass
Jussi Ontero - Drums
Marco Sneck - Keyboard
Record Label: Pure Steel Records


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