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Starkill – Gravity

Starkill
Gravity
by Liam Easley at 08 July 2019, 7:08 PM

Chicago’s Metal scene, while not very prominent, is quite diverse. From the city comes STARKILL, a band that puts an interesting twist on Power Metal. This band just released their fourth album under their current name, and it is titled “Gravity”. Of the many things to say about this release, the most accurate way to describe it is “versatile”. Because it really has something to offer almost to everyone. The vocals go from female Gothic Rock to Emocore to Death Metal. The instruments, while not often original, have plenty of orchestration, keyboard variation and even some interesting riffs here and there.

Right off the bat, the listener is shown every side of this band. “Detonate” features strong instrumentation and melodic passages. While it isn’t one of the stronger tracks the album has to offer, the message is clear: this band has some interesting material to dish out. “Until We Fall” is one of my preferred tracks. The opening riff is nothing original, and it reminds me of a Metalcore band’s attempt to be “more metal”, but Metalcore acts don’t show as much stamina as this band, as STARKILL plays this fast throughout the majority of the song. The song also features a nice breakdown, and everything is just very well-written and composed.

This album doesn’t peak for me until “Emerge”, a track that features nice depth and dramatic, monolithic chemistry between the keyboards and guitar. The song has female choral moments that put a nice accent on the first verse. This is one of the few tracks to make complete use of multiple sequences in such a formidable manner, creating a dome of epic themes and passages. This isn’t seen again until “The Real Enemy”, the tack that concludes the album.

Throughout this release, a lot of riffs are played. Most of them are unoriginal, but all of them sound good. It occurred to me that the riffs are all played very fast, and the songs have enough depth as the orchestration and keyboards play off the guitars nicely. The riffs may be unoriginal, but it isn’t noticeable right away. My mind first goes to pleasure before my left brain kicks in. Also, the drums help in making the riffs sound fresh. Spencer Weidner is a monster behind that set. At 12 songs, this album is intimidating. There is not a song that reaches five minutes, but the album is still almost 50 minutes in length, making it difficult to get through. Personally, I lost interest around track eight, “Lost to Time”. Afterwards, the tracks seem to blend together and their style starts to sound formulaic. They all have multiple sequences, the second of which is usually in the middle of the track and the chorus is very melodic and epic.

The problem can commonly be solved by spreading out the better tracks evenly, but that is not the case here. What really needed to happen is the removal of some tracks. The album is too lengthy for its repetitive nature. “The Real Enemy” was strong enough to snap my attention back, but the three songs preceding it were not, meaning that they would probably be better off not on the release. STARKILL have a good release here. Although there is a problem with the album structure, there isn’t a song that is actually bad. While I do hate the lyrical themes, I’m used to Death Metal, so I really don’t care about lyrics enough to dock points. In total, this is an enjoyable release.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 5
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Detonate
2. Until We Fall
3. Not Alone
4. Castaway
5. Emerge
6. Manufactured Bliss
7. Fly with Me
8. Lost to Time
9. Master of My Life
10. Evil Inside
11. Face the Dark
12. The Real Enemy
Lineup:
Spencer Weidner – Drums
Parker Jameson – Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards, Orchestrations
Tony Keathley – Guitars, Vocals
Shaun Andruchuk – Bass
Sarah Lynn Collier – Vocals
Record Label: Massakren Inc.
     


Rating

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Edited 16 October 2019
 

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