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Starscape – Pilgrims

Starscape
Pilgrims
by Joseph Brewer at 05 August 2020, 1:20 AM

Far out! At least, that is one of the ideals driving the cosmic theme behind Swedish duo, STARSCAPE. This pair of celestial travelers have ventured far off into the abyss of space, their colony navigating the endless stars in hopes of finding a new home. With Per-Olof Göransson on the coms and Anton Eriksson on the instruments, this two track EP “Pilgrims” takes you on a white-knuckled adventure through the vast unknown of space, guided by electric guitar and perilous vocals.

Opening track, “Pilgrim Of The Stars” wastes no time in unsettling the listener. Increasingly loud synth humming surrounds your headphones for a few moments before the IRON MAIDEN-esque guitar riffs take over. The predominant guitar sound is clean, but with an older amp vibe, exactly what you would expect from a NWOBHM 70’s band in their prime. The riffs are tight and sharp and move so quickly that your heart races to keep up. The bass line is moving just as quick, dancing along the scale and adding to the pulse. Lastly, the drum execution is perfect for this type of song (Note: the drums are programmed, not recorded). Lots of crisp cymbal work to add that crash you want from heavy metal, but in a controlled articulate sense. All of this, by the way, is being performed by multi-instrumentalist Anton Eriksson, who is the mastermind behind this project.

After a blistering instrumental opening, Per-Olof Göransson comes in over the communication channel and starts narrating the perilous tale. His vocals on this album are varied. He starts off in the verses with a succinct, strained delivery; not so much singing. It comes off more like terrified pleading. The message is clear: we are lost in space but will not give up until we find something. The chorus is more melodic. The use of vocal layers helps to provide a harmony, brightening up the song overall.

Colony” gets off to a similar start. This time, the bass guitar taking center stage, cycling over and over through a quick note progression. The guitar kicks in and carries that same rhythm pattern, just up on the tiny strings for a finger blistering amount of time. Soon, the whole band joins in and you are really immersed in a killer breakdown, highly reminiscent of iconic DEEP PURPLE and IRON MAIDEN. When Göransson comes in for the first verse, the rhythm becomes lighter and almost bubbly. The bridge to chorus transition has a nice counterplay between Göransson singing in the lowest parts of his register and then climbing up in the chorus for a high, soaring melody.

EP “Pilgrims” by STARSCAPE is just enough of a taste to get you interested in what their full album would sound like. The inclusion of the synths is that final element that solidifies their cosmic sound and fills out your imagination as a space traveler. The decision to have a “throwback” sound is an interesting one, as it puts you more in the mindset of a simpler adventure, ie: Flash Gordon, but one that is nonetheless engaging. Fans of modern NWOBHM inspired music will definitely enjoy the sound of STARSCAPE.

Favorite Songs: “Pilgrim Of The Stars”, “Colony

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Pilgrim Of The Stars
2. Colony
Lineup:
Per-Olof Göransson – Communication Channel
Anton Eriksson – Navigational Instruments
Record Label: Independent
     


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Edited 01 October 2020
 

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