Rock Zone UK

STARBREAKER – DYSPHORIA

Former TNT frontman, Tony Harnell, is teaming up with Primal Fear and Allen/Lande prolific guitarist Magnus Karlsson again for the release of the much-anticipated third Starbreaker album.

Starbreaker started as Harnell’s side project while he was still in TNT. He was initially working on a solo record, but with guitarist Magnus Karlsson, former TNT drummer John Macaluso, and bassist Fabrizio Grossi, they formed Starbreaker. The band recorded its first self-titled studio album in 2005, and it was released on July 13th in the same year.

In late 2007, with Starbreaker as his main musical project, he flew to Sweden to write the bulk of the songs for the new album with Karlsson, and started recording the new songs at the end of the year. The second album was entitled “Love’s Dying Wish”, and was released on August 1st, 2008. The album featured new bassist Jonni Lightfoot, who replaced Grossi, and was produced by Harnell and Karlsson, with producer Tommy Hansen (TNT, Pretty Maids, Helloween) as the mixer.

Following Harnell’s departure from TNT in the second half of 2017, he finally started working again with Karlsson to record the long-awaited new album. The long wait does not disappoint. Offering an exclectic mixture of Melodic and aggressive Metal, including also a Judas Priest cover of the classic song “Starbreaker,” Harnell and Karlsson offer what is probably their most mature, varied and exciting release to date.

This is the first album of 2019 that ive been really looking forward to reviewing, as being a massive fan of near 35 years of TONY HARNELL , WESTWORLD, STARBREAKER and TNT this man cannot do anything wrong in my eyes. A consumate perfomer both on record, and in the live Arena, as in my humble opinion he is one of world’s greatest vocalist’s still performing live music.
The first two STARBREAKER albums offered up a great mix of the old & the new, featuring big guitars, exquisite harmonies & of course supreme vocals, with the line-up featuring Tony Harnell – Vocals, Magnus Karlsson – guitars, keyboards and backing vocals, Jonni Lighfoot – bass and Anders Kollerfors – Drums.
The album kicks off with a proper in your face melodic metal tune in ‘Pure Evil’ , with ‘Wild Butterflies and ‘Last December’ offering up that unique sound with amazing vocals from Harnell & crunching guitars from Karlsson. The excellent ‘ How Many More Goodbyes’ is swiftly followed by the haunting ballad ‘Beautiful One’ which is my favourite track off this release. Title track ‘DYSPHORIA’ is presented next, a real gem of a tune that showcases the whole band, and the unsung rhythm section of Jonni Lightfoot on bass & Anders Kollerfors on drums.
It’s just track after track of hook laden melodic rock, with ‘My Heart Belongs to You’ and ‘Fire Away’ effortlessly leading to another favourite of mine on the album, the excellent ‘Bright Star Blind Me’. This brings us to the final track, a cover of the JUDAS PRIEST classic ‘Starbreaker’ that is just superb and does the PRIEST justice.
I could talk about this release all day it’s that magnificent, and for me ranks as good if not better than the first two releases. It’s an excellent album, with great songs delivered by quality musicians and a brilliant vocalist, and for me, it is the first must have release for 2019.

Tracklisting:

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

Lineup:

Tony Harnell – vocals

Magnus Karlsson – guitars, keyboards, backing vocals

Jonni Lightfoot – bass

Anders Köllerfors – drums

PRODUCED BY: Magnus Karlsson and Tony Harnell

MIXED AND MASTERED BY Simone Mularoni

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