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Starchaser: Starchaser
Starchaser - 2022 Debut Album Art

Starchaser: Starchaser

Heavy Power Metal
4.0/5.0

Many times in a band context we don't recall the individual players. Perhaps the vocalist, who always seems to be in the middle and front of a band photo, or the lead guitarist. If you don't recall guitarist Kenneth Jonnson, no worries. He was one of the guitarists for Swedish metal band Tad Morose. He backed up founding guitarist Christer "Krunt" Andersson between 2012 and 2019, appearing on three Tad Morose albums. Jonnson is also the lead guitarist for his band The Citadel which has had a sporadic recording history.

Starchaser Click For Larger Image

Starchaser

Recently, Jonnson decided to write and record songs for a new solo project. However, to his surprise and pleasure, his solo designs morphed into Starchaser with a full band compliment including vocalist Ulrich Carlsson (Shaggy, ex-M.ILL.ION), bassist Örjan Josefsson (Cibola Junction), drummer Johan Koleberg (Wolf, Therion, Hammerfall, and more.), and keyboardist Kay Backlund (Lions Share, Nils Patrik Johansson, etc).

So then, musically speaking, Jonnson and Starchaser steer little from his Tad Morose history. To be honest, I have never been a fan of Tad Morose, finding the guitar work too aggressive, the vocals both agressive and raw. Starchaser revisits many of that band's consistent elements: heavy roaring riffage, a thick and speedy rhythm and groove, and audacious and brash guitar solos. The vocals of Ulrich Carlsson fill a similar role. He sings melodic and assertive with a sometimes screamo effect. However, in this recording, he's nearly buried in the density of the riffs and synths. The latter is something of an addition, or addendum, to Starchaser that differs from the Tad Morose influences.

Are their other differences? Perhaps. While Jonnson lays down some brash riffage, there's a notable song melody and harmony in his song arrangments and guitar work, even some latent rock groove as well. But the heavy power metal is clearly self-evident throughout, with Tokyo, Angel Of Fear, For A Dying World, and Starchaser as good examples. For less speed but more heavy abrasive metal there's Killer Of Lies and Battleship. A bit of a twist comes with I'll Find A Way which will fool you with it's clean piano intro, only to rise heavy as it moves forward. (A Piano outro concludes the song.) Call it something of a heavy power metal ballad, or not.

All said, with Starchaser, former Tad Morose guitarist Kenneth Jonnson revisits his heavy power metal history with consistent results and subtle differences. Recommended for fans of Tad Morose and heavier European power metal.




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The Take Away

All said, with Starchaser, former Tad Morose guitarist Kenneth Jonnson revisits his heavy power metal history with consistent results and subtle differences. Recommended for fans of Tad Morose and heavier European power metal.

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