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Stargate: Escaping The Illusion
Stargate - Escaping The Illusion Album Art

Stargate: Escaping The Illusion

Melodic Metal Rock
4.0/5.0

Once more we turn Macedonia to hear from Thessaloniki's Stargate and their latest and sixth long-player Escaping The Illusion. Excepting their 2004 self-titled album, I've reviewed every Stargate album since 2013's Reborn, which was the band's career reboot. But, when coming to a new album, the first question to be asked is whether they've changed singers again. What a surprise? They have. Out goes Vassilis Papadopoulos; in comes Manos Fatsis (also Alpha Souls, City Of Lights, Hideaway). The vocalist door continues to revolve.

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Stargate

But I review each new album because of Stargate's commitment to and skill in crafting melodic metal rock. There's not reinventing themselves, nor trying to become experimental. Their songs consistently blend classic melodic hard rock with a notable metal edge. Strong song melody dovetails with guitar and vocal harmony with addition of catchy refrains and abundant key and guitar solos.


That is to say that Stargate is constant and consistent in their music. Excepting the voice at the microphone Stargate's melodic metal has become familiar, recognizable, and so appreciated by their fans and those fans of the genre. So then the album gets off to a strong start with Hiding All The Tears, Deepest Sea, Lonely Queen, and Life Is An Illusion. All four songs build the hard rock groove and add the metal edge. All four are rather heavy, Deepest Sea and Lonely Queen both quite swift. The former has a deft and sparkling keyboard solo that was a bit too long for my taste. You also discover that Fatsis is a fine vocalist, singing strong, melodic, and clean with a range that never buckles. I believe many of the songs were written to fit his style, including the next three.

However, when I got to Wounded Soul, I Am Hear, and The Enemy Inside, I became ambivalent about the songs. These three songs didn't seem to have the catchy punch of the previous. The concluding Outcast was better, a stronger finish with the groove of power metal and an ambitious guitar solos. I say the conclusion of the album, but what follows are two acoustic songs: the aforementioned Life Is An Illusion and from Unbroken Diamond, Christmas Night. These are followed by three primarily guitar instrumentals of less than a minute each.

All in all, Stargate's Escaping The Illusion is another platter of their consistent and familiar melodic metal rock, with a new vocalist of course, yet perhaps not matching the significance of previous albums. Let the listener decide. Check out the vids, and support the band.



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The Take Away

All in all, Stargate's Escaping The Illusion is another platter of their consistent and familiar melodic metal rock, with a new vocalist of course, yet perhaps not matching the significance of previous albums. Let the listener decide.

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