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Stargate: The Dream
Stargate - The Dream Music Review

Stargate: The Dream

Melodic Metal
4.5/5.0

Once more we revisit Greece to hear from Hellenic metal band Stargate. Formed some 15 years ago, the band has been consistently releasing studio albums, about every three years, since 2013. What hasn't been constant is the band personnel. The Dream, their fourth album comes with some new players. Vocalist John Jeff Touch and songwriter and bass player Kostas Domenikiotis remain the core of the band, with new additions of Anthemm Manti on guitars, Sakis Bandis (Horizon's End) on keyboards, Stergios Kourou (Wardrum, Horizon's End) on drums.

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In the three years since Longing For The Light, it appears that Stargate may be experiencing a musical evolution. Where the previous album might be described as melodic hard rock with some metal vibe, the songs within The Dream flip the musical motif. Today Stargate sounds more like melodic metal band, still infused with rock rhythm and groove and then laced with some symphonic layers. It may be splitting hairs for some, but the difference is notable. Additionally, within past albums, I had doubts about John Jeff Touch's vocal performance which seemed assertive, strained, and lacking control. With this album and tunes, none of these things hold true anymore. In other words, he also has evolved into a better vocalist.

Furthermore, I think the song craftsmanship is better as well. I like Stargate's rock groove infused melodic metal direction. Additionally, you'll find increased musical influence and competition between guitar and keyboards. Some songs have tandem solos between both such as Living For The Dream and New Age. Alternatively, the opener Stargate turns on ambitious keyboard solos. Then Miracle gives the guitar the platform from sharp riffage to powerful solos. Moreover, Stargate has bumped up the depth of melody and harmony in their tunes, especially in the vocal harmony. A fine example is Best Night Of My Life where strong vocal harmony, a catchy refrain, and ambitious rock groove make for a melodic metal anthem with AOR accessibility. Finally, kudos go to Domenikiotis's ever present and vibrant bass line throughout the album. By example, within Key To Fantasy his bass has fusion of both jazz and rock.

All in all, Stargate's The Dream is quite possibly their best and most consistent album to date, offering satisfying and entertaining rock infused melodic metal. Now if they can only keep a solid band lineup. Recommended.


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The Bottom Line

Stargate's The Dream is quite possibly their best and most consistent album to date, offering satisfying and entertaining rock infused melodic metal. Now if they can only keep a solid band lineup. Recommended.

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Once more we revisit Greece to hear from Hellenic metal band Stargate. Formed some 15 years ago, the band has been consistently releasing studio albums, about every three years, since 2013. What hasn't ... [ Read More ]

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