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Starquake: Time Space Matter
Starquake - Time Space Matter Music Review

Starquake: Time Space Matter

Melodic Progressive Rock/Metal
3.5/5.0

After a four year absence, vocalist, composer, and multi-instrumentalist Mikey Wenzel returns with his Starquake project and third album Time Space Matter. Wenzel suggests that the album finishes a trilogy of albums started with his first solo album A Matter Of Time in 2010 and the middle album, 2015's Times That Matter.

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Starquake's Mikey Wenzel

Once again Wenzel and Starquake offer you a trip through a musical time tunnel, revisiting Seventies prog rock and early Eighties heavy metal, notably NWoBHM. You'll find equal parts melodic hard rock groove and the strong riffs and drums of heavy metal. Then there's Wenzel dropping in large portions of synths, Hammond, and Mellotron for embellishment. As with past albums, the wild card in the mix is Wenzel's voice. His vocal style isn't all that appealing, at least to these ears.

As for the album, Wenzel has done us a favor by trimming back the whole to about 50 minutes (as opposed to the overbearing 73 minutes of the previous album). Additionally, the album is strangely unbalanced with three lengthy songs juxtaposed against six shorter ones, some only mere minutes.

For the longer songs, Goddammaddog and Jack turn more upon heavy rock or metal. Yet Goddammaddog drops in some flute to slightly mellow some parts, like adding fabric softener to your laundry. Jack, about US President John F Kennedy, is essentially tedious hard and heavy rock, only saved by a fine guitar solo. The 17 minute A Never Give Up Suite is perhaps the best example of Wenzel's ability to create melodic progressive rock with some intrigue and mild complexity. But it's also another reason I don't like listening to him sing.

As for the shorter tunes, the first cut Starquake, is a Hammond heavy hard rocker. The instrumental trilogy of Space, Matter, and Time is mostly Wenzel fusing prog rock with space rock. Time has a delightful amount of violin, piano, and flute to temper the texture. Yet the best part of the threesome is that Wenzel isn't heard. In the end, Starquake's Time Space Matter is typical Mikey Wenzel, delivering a creative mixture of melodic progressive rock and metal with plenty of Hammond organ. If you liked his two previous albums, you enjoy this one as well.



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The Bottom Line

Starquake's Time Space Matter is typical Mikey Wenzel, delivering a creative mixture of melodic progressive rock and metal with plenty of Hammond organ. If you liked his two previous albums, you enjoy this one as well.

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