Starbreaker - Love's Dying Wish
Frontiers Records (Europe) / Blistering Records (USA)
Melodic Hard Rock / Heavy Metal
12 songs (52'20)
Release year: 2008
Reviewed by Marty
Starbreaker is a collaboration between Magnus Karlsson (Last Tribe, Jorn/Lande, Primal Fear, The Codex) and ex-TNT vocalist Tony Harnell. Their 2004 debut album was a big success and showcased a slightly darker and more modern heavier side to Magnus Karlsson's signature blend of melodic hard rock/heavy metal. The huge melodies and richly layered vocals of Tony Harnell still assured the fans that although this project was a little different, it didn't stray too far from much of Magnus Karlsson's previous work to date. This new album Love's Dying Wish sees a new bass player joining the band with Jonni Lightfoot replacing Fabrizio Grossi (House Of Lords) and holding down the rhythm section along with veteran drummer John Macaluso (Yngwie Malmsteen).

Love's Dying Wish continues the modern melodic hard rock style of the debut album with dissonant riffing, electronic drum loops and even more strongly passionate and emotional vocals by Tony Harnell. "Modernized" guitar riffs drive the first three tracks with End Of Alone and Evaporate boasting rich vocal melodies, soaring choruses and a solid "catchiness" that is a staple of just about every track on this album. The title track Love's Dying Wish uses pounding heavy riffs and is both moody and passionate; all driven by Tony's vocal style. Guitar-driven melodic hard rock is front and centre with Unknown Superstar in which solid shredding lead guitar work and another strong chorus, strikes a great balance between melody and heaviness. Other album highlights include Beautiful Disaster, which brings more of the same tried and true formula of strong melodies, soaring vocals, solid riffs and another huge chorus. Hello Are You There? gets a little more moody and with a solid groove, adds a little different slant than the rest of the songs on the album. Changes Me sees Starbreaker going for a more modern FM hard rock radio sound and The Day Belongs To Us is one of several instances where sprinkles of piano are mixed in with the chunky and heavy riffing. Dramatic and very passionate, this one makes great use of Queensryche style harmonized leads.

All of the songs on Love's Dying Wish are solid and have a certain undeniable catchiness. Tony Harnell has such an amazingly melodic voice and it's the perfect vehicle for what both he and Magnus Karlsson are trying to achieve with Starbreaker. Much more balanced and even more passionate than their debut, Starbreaker has certainly topped their debut with this new album. Tony Harnell's voice may be a little too "sticky sweet" for some tastes but for fans of TNT, any of Magnus Karlsson's other projects or bands like Pink Cream 69, Harem Scarem, House Of Lords etc. and who can accept and appreciate that hugely melodic hard rock/heavy metal can be infused with modern hard rock influences and still work extremely well, this is for you....

Killing Songs :
Evaporate, Love's Dying Wish, Unknown Superstar, Beautiful Disaster and The Day Belongs To Us
Marty quoted 84 / 100
Other albums by Starbreaker that we have reviewed:
Starbreaker - Starbreaker reviewed by Mike and quoted 92 / 100
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