Mar 02, 2023

CD REVIEW STARGAZER - Life Will Never Be The Same

March 2, 2023

Melodic Hard-Rock Nordic Five-piece Stargazer will mark the release of their third album Life Will Never Be the Same on Mighty Music on March 3, 2023. This is Stargazer's follow-up disc since their 2019 sophomore album, The Sky is the Limit. Engineered by William at Jedimasterstudios, Trondheim, and mixed and mastered in Medley Studios, Copenhagen, by Soren Andersen (Glenn Hughes, Electric Guitars, etc).

Very Brief Bio

The inception of this band was back in 2001 under the name, F.R.I.E.N.D. with an EP released in 2005. Stargazer came to be in 2008 releasing their self-titled album, Stargazer in 2009. Ten years would pass when their sophomore album, The Sky Is the Limit released in 2019 garnering critical acclaim in the west. Stargazer is comprised of Tore André Helgemo on vocals and rhythm guitar, lead guitarist William Ernstsen, Jomar Johansen on bass, Svend Skogheim on drums, and Sondre Bjerkset on keyboards.

Life Will Never Be The Same

Life Will Never Be the Same picks up where 2019’s The Sky Is The Limit, with a mix of hard rockers, blues rock, and ballads. Stargazer brings back the good times reminiscent of the Sunset Stripe era from the late 80s. This album is an eleven-track rock journey with a runtime of fifty-two minutes. The album kicks off in high gear with the riff-heavy up-tempo rocker "Can You Conceive It." The song has that mid’80’s Saxon feel with great guitar solos and a catchy chorus. Helgemo delivers with opening screams and powerful delivery that meshes well with the riffs. "Live My Dream", keeps the same tempo with a good intro riff and the same formula as the first song with a melodic yet catchy chorus that fans will sing along to.

Mixing It Up

Throughout the album, Stargazer mixes different eras of classic rock, blues rock, and hard rock. "Live Today" is the prototypical ballad with a positive message. The bridge has a Zepplenish vibe with the clean guitars leading into a guitar solo that sings and flows to the vibe of the song. "Will I Come To Heaven" is a mid-tempo rocker with a late 80’s early 90’s Great White feel. The chorus is very catchy and easy to sing along to. One of the better power ballads on the album is "Take Me Home." Highlights of the song are the bluesy guitar intro, well-done guitar, solo, and powerful chorus with a soulful and emotional delivery.

Life Will Never Be the Same has a couple of tracks that may lead the listener to wander off at times. "Don't Kill" is a mid-tempo rocker that is decent at best and maybe a step above filler material. "Beyond the Moon," is an instrumental track with a bluesy feel to it making it feel somewhat out of place on the album. Overall production is good on this album. Skogheim and Johansen lay a solid foundation on the album. Standout performances on this album come from Tore's vocals and William Ernstsen's guitar magic.


Final Thoughts

Fans of Melodic Hard Rock will find this album an enjoyable listen as a modern take on the Sunset Strip era of Hard Rock. Shredder fans will also be pleased as William Ernsten’s play is outstanding on this album along with a strong vocal performance by Tore Helgemo.

Track listing

  1. Can You Conceive It
  2. Live My Dream
  3. Rock The Sky
  4. Live Today
  5. Don’t Kill
  6. Will I Come To Heaven
  7. Heartbroken
  8. Turn Off The Light
  9. Beyond The Moon
  10. Take Me Home
  11. Push Me

Album Band Lineup

Tore André Helgemo - vocals, rhythm guitar
William Ernstsen - lead & rhythm guitars
Sondre Bjerkset - keyboards
Jomar Johansen - bass
Svend Skogheim - drums

Score 7.3 out of 10



Label: Mighty Music / Target Group
Release date: March 3, 2023


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