Star.gate was formed back in 2003 by Kostas Domenikiotis (bass), Anthimos Manti (guitars), Dimitris Tiktopoulos (vocals) and Sakis Bandis (keyboards) with the initial idea being the creation of a project that would in 2004 see the official release of their debut album “Stargate” from Steel Gallery Records. Now, eight years since the original plan, the purpose of this project has been redefined and transformed into a full-on band featuring Dimitris Tiktopoulos (vocals), Anthimos Manti (guitars), Kostas Domenikiotis (bass), Andreas Paraponiaris (keyboards) and Stelios Sioulas (drums). The band’s sophomore album entitled “Reborn” is due in Mai 2013. The group’s style is mainly melodic hard rock with neoclassical leanings.
Focusing a little more into the music I would of course point bands like Ten and Royal Hunt as main influences of Stargate. The melodic Hard Rock approaching on their compositions meets lots of neoclassical Metal moments but a more careful listening of each and every song would bring into the foreground influences of bands like Foreigner, Styx and Journey as well. All this musical richness is of course generated not only due to the influences but due to the personal musical touch of Stargate as well, thanks to the amazing compositions of Kostas Domenikiotis, the amazing guitar work of Anthimos Manti and the vocals of Mr Tiktopoulos which add that very special vibe to the music. And there are those phenomenal keyboard touches that offers -along with some guitar parts- this neoclassical flavor to the songs when they are not filling the songs with those catchy melodies. I may also add that the drumming is impressive in this record! It is the actual piece that completes the puzzle!
It is really difficult to pick a specific song from this record! From the first to the last track it goes on smoothly and is an ideal soundtrack for the hot summer days and nights that are about to come. However I would pick up "Just Like A Flame", "If You Return" (great chorus, my personal favorite from the record), "Summernights" (yes this is a re recorded version of their classic from the debut album), there is also a new re recorded version of the "I am Not Afraid Tonight" track (also featured on their debut) and yes this version really rocks (check out the magnificent bass solo on this track)! Finally I would point the track "Can Not Stop Thinking Of You" as one of the best songs in here, it is a fantastic composition with an AOR vibe, a song that you would listen again and again. Well I would leave the very final two slots for the "Reborn" song (just listen the impressive chorus in this plus the main guitar solo you would be left speechless) GREAT "Stay United" ballad.
The production is great doing justice to the songs and the front cover is fantastic one of the bets I have seen lately. To sum things up here we got a great release full of inspired music, go and grab this release as fast as possible!