Starbreaker Dysphoria CD Review
Hard Rock/Heavy Metal
When Tony Harnell announced his departure in 2017 from T.N.T. once again, it was highly debateable at which one of his numerous projects that he would return to. Thankfully, Harnell would reconvene with Swedish masterclass musician Magnus Karlsson to write and record the third Starbreaker album ‘Dysphoria’.
Now, Starbreaker hit the ground running back in 2005 with their eponymous debut album; it was the perfect blend of the heavy metal of Karlsson and the superb melodic hard rock voice of Harnell, yet the albums follow up ‘Love’s a Dying Wish’ in 2008 didn’t really live up to the expectation of the first album. However, Starbreaker have blown away the dust and the cobwebs with their latest album and ‘Dysphoria’ is the culmination of expert splicing of the first two albums. The Starbreaker pair show their pedigree in song writing through tracks such as the excellent lead-off track from the album and hard rock beat of ‘Wild Butterflies’ juxtaposed almost flawlessly by the smouldering piano driven ballad ‘Beautiful One’, which really does show Harnell’s vocal skills for anyone unacquainted with the Californian master of melody. Furthermore, ‘Dysphoria’ shows that Starbreaker have lost none of their bite with roaring singalongs such as ‘Pure Evil’, ‘Fire Away’ and the title track, whilst the song ‘My Heart Belongs to You’ could easily have slid in perfectly with T.N.T. in their prime and would be loved by fans of the band, with the only weak song being a cover of ‘Starbreaker’ by Judas Priest and that in itself is a testament to the song writing on this album.
‘Dysphoria’ is an excellent album that really does showcase the talent within Starbreaker. It is an excellent mix of melodic hard rock and heavy metal which is easily done, but difficult to master and with Harnell no longer tied to T.N.T., it has the potential to open up an entirely new, exciting chapter in the Starbreaker story.
Rating : 86/100
MHF Magazine/Adam McCann