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Stargate: Beyond Space and Time

Beyond Space and Time is the first full length record from Italian Prog Metal (they call themselves Space Metal) band, Stargate, and a winner it is! Filled with Symphonic, Power and Prog elements, this Italian quartet delivers the goods with an epic quality. Fans of bands like Angra, Dream Theater and Symphony X will lap this up.

The 11 tracks that make up Beyond Space and Time, flow together perfectly with smooth blend of different palates ranging across the spectrums of Metal. Vocalist Flavio Caricasole (and co-producer) has a really good and powerful voice with no signs of an Italian accent in his singing, what so ever. At times his crystal clear and pristine vocals remind me of Andres Matos with a touch of Mike Vesera (Obsession, Loudness, and Yngwie), but the star of Stargate is easily the masterful and creative guitar stylings of Fabio Varalta (also the other co-producer). Varalta twists and torments some excellent modern Metal guitar phrasing out of his guitars with enough guitar pyro to please any shred fan, but it's the way that he throws in Classical guitar themes, with and without acoustic guitar and his Flamenco guitar lines, as well. Easily NOT a one trick pony, Fabio Varalta is a name that you should check into, the guy is simply awesome!

Songs like the haunting and mysterious "Ground Zero" allows the entire band to stretch out and show what they can do as cohesive unit in an 8 minute plus atmosphere. This tune alone is of the caliber of any Prog Metal band that you'd care to mention and will hold its own. A track like "Sands of Time" takes the listener on one hell of a rollercoaster ride with enough time sigs to please any Proggie out there and it is also where the guitar prowess of Varalta first bubbles its head up to the surface with some nitro enhanced, neo classical like runs.

There are epic tunes a plenty on Beyond Space and Time and each are filled with equally epic guitar riffage and excellently placed keyboards that never bog down the songs. No wimpiness here. While Stargate are not exactly re-writing the Prog Metal handbook, they have created one hell of a debut record that has some nice production and excellent musical statements. This is a very strong release and will easily find a home to Prog Metal fans and especially those who love the Euro flavor of it. Good stuff!

Track Listing
01. The Wonders of Nature
02. Save the World
03. Sands of Time
04. Nothing's Forever
05. Nightspell
06. The Power Within
07. The Dark Rift
08. Age of Aquarius
09. Ground Zero
10. Hysteria
11. Wounded Souls

Added: October 29th 2012
Reviewer: Butch Jones
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1975
Language: english

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