Our magazine has a mission to bring you a lot of bands you may have never heard of. Sometimes that also leads to surprises for us, I had personally never heard of the symphonic metal act STAR INSIGHT, however, it seems like the band has been active since 2005 and recently released their sophomore effort, “Across the Galaxy,” released on October 16th, 2021, via Inverse Records. Time to discover what this band is all about!
While “Across the Galaxy” still has its flaws, I can see the band’s potential. The album consists out of a blend of symphonic metal music with power metal, melodic death metal, and sometimes even blends in industrial elements. It’s this blend of genres that makes the music very interesting and enjoyable. While you can obviously compare STAR INSIGHT to bands like NIGHTWISH and EPICA, they have their own identity and stick to a certain consistency within their songs.
The band immediately starts off full-force with the opening track “Escape as a Last Resort,” while I’m not always a fan of great intro tracks, I do feel like a little bit more of a build up towards the first track would have been nice. However, the song does what it is supposed to do and after a somewhat slower start, kicks off the record in style. The songs that follow all follow a pretty similar pattern: they are mostly focused around the interplay between the dual vocalists and that is precisely one of the pitfalls of this record. While both singers are definitely skilled at what they do, sometimes both vocals don’t seem like they belong together, though at times they provide a nice contrast that adds flair to the music. I think the band might need some more experience to explore how both of these voices can work together where both vocalists can shine equally. “Within Horizon” is proof of a song where the contrast between these vocals works well as the somewhat industrial-inspired song really explores different fronts of symphonic metal, which is something that suits STAR INSIGHT very well. The track is fairly minimal, has a groovy bass line, great piano melodies, and overall great atmosphere. Title track “Across the Galaxy” starts of with dissonant tones that somewhat sound very futuristic and is probably one of the atmospheric highlights of this album. “Past, Present & Future” have a great intro, however, the electronic voice-over is something that is overly done and reminds of the ’90s (Britney Spears with “Oops I Did It Again,” anyone?), but apart from that is another standout track.
Overall, STAR INSIGHT have composed an entertaining album, however, something still lacks to enjoy this album to maximum potential. Perhaps it’s the fact that nothing new is presented here – the band have their own sound, but I feel like they still could benefit from exploring even more, take it to the extreme, and discover what their strengths and weaknesses are, but hey, isn’t that usually what the third record is for? A case is to be made about the production of this record, which actually surprised me quite a lot – it’s extremely well-balanced and a pleasure to listen to. If you find yourself wanting to explore more bands within the symphonic metal genre, be sure to check these guys out, it may take them a couple of years to really put their own stamp on the genre, but with “Across the Galaxy” they surely are on their way towards greatness.
- Escape as a Last Resort
- Reaching for the Sky Above
- I’m Not a Number
- It’s All Lies
- Within Horizon
- Across the Galaxy
- Death to the Stars
- Past, Present & Future
- Lost in the Starlight
- Over the Edge
- Shine on Me Once Again
Pekka Rajala – Vocals, synth and programming
Anna Pellikka – Vocals
Mikael Nurmi – Guitars, synth and programming
Toni Jokinen aka Riveryman – Solo and lead guitars
Aapo Timonen – Bass
Drums – TBA