Album Reviews

Starbreaker – Dysphoria Review

Released by: Frontiers Records

Release Date: January 25th, 2019

Genre: Hard Rock

Links: Facebook

Line Up:

Tony Harnell – vocals
Magnus Karlsson – guitars, keyboards, backing vocals
Jonni Lightfoot – bass
Anders Köllerfors – drums


1. Pure Evil
2. Wild Butterflies
3. Last December
4. How Many More Goodbyes
5. Beautiful One
6 Dysphoria
7. My Heart Belongs to You
8. Fire Away
9. Bright Star Blind Me
10. Starbreaker

Chances are good if Tony Harnell’s name is attached to a project, I’m going to like it. When you add Magnus Karlsson to the mix and tell me it’s a new Starbreaker album, I’m most definitely going to want to check it out, at the very least. The first two albums were a perfect mix of hard driving melodic hard rock with some metal leanings and brilliant AOR style vocals and guitars. When Starbreaker was first started it was a project Harnell and Karlsson decided to do while Tony was still in TNT. These days Starbreaker has become a full formed band to a degree (Magnus has a tendency to keep himself busy with other recordings, and the never ending will he/won’t he rumors of TNT getting back together with Tony are kept alive,) and I’m glad they made a third album happen.

Dysphoria is precisely what one would expect from them: fantastic vocals and guitars, brilliant songs, and a nice unique sound that makes them such a masterful group. It amazes me that Harnell is still able to maintain the voice through time- it truly is a gift. Much like Magnuson, Harnell has offered his talents to a multitude of projects and bands over the years and what I love about each one is none necessarily mimic the other. Assuming it has to do with the other musicians involved, it would be so easy just to fall into the same old routine, but Harnell and Karlsson both have a vision in mind of the sound they wish to create and clearly enjoy the process of making something new. With tracks like the dark “Bright Star Behind Me” to the metallic hard rock of “Pure Evil” to haunting ballads like “Beautiful One” this is one dynamic album. There’s even a fantastic cover of the Priest gem “Starbreaker” that kicks major ass. With Jonni Lightfoot on bass and Anders Köllerfors on drums bringing it all together, this is what has made Dysphoria such a fantastic album and one I’ve been excited about since it was announced.

Where does it fall in rank with the other two? I don’t really think it falls in place with either outside of it’s very consistent. I’m not very good a figuring out where an album stands compared to others. It’s an excellent album from some top notch musicians who have created another brilliant soundtrack of songs for their fanbase. Rank it as you will. I love this band and am beyond happy with the songs on Dysphoria. That’s enough for me.

Written by: Chris Martin

Ratings: 9/10


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