Starwolf - Pt.I: The Messengers

Label: Massacre Records
Three similar bands: Manowar/Running Wild/Majesty
Rating: HHHHHHH (3/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
01. Raiders Of Galaxy
02. The Spectre
03. Salvation (Feat. Ralf Scheepers)
04. Pirates Of Space
05. Port Royal (Feat. Preacher) (Digipak Bonus Track)
06. Chosen One
07. Earth, Water And Power
08. Reign Of The Righteous
09. Thousand Suns Of Eternity
10. Starwolf
11. Blackbone Song (Feat. Jutta Weinhold) (Digipak Bonus Track)
12. The Path Of Science
13. Born To Face The Wind

Francis Blake - Vocals
Chainmaster - Lead Guitar
Pyro Jack - Rhythm Guitar
Dr. H.R. Strauss - Bass Guitar
Merlin - Drums

2006 Under The Sign
2011 See You In Hell

Ralf Scheepers
Jutta Weinhold

Produced and mixed by Rolf Munkes
Mastering by Andy Horn at Red Room Studio
Cover artwork by Wiebke Scholz

Released 2012-09-06
Reviewed 2013-09-02


Last time we met Messenger we saw them in hell, now we meet them again and we do it in space. Starwolf is apparently the first in a series of sci-fi related album from a story written by a sci-fi author. An ambitious project I would say, and they even have an artist that is known from this kind of stuff to do the artwork. Ambitious stuff. Starwolf is the third album from these german fellows and it follows more or less exactly two years after the previous one. And they are said to be improved, at least they are a bit wiser, supposedly. I also think that the album cover is pretty cool.

Science Fiction is one of my favourite genres, so maybe they have grown and gone down the Ayreon route with spacey emotions and sounds. The thing is though that they haven’t gone down that route, it is traditional heavy/power metal with catchy choruses and three chord song structures. Nothing fancy and nothing overly different. It is fairly well produced and quite a solid soundscape, it is more or less what you can expect from something of the genre. If you are looking for originality, you will not find it in this album. I recall complaining about a very long playing time last time around and this time around it is shorter but despite that it is still over an hour, 66 minutes to be exact. Sure two tracks are digipak bonuses but nevertheless it is still a long album.

Long playing time isn’t the biggest issue with this album though, the lack of originality and the “paint-by-numbers”-approach they use for their music is far worse. It sounds as a collection of songs by a few well-known acts in the heavy/power metal genres and nothing feels distinctly like a band called Messenger. There are Manowar, Metalium, Running Wild, Helloween, Majesty, just to name a few of these bands that it sounds like. Especially like they have a Metalium and Running Wild fetish. I wonder if they have run out of own ideas. And if theme may revolve around space pirates but the sounds does not feel like a spacey sound at all.

So, Messenger in space, or in hell, well I’d rather hear them in hell. The album is a bit drab and a bit too stereotypical to really shine. I wonder what happened to that quite interesting band called Messenger that I reviewed about two years ago, this isn’t it. Nevertheless, there are some things I like, like the Running Wildesque Port Royal which I find the best of the album (a bonus track for the digipak version), it is a really enjoyable track and here they are really good.

I don’t think that the album is bad in any regard but to me it is just so much cliché that I tend to loose interest and the album just sort of falls away from my attention. I just think it sounds like they have lost any creative spark they might have had on the previous album. I suppose that if you like the cliché- and fantasy devoid heavy metal music that seems popular to some then I’ll guess you’ll find this amazing or at least very good but to me it is just another one of those albums and it is not really interesting.


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