Release DetailsLABEL N/A
RELEASED ON 1/1/2007
posted on 4/2007 By:
The boys in Finland’s Starhags (that’s right, Starhags) have been busy–Dionysian is the band’s sixth demo effort. But hey, they’re gonna have to hustle if they want to sell this style, which ain’t exactly the freshest sound on the block. The soul of Starhags’ style is based in the hard rock and L.A. metal of the late ‘80s, although they’re a far piece away from the standard Aqua-Net and spandex party metal that so (in)famously defined that era. These guys have a darker and moderately more contemporary sound, but at the end of the day, there’s just not a great deal here to excite.
The three tracks on Dionysian complement each other well, showcasing slight modifications in the band’s approach. "Eastbound" is midtempo, fist-pumping bar rock. The riffs are a little heavier, and front man/bassist Henkku’s vocals give the material a darker and slightly gothic feel, sounding somewhere in between Ian Astbury, Glenn Danzig and Michale Graves. On this song, his vocals seem a bit flat, and he fares better on the second track, "Crown", which has a brighter, good-time vibe, and a verse that has a singsong cadence and melody that are a little reminiscent of later Misfits. The closing title track is a brooding, lengthy, slow number that provides some nice contrast to its predecessors. The simple but effective full drum pattern and matching bass forms a solid framework for the guitar. One guitarist is playing a very meat and potatoes clean pattern, but the focus of the guitar work comes from the liberal lead melodies that cover damn near the entirety of the track.
For an independent effort, Dionysian has a solid production. The musicianship is similarly effective for the most part, although the vocals are not wholly convincing. In the end we have a workman-like effort in a style that’s listenable, but hasn’t brought much to the table since metal cds were metal cassettes. Even though there’s not a great deal to find fault with, Dionysian just doesn’t do enough to impress to make it worth seeking it out. Maybe demo number seven will do the trick.
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