Here is album number three from Hungarian melodic rockers Stardust.
Written by: gdmonline
ALBUM: Kingdom Of Illusion
LABEL: Frontiers SRL
SERIAL: FRCD 1305
CD INFO: Discogs Info List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Hungary
LINEUP: Adam Stewart – vocals, rhythm guitars * Facey – guitars * Ben Martin – bass * Dave Legrand – keyboards * Peter Horn – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 War * 02 The Fire * 03 Losing Me * 04 Sacrifice * 05 Love Sells * 06 Heroes * 07 One First Kiss * 08 Make Me Feel Your Love * 09 Ain’t No Woman * 10 Sarah * 11 Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)
WEBLINKS: Site Link
Here is album number three from Hungarian melodic rockers Stardust. Both their 2016 debut EP and 2020 full studio album ‘Highway To Heartbreak’ are reviewed here, click the Stardust tag below. This latest effort ‘Kingdom Of Illusion’ appears to be a touch heavier than those previous two, veering more toward a tougher form of melodic rock with the AOR component still in the background but more of afterthought.
Stardust with the orchestral intro of ‘War’. It soon makes way for some heavy riffing. Not much melodic rock to be found this early, more metal. ‘The Fire’ brings more melody into the mix, the chorus vocals being a contributing factor. ‘Losing Me’ takes the leaner approach initially, it has busy keyboard runs, A slower tempo and some interesting guitar work. ‘Sacrifice’ despite the tough riffs being spun still has a degree of melody seeping through the cracks. It definitely has its moments.
More guitar domination continues on ‘Love Sells’, the tempo is on the up but there’s not much in the way of musical colour as the keyboards are pushed back in the mix. The gothic like intro to ‘Heroes’ was kinda unusual, the song itself attempts an anthem style without quite nailing it. ‘One First Kiss’ changes tack at the halfway point, coming off like a Lionville or perhaps a Work Of Art offshoot. I like it.
Track 8 ‘Make Me Feel Your Love’ sees our first ballad. It swings in the same zone as a Def Leppard tune, whether that’s a good or bad thing is entirely up to the listener. It’s OK. ‘Ain’t No Woman’ returns Stardust to heavier territory, it has a singalong quality thanks to the chorus but from a songwriting perspective it wasn’t particularly unique. ‘Sarah’ was another different track, very poppy and Swedish sounding, while the album ends with the second ballad ‘Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)’.
Being signed to Frontiers enables Stardust with a budget to produce professional videos, which you can see below. I do like Stardust, but in all honesty they don’t stand out as a unique band in the melodic rock genre. But to be fair, the same could be said for many of the modern bands currently in operation. All of them are technically competent but they are all singing off the same song sheet. Still, three albums in, the band must be doing something right. Good on them for that.