Shining Star - Reset 2/5

Reviewed: 4-25-08





Tracklist:

1. Reset
2. Desperate and suffocated
3. Radiation flame
4. Insanity
5. Enslaved by fury
6. Reign of terror
7. I hate you
8. You're sick
9. Tell me
10. Nightmares
11. Guilty of crime
12. Karma (bonus track)


Shining Star was created by Brazilian guitarist Fabio Rocha in 2001, and they released their debut 'Fatal mistake' in that year. It's a solid CD, best described as melodic/power metal with neo-classical parts and a hint of hard rock. The debut features vocalist Nando Fernandes (who's currently with the band Hangar - beginning with their 3rd CD 'The reason of your conviction') and contains some fantastic songs as well as some average songs, but is truly solid and enjoyable, overall.

For their 2nd CD 'Enter eternity', Shining Star grabbed U.S. vocalist Lance King (Avian, ex-Pyramaze, and others) and made a few other changes, musically. For starters, there are less of the neo-classical parts and a lot more of a keyboard presence. Plus, although there is still a hint of hard rock, there are even some songs that could fall under the progressive metal tag. I like 'Enter eternity' a lot, as the songs are very catchy, memorable, and Lance sounds great with the band. So I was hopeful the band could become a strong contender for the style.

Well, unfortunately, the band has made numerous changes with their 3rd CD 'Reset', and not any of them are good, in my opinion. Firstly, they've changed vocalists yet again, as Brazilian Ricardo Parronchi (who reminds me of Miguel Corte Real from Timeless) has replaced the popular Lance King. Ricardo is a good vocalist, for sure, but I was really happy with Lance's performance on 'Enter eternity' and was looking forward to him continuing on with the band.

Next up, the band has completely eliminated the keyboard (with exception of one song). Yes, I know some bands are better off without the addition of a keyboard, but I don't think that Shining Star is one of them. I truly feel that one of the things that makes 'Enter eternity' so great is the keyboard presence. Plus, although the guitars are still heavy and there are some nice solos, there's less speed and the hard rock influence is stronger, which is a genre I'm just not into anymore (the songwriting is lacking regardless of style though). Because of these changes, the CD feels too straightforward, plain, and the band isn't succeeding at this new direction, as simply put, it's just not very catchy, memorable or exciting.

Even though I haven't been accepting of the band's many changes with 'Reset', one thing that really boggles my mind is why they duplicated track 4 "Insanity" and track 10 "Nightmares". These songs are the first 2 songs on 'Enter eternity', and they don't sound near as good without the keyboard (though "Nightmares" does have some of the original keys). In addition, I don't consider any of the songs on 'Reset' to be near the level of excellence. Track 3 "Radiation flame" is fairly good, the slow track 9 "Tell me" is fine, and the fast track 11 "Guilty of crime" is solid, but the remainder of the CD is average at best. Track 5 "Enslaved by fury", track 6 "Reign of terror" and track 8 "You're sick", especially don't work for me.

I know musicians are free to change their direction of style and I encourage them to do so, as they should play what they want, but 'Reset' hasn't really been enjoyable for me personally. Perhaps this CD has just landed in the wrong hands and there will be some metal fans out there that will dig it, but for me, the band's first 2 CDs are far superior and the promise they showed and hope I had with 'Enter eternity' has definitely diminished.



CLINT




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