Steelheart - Through Worlds of Stardust

Steelheart Through Worlds of Stardust cover
Steelheart
Through Worlds of Stardust
Frontiers Music Srl
2017
7
Average: 5.7 (50 votes)
Instead of describing Miljenko Matijevic as the guy who sung in the movie Rockstar, as some British asshat journalist did, I’d say that he’s the very successful leader of a band that almost made it in the early 90s before grunge took over and before he almost lost his life after a freak accident where a whole rail of lights fell onto him, severely hurting him. It took a lot of time for him to recover properly and even a bit longer for him to get back into music.
 
“Wait” released in 1996 felt like a departure from the sound of the original band, who had also quit at this point. There was a new lease of life and interest in the band when “We All Die Young” was used on the 2001 movie “Rockstar” but after that things went rather quiet; in 2008 Matijevic released another “Steelheart” album, the even more experimental and modern “Good 2B Alive”, which he also marketed on his own. He went on tour with a couple of members from the Doors, doing “The Doors” songs and focused in performing in South Korea, where he’s rather popular. Almost a decade later, he returns with yet another “Steelheart” album, with the lineup from his previous effort almost intact.
 
“Through Worlds of Stardust” isn’t a bad album, it just continues with the modernization of the sound of the band… the product of Matijevic getting untangled from the reigns and assuming full artistic control. He’s still strong vocally and emotes strongly when singing, even if he doesn’t reach the over the top performances of the past, a thing that might disappoint the old-school Steelheart fans, but doesn’t mean that makes what Matijevic offers unworthy of consideration… rather the opposite I’d say.
 
I suppose what-else this album does, is to show that “Good 2B Αlive” was a transitional album that sounded a bit “confused” as to what direction it should go in. “Through Worlds of Stardust” has much very few “awkward” moments in comparison.
 
“Stream Line Savings” sounds like a dark postmodern harmonized Led Zeppelin. Big Beat hedonistic vocals and lyrics and a general black bacchanalian vibe, make this number easy to like…
 
“My Dirty Girl” weirdly feels like LP crossed with Billy Idol or something; pop verses, with a rock bridge and an almost punk chorus and Matijevic jumping from effeminate soft falsettos to tarzan screams in zero time.
 
“Come Inside” maintains that same heavy fuzz post modernity, but fails to really make a mark.
 
“My Word” is another example of Matijevic trying to sound modern and while it still sounds a bit at odds with itself and effect-riddled and ridden, a decent bridge/chorus makes it “interesting” at least.
 
Easily wiping the floor with all the previous songs, is the still “modern” sounding but more “classic” sounding “You Got Me Twisted”, that loses the effect and bizarre dynamics in favor of acoustic and piano, leaving only an over-driven chorus to stand out on its own, which just happens to work.
 
“Lips of Rain” is a ballad and the guy that sung “She’s Gone” can certainly sing a ballad well, even if he struggles with that particular inhuman tune, these days… it’s easily a high point for the album and one of its singles and it’s easy to see why…
 
“With Love We Live Again” is another ballad, with lots of strings and a less passionate delivery that just doesn’t manage to have the same effect, until very late into the track.
 
“Got Me Running” has a nice idea at its core and a smooth pop attitude but doesn’t convince fully until its chorus/hook effects. Fact of the matter is in the verses, I thought MM sounded a bit like Labrie.
 
“My Freedom” is another ballad, with a dynamic chorus – single worthy indeed, but by this point the recycling of the same “m.o.” makes things a bit predictable… still along with “Lips of Rain” the best songs on the album.
 
“I’m so in Love with You” is YAB (yet another ballad), a piano ballad, to be frank. It sounds sincere enough, but also very air-y and laid back to really have the huge emotional impact that the more impassionate ones do.
 
The Japanese fans are also treated to an acoustic version of “You Got Me Twisted” that’s a bit more “Jovi’esque” and proves that it’s a good song, no matter what, despite it’s not sounding as impressive as the original.
 
A more mature and self-assured Matijevic manages to distill his rock and acoustic sides in two quite discreetly different sets of songs that at least seem to work in principle, with few exceptions. While old-school Steelheart fans might be dismissive, these are well written and decently performed songs, a few of which are really good additions to Matijevic’s catalog. Worth checking out…

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