[Review] Starquake – Time space matter

Starquake is the project of the German multi-instrumentalist, singer, sound engineer and producer Mikey Wenzel. The 2015 debut album “Times That Matter” immediately highlights a sound influenced by the Heavy Prog style of the 70s. A mix of hammond arrangements and a solid rhythmic session, in fact the similarity with groups like Deep Purple is strong. On March 29, 2019 they released the second album “Time space matter” for Pure Rock Records. Available on CD and Digital Downalod it contain 9 tracks, confirming the good things listened in the previous one. The opener “Starquake” begin with a powerful hammond and guitar riffs, with an accelerated rhythm session. Enter the vocal, which in the soft parts does not make it as in the more aggressive ones, and the song develops by alternating more symphonic moments with rapid accelerations. A powerful opening, which immediately immerses us in the sound of the disc, showing the high musical level, with the hammond as protagonist. “Goddammaddog” begins with rocky guitar and hammond, a solid rhythmic session and a pleasant flute. The vocal is more settled and makes it better, more space is given to the guitar, which in the central instrumental session draws an excellent solo. The vocal returns for a choral ending verse and the song closes, an excellent piece of Heavy Prog that mixes new and retro sounds. “Jack” begins with soft melodies on hammond that alternate with harder inserts, therefore a piece in clear Hard Rock 70s takes shape. The vocall alternates solo moments with other choirs, the organ guides the sound, with a rocky guitar with powerful drum and bass. With a change we enter the first instrumental section of fine workmanship, the vocal returns and the rhythm changes with the structure that becomes more elaborate. In the second more symphonic part, the piano enters with the voice and acoustic instruments, including the violin, with Folk nuances. In the end, a rapid acceleration takes us back to the classic sounds of the band, which closes one of the best tracks on the album in crescendo. A short passage of 00:43 with vocal layers is “Matona mia cara” which creates a pleasant passage towards the next track. “Time – It’s always now” begins with a cutting edge guitar riff and layers of rogan with a more linear rhythm. A not too decided vocal enters, and in the central part a more accelerated insert highlights the guitar, which in the end closes as the protagonist. “Space – Lost soul” is another short song of almost 2 minutes with atmospheric guitar effects that connect the songs guiding us to “Matter – And the giant was gentle.” An elaborate melody between organ and guitars, reminding the ’70s sounds, and then an excellent insert of drum with percussion. The keyboards guide the theme of the track between symphonic openings and rapids accelerations, the titles of the three pieces together give the album its name. A powerful guitar and organ riff opens the “A never give up suite” on which the vocal is inserted, better in the choral parts. A change with acoustic guitar and solo voice in the second part with a sweet piano, with the entrance of the rhythm transforms the track into a pleasant softer ballad. The guitar offers a good solo, the vocal returns and in the third part the intensity increases with a more rhythmic drum and the Prog style hammond. So let’s go back to heavier terrain, with the alternation of softer parts with stronger ones, and the changes are continuous. The fourth part begins with another excellent dreamy piano melody, a symphonic guitar solo and then returns the vocal with the Hard Rock atmospheres. In the next section a Jazzy moment increases the level of music, and alternates with rocky riffs culminating in a pulled guitar solo. The initial theme returns in the last sung section and the suite ends, the music is excellent, with the vocal not always up to par, however offering sufficient proof. The album closes with a 1 minute outro “Off to pasture new.” A good album, which confirms what is good heard in the previous one, with guitar and organ protagonists. The combination of the two instruments is good with a clear 70s style and a solid rhythmic session that does the rest. The vocal is not always up to the par of music, especially in the softer parts and in the low tones, bringing the level of the album from excellent to good. Recommended for all lovers of Heavy Prog sounds of the 70s with the hammond in the foreground and pulled guitar solos. A pleasant listening, characterized by a solid sound, which with a few small tricks, could be an excellent record, however very good.


1. Starquake
2. Goddammaddog
3. Jack
4. Matona Mia Cara
5. Time – It’s Always Now
6. Space? Lost Souls
7. Matter – and the Giant Was Gentle
8. A Never Give Up Suite
9. Off to Pastures New


Mikey Wenzel / Vocals, Instruments, Programming
Alex Kugler / Guitars
Jan van Meerendonk / Drums
Andi Pernpeintner / Hammond, Piano

Corinna Reif / Violin
Sibylle Rupprecht / Flute
Cleff Amend / Trumpet
Joe Wagner / Guitar Solos (Track 2 and 3)

Starquake |Official Website|Bandcamp|Facebook Page|Twitter|YouTube Channel|

Pure Rock Records |Official Website|Facebook Page|Twitter|YouTube Channel|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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