STAR QUEEN – Your True Self

STAR QUEEN - Your True Self


Lion Music
Release date: July 24th, 2004

Guitars: A-
Bass: B+
Keyboards: B-
Percussion: B+
Vocals: D-
Lyrics: C
Recording Quality: A-
Originality: B
Overall Rating: C-

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Star Queen is the brainchild/personification of Bulgaria’s Stella Tormanoff. In this band’s sophomore effort supported by Lion Music, Your True Self, Tormanoff is joined by Winterlong’s Erik Tornberg on rhythm guitar and Thorbjörn Englund playing lead guitar, along with Peter Uven on bass guitar, and Mats Holma playing drums. Wrap all of this together, and Star Queen has delivered a symbiotic Progressive-Power/Symphonic/Gothic Metal album with a passionate vocalist and inspired musical talent.


If anything, the Winterlong boys are certainly noted for their creative, fast, and intricate guitar work. Having all of the guitar work handled by Englund and Tornberg certainly adds a shot in the arm for this Star Queen project. Many songs have either guitar intros or extended solos and musical passages (or both) that are nothing short of innovative, original, well mixed, and completely enjoyable. The production quality of Your True Self is also stellar. Uven’s bass work is very discernible and apparent, and Holma has an apparent Winterlong feel to his playing style, meaning the drum work is consistent, crisp, and serves as a nice complement to the other instruments.


Whether or not there are people out there that will enjoy Tormanoff’s vocal style is a question to ponder. Most of her singing is in a quasi-operatic style, with Stella holding/extending many of her notes during each track. Conceptually, so far so good, but her enunciation of most words comes through with a noticeable Eastern-European accent, causing her quasi-operatic vocal notes to elicit an image of an overweight vampira clad in a babushka bemoaning a blood shortage at the local Red Cross outlet. Unfortunately, the innovative guitar work, notable bass play, and enchanting percussion style are all essentially for naught, because Tormanoff simply ruins the accomplishments of each song.


The music is definitely the bright point of Your True Self, but it’s unlikely this is the impression Star Queen wants to convey. Fans of the Winterlong style of Metal will likely enjoy the music within Your True Self, and that alone may be worth the price of this CD. However, if you’re looking for quality vocals (whether or not you’re a Symphonic/Gothic Metal fan) to lead the charge towards the success of each track on Your True Self, ya’ just ain’t gonna find it here.


  • Dan Skiba

    Dan is a former partner at Metal Express Radio, and also served as a reviewer, photographer and interviewer on occasions. Based out of Indianapolis, USA he was first turned on to Hard Rock music in the mid-1970s when he purchased Deep Purple's Machine Head as his first album. He was immediately enthralled with the powerful guitar sound and pronounced drumbeat, and had to get more! His collection quickly expanded to include as many of Heavy Rock bands of the time that he could get his hands on, such as Ted Nugent, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath, to name just a few.

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