Marc Hudson, Dragonforce‘s iconic singer for the past twelve years, unveils his solo album.
Entitled Starbound Stories, it was created with the help of Shaz D (keyboards), Frédéric Leclercq (guitar/bass, Kreator, Loudblast, Sinsaenum, ex-Dragonforce) and Rich Smith (drums, ex-Power Quest) and will be released by Napalm Records in 2023.
Ryoji Shinomoto (Ryujin, formerly Gyze), Syu (Galneryus), Jacky Vincent (ex-Falling in Reverse, ex-Cry Venom), Adrienne Cowan (Seven Spires) and Galen Stapley (Azure) also make guest appearances.
The album opens in modern tones with As the Twilight met the Sea, before melodious, epic guitar leads into Freedom Heart, a more energetic first track featuring Marc‘s inimitable voice over a catchy instrumental. The unifying refrains give way to inspired lead parts, as well as a more aggressive break, leaving the more obscure sounds to reveal themselves on Dracula X! which inevitably borrows from the catchy Pop Culture and Gaming roots the vocalist claims, accompanied by a few samples. Stars offers a power ballad approach that perfectly suits the project, accompanied by a few gentle notes that don’t hesitate to get a little more intense at times, while The Siren immediately reveals its heady tones, partly created by keyboards. The rhythm remains simple and danceable, while offering a few more intriguing leads, before returning to much rawer influences on Astralive thanks to a devastating double kick. Riffs are still energetic, emphasizing the furious, motivating waves that eventually cease to return to quietude and melancholy on Swansong, which turns out to be a new Power Ballad, including this more intense chorus where the instrumental joins the vocalist, before leaving him again with more simplistic melodies. The aerial break may come as a surprise, but it’s followed by the very long Call of the Martyrs, where the musicians offer a diversified, melodious approach to Power Metal with Prog roots, punctuated by different waves of riffs surrounded by piercing leads. Then the sound calms down with Starbound Stories, the eponymous track, whose opening moments remain calm. Heady tones again resurface as the rhythm becomes more motivating, culminating in a soaring final, before the album fades away with One More Sight of the Sun With You, the final composition, which stands halfway between a ballad with heavy roots and touches of accessible Japanese pop.
Without totally distancing himself from the band’s trademark universe, Marc Hudson‘s Starbound Stories offers a more Pop and accessible side to his music, with Japanese influences invading the catchy rhythms.
Interview to come.