1. The Unsubdued
2. Massada Will Never Fall
3. Letter to Marque
4. Victim of the Light
5. Release Me
6. Soul of a Wanderer
8. Lament for Soldier’s Glory (Order 227)
9. Star of Delusive Hopes
Release Date: 2011 – Sleaszy Rider Records
Desert – a band from Israel playing power metal with dark vibes. I have to say that I never heard about this band before. With „Star of Delusive Hopes“ the band therefore released their first full length album after an EP and some Demos. The album was mixed and mastered by Andy La Roque (King Diamond). Not the worst reference in metal music.
The albums starts with „The Unsubdued“. Straight hard rock riff first before keyboards and vocals appear. The vocals…hm…Alexei Raymar sings in the line of darker metal bands like Moonspell combined with some growls and in duet with a female voice in the refrain. Very melodic song, good short guitar solo and real dominant keyboards.
Folk intro in „Massada will never fall“. Hard riff to follow. The vocals, the refrain, the music….all remembers here to folk metal bands like In Extremo, Subway to Sally or similar. In the middle with a powerful guitar passage that let the song become a Power Metal song with folk elements. Interesting!!
More in symphonic metal spheres floats „Letter of Marque“ then. Rhapsody of Fire, Labyrinth…to name a few. Good refrain but the keys dominates all here. Only a well played guitar solo interrupts the symphonic overflow. The vocals again are more spoken than sung. In the last minute we get the feeling to be in a bar. Babbel of voices, laughter…..cheerz!!
Heavenly choirs and some spoken words open „Victims of the Light“. Great riff together with dreamful keyboards. Kind of a romantic song. Against the dark vocals and the story bout Joan of Arc this song transports happy feelings. In the end getting a little more hectic. Keyboard getting faster and vocals strange and chaotic. A song between light and dark.
„Release me“ is based on pianos. Kind of a middle age ballad. The appearing guitars combined with some church bells gives it a harder touch. Well….the vocals often remembers me to the avantgarde hero Nick Cave. A sad power metal ballad in the orient.
And again….piano entrance. The „Soul of a Wanderer“ is on the way. A song packed full of harmonies. Wonderful guitar bridge heading to romantic vocals of Alexei Raymar supported by female vocals. Great refrain, one of the best songs of the whole album. Brilliant guitar solo rounds it up.
Short whispered vocal intro….“Whispers“ are around. But this whispers are nearly growled. Dark vibes mixed with happiness. Some oriental orientated guitars and sound samples flavours the melodic based 4 minute track.
Silent start of „Lament for Soldier’s Glory“. Alexei performs together with Sabaton vocalist Joakim here. This song proves that both, Alexei and Joakim, own similiar timbre in their vocals. Joakim in a more aggressive way. All in all this song offers sadness….a lament. Balladesque sequences meet harder guitar parts.
The title track at last….“Star of Delusive Hopes“ opens….yes…with pianos. I think that Desert really like to start all the songs with this instrument. The song is in the same line than the most songs before. Symphonies and harmony vocals everywhere. Short guitar breaks set some positive effects. Apart from that…same sound, same structures.
Hm…it is not easy to write a result about „Star of Delusive Hopes“. Sure…it is the bands first full album. The sound is ok and the musicians know how to play.
But this is only an album for fans of symphonic metal who like songs that are overloaded with pianos and keyboards. There are still a lot of bands playing this style….and so Desert have also the rights doing that. But it is nothing really new and many songs sounding the same and are suitable in the end.
Investing more time in songwriting could be a nice thing for the future. More thrilling song arrangements. The songs are not bad, the vocals are something you have to getting used to. Love it or hate it – there is nothing in between.
Review by Kerbinator