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Review: Desert - Star of Delusive Hopes
Star of Delusive Hopes

Label: Sleaszy Rider Records
Year released: 2011
Duration: 44:06
Tracks: 9
Genre: Heavy/Power Metal

Rating: 3.5/5

Review online: February 25, 2011
Reviewed by: Lior "Steinmetal" Stein
Readers Rating
Star of Delusive Hopes

Rated 4.18/5 (83.64%) (11 Votes)

First off, I salute Desert for releasing their debut, Star of Delusive Hopes, here in Israel, their home country. Recorded in Italy by White Skull's Nick Savio and mixed and mastered by legendary King Diamond guitarist Andy LaRocque, the expectations for this album are understandably high. The band also signed a contract with Greece's Sleaszy Rider Records and even secured the vocal talents of Sabaton's Joakim Broden on one song.

When Desert started in 2002 their style was quite different from most of the other Heavy Metal acts in Israel. This has lent them so diversity that can be heard quite clearly on Star of Delusive Hopes. Hints of European Power Metal are evident but I can also hear Paradise Lost's doomy influence. Rather than focus on the catchiness of the songs, like most Power Metal bands, Desert instead focused on the theatrical aspects of their music, giving the album an Epic feel. Vocalist Alexei Raymar's voice fits the music like a glove. The theatricality and Raymar's vocals are definitely the strong points of the album. However, that is where the strong points end.

Even though they are attempting something different, Desert left out some things that would have served them better had they been included. The guitars seem to take a back seat to the keyboards of Oleg Aryutkin. Instead of helping with atmosphere, he takes over, leaving the guitars to keep the rhythm. The guitar solos are quite basic and not impressive, aside from a chosen few.

What's really lacking is any fire in Desert's performance. Star of Delusive Hopes lacks peak moments, unlike, say, Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Although there are some sing-along songs, they aren't enough. Raymar's full range isn't taken advantage of, either. He has a great mid tone, as evidenced on many of the songs, but his high tone chanting isn't showcased at all. Even "Soul of a Wanderer," the best track on the album, can't break out.

Desert definitely has potential and the road ahead of them should be lengthy enough for them to produce something special.

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