I have to admit that I did not hold much hope that a band called Desert was going to be any good. I’d never heard of them before and with such a bland and non-metal name, I expected they would be just another in a long line of mediocre nobody bands. However, when I started playing them in the car this morning it gave me pause. After a couple songs I decided I had to listen with headphones before passing judgment (my car has a real problem with loud road noise, so I miss a lot of detail when listening in the car.)
Now that I’ve got the headphones on I can tell that this is one of my favorite types of metal albums: the kind that comes out of nowhere and surprises me with how good it sounds.
“Star of Delusive Hopes” was billed as power metal, but that category is definitely too narrow to contain this album. It does have elements of power metal, but it also shows signs of death and gothic metal as well. There are plenty of clean vocals (which at first reminded me of Moonspell) with occasional harsh vocals. It often sounds huge and epic and contains lots of keyboards, but also has quiet piano moments.
I Googled the band and wasn’t really able to find all that much about them, but I did see that they are from Israel, which probably explains why they sound so different to me. Every metal band from Israel that I’ve heard has had a very distinctive sound to them. More Israeli metal bands please!
The other thing I learned they have going for them is that “Lament for Soldier’s Glory” features Sabaton’s Joakim Brodén as guest vocalist. And dammit now I just got goose bumps. Need I say more?
I think they’ve got a little further to go yet before they put out a masterpiece, but they definitely have the potential to make something amazing. I hope to hear more from them in the future.