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Released: 2015, Raven Music
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
You may have already come across this band from their collaboration with Sabaton singer Joakim Broden on their internet single ‘Laments for Soldier’s Glory’ or at several European summer festivals. I for one only discovered this band from this album review but I have a sneaking suspicion from their album that they would be able to pull off quite a stage show live.
NEVER REGRET is their second full length album and there is a familiarity to each of the songs which would allow you to connect each with Desert if you heard them independently elsewhere; which you could begin to expect from this being the second album. Hailing from Israel, having formed in 2002, Desert describe themselves as ‘Dark Epic Metal’ which I would say is pretty accurate. Especially the epic part as there are several occurrences during this album that remind me (though does not sound like) somewhat of Nightwish. Mainly in the layers of the composition and drama connected to the songs, and it is these layers within the composition and the variety of styles and instruments used that really make this album what it is.
It is quite clear early on that these are skilled and very practice musicians who understand how to compose and how to build on the drama and to meld different influences and instruments together. 'Final Journey' is a good example of this as it begins with an introduction from an old fashioned organ melody being drawn into clean modern guitar riffs and drums, later adding softer vocals that add drama with a Phantom of the Opera dark hero feel. Towards the end the song quietens again for a short time with a carnival melody that sounds as if it is being played on an old gramophone, which is then swiftly switched again back into the solid, easily recognisable clean guitar riffs and drums.
Perhaps this description sounds confusing, but let me assure you it works and is a very successful blending of a variety of sounds and eras as well as a good example of Desert’s abilities in song composition. I mentioned previously that there is a familiarity of each of the songs, which is true but not to the extent that there is a sameness to the songs. Indeed, they vary within themselves too much for that to be the case. This is another pleasing element to the album in that after you’ve settled into the the songs, there is always something more, something unexpected placed before you. For one example, I was certainly not expecting 'The Road To You,' which is a ballad and a duet between a male and female character. Totally out of context from the previous tracks, but evidence of depth of the album as well as the different chapters within the story that makes up NEVER REGRET.
My only real criticism is that I wasn’t sure if the vocals in the earlier tracks were put on to match the plot line of the songs or not as they sounded quite character-like, and there is one point (including the backing vocals) in 'The Wolf’s Attack' that just sounded cheesy and a bit cliche. However, those are really my only criticisms, and though some of you may not like a theme album, or sit well with some of the vocals, I would still recommend that you have a listen to NEVER REGRET. There is so much within this album that there will undoubtedly be something that catches your ear. For me it was the complexity of the composition and the easy way all the variances in styles (including 80’s classic metal in '1812') fit together. This is clearly an album that has been crafted, and crafted well.
Review By: Rowena
Chasing The Prey
Son Of A Star
The Wolf’s Attack
The Road To You
Alexei Raymar - vocals
Sergei Metalheart - guitar
Max Shafranski - guitar
Sergei Dmitrik - bass
Oleg Aryutkin - keyboards
Assaf Markowitz - drums
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