Released: 2011, Pure Steel Records
One does not run across many Austrian power metal bands, but Desert Sin is one such band. The band hails from the Tyrol region of the Alps, which are among the highest in Europe and perhaps best remembered as the scene of fierce and stalemated fighting during World War I between Austria and Italy. Released on Pure Steel Records, DESTINATION PARADISE is the band’s second full length album falling closely on the heels of 2009’s THE EDGE OF HORIZON. Performing as a five piece, Desert Sin’s brand of power metal closely resembles the most classic variation of the genre derived from 80s American power metal and infused with European styling’s.
DESTINATION PARADISE is a guitar driven album. Keyboards are used sparingly and subtly, often to great effect without being overblown. Singer Sandro Holzer ably integrates long forgotten Vic Hix of Shok Paris, Midnight of Crimson Glory, and Geoff Tate into his own vocal style as evidenced on the title track. This is followed by the clichéd and expected title “Kill The King”, a title used by so many metal bands that it ceases to have any meaning. Despite the lack of imagination for a title, the song is just fine and actually you can ascribe that definition to the whole album. Kick drumming is reigned in, production is absolutely bone crushing, and the guitar work is heavy and riff driven. “Creation” stumbles slightly, being a bit of Maiden worship, namely in the form of an extended plucked intro part , recalling Maiden’s post Brave New World obsession, but the verse quickly rights the ship. It is also on this track where you can catch Holzer’s best Midnight impersonation.
One thing you will not find are sugary, keyboard laced ballads. There are in fact no ballads, just a heap of meat and potatoes power metal rendered pummeling and heavy. I see no flaws in this album other than it is obviously no reinvention, content and safe in its stodginess a while aimed to cater to the fans of classic power metal, of which there are still a large number. So yeah, in sum, if this is your brand of metal then you are certainly going to want to give DESTINATION PARADISE a listen, and for metal’s sake, crank this album up!