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One Desire – Midnight Empire

One Desire
Midnight Empire
by Rachel Montgomery at 08 July 2020, 3:29 PM

ONE DESIRE is a power metal band composed of a lot of talent and years of musical experience. Formed in Finland, the band came together through the years and put together their debut album in 2017. Their sophomore album, “Midnight Empire,” was released last April. Mainly, it holds up to the band members’ years of talent. It’s you-get-what-you-get in terms of style; heavy 80s influences, but they don’t lean too heavily on that. The tracks are solid, but is it memorable?

The album is a cross between traditional and power metal. The songs stay in the mid-tempo and upbeat, but they are all catchy. The opening track features a narrative from an old film about a jungle demon before the music comes crashing in. The rolling drums and guitars are intense at first, but then slows down for the vocal melody. The main vocals are clear, operatic, and beautiful, especially when the chorus intensifies. The call-and-response in the verses continues the horror film vibe of the song. The vintage rock influence is apparent in the high-pitched pedaled guitars. If you’re a fan of traditional rock turned up to 11, the opening track lets you know this is the album for you. “After You’re Gone” is an epic ballad with a steady beat and a traditional, melodic riff to enhance the emotion behind the power-rock angst. The third track opens with a slow, soft guitar melody, which breaks up the similar tone between the three tracks. However, when the track picks up, it sounds the same as the first one, just like the next one. While the fifth track and the ones before it are easy to rock out to, they sound like the same song. “Through The Fire” is an exception, as it’s the slow ballad on the track. The guitar notes are soft and the vocals are smooth. There are a few intense moments which lift the song up well. “Heroes” features a very powerful, uplifting chorus which just soars beautifully. “Rio” is another slower one, breaking up the monotony a little. I like how it crawls into its intensity, with the second verse building up tension. “Battlefield Of Love” has a distinct opening with the symphonic strings and syncopated vocal beginnings. I love the echoing chorus. “Killer Queen” also has a distinct opening with a more symphonic intro and a verse that soars. The album closes with “Only When I Breathe”, which is another slow ballad. The thunderstorm ambiance at the beginning is good. It reminds me of a 90s love ballad and honestly, it’s a great song to end on. The upper register sounds a little raspy. On its own, it’s not a memorable song. While it’s not a bad thing if any song doesn’t sound metal, here, it doesn’t sound like anything. This could be a pop song, an R&B song, a New Age track closer. And it could fit any of those genres because it’s incredibly vanilla. It’s bland.

Overall, the sound is solid and catchy. With the exception of one song, the musicianship is unparalleled and the band’s talent and years of experience shines through. However, the tracks become monotonous after a while. I would highly recommend listening to this album in a mix rather than front to back, because although they have a similar style, the songs still hold up. I think if they broke up the first few tracks with the slower songs later, they could have solved it. Plus, nix the final track.

Songwriting: 8
Production: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 5

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Shadowman
2. After You’re Gone
3. Down And Dirty
4. Godsent Extasy
5. Through The Fire
6. Heroes
7. Rio
8. Battlefield Of Love
9. Killer Queen
10. Only When I Breathe
Lineup:
André - Singer and guitars
Jonas - Bass
Jimmy - Guitars
Ossi - Drums
Record Label: Frontiers Music Sri
     


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