DESIDERIA - End the Curse CD
Genre: Epic Metal
I love getting review requests directly from bands. Labels tend to be business only, promo people are very friendly but the bands are the best because they actually ask you questions. For example take this French band here, in reference to the release they sent this added question came in "Maybe it's not extreme enough for your webzine?" Well to be honest there have been times when I'd be listening to some band's release and not only wished I was dead but hoped my corpse would be ravaged by a gang of necrophiliac midgets. Thankfully this is not the case with DESIDERIA. When I first listened to End the Curse I thought it was pretty cool since they've taken something in Metal that has become cliche and reshaped it into something that sounds decent. This seven member French band's debut full length is the sum of many parts woven together but their main platform is a blackened melodic death metal style. They incorporate two vocalists, male and female, which adds that light and dark touch. Finally they add keyboards not in a supporting role but as a main ingredient which gives everything an epic and symphonic touch.
There's plenty of bands using duel male/female vocals who try fusing a variety of genres together, mainly death metal and that dark gothic style. Those are the ones which I refer to as being cliche. DESIDERIA break from that aesthetic because of the strong black metal influence in many of the riffs. Many songs start off with tremolo guitar riffage almost as if this was pagan black metal from the nordic reaches with the synths adding background atmosphere. Male vocalist Pascal has a deep gruff baritone voice similar to Johan Hegg of AMON AMARTH. The female equation of this band, Mylene, enters with a choral soprano vocal style which changes the harsh dynamics of the aggressive cuts. It works well on here especially with the twin guitar crunch with riffs varying between black and death metal styles. At times it reminds me a little like BATTLELORE but with more variety. This style is the basis almost throughout End the Curse with Pascal leading on the aggressive moments with melodic breaks given to Mylene. The times they do break away are interesting like on "HellCorrespondance.com" and "Excalibur" where they draw upon some PARADISE LOST gothic doom influences albeit with female vocals entered into the mix.
DESIDERIA excels on their bludgeoning numbers which have that epic feel to them. Songs like "Dragon Bravest Blizzard" and "Another Dimension", with it's synth intro which keeps you off base as to what's to come, are aggressive fast paced numbers. "Lightning Bolt" comes across well with thrash like riffage and dual guitar solos where as "Knight of Hope" is straight up galloping metal highlighted by Mylene's dreamy and atmospheric vocals. "Wolf Cruelty Claw" is the only cut on here where she doesn't appear on which I thought was kinda strange. Be that as it may End the Curse breaks the cliche of bands with male/female dual vocals who fuse styles by writing songs with good musical structures instead of just relying on the opposite vocal extremes. Lyrically they fall into that epic fantasy or battle metal realm which has a lot of naysayers on the ramparts. As far as I'm concerned this is extremely well done although perfection will come next. Someone call Napalm Records to tell em about this band.