Hailing from New York City, not exactly a hotbed for melodic metal, DesDemon faces an enormous challenge. On their debut EP The Awakening, DesDemon attempts to bring another female-fronted melodic and symphonic heavy metal band. Any reader, with knowledge of the last decade (or more) of heavy metal, knows that such bands appear monthly, possibly weekly, trying to cash in on anything from Nightwish to Evanescence. They're as numerous as pimples on a teenager. So, is there anything that makes DesDemon different and, even better, a potential player in this saturated genre? Yes, a few very good things.
First, Mistress Tina (don't get me started) does not fit preconceived notions of female heavy metal singers. She doesn't attempt the redundant operatic vocals of Tarja or the hardcore growls of, say, Angela Gossow (Arch Enemy). Instead, Ms. Tina swings between noticeable goth-like vocals and pure metal vocals that would make any venerable singer blush. She shines on Iago and The Absence of Light. Second, in opposition to the naturally bombastic nature of symphonic metal, DesDemon's arrangements begin with traditional melodic heavy metal and then add rich textures of power, symphonic, and thrash metal. Songs like A Soul in Exile, The Burning Martyr, and the aforementioned The Absence of Light prove that DesDemon's songs can be epic and varied without being oppressive. Finally, The Awakening is strengthened in depth by sound, generally neo-classical, fretwork and lush keyboards.
In the end, DesDemon's The Awakening is a profound opening statement of melodic heavy metal. It's entertaining and shows the band's tremendous potential. Hopefully, it will not be lost upon the fickle American metal audience. Quite recommended.
DesDemon's The Awakening is a profound opening statement of melodic heavy metal. It's entertaining and shows the band's tremendous potential. Hopefully, it will not be lost upon the fickle American metal audience. Quite recommended.
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