Thelemite is a young metal band from Athens Greece releasing their debut album Slave to Desire. If their band name sounds familiar its because a 'thelemite' is a follower of the pagan religion Thelema, created by English mystic, and supposed satanist, Aleister Crowley. The core of this 'religion' is also a familiar phrase to many: "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law." 'Thelema' also come from the koine greek verb 'thelo' meaning 'to will, wish, purpose, or desire;' hence the album title name. Now don't you feel enlightened?
Whether the band are adherents to or the album expands on this Thelema religion is fuzzy, although the band gives some explanation on their Facebook page. Conversely, what you have across the breadth and depth of Slave to Desire is some very good melodic heavy and power metal. Most of this is the outworking of composer, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist Johnny Nightelf's original lyrical and musical concepts.
Thelemite's music turns on classic melodic heavy metal, and the band acknowledges influences from Black Sabbath, Ozzy, Savatage, Dokken, Yngwie Malmsteen, Rainbow and Dio. They also bring some symphonic elements via some well-placed synthesizers. Mostly, the songs here are well composed and played, and sound great. Thelemite doesn't attempt to get overly technical either. They seem to be consciously after that signature traditional metal sound which can be both heavy and melodic, but also epic. Some of this comes from the arrangement, but much from Nightelf's vocals and guitar solos.
Honestly, Thelemite's Slave to Desire is rather impressive and entertaining melodic heavy metal, regardless of the presence of pagan spirituality or not. I wonder, however, if they didn't show all their cards with their debut. Does the band have any thing in reserve for their next release? Time will tell. Best cuts: Fallen Angel, Keitaro, Back Home, Doomed to Passion, and Save Your Soul. Recommended.
Thelemite's Slave to Desire is rather impressive and entertaining melodic heavy metal, regardless of the presence of pagan spirituality or not.
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