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One Desire: Midnight Empire
One Desire - Midnight Empire Art

One Desire: Midnight Empire

Melodic Hard Rock/AOR

In 2017, with their self-titled debut album, One Desire leaped upon the melodic rock stage to the acclaim of reviewers and fans alike. As I said back then, "the album is all killer with no filler. I liked everything about this album." Then the band hit the road running, touring Europe and hitting the festival circuit. Now, One Desire returns with their much anticipated second long player, Midnight Empire.

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One Desire

As for the musical direction of One Desire, nothing has changed since their debut album. Their's is classic melodic hard rock, sharpened on a metal edge, and made radio and arena ready by AOR accessibility. With these words most faithful Dangerdog readers will find me repeating myself. Yet, expanding upon that description, One Desire excels in so many ways. You can start with the larger context, the song arrangements which sizzle with infectious melody, harmony, groove, and characteristically engaging refrains. Within these arrangements, the vocal harmonies are lush and large, the guitar riffs sharp and harminous, the solos abundant and epic, and the rhythm section breathes rock beat and groove with some fury. So on to some tunes then ...

I was surprised to find that One Desire started the album with the rather long and epic melodic metal anthem Shadowman. But fear not, the song is engaging and breathless in it's consuming guitar lines. After this, straight AOR melodic hard rockers arrive with After You're Gone and Down And Dirty, both with impressive melody and groove, wrapped in memorable refrains. Several songs give you a touch of synths, including Godsent Extasy and Heroes. But the keyboards quickly take a back seat to strong riffs, a romping bass and drums, and solid vocal harmonies.

Another surprise, or perhaps not, One Desire offers several anthemic ballads. Through The Fire juxtaposes acoustic guitar and voice with strong riff sections for a heavier anthem. Alternatively, softer ballads come with Rio and Only When I Breathe, both driven by solid piano lines. But there are differences. The former rises in the latter half with sweet vocal harmony and a soaring solo. Alternatively, Only When I Breathe continues with the piano, voice and vocal harmony throughout and, around the 3'30" mark, the guitar solo is an acoustic one. Finally, and not to confuse you, but the song Killer Queen is not what you think. All said, One Desire's Midnight Empire is a satisfying and sufficient follow up to their debut, another album of powerful and killer AOR melodic hard rock. Quite recommended. Order it today.*

*Please note that due to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, the release date for One Desire's latest album has been moved ahead to late May. And, additionally, due to EU embargos, some titles may not be readily available outside of the region. But, please, pre-order any album for quick delivery in the future. Or consider a digital download which knows now boundaries. - New fiction, crime fiction by Craig Hartranft

The Bottom Line

One Desire's Midnight Empire is a satisfying and sufficient follow up to their debut, another album of powerful and killer AOR melodic hard rock. Quite recommended. Order it today.*

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