We Love Metal

Even with the flood of Metal that washes over us on a regular basis, I try to take the time to give a listen to nearly anything I come across that I might think will appeal. Without any research or reading of publicist write ups, I clicked on Desert Near the End’s album Theater of War. It’s a good thing, as this is a seriously compelling slab of Power/Thrash Metal that needs to be heard.
This Greek horde has been around for nearly two decades in one form or another, finally releasing their debut album in 2011. Now with the third installment of a loose concept on Total Metal Records, DNTE sounds to be hitting on all cylinders. Encompassing an ethic leaning heavily on Thrash Metal, the band comes at you head on with an impressive fury. Having gone through a number of incarnations, the band saw themselves forging a new path across the desert…so, Desert Near The End was the name.
The music of Theater of War is of sufficient intensity to induce rage even in the most hardcore Metalheads. Ashes Descent is pulverizingly good, with attention to speed and aggression paving the way for a killer thrash track. Point of No Return reveals a sludgy, Doom laden side of the band, slowing things down but remaining exceedingly heavy. Under Blackened Skies goes in a quite extreme direction with blast beats and wild riffing. The band also throws in a guitar melody at times that is almost Folk Metal in nature. This is one of the more unique and interesting tracks. A Martyr’s Birth leads off with something that sort of reminds me of a gypsy melody – don’t ask me why, it just does. Quickly DNTE launches into a Testament style, but not a rip off of any particular riffs.
Season of the Sun thrashes pretty hard with some lightning fast guitar work in conjunction with lots of high speed drumming. Changing things up mid-way through the song, DNTE brings all they’ve got and kicks some serious ass. The title track continues the sonic assault with a brashness and high level of aggression. The band’s approach proves to be varied enough to keep my interest, throwing in the occasional guitar melody and relatively subdued sections to act as a counterbalance to the heavy blasts of Metal. The mid-paced deliberate section near the end of the song is sure to spur some serious headbanging. I think the one let down is the closing track At the Shores. That shortcoming is primarily in the early part of the song during which vocalist Alexandros Papandreou sings rather than using his roughhouse delivery. He is certainly a better when he sticks to the Thrash style as he does during the second half of the song.
The promotional write up describes Desert Near the End being for fans of Blind Guardian and Kreator, as well as fans of Brutal & Extreme Metal. Not a bad summation since there seem to be elements of all of those to be found on Theater of War – well done melodies, Thrash riffs, and blisteringly fast drumming. While this album isn’t especially groundbreaking or stylistically unique, it is a solid effort and worth a listen for those of you inclined to the Thrash side of Metal.
I hear the sound in a Metal way.

Harley (https://www.welovemetal.com/)

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