DESERT NEAR THE END "Of Fire And Stars" 2019
/Total Metal Records/

Tracklist:
1. A World Beyond 03:42
2. The Call of the Stars 03:56
3. Light Long Dead 03:37
4. Across the Desert 04:30
5. Earth and Water 04:21
6. The Highest Hill 05:25
7. Throne of Martyrdom 05:12
8. The Final Frontier 04:19
9. Of Fire and Stars 06:55
Total playing time: 42:19 min.

 

desert near the end 2016

 

 

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The latest Desert Near The End album is gruff. The vocals are gruff, the music is gruff, the production is gruff and it all adds up to an album full of power metal, thrash metal, bash metal, rough metal and gruff metal. The band veers from mid-paced to speedy and back. The vocals change and differ and go from clean to coarse and back and even include more than one layer at times. The drums take the short end of the stick with the bass drums especially sounding muffled and powerless. This, despite the band’s drummer putting in an energetic performance. The flat production brings down the band a notch. The guitars shine when in lead mode and one again really wonders why oh why these bands do not include more soloing when the short and precious few they have are so good. Throne Of Martyrdom is distinctive as it attempts a more epic feeling. Could be that the band was listening to Manilla Road as it composed this one, but never mind as it is back to standard Desert fare soon enough with a military feel to boot! Finally, all puns intended, The Final frontier mixes thrashing speed with a Maiden-esque atmosphere. Most bands begin an album with an acoustic intro but this group opts for it to end its newest album thus going out on an atmospheric note.
It looks and sounds like the band is dealing in a concept here. Track titles like A World Beyond, The Call of The Stars, The Final Frontier and Of Fire And Stars hint as much. It would be a good question to ask the band. 60/00 denotes an above average album that fails to reach superlative status however.

60/100
Ali “The Metallian” (http://metallian.com)

At first, judging by the name of the band alone, I expected Desert Near The End some kind of southern/oriental rock. I would say luckily I was completely wrong, as this band (founded in 2009) is much more aggressive and extreme.
Of Fire And Stars is the fourth studio album by a Greek extreme power thrash metal band Desert Near The End. The album consist of nine semi-length tracks. As mentioned previously, one can hear influences from power, death, thrash and even black metal. Esp. those thrash and black metal influences makes this record diverse and stand out from the rest on the overcrowded metal scene.
Lyrics on the album deal with subjects of fire and stars and how those elements, literally and metaphorically, have always fuelled human imagination for ‘good and bad’. The fitting artwork for the album was created by Giannis Nakos (Remedy Art Design) while Vassilis Pappas curated the production of the album. The overalls sound fits the atmosphere and image of the band perfectly, being modern and listenable without loosing this extreme edgy and noisy touch to it.
This album is a culmination of everything the band draws inspiration from. Thus, Of Fire And Stars is a very potent and mature release, highly recommended for fans of bands like Blind Guardian, Kreator, Metal Church, and Iced Earth, as well as fans of other extreme metal styles!

78/100
Bato (metal-revolution.com)

Fourth full-length album (or fifth if we count the album released under the The Eventide moniker back in 2007) from Greek trio Desert Near The End, a band started back in the '90's as Stormbringer and one that activated under the current name since 2010. The new album is made of 9 tracks clocking a bit over 40 minutes of playing time and is a strange breed of Power Thrash Metal, one that welcomes and encapsulates multiple influences from Progressive, Death and even Black Metal but without letting the influences decisively mark their music, so after all it's still a blend between Thrash and Power Metal we're dealing here with. From the instumental point of view the material is well-done, there's plenty to discover and enjoy here, from fast to vertiginous rhythms to slow and light passages, from clever and melodic guitar leads to metallic bass lines and heavy riffs, and from demented drum patterns to progressive, intricate ones, Of Fire and Stars has a pretty complex composition all in all. The problem, from my point of view, is with the vocal part made mostly of screams or screamed passages to an absolutely nonsense level. Alexandros, the vocalist, screams so much it's fuckin' annoying, and this because at times he offers some pretty rad clean tones, too, so he's well capable of versatility but just chose to keep the Black Death screams as main here; I would have rather liked him playing his Prog Power clean vocals as main and just keep screams and growls as additional to emphasize certain passages, but here he sounds like he's trying to show us he's capable of screaming more than anyone... I guess I'd have a problem with his vocals even in a Black Death band though, so take it as you wish from a guy that's listening to Extreme Metal on a daily basis, but also a guy that hates Tom Araya's vocals, so a blasphemer of the scene. Unfortunately the vocals ruined it all for me but this shouldn't be a scare to you, just give it a chance and make your own mind.

6/10
Adrian (pestwebzine.com)

Grécki trasheri z DESERT NEAR THE END vydávajú po troch rokoch od posledného „Theater of War“ svoj ďalší, v poradí štvrtý štúdiový album, ktorý nesie názov „Of Fire and Stars“. Už od prvého taktu sa na poslucháča spustí lavína v podobe „World Beyond“. V podobnom duchu sa nesú aj ďalšie skladby, ktoré umocňuje vokál Alexandrosa Papandreoua. Kapelu dopĺňa gitarista Panos Kalompratsos a Akis Prasinikas na poste basovej gitary. Na metalovej scéne sa títo ostrieľaní muzikanti pohybujú od roku 1997. Z každej noty ich aktuálneho materiálu je počuť ako kapelu baví tvoriť, hrať a posúvať energiu na poslucháčov. V skladbe „Throne Of Martyrdom“ ma milo prekvapili akustické vsuvky podporené vokálom znejúcim ako od Hansi Kürscha. Záverečná, takmer sedem minútová titulná „Of Fire And Stars“, je zároveň prvým singlom z albumu, ktorý kapela podporila zaujímavým textovým videom. Texty nového hudobného materiálu metaforicky hovoria o ohni a hviezdach, ktoré od nepamäti poháňali ľudskú fantáziu. V priebehu vekov sa ľudia na hviezdy pozerali ako na „požiare v nebi“ a každý v nich videl niečo iné. Či už to boli bohovia, diabli, anjeli, vždy z nich čítali našu minulosť a budúcnosť. Za pozornosť stojí tiež grafické prevedenie „cover artu“. Album „Of Fire and Stars“ je poctivý power/thrash metalový album, ktorí zaujme nielen fanúšikov kapiel KREATOR, ICED EARTH, či BLIND GUARDIAN. Vychádza v podobe CD a MC. Pre najvernejších fanúšikov je k dispozícii limitovaná, 100 kusová edícia, obsahujúca verziu albumu na CD, MC, ku ktorým sú pribalené kľúčenka, nálepka, magnetky a odznak.

4,5/5
EDUARD KOPRNA (Rock Hard #53)

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