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 band comes from Athens. They changed the name several times. In the years of 1997–2001 they acted as STORMBRINGER, but they didn’t make any releases. From 2001 to 2010, the Athenians used name THE EVENTIDE and played heavy / power metal and recorded one demo and one full-lenght album. Since 2010 they are known as DESERT NEAR THE END and they released three long materials and two singles before the album in this review. So, the Greeks already have considerable achievements.
The music from the latest release was described by the band as power / thrash metal. For me, the album is dominated by thrash, sometimes combined with heavy-metal melody. The music is aggressive, the songs contain interesting moody intros and outros as well as inserts. There are also heavy and dark fragments. Despite of the brutality and variety, the content is a bit boring to listen to. The brutality doesn’t whip a whiplash, though it should. None of the musicians gives their game an individual stigma. But the exception are the nteresting guitarist’s solos. The vocalist sings steadily, without feeling. The melodic lines and rhythmic solutions are unobtrusive.
The Greeks put a lot of energy into their work, but somehow this does not transfer into its attractiveness. According to legend, Yeshua Ha-Nocri said: “Be cold or hot, but do not be lukewarm.” The music on “Of Fire and Stars” is just so lukewarm, without a glimmer, without the element of madness, although it was correctly played. Although if someone is looking only for aggressionin metal, not something more, the latest work of Athenians may like it.

6.5/10
Darren Cowan (http://www.metalcentre.com)

The fourth full-length studio album by Greek Extreme Power/Thrash Metal band.
These nine songs are a culmination of everything the band draws inspiration from. No longer a bridge between their various influences but a destination reached - Power/Thrash Metal amalgam carved with Death/Black Metal tools!
The album's lyrics speaks of how fire and stars, literally and metaphorically, have always fuelled human imagination for “good and bad”. Because through the ages men looked at the stars, those actual “fires in the skies”, and everyone found something different: gods, devils, angels, heavens or hells, aliens or ancient humans, our past and our future… And all these found their way in our lives through religion, science and art.
Formed in 2010, Desert Near The End already count a decade in the music industry.
Nevertheless, the band was initially formed in 1997 as Stormbringer and later on they renamed to The Eventide on 2001 just before changing again their name to Desert Near The End in 2010.
Of Fire and Stars is Desert Near The End 4th full length album.
The band’s style is well balanced extreme metal between thrash and power metal. The are also death and black passages in to give more interest. Once this crossover of styles was called speed metal.
Regardless of the music labels (which was never the case), Desert Near The End perform fast and aggressive riffs with nice melodic lines throughout the album. Their songwriting is very nice and I loved the acoustic parts in their songs because they add extra feeling to their work. Bands like Kreator and Metal Church are seemingly big influences for Desert Near The End. At their heavy/power metal themes Blind Guardian can be heard (especially in the melodies) and Iced Earth too.
The album' lyrics are inspired by such space thematology as the wrath of the Universal Powers, the Unknown Cosmos and the Mystical Astral Destiny of Humanity.
My standout track from the album is Throne of Martyrdom which at the middle part has a melody that is influenced by old European/pagan ceremonies. The same melody played in metal style is a mixture of Kreator with Iron Maiden at the parts where the riff.
The whole album has such good moments.
The production is good and Desert Near The End didn't overdo it with tech facilities and the final result is easier for the ear to accept. It similarizes the old tech/thrash productions. This is an album all extreme metal fans will have a good time listening.
The band has already shared the stage with bands like Primordial, Wolfheart and Metal Church. I am sure more is yet to come!

 

Valeria Campagnale (https://www.rockersandotheranimalsmagazine.org)

There are a lot of bands that make you really happy when they change their music orientation. One of these bands is Desert Near The End, a Greek band that started way back in 2009. Their music was heavily influenced by the more serious and heavy Power Metal bands of the 00’s. With time, though, they evolved into a more extreme and speedy mix of Thrash, Power, and even Death Metal. They never renounced their influences, they just enriched them with clever and well-placed additions.
That brings us to 2019’s “Of Fire And Stars”, which was released on the 22nd of March through Total Metal Records and Scrap Metal Records on CD, Cassette and Digital Download. The album contains 9 tracks with a total running time of 42 minutes, and, I have to admit that I didn’t find a single dull or boring moment. It’s not something you haven’t heard before. All these familiar tunes, though, are incorporated exceptionally and the result is more than satisfying!
The album screams Iced Earth!! The sharp thrashy riffs, the demonic feeling of the melodies, even the vocals of Alexandros Papandreou remind of Matthew Barlow‘s voice sometimes. By no means does it mean that this album is a copycat. It’s got character and diversity. The Iced Earth vibe is just the base upon which bassist Akis Prasinikas lays his colorful ideas and builds songs that respect the result as well as the influence. Fast and relentless Death-Black Metal parts (“The Call Of The Stars”, “Light Long Dead”) appearing here and there enhance this diversity. The occasional slower and groovy parts, on the other hand, serve as a nice break (“Earth And Water”) between the merciless thrash songs in an overall fast-paced album. I don’t see the point of analyzing each song separately, as all of them have something to offer. The opening track “A World Beyond”, though, is the perfect sample of the album, and the official video of the song is the perfect way to get you in the mood!
The technical quality is in really high levels. One can tell how demanding the songs are and both the band members and the guest musicians deliver exceptionally. The lyrics are deep and revolve around the fire and the stars, the impact they had in the evolution of human race and the inspiration humans drew from them for their various thoughts, plans, dreams, for good or bad. The artwork, created by Giannis Nakos (Remedy Art Design) is very fitting, and showcases the dream of humankind to ascend and conquer. If you like fast-paced, aggressive riffs, sharp-razor guitar, groovy parts and melodic breaks, then you’ve got no excuse. Head over to their bandcamp page and prepare to bang your head hard!

petros.malichoudis (http://legacyfuture.com)

Rock Hard 386 From The Underground Сторінка 1Dir Griechen DESERT NEAR THE END gehen aut ihrem vierten Album brachialer denn je zur Sache, sodass man hier von Gefuhllos-Thrash spechen konnte. Auch die Melodieansatze werden trocken aus dem Handgelenk geschmettert, weshalb sie keine Erleichterung bescheren. Wer hier mitmachen will, muss verdammt hart im Nehmen sein.

6.5
Stefan Glas (Rock Hard #386)

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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