"Destination Paradise"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Hailing from the burning sands of Austria (ahem), Desert Sin play a pleasant and highly listenable form of European power metal that's heavy on melody but not to the point of sappiness. To be brutally frank, there is really nothing here that's going to stand out, even in Europe, yet these guys know what they're up to and if you're not looking for earth-shaking innovation, you might enjoy what they do.

The cover of "Destination Paradise" is absolutely gorgeous, one of the best I've seen recently, and promises fantastic tales of a Middle Eastern fantasy land. I strongly suspect this is a concept album or at least part of it is, but cannot confirm that. Desert Sin is power metal in the European tradition, but they manage to not come across like another Helloween or Blind Guardian clone. The sound is warm and organic and the guitars are not digitally sharpened but instead quite analog in approach. Keyboards do play a strong part in Desert Sin but not an overwhelming one, adding shading and emphasis to what the guitars are doing. The vocalist has a strong and pleasant voice, not one to challenge the Jorn Landes or Tim Owens of the world, but operating very well within his own limits.

After the obligatory intro, the power aspect of the band arises with the title track, which has a beefy sound, and the even quicker "Kill The King" (NOT the Rainbow track!). That's Desert Sin at their best, while "Would You Release Me" and "Follow Me" show the mediocre and uninspiring side of the band. Toward the album's end, things pick up with epic and very complex tracks like "Creation" and "Circle of Twilight", where the band's technical skills are demonstrated. "Hero" is a favorite because it's basic, straight-up power metal with a mid-tempo Acceptish kind of sound.

"Destination Paradise" will not wind up on too many year end lists, but that doesn't mean Desert Sin should be overlooked. Lovers of grandiose power metal should look this up.