After the impressive album The Phoenix (2009), the Italian female fronted hard rock/metal band Mastercastle are back with its follow-up. Last Desireís progression has nothing to do with the craftsmanship of this band Ė thatís still at a very high level Ė but they just slightly changed their musical course. The neo-classical influences of the debut album have been replaced by a more rocking sound. Thereís still great guitar work throughout the album, but not over the top. They just fit the songs much better.
Mastercastle produce a fine kind of hard rock/metal with the majestic voice of Giorgia Gueglio. Listen to the opener Event Horizon and to Misr on which her voice is doubled. This makes the song more atmospheric and lifts it to a higher level. Giorgia Gueglio is one of the best female singers Iíve heard lately. She covers the whole range from BjŲrk- like sounds in the title track to the super emotional singing in Jade Star. She wrote all the lyrics that cover a variety of meanings of the word desire. Throughout the whole album you can also enjoy the finest guitar work you can wish for. Listen to Space Trip, one of the two instrumental pieces on Last Desire and youíll experience what a fantastic guitarist Pier Gonella is: heavy, emotional and technical, he shows it all in one single piece. La Serenissima, the other instrumental, is a cover originally recorded by the Italian semi-classical ensemble Rondo Veneziano. It has been completely rearranged to Piers melodic and soulful guitar sound. Not only in the instrumentals youíll hear his musicianship, but in the other songs as well: heavy riffing alongside fine melodies and wonderful solos. The talents of Giorgia Gueglio and Pier Gonella are kept together by an outstanding rhythm section consisting of powerhouse drummer Alessandro Bissa and bass monster Steve Vawamas. The powerful drumming in Great Heavenís Climb is just superb. This heavy song with the thunderous bass would have made a big impression on an album of David T. Chastain.
So far I never heard a badly produced album released on the Lion-label and Last Desire is no exception. So Lion did it again. The album has been very well produced with very clear voices and massive guitars all over the place, but always tastefully done. The drums and bass guitar have been perfectly mixed to make this an album to play over and over again. This is progressive hard rock with a fantastic singer, great melodies and heavy guitars. Can you ask for more? Yes, we just want more of this stuff!
**** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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