|Musical Style: Melodic Metal||Produced By: Mazi Bee & Jayce Prime|
|Record Label: Glam Nation||Country Of Origin: Finland|
|Year Released: 2013||Artist Website: Desyre|
|Tracks: 11||Rating: 85%|
|Running Time: 45:45|
Ever find yourself thumbing through an old metal magazine from the eighties and have one of those, “Oh, yeah, I remember that band” moments? That would be the best way to describe our initial impression with Glamtron, the fall of 2013 sophomore album from Finland’s Desyre. Not unlike its hair metal predecessors, Desyre plays up the multi-layered choruses, catchy hooks, tight guitar harmonies and shred soloing inherit to the genre (not to mention the teased hair and gaudy attire that also goes hand in hand). What sets Desyre apart is how it takes a heavier approach. Yes, Glamtron, similar to the groups 2009 full length debut Warning Of The Night, falls within the melodic metal category - and is certain to appeal to those into anything from Stryper to Holy Soldier to Dokken to Motley Crue (and all things in-between) - but also touches upon elements of traditional and power metal. The overall feel at hand, as a result, is that labeling Desyre “hair, “glam” or “pop” metal might not be inaccurate but is not telling the entire story either.
The Angelic Warlord review (70%) described Warning Of The Night as “somewhat inconsistent in that I hit the skip button a couple of times”. Accordingly, songs are “well constructed but (do) not always bring immediate hooks that draw you in on first listen”, while much of the albums material ranks “good to very good” at best. On Glamtron, however, Desyre takes its songwriting to the next level. It begins with how the group imbues its material with stronger hooks and choruses, circumventing the need to hit the skip button with a collection of songs I might describe as very good to great instead.
Glamtron gets underway with “Too Hot For Radio”, a first rate commercial metal piece with the hooks and muscle to match- and more than deserving of radio play despite its namesake. Other accessible cuts includes melodic hard rocker “Dangerous Desyre”, from its guitar harmonies that sound right off Stryper’s To Hell With The Devil, and “Mystery Eyes”, smooth and tempered in also delivering a guitar harmony penchant. “Beyond The Horizon” presents with the higher energy sound in being every bit melodically inclined and “First Blood” a laid-back demeanor with plenty of twists and time signatures.
Notching up the heaviness is “Party Song”, all out intense with its riff driven traditional metal basis, and “Protector” and “Follow Me”, high-octane barnburners that storm at near speed metal tempos. What the three have in common are the catchy hooks to draw you in on first listen. “War Of The Stars” touches upon power metal from its dramatic and symphonic overtones, while “Magic Of Your Kingdom” yields similar results in taking the darker and more ominous heading.
Mazi Bee brings a gritty and heartfelt vocal style trending towards the mid-register side of things. On one hand, he lacks somewhat in the range department and falls a bit flat at times as a result. On the other, he both sings within himself and to the strength of the song in developing his own distinct style lending to the “Glamtron metal” sound at hand. No, he might not warrant placement in the same category as Rob Rock or Lance King anytime soon but does a good job overall nonetheless.
Bee and Coco Tommy form one of the great melodic metal guitar teams. In my Warning Of The Night review I compare them to Frank DiCostanzo and Greg Kurtsman (Rage Of Angels) but should have mentioned Michael Sweet and Oz Fox (Stryper) as well. What the two have in common with the aforementioned is the ability to lock into tight harmonies at a moments notice or trade off in a lead guitar jam when need calls for it (see “Beyond The Horizon”, “War Of Stars” and “Party Song” for examples of their abilities).
Of equal note is how keyboardist Lady Soundwave lends a new dimension to the Desyre sound. One cannot help but be impressed with how she is not afraid to engage Bee and Tommy in a keyboard and lead guitar duel (such as on “Magic Of Your Kingdom”) or open a song with a tasteful keyboard solo. Otherwise, she accents the Glamtron material without coming across overbearing, which is refreshing in that rarely do keyboards play such a forthright role in melodic metal while also being so highly effective.
Production reflects the same high standards as Warning Of The Night. Likewise, packaging shines with colorful cover artwork and mini booklet with easy to read lyrics and eye catching band photos. For an independently released album, both areas are extremely well done (and hold up quite well to the best label based releases have to offer).
Desyre, drawing its name from I Thessalonians 5:2 and believing that “glam” stands for God Loves All Mankind, leaves little doubt as to its faith from a lyrical standpoint. The group warns of being “tempted by the flesh” while also providing discourse about a “Hero of the World who was born to free us” in addition to how “(Satan) has no might against the Truth of Jesus Christ”. The refreshing humor of “Party Song”, at the same time, proves Desyre does not take themselves too seriously either.
Glamtron adds up to one of those albums in which you cannot help but listen to non-stop- the songs being so well executed and full of such infectious energy it is next to impossible to set aside the CD. Give the group credit for choosing the right game plan by bypassing any overriding ballad temptations and sticking with its best heavier material. The album almost reminds of Stryper’s No More Hell To Pay in this capacity (it has almost spent as much time in my CD player during the weeks leading up to the review). In the end, fans of all forms of eighties melodic metal and hard rock (not to mention those with tastes trending towards the traditional and power metal side of things) would be well served by checking Glamtron out.
Track By Track
“Too Hot For Radio” presents with the perfect joining of galloping riffs, non-stop momentum and commercial hooks. Intense is the overall feel at hand, with verses aggressive as they get (a mid-paced focused prevails) and chorus yielding an infectiousness of the radio friendly friendly (despite the namesake at hand). I cannot help but be reminded of Angelica’s heavier material. Lyric snippet:
As a vision from the Heavens high
It was given to me
Thru the burning flames of fire
On and on our path was meant to be
The nighttime is here again
You know where is your light?
Don’t be tempted by the flesh
No! Stand up for what is right
Impetus picks up for the adrenaline rush that is “Party Song”. One of the catchiest riffs you will hear prevails throughout, aligning with the all out strapping power that impels a song approaching traditional metal in capacity. Of note is the neo-classical feel to the instrumental moments and the manner in which Mazi Bee exhibits the full range to his voice.
The guitar harmonies prevailing throughout “Dangerous Desyre” have eighties melodic hard rock written all over them. The song, otherwise, maintains the groups trademark heaviness (guitars crash and plow in and out of the mix) and lacings of the commercial (chorus hits hard in upholding an engaging hook). I also enjoy how Mike Seeker’s bass prevails over the low-end. Lyric snippet:
Operating in the darkness
Before too long you’ll find out
It is too late
Will your flesh be the master of you
Or will you take control
Never let the liar tell you
You are no good
“Mystery Eyes” represents the more evenly flowing and tempered track. Ballad-like territory is reflected as an emotional environs is encountered, with the song smoothly drifting its distance in setting a mid-paced tone for the verses and more stalwart disposition for what amounts a robust chorus. Guitar harmonies carry the instrumental interlude, while Lady Soundwave gets things going with a keyboard solo.
“Beyond The Horizon” picks up the tempo and heaviness overall. A more staunch tone is the focus at hand, with big bass guitar action and strapping rhythm guitars playing lead roles on a song that has prime Holy Soldier written all over it. The high-energy groove carries over into an instrumental section in which guitar harmonies give way to a tight stretch of soloing.
“Magic Of Your Kingdom” lends an ominous if not bottom heavy feel. This one finds keyboards playing an added prominent role, upholding the gently done verses prior to the rhythm guitar leading the way to the sing-along chorus. Keyboards return to their place of prominence for the instrumental moments by engaging in a lead guitar dual. Lyric snippet:
Open your heart and you will see
Just ask and you’ll believe
That He is the Truth
The Way and the Life
Striving to find your own way out
You can not do it without
Him whose Blood will set you free
Darker and weightier would be the best way to describe “War Of Stars”. Strong power metal aspects come to the forefront as a result, as tight guitar harmonies and shouted backing vocals help establish a symphonic setting. One of the albums flashier stretches of lead guitar rounds things out. I can see early Bloodgood doing something like this.
Another heavier piece is what we have in “Protector”, but this time rooted in traditional metal in playing up fast paced and spirited energy in abundance. Aggressive is the disposition at hand, with double kick drum action and curtly done chorus setting the robust tone. Lyric snippet:
The evil lurks around us – Hahaha
He came to destroy and kill
Tryin’ to darken our future
By fingerpointing the past
Co’mon! Don’t be afraid now
Co’mon! You’re not alone
We have our own protector
No more prosecutor
Protector knows His game
“First Blood” starts calmly with a spoken word opening melded with keyboards. The song proceeds to move ahead slow and laid back although not quite within ballad territory. There are some interesting time signatures and intricacies as well (with periodic moments that are quite heavy) but also without giving rise to a progressive edge. Different and creative is the feel at hand.
No better way to close an album than an barnburner, and such is what we have in “Follow Me”. More double kick drum action underpins the low-end, aligning with a high-octane tempo to touch upon traditional metal territory in similar fashion as “Protector”. Galloping riffs, ever present keyboards and a hook driven proclivity help put things over the top. Lyric snippet:
Opposition turns into a war to conquer
Challenges appearing from the night
I cannot see but I know You guide me
With excitement I enter the site
When we lay down our lives
You will give us all we need
In You we’ll have the courage
We will make Heaven real
Review by Andrew Rockwell
Track Listing: “Enter The Glamtron” (:41), “Too Hot For Radio” (4:43), “Party Song” (3:37), “Dangerous Desyre” (4:06), “Mystery Eyes” (4:46), “Beyond The Horizon” (5:27), “Magic Of Your Kingdom” (4:59), “War Of Stars” (4:31), “Protector” (4:31), “First Blood” (4:19), “Follow Me” (4:06)
Mazi Danger Bee - Lead Vocals & Guitars
Coco Tommy - Guitars
Lady Soundwave - Keyboards
Mike Seeker - Bass
Jacye Prime - Drums