Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thelemite-Slave To Desire

Steel Gallery Records

Thelemite is a Greek heavy/power metal band that was formed in the autumn of 2010. Their name comes from "Thelma" which was a religion made up by Aleister Crowley. Why there are so many bands/artists obsessed with this guy (or nut if you will) I will never known. But, that's the name for this new band and an indication of nature of their music. For the record the band sites Black Sabbath (Martin era), Ozzy Osbourne, Dokken, Savatage, Dio, Rainbow and Yngwie Malmsteen as influences. Featured players include vocalist/guitarist/synth Johnny Nightelf (Yannis Manopoulos), who also handles bass and keyboards in Crimson Fire, well-traveled bass player Nikos Michalakakos (Spitfire/Ragenheart/Dark Nightmare) and drummer Tassos Kolios. The original version of "Slave To Desire" actually came rolling out in 2012. Steel Gallery Records just scoped up the band and talked the three gentlemen into adding a few more tracks to the album. Hence "Slave To Desire" the 2013 version. It's interesting to note that the band and issued "Slave To Desire-Promo 2012" which included 5 of their own tracks and a cover of the Joan Baez' classic "Diamonds & Rust". It's not the first time that particular track has been covered by a heavy metal band. Judas Priest made it into their own and it's worth mentioning that Thelemite seem to be influenced by Judas Priest so it's interesting they choose that cover. As well Judas Priest, and the other previously mentioned bands, Thelemite take some cues from Helloween and the UK's Power Quest. "Slave To Desire" ends up being this easy to digest, if desperately in need of extra spices, heavy metal platter. For all the rave mentions I've seen lately from not only the press, but fellow power metal bands perhaps I just expected a bit "more"? While taking nothing away from their talent, and their ability to write somewhat flashy heavy metal, I was left with the feeling that "Slave To Desire" was missing something. It's not for lack of trying and it certainly has nothing to do with the stellar production. Instead "Slave To Desire" almost feels too "safe". While a little more "crunch factor" would go a long way with Thelemite (Perhaps more Ozzy era Black Sabbath then Martin era might help?) it's not as if melodic power metal in and of itself is bad. It's simply a case of this Greek band finding a little bit of danger as they move forward. Still, if bands like Power Quest are your cup of tea, you could do worse then "Slave To Desire".

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