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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Destiny's End

Breathe Deep The Dark

Review by Gary Hill

Released in 1998, this was the first of two albums from Destiny's End and it is a definite masterpiece of metal mayhem that still holds up today. The sounds on the album run the gamut of classic metal from Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Mercyful Fate and more. Every song seems packed with intriguing changes, meaty guitar riffs and just plain powerhouse vocals and playing. There isn't a weak song on here and they don't run into the "everything sounds the same" trap. I can't recommend this disc enough for fans of classic metal.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2006 Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Rebirth
These guys waste no time kicking it into high gear. This one comes in with a Halford-like scream and this frantic rocker is very much like Painkiller era Judas Priest. There are also elements of older Priest in the killer mixture of sounds here. The guitar simply scorches and the vocal performance is top notch. It just doesn't get much better than this. I can't imagine a better way to start off the disc. It's amazing to me just how many changes and killer jamming they pack into a song that's just under four minutes in length. That's simply amazing.
Breathe Deep The Dark
Frantic drumming starts the title track, then a very tasty guitar riff enters to carry the track into its opening verse. This one is fast paced, rather epic sounding heavy metal. A slower, slightly sparser segment later is quite powerful and leads into a short instrumental break. A Rob Halford like scream later is worth mentioning as are the stellar bridge and instrumental section that follow. Some of the guitar soloing here, with its Eastern tinges, is just plain awesome. This whole track is a definite winner.
To Be Immortal
The fury just doesn't let up. This is another frantic cut in its opening measures. They alternate it out to a staccato sort of stalking pattern after a bit, though. Rather than the Judas Priest types of textures that show up on the earlier cuts I'd say this falls more into the land that lies somewhere between old school Metallica and Mercyful Fate. With all the alternating segments that are worked into this, and purely shredding guitar work, it's another that is amazing to believe clocks in at only around three and a half minutes.
Idle City
Along with the next number, this is one part of an epic piece. "Idle City" starts with keyboards and as guitar enters the number takes on a ballad-like style. This has a dark and mysterious texture, feeling quite a bit like Iron Maiden's dark ballad-like pieces. It shifts gear to a fast paced, old world dominated metal structure that again brings up visions of Maiden. This has a galloping sort of texture in its melodic metallic themes. It runs through a number of intriguing changes.
The Fortress Unvanquishable
"The Fortress Unvanquishable" continues the themes, begun in the last track, both musically and lyrically. While in many ways it doesn't feel different than its predecessor it does move those musical concepts further along the road. This one feels a bit like King Diamond at times. They do pull it down to a killer metallic grind later to good effect. Together both tracks represent a very powerful and creative old school metal journey.
Sinister Deity
Ambient sounds far in the background begin this, then the bass comes in to carry the first riff of the piece. As the other instruments join this pounds out in a smoking metallic fury. The thing is, it has some definite neo-classic and epic metal textures, too. Then it drops back to a thrashy segment that again calls to mind those very early Metallica sounds. The vocals come over the top of this killer jam. As with the whole album, though, this cut runs through a series of dynamic changes and everything about this song is top-notch. It's another killer on a disc that is simply packed with them. I particularly like the dramatic segment where they drop it back to a percussion dominated sound with just these understated lines over the top. The jam that comes out from there is worth a mention, too. So is the awesome scream that ends it.
Unsolved World
A cool dramatic, mysterious texture starts this and holds it. The best part is it's actually just bass guitar. Eventually, though, the rest of the band pound in with another stalking riff that again calls to mind early Metallica. The cut has more of that Iron Maiden-like texture in the vocals. It's another dynamic standout piece on a disc that has no slouches.
Under Destruction's Thumb
The Metallica stuttering start and stop approach is present on this one. As is some seriously frantic drumming and a rather epic arrangement. They haven't failed to impress yet. The vocals on this one are also rather Maiden-like. There is a guitar break on here that's simply art in motion.
Clutching At Straws
The main riff on this one is oh so meaty. The vocals are more epic in texture, somewhat like Dickinson might do with an epic ballad. The cut is another dynamic romp that is just plain smoking.
Where Do We Go?
You know every old school metal album has to have at least one song that has at least a section that is slow and more acoustic guitar oriented - OK, lets just say it, ballad-like. This is the one for this album. They start it off with a killer dramatic and moody ballad format. They run through in this way for a while, and a couple verses are sung over the top of this. Then it screams out in one of the most tasty riff-fests of the whole disc. This has more of those old Metallica textures at points. Then they drop it back to the ballad segment to carry forward. They move it out into the heavier later, and then turn to an even faster section that purely screams. This is simply awesome. This epic is another scorcher and one of the best on the disc, and certainly a great choice to close it off.
 
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