In a world that is on the verge of economic collapse, and pandemics, it’s easy to fall into a pit of despair and lose all hope. However these days it is the little things that keep a smile on a person’s face. A hug from a child. A neighbour that offers help, and yes, music.
One Desire has returned with its sophomore album and it’s like watching a child grow and mature. Midnight Empire is exactly what this listener wanted to hear. It is a step above their 2017 self-titled debut. It stays true to the sound they have developed, and created a fan base with, but not too far of a stretch as to alienate their fans that they enveloped over the last 3 years.
Midnight Empire comes out May 22nd, 2020 on Frontiers Music SRL, and provides a glimmer of sunshine, in dark times.
Their Melodic Hard Rock journey began back in 2012 in Finland with drummer Ossi Sivula, who began to seek others to join him in a musical journey. After writing demos, and songs with various musicians, in 2014, he met Jimmy Westerlund. Jimmy had the experience of platinum and gold albums to his credits of a producer and had just moved back to Finland after a time in Los Angeles.
Jimmy was hired to produce some songs, and soon after taking a new musical direction, and three songs later, they caught the attention of Serafino Perugino, owner and head of A&R at Frontiers Music. However, the band wasn’t there yet and needed a singer. After a few failed auditions, it was suggested by Jimmy that he give old friend, Andre Linman a shot. After creating a few more songs with Andre, the sound was there and One Desire descended upon the world. In 2016 Jimmy was officially asked to join the band, and Jonas Kuhlberg was the final link to complete the chain.
Something More to Prove
As with most bands, the second album is more important than the first. It can prove to the critics, and fans, that your not a one-hit-wonder. That you have more to offer the masses in the form of your talents. Midnight Empire doesn’t just settle those doubts, it smashes them. From the first singles of “After You’re Gone”, and “Shadowman”, One Desire showed why they remain at the top of the Melodic Hard Rock Charts!
The album is more than just the two singles though. They have made the whole album a little edgier, and more captivating than the successful debut. Yes, it still has that same feel of the singles that garnered them the attention, but they have reduced the use of so many keyboards and turned those guitar amps just enough to keep your asses out of the seats.
Maturing with grace
The second single “Shadowman” not only kicks off the album but showcases it as well. It gives you exactly what you’re going to hear for the next 52 minutes. Andre‘s voice carries itself to a place that some of the greats sit, but with his distinct vocals, he carves his place in singer history. Ossi also beats the drums with perfect timing and melodic sensibility. The guitars and bass flow throughout, and propel the whole band to a new level. “Down and Dirty” offer that gracefulness that fans of their debut singles like “Hurt” offered, but again with a more mature offering. Follow that up with “Godsent Extasy” and you have a great one-two kick.
Acoustic guitars and angelic tones are next with “Through The Fire”. A beautifully sung and played track that kicks in around the 2-minute mark, and remains energetic but flows from the heart with a blend of both electric and acoustic sounds.
The Empire Reigns
The second half of the record comes in with “Heroes”. A track that any fan of the debut will love. Truly in the vein of its predecessor, it’s a highlight to any Melodic Rock fans ears. “Rio” is truly fantastic for any AOR lover. One of the best on the album, that should be destined to be a single is “Battlefield Of Love”. It’s anthemic, and its heavy beats will be sure to appease any fan. “Killer Queen” is simply described and Melodic Hard Rock at its best.
Now, anyone that has read anything I’ve written before knows I hate when a band ends an album with a ballad. That is exactly what has occurred on Midnight Empire, but I have to make an exception here. It stays true to the One Desire sound, and still leaves me wanting more. Truly a rare, but stunning way to close out an exceptional album.
I had personally been impatiently awaiting this album since I heard One Desire‘s debut. I can honestly say that I wasn’t disappointed in any way. It takes me back to the days of hearing a band’s first album, and reading everything I could to get tidbits of info about the next one, and watching the calendar until its release. With Midnight Empire, One Desire once again proves, why they belong at the top of the heap with other Melodic Hard Rock acts. Definitely a 10 out of 10 for me!
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Trevor “Psychoone” McDougall
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- After You’re Gone
- Down and Dirty
- Godsent Extasy
- Through The Fire
- Battlefield of Love
- Killer Queen
- Only When I Breathe
- André Linman – lead vocals, guitars
- Jimmy Westerlund – guitars, bg vocals, lead vocals
- Ossi Sivula – drums
- Jonas Kuhlberg – bass