Thursday, June 12, 2003

Review: Destination's Calling - Mastery of the Light (2001)

Destination's Calling [ Website | MySpace ]
Mastery of the Light

In the world of epic power metal, the Germans can claim a fair number of bands that are respected as leaders of the genre - Gamma Ray, Helloween, and Blind Guardian immediately come to mind in any conversation about this style of metal. Formed in 1997 as Infinity, a cover band playing Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and Queensryche, Destination's Calling have thrown themselves into the saturated European power metal market with Mastery of the Light.

The Iron Maiden influence is evident right from the beginning of the first track "Gate to the Past" with the twin-guitar lead of Christian Gräter and Markus Göller. Christian also displays a polished vocal style throughout the album that is very reminiscent of Kai Hansen and Hansi Kursch, yet at times brings to mind Bruce Dickenson. "Still Believin'" is my favorite song on the album, having a very '80s metal feel to it without sounding dated. The buzzsaw riffs, well-executed leads, and the busy drumwork of Oliver Noe drive the song at a healthy pace, while Christian exhibits a style of singing slightly more akin to Geoff Tate of Queensryche. The following track, "Remember the Past", is an acoustic composition delivered in the style of a medieval bardic tale. Being the only song like this on Mastery of the Light, it at first seems out of place but over the course of a few listens I found it to be a pleasant way to slow things down for a bit before turning up the pace again with "Candle in the Night" - a blistering song showcasing the furious leads of Markus. Throw in a short "true metal" gang chorus and you have a solid power metal demonstration.

Although I was very impressed by the polished skill displayed by Markus, I'm afraid Destination's Calling are trekking in a direction that will find them drifting in a vast sea of similar bands. "Still Believin'" is the exception, of course, showcasing a sound that works very well for the band. Power metal fans who can't get enough will be pleased with Mastery of the Light.

Track Listing
1 Gate To The Past
2 Sign Of Glory
3 Judgement Day
4 Still Believin'
5 Remember The Past
6 Candle In The Night
7 Mastery Of The Light
8 Destination's Calling

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