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Shiva - 2003 Desert Dreams


SHIVA - DESERT DREAMS (2003, MTM MUSIC)
Mats Edstrom - guitars, keyboards, background vocals
Anette Johansson - all vocals


Background
Swedish hard rock duo Shiva are one of a multitude of artists that jumped ship from Z Records, having released their debut on the erratic label. They've now hooked up with MTM Music and have perhaps recorded one of the hardest albums to be released by that label. Their debut was a straight laced melodic rock album, while 'Desert Dreams' is unadulterated hard rock. And pretty damn heavy in parts it is as well.

The Songs
The first riff of the album for the track 'Mystery Of Mind' is the type that you feel to the core. Bloody hell it's heavy. The heaviness is tempered by the very melodic bridge and chorus. Anette Johansson is in top form. Fantastic voice with no hint of an accent. The title track is metal through 'n' through with middle eastern elements and another very catchy chorus. I have to mention the lead work on this track as well. Mats moves effortlessly between melodic metal shredding and the more soulful melodic hard rock approach. So far I am very friggin' impressed. I can't believe what I'm hearing when 'Unjustify The Truth' takes center stage. Accept with a melodic female singer. Hell, this is really good stuff. Anette hits some huge notes on 'Completely Strangers', as does Mats with his amazing lead work. Smokin!!!! Finally they slow it down with the stellar ballad 'Losing My Child'. Very moving. 'Passenger Of Live' harkens back to their debut. A mid-paced melodic rocker. You get a great slab of slick Euro hard rock on 'Crucified'. Former Z alumni Burning Rain comes to mind on 'Porno Star'. Anette is flawless again. There's an epic feel to the ballad 'Dawning Of A New Horizon'. Final track 'The Preacher' is Crown Of Thorns meets Talisman. What a monster to go out on!!!!

In Summary
There is very little more I can say about this quite stunning album. The production could have done with some tweaking but that is negligible. Just play it LOUD!!! Shiva's 'Desert Dreams' is a great combination of Euro melodic metal and hard rock. Anette has one of THE best female voices I've heard in a long while and Mats should attract plenty of interest from shred-a-holics with his guitar work. Well done Shiva, bloody brilliant.

Track Listing:
01 Mystery Of Mind
02 Desert Dreams
03 Unjustify The Truth
04 Completely Strangers
05 Losing My Child
06 Passenger To Live
07 Crucified
08 Porno Star
09 Dawning Of A New Horizon
10 The Preacher

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