Review Summary: Mastercastle's Last Desire is an impressive follow-up to their debut, and shows a band neither resting on the laurels of their previous accomplishments nor standing still in their progression to new ideas. Strongly recommended.
Shortly after the release of The Phoenix, Mastercastle return in the scene witha Last Desire.
This album sees the line-up of Giorgia Gueglio (vocals), Pier Gonella (guitars), Steve Vawamas (bass) and Alessandro "Bix" Bissa (drums) all returning to pick up where they left off with their debut.
They also return with their principals which includes, of course, the brilliant Giorgia Gueglio on lead vocals. Ms Gueglio is a pure hard rock/heavy metal singer which, with song compositions, makes Mastercastle a true melodic hard rock and heavy metal band as opposed to another symphonic/goth metal ban in the Dutch or Scandinavian tradition. This in itself is a welcome relief.
Like its predecessor, Last Desire doesn't sound like a guitarist's album with some vocals added to it as an afterthought. Maybe it's a matter of working with the same people again, but Gueglio’s singing on Last Desire is a noticeable improvement over their debut album, although she performed quite well then as well.As previously, Gonella is given opportunity to spread his wings and impress with his virtuoso style on the instrumentals Space Trip and Las Serenissima. This last is a cover of the italian Ensemble 'Rondo' Veneziano'.This guitar rendition works out surprisingly well and is clearly a highlight of the album and upstages the first instrumental with little effort. As for Ms. Gueglio, she is impressive throughout, with Jade Star and Great Heaven's Climb representative of the amazing depth of her talent. Hearing the new Mastercastle album is a refreshing break. Here is a band that does not need to rely on orchestration, operatic measures, or harsh vocals.
Last Desire is an example of a band improving upon what they established with their debut offering. It seems to be to be a bit heavier overall by comparison, but it's not much of a departure from what the band did with The Phoenix, so most fans shouldn't have a problem with this new album. With fewer neo-classical portions and improvement in the vocals, Mastercastle have delivered a solid follow-up that should turn some heads.