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Shiva Desert Dreams 2004 MTM Music - Reviewed by: Zerohour

Track Listing
01. MYSTERY OF MIND
02. DESERT DREAMS
03. UNJUSTIFY THE TRUTH
04. COMPLETELY STRANGERS
05. LOSING MY CHILD
06. PASSENGER OF LIFE
07. CRUCIFIED
08. PORNO STAR
09. DAWNING OF A NEW HORIZON
10. THE PREACHER
Swedish duo Shiva is made up of Mats Edstrom on guitars and keyboards and Anette Johansson on vocals. Edstrom moved his first steps in music at the age of 15 joining a band called Arrow and supported the tours of bands like Europe and Motorhead. After Arrow left the scene, Edstrom took part in lots of projects, bought a recording studio and in 1992 he created Yankee Heaven where he met Anette Johansson. As Shiva they released a self-titled album in 2002 for Z Records and signed for MTM Records which published this amazing CD “Desert Dreams” in January 2004.

If “Shiva” was AOR-oriented, “Desert Dreams” sounds like a modern version of Judas Priest, Painkiller-era, with his solid hard rock background mixed up with melodic rock. I must say that what makes this an outstanding album is the incomparable voice of Anette Johansson: her style, her vocal extension and her interpretations makes her unique and hardly comparable to any other.

Ten sparkling tracks all gifted with a strong identity where guitars and keyboards are great bearing columns; the singer’s voice is so strong that it sometimes loses its female feature… when I found out the vocalist was a woman I couldn’t believe it!

The opener “Mystery Of Mind” is a catchy up-tempo number that traces the road all the album will travel on. AOR makes his presence felt in choruses of tracks as “Desert Dreams” or “Completely Strangers” while 80’s melodic rock influences “Passenger Of Life”. “Losing My Child” is, in my opinion, the best track of the album--Niclas Olson from Alyson Avenue accompanies on piano an incredible performance of the vocalist. An incorrect impression is that there are two different singers making a duet: one is sweet and suffering, the other one is screaming of anger. A masterpiece without a doubt.

“Crucified”, “Porno Star” and “Unjustify The Truth” are the most heavy-oriented with their scratching guitars and angry voice while “Dawning Of A New Horizon” is a classical ballad, a little bit flat and far from being original…The last track, “The Preacher” is the one which sounds like Priest more than any other one: Johansson here is nothing less than a lyrical singer reaching very high notes and the guitar solo reminds of Swedish axe hero Yngwie Malmsteen.

The album was recorded in Edstrom’s private studio and it is well produced: drums and bass could have been more powerful but this is what happens with a band with only two members.

“Desert Dreams” is surely a 9 out of ten, one of the greatest album of the year. I hope to see them live really soon!


--Zerohour 04.23.04


Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: SHIVA
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
Desert DreamsShiva
2004
Zerohour4/22/2004


ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: SHIVA

No Summary reviews currently exist for them.


ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: SHIVA
INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE
Anette Johansson/Mats EdstroemShivaZerohour5/20/2004


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