May 28, 2023

One Desire is a heavy melodic rock band from Finland that now has a discography of two studio and two live albums which some may think is very early in the band’s career to have an equal number of studio and live records but One Desire is a band that really comes alive in the live environment so any chance to hear them in full power mode and without a safety net is to be appreciated.

The band was formed as far back as 2012 and the musicians spent some time perfecting their sound so it was not until 2017 that the mighty fine self-titled debut came out. This was followed up with the equally impressive Midnight Empire in 2020 with the live CD/DVD One Night Only – Live In Helsinki following a year later which saw an impressive team of musicians laying down some serious hard yet beautifully melodic grooves. This latest record comes as a CD/DVD double set (as well as standalone Blu-ray and digital download) with the band being joined by the Wasa Sinfonietta (The Shadow Orchestra) which makes One Desire another in the long line of groups that have recorded with a full orchestra. However, this is no Deep Purple Concerto For Group And Orchestra copy but more a case of the orchestra providing sublime backing to the band’s beautifully crafted melodic rock as they add real depth and gravitas to the proceedings.

The core of the band remains as André Linman on lead vocals and guitar, Jimmy Westerlund on guitar and vocals, Ossi Sivula on drums and Jonas Kuhlberg on bass with the live sound being supplemented by the keyboards of Johnny Nordström who seems to have replaced Antti Roslander who tinkled the ivories on the One Night Only – Live In Helsinki CD/DVD set. The orchestra is led by conductor Ville Mankkinen and there is a guest cameo from Norwegian vocalist and stalwart of the Eurovision scene Geir Rönning on the penultimate song Hurt. 

Live With The Shadow Orchestra was filmed at the Elisa Stadium in Vaasa in 2022 and shown on Finnish TV in December and is now available to us all so that we can see what those lucky Finns have already experienced! The band serves up a pleasing hard and intense melodic rock with each song being anthemic and most definitely epic in score being quite perfect US melodic rock meets Scandinavian power with André Linman being a perfect frontman and there is plenty of stunning guitar to savour from Jimmy Westerlund and he is also a sumptuous vocalist and combines superbly with Linman. The sound is awesome, the orchestra sublime and the stage setting and light show exemplary. As should be expected, the set list is a neat combination of material from both studio releases with the new single Never Gonna Stop kicking of the proceedings and setting a rocking pace that never falters.

There is not so much audience interaction throughout the album as each track sees a ‘cut shot’ with a poetic spoken word introduction before the screen bursts alive with colourful sound and vision but those present do not seem to mind what could almost be an interruption and all thoroughly buy into the concept. The camera work is close-up and personal with multiple angles but there does seem to be a competition to see how many different shots and angles can be shown in each individual minute of the performance but this never detracts from the spectacle of the occasion. One Desire have a sound, style and delivery somewhere between Europe and Sentenced and they always deliver a quality melodic rock performance with the addition of the Wasa Sinfonietta making this a very special release indeed.

Live With The Shadow Orchestra

  1. Never Gonna Stop (6:14)
  2. Apologize (3:42)
  3. Heroes (4:09)
  4. Through The Fire (7:07)
  5. After You’re Gone (5:22)
  6. Rio (5:09)
  7. This Is Where The Heartbreak Begins (5:13),
  8. Shadowman (6:11)
  9. Whenever I’m Dreaming (4:26)
  10. Hurt (5:31)
  11. Buried Alive (5:06)