Destra - Joe's Rhapsody

Avantage Records


After being delayed for quite some time, Destra is finally back with their sophomore album, Joe's Rhapsody.  This Brazilian progressive rock/metal band didn't really impress me much on their first album.  However, this disc seems to be an improvement and has actually grown on me with each successive listen.  The band utilizes a new singer on this album and while he's not the perfect vocalist, I enjoy this guys singing much better than their previous vocalist.  He has a somewhat distracting accent and he's a little inconsistent at times, but pretty solid for the most part.
Musically, the band doesn't ever get too crazy, but plays a good mix of progressive rock and some hard rock/metal.  At times this kinda reminds me of Revolution Mind era Magdalen, only a little bit heavier.   The band also make use of well-placed keyboards, quality guitar solos, flutes, cellos, violins, and acoustic guitars.  Standout cuts are probably "Cruel Jungle" (both part one and part two), "Darkness Land", and "Julie".
Lyrically, the album is a concept story that is about a guy named Joe who lives a hard life, falls into sin and ends up in prison, only to find Jesus in the end.  The album actually starts off with an intro of Joe talking to the director of the prison and the director asking Joe how a guy like him ended up in prison.  Joe then proceeds to tell the story with the balance of the album.
Production is good and the packaging is superb.  The CD booklet is actually too large.  It's about 20 super glossy pages with lyrics in English and Portuguese with great band photos, but you can't hardly get it out of the case cause it's such a tight fit.  I actually had to bend mine the first time cause I couldn't get it out. 
Overall, while this is an improvement over their last album and while it has it's good moments, I just don't see myself listening to this a ton after this review.  It's a well played album that the band obviously spent a lot of time on, but it just seems to have a difficult time holding my attention at times.  However, I'm sure many people will dig this album, especially fans of Destra's first disc that just couldn't get past the vocals. 
You should be able to find this at Blastbeats or Rad Rockers.  (Review by Matt)