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Fortress Under Siege - Atlantis

Fortress Under Siege
Atlantis
by Kevin Lewis at 25 August 2020, 5:42 PM

Hailing from Athens, Greece, FORTRESS UNDER SIEGE is a Prog/Power Metal band formed in the mid-1990s and still going strong today. “Atlantis” is their latest offering, dropping October 9, 2020 via Rock Of Angels Records. Incorporating two guitars and a keyboard, they bring a little extra to the prog arena. Many of the 80s and 90s Prog Rockers either used two guitars and “hidden” keyboards or one guitar and heavy keyboards (often with layered guitars). These guys are honest about the size of their sound.

“Atlantis”, the title track, uses coordinated guitars bits with an ethereal undertone from the keyboards. The guitars stay in sync for much of the song, not trying to venture out and create melodic harmonies. Even the runs are coordinated. The drum fills are the highlight of this song for me. They stand out without overpowering the sing. I like the sound of this. Straight-forward, no frills, closer to the power metal end of things.

“Silence Of Our Words” starts with a catchy bass line. The vocals tend towards the more ethereal at the beginning, but get more power oriented later. Here, you get the guitars doing a little more counterpart in their sounds. Not true competing solos like many dual guitar bands, but still adding to the complexity of the arrangement. “Seventh Son” is another really good example of the guitars playing both together and apart. With a few interesting tempo shifts and transitions, this is a really solid Power Metal song.

There are two short instrumentals on the disc, “Holding A Breath” and “Lethe”. Both are slow paced tunes that feature the guitars prominently working together, one acoustic and the other electric, playing different melodies, tied together by the bass and keyboards. Neither feature speed of power elements, nor do they have time for a typical prog metal shift of gears. Instead, they give the listener a little break between the songs they separate. A nice interlude to catch your breath before the next run.

“Time For Rage” and “The Road Unknown” bring the album to a slightly more Progressive Metal end. Working in the Power realm, but showing off the Prog chops, this is a fitting end to a record that has a wide variety of tempos and themes. This is one of the songs that has a better example of the lead guitar taking going solo. Most of the songs has the lead staying close to the rhythm, but this one moves away and plays more into the limelight. Both methods work for this band.

The guitarists are definitely familiar with the others style of play and they can work in tandem or individually. The drummer knows how to fill in when needed and when to just pace the band. The bassist is solid. You hear him, but he isn’t trying to run the show. Keyboards can go lead or hide underneath and just influence the overall sound. These are the marks of a good mix of instruments and personnel. FORTRESS UNDER SIEGE is a band that is composed of talent both at musicianship and song writing. I definitely recommend giving this a listen.

Songwriting:  8
Musicianship:  9
Memorability:  7
Production:  8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Love Enforcer
2. Lords of Death
3. Atlantis
4. Holding a Breath
5. Silence of Our Words
6. Vengeance
7. Seventh Son
8. Lethe
9. Spartacus
10. Hector's Last Fight
11. Time For Rage
12. The Road Unknown
Lineup:
Tasos Lazaris – Vocals
Alex Stavrakas – Bass
Dimitris Kapoukakis – Drums
Fotis Sotiropoulos – Lead Guitar
Themis Gourlis – Rhythm Guitar
George Georgiou - Keyboards
Record Label: Rock of Angels Records
     


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