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Hell's Guardian - Follow Your Fate

Hell's Guardian
Follow Your Fate
by Matt Coe at 01 June 2014, 12:59 AM

HELL’S GUARDIAN began in 2009 as brothers Freddie and Dylan Formis felt the need to form a band. Beginning by covering some of their favorite groups like AMORPHIS, ENSIFERUM, IN FLAMES, and METALLICA, they released a self-titled demo in 2010 and started gigging locally. By 2013 they started the process of writing and recording their debut full-length album, and finally in early 2014 we receive “Follow Your Fate”.

It should be little surprise that the band straddle the lines between Folk, Melodic Death, and Viking Metal on this 11 track effort. Cesare’s deep growls compliment the heavier sections of this material, clear in his pronunciation and very much in line to early Dan Swano / EDGE OF SANITY meets Johan Hegg / AMON AMARTH. The 6:59 “My Prophecy” features a lot of AMORPHIS oriented progressive atmosphere, the lead break very classically inspired yet not purely shred fodder.

Most of the songs follow a cultural / Folk type platform, the electrical instrumentation where the band take their melodic metal cues, and the comfortable slow to mid-tempos giving the listener plenty of nuances to dig into. “Away from My Fears” keys in on this reoccurring twin guitar harmony as Pietro handles a lot of the verses in this melancholic, depressive manner while Cesare brings up the energy through forceful, confident growls. There are a few times where some of the riff transitions can be a little predictable and awkward – overemphasize of an important part of a song can be as much of a hindrance as one thinks it will be helpful. “Cradle’s Lake” falls squarely into this category, a lot of the drumming very pedestrian and taking down the chord choices and normal head banging that would occur.

I can picture audiences chanting in unison to many of the musical hooks, especially the cultural textures of “Lost Soul” or the slightly Power Metal oriented “Neverland” – the latter featuring sultry clean female vocals as a compliment to the natural death growls. As a result of this diverse approach, I find the 50 minute playback quite easy on the ears and mind, never taxing or making me feel like I need to skip certain tracks. The cover art is more in line with a Power Metal band than necessarily a more Melodic Death / Viking Metal act – but do not let this fool you, as HELL’S GUARDIAN are worthy of attention in their niche.

I can see many people gravitating towards “Follow Your Fate” – as these Italians care deeply about their brand of Metal and should not remain independent for long.

4 Star Rating

1. The Forgotten Tales
2. My Prophecy
3. Forgiven in the Night
4. Away From My Fears
5. Cradle’s Lake
6. Last Forever
7. Silence In Your Mind
8. Lost Soul
9. Neverland
10. Follow Your Fate
11. Middle Earth
Cesare Damiolini – Vocals (growls), Guitars
Freddie Formis – Guitars
Pietro Toloni – Vocals (clean), Bass
Dylan Formis – Drums
Record Label: Record Union


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