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Human Fortress - Raided Land

Human Fortress
Raided Land
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 24 October 2013, 7:51 PM

The Teutonic knights have returned with a plan for another conquest, such a quest that would actually guarantee them on the road the recognition they once had., a contemporary Power Metal band feeling it epic on several accords, attempt to retake the throne, assimilating various of BLIND GUARDIAN, STORYTELLER and early KAMELOT aspects while sharpening their swords and axes on Metal's modernized formulations. The band has been going through several lineup changes including the return of the band's early guitarist Volker Trost, new drummer and bass player, Apostolos Zaios and Andre Hort, fresh keyboards' man in the image of Dirk Liehm and of course a new high class frontman, the Brazilian Gus Monsanto raspy toned singer of CIRCLE OF SILENCE, ex-ADIAGO and ex-OVERDOSE, which replaced the band's original vocalist that had to retire due to health problems. However, coping with those issues, HUMAN FORTRESS put out a new release, signing with AFM Records, which was named "Raided Land". Apparently that the change that underwent on the previous "Eternal Empire", which afterwards the band just vanished, is still on the taking its toll.

HUMAN FORTRESS haven't been a stranger to yours truly as the band's first two albums have been serving as partial integral piece of my passion for Euro Heavy / Power Metal, especially when it comes to various of epic characteristics. However, "Raided Land", a base of expectancy on my part, had me in a disagreement with myself for quite a while until reaching an actual decision about it. In comparison to their early melodic stage that also gave birth to fine riffery and an amazing theatrical feel, HUMAN FORTRESS of 2013 sounded much more like a Glam Metal / Hard Rock / AOR band than an Epic Heavy / Power Metal entity. Of course that I didn’t mean by Glam Metal as the actual musical direction, yet it would seem that "Raided Land", on its most part, is a miscellany of powerful choruses worthy of a round applauses and amazement, yet with lack of melodic emphasis, illiterate soloing efforts that really staggered me, recurring song perceptions choking the life out of the same formulas and on several of the songs a nearly complete deficiency of content. Generally, it would appear that HUMAN FORTRESS focused on being catchy with anthems and memorable moments rather than devoting their energies on actually accentuating their musical proficiency, but it gone bust. No doubt that the choruses were excellent, at least most of them, but come on guys, there is more to it in a song.

"Wasted Years", "Pray for Salvation" and "The Gladiator of Rome (Pt. 2)" were probably the only songs that portrayed different ideas and perspectives. Furthermore, these songs had depth in them other than being unforgettable. I could also undergo the epic resourcefulness, mostly due to the facets provided by the keyboards. Of course there is also Monsanto's high quality vocal performance that in a way averted negative reactions to a few of the songs. For a band that once was a force in Euro Heavy / Power Metal, HUMAN FORTRESS stepped into a plate that I had never expected them to be on. I surely liked their catchy vibe within the tracks, several carved themselves on my skin, but I wanted more out of the voids I found. "Raided Land" is a good album, yet far from the band's previous kingship.        

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Raided Land
2. Child of War
3. Wasted Years
4. The Chosen One
5. Shelter
6. The Gladiator of Rome (Pt. 2)
7. Dark Knight
8. Prelude
9. Pray for Salvation
10. Evil Curse
11. Restless Souls
12. Under Siege
13. Guard the Blind
Lineup:
Gus Monsanto - Vocals
Torsten Wolf - Guitar
Volker Trost - Guitar
Dirk Liehm - Keyboards
Andre Hort - Bass
Apostolos Zaios - Drums
Record Label: AFM Records
     


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