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Human Fortress - Defenders Of The Crown (Reissue)

Human Fortress
Defenders Of The Crown (Reissue)
by Craig Rider at 25 July 2016, 3:56 PM

What's up, Metal maniacs? The Thrasher returns to give you an insight; this time, on this Epic Power Metal quintet, hailing from the glory of Germany: HUMAN FORTRESS on their 2003 re-release of “Defenders of the Crown” currently signed via AFM Records. HUMAN FORTRESS compile the epics of everything Metal into one powerful package; though abandoning their traditional style for a more modern sound onwards with the album: “Eternal Empire” the quartet decide to re-release “Defenders of the Crown” with two added bonus tracks and a sound production of immense power. Implementing orchestral elements reminding me of some Final Fantasy (video game) music of that relevance, as well as a theme that can easily fluent one of that nature into that imagining…which evidently suits the band in question. The uncanny resemblance to this vision is staggering later on. There is also some KORPIKLANNI elements that combine this imagery of mine with great precision. This record is 14 tracks long with 2 added bonus tracks to make up for the re-release prospect. I haven't listened to the original so, I can't compare the two, but there is something for everyone here that's for sure.

The first thing to note is that the musicianship and instrumentation has a multitude of magnitudes including Jioti Parcharidis on vocals who shares some equalities to that of IRON MAIDEN's Bruce Dickenson, which at first had me ecstatic at showcasing similarities of the two vocalists. Notably similar with the sound production that just screamed brilliance and songwriting. Dirk Marquate on keyboards adds the flavour adequately; giving off that “epic” (keyword in this review) feel of integrity. The riffery of Todd Wolf and Volker Trost showcase skill and immersion and the added powerhouse of Pablo J. Tammen on bass, and Apostolos “Laki” Zaios pummel the speakers with force and passion. This inquisition was made in mind to cite the consumer with positive reactions; as well as exciting the curious. “Defenders of the Crown” is likely an untouched gem for the curious so, here we go on the songs in question…

Knights in Shining Armour”, “Defenders of the Crown” and “Colosseum” begin “Defenders of the Crown” with a trademark image that shows that this isn't yet another MANOWAR Power Metal band, but HUMAN FORTRESS tend to keep things original and memorable at an all-time-high. Fusing the elementary image of orchestral and heavy metal composing, make this a fresh and utmost unique listen so far this year. “Gladiator of Rome”, “Holy Grail Mine”, “Border Raid in Lions March” all share a similar fashion…enjoying, and intriguing myself to carry on listening. Everything just sounds on-point and glorious with a positive intent. Around this area of the album; cites me to compel one about the Final Fantasy comment I made earlier, if you've heard anything, -musically- from that series, you should know exactly what I mean on that front. Otherwise, it's a nice fusion on adding keyboards that sound massively orchestrated in accordance to that vision.

Defenders of the Crown” is a fairly extensive album; which is a good thing, though may overwhelm one if there isn't too much time on your side. The more Metal, the better, right? HUMAN FORTRESS brilliantly compile every musical instrument they could find and it works so damn well. “Siege Tower”, “Schattentor”, “Skin of Feather” keep everything as heavy as can be while keeping the orchestral elements in play. Every song is an enjoyable ride that finalizes my opinion; making this a record that any Metal or music fan in general will enjoy, and is for everyone. ”Sacral Fire”, “Mortal's Sinful Wrath” and “The Valiant” end the album with stunning musicianship. With 2 bonus tracks “Human Fortress” and “We Are Legions” warrant a second purchase for the veterans. I'll conclude by saying; if you love the atmosphere of video game imagery and influences from the greats i.e. IRON MAIDEN, you have to check this out!

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Sound Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Knights in Shining Armour
2. Defenders of the Crown
3. Colosseum
4. Gladiator of Rome
5. Holy Grail Mine
6. Border Raid in Lions March
7. Siege Tower
8. Schattentor
9. Skin of Feather
10. Sacral Fire
11. Mortal's Sinful Wrath
12. The Valiant
13. Human Fortress (Bonus Track)
14. We Are Legions (Bonus Track)
Jioti Parcharidis - Vocals
Dirk Marquate - Keyboards
Todd Wolf - Guitars
Volker Trost - Guitars
Pablo J. Tammen - Bass
Apostolos “Laki” Zaios - Drums
Record Label: Massacre Records


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Edited 28 January 2023

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