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Fatal Force: Unholy Rites

Most recently heard of adding a dazzling six-string display to last year's Fate album Ghosts From The Past, guitarist Torben Enevoldsen has actually been an integral part of Section A, Acacia Avenue and Decoy, as well as releasing a trio of solo albums. However back in 2006 a self titled debut appeared from Fatal Force, championing a classic brand of Melodic Metal that made many a band household names a couple of decades earlier. Notable for also featuring the undoubted talents of drummer Daniel Flores and singer Mats Leven (At Vance, Yngwie Malmsteen) Fatal Force made a solid impact before the trio seemed to disappear for good.

Now some six years down the line and Enevoldsen has revived Fatal Force for album number two Unholy Rites, although this time he is joined by another ex-Malmsteen frontman Michael Vescera, who among many others also spent time singing with the under rated Loudness. Relatively unknown drummer Dennis Hansen completing the trio. Thankfully the time away hasn't blunted the Fatal Force attack, with the bristling Dokken-esque riffs and Melodic with an eye on Power Metal approach hitting home hard across the ten universally excellent tracks on show on Unholy Rites. Unsurprisingly Vescera proves to be a match for the biting, snarling guitar work and bass thundering, with his precise Geoff Tate like power adding a welcome slice of melodic sheen to a reassuringly punchy album.

Enevoldsen, also adds a little keyboards to the mix (he also plays bass on the album), allowing for the songs to have swathes of colour and atmosphere. However much as he does with Fate, the fret-burner ensures that the guitars sit front and centre on an album that is unashamedly Metal, yet confidently melodic. You really could start this album on any of its tracks to reveal the sort of hard hitting Rock that fans of Dokken, Lillian Axe, or Scorpions will lap up. However I'm sure that followers of Pagan's Mind, Primal Fear or Accept would find much to enjoy in the Metallic attack of the guitars and pounding kick drum as well. "Listen To Reason" shows a majestic, yet powerful swagger, while the latter day Sabbath howl and growl of "House Of Pain" illustrates Vescera's intensity and Fatal Force's potency. Add to that the insistently jabbing riff of "Lessons In Evil", the more keyboard oriented, but still guitar led "Fight" or the cracking vocal harmonies and histrionics of "Run For Cover" and Unholy Rites is an album that demands you sit up and take notice. Most impressively this newly forged trio sound like a well oiled machine that have spent decades together, rather than a few months.

Crossing the boundaries between US styled 80's Melodic Heavy Rock and current Euro Power Metal, Fatal Force have unleashed an album that crushes while it caresses and seduces with its intensity. Here's hoping we don't have to wait another six years for the third instalment!

Unholy Rites is available now from Metal Heaven Records.

Track Listing
1. Run For Cover
2. Unholy Rites
3. Fight
4. Lessons In Evil
5. In Silence
6. No One Will Listen
7. Higher Ground
8. Listen To Reason
9. Enter The Night
10. House Of Pain

Added: July 21st 2012
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Fatal Force on MySpace
Hits: 3783
Language: english

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