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Fate: If Not for the Devil

If you decide to call your album If Not for the Devil you may well be setting up certain expectations for the audience. Here, Fate deliver none of the potential boring old metal clichés such as screaming at the man downstairs but if no nonsense hard rock floats your metaphorical boat look no further. From the opener "Reaping" which would fit well on any Eden's Curse album all the way to end of "Gimme All Your Love" this is a highly polished record.

Keeping a solid line up has obviously worked well Dagfinn Joensen on lead vocals, Torben Enevoldsen on guitar, Mikkel Henderson on keyboards, Peter Steincke on bass and Jens Berglid on drums gel very well with Jacob Hansen's (PrettyMaids, Volbeat, Amaranthe) precise production. Ally this to some strong songs ("Bridges Are Burning" being a particularly fine one, nicely powerful and forceful) and all the ingredients of a solid album are in place.

Track Listing:
01. Reaping
02. If Not for the Devil
03. Bridges Are Burning
04. Feel Like Making Love
05. Gambler
06. Hard To Say Goodbye
07. Made Of Stone
08. Man Against The Wall
09. My World
10. Turn Back Time
11. Taught To Kill
12. Gimme All Your Love

Added: January 18th 2014
Reviewer: Simon Bray
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2568
Language: english

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Fate: If Not for the Devil
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2014-01-18 15:40:36
My Score:

After a five year layoff Danish Melodic Hard Rock act Fate returned in 2011 with a solid blast called Ghosts From The Past and two years later, they're back with If Not For The Devil. To say that Fate have a long and winding history would be an understatement, so really, even before the music is sampled, the biggest achievement for this quintet is that the same five musicians who gave us Ghosts... are serving up If Not....

For some the previous release was a bit of a departure, heavier than the sound that made the band's name, which wasn't necessarily a bad thing. Opening track this time "Reaping", continues this theme, Torben Enevoldsen's guitar tearing out a bristling riff, Jens Berglid's drums clattering for all their worth. Cleverly however the title track eases off a little, Mikkel Henderson's keyboard sitting loud and proud right at the front of a track which reminds a little of Grand Prix, especially with singer Dagfinn Joensen having a welcome flavour of Robin McCauley about his delivery. Leaving the impression, quite rightly, that If Not For The Devil sits somewhere between the melody of past Fate days and the harder edge discovered on the last album. It is a recipe which works well and in the end delivers a balanced yet varied album that stands up impressively to repeat listens.

"Feel Like Making Love" hits hard, a blurring guitar solo searing the mind, "Gambler" struts in a mid paced groove and huge backing vocals, while "Man Against The Wall" hints at the keyboard sounds that Vow Wow once made their own to great effect. Different though they all are, brought together under the one album title all three (and the other nine tracks) complement each other while still offering up interestingly different perspectives. Yes, it is all Melodic Hard Rock, but this is far from one dimensional, cookie cutter stuff.

Joensen seemed to be a real vocal find for the band and so it proves once more here and if anything his performance this time is even more convincing than on Ghosts... He leads from the front, not afraid to reveal a serious level of power and force in his voice, but without ever losing sight of what the song requires. Enevoldsen too confirms his class, working supremely against the keyboard colours and the confident bass interplay with Peter Steincke is a real feature of the album and whether it be cutting riffs or dazzling solos, the fret work throughout is top notch.

Ghosts From The Past was a welcome and classy return from Fate; If Not For The Devil takes things up a level or two and really is a first class slice of melodic, yet strident Rock.

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