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Human Fortress: Thieves of the Night

It's been three years since Human Fortress served up the somewhat less than satisfactory Raided Land which I thought was too samey, too many meandering songs and generally too long. The band (Gus Monsanto - vocals Torsten Wolf - guitar Volker Trost - guitar Dirk Liehm - keyboards Andre Hort - bass Apostolos Zaios – drums) clearly read SoT and have returned with a much improved, leaner, punchier effort in Thieves of the Night. The melodic, almost power metal "Rise or Fall" is an excellent example of this featuring particularly fine bass work and keyboard fills.

The title track is equally fine as to be fair, is the rest of the album. It's quite facile to say that if you like powerful melodic rock then you will like Thieves of the Night but truisms and clichés exist because of their underlying truthfulness. What is probably true is that whilst Human Fortress are a solid band with much to admire and enjoy it's difficult to see them becoming genuine headliners as their solidity rather than their innovation and standout signature song is their main feature. I note that I give this the same mark as Raided Land even though this is the better album. It's perfectly fine and enjoyable without ever tipping over into excellence.

See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!

Track Listing:
01. Amberstow
02. Last Prayer to the Lord
03. Rise or Fall
04. Thieves of the Night
05. Thrice Blessed
06. Hellrider
07. Just a Graze
08. Vicious Circle
09. Smite On the Anvil (Instrumental)
10. Dungeons of Doom
11. Gift of Prophecy
12. Alon

Added: May 17th 2016
Reviewer: Simon Bray
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 2387
Language: english

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Human Fortress: Thieves of the Night
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2016-05-17 10:11:21
My Score:

Germany's Human Fortress sometimes seem more known for their constant line-up changes than their music, but truth be told these guys have pumped out some very solid melodic power metal over the course of their five studio albums. Thieves in the Night is their latest release from AFM Records, and while it perhaps doesn't offer up any surprises, it more than gives what we would expect from the band. "Rise or Fall" is an instant power metal anthem with its fist pumping riff and soaring chorus, while the more frantic title track features a darker tone and some powerful vocals courtesy of leather lunged singer Gus Monsanto. While keyboards do play a part in Human Fortress' music, Dirk Liehm generally takes a back seat to the guitar tandem of Torsten Wolf & Volker Trost, who lay down some massive riffing on cuts such as "Hellrider", "Vicious Circle" and the melodic ripper "Just a Graze". "Dungeons of Doom" is another snarling power metal cut here, filled with just enough majesty and menace to show just how close these guys are to coming up with a genre classic. That's my best way to describe this album and Human Fortress; solid album, solid band, but they are just not quite there yet. As far as power metal goes, this is a good one, but it falls just short of being called 'essential' in my book. However, it's certainly easy to recommend.

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