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Human Fortress: Epic Tales & Untold Stories

German band Human Fortress formed in the late nineties, and play a form of metal very much in the epic European symphonic power metal vein. Six studio albums in, Epic Tales & Untold Stories is a compilation with a difference; whilst the second disc is essentially a ‘best of’ in chronological order, the first disc provides more of an enticement for existing fans, being a collection of new, rare and previously unreleased material. Even for a newcomer to the band like myself I find this is where the highlights of this collection generally lay: “The Grimoire” is an epic, mid-paced song with an anthemic chorus; all familiar tropes of the genre, but very well executed. Other highlights of this disc are the power ballad “Disappear in Dark Shadows”, the riff-driven “ Cruel Fantasy” and “Fernweh”, which has an uncharacteristically wistful chorus which works well.

Disc 2 will be of more interest to newcomers than existing fans, taken as it is from the studio albums charting the band’s progress from the epic, swords-and-sorcery, keyboard-swamped symphonic feel of the earlier material, which I personally find a bit lightweight (not really a slight on the band, just my view of this genre as a whole). The songs released since the band’s return from a hiatus in 2013 have a bit more oomph and grit from the guitars whilst retaining the epic feel, and are more to my tastes. In summary, whilst Human Fortress are probably ‘second division’ in the melodic power metal firmament and in truth don’t do too much to stand out from the crowd, they know how to construct epic power metal anthems and this collection is chock full of them. The first disc, being more varied, is probably the highlight, but if a good dose of the euro symphonic metal style is what you are after you should investigate.


Tracklist:
CD1
1. The Grimoire
2. Disappear In Dark Shadows
3. Vain Endeavour
4. Free
5. Fernweh
6. We Are Legion
7. Cruel Fantasy
8. Pray For Salvation (orchestral version)


CD2
1. Lord Of Earth And Heavens Heir (edit version)
2. The Dragons Lair
3. Defenders Of The Crown
4. Border Raid In Lions March
5. Gladiator Of Rome (Part 1)
6. Gladiator Of Rome (Part 2)
7. Wasted Years
8. The Chosen One
9. Dark Knight
10. Thieves Of The Night
11. Rise Or Fall
12. Thrice Blessed
13. Lucifer's Waltz
14. Surrender
15. Thunder

Added: April 6th 2021
Reviewer: Tom De Val
Score:
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 132
Language: english

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