Fude was (or is?) a flash-in-the-pan prog metal act that gained local
popularity in its home in north eastern England, but never achieved the
recognition it deserved on the world stage.
The band should have done well - these guys have the songwriting and the
musicianship and the ideas - but the EP reviewed here is their only significant
output and as we understand it, it's a live recording. Had Fude gone into the
studio, formalized these tracks and applied higher production standards, chances
are the band might have grown into a big fish in the small progressive pond.
We know very little about the band because their CD cover is somewhat
economical on its information, the band's web site seems to be off the air, and
at the time of writing they haven't logged into their own MySpace page for
almost a year.
The album is predominantly instrumental, and the style is a laid back version
of Dream Theater or Fates Warning - not quite as rough as Savatage, not quite as
soft as the third wave of prog - like Spock's Beard et al. Other than a few
moments in the final track, the vocal style stops shy of metal - it's a soft,
relaxed, mid-range delivery, held back in the mix, with moderate reverb that
never dominates and suits the overall sound rather well.
Secrets is fairly approachable, but you'll appreciate the excellent
integration of piano into the music, the chaotic sections in "The Portrait Of
Dorian Gray", the piano/guitar interplay in the title track, and the
all-instrumental hidden track that ought to feature prominently in the track
The 4 tracks on this EP plus the 'hidden' all-instrumental piece add up to
just 30 minutes, but there's no doubt you'll be hitting replay quite often. This
music won't blow your socks off, but there are some nice ideas here, it's well
performed, and it's definitely worth a listen.
1. Sleeping Fields
2. The Portrait Of Dorian Gray
4. A Leaf, A Plant, A Snowflake
5. (Hidden track - untitled)