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   HUMAN FORTRESS
Defenders Of The Crown
2003
Massacre Records
http://www.human-fortress.com


rating: 5/5

1. Knights In Shining Armour
2. Defenders Of The Crown
3. Colloseum
4. Gladiator Of Rome
5. Holy Grail Mine
6. Border Raid In Lions March
7. Siege Tower
8. Schattentor
9. Skin & Feather
10. Mortal Sinful Wrath
11. Sacral Fire
12. The Valiant

Human Fortress released a near-perfect debut album a few years ago. An album that was almost too good to be a debut. Now they're back with their sophomore effort. How did they succeed in filling the expectations? Let me tell you, they did great! They did even better. This album is epic melodic power metal at its best. The overall mood on the album is happy and uplifting and while they may not necessarily have come up with anything groundbreakingly innovative, they certainly have managed to put all the pieces in the right places. Jioti Parcharidis' vocals are absolutely amazing. His voice is strong and simply even better than before. If you're wondering what he sounds like, the closest comparison I can think of is Bruce Dickinson. They have used keyboards with good taste. Mainly they rely on guitars, but occasionally the keys are in the background creating atmosphere and mood. The guitars are crispy enough and the riffs are very well thought. Lyrically they're the same old: knights and gladiators. Pretty much what one might expect from an epic power metal band.

All the songs are absolutely amazing. There's no filler material whatsoever. It's actually quite interesting how the band manages to sound so original with such old elements. All the same the album as a whole sounds very fresh. There are also some medieval folkish influences on a few of the songs. There are choirs chanting in the background. The melodies are pure earcandy. The choruses stick and before you know it, you're singing along. That being said, it's quite obvious that the album is very easy to get into and very difficult, if not impossible, to get out of. Tommy Newton's production is flawless. The album is not overproduced, but the overall sound is very clear and bright. All in all, this is one of the best power metal albums of 2003 and a must for all the fans of power metal.

submitted by Aleksi 14.09.2003

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