Fireworks

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Human Fortress - 'Defenders Of The Crown' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     September 17, 2016    
 
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Represents everything a European Power Metal band should be: rabid tempos, memorable hooks and musicianship aplenty.

When it comes to delivering Power Metal brimming with confidence and intensity, few do it better than these denizens from Deutschland. With an overwhelming nod to the sound and approach of legendary acts like Iron Maiden and Dio, Human Fortress' sophomore album is a tour-de-force for the style which takes no longer than a song to justify the re-issue of this brilliant album.

Originally released in 2003, the band's sophomore album is getting a renaissance complete with two bonus tracks, both of which feature the return of original vocalist Jioti Parcharidis. If you missed it the first time around, now is your chance to experience HF at their most artistically fertile and when Parcharidis suffered none of the ailments that would ultimately truncate his singing career.

The opening riff of 'Mortal's Sinful Wrath' pays homage to Jake E. Lee's riffing on the classic track 'Bark At The Moon' and keeps the intense pace throughout. With a penchant for the dramatic, they deliver in spades. 'Colloseum' is a short, Gregorian-style chant that plays as an introduction to 'Gladiator Of Rome', an intense and impassioned song with a soaring chorus that, like 'Schattentor,' would fit seamlessly in Maiden's discography.

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In lieu of any explanation provided by Massacre as to the decision to only re-issue '...Crown,' it was a prudent choice considering the impressive material contained within. As for the bonus material, tracks 'Human Fortress' and 'We Are Legion' are every bit as good as the original track-list and their inclusion adds additional value to an already superb disc.

Human Fortress represents everything a European Power Metal band should be; rabid tempos, memorable hooks and musicianship aplenty. They embody a maturity that speaks well above their age, especially considering the original release date of 'Defenders Of The Crown'. Going on thirteen years since it first came out, time is completely transparent since it still sounds as fresh and current as ever. The only downside is that new fans as a result of this re-issue might be disappointed to learn that the band in its current state comprises of completely different personnel – most notably in the vocal chair.

Brent Rusche

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