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Masters Of War
August 2017
Released: 2017, Limb Records
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: JP

Fogalord are back! It has been five years since their excellent debut. I rated that album very highly when it came out. Now, I will admit the band did not really set the world on fire, despite my enthusiasm for them. Then after several years of inactivity, I had just assumed they were done, so I was very pleased to discover that the band is still active, still on Limb Records and still making great music. Thy also have recruited Felipe Franco to do another magnificent cover in his instantly recognizable style, so many of the important ingredients are still in the mix.

The new album is called MASTERS OF WAR but there have been some line-up changes. There is a new rhythm section but the primary composer and vocalist Danny is still in charge with guitarist and partner in crime, Stefano. MASTERS OF WAR sees the band tone down the orchestral components, just a little, for more of a Celtic flavour, something that was also present on the debut. We get to hear more pipes and instruments of that style. The last one was a bit more symphonic, this one a bit more Celtic, no problem! The album is nicely structured with 11 songs running one hour. We get three instrumentals and positioned perfectly at the opening cut, track five and track nine. These shorter melancholy and symphonic pieces nicely break up the speedy album. Just like last time the album closes with a huge epic song over 12 minutes long wit the triumphant finale ‘The Sword’s Will’. The album is all over the place from tender ballads, ‘The Gift Of The White Lady’ to faster cuts like, ‘The Storm Of Steel’, ‘Rising From The Mists Of Time’ and the title track to the aforementioned progressive epic, ‘The Sword’s Will’. The production is stellar and the clear powerful voice of Danny propels the songs but for some reason he sounds mixed a little farther back to me. I’m really enjoy MASTERS OF WAR but it doesn’t quite have the same energy and magic as the debut. The song-writing while complex and interesting could have used a bit more speed, maybe a couple more fast ones. Maybe it is the lack of female back-up vocals, this time around or less emphasis on choirs, who knows? It is still top-notch neo-classical Metal.

I really enjoy this wave of newer Italian Power Metal bands, like Fogalord who grew up enjoying and being influenced by the greats of Italian Progressive Speed Metal (Rhapsody, DGM, Secret Sphere etc) and are now adding the massive and high quality body of work coming from Italy. Although I’ve never really met another Metal person who is openly and highly enthusiastic about being a Fogalord fan, that doesn’t matter to me. MASTERS OF WAR is another world class album.
Track Listing

1. Il Racconto della Tempesta
2. Rising Through the Mist of Time
3. Daughter of the Morning Light
4. Masters of War
5. By the Everspring Tree
6. The Storm of Steel
7. Absence of Light
8. When the Blizzard Awakes
9. In Everwinter Wait
10. The Gift of the White Lady
11. The Sword's Will


Stefano Paolini Guitar
Daniele Bisi Vocals, Keyboards
Nicolò Bernini Drums
Giuseppe Lombardo Bass



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