Released: 2001, Limb Music
Human Fortress, kind of an odd name for a band but it grows on you. Kind of like the music on this CD. Human Fortress hail from the metal heartland of Germany and have just released their debut CD "Lord of Earth and Heavens Heir" less than 2 months ago. Originally born as the band Timezone when bassist Pablo Tammen and guitarits Volker Trost and Torsten Wolf teamed up to record a demo in 1997. Before they could even release the disc the band split. The 3 didn't waste anytime and set about getting a new unit together. The recruited vocalist Jioti Parcharidis and in 1999 went into the studio to record a new. Demo. They also wisely changed their name from Timezone to Human Fortress at this point. Producer Tommy Newton (Victory) heard their songs and invited them to his Area 51 studio. They recorded this album which gained them great attention from fans and critics alike. and finally led them to Limb Music who signed them. Human Fortress is now a sextet and consists of Apostolos Zaois; drums, Dirk Marquardt: keyboards, Volker Trost: guitar, Pablo Tammen: bass, Torsten Wolf: guitar and vocalsit Jioti Parcharidis.
Excellent, no intro! The CD kicks off with a bang with "The Dragon’s Lair". This was the song that lead to this CD being released. It a is a great song a and one of the more straight ahead tracks on the disc. The title track opens with military marching drums with choirs chanting and then continues on to become one of the strongest tracks in the release. It is on this track that Human Fortress display their epic qualities. The arrangements are big and powerful and Parcharidis establishes himself as a the perfect voice for Human Fortress. His voice remains commanding, even when reaching the highest highs. "Amberdawn" is a midtempo track that has pounding bass drums and ,though nothing groundbreaking, is one of the more appealing tracks on the release. They also include the classically orchestrated ballad "Forgive and Forget". Not a bad track and it lends atmosphere to the disc. The album closes with the 7 plus minute track "Little Flame". This possibly the best song on the disc. It’s a shame it was saved till last but it does help to end the disc on a high note.
All of the promotional literature I received along with the CD described Human Fortress a Epic Melodic Metal. They have epic qualities but they don’t go full blown epic like Rhapsody or Blind Guardian. What they choose to do is pick the spots where choirs and orchestration fit the best and add them to their mix. This is a very good strategy as there are so many bands out there that are trying to be epic but fall flat on their face. Human Fortress do it right by not overdoing it. To check out more on this band visit: http://www.humanfortress.de/