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21st Century Ballroom
Released: 2002, Hellion
Not Fragile is one of those freaky underground bands that has been around forever and a day but no one really knows or cares about. After 20 years and virtually no reputation or media presence outside their homeland of Germany you would almost think that the band did this as a hobby or for fun, rather than a serious recording /touring act. However, having bought their 1988, release, WHO DARES WINS, I assumed they had disappeared forever. How wrong I was. Here it is the 21st Century and the band has a new album deal, a nice new web-site and a new CD.
Not Fragile, besides suffering from a chronic, long-term case of “who gives a damn” by the worlds metal community, they are actually a very decent band. They are in a failry unique spot of not being influential but cannot be accused of being deriviative because they ALWAYS have made this sort of music, long before it became popular again. And what music is that? True heavy metal. Speedy in parts, heavy in others, galloping beats, punchy bass, and nice choruses. The song writing is simplistic but not too anthemic. The production is solid and midrange, not to many shimmering highs or murky lows. They remind me of Attack, another band that is in a very similar position.
The CD is 11 tracks of straight-ahead heavy metal, with some slight (old) Helloween influence in the riffing style. The band is looking a little older in the pictures in the oddly dark, 12+ page packaging, which includes lyrics, credits etc..
I think I know why they may have never made the jump to the big leagues. The lyrics are pretty bad and suffer from translation issues. I personally don’t mind but some folks do so songs like, “Starlight to The Revolution”, “We Don’t Surrender” and the title track sound odd. Even the bands name is kinda…weak for a metal band. The two tracks that stood out for me were “Into The Hurricane” and “Like Guardians”.
Overall, I very glad the band is still going strong. It warms my heart to see them persevere and continue to make true metal. How many people will actually notice them in 2002 is an entirely different story. My best guess is with the recent resurgence of European powermetal, these guys could become the cult darlings of the under-underground!
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