|Human Fortress - Defenders Of The Crown
01. Knights In Shining Armour
02. Defender Of The Crown
04. Gladiator Of Rome
05. Holy Grail Mine
06. Border Raid In Lions March
07. Siege Tower
09. Skin And Feather
10. Mortal Sinful Wrath
11. Sacral Fire
12. The Valiant
13. Bloody Masquerade [Japan bonus]
Human Fortress is from Germany and play Power Metal, Déja Vu anyone? Germany and Power Metal is like 1+1. But these guys [down] are really something special, not just because two of them are Greeks (born in Hanover, as the rest of the band), but because of the Epic Metal they play.
Vocals: Panayiotis [Jioti] Parcharidis
Guitar: Torsten Wolf
Guitar: Volker Trost
Bass: Pablo Tammen
Drums: Apostolos Zaios
Keyboard: Dirk Marquardt
Don't you recognize anyone? not so strange, 'couse no one of the have any experience in big Metal connections.
But some of them have earlier play together in a Melodic Hardrock/Metal band called "TimeZone", but they didn't become to famous. So "Human Fortress" saw the daylight first time in 1997 and after some lineup changes so did todays lineup became permanent. The debut, "Lord of Earth And Heaven's Heir", was released as late as 2001 trough Limb Music [the same record company that "Rhapsody" use to release their albums until they this summer wrote a contract with SPV/Streamhammer]. But Limb didn't give "Human Fortress" a chance to relase a successor to the debut, so they chased a new record company for almost 2 years until Massacre gave them a chance. So after 2 years total ignorance from media and the record company's, "Human Fortress" is back, even stronger than before, with "Defendes of the Crown", a Epic masterpiece.
Well, that about the history part of the review, no back to the album itself. I haven't listen to the debut, "Lord of Earth And Heaven's Heir", enough to say if this is better than the debut, but if the debut is better, then that must be one of the best albums ever and that is unbelievable, 'couse this one is to good to be the second best release of a band that just have release two albums.
After some spins, when the melodies and lyrics gets to your head, you are stuck and can't get out.
Jioti's wonderful voice penetrate you mind and all you want is to travel trough the [wonderful?] places he sings about.
And he's Highpitch is wonderful too, and everyone should know that Jioti is NOT a highpitch singer, but maybe that is the reason why it is so wonderful? For an exempel, just listen to "Holy Grail Mine" [one of the best on the album] and you will know what I mean. Jioti told me that he tries to get as much medieval elements in his voice and that their next album should be a more Celtic one. And maybe that will work, but we have to wait until "Human Fortress" new album comes out.
Unfortunately the production is not the best ever, but it get's an OK from me, but let's hope that they work on that part to the next release. The music on "Defenders" is Epic as hell, and the "classic" Power Metal stamp is almost gone and that give's the album it's own character. But the music it's not that advance as it seems, Jioti is in focus with his wonderful voice, Torsten and Volker find each other perfect. And the the rhythm is perfect, as it is on any big Metal release. Not that advance, just pure talent.
Another thing that should be mention is the beginning of the song "Schattentor" [German for Gates of Shadow], have almost the same lyric as the song "A Foreign Road" with the Swedish Doom Metallers "Lake of Tears". [From the album "Headstones"]. But that is just some unnecessary knowledge.
Killing Song: ALL, but "Knights in Shining Armour", "Holy Grail Mine", "Siege Tower", "Schattentor", "Border Raid in Lions March" & the ballad "The Valiant" is Superb
Score: 9/10 - some lack in the production cost them the last point.