Power of Metal.dk Review

Fortress Under Siege
Phoenix Rising
Style: Melodic Heavy Metal
Release date: 13 December, 2015
Playing time: 50:00

My first review in the new year of an album that has been released just before Christmas. Every new year I ask myself: 'who am I to judge and have an opinion about music composed and played by artists". I am not able to write songs myself and I can't play more than a few. I can only tell you that if I like it and let you get an idea about the style and whether or not I think it's worth listening to. I respect every artist and do only judge their product (music) and not the band or persons behind it. If I think the music sucks, I don't say the persons in the band suck. The members put thier blood, sweat, time and tears in what they believe in and are all very proud (like a dog with seven dicks) when their CD rolls out of the fabric. That doesn't mean that there aren't bands or musicians that are in the wrong business. Like in every profession (look at football) you have players that are excellent and players that suck and haven't got the talent. In music and metal that isn't different that's why I am not playing in a band, because I know I suck. So if you decide to play in a band and make a record you must know that there are reviewers that judge you and if you don't like it to be criticized and can't stand the heat: "Stay out of the kitchen"!

Now back to this album and the music. This is the second full length album by this Greek band and in the info I read that it is for fans of Fates Warning, Dream Theater and Conception. Well they are a bit right about the style of music, but they haven't got the songs for it yet to be compared and named in the same sentence as these three bands. In my opinion there aren't a lot of Dream Theater inlfuences in their music either, the guitar riffs sound a lot less heavy. Take for example the first song "Don't Let Go", this is a very melodic song with a catchy refrain. More sounding like a heavier Survivor song than Dream Theater. The music sounds a bit old school and the production bot completely flawless. I don't know if that is because I only have some mp3 files and that perhaps the real CD sounds a lot heavier.

There are a few songs with very good ideas and the mix of prog, power and old school sounding metal sounds o.k. and especially the keyboard parts brighten it up. The singing of Alex "Hannibal" Balakakis is common for this style of music, but rather average. The musicians are gifted, but I miss songs that really make a difference and some real power in the bit timid production (sound). Fortunately there are enough things to like about this music, personally I'm not overwhelmed and very excited about it, therefore it sounds a bit too average.

I will end this review with an ancient Olympic thought that sticks to this album: 'participating is more important than winning'. Nowadays however winning is more important and that is what they have to aim for with the next album.

01. Don't Let Go
Phoenix Rising
Hate What We Like
Universal Conspiracy
Eagles Fly Forever
Final Attempt
A Martyr's Death
Whisper in the Dark
Eyes of the Snake
Blue Valley Shadow
Label: Steel Gallery Records
Distribution: Steel Gallery Records
Reviewed by: Reinier de Vries
Date: 1 January, 2015
Website: www.facebook.com/fortressundersiege