CD Reviews

Fatal Force - 'Unholy Rites' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     July 18, 2012    
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Crossing the boundaries between US styled 80's Melodic Heavy Rock and current Euro Power Metal,

Most recently heard adding a dazzling six-string display to last year’s Fate album ‘Ghosts From The Past’, guitarist Torben Enevoldsen has actually been an integral part of Section A, Acacia Avenue and Decoy, as well as releasing a trio of solo albums. However back in 2006 a self titled debut appeared from Fatal Force, championing a classic brand of melodic metal that made many a band famous across Europe a couple of decades earlier. Notable for also featuring the undoubted talents of drummer Daniel Flores and singer Mats Leven (At Vance/Yngwie Malmsteen) Fatal Force made a solid impact before the trio seemed to disappear off the face of the planet.

Now some six years down the line and Enevoldsen has revived Fatal Force for album number two ‘Unholy Rites’, although this time he is joined by another ex-Malmsteen frontman Michael Vescera (who among many others also spent time singing with the under-rated Loudness), with relatively unknown drummer Dennis Hansen completing the trio. Thankfully the time away hasn’t blunted the Fatal Force attack, with the bristling Dokken-esque riffs and melodic - with an eye on power metal - approach hitting home hard across the ten universally excellent tracks on show on ‘Unholy Rites’. Unsurprisingly Vescera proves to be a match for the biting, snarling guitar work and bass thundering, with his precise Geoff Tate like power adding a welcome slice of melodic sheen to an impressively hard-hitting album.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Enevoldsen, also adds a little keyboards to the mix (and handles bass), allowing for the songs to have swathes of colour and atmosphere. However much as he did with Fate, the fret-burner ensures that the guitars sit front and centre on an album that is unashamedly metal, yet confidently melodic. You really could start this album on any of its tracks to reveal the sort of strident rock that fans of Dokken, Lillian Axe, or Scorpions will lap up. However I’m sure that followers of Pagan’s Mind, Primal Fear or Accept will also find much to enjoy in the metallic attack of the guitars and pounding kick drumming. ‘Listen To Reason’ shows a majestic, yet powerful swagger, while the latter day Sabbath howl and growl of ‘House Of Pain’ illustrates the intensity of Vescera and the potency of Fatal Force. Add to that the insistently jabbing riff of ‘Lessons In Evil’ the more keyboard oriented, but still guitar led ‘Fight’ or the cracking vocal harmonies and histrionics of ‘Run For Cover’, and ‘Unholy Rites’ is an album that demands you sit up and take notice. Most impressively this newly forged trio sound like a well oiled machine that has spent decades together, rather than a few months.

Crossing the boundaries between US styled 80’s Melodic Heavy Rock and current Euro Power Metal, Fatal Force have unleashed an album that crushes while it caresses and seduces with its intensity. Here’s hoping we don’t have to wait another six years for the third instalment!

Steven Reid

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