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Review: Human Fortress - Defenders of the Crown
Human Fortress
Defenders of the Crown

Label: Massacre Records
Year released: 2003
Duration: 57:34
Tracks: 13
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 3.5/5

Review online: November 21, 2003
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
Defenders of the Crown

Rated 4.27/5 (85.33%) (15 Votes)

Sounds like: HammerFall at a Renaissance Fair.

This is the second CD for this German band who doesn't sound German. Unlike Paragon or Wizard or the more "typical" German acts, Human Fortress are much more reminiscent of the Swedish or Italian school of power metal.

What we have here are 13 tracks of basically HammerFall-ish power metal with some good riffs, decent leads, and vocals that are waaay better than that sissy Joachim Cans. "Knights In Shining Armor" gave me a bad first impression, as the vocal melodies on this opening song suck so hard they become obnoxious, and I nearly turned the CD off. I'm glad I didn't though, as there are some fun songs here. The title track is a good tune, as is the hyper-catchy "Border Raid" and "Siege Tower." A lot of these songs fall in the ‘good-but-not-great' category: "Gladiator", "Mortal Sinful Wrath". Human Fortress need to work on the vocal parts on future albums, as while their singer is good, his melodies are very hit and miss. The iffy songs are not helped by a Maidenesque tendency towards highly repetitive choruses and a mix that puts the vocals too upfront, obscuring the music. The guitar sound is heavier than, say, Freedom Call, but I would like it fatter and more centrally mixed.

This is a good CD, but it has too many tracks that blend together, and only one or two that you will want to listen to repeatedly. It's a bit less generic than a lot of power metal these days, but a little more originality and a heavier sound would really help. I would hope the band will focus more on writing 8 or 10 really good songs for the next album rather than letting so much filler on the disc. I can definitely recommend this to diehard power fans, but anyone else will want to check out some soundclips first.

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