|Review: Black Fate - Ithaca|
Label: Rockshots Records
Year released: 2020
Genre: Progressive Power Metal
Review online: September 28, 2020
Reviewed by: Mjölnir
Rated 4/5 (80%) (5 Votes)
Black Fate have been notable figures of the Greek scene since the early '90s, releasing a couple of demos that received positive attention at the time and steadily releasing material since. They haven't had a truly stable lineup in that time, with the drummer being the only original member remaining, so this is likely a very different sounding band from when they first started. This being my first exposure to their work, I can't say for certain how it compares to previous works, but I will say that it's pretty good.
The band lists Dream Theater and Kamelot as influences, but I'd throw in Symphony X in particular for Ithaca. Most of the tracks are filled with dense rhythmic work, sharp melodies, and the impassioned vocals of Vasilis Georgiou, who sounds somewhere between Ray Alder and Russel Allen at his smoothest and serves as a real highlight of the album. All that said, the songwriting itself is surprisingly pretty straightforward, with the complexity being more in the musicianship than the actual structures. This makes for a smooth and accessible sound, but also one that feels a bit shallow on closer listens, making much of the album kind of blend together as it goes on. The musicianship is solid and the sound crisp and professional, but nothing really stands out as particularly great, and the vocal lines can be a bit overwrought. This is a perfectly solid album of Progressive Power Metal that fans of the style will find agreeable while it's on, but there's not much on here that'll make you return to it afterwards.
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