Raided Land

SKU: AFM476-2
Label:
AFM Records
Category:
Power Metal
Add to wishlist 

"Back in 2008, a force in the German melodic power metal scene released an album called “Eternal Empire.” The album was met with as much disdain as I have seen critic’s muster. It seemed that after the release of epic power masterpieces “Lord of Earth and Heavens Heir” and “Defenders of the Crown,” the band had all but abandoned the foundation that built the Human Fortress. On one hand, creating a new sound to generate a bigger audience is understandable, but to hardened power metal fans it’s a sacrilege. So, after a five year hiatus, the departure of Carsten Frank (who sang and played guitar on “Eternal Empire”) and return of one the original members Volker Trost (guitarst) and vocalist Jioti Parcharidis, the band was set to regroup and attack. However, in 2010 Parcharidis left again for health reasons, leaving the band to seek a new vocalist. The search turned up one of the rising voices in metal - Brazil’s Gus Monsanto (Symbolica/Code of Silence/Ex-Adagio). With that, Human Fortress seeks to reclaim lost glory with “Raided Land.” The end result is a successful transition back to pre-2008 derailment as the the train coasts back on the track of straight melodic power metal, with the added bonus of the best production in the band’s history.

In Monsanto, the band has brought back the soaring beauty that was lost with Frank’s pseudo-harsh style vocals. His range is even more varied than with his other bands (Code of Silence and Symbolica) and there are brief moments where he is inseparable from Tommy Karevik (see “Under Seige”). It seems there is no end to the breadth of what he can sing. His style is more wide open than that of original vocalist Parcharidis, though I suspect that many fans will identify his style with the band. In a similar aspect to MasterPlan, yet on a much smaller scale, the band’s rabid fanbase will raise red flags with a new vocalist. However, the only red flag that should be raised is the one depicted on the album artwork. Monsanto is by far the best vocalist Human Fortress has ever had, and it is his range that properly propels the band to a modern audience while keeping true to its history.

With a perfect mix and fantastic sound (from Orden Ogan vocalist/guitarist Sebastian "Seeb" Levermann on the music side and vocalist extraordinaire Michael Bormann on the vocal side), Human Fortress draws elements from the first two releases with a distinct nod to the current style of Kamelot. Pure power metal fans might find that it leans more progressive and is mired in mid-paced muck and pure progressive fans will find it dips into more power than they might like. For those in the middle, “Raided Land” is the band’s finest hour. The songs are a perfect balance of power and progressive with the songs averaging a svelte 4 minutes.

With a recipe of “Silverthorn” Kamelot and “Mystery of Time” Avantasia, the band also throws some shades of Running Wild within the riffs of “Gladiator of Rome, Pt. 2,” the album’s strongest track. “Evil Curse” is the longest track – at 5:22 – and also the heaviest. I do wish that mighty riff was carried in force through the first verse, but it comes back half way in the second. However, if there was one song on the album that shows the full range that Monsanto offers, this is it. Other notables are “The Chosen One,” “Child of War” and “Wasted Years.” The one most closely related to Kamelot is “Under Seige,” which if I hadn’t known better could have easily fooled me as coming from that band.

“Raided Land” is a return to the style that started it all for Human Fortress. With Gus Monsanto, the group added the most versatile vocalist its ever had (with no disrespect to Parcharidis). The sound and production is the most pristine in the band’s history, striking a perfect mix – a testament to the mastery of both Sebastian Levermann and Michael Bormann. While I know some diehards will find the album unfulfilling as a pure power metal album, I cannot find a time in the band’s history outside of “Eternal Empire” where it sounded dramatically different, or better. “Raided Land” is one of the finest efforts from a German band with a tremendous upswing for the future." - Metal Underground

There are no review yet. Be the first!

Product Review

You must login or register to post reviews.
Laser Pic

customers also bought

SEE ALL
  • Not sure what needs to be said about this album - I get weepy eyed just thinking about the first time I heard it. One of the greatest progressive rock albums of all time - residing in my all time top 10. The best album Pink Floyd never made. Extraordinary, expansive space rock journeys that will transport you to another place and time. This long awaited remaster comes with two non-lp bonus cuts: "Child Migration" and "Let The Sun Rise In My Brain". Essential listening!!!Please note this disc incorporates EMI copy control technology which seems to allow you to do whatever it is you would normally do with a CD but you can't rip it. Bummer.
    $13.00
  • Steven Wilson's solo career apart from Porcupine Tree, is for this listener, far more interesting.  Whereas PTree currently skirts the line between rock and metal, his solo work fits squarely in the progressive rock arena.  The Raven That Refused To Sing (and other stories) is easily his magnum opus.  The musicianship is stellar - he recorded with his touring band: Nick Beggs (Stick), Guthrie Govan (guitar), Adam Holzman (keys), Marco Minnemann (drums), and Theo Travis (flute, sax).  Mr. Wilson has also dug two things out of mothballs - King Crimson's Mellotron and Alan Parsons.  It was Steven Wilson's wish to one day work with Alan Parsons, who came on board as engineer.  I can't tell you who is responsibile for what but I can tell you that the production is impeccable.  The opening epic "Luminol" drips with the holy 'tron sounding like a cross-generation blend of King Crimson eras.  And so it goes through out the album.  Some utterly fierce playing on this album.  From beginning to end a stunning effort.  BUY OR DIE!This is the Blu-ray edition.  In addition to the surround and hi-res stereo mix you get a 23 minute documentary and a bonus track.
    $16.00
  • Produced by Stephen van Haestregt (Within Temptation, Ambeon). Additional production & mix by Oscar Holleman (Ayreon, Krezip, Within Temptation) at Studio RS29, Waalwijk, The Netherlands.What can you possibly do when you released the most sensational Metal debut of the year 2000? Actually it’s quite simple. You have a repeat performance of swaggering grooves on the next album as well.Decipher doesn’t politely draw your attention – it simply grabs you by the throat. Even more so than on Prison Of Desire the classical orchestra and choir and the more than impressive sound of the band itself have been forged together at superhuman temperatures. As a result the “Heavenly” elements appear to have embraced the scorching hellfire amalgamating into a fascinating alloy.For almost sixty minutes the flawless soprano of singer Floor Jansen reverberates the blaze of the ferocious nether world, which forms the breeding ground of the unconventional songs on the album. A world that abundantly proves that After Forever has grown. In every aspect.After Forever sounds as After Forever!DeLuxe 2CD Set in Digipack, Original Album & Artwork, Extensive Booklet,31 Remastered Tracks = 11 tracks Original Album + 20 Bonus Tracks,over 150 minutes of Gothic Metal!Non-Album Tracks, Unreleased Versions, Sessions & Demo’s.featuring: Mark Jansen: EPICA, Sander Gommans: HDK & Trillium and Arjen AYREON Lucassen.The original Dechiper album sold over 120.000 copies.Liner notes by Sander GommansTrack listingTMD-069 AFTER FOREVER – Decipher: The Album - The SessionsChapter 1 -  Decipher: The Album1. Ex Cathedra 2:02 -Ouverture-2. Monolith of Doubt 3:313. My Pledge of Allegiance #1 6:25 -The Sealed Fate-4. Emphasis 4:18 5. Intrinsic 6:446. Zenith 4:217. Estranged 6:55 - A Timeless Spell-8. Imperfect Tenses 4:08 - duet9. My Pledge of Allegiance #2 5:07 -The Tempted Fate-10. The Key 4:4711. Forlorn Hope 6:21Bonus Tracks12. For The Time Being 5:0413. Who wants to Live Forever 4:48 – feat Ayreon14. Imperfect Tenses 4:10 – duet with Damian Wilson15. Monolith of Doubt 3:32 – Single Version16. Imperfect Tenses 4:06 – Orchestral VersionChapter 2 – Decipher: The Sessions1. The Key 4:422. Monolith of Doubt 3:313. My Pledge of Allegiance #2 5:024. Emphasis 4:175. Estranged 6:536. My Pledge of Allegiance #1 6:207. Imperfect Tenses 4:05 (vocals Floor only)8. For the Time Being 5:029. Forlorn Hope 6:2010. Zenith 4:1811. Intrinsic 6:5612. Who wants to Live Forever 4:48 (Ayreon only)13. Monolith of Doubt 3:43 – Demo14. Emphasis 4:30 - Demo15. For The Time Being 5:09 – DemoREMASTERED IN THE 24-BIT DOMAIN FROM THE ORIGINAL MASTERS
    $20.00
  • Love 'em or hate 'em you know you want to hear them. This British cheese metal band has captured the hearts and souls of the Guitar Hero set. For any metal head that thinks time stood still in 1984.
    $4.00
  • "SAUROM is a folk melodic metal band from Spain with sound influences of Iron Maiden, Helloween and Blind Guardian. SAUROM have a unique medieval sound and are well known for the strong Celtic feel to their music. Their music is compared with the popular Spanish band MAGO DE OZ with a heavier sound. Vida is their 6th album, full of melodic riffs, melodies, catchy choruses and medieval sounds."
    $13.00
  • "Ralf Scheepers has built himself quite a reputation for being one of the finest German Heavy Metal singers. With a career spanning three decades (he debuted with Tyran’ Pace’s “Eye to Eye” album in 1983), Scheepers sung on true Power Metal manifesto releases such as Gamma Ray’s first three albums, before starting Primal Fear in 1997, with Mat Sinner.His voice is high-pitched and tenor-esque and his abilities were often compared to some of the finest Hard Rock and Heavy Metal singers ever (from Rob Halford to Ronnie James Dio and Ian Gillan). Both Helloween and Judas Priest considered him as their possible next lead singer.Over the years Ralf wrote and collected a few tracks that did not fit exactly in the Primal Fear concept. As often happens, he had just been waiting for the right chance to present itself and that happened when himself, his buddy Mat Sinner and Frontiers Records President Serafino Perugino sat together and discussed plans for the future in… 2007!Over three years later and the results are finally here and in Scheepers’ words “I’m really proud of the result!”"
    $11.00
  • "Riot has always been ahead of the curve, be it their powerful riff machine, or their unapologetic status as pioneers in the speed metal genre. I would like to take an opportunity to differ once again with the common viewpoint here, this is not “almost” Painkiller 2 years before; it is its doppelganger, at least in terms of kick ass aggressiveness and image. It is a more musical and complex answer to the thrash genre that it fathered; its spirit is that of a triumphant warrior cutting down its foes. While the heroic Painkiller soared through the sky putting fear into the hearts of his enemies, Thundersteel’s half-cyborg/half-tank body stood tall to face them on the ground.In 1988 metal was mostly known by its image, and if you judge these guys by that alone, they look like the bastard sons of Motley Crue and Judas Priest. But when Tony Moore blasts his high banshee voice into the microphone, he sounds like a crazed Viking Berserker ready to behead an army of frightened Romans. Mark Reale, the only remaining originator of this outfit, wields his guitar like a battle axe and challenges the likes of K.K. Downing, Dave Murray and Ross the Boss. Bobby Jarzombek, who is well known for his work with Rob Halford’s solo project, as well as several other bands, gives the performance of his life on here. Don Van Stavern keeps the bottom end solid and has a wicked bass intro in “Johnny’s Back”.There is never a dull moment on this album, from start to finish it grabs you by the throat and commands you to praise the Gods of Metal. Be it the fast as hell title track, which rivals anything Judas Priest has ever put out, or the more moderated Deep Purple riff monster “Sign of the Crimson Storm”, it screams metal. You’ve got an anthem of rebellion and non-conformity at warp speed like “Johnny’s Back” in the running, or the Manowar inspired heavy ballad “Bloodstreets”, which gives Heart of Steel a run for its money. “Fight or Fall” and “Flight of the Warrior” have memorable choruses and plenty of amazing lead work, all done by the original speed metal riff man Mark Reale, while “On Wings of Eagles” is a better produced version of something you might find on Kill Em’ All.We’ve got two highlights on this album, both of which are a good bit different than the lion’s share of speed driven songs on here. “Run for your life” is an upper mid-tempo crusher with tons of great lead guitar work, but it’s true charm is the chorus, which reminds me a bit of the high/low vocal interchanges that you hear on Dio’s early material. “Buried Alive (The Tell Tale Heart)” is actually a bit reminiscent of Crimson Glory’s work on Transcendence, which came out the same year that this did. You’ve got a rather odd spoken intro with a clean and somber guitar line, followed by some brilliant twin guitar soloing (all done by one guy, just the same way Tony Iommi did it). After 3 minutes of mind-blowing, we get a slow and evil sounding groove that grows into a brilliant homage to the NWOBHM, names like Iron Maiden and Angel Witch come to mind.In conclusion, this is a piece of metal history that demands to be listened to. If you are a power metal fan who lives for speed and melody, get your tight jeans wearing ass to the store right now. If you’re a holdover from the glory days of traditional metal and you don’t have it, get it now or risk having your credentials as a metal head questioned. If you love thrash with attitude, this gives the bands that carry that label a run for their money. Fans of Judas Priest, Manowar, Helloween, Running Wild, and Iron Maiden in particular will love this. There is a new power alive in the distance, carrying a fully charged plasma cannon, followed by an army of true metal warriors, and his name is “Thundersteel”." - Metal Archives
    $7.00
  • This version is not getting a US release.  It will only be available as an import (Yes we know its expensive).  Hardbound mediabook with 28 page booklet and a bonus 4 track EP.Killer UK spacerock/post-progressive hybrid."Less than three years after their magnum o(ctop)us, Amplifier return with an altered line-up (former Oceansize guitarist Steve Durose is now a permanent fixture) and another hefty dose of spaced-out space rock. After the longest fade-in history (beyond even the intro to the first Psychedelic Furs album), a heavily chorused guitar starts the gently meandering ‘Matmos’. Then, around seven minutes in, it all explodes with a shredding guitar and you know that Amplifier are once again firing on all cylinders. With just eight tracks and a running time of 61 minutes, they’ve produced a work that’s much more succinct than its predecessor. That isn’t to say ‘Echo Street’ is any less ambitious or epic than the sprawling ‘Octopus’. ‘Between Yesterday’ is the shortest track at 5:18: the 12-minute ‘Extra Vehicular’ is a prog rock monster of monumental proportions and is not so much a song as a journey through time and space. The title track is a high-octane slice of swirling space rock, and as a whole, ‘Echo Street’ is expansive and cinematic and, in short, classic Amplifier." - Shout4Music
    $20.00
  • Far From Forgot is the first part of a proposed trilogy from former Enid guitarist Francis Lickerish.  He left The Enid in 1981 and wasn't heard from again until the Secret Green project from a few years ago.  This is more or less an extension of that album.  The music is very similar to The Enid - epic scope symphonic music with a rock infusion.  Lickerish plays guitar along with Jon Beedle, Hilary Palmer sings and plays flute.  There are a whole range of musicians filling out the soundscape.  What Lickerish has created is something very much akin to Mike Oldfield's Celtic influenced period.  Quite a beautiful album.  Highly recommended.
    $18.00
  • Second album from this interesting Danish band incorporating elements of thrash, death and even melodic metal in an usual way. Curiously enough this was created as a binaural recording and should be listened to with headphones. Recommended to fans of Meshuggah and Soilwork.
    $10.00
  • "Wow, what lovely album!When we talk about North American Metal, always comes to our minds the idea of a good level of musical technique and the use of great melodies. It’s a characteristic of their scene, and the Power/Heavy Metal trio NINTH CIRCLE is to be as melodic and catching, knowing how to be heavy and melodic on the same proportions. And their new album, “Legions of the Brave”, is an excellent sample of what your Ol’ Big Daddy here is saying.Their music is catching, elegant, heavy, full of life and energy, with good level of technique. And their music really is charming, with excellent clean vocals, great guitar riffs and solos, a rhythmic kitchen showing a good work in terms of technique and weight, and the keyboards work is lovely. And their music is not simply a mix of Heavy Metal with Power Metal aspects, but has high doses of AOR/Hard Rock touches. And it’s excellent.The sound production really is on a high level, making the band sound clear and the arrangements appear, but without losing the notion that we’re dealing with a Metal band.So, you will got in love with their work listening great and perfect songs like “After the Rain”, “Living on the Sun” (what great chorus), “The Quickening” (the great chorus and keyboards are giving a delicious taste to the music), the bold and heavier “Legions of the Brave”, and “Grinding the Bastards Down”. But don’t get the wrong idea: the album is wonderful from beginning to the end.Listen, got on the circle, and buy it. Illegal downloads are for sissies, wimps, posers and other sick mind idiots." - Metal Temple
    $6.00
  • Third album from this orchestral prog band, recorded in 1971. This remastered edition comes with six bonus tracks and new liner notes.
    $11.00
  • In our changeover in distributors we received back a quantity of copies of Specs. We need to bring our inventory level back to normal so we are going to temporarily blow out this title. Grab copies at below wholesale price while you can.
    $13.00
  • "An intriguing Symphonic Metal mix here, Germany’s NEOPERA began under the foundation of DARK AGE guitarist Jörn Schubert in 2010, slowly assembling all the right components to see his ideas come to life. Many of you will know Dirk Schlächter from his work in GAMMA RAY, as well as drummer André Schumann as he also is a member of DARK AGE. The inclusion of three distinct voices- one male who handles the heavier/ shouting elements, while the opera parts get divided between a male baritone and a female soprano – makes these 12 tracks more than a mere NIGHTWISH knockoff, and more in line with what you would expect on a KAMELOT or THERION release.The opener “The Marvel of Chimera” has an interesting country fiddle lick that transforms into this heavier electric burst, very much in line with latter day KAMELOT – as all three vocalists get a chance to trade off in voice and verses, quite a potent starter to easily gain the listeners attention. Keyboards do take center stage at times in terms of the musical hook department – check out “Remote” as the guitars circle and swarm against the multi-level melodies and shouting vocals, another stunner in the sense that musically the back and forth Power parts swirl against the building and falling Symphonic elements. It wouldn’t be a Symphonic album of course without some tender Ballad action – so expect “Falling Water” and “Last Pantomime” to give you the slower, emotional moments, the latter working better to my ears as a true ‘power ballad’, and some great melody action from Thorsten in his comfortable lower register.What makes NEOPERA very appealing is their bursts of heaviness, straddling the lines of Power and Melodic Death on a shorter song like “Song of Revenge” – and then being musically exhilarating on a straightforward arrangement such as the title cut, where you will hear a lead break that is brilliant and shred worthy all the same. At 12 tracks and 52 minutes, “Destined Ways” has just enough versatility to gain credibility through multiple genres of metal – yet never wear out its welcome.Let’s hope this is not a one-off project and could transform into a multiple album/ live act, as these Germans have the goods to go places." - Metal Temple
    $11.00