Fogalord - A legend to believe in 4/5

Reviewed: 12-1-12





Tracklist:

1. Follow the fog
2. At the gates of the silent storm
3. Black era
4. The fog lord
5. The scream of the thunder
6. A legend to believe in
7. The dark prophecy
8. A day of fire
9. Our last nightfall
10. Strength of the hopeless
11. The march of the grey army
12. Of war and resurrection


Although there are hundreds of Italian metal bands around at the moment, all playing the different metal genres, the Italians are most known for their bold symphonic flare, orchestras and choirs. Yes, most of us associate Italian metal bands with the epic symphonic power metal genre, and in particular bands like Rhapsody, Secret Sphere, Domine, Thy Majestie, Holy Knights, Vision Divine and many others. But now the Italians can add another epic power metal band to the flock with the debut CD from Fogalord, entitled ‘A legend to believe in’.

Formed in 2007, this relatively new metal band consists of 3 members from another Italian power metal band called Synthphonia Suprema; vocalist/keyboardist Dany All, bassist Lorenzo Costi and drummer Francesco Zanarelli. Lastly, rounding off the band is guitarist Stefano Paolini. Adding some extra weight and credibility to the debut is the addition of a guest singer and musicians, with fellow Italians helping out their fellow brothers. From the epic power metal band Ancient Bards, sees guitarist Claudio Pietronik and bassist Martino Garattoni lend their talents for the CD, as well as ex-Rhapsody of Fire bassist Alessandro Lotta. Joining that trio is journeyman guitarists Pier Gonella (Mastercastle/Necrodeath/ex-Labyrinth), Gabriele Palermo and Pierpaolo Bulgarelli; and lastly female vocalist Serena Vischi and flutist Federica Neri.

‘A legend to believe in’ is very much just like you’d expect from an Italian power metal band, featuring epic-styled and bombastic tracks that include grandiose keyboards/synths and choirs and excellent guitar work from all involved. True metal hymns can be found throughout the CD, which is of a high standard for a debut release, and fans of early Nightwish and all the Italian metal bands already mentioned in this review will be automatically drawn to Fogalord’s sound. Also, fans of neo-classical power metal and speed metal should also enjoy what this CD has to offer.

Aside from the superb drumming from Francesco Zanarelli throughout the CD, another highlight on the debut is the vocal performance of singer Dany All, who has a somewhat high-pitched voice and can hit the high notes with ease, but it is also fairly raspy at the same time. Dany’s vocal range is immense, while his delivery too is excellent; his energy and passion that spills fourth on each track makes the songs all that much better. While this style of metal is nothing new, it is always good to hear a band do the bombastic genre justice with wonderful songwriting, creative ideas and a plethora of emotion. Some bands along the way have butchered this genre unfortunately, which may have put some fans off, but Fogalord have held their banners high and with sword in hand have crossed the battlefield and come out the other side victorious.

Despite the tracklisting saying that there are 12 tracks on the CD, after taking out the intro and numerous instrumental interludes, the number of actual songs is reduced to 8, which could be a tad on the “not enough” side. However, with that said, the best track just happens to be almighty 15-minute epic song that closes the CD, entitled “Of war and resurrection”. This opus proves to the listener that Fogalord means business and are here to stay for the long-haul. “Of war and resurrection” is quite an epic ride, with many different passages and tempos throughout. One thing is for sure, the track is very powerful and bombastic; at times the riffs, synths and melodies sounding like a combination between typical Domine and one of Manowar’s lengthy and epic songs. There are plenty of other standout tracks to swing your axe to, which includes the blazing and swift “At the gates of the silent storm”, the folkish and synth-ladden “The scream of the thunder”, and the thunderous battle song that is “The march of the grey army”.

In the end Fogalord’s debut release is quite a head-turner, particularly with the high quality of the songwriting and musicianship. The addition of the guest musicians also adds more experience to the tracks and overall the CD on a whole is very catchy and quite memorable. If you are an avid fan of those other Italian bands that create so many polished and well produced CDs, then you can add Fogalord to your list. “A legend to believe in” certainly surprised me, particularly being such an unknown band, they have easily won me over with their high quality and professionalism, and after hearing the CD, they should win you over as well.



SEAN




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