On December 3, 2013 the power metal band Human Fortress released their fourth album Raided Land. This album returned the band to post-2008 power metal prowess with a sound that reminds me most of Nocturnal Rites. This is both good and bad as Nocturnal Rites is more of a mid-tempo power metal band and that sound can begin to wear on the listener with continued listening. Human Fortress does fall into that same pitfall a little, but the vocal work by Gus Monsanto along with change-up songs like "Wasted Years" that combine mid-tempo, fast, and some folk elements really break up the album sound. The production on this is spot on, which is one of the major problems I have had with their previous releases. As a whole, the album does not stray far from the power metal niche, but if that music is what you are into starting with this release Human Fortress should be a band that you explore and see what they have to offer. It's hard to pick a favorite song off this album as they all are decent power metal songs, but the mix provided by the aforementioned "Wasted Years" compared to the standard feel of the rest of the songs within that genre type.
December 14, 2013