Monday, October 28, 2013

Fate-If Not For The Devil

Avenue Of Allies

The Danish band Fate, whose self-titled, full-length debut I had at one point on LP, first sprung to life back in 1984 when former Merciful Fate guitarist Hank Shermann (René Krolmark) hooked up with Maxim Reality vocalist Jeff "Lox" Limbo (Jens Meinert), bassist / keyboardist player Pete Steiner (Peter Steincke) and drummer Bob Lance (Bjarne Holm). Since then the group, which currently features the sole original member Pete Steiner, has released six studio-albums and one compilation, 2010's "Best Of Fate - 25 Years". But while the band was a hit with fans they just couldn't sustain the momentum it sounds like. Three or so years after releasing their forth studio album, 1990's "Scratch 'n' Sniff", Fate would end up calling it a day and go on hiatus for awhile. It was in 2004, after a one-off show, that the Fate name was finally resurrected and brought back to life. Now we find ourselves with studio-album number eight in the form of "If Not For The Devil". With the same line-up in place that recorded 2011's "Ghosts From The Past", which (even though I have not heard it for myself) sounds as if it was well-received, Fate has a fine new album on their hands and one that should go over big with their fans! Even though I'm not the world's foremost expect of melodic rock/melodic heavy metal, or for that matter the biggest fan of said genres, this one worked it's magic on me from the opening notes of "Reaping". "If Not For The Devil" proved to be one of those releases that I found myself longing to return to. Highlights have to include lead vocalist Dagfinn Joensen whose voice simply shines on album number eight. Have you ever had the pleasure of  coming across an album where it sounds as if the lead vocalist was custom-assembled by the gods and then dropped right from heaven into the studio? If not then now is your chance. Dagfinn's voice is in perfect sync with Fate's brand of melodic rock/melodic heavy metal and his singing is just superb. Just as bad singers can break a band, good singers can make one. And with Dagfinn's voice in the center spotlight Fate has made it! Besides the perfect lead vocals it's the killer guitar playing of Torben Enevoldsen (Section A) that really contributes to the successful nature of Fate's new album. The solos from Torben are the stuff that melodic rock wet dreams are made of and his skills are never in question throughout this new album. With Peter Steincke on bass, Mikkel  Henderson on keyboards and Jens Berglid on drums the band has a strong line-up in place on "If Not For The Devil". The consistent line-up proves to be a keen selling point for Fate's new disc as does the fact that the group (once again) had Jacob Hansen (Pretty Maids, Volbeat, Amaranthe) mix and master the material on "If Not For The Devil". For those that love melodic rock and melodic metal this album is an easy enough recommendation although that description, melodic rock and melodic metal, does need to be clarified a little. Sure enough the album brings some of the best melodic rock and melodic metal to the forefront of the genre, but there is enough hard rock on this album to satisfy those listeners who like things a tiny bit "louder". Of course in the same breath I should mention that they keyboards often give some of the songs a AOR flavor, but the guitar playing of Torben and the solid rhythm section that's provided by Peter Steincke and Jens Berglid (bass and drums respectively) still keeps the party rocking! Fate might not be for the really heavy group, but for everyone else "If Not For The Devil" could prove to be a real hit!

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