BLACK FATE returns with their fourth album, Between Visions & Lies, out December 2 via Ulterium Records. This is actually my first go ‘round with the band; my good buddy Frank is the one who turned me onto them four days ago. But I can tell you with no uncertainty that I am a big fan now (so is Mini-Amps, btw!!), and this record has been the soundtrack to all kinds of driving adventures this week. I know some people make the KAMELOT comparisons, and I get that to an extent, but I got more of a progressive, Parallels from FATES WARNING vibe from some of these songs. And that’s good because that happens to be my favorite FW album. This is NOT to say that the group lacks originality, quite the opposite.
As soon as Frank played me “Lines in the Sand” I was in sonic heaven and I had to hear more. It’s a terrific song and definitely one of the best this record has to offer. Opener “Rhyme of a False Orchestra” is another gem, as is “The Game of Illusion.” The biggest thing I took away from this band after only three songs is HOLY-SHIT-HOW-FUCKING-AWESOME-IS-GUS-DRAX-ON-GUITAR?!?!? The guy is such an amazing talent it almost hurts to listen to these tunes. From his riffs to his solos, the kid can PLAY, pure and simple. The solo on “Sand” should help convince any of you non-believers. Vasilis Georgiou is also a very good vocalist and he helps make these compositions come alive. The rhythm section of Vasilis Liakos on bass and Nikos Tsintzilonis on the drums hold down the fort admirably, while letting their obvious prog influences shine through over the course of the record.
Speaking of FATES WARNING, look me in the eyes and tell me “Into the Night” wouldn’t be out of place on Parallels or Inside Out. You can’t, because it’s got that “The Eleventh Hour” quality to it that makes you say, “Holy shit, Maestro! You’re right!!” And by the way, it’s a fucking excellent song. I guarantee that chorus stays with you for days. “In Your Eyes” has one of the darkest riffs on the album while also having a more symphonic feel to it. I was especially enthralled with “State of Conformity” because the progressive grooves show up front and center making this the clear-cut winner for me.
A lovely ballad “Without Saying a Word” has all the makings of a hit in metal circles if these guys decide to release it as a single. If the razor-sharp riffs come out swingin’ for “Perfect Crime” then they go into complete and total BEATDOWN MODE for “Weight of the World”, once again courtesy of Drax. I tell ya, this band is so talented, and this line-up is perfect. I sincerely hope nothing changes and that we are able to see BLACK FATE on U.S. soil in the very near future. Because I will be there, money in hand saying, “Let’s go!!” Thank you Frank for opening my eyes to this band! Grab your copy of Between Visions & Lies and go rock out, guys!!
STANDOUT TRACKS: “State of Conformity”, “Lines in the Sand”, “The Eleventh Hour”, “In Your Eyes”, “Weight of the World”, “The Game of Illusion”