Human Fortress - Raided Land

Human Fortress Raided Land cover
Human Fortress
Raided Land
AFM Records
The past will show the way to the future… more or less, this is what Human Fortress may have thought and they returned to their roots after the dreadful “Eternal Empire”. Apart from that, there are also several reappearances on the band’s ranks, something that will please the old-time fans. The original drummer Apostolos ‘Laki’ Zaios and the original guitarist Volker Trost are back again. Just a note to those “pro reviewers” who think that ‘Laki’ is a new drummer! This album also introduces the new vocalist Gus Monsanto (ex-Revolution Renaissance, ex-Adagio, Code of Silence etc.), the new keyboardist Dirk Liehm and the new bassist André Hort (ex-Rough Silk). I know I do miss Jioti (with his raspy distinctive voice) as most of the band’s fans but in truth to be told Gus is a top vocalist and fits the band’s style.
Human Fortress, as I said before, decided to honor their roots, and returned to the sound which made them popular in the heavy/power epic metal scene. “Raided Land” should have been the worthy follow-up to the ‘classic’ “Defenders of the Crown”. If this is the way and a decade between those two works hadn’t passed then things would have been different for the band… then again that’s another story to be told.
Five years is a good time period in order to forget all about the awful “Eternal Empire” and have a new fresh view on things. Let’s forget about this album and focus on the new album. The band’s heavy/power metal music is enjoyably embellished with various epic, traditional metal, melodic, folk & atmospheric elements. There’s also a ‘connection’ between “Raided Land” and “Defenders of the Crown” with the track “Gladiator of Rome (Part II)”. Thankfully that ain’t the only ‘link’ between those two albums. The whole atmosphere of the new album reminds of “Defenders…”. Musically, the guys are doing what they do best. The production is punchy & powerful as well. The album was mixed & mastered by Sebastian “Seeb” Levermann (Orden Ogan, Magica, Craving, Harasai etc.).
“Raided Land” features all those things that a heavy/power metal fan seeks these days. Strong musicianship, nice melodies, great vocals, heavy guitars, pithy rhythm section & memorable tracks. “Wasted Years” is possibly the band’s catchiest song delivered as yet! But there’s more to come: “Raided Land”, “The Chosen One”, “Shelter”, “Gladiator of Rome (Part II)”, “Pray for Salvation”, “Evil Curse”, “Under Siege” & “Guard the Blind”.
With “Raided Land”, Human Fortress are back on the game again. I know that the decade which was lost ain’t coming back but we must look ahead & fight the good fight every day if we wanna go further and take our chances in life. That’s exactly what Human Fortress have done here and that ain’t of minor meaning. I wish them luck, cuz’ they never had it till today, and I’m sure that if they keep it up like this, then they have nothing to be afraid of.