Black Fate - Between Visions and Lies

Black Fate Between Visions and Lies cover
Black Fate
Between Visions and Lies
Ulterium Records
Black Fate are a band from Larisa that have been going on for nearly 15 years and including this have 4 full length albums. (One of them being their combined demos released). After going on a hiatus for whatever reasons, the band underwent some line-up changes and enlisting the aid of some local talent from bands like Innosense as well as recent as this album of local shredder Gus Drax, the band was put back on track and released some more material.
While the direction of the band has never changed and their reviews were as I remember always favorable, Vasilis Georgiou, from Innosense that came in on vocals and who was hotly “touted” to end up in Kamelot, for a while, is obviously, a big “asset” for the band. The guy has a very nice delivery and well, whatever you liked about Roy Khan, you get here, in a slightly more “edgy” metallic version… pretty much like Khan sung on the early Conception albums. Not bad at all! He’s probably one of the best vocalist in Greece at this moment, with hardly any traces of accent, appearing at all, (and wherever very slight ones do they give character instead of becoming annoying). He’s got a nice enough range and displays a nice ability to use it, even if I am not entirely sure if this Khan voice is his natural tone, or if he’s made to sound like that. After all, even Kaverik doesn’t sound like he does in Kamelot when he sounds in Seventh Wonder…
Certain songs pay so much lip service to latter day Kamelot that one could mistake them for unreleased demos of the Floridians… I bet “Rhyme of A False Orchestra” would have loved to have been part of “Ghost Opera” so much that it almost matches it rhythmically… haha... almost creating an illusion… and things don’t really get much better in terms of avoiding “references” they just seem to go for a wider time frame, as they delve in more prog paths, of earlier releases like into the “Night” with its multitude of influences.
“Lines in the Sand” almost goes for proto-Kamelot, or at least “Fourth Legacy”/”Karma” sort of sounds, a lot more power metal influences to be found here…
“The Game of Illusion” again goes into the latter day… “Halo” territory, I’d dare say…
“In Your Eyes” and “Call of the Wild” manage to somewhat differentiate themselves, but the whole “atmosphere” still keeps them enveloped, in the same “style”.
In “State of Conformity” the band gets a lot more modern and adventurous, really escaping the confines, but at the same time, this leads them to uncharted territory, that takes away the crutch that mimicking an already successful style is. They do manage to still stand straight, but it’s a bit of a struggle.
“Without Saying a Word” is a ballad, lyrical and rich in splendor... here, Vasilis obviously appears impressive as well but as there’s not much lamentation you don’t get those over lingering parts… he still has a more soulful place where he could tap in to channel out way more emotion… I am sure he will reach the zenith of his capability soon.
“Perfect Crime” riffier and far grimmer, finds itself in the rift between “Karma” and “Epica”, while “Weight of the World” maintains a prog facet without changing the pacing too much... Weirdly enough, there’s a full orchestral (2:44 minutes) outro entitled “In Fear” that is quite impressive, but makes me curious as to why the bands didn’t develop “Rhyme’s” similar intro into something far more full blown to be more in “alignment” with the “masters” themselves...
While there are very few things that I can actually consider that the band and the album suffer from, the drums sound suffers a bit in the mix, but maybe that was hardly avoidable, in the mastering. Also I feel that a typical out and out 4/4 power metal scorching track would have benefited the album greatly, as the persistent mid-tempos even with the in song variations and changes are not sufficient to keep the album for feeling that it drags a bit, even at 50 minutes long. And it would be interesting to see the band trying to step out of the shadow of Kamelot/Conception. There are moments where they do emulate the former and just resemble the latter – due to the vocal style of VG, but at other times they show glimpses of what could be.
However, this is definitely one of the best efforts in recent years easily surpassing everything else in the prog/power/trad metal genres in Greece. Well done.