Fatal Fusion - The Ancient Tale

Fatal Fusion The Ancient Tale cover
Fatal Fusion
The Ancient Tale
Karisma Records
Lots of prog rock music is coming from Scandinavia these days and especially from Norway. Again, it was about time for Norway to show that it has also got other blooming scenes apart from the extreme ones. This time it is Fatal Fusion, a band which took shape in 2008 and released its debut, “Land of the Sun” in 2010 independently. After 3 years and several live shows here and there, they finally present the follow-up to their debut entitled “The Ancient Tale”. What got my attention right away was the “odd” cover artwork with the ancient figures of the Sun God and goddess Selene. It’s always good to get a nice vide by an album artwork.
I wasn’t sure of what I was going to hear, since I haven’t listened to the band’s debut album… and when I saw that there were only 5 long tracks I was somewhat skeptical. I didn’t expect to listen to 70s influenced prog rock with various jazz/fusion, atmospheric, blues-rock, hard rock, classical rock, space rock, psychedelic & symphonic elements. Nonetheless, all these sound promising in a way… and they are!
“City of Zerych” is divided in 6 sub-categories: “Welcome”, “The Dark Lord”, “Falling into Darkness”, “The Shaman”, “Confrontation” & “Fall to Rise”. Here we have an overview of the band’s music. Mellow themes, intense rockin’ ones, atmospheric passages, melodious parts, space touches and acoustic bits. 18 minutes requiring your full attention (as the whole album does). There’s no time to loosen up at any point… neither does Fatal Fusion let you do so.
The 9-minute “Halls of Amenti” has a more oriental/ethic background as its title reveals. Even though it has a rockin’ start and ending… this track exudes a deep 70s Rainbow influence. The guitar solo is also fantastic…
“The Divine Comedy” features the sub-parts: “Dante’s Inferno”, “Inferno”, “Purgatory” & “Paradise”. It’s the band’s third longest track (around 14 minutes). It has a very metallic atmospheric aura, complex structure and nice harmonies. Very good ala Blackmore solos, with the use of the Middle Eastern scales both on the guitar and synth. After the ambient break in the middle we have another round of solos (add Hammond this time as well), atmospheric themes and so on. A great instrumental track to get lost inside…
“Tears I’ve Cried” lasts less than 9 minutes (huh here’s a short one!) and it is the most “easy-listening” track on the album. Acoustic parts, along with flute, half-soft half rockin’ but always in mid-tempo. It brought Uriah Heep & Deep Purple to mind and that’s a good thing! The guitar solo in the end is impressively emotional.
The last track “The Ancient Tale” includes: “Eos”, “Helios”, “Astraeos” & “Selene”. It’s the album’s second longest track and lasts a little less than 18 minutes. It starts smoothly with piano along with Knut’s voice… before the “progressive orgy” of guitars, synth, Hammond, drums & bass takes over. Then we go through mood & tempo changes till the atmospheric ala Floyd end…
The more time you spend over this album the more it takes you through psychedelic & atmospheric soundscapes. It ain’t an easy task to deliver 67 minutes of music on 5 tracks only. The clear & full production, which has been done with the help of their record label Karisma and Herbrand Larsen (Enslaved) is ideal indeed. It’s the second Norwegian 70s prog rock album that I come across this year and I feel overwhelmed. It’s time for the prog lovers to embrace this gifted band in every way they can. “The Ancient Tale” is a fabulous melodic & atmospheric prog rock album on the whole.