It seems impossible to me that this the second album, six years after the debut, is from a band who are still relatively unknown. Indeed, having a quick look at both MMA and Encyclopaedia Metallum it appears the band is unlisted in either. Although it isn’t unusual for a band to be missing from one, it is certainly unusual to find a band of this quality missing from both. From the album artwork, through the songs and performances of all those involved (but most notably the vocals of Chris Stoz Storozynski), there is the feeling of here is a band who are just about to conquer the metal world. They have been playing close attention to the classic of Maiden, Priest, Savatage and into bands such as Candlemass and Grand Magus to bring together something which is classic heavy metal, which also contains the odd nod to doom and symphonic. A strong rhythm section (my only real complaint is with the drums and drum sounds, both of which could have had a bit more life in them) provides the base for the standard twin guitar attack with interlinked melodies and heavy riffs. Then at the front is Stoz. If this guy can front a band in the same way his multi-octave vocals grab attention (he can even bring in Halford-style falsetto when he needs to, although for the most time he concentrates on being incredibly melodic in a lower register), then they must be one heck of a live band.

This feels like a strong album from an already established outfit, not one which are still waiting to make their mark on the scene. I can certainly see why Chris Tsangarides had been involved with them, as here is an English band with a strong future ahead of them. This is fresh, refusing to pander to any particular sub-genre, but instead is straight ahead classic heavy metal, and is all the better for it. Why they haven’t been signed to a major is beyond me, but that is an oversight I am sure will be amended in the very near future. The confidence oozes from the album as they change time signatures and approach as they feel the need, but always return to the core. Well worth investigation.

Rating: 8/10

Links:
http://www.forgedinblack.com/
https://www.facebook.com/fighter.records

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