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Music Reviews: Human Fortress, Iced Earth, Kirk, and Thunder Tribe

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Lets take a look at a few power and epic metal releases this week.

1795642_274939865998232_385719507_nHuman Fortress have quite a strong album in the offering in the form of Raided Land. I have no idea how this one snuck by me. It is a solid slab of epic power metal that has all sorts of fun stuff in it, including faux medieval breaks that would make Blackmore proud. Tracks like “Wasted Years” really shine on this album and demonstrate the talent on offer. Now one could quibble and say there are a few too many tracks on here, but even the weaker ones are decent. This is certainly an album that needs the attention of those who like their epic metal and can never get too much.

Iced Earth are back with an album called Plagues of Babylon. It is by no means a bad album at all and it continues their line of paranoid, semi-polemic rants. It all takes place in their “Something Wicked” universe to add to the flexibility. Sadly, there is something missing on this release which leaves a bit of a meh feeling, at least at first. It took several listens to get at all into and there are really no stand-out tracks on here. It is, however, a solid release from the veteran band and one that will please the fans.

Kirk have an album called Masquerade on offer beginning March 7. This is the album you might wish to pick up if you are a fan of Queensryche, but have been left cold by their recent output (either version). For that reason alone it is worth the price of admission. That is not to say this is a clone of the ‘Ryche, but this band has fully embraced everything that made that band once great. Then again it should not be surprising that a Swiss band does clinical melodic metal so well. The track that most sums this up is “Eternity”. This is a cracking release from a damn good band that you owe yourself to keep an ear on.

Thunder Tribe offer up War Chant as their debut. It is a rather good one, especially if you give it a few listens. The band are tight and focused on what they want to put out there. The ability to produce impressive songs that warrant notice is impressive for such a new band. There are touches of epic metal, ‘Ryche-esque precise metal and even hints of non-pretentious prog in the tracks. One thing they all share is the necessary catchiness to keep your interest. Tracks like “Part of the Black” showcase the talented musicianship here, as well as good vocals. This lot deserve your attention for such a consistent debut album.

As always, stay safe and rocking out there.

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