Human Fortress - Eternal Empire

1. Contrast
2. Borders of Insanity
3. The Wizard
4. The Raven
5. When Love and Hate Collide
6. Under the Spell
7. Lions Den
8. Circle of Flames
9. Falling Leaves

Carsten Frank (vocals)
Torsten Wolf (guitar)
Frank Sawade (guitar)
Dirk Marquardt (keys)
Pablo Tammen (bass)
Arndt Krone (drums)

Lord of Earth and Heaven Heir (2001)
Defenders of the Crown (2003)

Produced by Carsten Frank at Waveland studios


Five years has passed since last time Human Fortress has offered something for the masses, five long years. They did take a break due to a baby boom in the band, at least that is what the promotion sheet says. They have also changed their singer and built an own studio, five years has passed since Defenders of the crown, a lot can change in five years.

Naturally there has been a change since the old vocalist had to leave for reasons of health, Carsten Frank has taken place behind the microphone and also behind the wheels of the studio. Carsten Frank’s voice is not that different from Jioti Parcharidis who sang in the band before. You may have already heard the voice of Carsten Frank, he sang in Galloglass before. But the fact is, the band has also changed drummer and a guitarist, it has gone through a revolution.

A revolution is not what has happened with the band’s sound though. They still play their quite unique brand of power metal, they don’t really sound like anyone else but still remain firmly in the stream of the genre. Melodic is the word that springs to mind when thinking about what Human Fortress does, everything about them is so melodic. The vocals though, are a little less melodic than before; Frank has a bit more power and aggression in his voice which in my opinion is both for good and for bad. He adds lots of atmosphere to the music and he adds power, but the smoothness and flow that was so unique about this band gets a little pushed back. Still, immediately you hear the trademarked sound of Human Fortress and you know what it is all about, it is all about the music.

This is as it has been with Human Fortress, a very good album that doesn’t really sound like everything else and it isn’t strange or really different either, a bit hard to explain really. Musically it is well-produced and elegantly melodic. It is attractive music, and still heavy and metallic. I can’t really see anything negative about this album, the music is excellent and the vocals compliments the music perfectly. As I said, there is really nothing to complain about.

Still, I miss the novelty of the older albums, this has a little more conventional sound, maybe the change of singers has something to do with it, I’m not quite sure what it is that triggers this feel. Some songs are a little of the old style from before like the excellent songs called The Raven and Falling Leaves that really raise the level of this record. I enjoy this and I cannot really complain about anything with it but I still miss the old Human Fortress from their first two records.

The human fortress is back again and maybe this time they are here to stay, with new singer and producer they have changed but still not, are you following me now? Guess not, what I am saying is that this record is a good record and well worth a listen, I just wish Massacre would stop doing voice-over.


Label - Massacre
Three similar bands - Galloglass/Avalon/Mob Rules
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm