Human Fortress
Epic Tales & Untold Stories

Label: Massacre Records
Three similar bands: Galloglass/Avalon/Mob Rules

Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
CD 1
1. The Grimoire
2. Disappear In Dark Shadows
3. Vain Endeavour
4. Free
5. Fernweh
6. We Are Legion (Gus Version)
7. Cruel Fantasy
8. Pray For Salvation (Orchestral Version)
CD 2
1.Lord Of Earth And Heavens Heir (Edit Version)
2.The Dragons Lair
3.Defenders Of The Crown
4.Border Raid In Lions March
5.Gladiator Of Rome (Part 1)
6.Gladiator Of Rome (Part 2)
7.Wasted Years
8.The Chosen One
9.Dark Knight
10.Thieves Of The Night
11.Rise Or Fall
12.Thrice Blessed
13.Lucifer's Waltz

Gus Monsanto - Vocals
Todd Wolf - Guitars
Volker Trost - Guitars
André Hort - Bass
Dirk Liehm - Keys
Apostolos Zaios - Drums

Former Band Members
Jioti Parcharidis - Vocals
Pablo J. Tammen - Bass
Dirk Marquardt - Keys

2001 Lord Of Earth And Heavens Heir
2003 Defenders Of The Crown
2008 Eternal Empire
2013 Raided Land
2016 Thieves Of The Night

2019 Reign Of Gold

Michael Bormann: Backing vocals and acoustic guitars on "The Grimoire" • Tommy Newton: Bass on "Disappear In Dark Shadows"
Hartmut Richter: Violin on "Border Raid In Lions March"
Andreas Kienitz: Lead guitars on "Defenders Of The Crown"
Additional backing vocals by Tommy Newton, Mel Newton, Jens Wunder, Juanra Hernandez, Carsten Frank, Axel Kiehne, Ali Gürkan, Nico Lange & Björn Patschurek on all tracks originally taken from the album "Defenders Of The Crown"

All songs remastered by Alexander Krull at Mastersound Entertainment.
Cover artwork by Kristijan Kuliš (, album design by Roland Heckmann.
All tracks on “Epic Tales & Untold Stories“ originally produced, mixed and mastered by Tommy 7 Newton, except for “Cruel Fantasy” and “Pray For Salvation”, which were originally mixed and mastered by Seeb Levermann.
Tracks taken from "Reign Of Gold", "Defenders Of The Crown" & "Lord Of Earth And Heavens Heir" originally produced, mixed and mastered by Tommy Newton at Area 51 Recording Studios.
Tracks taken from "Raided Land" originally produced, mixed and mastered by Seeb Levermann at Greenman Studios.
Tracks taken from "Thieves Of The Night" originally produced and mixed by Seeb Levermann at Greenman Studios and mastered by Dennis Köhne.

Released 2021-01-22
Reviewed 2021-01-01


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We begin 2021 by reviewing something epic. Human Fortress comes with their most epic release to date, and it is called Epic Tales & Untold Stories. It sure looks like something very epic, and it contains some collected works through the band’s now two-decade long crusade. It is a 37-minute release with the previous untold stories that is the one we get as a vinyl; the CD contains a bonus disk with the best of with songs the band has selected very carefully. It should be mentioned that the vinyl has one bonus track that is not on the CD-version, and that I find a bit sad that they don’t make a combined CD-vinyl issue so you can get everything in one go instead of buying both versions. But it is really good that it is all priced as a normal release so the best of bonus disk is sort of thrown in for free, maybe it could have been included in the vinyl release. In this review I look at the double disk CD release as that is the one I have access to.

What strikes me first after playing through this album once is that it feels very coherent, despite being songs from such a long period of time and with different vocalists, everything fits well together. I guess it is very well remastered. The sound is good and the fresh power metal by Human Fortress displays itself through the many tracks, I like how they usually avoid the repetitive stuff that is often commonplace in this genre and that makes for better longevity. It is the first disk that has the most relevance considering that it is the untold stuff, some of it are reworked songs like an orchestral version and one with a different singer, but it is the disk that is most interesting to me. With 23 songs it is a bit much so I usually end a few tracks into the second disk, not because it is bad but sometimes it is a little bit much – but you can play one disk at the time if you want to.

I wish they had done an orchestral or something exciting to Lord of Earth and Heavens Heir to add more excitement to the first disk, as that is one of their real highlight songs and I think they should have taken the unedited version instead to start the second disk. And on the subject of starting the second disk, Knights in Shining Armour would have been great for that, but I don’t really miss anything on this release. And despite what I think of compilations, this is really good as you can disregard the best of if you like to – but why would you want to if you consider how many great songs we have here, like Defenders of the Crown, probably the best song by the band. I do however think that the opening track The Grimoire is the highlight for this release as the other great ones have been heard before already.

Well, if you want a great showcase of what Human Fortress is all about, I can’t think of a better choice than this double CD. Here you get excellent songs, some really epic tales and some untold stories as well. It summarises the epic journey of one of the absolute best power metal bands from Germany, a band that should have enjoyed much more success than they have and this is excellent proof of that. I bow to these knights in shining armour, they keep doing their epic thing.