Italy and melodic Power Metal, it’s become a tradition: RHAPSODY (OF FIRE), LABYRINTH, KALEDON, ANCIENT BARDS, DRAKKAR, DOMINE, THY MAJESTIE, SECRET SPHERE, VISION DIVINE and many more. Now, a new one steps to the forefront: FOGALORD. FOGALORD is the brainchild of Dany All (keyboardist). The idea was conceived in 2007, but it took a while to come up with material for a first album.
That first album, “A Legend To Believe In”, came out on the 5th October 2012, thanks to Limb Music Products. Besides the proper line-up, Dany got help from guest musicians like Alessandro Lotta (bass, ex-RHAPSODY), ANCIENT BARDS’ Claudio Pietronik (guitar) and Martino Garattoni (bass) and last but not least, guitarist Pier Gonella (LABYRINTH, NECRODEATH, MASTERCASTLE).
The concept album, written exclusively by Dany All, tells the story of a deity of war in a land of thick mists, although the story is actually based on the history of Dany’s hometown, Carpi, which was founded by the Lombard king Aistulf in 752 AD.
“A Legend To Believe In” begins with an atmospheric, dreamy and Folky intro that belongs to “Follow The Fog”. Explosions occur, drums are battered and so the choirs come in, together with the musical bombast. This leads into the Folk/Power Metal track “At The Gates Of The Silent Storm”. You could compare this to ALESTORM. It’s got Metal with trumpets and more. The Metal pounds onwards, in an epic manner that follows the rules of the style. Next to ALESTORM, why not also put FOGALORD next to RHAPSODY, KALEDON, DARK MOOR, FAIRYLAND, etc.? The vocals reminded me a little of Nils Patrik Johansson (ASTRAL DOORS, LION’S SHARE, WUTHERING HEIGHTS). But anyway, if you like epic Metal in vein of the aforementioned bands, this is food for you.
“Black Era” is an atmospheric, filmic intro, leading into “The Fog Lord”. Why not just merge the two tracks? I see no sense in the seperation. Anyway, “The Fog Lord” offers direct, pounding melodic Power Metal with the typical double bass. The vocals are epic, though a bit messy with all those layers. The chorus follows in epicness and at a higher tempo. And if you wondered, yes, there are high-pitched outings. So predictable. Solos are provided by guitar and organ, after which all falls silent in favour of an atmospheric moment featuring female vocals. This part is nothing fancy, though, to be honest. Power is restored afterwards. “The Scream Of The Thunder” is a song with a medieval character and sound, as the Folky intro demonstrates. This sounds so inspired by RHAPSODY (e.g. “Village Of Dwarves”). It’s a catchy song and one of the better on this album. A theatrical break is implemented with speeches/dialogues before the band reinstates the epic Metal.
The title track is another very melodic Power Metal track, here with raging double bass. But I’m not so excited by it, I would almost say it annoys. In itself it’s not a bad song, but the production does more bad than good. “The Dark Prophecy” is an interlude by keyboards. Again the medieval charachter was applied. It sounds mysterious and tension rises… this is exciting. But honestly, it didn’t do me much. However, the force of Metal in “A Day Of Fire” shows a nice contrast. Melodic interventions are provided by organ twiddling. Later one, the tempo decreases and leads and backing atmosphere become the dominant factors. But what does it mean? Sorrow? Sadness?
Time for a ballad then, delivered by “Our Last Nightfall”. And to perfect it, probably because of the lyrical background, it’s got female and male vocals. All in all, a good song. Another interlude is set as “Strength Of The Hopeless”, consisting of choir, kettle drums and bagpipes. Like the other interludes, it also connects directly with the next track, in this case “The March Of The Grey Army”. The bagpipes continue their role from one track into the next. Tension rises and Folk/Power Metal is unleashed, though not at a fast pace. Somehow the songs also sounds quite jolly. All ends with the powerful and raging “Of War And Resurrection”, another song that is among the better on this release.
And so a new Italian Epic Power Metal band is out there. As I said before, if you like RHAPSODY, FAIRYLAND, DARK MOOR, KALEDON, and so on, then FOGALORD is a band to keep an eye on. But with regards to the debut album, “A Legend To Believe In”, I have to say that after several listens I expected a little more or better. One (somewhat trivial, but still…) issue is Dany’s accent. But this can improve over time. Finances are key for a solid production and honestly, FOGALORD’s sound can use some tweaking. The production is the black mark here, as the songs sound a bit plastic and compressed. This influences the listening experience. The songs themselves are alright, but not all are equally good. Luckily a small majority is, which makes the album very much food for lovers of the musical style. So, to cut things short: “A Legend To Believe In” is not a bad album, but the follow-up will have to be better if Dany and co. want to grow, follow perhaps in the footsteps of e.g. RHAPSODY.
- Follow The Fog
- At The Gates Of The Silent Storm
- Black Era
- The Fog Lord
- The Scream Of The Thunder
- A Legend To Believe In
- The Dark Prophecy
- A Day Of Fire
- Our Last Nightfall
- 10. Strength Of The Hopeless
- The March Of The Grey Army
- Of War And Resurrection
Dany All – vocals, keyboards
Stefano Paolini – guitar
Lorenzo Costi – bass
Francesco Zanarelli – drums