FATE – IF NOT FOR THE DEVIL – AVENUE OF ALLIES/GERMUSICA – RELEASE: NOVEMBER 22nd 2013

FATE – IF NOT FOR THE DEVIL – AVENUE OF ALLIES/GERMUSICA – RELEASE: NOVEMBER 22nd 2013

When ex-Mercyful Fate axe man started a new band I was curious on how it would sound. Big was my surprise when it was pure melodic rock and the second album was simply excellent AOR. Their fourth album “Scratch ‘n’ Sniff” was a real treat for guitar lovers. Mathias ‘IA” Eklund was responsible for the awesome guitar work in 1990. The band resurrected in 2006 with the “V” album, but it was the 2011 release “Ghosts From The Past” with the current line-up that did put the band back in the melodic rock pool. I was very keen on hearing what the newest album “If Not For The Devil” would sound like!

Fate is:

 Dagfinn Joensen – Vocals
Torben Enevoldsen – Guitars and backing vocals on “Feel Like Making Love” and “Taught To Kill”
Mikkel Henderson – Keyboards
Peter Steincke – Bass
Jens Berglid – Drums

IF NOT FOR THE DEVIL
1374305_10151695495637083_584787232_nThe album kicks off with full throttle. During “Reaping” the guitar is king, but the rhythm section forms an alliance with the keys and become the right hand of the king! But the keys from Mikkel battle for the scepter during the instrumental break. That’s the way to open an album guys! The title track is a pure melodic rock tune where the keys from Mikkel win territory over Torben’s guitar. But the string man delivers additional points with his solo spot.

The symbiosis off the abundant keys and the catchy riffs in “Bridges Are Burning” makes a (more modern sounding) bridge to their classic “A Matter Of Attitude” album. Dagfinn sings with a clear voice and adds a huge amount of sunshine to the sound. “Feel Like Making Love” could fit perfectly on the other gem “Scratch ‘n’ Sniff”. The melody and vocal lines together with the crunchy guitars are responsible for this comparison. The master behind the keys, Mikkel gives each song just the right amount of keys it needs. His melodic supply enriches the sound. No better way than a ballad to demonstrate your vocal performance. So Dagfinn takes the gold cup with “Hard To Say Goodbye”. The piano sound and some flamenco guitar bits are the emotional cherry on this romantic pie.

“Made Of Stone” follows with his pounding rhythm and the upbeat keyboards in “Man Against The Wall” brighten up this dark autumn weather. Dagfinn takes the role of the shining star during the slower “My World”. With a title such as “Taught To Kill” you expect fireworks! Well that’s what you get indeed! The raw sounding guitar and the meaner vocals makes this THE aggressive track of the album. I like it when a melodic rock band dares to inject some of the songs with some aggression and some raw silk. Album closer “Gimme All Your Love” is the perfect blending of my two favorite Fate albums: “A Matter Of Attitude” and “Scratch ‘n’ Sniff”. This is a perfect ending for this smashing album.

Conclusion:
This summer I saw this band live on stage at the R-Mine festival in Belgium. I had high expectations to finally see these Danish ‘cookies’ on stage at last. Their previous effort “Ghosts From The Past” was an excellent disc with a new sound but still enough references to their start in the 80’s. This album sounds even better in my ears.

For me personally it’s the best of both worlds. The huge amount of keys (some poppy some not) from Mikkel and the great guitar work from Torben can’t do nothing wrong! But Dagfinn is the true icing on the cake with his superb vocals! The band produced the album by their self and it sounds huge!

Score: 4,25 out of 5

Tracklist:

  1. Reaping 4:37
  2. If Not For The Devil 5:01
  3. Bridges Are Burning 4:16
  4. Feel Like Making Love 4:24
  5. Gambler 4:02
  6. Hard To Say Goodbye 4:05
  7. Made Of Stone 4:53
  8. Man Against The Wall 4:14
  9. My World 5:51
  10. Turn Back Time 4:14
  11. Taught To Kill 4:33
  12. Gimme All Your Love 5:08

Links:

www.fatetheband.com
www.avenue-of-allies.com

 Tekst Rik Bauters

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