Of Bones EP

Written by: BV on 30/07/2013 17:12:08

Fortress is one of the newer and more promising acts in the heavier parts of the Danish underground scene that seems to be having a vast growth period as of late. With this 4-track EP, Fortress seemingly tries to capture their erratic and insanely energetic live performances and condense them down to a focused release. – A tough job to begin with, so let us see how well they actually handle that task.

The opening track, “Fullmoon”, comes off as a supercharged yet country infused heavy rocking track at first glance with the introductory slide guitar and the pulsating organ. Nonetheless it takes Fortress less than 40 seconds to kick this thing into warp speed – effectively turning this seemingly mellow track into a barrage of heavy riffing and absolutely blistering guitar solos. The vocals are, oddly enough, extremely powerful on this track which is something I had actually not anticipated, so that must be what you’d call a joyous surprise and a splendid addition to an overwhelmingly powerful soundscape at this point.

Moving on to “Suneater”, we’ll find that the barrage of riffs will in no way decrease in size. As the up-tempo rocker plows its way through the short but sweet runtime of 3 minutes, we are once again treated to those delightfully heavy riffs reminiscent of Red Fang, some splendid vocals that practically howl at you and, once again, a furiously finger-blistering guitar solo complete with the nearly obligatory wah-wah sound clinging to it. At this point though, I’m starting to become disillusioned with the drum sounds. – Not the drumming itself which is perfectly fine, but rather the production of the drums and their general role in the mix. At times they are barely audible to me and they often come across as powerless and flat in the mix – a shame really, as they could have added a lower end heaviness that would really suit the general attitude of the band.

Indeed, on the insanely energetic “Thunderbeast”, the formula of Fortress’ songwriting is becoming a tad uniform, but effective nonetheless. However, not much is done to actually keep the listeners’ on their toes throughout the EP as the four tracks are more or less written with the same formula in mind. It’s loud, it’s distorted and it’s insanely energetic – but the guys in Fortress do seem to lack diversity in their songwriting and they also seem to have a serious lack of drums in their mix that comes off as quite unnerving to me. I mean, riff-rock without massive drum sounds – is that really what you want?

All in all, this first EP from Fortress is relatively solid but still lacks a certain something before really becoming special. It could be more interesting songs, or perhaps just another mix of it all? I for one still feel like seeing Fortress live time and time again, but I feel like it’s going to need a few extra notches before I’ll be as fascinated by their studio output as I am by their live performances.


Download: Suneater, Fullmoon
For The Fans Of: Red Fang, Pet the Preacher, Barricade

Release Date 23.06.2013
Black Cheese Records / Parlophone Music

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