Black Fate – “Between Visions & Lies”


Between visions and lies (2014)Groovy, power progressive metal with fiery guitar solos and some soaring vocals and melodies.  Sounds pretty cool to me, I’d want to know where I could hear some of that.  Well, look no further, Black Fate have put together that album in Between Visions & Lies.

If their bio is to be believed, the origin of Black Fate goes all the way back to 1990 in Larissa, Greece with current drummer Nikos Tsintzilonis, Elias Tsintzilonis, Heracles Fanarakis and Stelios Papakostas.  That lineup released a couple well-received demos and started playing shows.  A few lineup changes and a couple albums later in 2007, Nikos met current vocalist Vasilis Georgiou and the band shifted direction, resulting in 2009’s Deliverance of the Soul on Asiral Records.  Unfortunately, that lineup couldn’t tour, so Nikos and Vasilis picked up guitarist Gus Drax (Biomechanical) and bass player Vasilis Liakos (Innosense) completing the lineup that recorded Between Visions & Lies.  The album was recorded in several studios, guitars and vocals at Gstudio and Hall Studios and drums, bass and acoustic guitars at Warcry Studios in Larissa.  The album was mixed by Nikos and mastered by Eric Tordsson (End of September, Antestor) at Solid Mix Studios in Sweden.

This album caught my ear from the very beginning with the keyboard/orchestral opening of the aptly titled “Rhyme of a False Orchestra”.  Once the orchestral opening fades, a crunchy, groovy guitar riff comes in, reminding me a bit of some Megadeth tunes like “Symphony of Destruction.”  One big difference in this case though are the vocals of Vasilis Georgiou who can soar with the best singers.  Very smooth delivery and very melodic.  Gus Drax makes his imprint on their overall sound right from this first track, with the first of many incendiary solos that are present and simply add to the overall impact of the song, never taking over the songs.

I will say that “Lines in the Sand” had me fooled at several points.  The slower, acoustic beginning which leads into a fast Iron Maiden-like galloping riff only to slow back down for the verses had me guessing for a bit as to what was coming next, but then it all fits together.  Add in some good technical bits on the guitar, some keyboard accents, and some vocals that at times bring back the best of the 80’s – 90’s hair metal bands and you have another good tune.

Continuing in the trend of surprising me with songs, “The Game of Illusion” opens up much like one would expect from Avenged Sevenfold.  What I can really appreciate in the Black Fate songs are the intricate rhythms, carried primarily by the drums and guitar.  At times, they work in unison, at others, there is some give and take but the band seems to never take the simply route in creating the melodies and harmonies and that effort adds complexity and texture to the songs.

I thought “Into the Night” was the power ballad for the album, but then the guitars, bass, and drums came in loud and forceful.  Here again there are a number of odd influences I hear.  In this case I again pick up some sounds reminiscent of Avenged Sevenfold but also some Dokken.  Yep, I just typed Dokken, and in the chorus it works.

For this album the band points out that guitarist Gus Drax brought the 7-string guitar for a heavier sound and style and combined with the excellent mixing and production, the sound overall works very well.  I do think I hear some sound characteristics and dynamics similar to Antestor but that is not entirely unexpected given the mastering by Eric Tordsson in Sweden.  There is that hard to describe Swedish metal feel to this album even if it isn’t extreme.

The band was aiming for a combination of older and modern sounds like those of Iron Maiden, Kamelot, and Dream Theater and they deliver on those without sounding like a copycat or tribute.  I would add in several other influences whether intended or not, including Avenged Sevenfold, Dokken, and Queensryche.  The result is an album that starts out very solid on first listen and gets better with each subsequent play.

Rating: 8/10

Written by John Jackson

Track listing
01. Rhyme of a False Orchestra
02. Lines in the Sand
03. The Game of Illusion
04. Into the Night
05. In Your Eyes
06. Call of the Wild
07. State of Conformity
08. Without Saying a Word
09. Perfect Crime
10. Weight of the World
11. In Fear

Band Members
Vasilis Georgiou – Vocals
Gus Drax – Guitars
Nikos Tsintzilonis – Drums
Vasilis Liakos – Bass

Record Label: Ulterium Records, Nov. 2014

Buy the album here:
Holland: First Paradox
Norway: Nordic Mission

Weblinks: Facebook

Video below “Between Visions & Lies” {teaser]

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