Thirty Fates – “Circus Black”


The core members the band Black Fate revisit their roots and resurrect some older songs, bringing new life to the previously unreleased tracks, giving us a great metal album.

Thirty Fates origins go back all the way to 1988 and under the name Metal Invaders, started by Elias Tzintzilonis, Nick Tzintzilonis, and Stelios Papakostas who would later pick up Hercules Fanarakis to handle bass guitar duties and that band became Black Fate. Thirty Fates originally recorded a 4-track demo in February 1991 as well as four videos which never saw the light of day. Fast forward to 2021 and the band decided to play together again and create an anniversary album. One year later the album is finally completed and among the nine songs are the 4 songs from the first demo, 2 unreleased tracks from the 1980’s, and three songs from an 2000’s- era mini ep.

The album opens with an intro that provides an atmosphere of being in a circus of some sort. “Indiffferent People” is the first real track and immediately sets the tone and lets the listener know what is in store. From a sound perspective, this is a bit of throwback to the NWOBHM bands and one can hear all those influences but with the production quality, everything seems fresh and new. Guest vocalist Angel Wolf Black provides some great backing vocals during the chorus section and in other fills complementing Stelios Papakostas own impressive vocals. Having reviewed Black Fate in the past, I knew about Stelios’ vocal talents and they are on display here from soaring highs to booming lows, with a tone and style somewhat reminiscent of Geoff Tate (Queensryche). Very solid song with a great guitar solo thrown in, serving as a good intro to the band.

Elias Tzintzilonis’ guitar work is on display early in the “The Pretender” which, like “Indifferent People” is also is one of the older, re-recorded demo tracks. During the song, Stelios takes multiple different approaches to vocal delivery which makes the song really work and there is even some interesting bass fills, which one can only assume is Elias.

“Just for a Little” is one of the newer songs and to me has a definite feel of Operation Mindcrime (Queensryche), from the pounding drums of Nick Tzintzilonis to the Stelios vocals to the overall pacing of the song and the layered instruments. This is the type of song that stays with you long after it’s finished. “Sign of Rebellion” brings in a distinct groove feel and more great drum and bass work that keep the song bouncing along. There is a familiar feel to the song as with others on the album, likely due to their age, but nothing feels dated.

The slower, clean guitars at the beginning of “The Edge of Destiny” had me thinking this was going to be the power balled on the album, but the song is much heavier and thankfully not that cheesy. Overall, there is a much darker tone and feel to the song and some more great guitar and bass lines that blend nicely with the soaring vocals.

Tim “Ripper” Owens (Priest, Iced Earth) provides some guest vocals and trademark screams on “Be Free” which has a feel of urgency compared to other tracks on the album and may reflect it being a new track. The band slow things down a bit for what feels like an introspective track in “Depression” and then closes out the album with the “Because We Fly”, which is the closest song to a ballad on the album but is filled with intricate drum and bass lines that intertwine with complex guitar parts.

Thirty Fates have shown us in Circus Black that songs written over 30 years ago can still be recorded and feel fresh while maintaining the original feel of the music. Almost unapologetically, the band’s own site acknowledges that this album is not breaking new ground, but it is far from a throwback to an older era. The longer you listen to the album, the more you appreciate the production quality and the little touches within the songs that keep them new. Those who appreciate the NWOBHM bands and power metal will find a lot to enjoy in Circus Black.

Rating: 8.5/10

Written by John Jackson


  1. Circus of Fate (intro)
  2. Indifferent People (featuring Angel Wolf Black)
  3. The Pretender
  4. Just for a Little
  5. Sign of Rebellion
  6. The Edge of Destiny
  7. Be Free (featuring Tim “Ripper” Owens)
  8. Depression
  9. Because We Fly

Band Members
Elias Tzintzilonis – guitars
Nick Tzintzilonis – Drums
Stelios Paakostas – Vocals

Release Date: December 10th, 2021

Record Label: Rockshots Records

Social Media: Band site / Facebook / Bandcamp

Video for ‘The Pretender’

Video for ‘Be Free’

Video for ‘Just for a Little’

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