Fogalord – A Legend To Believe In
A Legend To Believe In
Is it just me, or does it seem like every album I review this year comes from Italy? Hearing Fogalord’s debut album described as “melodic power metal” and seeing that that band was signed to Limb for the release was really all I needed to dive right in without a backwards glance.
Well, it’s a darn good thing that I’m so steeped in the genre, or I might have become quickly disillusioned with Fogalord’s (more on that name, shortly) shamelessly energetic performance of what many would undoubtedly label “standard” Euro-power. You’ve heard this line at Black Wind a hundred times before, and you’ll hear it a hundred times again before I bury my brightly-colored fluttering power metal banner: there’s not much that’s original about A Legend To Believe In, but boy, is it ever a fun album to listen to!
Grand orchestral synths (and a surprisingly varied number of keyboard sounds) support the multitalented lead singer/keyboardist Dany All in his support (I think?) of the Fog Lord’s name. That’s right, the core of the band is one ambitious fellow (and he’s also the keyboard player and programmer for Synthphonia Suprema, another old Italian heartthrob of mine. In fact, it turns out that 3 of the 4 members of Fogalord hail from that band). If I’m not mistaken, this is another cheesy fantasy concept album bent on either the victory or defeat of the Fog Lord (the lyrics aren’t always the most intelligible, and I have a promo copy). It doesn’t really matter, since no one listens to Italian fantasy power metal for its stories anyways (I’m looking at you, Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody Of Fire).
Ok, as much as I’m avoiding taking this album seriously, there’s real talent here, and it isn’t only present in the swirling, masterfully atmospheric synths. The guitar work is really quite good. There’s a lack of real guitar focus, but once in a while Stefano Paolini rips loose a salvo or two before he smugly slips back into his supporting rhythm role. Drums and bass thunder on in good sync, but if Fogalord breaks the standard Italian power metal mold in some way, it’s that they show admirable restraint at some times. Sure, there’s a ton of charging double bass, but we’ve got a whole lot of material to break it up, and it never gets to the point where my musical nerves are rubbed raw by unceasingly high tempos.
The best music on this album is well-spread. Opener “At The Gates Of The Silent Storm” is solid, but “The Fog Lord” is where the band rips things wide open. This might as well be the title track (because I don’t know what else “Fogalord” could mean) for all its grandeur and memorability, and I’ve been listening to it almost daily since this album came up for review. The anthemic title track (the actual one, this time) “A Legend To Believe In” and the crashing and varied “The Day Of Fire” help round out an album that’s really a great representation of quality key-focused Italian power metal.
Though its predictability and disinterest in musical trailblazing will ensure that A Legend To Believe In won’t turn the heads of any non-Euro metal fans, there’s enough great headbanging content here to make it an excellent selection for fans of this very happy, melodic corner of the genre. I recommend it highly myself for fans of Highlord, Rhapsody, Derdian, and, of course, Synthphonia Suprema. Ideal for birthday parties, baby showers, and funeral wakes.
Dan’s Rating: 3.75 out of 5