Album Review: Death Fortress – Deathless March of the Unyielding
The same has always been true for Death Fortress. They like to slow down to go mid-tempo a lot. When they do, they’re special. You can sing along to the vocal parts, and when they blast, you go back to enjoying quality prototypical black metal. They’re awesome. What more can be said?
So, their new album for Fallen Empire Records, Deathless March of the Unyielding, is another album that is going to get end-of-year list considerations. I voted their prior full-length into my top twenty. This album has plenty of competition in 2016, considering it’s been a boon year for black metal. There’s so much underground music getting attention now, people quickly forget the bands that put the moon up the rafters the first time around. While Death Fortress is still a young band, they have already made the impression on me as one of the best black metal bands in operation today.
The use of vocal roars is quite distinct in the band’s approach to black metal. Don’t call them blackened death metal, though, because the guitars are purely set on black metal minor chord worship. Drummers will probably love the enthusiastic use of tom-toms and floor toms on Deathless March… The band makes use of the drums as a legit instrument in their approach. They don’t drown out the drums in the necro approach many bands took from the nineties, and it makes an invaluable addition to their sound.
The songs are still epic in structure, but the music seems to run out sooner than desired. That is a clear sign of an enjoyable album, always making it to the finish line or playing repeat for hours on end. It is good background music, too, and the workday goes by unflinchingly with this album on headset. Fallen Empire is as reliable as they get, and black metal is the label’s primary choice of genre. So, if black metal with those aforementioned traits floats your boat, try Death Fortress on for size. The cover reminds me of In the Nightside Eclipse, but the music can’t be more different. Death Fortress has a unique approach, and the band doesn’t have to add sax to get your pulse on it. They make great music, regardless of what elements. They slow down quite a lot, but it never gets boring. They hover mid-tempo in some portion of each track and as mentioned, it is one of the clear approaches to their attack that makes them special, all while refusing to simply blast, mid-tempo, blast, like some bands overdo.
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