Fate - V
Fate is yet another addition to the ever flowing stream of reunited bands. Fate was formed by legendary Mercyful Fate axeman Hank Sherman in the year of 1984. From the very beginning the core of Fate was quite polished hard rock with the focus set on catchy and effective melodies. Their first three albums was played a lot at home in my teens, their fourth record Scratch 'n Sniff has still not reached my ears yet, and that is why the name Fate still gets some special attention from me. Their newest offering, entitled V of course, has not much to do with the band I listened to in the eighties though. The only remaining member from these days is the bassist Peter Steincke. The base of today's Fate is the line-up from the Scratch 'n Sniff-era and since Per Johansson is handling the vocals also on V you probably can describe it as a late follow up to Scratch 'n Sniff.
Fate anno 2006 is still highly melodic but way more guitar driven and heavy than in the early days. At first I had a hard time dealing with Per Johanssons vocals, technically his delivery is flawless but he uses a style of singing that is quite special and unique. This was however something that vanished after repeatedly listening to V and now I really like his vocals and think of it more as a trademark and an asset for the band (kind of how the case is with Joakim Brodén of Sabaton, no other comparisons though). I also really like the production done by Tommy Hansen and he has really created a dramatic atmosphere full of energy, always with the guitars and vocals in the foreground.
It's really hard to pick the highlights from the album because it's so even and the total lack of fillers is evident. I'm impressed and in fact quite surprised of how high the song writing quality on V is from the beginning to the end. The only criticism I can come up with is that the songs is a bit similar to one another regarding the tempo and arrangements. I usually remember song titles when listening to new albums after a couple of times but with this one it took a bit longer, a fact that probably has to do with the similarity I just mentioned. This however doesn't affect my final judgement particularly much. Two songs I must mention though is the opener and closer of the album and they are both fantastic songs that sticks out a bit from the rest in a positive way. Butterfly is a heavy hard rocker in mid tempo with a sing-a-long chorus that sticks like glue. Toxic is much faster but still melodic as ever and the chorus is nothing but mesmerizing and the vocals from Per Johansson is awesome.
As I said earlier, V has not much to do with Fate of the
old days but they are just as good. This album needed some spins to
really click but it was really worth the patience I had. V has a lot
of potential and should appeal to a lot of you who like me is a sucker
for melodies and the die hard fans of melodic hard rock can consider
this as a must-buy!