FORTUNATO – From High Above

Fortunato 2023

From High Above

French foursome carry on to carry out their war on war on an offering number four.

If the “4” on the cover of this album looks like a magic lamp, it’s because there’s some sorcery in the Lyon ensemble’s fresh full-length effort, the platter’s wonder stemming from their case of a power-metal display not necessarily being heroic – which seems heroic in itself, of course. The quarter may not reinvent their chosen genre, and the lyrics behind the band’s tunes are generic, but the grasp singing bassist Markus Fortunato and his comrades-in-arms have on heavy tropes is firm, so nothing can mar the impression left by this solid work, and by the time the last chords of the record’s grand finale “Moment Of Weakness” are dissolved in silence, the listeners will feel neither remorse nor regrets – and no weakness.

Floating into focus on the wave of ivories-delivered arabesque and Saracen vocalese before a four-string rumble and serrated riff sweep it out of the way, “After The War” builds tension from the very beginning, with the sense of epic events unfolding towards infectious chorus and a solo which Sebastien VallĂ©e and Alex Faccinetto’s twin guitars weave with much gusto, while “Evil Machine” sculpts streamlined onslaught out of symphonic soundscape and almost pop melodies. They culminate in the sublimely dark balladry of “Just What We Have” whose words offer shifted, in a Gallic way, emphases to conjure majestic images until Sly Conte’s galloping groove and sharp attack smash into a synthesizer-embroidered wall and carry such contrasting dynamics into the triumphant “My Sky At Night” that borders on baroque dance and the funereal “Until My Last Breath” and “If You Die” that demonstrate nigh on orchestral swirl.

Still, “Arise!” takes this flight higher – to live up to its own and the album’s title – and “Day After Day” tops it in terms of neo-classical elegance, and though the acoustically tinctured “Storms Can Come” sticks to average anthemity, there’s no doubt the F-team are able to withstand any weather for their force is fiercely fine.


July 14, 2023

Category(s): Reviews
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