MTM Music
Release Date: April 21, 2006

User Review
10/10 (1 vote)

The Danish band Fate has had a whirlwind of a history, starting out in 1984 when guitarist Hank Sherman left Mercyful Fate and hooked up with Peter Steincke to form Fate. After two reasonably successful Melodic Hard Rock releases, the self-titled debut and then A Matter of Attitude, the band saw their first line-up change. In 1988, exit guitarist Sherman and enter replacement Jacob Moth, which resulted in a somewhat tongue-in-cheek release in Cruisin’ For A Bruisin. With Scratch And Sniff being released in 1990, the band returned to their roots and regained their “ballsier” sound. This, of course, did not come without another personnel change. Enter vocalist Per Johansson and Swedish guitarist Mattias “IA” Eklundh (who didn’t last long, as he left for a solo career at the end of 1991 and eventually the band Freak Kitchen). Søren Hoff was brought in to fill Eklundh’s shoes as the new incarnation of the band did a few gigs and demos before calling it quits in 1993.

It took eleven years to reawaken this “sleeping giant” as Fate (in the form of Johansson, Hoff, and Steincke) were invited to the 2004 Deep Impact Festival in Germany. A well deserved favorable response from the fans and media resulted in MTM Music wanting to license the A Matter Of Attitude and Scratch N Sniff albums from EMI, as well as to remaster and release them with some additional bonus tracks. The overwhelming response to the re-releases caused the band to find a new drummer and hit the studio in 2005, along with Scratch N Sniff Producer Tommy Hansen, to record their comeback CD, simply entitled V.

Just to make sure there is no confusion about the type of music on V, the band opens with “Butterfly,” which has Johansson belting out a guttural scream, accompanied by some fairly heavy guitar and then a second, slightly higher-pitched scream all in just the opening seconds of this track. The track is a nice piece of Melodic Hard Rock with an accessible chorus. There are two things that will immediately catch the attention of newcomers to Fate … the first obvious one being the distinct, gritty vocals of Johansson who treads somewhere between a mix of Udo Dirkschneider (Accept) and Marc Storace (Krokus). He certainly has enough character and charisma to stir up quite a few Love/Hate debates as fans of Udo, Geddy Lee, and such have endured for years. The second impression comes in the form of Hoff’s guitars, specifically the rhythms, which maintain a distinctively heavy, buzzsaw sound throughout. Sometimes the guitars are so heavy they put the music borderline on being categorized as “Power Melodic Hard Rock.” This is quite evident on the catchy “Heaven’s Crying Too,” which also contains its share of a common Johansson scream or two.

The standout winner on the disc, though, is “I’ll Get By,” which is a little more Melodic and more accessible than the other tracks. This one contains, and is opened by, some haunting jabs of keyboards and bleeds over into an outstanding chorus that challenges Johansson to sing the chorus over several ascending octaves. He truly shines here with the additional multi-tracked chorus of “Woah-woah-ohs.” The whole song is accompanied by a strong, tight rhythm section and drum backbeat … truly splendid!

Bottom line, this one is eleven tracks of Melodic Metal goodness, containing only one track that borders on being a ballad. The biggest deterrent will be how many newcomers embrace the distinct, typically scream-infested vocals of Johansson. His vocals are a refreshing change of pace from the frequent clean-cut vocalists that typically adorn this type of Hard Rock. The Tommy Hansen production is solid and shines throughout with a nice clean bottom end on drums and bass, and, of course, the aforementioned guitars of Hoff … heavy and always present. Let’s hope the band’s line-up can hold constant and continue to deliver gems like this release! This one can be chalked up as “Comeback Of The Year” and belongs on every Melodic Hard Rock lover’s Top Ten list for 2006!

Per Johansson – Vocals
Søren Hoff – Guitar
Peter Steincke – Bass
Micke Kvist – Drums


  • Scott Jeslis

    Scott is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He handles a lot of Metal Express Radio's public relations, screening of new music and radio scheduling. On occasion, he also does reviews and interviews. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2004.

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