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Fortress Europe - Album Review: Old World

10 Oct 2023 // A review by Peter-James Dries

Have you ever been torn between listening to Mozart or Periphery? Does Epica have too much of that darn singing for your tastes? Does your Spotify playlist look as colourful and mixed as that time I dropped a bag of Hundreds & Thousands into the shag wool rug?

Then have I got an album for you.

Introducing Fortress Europe’s heavy metal opera Old World. A mix of neo-classical introspection, with flourishes of cathartic distorted guitars, laid over esoteric time signatures, Old World is for those music lovers whose tastes stretch beyond the boundaries of genre. A juxtaposition of delicate and heavy. A bogan ballerina.

Whether it is coincidental or the sign of an obscure emerging trend, this is the second Baltic folk-tinged release I’ve reviewed in a row. Where Yurt Party were more of a high energy, rocking and stomping jam band, the mind behind Fortress Europe is obviously a composer.

Where a well-placed Renoir can decorate any space with class and flair, Fortress Europe decorates time in the same way. Labelled as experimental avant-garde, there is nothing experimental about Old World. It is a masterful, intricately planned, and expertly executed art work. Flowing and shifting moods, motifs, and movements on levels higher than the stale old verse-chorus-verse structure could achieve.

Devoid of vocals - you’ll need to check out their 1925-1988 collab with Moonflower for those - the music does the speaking on Old World, and Fortress Europe has a strong voice. But it’s more than just Jakob with violin. It’s a cinematic journey spanning countries, decades, and genres. A soundtrack to a forgotten epic poem.

About as niche as they come, Old World likely isn’t fit for mass consumption, but will appeal to theatre nerds, those edgy types that like “all music”, and fans of pre-industry music. You know actual music that required technique, finesse, and mastery over the craft. Maybe they’d recognize the classical inspiration behind the track Belgrade better than I can.

You can find Old World on the Fortress Europe Bandcamp.

 

About Fortress Europe

Imagine a rocket made of electric guitars launched from a Soviet-era research facility in Bulgaria crashed into a Black Sea freighter carrying a cargo of radioactive cymbals and Sergio Leone movies on VHS.




Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Fortress Europe

Releases

Old World
Year: 2023
Type: Album
1925 - 1988
Year: 2021
Type: EP
Amadeus
Year: 2019
Type: Album

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