There’s nothing quite like a sinus-clearing does of old fashioned heavy metal to banish the wet and cold of the winter months, and this EP from Broken fate does a grand job of punishing the senses. Ostensibly a cross between Testament, Whitesnake at their very heaviest and with hints of Iron Maiden, Broken Fate are a hard-edged proposition who do a grand job of building anticipation for their 2014-mooted album with this belting five track (six if you include the brief intro) EP.
Opening with ‘rise’, a brief, scene-setting intro track which gives the EP a suitably epic feel whilst allowing lead guitarist Roman Leeser to demonstrate his skill, the first full-length track to detonate is the high-explosive blast of ‘your night’ which takes the classic rock chops of Whitesnake and places them in a blender with the diamond edged thrash of Testament and even a hint of the brutal groove so beloved of Lamb of God. In Tobias John Banteli the band have a powerful vocalist who manages to hold down a mean melody whilst simultaneously adding enough of a growl to keep things on the right side of brutal, and the band never let up, throwing multiple riffs at the track, refusing to drop the pace for even an instant. It’s a pure adrenalin shot to the heart, and the production (V.O Pulver) does a good job of representing each instrument with enviable clarity. ‘The way in your eyes’ is up next, and it capitalises on the excitement of the opening track by launching itself at the listener without so much as a pause for breath. The track’s a beautifully brutal one and with Tobias neatly shifting between his more tuneful roar and a full on metal growl, the band push ever further into heavy territory, banging heads as they go. With the riffs flying thick and fast, you can only imagine how good this band must be in the live environment and drummer Alessandro De Cicco certainly impresses with his near metronomic timing and devious fills.
Next up is the EP highlight, the frantic ‘eternal memories’ which slams almost physically into the listener with its furious opening riffs and fist-pumping bass lines (Dario Stutz) and you can just imagine a stadium full of metal heads throwing the horns to this full-tilt metal behemoth. ‘Fate’ is the EP’s token ballad, delivered with a fire and passion that is unmistakably genuine and which speaks to the heart of anyone who has ever tried their hand at the creation of music. ‘Fate’ is very much Tobias’ track, highlighting his prowess as a vocalist and while it is no ways a slight against the wonderful music, his vocal shines here thanks to the raw emotion that is shot through every line. ‘Frozen’ closes the EP with the guitars chugging hard against the throbbing rhythm section, as Roman once again takes the opportunity to demonstrate his remarkable skills on the lead guitar. As unusual as it is to close an EP out on an instrumental, the track harks back to the days when Metallica would regularly include instrumentals in their set and the varied riffs and innovative structure the band employ highlight the immense musical skill at the heart of Broken Fate.
Metal, at its best, should leave you feeling invigorated and revitalised no matter what volume or stereo system it is played upon. Over the years mighty tracks like ‘master of puppets’, ‘angel of death’ and ‘Holy wars’ have all left metal fans reeling with their power and precision and it is into this fundamental truth which Broken Fate have tapped. The music is a blast, a heart-felt trip through the band’s love of heavy metal and over its five tracks the EP highlights both the skill with which Broken Fate are possessed and the passion which illuminates their souls. Not so much a tribute as a love letter to the whole genre we call heavy metal, ‘rising to the dream’ is a powerful EP from a very promising band and an absolute riot form start to finish. Excellent stuff.