Human Fortress - Lord Of Earth And Heaven Heir

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Limb Music Products
Catalog Number: LMP 0109-033 CD
Format: CD
Total Time: 50:40:00

LMP delivers another force in melodic power metal in the guise of Human Fortress with their ridiculously titled (in a good way) Lord Of Earth And Heavens Heir.

Ridiculous title aside, Human Fortress are a band that plays metal with a traditional German flavour with so many catchy melodies that it's hard to fault it too much. With six members, each song is given the full treatment and often the band will tease you by throwing all of their skills into more than one song (not many bands are capable of this). This creates an album that is full of surprises and one that is not driven by repetition. Keyboardist Dirk Marquardt gives a Labyrinth like feel and he works hard to keep the disc fresh and interesting. The twin guitars of Volker Trost & Torsten Wolf also work consistently to keep the intense feel present in power metal. With Greek vocalist Jioti Parcharidis, Human Fortress have somebody who is able to match his vocals to the feel of the music. His versatile nature is definitely not monotone or sterile and with little to no accent his voice is pleasant, if not slightly forced. It's kind of unorthodox at times. He doesn't go too high but it's a nice cross of many metal styles. He actually sounds like he would fit into an AOR band quite easily as well. If I was to select a few comparisons - try Jeff Scott Soto, Johnny Geoli (Hardline, Axel Rudi Pell), Rob Tyrant (Labyrinth), and Dirk Thurisch (Angel Dust).

Musically, Human Fortress play more fantasy based metal that is not as epic or classical as Rhapsody but has more in common with Mob Rules, Stormhammer, and Angel Dust. They differentiate their sound with the use of male choirs, orchestral keyboards, and minor use of a narrator. It's fantasy metal in a good way! A couple of slower numbers are present including an amazing ballad in "Forgive & Forget". Producer Tommy Newton (who is getting as much work as Mikko Karmilla and Sascha Paeth) performs admirably without going too far overboard and he gives the band a level sound. Michael Bormann from Jaded Heart also adds vocals to an outstanding track "Light Beyond Horizon".

The cheesy cover art and the horrendous title will attract people to it without even trying, but fortunately it is backed up by being a very exciting, if unoriginal, disc. So, if you're after a metal album that features straight out metal, power metal, melodic metal, epic metal, traditional metal and any other forms of metal, then Human Fortress is worthy of your purchase.

[This review originally appeared November 2002 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

The Dragon's Lair (3:46) / Under Black Age Toil (4:46) / Lord Of Earth And Heavens Heir (6:07) / Divine Astronomy (4:16) / Stroke Of Fate (4:06) / The Fortress (1:12) / Amberdawn (5:15) / Forgive & Forget (4:56) / Damned To Bedlam (5:20) / Light Beyond Horizon (3:44) / Little Flame (7:18)

Jioti Parcharidis - vocals
Torsten Wolf - guitars
Volker Trost - guitars
Apostolos Zaios - drums
Pable J. Tammens - bass
Dirk Marquardt - keyboards


Michael Bormann - backing vocals

Human Fortress (ep) (2000)
Lord Of Earth And Heavens Heir (2002)
Defenders Of The Crown (2003)
Eternal Empire (2008)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin DE

Added: December 19th 2004
Reviewer: Gary Carson
Artist website:
Hits: 653
Language: english


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