While it may be early in the year, after listening to “Fortress” nonstop for the last two weeks, I think I can safely say that this will end up in my top three for the year. It’s not very often that an album comes along, that is so good that it shatters all preconceptions that you had about a particular genre and creates its own.This becomes clear in the first 60 seconds of “Bloodmeat”. Everything that is thrown into the blender really would look like a mess on paper, but it all comes through so clear and perfect. Think of the Mars Volta with Coheed and Cambria, rocking out with Iron Maiden and Dream Theater, all conducted by Frank Zappa with his trademark sense of humor surfacing here and there. There’s also a strong pop sensibility that runs throughout the whole album that lets you know these guys haven’t forgotten that this is indeed a rock album. It may be proggy and dense, but never to the point where it is completely impenetrable. Vocals range from clean, nasal, screaming and grunting. Very diverse, but every style is right for the part. And the guitars…my god, the guitars.
While describing an album that you’re really excited about, it’s hard not to throw around adjectives like “amazing” and “mind-blowing”, and “stunning”, but after one listen, I think you’ll agree with me. The musicianship is top-notch, to say the least. The song structures are other-worldly. There is not one wasted note in the whole mix. It also has to be said that it never sounds the same twice.
Without any reservation whatsoever, it gets a 10/10 from me. Ignore the samples here and just get the album. If you’re already here looking and you’ve managed to get all the way through my review, then it’s almost a guarantee that you’ve found your album. Enjoy.