Death Fortress
Among the Ranks of the Unconquerable


5.0
classic

Review

by rage11111ro USER (3 Reviews)
March 3rd, 2021 | 16 replies


Release Date: 2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: One of the best hidden gems in extreme metal.

Death Fortress is a black and death metal band and by that I do not mean black/death as the elements pertaining to the 2 styles are not really merged but they actually work as very distinct entities, most prominently visible in the vocal work that will be detailed upon later on within the review.

There is no other band I can compare Death Fortress to, despite hearing some opinions making all sort of non-consolidated comparisons, I find it super unique and I will try to explain this in more detail without losing sight that the purpose of this write-up is to review a particular album and not to create a band digest.

New Jersey based output started together in 2012 and has released so far 4 albums. The band consists of 3 members whom are very well seasoned in the underground metal and are and were active in many more other bands out of which Siege Column and Altar of Gore are the ones most to my liking.

To start to move from the overall band aspects to Among the Ranks of the Unconquerable I must say that all discography so far benefits of amazing production, the sound is so satisfying , I really could not ask for more.
But what makes this debut album the shining star in the band's discography is the amazing songwriting , the riffs are very sticky and creative, the rare tempo changes are extremely inspired whilst the way the guitar layers are interwined is nothing short of superb. They create a dissonant feeling that is a bit in the vein of DsO (oops, I fell into the comparison trap) but it is still very different in the construction method and effect.

And then there are the vocals, the make it or break it point of the discussion: I absolutely love the crushing growls and the shrieky screams, each on its own, but having them together is putting the album at top tier level for me whilst I understand that this is really not for everybody.

Drumming is also very good, extremely well timed by making the right choices on when to support the riffs and when to shine through.

TheĀ* array of emotions is as expansive as it can get, I feel sadness, brutal joyfulness (yes, it exists, check this out!), pride, viciousness, ferocity and melancholy.

The sound is so full and round, it's mid paced and also uptempo most of the time if this makes any sense - probably comes from the multiple layers. Honestly this has the unique quality of being excelent at the same time whilst hearing in the background focusing on a tennis game but also whilst being halfattentive during driving let's say and last but not least with full attention, alone in a dark and quiet place, in order to fully embrace the sound and the tiny things that are missed out open casual listens. I do not know how this is done: it's punchy and also soothing, crushing but not ear piercing, flows like a smooth river but also like a monstrous war machine.

This clicked with me from the first listen , not sure if this is the general case, I do not see this being discussed anywhere so I guess not but I stand by it with humility, pride and astute stubbornness.


user ratings (22)
3.9
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
ResidentNihilist
March 3rd 2021


2050 Comments


Oh great another disso-death band.

Alright review, I suggest not analysing the instruments of the record separately but focussing on what makes the album unique or not. Also if you feel it's superfluous to the review cut it out, it's better to have a good short review than a messy longer review. Also don't be too informal as it makes the review look too unprofessional and doesn't seem like you're too focused on the music.

parksungjoon
March 3rd 2021


28957 Comments


>Oh great another disso-death band.

?????????

TheSpirit
March 3rd 2021


27496 Comments


"disso death"

this is a black metal band lol

Digging: Dark Watcher - Hymns Of A Godless Land

ResidentNihilist
March 3rd 2021


2050 Comments


Sorry may have gotten it wrong just Sputnik's endless obsession with disso death bands is getting tiring tbh.

rage11111ro
March 3rd 2021


350 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks a lot for taking the time to write such a detailed and insightful feedback ResidentNihilist, really appreciated, will work on it although the instrument by instrument piece is a tough one to get away from.



On disso..I think the hype moved more towards osdm and caveman death metal

parksungjoon
March 3rd 2021


28957 Comments


>just Sputnik's endless obsession with disso death bands is getting tiring tbh.

theres not even that many of them..

>I think the hype moved more towards osdm

really? i thought that train's been sailing since like 2014 lol

rage11111ro
March 3rd 2021


350 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

#really? i thought that train's been sailing since like 2014 lol



Well, Idk, that's my perception , what's the hype now in your view?

parksungjoon
March 3rd 2021


28957 Comments


the caveman part might be right idk

rage11111ro
March 3rd 2021


350 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Let's try this, you got me started ready to get destroyed, this is pure perception



70s trad doom

80s heavy followed by thrash

90s death, followed by black, followed by nu

00s disso followed by atmospheric/shoegazy black

10s raw black followed by metalcore followed by osdm and caveman



I don't put prog, being high but not dominant at all times

Stoner, sludge, funeral doom had some peaks but none dominant



And on disso death, there aren't many but Ad nauseam seems to destroy everything this year, so far- and I am fine with it



PS: listen to Death Fortress- Among the Ranks of the Unconquerable, I am dead serious about it.3%of my ratings are 5s and this is the least known/rated out of it

TheMightyMrM
March 4th 2021


14 Comments


People really out here making random assumptions about a band's genre when the literal first sentence of the review explains what style they are. Why comment on a review without reading even one sentence of it?

bloc
March 4th 2021


65208 Comments


This band has some sick album art

Digging: Chaka Khan - What 'Cha Gonna Do for Me

rage11111ro
March 4th 2021


350 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Indeed bloc

Azog
March 7th 2021


441 Comments


With well known acts like Portal, Abyssal, Ulcerate, Antediluvian, Mitochondrion paving the way for relative newcomers like Altarage, Ad Nauseam, Omegavortex, I'd say disso death pretty much is still alive and kicking.

As for osdm and caveman, I never got that memo which explains the difference.

rage11111ro
March 7th 2021


350 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Azog, You have just listed like a bunch of bands I love, it is shockingly matching my tastes. One exception: Altarage, pretty sure I heard them at some point, will sure try again.



Caveman DM is stripped down osdm: no or limited : vocal variation ( and it has to sound like a caveman), solos, guitar leads. As well riffs must be straightforward and simplistic. Top of mind examples: Altar of Gore, Sanguisugabogg, Mortiferum, Fetid, Cerebral Rot

Azog
March 11th 2021


441 Comments


You just gotta love Cerebral Rot!

Also, with their 4th album scheduled for release (23/4), you just may want to catch up on Altarage. I'd like to think of The Approaching Roar as their magnum opus, but honestly you can't go wrong with any of them.

Darkbe
March 16th 2021


35 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

good piece of work



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