Forte
Stranger Than Fiction


4.5
superb

Review

by DePlazz USER (13 Reviews)
March 14th, 2021 | 30 replies


Release Date: 1992 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Your favorite regular breakfast, done in life-altering fashion.

Let's say you like eggs and bacon.
Imagine you like fried eggs and bacon, done just the way you like it: which could be, say, juicy but crispy on the edges, a bit of smoked flavor, just the right amount of salt and pepper, on a pan or maybe even grilled in the oven. The occasional fried tomato and mushroom to go with it – no!, just focus on the egg and bacon. A nice white coating on the yoke. Might as well scramble the eggs from time to time, why not. That buttered toast to boot. You've been through this a thousand times by now. You know you like it and you know how you like it, and of course you've learned to prepare it just right yourself, according to your taste. Nothing out of the ordinary here. It's not even your favorite dish, and it most certainly is not the most sophisticated or tasty dish on the planet. That's not even the point. Point is, eggs and bacon done your way will always be that one reliable meal to get you up and prepped for a demanding day, or get you consoled and recharged when the night, people, life, or the world have once again failed or exhausted you. When all else fails: eggs and bacon to the rescue.

[Incidentally, if you're vegan, let your mind devise a favorite, well-spiced, routine combination of smoked tempeh or tofu with fried shiitake mushrooms. But on with the eggs & bacon analogy now.]

The plot thickens. You're abroad, visiting friends, or staying at a hotel, preparing to speak at a conference, maybe. You've got up in the morning to a familiar, delicious smell. Someone has prepared eggs and bacon for you. Only this time is special. There's something different. All the regular ingredients are there, but there's a new dimension to it. You thought you knew eggs and bacon intimately, only up until now you never knew they could taste this good. How in the world is this possible? It's an eye-opening experience. Epiphany. New textures of taste have been revealed to you. This is another level of eggs and bacon: only now do you see what eggs and bacon can truly be.

And such is the case with Forté's 1992 full-length debut Stranger than Fiction: a formidable serving of power/speed/thrash metal by four masterful instrumentalists, that compresses unmatched levels of energy into just 34 of the most impactful minutes in the genre.

So on a scale of eggs & bacon (or tempeh & shiitake) how far does this go, you might ask? Instead of an elaborate analysis, let me just leave you with these two pointers:
  • If Metallica's Kill 'Em All was already like Diamond Head's Lightning to the Nations on steroids, imagine Metallica's Justice-age version of "The Prince" at 1.5 speed to get an inkling of this album's overall vibe and prowess.
  • If technical hair metal were a legitimate genre, this album would be one of the few places it would be allowed to exist and express itself freely (yes, Van Halen, I am in fact looking at you).
Taken at face value, to place Stranger than Fiction in the same league with the late 80s-early 90s output by top-tier acts such as Toxik, Realm and Annihilator is no exaggeration at all. History and irony, however, have appointed to Forté the less desirable, but no less legendary status of an underground favorite.



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user ratings (21)
4.2
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
DePlazz
March 14th 2021


2784 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Imagine this album had a thread. What a wonderful world this would be. Funny thing is, their whole discog is quite the treat.

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
March 15th 2021


15912 Comments


Sounds like beacon and eggs Chef DePlazz ;)
I don't think I've ever heard these guys

Digging: Cannibal Corpse - Violence Unimagined

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
March 15th 2021


9095 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Fantastic album, heard it from a friend's vinyl when it was released and I've been frequenting it ever since.



Their latest album is great as well.

Digging: Vision Video - Inked in Red

TheSonomaDude
March 15th 2021


7363 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Oklahoma’s best metal band by far, and one of the most underrated metal acts ever. Great review and awesome shout out.

DePlazz
March 15th 2021


2784 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@Notrap check it out, it's a 34 minute rollercoaster I think you'll enjoy.

This had a reissue last year at the beginning of the pandemic, 2020 was a better year for it.

2020 reissue here: https://tribunalrecords.bandcamp.com/album/stranger-than-fiction-deluxe-edition-2

2011 reissue here: https://tribunalrecords.bandcamp.com/album/stranger-than-fiction-deluxe-edition

And it's on Spotify.

@Voivod I pretty much enjoy their whole discog.

@Sonoma right on, thanks!

ChaoticVortex
March 15th 2021


1143 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Woooo another obscure metal semi-classic I haven't heard yet. Thanks for the recommend DePlazz, and great review.

DePlazz
March 15th 2021


2784 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks CV, I'm pretty sure you will like this. It was a great find for me a couple of years ago, thanks to Source for pointing it out. Deserves more ratings for sure.

Donchivo
March 15th 2021


1170 Comments


I haven't heard this one. I only know III - Destructive which had great tunes but suffered of being a bit disjointed with ventures into neo-Thrash and progressvie and suffered of an extremely thin sound. Nevertheless a decent album, maybe I should check this one out too as it is by far their most reverred album...

Digging: Hieronymus Bosch - The Human Abstract

DePlazz
March 15th 2021


2784 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Do check this one out Donchivo, those 30-something minutes will be over before you know it. I also like their second one, Division, a lot.

WattPheasant
March 15th 2021


6 Comments


Should this band really be labeled as "progressive metal" though?

Edit: Nevermind they are definitely prog metal.

DePlazz
March 16th 2021


2784 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Powerspeedtechhairthrashprog metal, yes.

evilford
March 18th 2021


51357 Comments


"Taken at face value, to place Stranger than Fiction in the same league with the late 80s-early 90s output by top-tier acts such as Toxik, Realm and Annihilator is no exaggeration at all."

YOU HAVE MY ATTENTION

DePlazz
March 18th 2021


2784 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Bold statement I know, haha. But I think it will live up to some of your expectations Ford.

bloc
March 18th 2021


65208 Comments


Sweet I will check this

edit: apparently I gave this a 3 in 2017, will have to reevaluate

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

DePlazz
March 18th 2021


2784 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nah, this should be 3.5 material at least

evilford
March 18th 2021


51357 Comments


Sweet album for sure. Gotta jam moar

JokineAugustus
March 19th 2021


10308 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Jamming now

Digging: Klexos - Apocryphal Parabolam

ChaoticVortex
March 20th 2021


1143 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

So yeah this album slaps pretty damn hard. Production is a bit weak but the crazy, angular speed/thrash songs and the wild solos more than make up for it.

DePlazz
March 20th 2021


2784 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

You've said it. Wish I could've caught these guys live, they seem to have had quite the reputation.

evilford
March 20th 2021


51357 Comments


Heard this a couple times now. Impressive/fun shit



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