Fortune’s Gate

It happens every year; temperatures start cooling down, the leaves start changing colors, days start having an oddly not-at-all-unpleasant feeling of melancholic gloom as the world’s flora begins its decent towards decay – and inevitably my music rotation turns to that of a much doomier variety. Ghost Brigade and Sentenced are always big fall time favorites for me. Alcest and Solstafir will always do the trick on an autumn hike through the Adirondacks or a late-season paddle on a river or lake. A weekend drive through the mountains with Insomnium? Yes, please and thank you. I can’t help myself! It’s my basic-metal-bitch version of pumpkin spice, infinity scarves and sweaters.

This year, however, something feels somewhat different. Yes, my fat ass is certainly welcoming the end of humid 90 degree days with enthusiastically open arms, but I’m not ready to totally let go of the vitality and vibrance of summer just yet. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that summer celebrations this year were so widely put on hold, and maybe it has something to do with a certain French Heavy Metal band named Furies taking me by surprise and putting out an album so fun and energetic that I’m finding it harder to get muddled down in the gloom and doom of the season. That’s right, friends – put away the flannel a little longer and dive right into Fortune’s Gate with me. The water’s fuckin FINE.

It’s always a joy to listen to a band and just know that the members are having a goddamn ball doing their thing – and Furies hits that nail right on the head. A super upbeat, enthusiastic blend of old-school Maiden-esque Heavy Metal with some modern twists that doesn’t really fit into any specific category or another – just good, simple, un-fucked-with METAL, and I’m all for it.

From the quick jumpstart of “You & I,” to closer “Unleash the Furies,” the band rarely stops to take a breath or take the foot off the floor. Singer and bassist Lynda Basstarde (I told you these guys are here to have fun) deftly leads the way with her impressive, soaring vocals that grab your attention on don’t let go. She’s no slouch on bass, either – more than holding her own and doing much more than just providing a rhythm backbone. Standing right beside her are two fuckin’ kickass guitarists in Billy Laser and Sam Flash – who spend the album moving from one catchy, thrashy riff to another, trading impressive solos at will and showing their chops with gusto. Second track “The Fortune’s Gate,” a speedy, almost power metal track along with follow-up “Voodoo Chains” really put the band’s talents all on full display – tight guitar work and limber bass lines stack nice and clean over drummer Zaza Bathory’s super-solid, busy drumming.

The production work on this album really works in this band’s favor, as well. Everything sounds crisp and evenly mixed, allowing for everyone to mesh really well while still allowing the band’s individual efforts to shine through. The churning, chuggy riffs on French-lyric’d track “Antidote” get your head banging while Lynda Basstarde layers in some nice little bass line runs for some added flourish and depth. Meanwhile on tracks like “Never Say Die” or “Prince of the Middle East,” the bass lays the groundwork to let the guitars really get out and front for some inspired acrobatics.

And it’s a well-balanced record, as well. While the whole album remains upbeat, it switches nicely from thrashier tracks like “You & I” and closer “Unleash the Furies,” to more mid-paced Heavy Metal tracks like “Delusions of Daylight” to superb anthems like “Superstition” – all of which help the album from becoming predictable or repetitive. The one common theme that carries throughout is that of just pure fun. A little quasi-spaghetti-western break in “Fire in the Sky” before launching back into the track’s thrashy main riff, with Basstarde screaming “FIRE! FIRE! FIRE” – it’s just a fucking blast. If you can make it through this thing without a single grin creeping on your face, it might just be too late for you. You might already be dead. RIP.

Excellent musicianship, an unbreakable dedication to having fun, and a sound that’s both timeless and refreshing: this is an unbeatable recipe for success, and Furies have followed it in spades. This is a young band who have already come up with something really great here, and have the potential to do some special things. I’m gonna keep the moody Melodeath on standby for a little while longer this fall, cuz these guys are just having too much fun.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Steve K
November 10th, 2020


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