Fortis Ventus – Vertalia

Fortis Ventus
Vertalia
Label: Rockshots Records
Out: June 03rd, 2022
Playing time: 59:40

Greece and Symphonic Metal have a long tradition. Names like early Medan Agan, Fallen Arise, Bare Infinity or Enemy of Reality immediately come to mind. But also, the Symphonic Death Metal veterans Septicflesh can be added to this list. Fortis Ventus are existing since 2016. The trio has to rely on a variety of session musicians for live performances and album productions. After the EP “Haunted Heart”, the debut album “Vertalia” is now finished. The album was mainly produced by keyboarder George Halliwell. The songs were recorded at iCave Studio in Athens. The cover artwork is by Greek designer and singer Gogo Melone.

No stand-alone intro. This is taken over by the first chords of “Between Love And War”. You can hear it from the beginning, the Greeks celebrate Soundtrack Metal, in the style of Rhapsody/Rhapsody of Fire. Nancy Mos’s vocal partner is Dimitris Theodorou aka Dee Theodorou (singer of the Greek bands Illusory and Sirens, ex-The Ivory Tower). High soprano meets baritone. A great duet. Oh yes, of course the orchestration dominates, but you also hear heavy riffs and powerful drums. The ballad “Birth Of Sadness” is more melancholic. The title song “Vertalia” also tends towards an epic ballad. Instead, “Cave Of Glass” goes more into the midtempo range. Nancy sings partly in the highest notes. Catchy vocal and guitar melodies, with the double bass in the background setting the rhythm. “Living Thorns” is the bombastic, instrumental prelude to the following “Gothecia” – epic choruses, powerful orchestral passages and a singer who masters the soprano like only few of her profession. With a playing time of more than ten minutes, “Unveiling Path” is an Epic monumental opus. After the Symphonic Metal hymn “My Death Is My Devotion”, the next orchestral prelude follows with “Door To The Unknown”, this time to “Reflections Of Myself”. Here Fortis Ventus really rock out again. A refrain to sing along with. Then the double bass dominates again. Although “The Eagle’s Chase” is more of a midtempo rocker for long parts.  The third ballad, “Homeland”, rounds off the album at the end. 

Yes, the orchestral arrangements are a dominant element on “Vertalia”. But these always fit skilfully into the Metal environment. The Greeks celebrate Widescreen Soundtrack Metal here. But they sound far less cheesy than the aforementioned bands of the current Rhapsody universe. The tightrope walk between Symphonic Bombast and Heavy Metal is quite successful. A convincing album debut.

Fortis Ventus – My Death is My Devotion (Official Lyric Video): https://youtu.be/esxUrI3OgVU

Lineup:

Nancy Mos (Nancy Moschopoulou) – Vocals
George Halliwell – Keys, Programming
Gregory Koilakos – Electric, Classical & Bass Guitars

Guest Musicians:

Gregory Giarelis – Drum Recordings
Dee Theodorou – Male & Choir Vocals on “Between Love & War”
Michalis Artz – Backing Vocals on “Reflections of Myself”
Phedon Vriniotis – Violin on “Birth of Sadness” & “The Unveiling Path”
Maria Mazaraki-Ainianos – Cello on “Reflections of Myself”

Track list:

  • Between Love And War
  • Birth Of Sadness
  • Vertalia
  • Cave Of Glass
  • Living Thorns (Prelude)
  • Gothecia 
  • Unveiling Path
  • My Death Is My Devotion
  • Door To The Unknown (Prelude)
  • Reflections Of Myself
  • The Eagle’s Chase
  • Homeland
  • 8/10
    Album - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Cover-Art - 8/10
  • 9/10
    Songwriting - 9/10
8.3/10
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