A Legend to Believe In is the debut full-length album by Italian symphonic power metal act Fogalord. It was released in 2012 and is a concept album following the story of “a deity of war in a land of thick mists, although the story is actually based on the history of Dany's (All, vocalist and keyboardist) hometown, Carpi, which was founded by the Lombard king Aistulf in 752 AD”.
I’ve said it before, in my review most previous to this one even (Sound Storm’s Immortalia) but if you’re on the hunt for high quality symphonic power metal, then you only need turn your attention towards the Italians. While Rhapsody of Fire may be ‘the big one’ when it comes to talking about Italian symphonic power metal, you also have high quality acts such as the aforementioned Sound Storm, as well as Ancient Bards (whose guitarists are featured on A Legend to Believe In as guests). Fogalord are a new name on the Italian symphonic power metal scene, but one that I’m sure will quickly be making a name for themselves after this fantastic debut release.
The music is all that you’d expect from a symphonic power metal release, but Fogalord do stir up the formula a bit with the inclusion of some folk influences, which are most evident in the tracks The Scream of the Thunder and The March of the Grey Army. We’re still talking a symphonic approach to the album’s folk elements, but the melody is certainly there. Otherwise we are talking perhaps typically styled symphonic power metal, but the album does have enough going for it that its strengths stand out. The biggest of these strengths being that it is a superbly well written release full of the epic qualities I look for from this type of music, something which is evident throughout but done very much in style for the album’s closing track, Of War and Resurrection, which is a fifteen plus minute piece. An epic is the perfect way to close an album of this kind in my book, and Fogalord pulled out all the stops for this one.
Another aspect of the music that makes Fogalord stand out for me is the vocals. While I think it is fair to say that Dany All has a voice that is best described as an acquired taste, it’s that ‘different’ factor about his vocals which make the album work even better for me. While his vocals may not show off the same sort of epic range than some power metal vocalists have, his voice suits Fogalord’s story telling approach perfectly, especially in the folksiest parts of the album.
Fogalord have kicked off their career the right way with A Legend to Believe In, having shown themselves both skilled at their genre and having their own identity. A Legend to Believe In flows excellently from start to finish and is easily countable among the year’s best power metal releases. An exceptional grade rating is deserved. Power metal fans, you do not want to overlook this one!
(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven (http://metaltube.freeforums.org))