Thirty Fates – Circus Black

Circus Black  Album Cover Art

Thirty Fates – Circus Black
Rockshots Records
Release Date: 12/10/21
Running Time: 37:52
Review by Simon Black
7/10

This Greek three piece are an unusual find. Although they’ve been around, on and off, for decades, their footprint outside of their native land is not a huge one. But, as I’ve got a little bit more exposed to the Hellenic Metal scene over the last two years, the more I realise that there’s an awful lot of great bands tucked away there, that the rest of the world knows nothing about. Then there’s the impressive guest stars they’ve managed to get involved on this one…

The album title and the cover hint that this might be a concept piece, but the only circus related content comes and goes fairly early, with lead track ‘Indifferent People’ (which also features a guest turn from Angel Wolf-Black, whose backing vocals manage to sound like a full choir was present), with most of the rest of the material being standard Melodic Metal fare. The first thing that strikes you is that this is a very rich and fat sound for a three piece, so one assumes that guitarist, Elias Tzintzilonis, is laying bass down in studio to boot, but I would be curious to see how they might approach a live performance, given the multiple guitar parts and some quite progressive keyboard pieces, that crop up from time to time. 

The latest single, ‘Be Free’, opens with the distinctive screamed introduction from Ripper Owens, a man who, let’s face it, takes the standard of anything he touches up a couple of notches, but actually is in the background here. All the guests are singing largely in harmony to Papakostas, who is more than capable of leading the vocal delivery anyway, but a couple of extra octaves of vocal range from Ripper never harms a Metal song. When they do change pace with the ballad closer, ‘Because We Fly’, it takes you somewhat by surprise, given that it steps sideways stylistically, reflecting perhaps Papakostas’s Pop orientated activities in the intervening years. It shows a level of depth and maturity that make me wish they had stayed a little longer in this groove, as musically it’s also one of the more interesting arrangements, wheeling around a little stylistically, before settling into familiar Power ballad territory. Either way, it’s the strongest song on the album.

This is an album that doesn’t immediately grab you, but it’s worth taking a little longer to invest, as it’s definitely a grower.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Circus of Fate (intro)
02. Indifferent People
03. The Pretender
04. Just For A Little
05. Sign of Rebellion
06. The Edge of Destiny
07. Be Free
08. Depression
09. Because We Fly

LINE-UP:
Elias Tzintzilonis – Guitars
Nick Tzintzilonis – Drums
Stelios Papakostas – Vocals

LINKS:

Thirty Fates Promo Pic

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