American Heavy Metal!

Stranger than Fiction Forte - Stranger than Fiction (Massacre) 1992

1. "Coming of the Storm" (3:11)
2. "The Inner Circle" (3:35)
3. "Stranger Than Fiction" (3:29)
4. "G-13 (Devoid of Thought)" [instrumental] (1:21)
5. "Mein Madness" (3:55)
6. "Time and Time Again" (3:29)
7. "Digitator" (4:24)
8. "Between the Lies" (2:36)
9. "The Last Word" (3:27)
10. "The Promise" (4:36)

Forte's debut is a powerhouse mixture of power metal and thrash. The production, however holds it back a bit. The mix isn't bad, it's just a bit thin, especially in the guitars which sound like it might have just been one single mike thrown in front of the guitarist's amp. Still, the song writing, playing, and especially the vocals make up for anything lacking in the production department.

Division Forte - Division (Massacre) 1994

1. "Dischord" (3:42)
2. "One Flesh" (3:47)
3. "Inhuman" (3:05)
4. "Division" (4:44)
5. "Thirteen Steps" (3:28)
6. "Legacy of Silence" (4:10)
7. "The Last Machine" (5:14)
8. "Ultimatum" (4:20)
9. "E.2.M.N." [instrumental] (3:07)
10. "Back to Zero" (3:08)
11. "In This Life" (4:35)
12. "Fast as a Shark" (4:09)

American power metal on a German label. What is it with great power metal and speed metal bands from the US that they can't seem to get a deal in their own country, but they sell great in countries like Germany and Japan? The first eight tracks of this album are power metal anthems, track #9, "E.2.M.N.," is a bass solo, "In This Life" a piano and acoustic guitar ballad, and the last song is a killer version of Accept's "Fast as a Shark." Overall, this bands rips out some speedy metal with decent hooks and clean Judas Priest-like vocals. Too bad this type of music is so uncool in the "here today, gone tomorrow" music scene. If these guys had been around a decade earlier they would have been legends.

Desructive Forte - Destructive (Massacre) 1997

1. "Barcode" (2:42)
2. "Deviate" (2:03)
3. "Hammer" (2:09)
4. "Destructive" (2:30)
5. "October" (4:26)
6. "Heal Me" (2:55)
7. "Strength" (2:49)
8. "Never Sleep" (4:10)
9. "The Hard Way" (3:44)
10. "Art of War" (2:25)
11. "Eternal" (4:48)
12. "Far Away" (1:22)

More heavy power metal. One thing you can say about Forte, is that they are consistent. No selling out to trends with this band.

Rise Above Forte - Rise Above (Massacre) 1999

1. "Man Against Machine" (3:06)
2. "Fading Away" (2:26)
3. "Ninety Nine" (3:13)
4. "Forgiven" (5:20)
5. "Rise Above" (4:58)
6. "Destroyer" (3:38)
7. "Poison Tongue" (3:42)
8. "Burn" (2:45)
9. "Over My Head" (3:39)
10. "Until the End of Time" (3:42)

Forte's 1999 release is pure speed metal in the tradition of Judas Priest's "Painkiller." Vocalist David Thompson has a powerhouse voice that sometimes, at his more melodic moments, reminds me of Paul Stanley (KISS) and at his more intense times, Ripper Owens of Judas Priest. This is a powerful CD that never lets up. Great band but only available as an expensive German import.

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