We receive lots of promo albums here at The PROG Mind. We never guarantee that we will get to review the album, but I do try to listen to everything. Every once in a while, however, an album grabs me when I least expect it. The debut from Fatal Destiny is just such an album. “Palindromia” (meaning “a relapse or recurrence of a disease”) is an excellent album that completely exceeded my expectations. What I expected to be generic progressive metal has proven to be a wonderful fusion of various genres that I can really appreciate.
Hailing from Italy, Fatal Destiny definitely sound, in name and album art, like they should be an Epica or Dream Theater clone. They are anything but this, however. They are certainly progressive with their odd signatures, elongated song structures, and spellbinding moments. They are also definitely metal with their riff-based guitars, heavier sound, and blast beats. However, what all that doesn’t tell you is that Fatal Destiny has a very melodic sense to their style, chock full of sweet keyboards mixed at the same level as the guitars, drums that are precise and not ham-fisted with the blast beats, and plenty of fingerwork on the guitars.
The band is made up of Andrea Zamboni on vocals, Nicolo Dalla Valentina on drums, Filippo Zamboni on bass, and Riccardo Castelletti on guitars. A special guest named Alessandro Bertoni provides keyboards for them. You might recognize Alessandro’s name from his 2013 solo work “Keystone”. Anyways, these guys can really play! Much of their guitar and keyboard interplay reminds me of Joseph Magazine, an instrumental band who only ever made one album. If you know how much I love Joseph Magazine, you would know that’s a huge compliment! Riccardo and Alessandro really play off each other all over this album in a very natural way, often following each other exactly, too. Perhaps Alessandro should join the band?
What really makes this interplay work, though, is the rhythm section in Filippo’s bass and Nicolo’s drums. The bass is vibrant and deliberate while the drums are simply outstanding. Nicolo really has an understanding of offbeat support of the music, throwing in fills and blast beats where they really make sense and boost the music, instead of drowning it. The bass and drums both fill in the gaps that are so necessary in the guitarwork and keys. So, while there is tons of beloved space in this album, you will never feel like there is a void, and it all just works so well.
After reading through the band’s material, I really do feel like this is one band that actually delivers what they promise. They claim to provide a throwback to the “classic canon” of the progressive metal genre, while inputting modern and melodic elements to keep it fresh. I’d say they do just that. While Dream Theater is obvious, I almost feel like Fates Warning and others of their ilk are the primary influences here in metal. The music definitely isn’t “epic”, but it is bright (for prog metal), technical, and groovy. I also sense some non-prog influences, too. There is definitely a pop element here, maybe even influence from the new wave or emo rock of the early 2000’s.
This is mainly heard through Andrea’s wonderful vocal style. I really can’t think of anyone to which I can compare him, as his style is very melodic, accented, and varied in delivery from punctuated to registering at higher ranges. His vocal work on the track “Gate of Time” is especially noteworthy and a thrill to hear. Some of his phrasing, too, is just so right that you could listen to him all day.
Speaking of tracks, I’m unsure of which are my favorites. “Gate of Time” might be because I love the awesome drums and vocals. “Beyond Dreams” is an excellent track with a heavier feel, “Leave Me Here” is highly melodic with a great chorus, and “Feel Alone” rocks, too, with a very deliberate and addictive beat. All the tracks here are top notch, but, if I were to offer just one criticism, it’s that each track sounds pretty similar apart from the normal chorus variations. Obviously, these guys are young and have years ahead of them to mature and evolve their style.
For a debut, though, “Palindromia” is an excellent product. Fatal Destiny has proven that they can make fresh, lively, interesting progressive metal that still pays homage to the past. And they do it with serious chops! These guys having nothing to prove in my book, and I hope to see them thrive going into their next musical endeavors.