Black Fate! Is it just me, or is that skeleton on the album cover cross-eyed? The one and only release from this German metal band was 1986’s Commander Of Fate. The original vinyl LP was released independently via “Fate Records”, and is rarer than a third testicle. Commander Of Fate was re-released on CD in 2002 by a German label, Karthago Records, but that CD is also pretty hard to find. Rather than spend too much money tracking down a copy, I’ve settled for a CD-R ripped from the vinyl. I wouldn’t mind seeing Commander Of Fate re-issued again (by Metal Mind Productions, perhaps?). I’d like to get my grubby hands on a genuine product.
My Worthless Opinion: This is a very solid offering of Euro-metal. Commander Of Fate shares a certain fluidity and lust for melody that would put it into the same category as other mid-eighties German bands like Mad Max, or a more polished Brainfever. Maybe even something Swedish? The album is well-voiced courtesy of one Michael Hüttemann, who has a clean, adolescent voice. One track, Champagne, seems to be sung by a different (much rougher) voice. Either one of the other band members sings this one, or Michael Hüttemann uses a different vocal style (which would be impressive). No matter, the song fits right in on an album full of winners. The prototypical twin-guitar attack carves out a tasty slice of early power metal, with moderate speeds and an emphasis on “the song”. The album closes very strongly. The sincere Frozen Heart is a very effective ballad that changes over to a metal feast for the final ninety seconds. Frozen Heart is followed by a short instrumental called Prelude. Next is the album’s finale, Midnight; a mighty and melodic tour de force. The absolute highlight of the album. (Note: The CD re-issue adds two fine bonus cuts.) My score: B+