Exposé Online banner

Fatal Fusion — The Ancient Tale
(Karisma KAR077, 2013, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2014-02-25

The Ancient Tale Cover artThere are so many different ways that music can succeed or fail that it's pointless to try to catalog them. Melody, rhythm, harmony, performance, lyrics, originality, emotional or intellectual content, atmosphere and mood — all music has these qualities and more, and most of them aren't simple good-to-bad ranges, but have multiple aspects and features of their own. When it comes to this Norwegian band, we've got something firmly in the tradition of 70s progressive rock that doesn't really break any new ground — but breaking new ground is certainly not required for quality, so we can set that aside and examine other factors. The melodies are good, the vocals are pleasant, and there's a nice balance between rocking and classically-influenced style. The five long (nine to 18 minutes) tracks cover a variety of fantasy and mythological themes, which might turn off some listeners, but I find the subject matter understated enough to not come off as silly. Keyboards are usually dominant, with tons of piano, organ, Mellotron, and synthesizer parts that are well played and not simply aping past masters. The guitar work has some aggressive tones, but doesn't really stray into prog-metal territory. Tempos vary nicely among the tracks' sections, never dragging on with endless sameness. To these ears, Fatal Fusion doesn't fall into the poppish traps of neo-prog, and also doesn't just sound retro. And in some ways I find it more listenable than bands like Ayreon or even Flower Kings (though the latter's psych leanings are often enjoyable). In spite of the lengthy tracks, I don't find it overbearing or pretentious. So they may not be "fusion" in a stylistic sense, and listening to them shouldn't be fatal. For fans of classic epic prog, Fatal Fusion delivers the goods.

Filed under: New releases, 2013 releases

Related artist(s): Fatal Fusion

Latest news

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ken Pedersen - Deja Views – Deja Views is a collection of 12 piano instrumental pieces based upon various classical themes. Many of the tracks are piano solos, and some have wind or string accompaniment. The songs list people...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues