FATIMA HILL “Valhalla” /CD/



Remastered re-release of the debut full-length album by Japanese Progressive Power Metal Metal band.
Some bands don't get the credit they deserve, even in the Metal Underground. This is the album that is incredibly underrated.
The general sound of this harkens back to Rainbow far more than it does to Helloween, and as that perhaps implies, this is not the album to pick up if you're looking for something really fast and/or heavy. It's quite mid-paced for the most part, and would probably qualify as hard Progressive Rock rather than Metal if it was just a bit softer. Despite the obvious Rainbow influence, it doesn't sound "retro"- there's definitely some influence from modern Metal, as well as perhaps a hint of eighties J-Rock of the heavier sort, along the lines of X-Japan and Loudness. Nor does it sound like straight-up Rainbow worship- the band carves out a distinct identity for themselves in a couple of different ways.
One is the general atmosphere of the whole thing, which is created by some excellent usage of keyboards. This is fairly keyboard-heavy music, but they never seem anything but appropriate- the band avoids having them drown out the guitars, and they work very well to help create an atmosphere.
The other major distinguishing feature of Fatima Hill is their vocalist, Yuko. She is, in fact, probably the element that most stands out about this band. Most female fronted Power Metal seems to take one of two vocal approaches- "angelic"/quasi-operatic style soprano vocals which are both rarely done as well as they should be and which are a horribly overdone cliche at this point anyway, or less commonly, a rougher, more traditional Power Metal style. Yuko's vocals are something altogether different from either. Her voice is very deep, startlingly deep in fact, yet it's also very smooth- she never sounds gravelly-voiced or "tough". Yet despite the deepness of her voice, she doesn't sound at all androgynous- it's pretty obvious listening to her that she's female. Her delivery is very much in the over-the-top Power Metal tradition- Ronnie James Dio was clearly a pretty major influence. It's almost a quasi-operatic style at times, but she would be a contralto instead of a soprano, and as such she never really sounds reminiscent of the usual high-pitched quasi-operatic female Metal vocalist.
"Valhalla" is structured somewhat oddly- there are three relatively short songs at the beginning, and the rest of the album (not counting the bonus track) consists of three long Progressive epics, each over ten minutes. 
It's very, very good album, and served much more acclaim than it got. If you're fan of Progressive and/or Power Metal looking for something bit different from the norm, or like unusual vocalists, just seek it out. Highly recommended!
Remastered re-edition features bonus track.
Fatima Hil Records/WorldChaos Production, 1997/2000 (KDM-004). Made in Japan. Pressed in Hong Kong. Please note: although the CD is new and has never been played there are light visual shabby on the disc surface (happened during transit) that will not affect the sound quality.


Tracklist:
1. Aiesis And Your Bible 6:15
2. Egyptian Tarot 4:43
3. Wheels Of Fortune 3:23
4. The Sun Of Thorns 14:08
5. Valhalla ~The Song For Beatrice Part2~ 13:01
6. Oriel Window 12:14
Bonus Track:
7. Aeon 4:16
Total playing time: 58:00


Samples: http://www.last.f

Leave a review

Please login or register to review

Related Products

FATIMA HILL "The Snow Tower" /CD/

power progressive metal from Japan Worldchaos Prod., 2009 (KDM-026) Tracklist: 1.The snow tower 2.Memento 3.Arabian daughter say 4.Gohst 5.Down to Earth (Paradise lost 8109) 6.Passing bell part2 7.The world 8.Aino-Uta ..

€3.90

FATIMA HILL “Aion” /CD/

Second full-length album by Japanese Progressive Power Metal band. Fatima Hill is the brain-child of Anjue Yamashiro, who plays "6 & 12 strings" as well as electric mandolin for this album. "Aion" features the unique vocal stylings of Diva Yuko's groaning 80's-style ..

€5.90