FATE – If Not For The Devil (Frontiers Music remastered +1) [2023] *HQ*

FATE - If Not For The Devil (Frontiers Music remastered +1) [2023] *HQ* - full

Next December 1st Frontiers Music present the reissues of three classic albums from Denmark AOR / melodic rockers FATE ; “If Not For the Devil”, “Ghosts from the Past”, and “V” – all being made available digitally globally in remastered form, including previously unreleased tracks.
Overwhelmed by the unexpected response to the reissues of their Eighties albums, in 2006 Fate decided to give it another shot. Comeback album “V” was recorded and produced by Tommy Hansen – who also did Fate 1990’s “Scratch’n Sniff” – and was greeted as the perfect follow-up for the band’s fourth album, despite the gap of 16 years.
”V” was followed by ”Ghosts From the Past” (2011), and then this ”If Not For the Devil” (2013) solidifying the return of one of Copenhagen’s favorite melodic hard rock sons.
Now augmented with a previously unreleased track, ”If Not For the Devil” 2023 remaster sounds fabulous.
“If Not For The Devil” delivers the traditional Fate melodic / AOR numbers, but also some harder, darker tracks placed in the second half of the disc.

All starts with the killer “Reaping”, a goose-bumping rocker driven by a kick-ass riff and smashing drumming, where the potent vocals are backed up by generous doses of keyboards.
Next, title track “If Not For The Devil” is one of my favourites; mixing hard with Scandinavian AOR this one is pure adrenalin via stabbing synths, a steady rhythm section and sharp guitars (including a great solo). It must be pointed Dagfinn Joensen’s awesome vocal performance, one of the highest virtues of this recording.

If the previous songs are fantastic, then the pair “Bridges Are Burning” and “Feel Like Making Love” are even better. The former jumps via terrific guitar / keyboard chains of wonder, the latter is a heavenly melodious piece of Hard / AOR in the best Scandi tradition with a foot-tapping hook and a luxury chorus.
Both highlights.

“Gambler” is another solid one, mid-tempo paced and with a modern Melodic Rock vibe rich in keyboards, where the instrumentation is slightly more separated to provide variation, followed by the simple yet effective power ballad “Hard to Say Goodbye” with acoustic guitars, pianos and crowned by a short but intense solo.
We’re at track 6 and you feel this is an album to purchase and keep.

On the second half we find Fate, as mentioned earlier, trying new sounds on some songs.
All are stamped with the band’s signature style, but the guitars are tuned down a little as on the groovy “Made of Stone”. The marching “Man Against The Wall” has a structure recalling mid-eighties post NWOBHM era but rounded with a modern sound.
“My World” reminds me nineties British TEN (Gary Hughes), the moody “Turn Back Time” is quite melodic and “Taught to Kill” is the heavier song on the CD with strong riffs and mysterious keyboards. “Gimme All Your Love” close the album in modern Melodic-Hard way akin the present Swedish scene like Tommy Denander.

Some my argue that “If Not For The Devil” is a mixed bag, but to me is a fantastic album by Fate. With a ‘mixed bag’ I mean rabid AORsters will love the first 6 songs and perhaps not so much the second half of the disc. Wrong.
Fate conjure on this album their melodic ’80s origins (AOR / Melodic Rock) with the band’s more edgy, harder Nineties era. And works greatly. You have awesome, classic catchy Scandi tunes and then more groovy rockers, something like side A / side B.
There’s a sharp production, never boring songwriting, tight musicianship and a jaw-dropping vocalist who works in perfect sync with Fate’s diverse musical orientation here. What else can you ask for?
Highly Recommended


01 – Reaping (2023 Remastered Version)
02 – If Not For The Devil (2023 Remastered Version)
03 – Bridges Are Burning (2023 Remastered Version)
04 – Feel Like Making Love (2023 Remastered Version)
05 – Gambler (2023 Remastered Version)
06 – Hard To Say Goodbye (2023 Remastered Version)
07 – Made Of Stone (2023 Remastered Version)
08 – Man Against The Wall (2023 Remastered Version)
09 – My World (2023 Remastered Version)
10 – Turn Back Time (2023 Remastered Version)
11 – Taught To Kill (2023 Remastered Version)
12 – Gimme All Your Love (2023 Remastered Version)
13 – Chasing The Dragon [Previously Unreleased]

Dagfinn Joensen – Vocals
Torben Enevoldsen – Guitars, Vocals (backing)
Peter Steincke – Bass
Jens Berglid – Drums
Mikkel Henderson – Keyboards

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1 Response

  1. Anonymous says:

    Apart from the extra track this seems to be a pointless exercise. The originals sound the exact same. the would have been putting together an ep with four new tracks. Just my tuppensworth.

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