released October 31, 2013
All songs written by Fortress, except The Fortress Holds written by Benjamin McDaniel - www.distantempire.com
All songs recorded, mixed, and mastered by Tim Green at Louder Studios - louderstudios.com
Cover artwork by Andy Westoff - westhoffenator.tumblr.com
"We were pretty much already sold before hearing a single note from this new Bay Area metal horde, based almost entirely on the record cover, a super bad ass D&D style drawing of a compliment of orcs (we presume, nerds feel free to correct us), wielding axes, shrunken heads on pikes, weird bird dragon things, not to mention a hot naked human female, no doubt the spoils of whatever metal war these guys were waging, and they're called Fortress, the band logo like some stone hewn castle, and of course there's the description of the band on their website: "Fortress are ancient battle sorcerers, who, for one thousand sun cycles, have cheated death and dealt blistering heavy metal thunder upon the known and unknown worlds. They are also nerds." Both of which are true, they most certainly do rain down heavy metal thunder, the sounds classic metal riffery, harmonized guitar leads, the sound epic and supremely majestic! And they are also most definitely nerds, check out the song titles: "Goblin III", "Rad Racer", "Kevin Bacon", "Huxtability Verified" and of course opener "Jumanji", complete with the bellowed chorus: "Robin Williams, you're full of shit!". So yeah, already you can tell, these guys have tongue firmly in cheek, but their metal is no joke. With a slightly different cast these guys could find themselves sonically aligned with Slough Feg instead of Hot Fog, but hell, we digging this, inside jokes and all. The vocals might be the one thing that keep Fortress from being true metal masters, unlike the majestic metal croon of someone like Slough Feg's Mike Scalzi, the vocals in Fortress are more of a raspy punk rock bellow, which had us thinking of bands like Karp or Godheadsilo, but for folks who dig both classic metal and metallic punk, these guys definitely kill it, lacing their sonic epicry with the appropriate sound effects (thunder, rain, etc.), and mood music, and interludes, and even with the punkish bellow, and some straight up joke tracks, the second their sound soars into some majestic metal moments, all fist pumping, head banging, harmony guitars, or power metallized pummel, your metal heart would have to be dead for you not to dig it.
180 gram black vinyl with blood red splatter, the aforementioned killer cover art, and includes a digital download too!"
- Aquarius Records