Style : Progressive Metal
Rating : 3 out of 5
Summary : Good performances, nice ideas - needs decent production and a studio release
Fude was (or is?) a flash-in-the-pan prog metal act that gained local popularity in its home in north eastern England, but never achieved the recognition it deserved on the world stage.
The band should have done well - these guys have the songwriting and the musicianship and the ideas - but the EP reviewed here is their only significant output and as we understand it, it's a live recording. Had Fude gone into the studio, formalized these tracks and applied higher production standards, chances are the band might have grown into a big fish in the small progressive pond.
We know very little about the band because their CD cover is somewhat economical on its information, the band's web site seems to be off the air, and at the time of writing they haven't logged into their own MySpace page for almost a year.
The album is predominantly instrumental, and the style is a laid back version of Dream Theater or Fates Warning - not quite as rough as Savatage, not quite as soft as the third wave of prog - like Spock's Beard et al. Other than a few moments in the final track, the vocal style stops shy of metal - it's a soft, relaxed, mid-range delivery, held back in the mix, with moderate reverb that never dominates and suits the overall sound rather well.
Secrets is fairly approachable, but you'll appreciate the excellent integration of piano into the music, the chaotic sections in "The Portrait Of Dorian Gray", the piano/guitar interplay in the title track, and the all-instrumental hidden track that ought to feature prominently in the track listing.
The 4 tracks on this EP plus the 'hidden' all-instrumental piece add up to just 30 minutes, but there's no doubt you'll be hitting replay quite often. This music won't blow your socks off, but there are some nice ideas here, it's well performed, and it's definitely worth a listen.