2017 release. The times when Italia metal bands flooded the European scene are long past. The chaff was separated from the straw and one can say with confidence that - as far as quality is concerned - the Italian scene was all the better for it. Even the bands which appeared after the ebb had begun, were on quite a different level and these bands were able to establish themselves on the scene well. Fogalord is one such band who appeared as part of the second wave and who have been able to make a name for themselves. Their 2012 debut, A Legend To Believe In was a surprising album of the symphonic-/epic metal genre, and which was welcomed with overall positive reviews. Now, five years later, it's successor entitled Masters Of War, is a work with a theme concerning itself with the story of the debut work, a concept album. Fans of bombastic sounds, supported by galloping riffs and a true fist-in-the-air attitude, will love this album. Masters Of War bursts with classical-symphonic songwriting, heartfelt choirs, passages influenced by folklore, bagpipes and galopping rhythms, as well as insertions of influences of genres from melodic black metal to heart-speeding power metal bass attacks. As far as the subject matter goes, it takes the listener behind the tale of the debut album. One of the work's highlights is definitely the ten minute long "The Sword's Will", which shows us all of Fogalord's impressive compositional aspects. "The Storm Of Steel", with it's introduction of bagpipes, is a classical power metal hymn with a tremendous rhythm, whilst the very fast "Rising Though The Mist Of Time" even has passage reminding one of Dragonforce. The poetical "Daughter Of The Morning Light", a highly melodic track, is an excellent example of Daniele's compositional versatility. The guitar work on all the songs are of course of the highest quality so that even critical nitpickers will find little to moan about. The Italians have certainly spread a thick layer of cement under the base of their established class with this album and fans of classical-speedy, highly melodic metal songs will find it difficult to avoid this album.