Melodic progressive metal project FORTIS AMOR has been a passion project for guitarist/vocalist/composer/
With one listen, it’s clear that the different styles and influences on Fortis Amor quite literally transcend any recent metal trend defined by a period of time. After spending nearly two decades honing a signature sound, incorporating years of inspiration becomes inevitable. Fortis Amor creates a progressive blend that will appeal to any listener – combining complex songwriting and clever guitar solo styles one might liken to bands such as Between the Buried and Me and The Contortionist, melded with more straightforward, heavy progressive rhythm sections harking back to early Devin Townsend and Nevermore.
Listen to FORTIS AMOR‘s first single, “Holding On To Nothing” now via HeavyBlogisHeavy.com: http://www.heavyblogisheavy.
Duke says, “I began writing some of the songs on this album as far back as 1998, which might be why this album sounds so timeless. I don’t feel it can be tied directly to any passing trend. I would say 75% of the writing for this record actually happened between 1998 and 2005 on an acoustic guitar in total solitude.”
With uncapped time on his side, Duke was able to create and engaging soundscapes that almost trick the listener into believing they’re hearing a full band throughout Fortis Amor‘s 10 tracks. Aside from select guest solos by Jack Daniels (War of Ages, Hope For The Dying) and Zack Uidl (ex-7 Horns 7 Eyes), the record is purely a one-man effort.
“After playing in many bands, I found it very hard to find the right fit for the vision of the music, which is why I remained solo in the end,” adds Duke. “That said, I wanted to make sure this record didn’t sound like a solo record. I love massive and elaborate soundscapes. Getting a big sound can be done with more layers, but that often lead to making things really hard to mix and instruments getting lost in the final recording. I think it’s more about letting the music breathe and good songwriting. Keeping the listener engaged and captive, so they keep wanting to hear what comes next.”
Fortis Amor opens gracefully with an orchestral arrangement accompanied by intricate acoustic guitar, but wastes no time revealing its true nature – a blend of hooky, rhythmic metal accented by passionate vocals and mixed atmospheric undertones. The overall tone of Fortis Amor is positive emotion, which is reflected by the project name, meaning “strong love” in Latin.
Duke adds, “This record is heavy, but in no way is it what you’d expect when listening to metal. My perspective on music is to embrace the intensity and aggressiveness of metal and use it to symbolize love and passion rather than hate and anger. I find that many young metal musicians start out angry and then… we grow up. We aren’t as young and frustrated with the world anymore. This record finds me in a place of growth and understanding as an artist.”
Duke explains that the album art is also telling of the album’s concepts, “The album art concept was derived not only from the tattoos that I have, but from the songs on the album themselves. The man on the cover is being torn apart which comes from the song “Particles” which starts the album. The art coincides with the rest of the tracks too, essentially focusing on redemption, hope and getting your life pieced back together to become more of who you were meant to be.”
FORTIS AMOR utilized Kiesel guitars, Bareknuckle pickups, Taylor Acoustics, Clayton pics, Shure SM7B microphones and many other top-tier products on Fortis Amor.
Stay tuned for more tracks and exclusive material coming from FORTIS AMOR leading up to the May 19 release of the self-titled album.
Fortis Amor track listing:
FORTIS AMOR Online: