One of the few bands of note to have emerged from Denmark, Fate made a distinctly mixed comeback in 2006 with the V album which for me was ruined by the sandpaper-rough vocals of Per Henriksen. I assumed we had heard the last of them but they have regrouped with an album that they promise marries a modern approach with their commercial late eighties albums such as A Matter of Attitude. But with only bassist Peter Steincke from the original line-up, the connection to those days is tenuous.

From the spectacular keyboard intro to Children of the Night it is clear that the band are back on the straight and narrow, and that new singer Dagfinn Joensen is a real find, having power and range to his voice and the clear vocal enunciation so typical of Scandinavian melodic rock. He proves that the Faroe Islands has more to offer than sheep and bobble-hatted goalkeepers.

Yet this is no fest of fluffiness; for example the chorus of Seeds of Terror marries a strong hook with a menacing, almost Halford-esque vocal sign off, while Fear of the Stranger follows the blueprint established by Rainbow Rising.

Its an album that could potentially appeal to fans of Euro power metal as well as a more AOR crowd. Guitarist Torben Enevoldsen is allowed to let rip at every opportunity, and the duels between guitar and over the top keyboard solos from Mikkel Henderson are a feature of the album throughout and very reminiscent of fellow countrymen Pretty Maids.

Nevertheless it is the more melodic moments that work best for me. Daddy’s Girl (with the same lyrical theme and sparkling keyboards as Bon Jovi’s Runaway) is one of the catchiest songs I have heard all year, All that I want would not be out of place as the power ballad on a Whitesnake album and The Last Time and I Believe in Rock n Roll have more massive and instantly catchy choruses.

Not all the 13 tracks hit the mark and there are a couple of fillers , but this is an unexpected comeback from a band who rival Skagarack as the best musical exports from the land of mermaids and Lego, and one which will hold appeal to a wide spectrum of tastes.

Andy Nathan