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Fughu: Human: The Facts/ Human: The Tales

Disappointing double from blustery Argentinian quintet.

Fughu have going for nearly 15 years now, but it wasn’t until Dream Theater invited them along as support on their 2008 tour of Argentina that they started showing up on the international radar.

The following year’s debut Absence owed much to Boston’s favourite prog-metal combo too, as does this latest release – an ambitious statement made up of two separate albums designed to complement and contrast with each other.

Human: The Facts is an exploration of the dark side of things, full of meditations on loss and death. As tracks like Quirk Of Fate show, vocalist Santiago Burgi is clearly a big fan of Fish-era Marillion, though often he comes over too histrionic. Classic prog is full of such things, of course, just as it is momentous guitar solos and busy keyboards. Alas, with the exception of the orchestral subtleties of Winter, this merely reminds you of bands who’ve done it more successfully.

Companion piece Human: The Tales, which appears to address the trials of life itself, doesn’t fare much better. Guitarist Ariel Bellizio may know his way around a decent Sabbath riff, but the whole affair comes over as a hollow victory for pomp over finesse.