Professor Fate – Dante's Inferno

Professor Fate – Dante's Inferno – 4/5

A one man side project of "Mick Kenney", mostly known from "Anaal Narthakh", "Professor Fate" can only be best described as Symphonic Darkwave. Having done all the instruments on the album and all the vocals except on two songs, "Limbo" and the "Violent", "Kenney" brought us a unique vision and representation of "Dante's Inferno". "Kenney" focused here on creating an atmosphere, and he did it will. From a great representation on the feelings of "Limbo", something only a "Dante" reader would know, to creating a satire of some circles, like with "The Glutonous". It should be noted that there are two guest vocalists, "Garm" (Arcturus, Borknagar, and Ulver) on "Limbo" and "Dirty Von Donovan" {Exploder (UK), Mistress (UK)} on "The Violent".

In all honesty, I didn't expect much from this album considering Kenney's musical background, but as soon as "The Gates of Hell" started playing with its powerful rhythms, the choral work, and the haunting keyboards and melodies, all my expectations became different. It showed me how diverse a musician can be. The guitar work is secondary in this album, something I saw is appropriate, but it did had its special touch on "Limbo", the most emotional song of the album, and what I consider to be the best song. The keyboards and synthesizers were used to create an atmosphere that I am sure can't be done with without them. In some songs we can notice he is trying to convey the feelings of the circle, such as in "The Wrathful", and in other songs we can notice a more satirizing feeling like in the feelings of "The Glutonous", which the song's representation is the opposite of that in the poem. I enjoyed the drums. They were used strongly, to create a powerful rhythm in the background, like the one armies used in ancient battles. Although basic, not that technical, and slightly repetitive at some songs, the drum work did what it was supposed to do. We can notice a classical touch on this album, from the piano pieces to some choral parts, which was appropriate for such a work.

The main downturn of this album is the vocals, 'Kenney" is clearly not a vocalist. While he had his good moments, mostly it was weak and raspy, which slightly hurt what he tried to convey. "Donovan" did an alright job on "The Violent", but it wasn't that memorable. If "Garm" sang on the entire album, the whole album would be much greater! "Without hope, we live in despair." This was the description of the state the souls in "Limbo" lived in, and this was the feeling "Garm" with his vocals and the melody of the song brought to me. I so far I've listened to this album more than once, and didn't get bored of it, with "Limbo" on my mind.

The album is a recommended addition to anyone's collection, for diversity. Maybe those who are more familiar with "Dante", such as I, will appreciate it more, but that doesn't mean no one will welcome it. I am anticipating future work, hoping "Kenney" would continue on the path he started and make albums for "Purgatorio" and "Paradiso". I don't think anyone would be disappointed by this.

Highlights: The Gates of Hell, Limbo, The Glutonous, Heretics, The Wrathful and Sullen