Fortress Under Siege

Athens (Attica)
Progressive Metal, Power Metal
1992-1998, 2010-present

As one of two prominent Greek Progressive Metal bands to arise out of the ashes of late-1980s/early-1990s Speed Metal GLADIATORS (the other one being FATAL MORGANA), Athens’ FORTRESS UNDER SIEGE first took form in 1992 as the brainchild of guitarist Fotis Sotiropoulos (guitars – GLADIATORS) in liaison with his former GLADIATORS guitar partner Giannis Vasilakis (guitars - GLADIATORS). As the story goes, while serving time in the Greek military and with GLADIATORS gradually disintegrating, the idea of forming a Progressive Metal band emerged in the mind of Fotis S., who set out to find suitable musicians for the endeavor. In came Michael Smeros (vocals – MARAUDER, NIGHT SHADOWS) and Nikos Dedes (drums – ANGEL HEART, SONIC BLAST), while bass and keyboards were supplied on a session-basis on the band’s debut EP by Ares Matheakakis and Nigel Foxxe respectively – the latter also helping out with arrangements and production. The role of original guitarist Giannis Vasilakis remains unknown, but it appears as if he left before the recording sessions began.

Recorded at AMP Studios (Athens) and issued in CD format via Greek-based label Metal Mad Music in 1996, “Fortress Under Siege” presented FORTRESS UNDER SIEGE as a confident and highly promising act. Stylistically, the four compositions included are performed in archetypical 1990s Progressive Power Metal fashion with the prominent keyboard arrangements of Nigel Foxxe adding a certain symphonic character to the song-material. Although there’s no exact record of how many copies were printed in total, the first edition (about 500 copies) was sold-out quick enough, and the EP appears to have received nothing but praise from magazines/fanzines and should surely be counted as a classic of Greek Progressive-Power Metal.

Following the success of the debut EP, Vangelis Hatziandreou (bass) and George Georgiou (keyboards) were added to complete a permanent lineup, allowing the band to promote their new work via live performances. However, for some reason or another, FORTRESS UNDER SIEGE unexpectedly broke up in 1998 – something which can only be described as a major loss for the burgeoning Greek Progressive Metal scene. However, as will be chronicled in the future on these pages, fortunately this was not the last word in the case of FORTRESS UNDER SIEGE.

To be continued…

Compilation appearances:
* Warzone III [CD, Comp: Metal Invader, 1998]
* Metal Greece Now Vol. I [CD, Comp: Metal Hammer & Heavy Metal, 2016]
* A Tribute to Iron Maiden’s “Somewhere in Time” [CD, Comp: Metal Hammer & Heavy Metal, 2016]

d i s c o g r a p h y :

Fortress Under Siege - EP (CD) 1996 - Metal Mad Music (MMM 001)
(AMP Studio (Athens))
Details: -

Prison Cells (Within My Soul)
Soldier Boy
Robin Hood (Prince of Thieves)
A Legacy in Stone
Michael Smeros (vocals)
Fotis Sotiropoulos (guitars)
Nick Dedes (drums, percussion)
Aris Matheakakis (session bass)
Nigel "Earring" Foxxe (session keyboards, arrangements)
Yet to be reviewed.