Well, what a difference a fresh line up makes. Having taken hold of the Hitten mantle, new vocalist Alexx Panza really sets the bar high for traditional metal. This Spanish band, now on their third album, produce real metal taking in influences as far reaching as Crimson Glory, Hittman, Judas Priest, Leatherwolf, The Rods and even some Stryper for me. So if you have jumped straight down the bottom of this review for the rating, then yes, I really like this!

‘Take it All’ is pure US Power metal, taking the best elements of the aforementioned Crimson Glory and Hittman, the same could be said for the following ‘Final Warning’. Then the title track ‘Twist of Fate’ takes things to another level. When the track develops and there’s a touch of an instrumental and guitar solos, there’s “Keeper I & II” Helloween inspiration heading into the speed metal spectrum. This is simply awesome, the flow, it’s really special. The insane power scream at the start of ‘On the Run’ sets you up for a good old metal stomp as does the more commercial sounding ‘In the Heat of the Night’. This actually starts like Thrill’s in the Night’ by Kiss then Hitten take their own majestic stance on making yet another track a memorable, metallic but melodic juggernaut. ‘Rocking Out the City’ has me foot tapping like The Rods, ‘Flight to Freedom’ has that personal craving of mine, the galloping staccato guitar rhythm similar to some material by the yellow and black attack mentioned earlier.

Hitten may have teetered on the edge of greatness with their previous two full length albums and EP/single releases, but I feel with the new vocalist on board, this makes the big change and that’s the critical quality that’s really pushed the song writing further. There is a massive resurgence of energy, the song structures are effortless and every single track is as memorable as the former. ‘Twist of Fate’ is not a gamble; it’s a genuine life choice for the traditional metal fan. For those who love their High Spirits and like the smile that such a band gives you, then I would suggest this one by Hitten. So far, this is my highest ranking of the year and for me with real justification. It’s a pleasure from start to finish and a release that really sets the stage for some recognition in the right quarters for the band.

The whole album delivers class, a purest form of quality, maturity when taking some excellent influences on board and presenting a real gem of an album in their own form.

(9.5/10 Paul Maddison)