Fatal Smile's 2006 album “Neo Natural Freaks” stands out in my memory as being a good release but just a tad too heavy for my personal liking.So how come I end up reviewing their most recent offering “21st Century Freaks”? Does this mean the band has somehow mellowed out? Not exactly but they did adopt a striking image that immdiately caught my attention. So I headed over to the band's website to find out more and see if they would be willing to supply me with a copy of the record for review. Not much later the CD landed at RR HQ with a small note attached to it asking me to give it a couple of spins before passing judgement. And that's exactly what I have done the past weeks.
The first thing that struck me when the opening track came crashing into my living room was the wall of guitars (courtesy of the combo's founding and sole remaining original member Mr. Y) and the amount of power the Swedish foursome have been able to catch on tape. And that applies not only to “Welcome To The Freakshow” but to most of the other 10 tunes on offer. The best way to describe cuts like the blistering “Nailed To The Wall”, “My Private Hell” or the menacing sounding “Break These Chains” is that they are open invitations for a serious workout of the neck muscles and some energetic fist pumping. Fatal Smile's songs are like battle hymns that are screaming to be played live.
Repeated listens also reveal just how well written the material on offer is and just how much melody is hidden within them.
“21st Century Freaks” isn't a continuous onslaught on the ears however as it contains 2 power ballads in the shape of “Broken Heart” (which wouldn't be out of place on release by Edguy) and the Dio tribute “For The Last In Line”.
To sum things up one can say that Fatal Smile are not reinventing the wheel (nor did they ever set out to do so) on their latest release but it's a fine produced, nicely packaged and well played affair that will appeal to those who favour a dose of heavy metal that combines elements of WASP, Dio, Edguy and Black Label Society. (PS
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Metal Mark nails it. Adolfo wasn't listening to the same album as far as I am concerned... This is seriously excellent! Reminds me a bit of WASP in the good old days, with great vocals, production and songs that are as catchy as hell. Sure there is sleaze, but this is 100% heavy f****** metal!!!! This band deserves to crack the upper echelons of the genre. Strongly recommended.
combines many elements, but is lost. A very coarse band
sleaze at it's best...almost.
One of the finer Swedish sleaze bands polluting my headspace for the last handful of years. Missed their debut, but Neo Natural Freaks was an instant attention-grabber about 4 years or so ago. Their last effort 'World Domination' kicked things up considerable with the addition of new singer Blade, and now '21st Century Freaks' has taken the band to a whole 'nuther level. The new image has enhanced the experience, too. I mean, this band has grown leaps and bounds since I first got into 'em....and in the process they've become heavier as well. Just about can't call 'em sleaze anymore. Damn near metal with a good ear for hooks and melodies. Plenty of rough-housin' goin' on here, with fave tracks being the title cut, Raising Hell In Heaven (sounds like a Lordi title), My Private Hell, Break These Chains and Nailed To The Wall. PS's summation at the end of the review (WASP, Dio, Edguy and Black Label Society) are all aptly applied here! Get it now!!!
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