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Fatal Opera – Fatal Opera (Reissue) Award winner

Fatal Opera
Fatal Opera (Reissue)
by Erik Akos at 01 February 2018, 5:09 AM

FATAL OPERA were a relatively short-lived band in the 90s formed by ex-MEGADETH drummer Gar Samuelson after he parted ways with the Thrash giants. His post-MEGADETH band are known for the incorporation of Jazz Fusion into their base Thrash/Speed Metal style and they have released 2 albums before Gar’s unfortunate death in 1999. Today, we look at their debut self-titled record and decide whether it’s a worthy work of a drummer who was in one of the greatest Thrash bands ever.

Let’s start with the stuff that I didn’t like; and since there isn’t much it is that significant, and thus I can’t say as much about them as the positives - so let’s just get it over with.

Vocals. I feel like they’re completely unnecessary, at least in the way they were executed; not fitting, lacking, and overall stale. I’d really prefer this record to be instrumental, and I’ll explain why when we get to the pros.

Another thing I found rather unpleasant was the production. So, the band’s style is basically Jazz & Thrash, right? So, it’s supposed to be a more musically sophisticated and I well-crafted piece of art than most other Thrash Metal; and that would – in my humble opinion – require cleaner and higher quality production - but here it’s really raw and I just don’t feel like that fits.

Now that we’re done with this, let’s talk about what I loved. In short, „”Fatal Opera”. Oh, you want an explanation? No you don’t; you want to listen to this record.

Okay, jokes aside, I loved how each track showcased the ability and talent of each member. Tracks like ”Moving Underground” is where the rhythm section shines, whilst ”Dead by 1998” and ”Sphere of Glass” are more riff-focused. Of course that doesn’t mean the record lacks chemistry; there are great dynamics here - especially on the 4-plus minute tracks like ”Evil Tears” and again ”Moving Underground”, which is probably my favourite track on ”Fatal Opera”. Another track I think that I should address specifically is the closing one. It's a decent song and has a sense of climax, but it still feels like it's dragged out simply too long for my liking.

Aaaand, that’s about it. The album has great songwriting, dynamics and musicianship, with mediocre vocals and production that doesn’t  really go well with the music.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 4

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Dead By 1998
2. Evil Tears
3. Sphere Of Glass
4. Moving Underground (Bong)
5. The Unwilling
6. The Distant
7. Beaten Path
8. Overshadowed
9. Kill 'Em
10. Moon Turns The Tides
11. Not Lost
12. Fusion Masters
Lineup:
Andy Freeman – Vocals
Billy Brehme – Guitars
Stew Samuelson – Guitars
Travis Karcher – Bass
Gar Samuelson – Drums
Record Label: Divebomb Records
     


Rating

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Edited 16 October 2018
 

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