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Fatal Smile - World Domination (CD)

Fatal Smile
World Domination
by Grigoris Chronis at 14 February 2008, 11:03 AM

I first came across FATAL SMILE when reading for some support slots to W.A.S.P.'s gigs across Europe. Bearing in mind this would be a rookie 'hopeful' band, I was kinda surprised to check out they were not that 'new', since they fool around with heavy sounds from the mid-90s. World Domination is the outfit's third full-length and is - indeed- a good reason to know them better, if you feel you're 'into'…
…sleazy/rockin' Metal music the Swedish way. And - to avoid the initial misunderstanding - let's say FATAL SMILE is not in the same vein of current bands like CRASHDIET or CRAZZY LIXX. Not that their music is completely different from the aforementioned 'hairspray' bands, the 4-piece act sees a sound/songwriting style flirting with both the dirt of 'filthy' Hard Rock but also - equally, if not more - the 'classic' Metal basics (like W.A.S.P., in philosophy). Taking the chance to run through their back catalogue before listening to World Domination, it is essential to confirm FATAL SMILE's non-differentiation in most sectors, in relation to their previous recordings. Both 2002's Beyond Reality and 2005's Neo Natural Speaks boasted lots of glamorous 'dirty' Heavy mid-tempo scales of power and so does World Domination. I can now see the W.A.S.P. relation, which is somehow 'stronger' than I primarily thought.
These Stockholm vagabonds like to build walls of power (Stranger, No Tomorrow, Fatal Smile) while SKID ROW/VELVET REVOLVER/BLACK LABEL SOCIETY aesthetics float around (Primed & Ready, Straight To Hell, Eve Of War); in the meantime, hard 'n' heavy moments (S.O.B., Run For Your Life) take hold of your adrenaline, whereas more 'current mainstream' moments (Out Of My Head) may or may not tease your taste in the first place. The guitars could be influenced by Zakk Wylde's playing, but I feel this outcome is more of a desire expressed by the one-and-only Michael Wagener (METALLICA, MOTLEY CRUE, OZZY OSBOURNE, SKID ROW) who handles the production. The man's done an excellent work, in terms of providing ample and in-your-face guitars and rhythm section.
Blade's voice is an interesting story: he's blessed with the charisma of singing as a classic Metal singer while - when the tracks requires so - he can stand up tall to be considered himself a New Rock/Metal frontman. His throat is impressively vivid and he seems capable to 'drive' the melodic lines wherever he wants to. His performance in e.g. Run For Your Life is equally modern and traditional, aggressive and emotional…His very first release with FATAL SMILE this is (he replaced former singer H.B. Anderson in summer 2007) but I think there'll be limited of disappointment for the rest of the band's choice (FATAL SMILE also parted ways with bassist Markus Johansson last May, replacing him with Alx). Not to forget to point out, the guitar work is simple yet alluring, with lots of originality and less of wanna-be attitude. They stand one foot to the 90s/00s (as pre-mentioned) while flirting strongly even with the THIN LIZZY guitars' legend or BLACK SABBATH's/OZZY OSBOURNE's wall of doom.
World Domination is in the thin red line of trying to get 'sleazy' rocknrollers and 'rocking' metalheads to shake hands. The album has all the weapons needed for such a mission. Fresh air, classic guidelines, an excellent singer, guts, power…A good release by a bunch of guys who like to play with melodic diamonds thrown into some filthy pit (check Too Far Down!). World Domination is an interesting album, by all means. FATAL SMILE has collected three decades of Hard/Heavy music in one very good album.

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
S.O.B.
Stranger
Primed & Ready
Too Far Down
No Tomorrow
Out Of My Head
Run For Your Life
Fatal Smile
Straight To Hell
Eve Of War
Lineup:
Y - Guitars
Blade - Vocals
Alx - Bass
Zteff - Drums
Record Label: Locomotive Records
     


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