Fatal Embrace

Dark Pounding Steel

Written by: PP on 09/11/2006 17:18:37

Nope, this isn't power metal, if that's what you thought from reading the album title. Fatal Embrace's third full length album and their first on Pure Steel Records is far from it. What we're treated with here is Slayer-influenced lightning speed thrash meets death metal that's about as innovative and original as Westlife, but as "Dark Pounding Steel" shows, one must not always be innovative and original to be (relatively) succesful (I guess Westlife proved that too).

The title actually describes the album quite well. The guitars have been 'Slayerized' and consequently shred their way through blistering solos while having a heavy, steely-kind of feel to them. This feeling is reinforced by the rapid-fire drumming that the production lifts up to the front even during the solos (whether this is good or bad is up to the preference of the listener), and rightly so, as it demonstrates their drummers ability to thorougly follow through the immensely fast scaling guitars. Song after song follows the same structure: Vocalist Dirk "Heiländer" Heiland yells his lyrics just as angrily and quickly as Tom Araya, guitarists Grigat and LaBoor shred their instruments to pieces and trade a few respectable solos here and there, and Mr Thäle murders his drums at every occasion. Sounds inevidently like thrash metal, eh? The fusion of death metal isn't as strong as one would hope to, and it is only truly present in the lyrical work that revolves around death, death, and...well, more death. Oh and add evil to that as well.

Now this would all be great except for one thing. Slayer did this all in 1983. And again in 1986. And again in 1990. And again in 2006. And countless times in between. Fatal Embrace are like straight from the wrong decade, and to their unfortune, Slayer is still around so we can easily compare great thrash metal with 'okay' thrash metal. The songs are otherwise good, but unfortunately, Slayer's "Christ Illusion" from three months ago is still echoing in this reviewer's mind, and in that sense Fatal Embrace is left with nothing else but a sound aped almost directly from their idols, just delivered less angrily and without the same instrumental perfection as Slayer does.


Download: Born In Blasphemy, Assassination
For the fans of: Slayer, "Kill 'Em All"-era Metallica
Listen: Streams @ Pure Steel Records

Release date 03.11.2006
Pure Steel Records
Provided by Gordeon Music

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