Sunday, November 29, 2009

Fatalist - The Depths of Inhumanity (2009)

Fatalist operates with a very refreshing take on death metal that is actually not so fresh...they take the grisly horror of old school Obituary and Autopsy, dowse it in a little Swedish tone, and then write some fairly memorable tracks with the resulting mixture. This is a band who understands how to use their guitars effectively to create both an atmosphere without sacrifice the power of the riff. These two power saws are hacking straight from through charnel house, splintering bone and sawing through morbid flesh. And yet, there is nothing too gloomy or morose here. The lead work is well placed, and highly atmospheric (like old school Entombed leads from the first two albums, if a little less wild). Wes Caley and Neil Burkdoll then infuse their guitar work with brash, bloodied vocals that fall within the expected, post-Carcass range.

Most of the songs create an excitement, a forward thrust which reveals a near-thrash aesthetic. "Frozen Epitaph" barrels along with some thick but crisp, flighty, thrashing guitar passages while the vocals tear across the top like a chainsaw murder. "Internal Misery" would be the natural result of Entombed writing a sequel to Obituary's killer Cause of Death album. The riffs carry a grim humor to them, and the leads are simple but deep, carrying the track to another level. "Morbid Derangement" grinds into a chuggy thrash rhythm, once again very simple, but quick to get the neck banging. "Contamination" is a full bore stomper, with a similar olden Entombed pace to the rhythm and a little funeral contagion in the bridge melody. Other gut wrenchings of note include the groovy Grave-a-long "Homicidal Epitaph", the grinding "Life Deploration" and the plasma churning "Rivers of Blood", with its murderous melodies.

Fatalist embody a lot of class from both sides of the Pond, and The Depths of Inhumanity can wisely play into the death metal advocate's nostalgia for the genre's swampy Floridian roots and Swedish meat cleaving carnage. The band mixed and produced the album themselves, and it sounds vibrant like fresh slaughter. There are a few tracks which don't develop nearly as well as others, and so it's not wholly consistent, but for a debut it was a pretty good listen.

Highlights: Internal Misery, Morbid Derangement, Contamination, Rivers of Blood

Verdict: Win [7.5/10]

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