Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mottek - Fatal Violence (1990)

Mottek are one of several European bands crossing the bridge from punk/hardcore music to the metal realm in the mid to late 80s (alongside fellow Germans Rumble Militia), and some might argue the validity of such a maneuver, but in both cases it turns out to be rather genuine. Fatal Violence is the only album by this band that I've actually heard, so I'll assume that Hypnose and Riot were the punk works, but it's a practiced thrash album with some amazingly taut riffs, a charging tone highly reminiscent of Metallica ala Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets, with some of the methodical, cutting fortitude of Testament, Destruction or Kreator.

In fact, this is one of the closest albums I've ever heard to Master of Puppets in terms of the actual guitars, and in this light Mottek remind me of what Accuser were writing about this time. Concrete, forceful rhythms that almost invariably cause the sensation of neck strain upon contact. The one difference is the vocals, which here are quite varied. Normally, there's a dirty and lackadaisical barking drag happening ("Fatal Violence", "Bombs Over Bombay", "Fact or Fiction"), but once in awhile they take on a more emotional merit not unlike James Hetfield. I don't actually care for the former, which are in the majority here, but the riffs are so often so damn good that I find them pretty easy to overlook, where elsewhere I might have the entire experience spoiled.

Yes, the mix of ballistic riffing force with hostile melodies is simply too much of that prescription the surgeon weaned me on as a young lad, which gradually transformed into a lifelong addiction to mother fucking thrash. Tracks like "Tear Me Apart" and "Requiem Shuffle" still kill me like it was 1986 all over again. Apparently, the shift to this style was not satisfactory for the band, because it was the last album before they called it quits, but at least they left us with this uncanny yet memorable effort in their wake. Musically, it's pretty derivative, but I do feel that there were not enough bands playing with precisely this tone and formulating it into riffs worth a damn, so it stands as an unsung, minor triumph, even if the vocal presence threatens to nullify its fervent functionality.

Verdict: Win [7.5/10]

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