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Fatality: Psychonaut

This is an ambitious new release from Fatality, a thrash band possibly just as famous for their commitment to hard living and wild partying as they are to thrash metal itself. With this album, though, the guys explore some new directions, giving listeners not only an ambitious body of songs, but also a little more depth to their lyrical themes. Fans will still recognize the old Fatality—all the components that make them strong are still here—they are just trying out some new ideas.

Psychonaut works. Unlike other bands, Fatality is especially good at constructing longer songs. Their songs have lots of good musical ideas and transitions, accompanied every step of the way by energetic and exciting leads. If nothing else, interested listeners should definitely check out "Thrashterpiece II," not only one of the best tracks on the album, but also one of the better instrumentals I've heard lately. The performances are rock solid. I had the most fun following Adam Zlotnick's bass lines on that track. He is never satisfied to simply play the root note over and over. He roams around, finding new notes and patterns to keep things going. Alongside him, the guitars and drums keep up the pace beautifully. Be sure to check out the guitar solo about toward the end of the five minute mark. These guys can play.

The other songs on this album are all built on straightforward and modern thrash techniques and practices. From start to finish, the music is played with the restless energy that gave this style its name. For me, the best tracks were probably "Thoughts Collide," "Before the Collapse," "Monstrous," and "Thrashterpiece II." As I already mentioned, these guys are really strong performers. I almost liked them better when they just let loose and played.

Spencer LeVon has a good thrash voice, but some listeners will likely require a few minutes to adjust to his style in a couple of places. LaVon is at his best when he delivers straightforward punk-inspired singing and shouting. At times, though, he isn't afraid to veer way off course, exploring notes that are frankly out of key. Near the end of "Enter Purgatory," for example, he goes to the point of a somewhat nerve-wracking discord. It works well, but be prepared to squirm a little bit.

Ultimately, this is a strong and impressive performance by a thrash band that really knows how to jam. As far as I'm concerned, any band that helps keep thrash alive is well worth a listen.

Track Listing:
1. Enter Purgatory
2. Thoughts Collide
3. Monstrous
4. Before the Collapse
5. Towards Disaster
6. Psychonaut
7. Satan's Shepherd
8. Thrashterpiece II

Added: July 1st 2013
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1994
Language: english

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