FATAL SMILE - Know Thy Unknowns
By Martin Popoff

Band comes out of nowhere (even for Sweden). Small label. Easy to miss. But that would be a mistake, if traditional bottoms-up metal that is clean and forceful - but not power metal - is beer in yer stein. Man, this is a very cool band that sounds like, I dunno, a cross between hard hair metal (Slave To The Grind?) and Whitesnake. Or Dio and Guns N' Roses. Or Metal Church and Deep Purple. It's weird, but not weird, just hard to stick a name on. Anyway, I reviewed Beyond Reality six months or so ago and gave it a 9. Still sounds loud, clear, stinging, traditional but just, well, needed out there right now.

"The album was released last year," begins guitarist Y. Unutmaz, when asked for an update (note - this was by email, hence the "composed" tone to his wise words). "We made a video for the track Bad Kharma with the Swedish director Poppe Linge, a really cool x-rated video. You can download the video from: www.gmrmusic.se We have been pretty busy touring, playing some festivals and made our US debut by playing at Metal Meltdown Fest in New Jersey earlier this year. And that went down so well that we'll be going back to US for a three week tour, kicking off at Milwaukee Metal Fest on July the 25th. So don't miss Fatal Smile live; it IS an experience. We have written like 20 new songs that really kick some serious ass and we'll be recording them in the fall. Some really heavy stuff."

I asked Y to see if he could do a better job than me in describing the band's sound. "I think our sound is pretty simple, good, old-time hard rock with up-to-date production, and with a balls to the wall attitude. Let's say cohesive and polished, yet brimming with riffs and attitude. I think that we manage to keep things fresh and interesting, due to a tight rhythm section, a mindful singer and some tasty, soulful and intricate lead guitar work. The album won't disapoint true hard rock fans, with influences from legendary bands like Whitesnake, Metallica, Black Sabbath/Ozzy..."

Favourite tracks on here? Point out some high pressure spots.

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