FATAL SMILE - Swedish Power, Swedish Glory
by Martin Popoff
Vibrant Swedish traditionalists Fatal Smile have returned after a four year absence with a second record of smart, groovy, post-power metal called Neo Natural Freaks, and the band's play for success outside their frosty native land couldn't be bolder. However the new record, like the debut, is also on small Swedish imprint GMR, which seems incongruous with the strength of the band's stadium-ready sound.
"Yeah, we once had those kind of thoughts," laughs guitarist Y (he's got a long, complicated name - trust me, go with Y!), asked about the biz end of things. "We had like five, six labels that wanted to sign us but they didn't have good offers to give us, so we just decided to do it by ourselves... and we ain't complaining at all. We just do stuff the way we want to do and don't have to listen to someone else telling you what's right or wrong. We just do it 'the Fatal way.' And we just signed a deal for Japan with Spiritual Beast for a Japanese release."
Vocalist H.B. Anderson concurs, when asked about one of this writer's favourite anthems on the new record. "I think that Practice What You Preach ended up being a very strong and powerful song. At first it was a very plain song with no direct chorus, but when I came up with the right lyric and atmosphere around the music, it just grew and is now one of the strongest songs on the album. You ask about inspirations and stuff, well, we have various sources of inspiration. I have my four-year-old son as a main inspiration; he gives me strength and happiness in life. And he is a big fan of our music, so that's an inspiration. Musically, we are influenced by everything from Frank Sinatra to Slipknot. From '70s Deep Purple, Grand Funk Railroad and '80s Whitesnake and Metallica to newer stuff like Alice In Chains, Velvet Revolver etc. But we just simply write what comes up and don't think that much about that kind of stuff. You know, it's just heavy, melodic, raw, smooth, sexy and a slap in your face (laughs). If there are any changes, maybe in my vocals there is just more attitude and less clean voice (laughs). But also, we have a new skin-beater - Tomas. He is the long lost soul in Fatal Smile. He is a fantastic drummer and a super human being."
"I'm damned proud of all ten songs on the album!" pipes in Y. "I think that this is an album you can listen to a thousand times without even getting bored. It's some high-quality shit... that's what I think anyways (laughs)."
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