F U L L . R E V I E W S
Fatal Smile follow up their critically acclaimed album "World Domination" with what amounts to be their best offering to date. "21st Century Freaks" is monumental in its barrage of towering riffs and "never say sober" lyrics, all neatly tucked into an 80s formula but heavy enough for today's youth. The album is the first for their new label GMR, fitting considering band and label are Swedish. The massive production values can be credited to guitarist Mr. Y.
Album opener "Welcome To The Freakshow" is boiling over with rebellion, all jacked up on tongue-in-groove riffs that support the huge gang anthem. That same sort of sing along anthem can be found on "My Private Hell" and it's arena rock sing along. Vocalist Blade occasionally hits some soaring Halford-like highs on "Nailed To The Wall", a breaking number that that wallops with a splitting groove and the enforced chorus. I can hear that German lore on "Raising Hell In Heaven" (a KISS song title if there ever was one) and some Sabbath slow burn on "Judgement Day".
The highlight for me is the rousing closer "For The Last In Line". The backstory here is that Ronnie James Dio once said that Fatal Smile was the best opening band he ever had. The band lays homage to Dio and his memory with an emotional song that highlights some of Dio's drive and determination. It is an extremely powerful song put to piano before resulting in a power ballad.
"21st Century Freaks" is a must have for fans of Nasty Idols, Miss Crazy and Kissin' Dynamite, all newer bands that sort of fit the spirit of Fatal Smile.
About this Writer:
Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.
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