While in some parts of the world (chiefly North America) trends in the heavy music world come and go – such as the recent second wave of thrash bands.
However, trends sometimes never end in certain countries, with Germany basically being a musical safe ground for the classic speed and power metal acts from years past, with bands such as Motörhead consistently drawing huge crowds and album sales. Of course the country has its own fair share of the fast and furious, led by the likes of Kreater, Destruction, Grave Digger and Sodom.
Though forming a decade after the heyday of the Teutonic Thrash scene, Berlin’s Fatal Embrace certainly aren’t afraid to nod the cap once or twice to the classic mid 80’s sound from both Deutschland and the USA. The opening “Wake the Dead” sounds so much like Slayer that it could have been an unreleased World Painted Blood tune, which is swiftly followed by the Testament-aping “Nothing To Regret”.
Frontman Heiländer’s vocals move effortlessly from a Tom Araya-esque yell to a larynx shredding shriek, while The Empires of Inhumanity is further enhanced by the whammy bar destroying solos from axemen Moloch and Spezi – just check out the screaming leads on “Another Rotten Life” and more melodic middle section of “Way To Immortality”. The lengthy title-track is probably the only time where the band makes an attempt to add dynamics to their sound by slowing the pace right down to a funeral march, although Heiländer’s rough vocal attack takes away a fair chunk out of the doom orientated vibe.
Rounding out the album is a note for note cover of Iron Maiden’s underrated classic “Killers”, with the frontman’s vocals probably sounding more like Paul Di’anno than the man himself does these days.
While detractors will more than likely say that the band aren’t doing anything original, Fatal Embrace sure as hell aren’t here to reinvent the wheel, instead they’re here to pay homage to the great thrash acts of the last couple of decades and to bang the head that does not bang.
1. The Last Prayer
2. Wake the Dead
3. Nothing to Regret
4. Haunting Metal
5. Another Roten Life
6. Empires of Inhumanity
7. Into Your Face
8. Rapture for Disaster
9. The Prophecy
10. Way to Immortality