Fatal Smile - Beyond Reality
GMR Music Group
Hard Rock / Heavy Metal
10 songs (43:13)
Release year: 2002
Fatal Smile
Reviewed by Mike

Beyond Reality is the debut album for the Swedish band, Fatal Smile. The band plays hard rock with some hints of classic heavy metal thrown in. The band includes in its list of influences Whitesnake, Metallica, and Black Sabbath.

First off, I give two thumbs up to vocalist H.B. Anderson. He sings with power and conviction, showing flashes of Blaze Bayley throughout the album. For those of you who enjoy Blaze Bayley's solo work, you will likely appreciate the vocals of H.B Anderson. The second strength of this band is the guitar work. The hard rock guitars are energetic and in your face, sure to make you head bob up and down more than once. The album features heavy (but not speedy) riffs as well as slower, yet heavy Sabbath like grooves. As per song variety, the band achieves a very satisfactory balance with Beyond Reality. There is a good mix of powerful hard rock tunes with an equal amount of slower, sludgy songs which seem to be a nod to Black Sabbath. There are no ballads on the album, and the quality level in consistent throughout. However, the songs are neither consistently great, nor are they consistently bad. All ten tracks are solid, yet none of them manage to grab me or stick with me after the album is through. I attribute this to two factors:
1) The songs lack strong melodies. For me, this is an essential trait of an excellent hard rock album. In the case with Beyond Reality, the songs fail to distinguish themselves from one another and don't stick with you after the album is finished. I like the heavy vibe the songs carry, but the melodic quality seems to have been lost in the shuffle.
2) The harmony vocals are too thin. The band could add a lot more depth to the songs with thicker harmony vocals. Coupled with my first point above, I feel the songs would achieve a more "grand" feeling to them, which is missing on this album.
As a result, I can only say that al ten tracks are good, no more and no less. No killer songs, but no duds to speak of either. I'm sure you will enjoy the music while listening to this CD, but the songs just don't beg to be played over and over again.

All in all, this debut album shows some promise for Fatal Smile. However, the hard rock genre is becoming quite a populated field these days. Therefore, I think the band must work on making their songs more memorable for the listener in order to become a major player on the scene. Some key ingredients for success are already present: superb vocals, aggressive guitars, and clear production. With some work in the songwriting area that I described above, I think the band can take their music to the next level.

Killing Songs :
All are good songs, but the album lacks a true "killer" song.
Mike quoted 67 / 100
0 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are no replies yet to this review
Be the first one to post a reply!