Released: 2005, Necroharmonic
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Fatal from Detroit, MI, was one of those relatively underrated bands in the late ´80s Death Metal scene that never got a chance to make themselves more widely known in the worldwide underground metal scene. The band, led by the guitarist Tony and bassist and vocalist Mark, managed to record only 3 demos of their own and one EP (for the now defunct French Thrash Records in 1990) that all were rather immensely digged by a Death Metal loving minority only. Most people that dug them back in the day, still surely remember them, and evenspin their releases occasionally. At least I know I do.
If you never were a part of the tape trading scene, then Fatal has probably remained quite an unknown name to you as their releases are quite impossible to find these days, that´s for sure. Not even places like eBay ever seems to have them, so...
It´s labels like Necroharmonic Production that is constantly doing great favors for all those people who got late into the ´80s underground Death Metal scene. Roy Fox, the mastermind behind the label, has clearly understood - having been following the extreme metal scene for years, what kind of true gems are simply meant to dig up from the graves of those past times, and bring them back to the daylight again as CD- releases. And the deal is that you are going to get a full catalogue of releases certain bands have put out during their existence as it´s also the deal with this nicely put together Fatal CD.
RETROSPECTIVE FROM HELL contains all Fatal´s three demos from the late ´80s, plus their 1st and last 7" E.P. they ever released when they were around to make some fine deathrashing noize. The first two demos, GUTS FOR DINNER and MOLESTED SLAUGHTER, both released in 1988, introduced kind of an primitive and raw sounding American trio to the public, putting however Fatal somewhat firmly on the map of a harsh sounding underground Death/Thrash Metal. Both demos were also rather widely spred by the tape trading at that time - and the word about the band just kept on spreading, reaching new pairs of ears all the time.
However, it was the band´s 3rd demo titled SOUL BURNS, recorded in 1989, that really put them near to the top of the pile of some of the hottest and most noteworthy underground Death Metal bands back then - along with such acts as Rottrevore, Suffocation, Revenant, Exmortis and so on. Fatal had taken a tad more technical and brutal approach in the three new songs they had penned down for this demo (featuring also a re-make of "Guts for Dinner") - and for me, it was their absolutely best work in their whole career, not only song-wise, but production-wise as well. Those of you who have been living under heavy shadows during the late ´80s up to early ´90s, try to think Whiplash´s legendary POWER & PAIN album done with a more Death Metallic twist and you may have an idea how the songs on Fatal´s SOUL BURNS demo sound like, kind of. Nah, I have a better idea: Just purchase a copy of this disc for yourself as it truly is worth every penny. I mean, you wanna discover some of these rare gems from the late ´80s underground Death Metal scene, don´t you? I thought you would... good!
The last official recording that the Fatal -camp ever did, was a 3-track 7-inch recording titled A SOMBER EVOCATION OF NIHILISM for the French Thrash Records as I already stated earlier. It basically introduced even more technical yet progressive Fatal, kind of reminding me of the Swiss progressive (Death) Metal masters Coroner, only keeping a bit more distance to some of those overly progressive elements that Coroner had in their sound. The band sounded incredibly ready and damn devoted to their stuff to punch the whole world to the face, but unfortunately that was never meant to happen as the band called it quits in early 1991 which was a really shame as the potentiality for bigger things was definitely already there for them, lurking around the corner.
Anyway, I warmly suggest you to do a big favor for yourself by picking up a copy of this excellent underground gem as soon as possible if you haven´t already done so. There was something truly special and even magical in the late ´80s underground Death Metal scene, Fatal rightfully also belonging to that particular box which said on the top of it: "Magic inside... touch and feel the fire".