Fatal Smile – Beyond Reality

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Reviewed: April 2003
Released: 2003, GMR Music Group
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Rick

Hard rock fans sit up and take notice. Smiles can be fatal!!!!!!!!! I found this out when I received this great debut CD from new Swedish band Fatal Smile. I have heard a million and one times how this band or that band has arrived to “save” hard rock from oblivion.. Well I haven’t heard anyone say that these guys were saviours but they are one kick ass unit that plays with reckless abandon and a flair that many of today’s so called new wave of hard rock bands lack. Formed in 94 by the guitarist Y Unutmaz Fatal Smile has gone through a number of member changes. The lineup now consists of Yüksel Unutmaz – guitar, H.B. Anderson – vocals, Robin Lagerqvist – drums and Marcus Johansson – bass. After signing with GMR Music Group in 2002 the band released their debut CD BEYOND REALITY.

The CD kicks off with the groovy “Bad Karma”, a short and sweet track that brings a modern edge to the sound of traditional hard rock. An addition which put me off at first as I find most bands who experiment with different sounds to modernize their approach fail miserably. I need not have worried as “The Saviour” delivers everything that a great hard rock song should have, great vocals, scorching guitar solos, a sing along chorus and need I say it.. attitude. Another standout track is “No Love”. This is exactly the type of song that 15 years ago would have set these guys up as huge stars. The title track is plodding piece of music that allows vocalist H.B. Anderson to emphasize his gravelly pipes to the utmost. In fact, Anderson has the perfect voice for this type of music. Powerful yet with melody his voice instantly gives the song an atmosphere that certain “something” that many acts search for for years yet never find.

Being a big fan of 80s hard rock its easy to see that these guys have more than done their homework. They are not just playing the music by the numbers but actually living it. One look at the bands video for “Bad Kharma” will prove that beyond a shadow of a doubt. What Fatal Smile brings to the table is a sound that takes their influences (which range from 70s musicians like Glenn Hughes, Black Sabbath and Thin Lizzy through 80s icons such as Dokken and Whitesnake and into the 90s with In Flames and Entombed) and stirs them into a pot along with their attitude and imagination to create a sound that proves that great hard rock did not die in 1991. In any case, if hard rock is what makes your world turn then jump on the Fatal Smile carousel.


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Track Listing:
01. Bad Kharma
02. The Saviour
03. Butterflies
04. Circle of Fire
05. Warfear
06. Beyond Reality
07. Xcuse Me
08. Scene of a Crime
09. Crush on U
10. No Love

Yüksel Unutmaz – guitar
H.B. Anderson – vocals
Robin Lagerqvist – drums
Marcus Johansson – bass