German four piece thrash act, winner of a Wacken metal battle, releasing their second full length album? If this sounds familiar you would be correct in thinking that – I have covered a band with similar circumstances (Dust Bolt) and they turned out to be fantastic all round. Fateful Finality are the next Teutonic thrash band to come to my attention and here is hoping that the childhood friends turned into a finely tuned thrash machine can be as promising as their compatriots. Already receiving praise from Sodom and Tankard, it does look promising.
“Possession” opens the album and the first thing you notice is the more modern feel than the traditional thrash feel. It’s more groove orientated with alternating vocals – growls and cleans, handled by two of the band. On the whole it has more similarities with the more recent Testament albums than it does with some of the classic thrash approaches. Punchy precise riffs and tight rhythm work with aggressively delivered vocals sets the tone for a hard hitting opener. “Get Things Straight” follows up with a similar approach. A twisting precisely timed riff over a heavy thrash-groove fuelled rhythm and harsh vocals kicks the song off and the switching vocals approach is in play here again. Harsh over the complicated verse riffs and clean over the build up sections. About two thirds through there is a tense sounding build up section which helps bring about a feeling of intensity before another harsh vocal lead breakdown style section hits which leads into the final run of the song, a repeat of the main refrain.
“Dirt In The Closet” opens with a frantic paced rhythm assault over a simple riff before it descends into another stomping groove. The modern-metal influence is very noticeable on this one with hints of Trivium and Lamb of God in there with the guitar tone and song structure. A simple lead break two thirds of the way in really helps build up the song before a twisting solo kicks in over a precise breakdown before the final chorus moment which really hits hard when it comes in. “Never There” keeps that mid 2000’s metalcore approach with the chugging and emphasis on the aggressive delivery with more Lamb of God sounding riffs. It’s got a great groove to it and sounds like when performed live it would go down a storm, especially towards the end when we come to the breakdown and lead section – the first real guitar solo of note on the album is here and whilst it is fairly simplistic by thrash standards, it does the job required of it.
“Facades” has some phenomenal drum work in the beginning and a real stomp like groove to it, like late 2000’s Exodus. Full of anger, it just storms through sneering at anything in its path. Lead fill wise, it’s more melodic when those parts surface, especially in the chorus and vocally it is spot on. The standout moment though comes in at 3 minutes when it goes for a break into a frantic sounding hard hitting solo before a big final chorus moment which really drives the song home well. “Misfit” has a real upbeat groove to it as it kicks off and the first real classic thrash feel of the album so far in the intro. As the verse kicks in it goes more towards the modern approach, but the transition works well. The chorus follows the pattern from the intro which lifts it up where needed, and as always there is the obligatory breakdown section. This one is laced with harmonics which gives way to a full on stomping groove feel again with precisely timed bursts of drums and guitars and gratuitous use of double kick.
“Rite” has the classic riff over steady bass drum build up before it goes into a fast paced tempo feel. The verse starts off with just a guitar and then when it all kicks in, it keeps the same hard hitting edge which is prevalent through the album. Chorus wise, the stabbed chords and angry vocals followed by a fast paced twisting lead fill really hammers home the change in feel. The intro build up returns again towards the end of the song and it acts as the build up for a full on classic thrash solo – fast, wild and plenty of fretboard wankery, a great way to start the end of the song! “Unchained” is another groove laden breakdown heavy riff fest from the off. There are a few lead fills in there to add some variety, but this song is pretty much just one long breakdown with a few chorus like moments thrown in to spice it up. Pretty generic sounding.
“Under Pressure” has a quick intro which like the previous song is another breakdown heavy feel song but with a bit more kick to it. As with the previous tracks, the rhythm section is phenomenal and the lead fills in this one really work well in the chorus, giving it a bigger feel where needed. It does have a fantastic riff round the 1:50 mark which has a real windmill head bang feel to it which is always great, especially in a thrash song and a minute later, the solo really explodes to life, something which has been missing in a lot of the earlier tracks. “Suck Me Dry” like the majority of the album starts off pretty similarly, but the fast paced groove and clean vocals opening it makes for a change. Hard hitting and simple in its approach, the route one method of just going for it pays off, giving the album a much needed boost towards the end, just in time for the closing track. “Remain In Mind” opens with a very Testament-like feel riff and the full on groove beneath it is solid sounding. The verses are standard, big riffs and harsh vocals, but the clean chorus with the tricky leads works great. Like the pervious tracks, this song doesn’t stray much, sticking with the groove and the riff as the main focus and it sums the album up well.
“Battery” is a solid album which really embodies the more modern approach to Thrash Metal. Forgoing the breakneck speed, wailing vocals and insane shred-like solo’s, it sticks more to a punishing groove based assault and utilises more modern influences to help beef up its sound. Whilst I would have liked more of a traditional thrash approach from the band, especially with an album titled “Battery”, giving a nod to one of the classic thrash albums (you’re smart work it out yourself), the Teutonic four piece do have that reliability which most German thrash acts are known for – consistency and delivering with very few low points.