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GUTS FOR DINNER - 95%

UncleMeat, August 15th, 2007

Like most obscure metal bands of the '80s and early '90s, Fatal had a very short lived career, which is a shame because they obviously had a huge amount of potential. The EP and the few demos they had were great, but if they were around long enough to really perfect what they were doing, there is no doubt in my mind that they would be much more well known. But like Necrovore, Crematory (Swe) and other short lived bands, they stayed relatively obscure outside of the tape trading circles and zines. But don’t get me wrong, them staying a cult band is in no way a bad thing. Quite the contrary, but I’m getting off topic. Time to talk about this fantastic compilation….

One thing that will pop out at you with the first listen is the amazing remixing and remastering they did with ALL the tracks. That’s not easy to do. Especially for mud drenched recordings such as the Guts for Dinner demo. The whole compilation has a consistently clear sound. Like I said, that takes some skill. Another thing that may stick out at you with just a quick glace at the track listing (the latest recordings start the comp. off, the first demo finishes the comp.), is the sudden change in lyrical subjects. Going from songs like Guts for Dinner to No Dream to Believe in just two years is rather uncommon in death metal.

But now it is time to talk about the music. These guys know how to write a fucking badass thrashed-out death metal song. Of course, as time (quickly) went on, they got better at playing their instruments and they got much stronger in the structuring of songs, so the later material is much less primitive (I personally like both sounds). Listen to the tracks from the Guts for Dinner demo and then listen to the tracks from the Sombre Evocation of Nihilism EP and you will hear what I mean.

I don’t want to say the thrash influence wore off, but as the riffs starting getting more complex on later recordings, they started to have a much stronger death metal sound to them. The band always seemed to prefer the higher notes on the fret board, which I think is what gave them a thrash sort of feel. Other bands who had that sort of sound were Insanity, Necrovore and Possessed, as opposed to the more muddy down tuned death metal riffing of bands like Crematory (Swe), Rottrevore and Asphyx.

The bass mostly stuck to the root notes of the guitar riffs, the occasionally would go off and do it’s own thing during the more chaotic parts and during the guitar solos, so there really isn’t much to say about it. Some good and unique ideas were shown by the drummer, and all of them were well executed, but there really wasn’t anything too special about them, so again, not much to really say. The vocals were sort of your standard deathrash howls and growls, with more of a throaty sound then a guttural sound, which is what I prefer.

This demo and EP collection is HIGHLY recommended to fans of any of the bands I mentioned (Possessed, Necrovore, Insanity etc etc), and just to any fan of badass DEATHRASH in general. Even if you have all the demos and the EP (like me), you should still pick this up to hear the remastered versions of all the tracks. It makes for a much easier listening experience. GUTS FOR DDDIIINNNEEERRRR!!!!!