Coming Again Fatal Violence - Ashes Tell No Tales (StormSpell Records) 2009

1.      Intro (1:13)
2.      Faces of Death (4:26)
3.      Terror on the Horizon (3:46)
4.      Ashes Tell No Tales (4:45)
5.      Cause for Deliverance (4:55)
6.      Eye of the Storm (5:31)
7.      Violence is Golden (4:20)
8.      Sonic Freeze (4:04)
9.      Fusebox (5:31)
10.     Cyanide (5:27)
11.     Friday the 13th (7:06)
12.     Shades of Sam (5:32)

1. Sonic Freeze
2. Ashes Tell No Tales
3. Cyanide
4. Dropping the Balls [instrumental]
5. Violence Is Golden
6. Fusebox
7. Faces of Death
8. Shades of Sam

Hailing from Illinois, Fatal Violence are an American power metal band who sound walks a fine line between speed metal and traditional heavy metal. The 12-song CD is made up of two demos, their 6-song demo in 1985 and their 2nd and last 6-song demo in 1987. The songs have all been digitally remixed and remastered by guitarist David Enlow and put together in a this fine package, along with a live DVD.

The first 6-song demo is straight-forward, traditional heavy metal with some speed metal leanings, not unlike early Fates Warning, or perhaps closer to bands like Omen, Heathens Rage and Liege Lord. The vocals are helium high and the songs are driving. There are some obvious influences, such as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, but then again what metal band in 1985 wasn't influenced by Maiden and Priest? After a short bass intro with some distorted unintelligible, "Faces of Death" opens the album with some screaming guitars and vocals. The song is a rip-roaring speed metal monster. Despite the 'remaster and remix' the sound is still very demo-ish. However, those who appreciate the classic 80's heavy metal sound will be able to look past the recording quality. "Cause for Deliverance" is a galloping heavy metal number with a dark, haunting opening. "Eye of the Storm" definitely recalls Judas Priest, along with early Fates Warning.

The second six songs are more speed metal orientated. "Violence is Golden" is nearly a thrash metal song, complete with a growled scream at it's beginning. The high-range vocals heard on the first demo kick in for the first verse of the song. For whatever reason, the vocals are much improved on the second demo. The higher-range vocals are better sung and Doug Trevisan adds in some more aggressive vocals when needed. For example, "Cyanide" is a double-bass driven thrash metal song with Trevisan giving a raw, aggressive vocal performance. "Friday the 13th" is one of the standout cuts on the album. This song is just over seven minutes long and is pure American power metal. It's a shame this band never traversed beyond the demo stage. Some of these songs would have annihilated if properly recorded.

As usual with any Stormspell release, there is always something more for your dollar. On top of the twelve song CD, there is a bonus DVD of live material from Fatal Violence. It features the band's entire 8-song performance filmed at Thirsty Whale Rock Club in Illinois 1988. Of the eight songs, five are taken from their second demo, two from their first demo ( "Ashes Tell No Tales" & "Faces of Death") and one new song, an instrumental titled "Dropping the Balls". The sound quality and picture quality isn't band, though I've only experienced it on my PC, which doesn't have the best speakers. The intimate live setting reminds me of shows I attended back in the early 80's.

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