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Chemical Breath: Fatal exposure

10/07/12  ||  Habakuk

What can possibly go wrong with a band name / album title combination like that? Well, a lot, but in this here case: nothing! Despite just ticking all the boxes with those titles, with “Fatal Exposure” Chemical Breath dished out a quality feast of European metal sitting neatly between the death and thrash chairs. It’s a given that these Belgians are not the most original band. The album is adorned by a bad attempt at a Coroner album cover, their band name and album title are a Sadus loan, and their music is basically a typical slab of European technical death slash thrash metal.

Still, when I tell you the year of release, you might get an idea why I recommend this disc although its impact on world matters equals that of … well, all of Belgium. It is: 1992. A golden time for the genre, just when a “typical” release meant a pretty awesome release. The likes of Malevolent Creation or Monstrosity spearheaded the US part of the subgenre (spin-offs included) and their European counterparts like Thanatos came up with their own version of it. And somewhere between “Testimony of the ancients”: (see “The advantage of disbelief”, “Chambers of lost”), “Imperial doom” and “Realm of Ecstasy”, “Fatal exposure” just doesn’t disappoint – and how could it, with those influences?

Yes, this review has been one big namedrop as of now. As is the album, in a way. It does have individual qualities too of course, with raw “death shouts” nicely fitted onto a riff base that’s somewhat complex but never becomes too heady at the expense of groove and a healthy flow. The instrumental performances are high quality material, although hampered by a somewhat aged production, but both rhythm and lead sections show a strong sense of cohesion. This lends the necessary punch to slowly grooving tracks like “Several Hours to Judgement” and faster numbers like “Deny fear” alike. In general though, despite a few uptempo parts, the general feel of the album is midpaced and it’s mainly carried by the quality of the riffs.

Of course I can’t get overly crazy about this as there is nothing groundbreaking to report. You can definitely tell where these guys got their ideas, but the workmanship, even if applied in a tried and tested environment, definitely is something I can at least highly appreciate. If you are looking for more classic old school death and already have an idea about the other bands in this review, then you can do no wrong with this album.

7.5

  • Information
  • Released: 1992
  • Label: Crypta Records
  • Website: Chemical Breath MySpace
  • Band
  • Alain Chermouh: vocals, guitars
  • RenĂ© “Rocco” Rokx: guitars
  • Gerry Verstreken: bass
  • Andy Missotten: drums
  • 01. The Advantage of Disbelief
  • 02. Arachnid
  • 03. Chamber of Lost
  • 04. Deny Fear
  • 05. Erased from Existence
  • 06. Several Hours to Judgement
  • 07. Lost Tribes
  • 08. Hideous Perspectives…
  • 09. Mutilation