1991 was such a monumental year for death metal that is easy to overlook many worthwhile death metal albums released in subsequent years. Take for instance Fatal Exposure
, the debut album from short-lived Belgian death thrashers Chemical Breath released in 1992. This album proves to be a highly competent and entertaining 40 minute slab of riffs and awesome solos despite not bringing anything particularly new or innovative to the death metal table.
After the eerie intro of opening track "The Advantage of Disbelief", the listener is greeted with an engaging combination of death metal and thrash metal that persists for the entirety of the album. The guitars on this album are sweet and they have the right amount of mud to give them a Morrisound type of vibe. Anyone who is worth their salt knows trems are the source of all existence. Chemical Breath surely knew this and that is the reason why they played about 2 million of them on Fatal Exposure
. This is perhaps made most evident on the album highlight "Lost Tribes" where the band go out of their minds with fast riffs and overall trem craziness. Also mixed into all 9 songs are groove-laden thrashy sections that are enough to please any battle jacket wearer out there. Many short but sweet solos find their way into the chaos as well and they are quite impressive and strange. The solo on "Arachnid" and the solo at the end of "Mutilation" are especially neat and they bring to mind the weird solos from Believer's Sanity Obscure
The bass is not highly technical but it complements the guitar well and it is audible throughout the album which is always a plus. The drums are great and sound surprisingly clear. The fellow on drums is no Sean Reinert but he certainly holds his own throughout the album and provides a lot of cool thrashy grooves. Vocally, this is nothing death metal listeners haven't heard before. The closest comparison I can think is the dude pretty much sounds like Bret Hoffmann but with a crazy accent. Nothing special, but his vocals are still good and they suit the album well.
As previously mentioned, this is by no means a groundbreaking album. But it is an album which proves to be very solid and engaging because the death thrash formula Chemical Breath played here is pulled off so well. This is due in large part to the great riffs that are peppered all throughout the album. Fatal Exposure
is more than worth your time if you consider yourself a fan of death metal and thrash metal.