Sadly, I've often felt that there's been something missing from many new hard rock bands of late. It seems, for the most part at least, that long gone is the wonderful trademark guitar solo, once considered an absolute essential to the genre, only to be replaced by a continuously unyieldingly harsh wall of crass distortion. Gone also is the extravagant, (semi?)coherent lead vocalist, all in favour of some odd little chap that jumps up and down grumbling, mumbling, growling or screaming, whilst wearing the same cloths that he went shopping in. Now, you could criticise me here for being a bit of a 'rock dinosaur', and in some ways, you would probably be completely justified in doing so. However, while it is true that I occasionally reminisce over 'the good old days' when I still had a full head of long, flowing locks and could proudly boast of a half-decent waist-line, I'm sure that I'm not so alone in my opinion that any music, regardless of genre, should at least be somewhat musical by it's very nature.
Thankfully, however, this is where Fatal Taunt have got everything right. Not content with following the current trend in 'if in doubt, scream and shout' approach to modern heavy rock, Fatal Taunt have cleverly and intuitively developed their own original style of hard metal. By filling what sadly appears to be an ever-increasing void for something a little more realistic, the band has developed a rather cheeky compromise, which has led to the production of some exceptional material that is not only pleasing to the ear, but heavy enough to rattle your bones and shake loose your fillings.
Last Wednesday, I once again had the pleasure of witnessing the band play one of their live sets at The Riverside Tavern in Newport, South Wales. I'm always very aware of just how diverse an audience Fatal Taunt attract to their gigs. Aware, that is, but not in the least bit surprised - drawing upon many a varied influence from Iron Maiden, Nickel back and Judas Priest to System of a Down and Slipknot, Fatal Taunt represent everything that is characteristically loved about both classic 'old skool' rock and modern 'nu metal'. Take, for example, one of their many 'classic' guitar solos, which are in contrast to , yet completely complemented by the pounding percussion, thumping bass line and balshy, heavily thrashing, yet pleasantly melodic rhythm. Combine all of this, then, with a gutsy, passionate and fully entertaining performance by the lead vocalist, and you've systematically found yourself with an all-around winning formula.
Fatal Taunt have not only managed to replace all the missing ingredients of modern day rock, but throw-in a whole lot more besides, resulting in a full-bodied banquet of musical fulfillment. If you haven't crashed one of their gigs yet, then I strongly recommend that you do so. You will not be disappointed. However, for all the teenagers out there, a word of warning: If you are planning to watch Fatal Taunt play live, don't tell dad He just may decide to tag along as well