Fatalist The Depths of Inhumanity

For some bands, being too heavily influenced by Swedish death metal can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it is one of the most admired forms of death metal and when it's done well it can be amazing. But on the other hand, it can sound extremely unoriginal and regurgitated. The latter is the case for Ventura, CA's Fatalist. Their debut album, The Depths of Inhumanity, is too much of a throwback to the early Entombed/Nihilist days, which would be a good thing except, coming from these Cali dudes, it sounds a bit artificial. But maybe that's because they started out as a Swedish death metal cover band called Stockholm Syndrome. Nevertheless, Fatalist do have some catchy tunes, like "Homicidal Epitaph." However, the record comes off as more an imitation of the Scandinavian style than being genuinely influenced by it, and it's not a very well executed imitation at that. They even stole Nihilist's font for their band logo, for god's sake! (Ibex Moon Records)