Fatal Casualties – “Filter” album review


I was rather curious to hear Filter after I had reviewed Psalm, over a year ago. I was wondering if this Swedish duo would remain true to their musical expression, and was pleasantly surprised to see they remained experimental indeed. “Home from Home” starts with the King Dude like intro thanks to Stefan, but just before I felt subdued by dark feelings, the track suddenly transforms into the recognizable Fatal Casualties sound, spearheaded by Ivan’s distinctive and expressive voice. The soundscapes they create are mystical, yet strong and vivid. The second, Swedish titled track creates the hypnotic feel by employing repetitive phrases and once more, Ivan uses his voice as an instrument to make this piece complete.

SEJA15_FC_FilterAlthough “Drown” follows the experimental path, the track is very much ambiental. This time the vocal blends in perfectly. You can omit the fact that there is a human voice present and approach this piece almost as an instrumental. “Saga”, which is the other word for story or fairy tale, offers exactly that. Ivan starts with “Once upon a time in a fairy tale…” and continues the story, while the repetitive minimalistic synth sounds support the narrative nature of saga. However, every tale has a twist and so does the “Saga” which ends in an unpredictable way. “Cornelius Names” is a truly industrial track. I find it very hard to describe what I’m hearing, but if you are open to experimenting with music or your mind, this is the track for you. “Kramp” develops from the repetition and minimalism to the chorus that opens like a flower, continuing the repetitive form completed by the underlying melody. It’s also my personal favourite. “Homo Erectus” is another brilliantly thought-out track. Atmospheric and rhythmic at the same time, but by no means monotone; soundscapes are changing and intertwining. Once more the vocal creates the dynamic of its own thanks to Ivan’s expressive performance and the combination of languages. This album sounds lighter than Psalm, especially if we take into consideration the pop track “Unknown Place”. The song sounds poppy indeed. It’s more coherent and catchy but not without that “weird” Fatal Casualties’ twist. “Springer” puts the voice in the spotlight and it becomes the dominant element of the track. As a counterbalance, the last number is dominated by the piano chorus while the vocal supports the melody line. After the crescendo, the track spontaneously disintegrates to its basic sound particles as if it were saying: Until the next time.