FATE – Scratch ‘n Sniff [MTM Classix remaster +2]
As requested and promised, here’s the remaining two classic FATE records, and what a tremendous albums they are. Easily among my Top 10 favorite Scandi-AOR / Melodic Rock acts of all time, and while FATE diversified their musical style on the previous album, this, their fourth “Scratch ‘n Sniff” is definitely different, melodic hard rock oriented / killer guitar driven.
This reissue remastered by MTM for their Classix series includes 2 bonus tracks, and sounds million bucks.
After the tour for their third album, FATE almost disbanded. Drummer Bjarne Holm and bass player Peter Steincke were in the disjunctive of forming a new band, or continue with the Fate moniker but update their sound.
The chosen option was the second, and recruited vocalist Per Henriksen (Crystal Knight, Lavinia) and crazy, promising Swedish guitarist Matthias Eklundh (Frozen Eyes).
Combining the catchiness and hooks from Fate early records and a more groovy melodic hard rock approach, the result was “Scratch ‘n Sniff”, one of the greatest albums in the genre’s history.
Indeed, the scene was changing and the fluffy AOR keys center role were replaced by melodic clean guitar solos, and for this matter this ‘new’ Fate was helped by talented Danish producer Tommy Hansen (Pretty Maids, Helloween, Jorn) to shape a perfectly polished sound, but energetic and punchy.
There’s not a weak track here, from midtempo AOR opener ‘Gotta Have It All’ and the Scandi melodic-hard gem of ‘You’re The Best’ to the melodic rocker ‘One By One’, this album is pure gold.
‘Walk on Fire’ is just a blissful mix of AOR and Melodic Rock much in the vein of Europe’s Out Of This World, ‘Freedom’ is a great power ballad, ‘Won’t let You Down’ is again melodic perfection, then ‘Larry’ eve adds a hair metal touch with its cowbell and anthemic chorus.
Then ‘Surgeon in Love’ pretty much summarize what this album is all about: strong rhythms, melodic refrains, catchy choruses, solid vocals and galactic guitar work.
Fate’s “Scratch ‘n Sniff” is one of the greatest albums in melodic hard rock history, on par with Europe’s finest moments, TNT, Dalton, Treat, Da Vinci, etc, but also comparable to American gems like Hardline’s debut, Damn Yankees, et all.
Very close to perfection, “Scratch ‘n Sniff” is A Must Have in your collection.
01 – Gotta Have It All
02 – You’re The Best
03 – Walk On Fire
04 – Freedom
05 – Won’t Let You Down
06 – The Whalesong
07 – Larry
08 – Good Times Coming
09 – One By One
10 – Surgeon In Love
11 – Wanna Be Your Lover
12 – Think For Yourself
13 – Just A Stranger (Previously Unreleased)
14 – Don’t Do Drugs (Previously Unreleased)
Bjarne Holm drums
Peter Steincke – bass
Per Henriksen – vocals
Mattias Eklundh – guitars
BUY IT !