Label: Babylon Doom Cult Records
Release Date: 18 April 2022
Format Reviewed: High-quality digital recording
Freja are a brand spanking new collaboration of two people, and they offer a range of sound from the black atmospheric metal inspirations and also melodic. Not to say at all, that that is the ceiling of their sound, oh no, the sense I get from this band and their range, is that this is only the beginning. Their music is compelling, powerful, blistering, bleak, ethereal and expressively emotive. The biggest difference in this album, is that each track gives you a different taste, a different mood, a borrowing from other music genres as inspiration. Basically, there are no continuations of similarities from track to track, each one is a complete creation of its own. That excites me.
Freja are: “C” from Witte Wieven and “W. Damiaen” from Laster and Willoos”. These two individuals met and their connection has brought them to this album containing a lot of work, time and commitment. This band exemplifies the underground, and, it’s time to share their sound to a wider music audience. I’m getting started…
“Our Chosen Path”, kicks off with tremolos and the frenetic drum style of black metal. Singing is the rage guttural gust of ice-cold vocals, and the track changes to incorporate more melodic styling expressed in keyboards. There are bridges, guitar solos, almost a chorus that the song returns to, and then, it changes again with the key board. Track takes on the beauty of ethereal inspired singing from “C”, and together this duo work some metal magic in that combination.
“Scattered Shields” this one has the discordant guitar styling, and drums are not poised to race, more a battle hymn sense of beat. With the echoey screams of vocals and the music blending, this one is that atmospheric mood being established.
“Dusk”, keyboard instrumental, a deepening and building of notes to reach into a contemplative mood to begin. A roaring vocal and the keyboard plays through as a back note against the guitars and drums. “C” begins to sing in the echoey clean ephemeral tones she chooses to go against the melodies already present. Vocals change to become a howling, wind inspiration and immediately breaks off into the tremolo driven blistering tones and rapid drums. Track finishes in that keyboard notes to fade off.
“Cataclysm”, this one starts (to me), in the progressive metal approach inspiration, almost a technical sound being produced. Music in this one doesn’t bite down as much, seeming more of a blended track with all music being cohesive with some darker edged roaring, blistering vocals.
“Of Those Stricken By Fate”, this song, and I’ll quote, is “an ode to the resilient we have lost and for that which is gone. Pushing through life and pursuing, despite hardships.” Beginning in a beautiful passage of melancholic inspired keyboards, followed by “C’s” haunting echoes of her vocal. Uplifting and despairing at the same time. Drums are slow, almost gentle in their approach, because intent is not to slam and crash, its to underscore a heart beat (to me anyway).
“Cloaks of Valor”, those textbook tremolos raging and that drum kit that doesn’t quit, kicks this off. More melodies sift in, and it’s a combination of that against the tremolos as a back note. Vocals are the guttural cold edged, with again, a more progressive tone of guitars at this juncture. Actually, the guitar style shifts to the black metal styling back and forth from the different toned, and then a shrieking vocal to round things up. A guitar solo jumps in here, and the marked contrast from the speed release to the slower is a bridge to simply breathe.
Freja are a band of contrasts, showing their range and ability to incorporate what they wish to in this album, and also staying true to the black flame of black metal. I give an 8/10 Metal Marie
8,5/10 To Greatness and Glory!
**Please support the underground! It’s vital to the future of our genre**