FREYA - As The Last Light Drains

Freya - As The Last Light Drains

13 songs
33:24 minutes
***** ***


Earth Crisis were one of the first hardcore bands that crossed over to the thrash metal genre in a way that made it hard to find the line between metal and hardcore. Only the straight edge content of their lyrics showed which camp they were in.

As Earth Crisis disbanded in 2001, three members (vocalist Karl Buechner, guitarist Erick Edwards and bassist Bulldog) decided to form Freya with two additional musicians. Buechner's vocals are still so hateful as we fondly remember them, but it is new guitarist Darian Lizotte with his melodic vocals who adds a new dimension to the music. Most of the music is still mid temp groove stomp or fast as fuck hardcore with according vocals acrobatics, but whenever you think it will bring you over the top, Lizotte's melodic vocals bring back hope into your life.

This may not be something totally new, but the dynamics of screamo and melodic vocals has seldom been realised in such an extreme way. Of course, since bands like Linkin Park have made popular the juxtaposition of hiphop and melodic vocals, it may make you think that Freya try the same thing in a more hardcore way. Mean people will call it a sell-out, but I say why not? It makes for a more varied listening, and we shouldn't forget that apart from the vocals, you will hear some of the finest musicians American hardcore has ever had.

By the way, the lyrics are more emotional and less intellectual than in the past, which should guarantee a conflict-free approach for everyone. Just the band name and the title song As The Last Light Drains (Valkyrie) makes me wonder if Freya joined some weird Nordic cult... But then we shouldn't worry as long as they don't fall into other Nordic clichés like playing true metal. 8 points.

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