Released: 2015, Pride & Joy Music
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Review By: Rowena Lamb
Last year the Swedish band Free From Sin released their self-entitled debut album digitally on their own record label, only to sign a record deal with 24 hours for the physical release within Europe. Now immediately that is not bad going at all and with the mixing of heavy rock and power metal it would certainly have little trouble appealing to a wide audience.
The two things I like the most about this album is that it is easy to listen to as well as being easy to like. (See ‘Dreamstealer’ as just one example.) It holds to it’s influences, adding flourishes and depth without being over the top or predictable. So OK I lied, there is a third; it’s simplicity.
The simplicity comes from the clear use of restraint during the application of the dramatic that is required of all power metal influences. This is notable in many of the songs but more so in ‘Stumbling Down a Wicked Road’ where the power element is stripped back into a soft 90’s style rock. Here the restraint is notable through the vocals which cover a muted melody. It fits the song well giving it a slightly dirty, languorous sound.
The transition between the ‘Temple of Fear’ and ‘La Grande Finale’ feels seamless and the move from one to the other feels exactly what should occur as well as what you didn’t know you wanted to hear at that moment. The sweet addition of Spanish sounding guitars again plays on the notion of the restrained dramatic, making the ending of the album all the more effective because of it.
Don’t be moved into thinking that this album sounds dull or slow due to the restraint, it has drama, flair and speed a plenty. ‘Evershine’ and ‘Believer’ are good examples of this, and the title track adds to this as well as being another example of restraint. There are many elements displayed throughout this track and styles brought forth from the guitars, but they are made to weave together, supporting each other instead of overpowering the other through too overly long-winded riffs, etc.
The album presents everything that it should as well as what you would expect, whilst surprising you at many turns throughout. The simplicity and restraint from the overly dramatic and flamboyant is, in my opinion, because it doesn’t need it. It is what it is without needing to shout about it, and what it is is a damn good debut album.