Released: 2000, Loud ‘N Proud Records
Now this is more like it! Freternia are a killer band from Sweden that proudly flies the banner of true metal. More importantly, they actually do it well, totally avoiding the many pitfalls that (rightly) hamper the paths of bands that are attempting to cash in on the true metal bandwagon. While Freternia don’t really do anything earth shattering with their album, they do play with conviction, talent, and lots of speed! I literally haven’t stopped spinning this CD since I got it – it’s that good.
In a way, Freternia reminds of Elvenking, a band that I reviewed a few months back. They have that same fire and passion for metal that comes out in their music that you can just feel. Of course, while Elvenking mixes in folk elements into their sound, Freternia simply bash out their tales of kings, queens, monsters, battles, and heroes without much extra fluff. This is drinking war metal (another new sub genre?)!
Speed, double-kicks, slicing guitars, screaming vocals, it’s all here. Like I said, Freternia may not be reinventing the steel here (heh, neither did the P-men), but they do play their chosen style perfectly, even rivaling the power of Hammerfall (though they don’t sound like them). “Worst Of Enemies” and “Ride With The Wind” open the album with a double rush of racing metal, highlighting the strength of Freternia: gang vocals. While used quite often, the band uses them only at times when they are most effective, giving the album a feeling like there are hundreds of warriors all chanting the song. Very cool Plus, they serve as a change of pace from Pasi Humpii’s vocals which can sometimes get a little too high.
The only problem that I can see with Freternia is that their songs often fall into the realm of cliché. Songs like “Friends In Enemyland”(huh?), “War Of The Crown”, and “Woods Of The Elvenking” all paint a picture that we’ve all seen before. Still, that is the nature of power metal and the band really can’t be faulted for it. Besides, like I said, this album rules! You are commanded: search out Warchants & Fairytales!