Reviewed: April 2003
Released: 2002, Independent
It is always great to go to the mailbox and open it to find a CD from a great new independent band. The feeling that I get when I hear a CD that very few other metalheads have heard is thrilling. Especially when I know the band have something special to offer and are only a couple of steps away from being metal stardom. Freefall are one of those bands. I have had the CD for quite some time but really didn’t get around to reviewing it but I finally bit the bullet and here I am, listening to 9 great tracks of traditional melodic metal/ hard rock. It comes as no surprise that the band hails from Sweden. It has to be something in the water over there. JUDGEMENT DAY was recorded in 2002 by founding band members Jorgen Bolmstad: lead and backing vocals, guitars and Patrik Isacsson: guitars, backing vocals, and drum and bass programming. The band had to use a drum machine for this demo but have since added drummer Dennis Johansson. The drum machine is fairly well done and really doesn’t take away from the music at all.
Opening the disc is “Break Out”, a fast hard rocking track that to brings to mind old Europe mixed with a dash of Dio and Dokken. That is followed with the mid-tempo “Freedom”. Bolmstad sounds vaguely like Jon Bon Jovi on this track. Its not that he is imitating him but more the fact that he has a smooth voice ala Don Dokken and Bon Jovi and it naturally sounds that way. One of the catchier tracks on the CD is “Danger Zone”. This is a song right out of the 80s and though it doesn’t sound like any one band it has a real 80s verse/chorus structure with a sing along chorus and a big guitar hook. Nice track that would have been huge in 1989. But that is what these guys are aiming for. They are all huge 80s metal fans so its only natural that they would bring their influences such as Europe, Dokken, Whitesnake and Dio into the mix. JUDGEMENT DAY closes out with a real rocker called “Fire in the Sky”. A track that should have probably been slotted earlier in the CD to break up a couple of the mid tempo songs that follow each other.
Overall, JUDGEMENT DAY is an enjoyable listen. Freefall take their 80s influences and for the most part try to create their own sound. I am sure that the addition of Dennis Johansson on the drum stool will mean good things for the band. The drum machine is adequate but at times is very noticeable and takes away from the overall effectiveness of the songs. Its great to see new bands going the melodic metal/hard rock route. There are too few bands today who play this style of metal. I am sure that with their lineup additions and some new tunes that this is not the last we have heard from Freefall.
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