Freya "Lift the Curse" CDPosted on Monday, February 26th, 2007 @ 9:00am » permalink
Apparently Freya comes closer and closer to Earth Crisis with each release, as having added drummer Dennis Merrick to their ranks they're now operating just one member shy of the final Earth Crisis lineup. Go figure. But continued lyrical variances aside, from a musical standpoint I actually could've also seen "Lift the Curse" (Victory Records) having followed "Breed the Killers": Its 10 tracks in barely under a half-hour are much more streamlined and stylistically direct than Freya's debut full-length. Only two tracks top three minutes, one of which is a cover (what must be the umpteen millionth take on "War Pigs"), and the overall approach is a more straightforward and aggressive one – only flirting with melody to varying degrees of creativity on occasion.
If the world learned one thing from "Last of the Sane" (or "Slither", for that matter), it's that Karl Buechner simply can't sing. Sorry, fact. So thankfully, for the most part, this time out he doesn't. Until the seventh track, "Lilith", that is – though admittedly his limited range is manageable therein, so it's no big deal. The aforementioned "War Pigs" foray brings forth the only other "singing", but – while problematic – the real issue there is that the track is more than double the length of every other song on the album and, let's face it, far from the most interesting Sabbath tune – especially at this point of having been covered (and in many cases butchered) by any number of other bands. So, yeah, there are some questionable moves in rare instances, and minor improvements could be made to the recording, and the artwork could be more interesting… but whatever. Contrary to many Earth Crisis fans, I actually really liked Freya's debut, but this is a more concise and – for the most part – consistent outing; so I think its heavier, more linear direction could win back some of those listeners that bailed out the first time around. Give it a shot.
Make the grab if you dig the tunes: