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Freya - "All Hail The End" (CD)

Freya - "All Hail The End" CD cover image

"All Hail The End" track listing:

1. The Light That Rivaled The Sun (3:01)
2. The Wanderers (4:20)
3. Human Demons (3:43)
4. Labyrinths of the Ant People (4:28)
5. The Guardian (4:45)
6. Iron Locust (2:07)
7. Deities of Wrath (3:28)
8. Condemned (3:28)
9. Sons of Yamir (3:53)
10. Choosers of the Slain (4:01)
11. Into A Wasteland (3:57)
12. The Remnants (4:59)
13. The End of the End (4:11)

Reviewed by on January 17, 2010

"...while starting out good, this album seriously loses energy and doesn’t seem to have much focus."

Headed by Karl Buechner of Earth Crisis fame, Freya is the latest incarnation of Buechner’s music. With more of a melodic metalcore sound, “All Hail The End” manages to incorporate some interesting riffing while maintaining hardcore sensibilities. Longtime fans of the genre will appreciate this album, but the fact remains that, while starting out good, this album seriously loses energy and doesn’t seem to have much focus.

“All Hail The End” definitely follows, for the most part, a typical metalcore formula. With crunchy guitar work, thrash-y riffs, and Buechner’s signature yell, this album doesn’t stray too much from the pack. What does set it apart, though, is the usage of more melodic riffing than is normally seen on a metalcore album. Sure, plenty of bands will throw in a riff here and there to throw some melody in the mix, but Freya shows that they can write and incorporate riffs that are melodic and flow really well.

The first song, “The Light That Rivaled The Sun,” is the best example of this. Well composed and interesting to listen to, it is melodic and thrashes all the way through. “Human Demons” is another stand out track, with thrash-y riffing, a fast pace and some progressive elements. By the time the album hits “Iron Locust,” a lot of the power has diminished. From then on, the album becomes extremely repetitive and, at thirteen tracks, is far too long.

Despite this, I really admire the band for trying to bring something different from the typical chug-fest metalcore. A lot of the guitar work is very thrash oriented, which, in my book, is always good. The melody interspersed in the music really adds a lot to the album and I wish the band would have made it more front and center. Even among the tracks that don’t stand out at all, the band has thrown in some interesting elements, like atypical guitar work and clean vocals.

“All Hail The End” is an album that will make a good addition to longtime fans of the metalcore genre. I can’t say that this album is memorable or even a candidate for a full listen through every time, but the elements Freya brings to the table are interesting and definitely well played, especially on the first track. I just wish more of the songs sounded like that track.

Highs: Melodic sections really work.

Lows: Incredibly repetitive.

Bottom line: Typical metalcore with some stand-out elements, but really loses focus.

Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls
2.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)