Freedoms Reign - s/t 4.5/5

Reviewed: 9-1-13





Tracklist:

1. Ritual
2. Shadows of a doubt
3. Brother
4. Believe
5. Up from down
6. To be
7. No excuses
8. Long way
9. Looking around


There is something brewing out in Connecticut in the United States, with a new metal band recently making waves. Considerably unknown, the band in question – Freedoms Reign, formed in 2011 and their s/t debut CD was released in April of 2013, the band signing to Italian label Cruz Del Sur for a worldwide release.

Freedoms Reign consists of bassist Mike Jones, drummer Chris Judge, guitarist Tom Vumback and lastly vocalist/guitarist Victor Arduini; who was the original guitarist and co-founder of progressive metal band (also from Connecticut) Fates Warning, and played on their first 2 CDs ‘Night on brocken’ and ‘The spectre within’. The later being one of Fates Warning’s best CDs to date.

Freedoms Reign are a traditional heavy metal band with some hard rock influences, which makes their songs so catchy, memorable and most importantly – heavy. With no EP or demo to begin their proceedings as a band, Freedoms Reign went straight into recording a full-length release within 2 years of formation and produced by Nick Belmore who has worked with Hatebreed and Toxic Holocaust previously.

That’s a great sign straightaway of the confidence of the quartet, all veteran musicians who have been in the music scene for a long time. Another big factor is the wonderful songwriting that went into the debut; which makes the CD sound like a band that have been around for 20 years rather than a traditional debut from a young band wet around the ears.

The debut CD is a great collection of metal music with an old-school approach but also modern tendencies, something expected when the 4 band members are all over 40 years of age. Hearing a Black Sabbath influence (among others like early Fates Warning), all of the tracks on the debut are ferocious in style and full of buzzing adrenaline; basically what you hear is what you get – no frills, just balls-to-the-wall 70s-inspired modern traditional heavy metal. While melody takes a back seat (typical for old-school heavy metal), the bass guitar is foremost alive and kicking, while the twin guitar attack is sharp and to the point. Lastly coinciding with the rest of the instruments, the drumming is tight, pounding and quite technical as well.

The band pulls no punches and that’s the great thing about this CD - there are no flashy gimmicks, no over-produced disc with fancy technologies, the CD is a welcomed breath of fresh air and an escape back to the good ol’ days, the earlier times of heavy metal. The songs definitely reflect this and as a result this 's/t' release is sorely needed right now, not to mention that it kicks total ass.

I want to mention every single track on this CD, as each track is so powerful and booming with ripping guitar chords and heavy bass lines, you want to play them over and over again until you’ve had your fix. However I will mention absolute killer tracks like “Shadows of a doubt”, “Believe”, “Ritual” and “No excuses” that need to be heard to be believed. All tracks on the CD are heavily guitar driven, with boastful and blistering solos in each that will make you shake your head in amazement; so check these guys out if guitar-driven songs is your bread and butter.

One of the best releases for 2013, the working class Freedoms Reign will kick your ass and you will love every second of it, and cry out for more once it’s done. The older generation of metalheads may take more from this CD than the younger ones, but overall this CD is an absolute cracker and a blueprint for any young metal bands out there to study and follow.



SEAN




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