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"A Nightmare Story" (Arise Records)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)

Freternia's "A Nightmare Story" is this Swedish power metal quintet's sophomore full-length. Much like their labelmates Axenstar, Freternia are technically proficient at the speedy power metal style. Perhaps the best distinction that Freternia bring to the table is that they occasionally break into chunkier riffing in the vein of Judas Priest while leaving the overdose of speedy single-note guitar lines for other power metal bands.

Freternia are yet another band that delves deep into the fantasy realm for lyrical inspiration. While the band doesn't go overboard with the Viking-styled lyrics one can't help envisioning images of explorers traveling uncharted lands populated by magicians, other folks with supernatural powers and abilities, and never before seen creatures.

Quite frankly, I was surprised at the length of some of the songs. Two tracks clock in at more than seven-minutes and a couple more are in the six-minute range. Upon closer inspection I noticed that the songs on "A Nightmare Story" are more complex than they seem upon first listen. It's always neat when a band can make something longer than average and more complex than usual seem natural and effortless - even those who aren't enamored of the power metal style can appreciate that.

"A Nightmare Story" doesn't break much new musical ground, but what in the power metal genre lately has offered something truly new and unique? So don't let the lack of anything 'new' on "A Nightmare Story" dissuade you from checking it out. Freternia's "A Nightmare Story" is a consistent effort and a good listen throughout.

Fans of Angel Dust, Hammerfall, "The Dark Ride"-era Helloween, and power metal aficionados that like a little true metal mixed in with their music will appreciate Freternia.

"A Nightmare Story" was produced by Pelle Saether and Freternia.

Freternia is Pasi Humppi on vocals, Tomas Wappling on guitars and backing vocals, Peter Wiberg on bass and backing vocals, Tommie Johansson on keyboards, and Martin Tilander on drums.

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Rating Guide:

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) A classic. This record will kick your ass.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) So-so. You've heard better.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

restinks.jpg (954 bytes) Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2003 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 24 Oct 2021 16:10:51 -0400.