Freedom of Fear - Nocturnal Gates - (8.5/10)
Published on August 1, 2019
Man, do I like a good surprise! Coming all the way from Adelaide Australia, death metal rising talent Freedom of Fear is bound to knock your socks off. The second album “Nocturnal Gates” is a solid melodeath work of art with enough variety and clever influences to appeal to a wide range of listeners. I found it to be a complete and diverse album touching all aspects of the death metal spectrum, from technical to melodic and even some old school riffing. The different influences in the band’s sound on this album give you a complete roller coaster of different feelings and, make the 30 minutes running time fly by before you know it.
The album’s opener “The Consciousness of Misery” kicks off strong with technical riffing, and it’s not long until the melodies kick in. The lead guitar parts are the album’s best asset, with not only long and creative shredalicious solos but also with duels and rich harmonized melodies. The rhythm part doesn’t fall behind either. There are some serious crunchy riffs and breakdowns in there, and to top it all, the album even touches on some black metal oriented tremolo picking sections. I also like the compressed but not too compressed tones that they use. It reminds me of Obscura a bit, but it’s more aggressive and not quite as mechanical. Long story short: The guitar work is immaculate. The drums also do plenty of good deeds with double kicks and blast beats.
On a slightly darker note, there are a few shortcomings to this record. The sound is not quite as powerful as it could be and it sometimes brings down the energy of the record. I’m also not entirely sold on the vocals. The ferocious high screams are great and very well delivered, but again I crave a little more depth in the gutturals.
With that out of the way, there is one more thing worth mentioning. These guys aren’t all balls to the wall and give you some breathers with beautiful interludes. The bridge part in “Purgatorium” and the build-up that comes afterwards is great. Also I wasn’t able to find out if they have any guest performances but I’m pretty sure that’s a saxophone on the soft side of the opening track. And two out of the 6 tracks (Gateways & Nocturne) are all soft, giving you all the space you need. And that’s it. There may be a few flaws to this album, but nothing to fuss about. For the most part, “Nocturnal Gates” is a ferocious display of top notch creative death metal. I urge you to give it a go! Out August 2nd on EVP recordings!