FREEVIL’s debut album, “Freevil Burning”, is the perfect example of ‘never judge a book by its cover’. Or in this case, cover and band name. I will admit – when you hear the name FREEVIL it doesn’t bring to mind the most brutal or even most serious images to mind. But don’t let their semi-childish name or cheesy cover art fool you. FREEVIL throws down some very interesting and stylish Thrash Metal. Some of the most original I’ve heard all year.
FREEVIL may not be the best Metal album but it definitely has some elements that are going to throw you off. In fact, most of the time “Freevil Burning” comes across more as a soundtrack to a cheesy horror film rather than an album. None of the performances on the album are rather stunning and considering some of the pasts of the members (WITCHERY, DENATA) this is going to be somewhat of a let down to fans. It’s far from being a bad album. But after that initial listen, some of the charm of the album does fade.
With a very modern approach to Thrash Metal, FREEVIL keep up a lot of great riffs with stop and go moments interjected. These riffs are catchy and fun but rather lackluster at times. The drums and what can be heard of the bass compliment the music quite well. The most notable musical element of “Freevil Burning” is by far the insane and sometimes hilarious keyboard (or synths according to the booklet) lines. These give the album that cheap horror movie atmosphere but the melodies they carry are quite catchy fun. At times, the band carries a KING DIAMOND feel to the songs but without the clever song writing.
This is one of the most interesting albums I’ve heard this year by far – and originally I was enjoying it immensely. After time though, the album lost a lot of its charm and I came to enjoy it but found it to be rather corny instead of unique. This band has a lot of elements they are playing with on the album and I wonder if they had decided to focus down on some concepts if the album would have been better. Not bad for a debut though.
Songs to check out: “Deathblow”, “Live The Lie”, “BOB”.
(Online November 26, 2007)