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Review: Freternia - A Nightmare Story
A Nightmare Story

Label: Arise Records
Year released: 2002
Duration: 50:00
Tracks: 9
Genre: Power Metal


Review online: May 14, 2007
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.04/5 (80.83%) (24 Votes)

You can pretty much guarantee that one look at the cover art will send death metallers running a mile, and probably some of the power metallers too. Yup, my friends, this is fluffy, uplifting, teeth-rottingly sweet melodic power metal from one of Sweden's lesser known acts, Freternia. And their second full length after "Warchants and Fairytales" is a slice of pie that is, in the words of Spider-Man's Harry Osborn, 'So good…'

A lavish concept album, "A Nightmare Story" kicks things into gear with the fabulous opener "Grimbor the Great", which despite the ridiculously pompous title, is an extremely well executed power metal track that sways between galloping epic soundscapes to traditional, double bass-led fantasy imagery. Think perhaps Insania meets Thy Majestie on a lower scale. Freternia deliver in a particularly guitar based manner, with axeman Tomas Wäppling being at the forefront of most tracks, laying down some seriously addictive guitar work, blending lush harmonies with shredding professionalism. Tommie Johansson's keys are prominent but not over powering; adding an authentic credibility to the grandiose lyrical pictures the songs create. Freternia really make use of the excellent production, without overdoing the symphonics, giving the atmosphere a plausible resonance, a trait so often present throughout many Finnvox fabrications.

As tracks progress, the quality is assured by the engaging concept, making each venture idiosyncratic, whilst keeping the typically fast power metal structures and catchy, elevating choruses. "Shadowdancers", "The Unexpected" and "Battle Of Minds" stand out due to their compelling musical finesse, yet it's the catchy, Helloween like intro of "The Saviour" that gets me every time, especially as the tumbling middle-section unfolds. The only gripe I have about this is Pasi Humppi's often strained vocal, which is odd considering how great a job he did on the Ironware debut…

A must have for seasoned power metallers who can't get enough. Not much new for those looking. Still, a truly eventful journey through past times that might as well have been led on the back of a dragon. The gate is open wide…

More about Freternia...
Review: A Nightmare Story (reviewed by PowerMetal59)
Review: Warchants & Fairytales (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
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