|Release Date||14 June 2019|
|Record Label||Rock of Angels|
After more than a decade and a half of silence, Swedish power heroes Freternia are back with a seriously awesome comeback album. With a rejuvenated lineup and an ocean of pent-up metal, it’s evident from The Gathering‘s first minutes that these guys are back with a fucking vengeance.
Beefing up Freternia’s tight new rhythm section are drummer Oskar Lumbojev, bassist Nicklas von Porat, and guitarist Patrik von Porat. Alongside these newcomers are original band members Tommie Johansson on keys, axeman Tomas Wäppling, and the rough pipes of Pasi Humppi, who all make names for themselves through this impressive display of musicianship.
Moving on to the actual contents, The Gathering begins with a really nice touch; rather than opening with a meaningless instrumental intro (as so, so many bands do), this intro is a nod to the final track of the previous album, which adds a bit of depth for those who have waited all these years for another album. Then, as soon as this short tribute is finished, we’re welcomed to an hour of heavy, heroic, headbanging power metal. Freternia combines the more fantastical elements of power metal, like the song structure, melody, and synth parts, with more aggressive rhythm parts and delivery to craft an addictively badass sound that’ll attract listeners from numerous paths of the metal world.
It’s impossible to single out one or two good things, because it’s all really well done. The melodies are strong and the choruses are executed masterfully, at times hitting with an epic chant, and at other times leading the music with soaring emotion. Following in like fashion, the guitar solos are sick, the backing parts are sick, and the riffs are sick. Everything is, you guessed it, sick. If you’re gonna catch chlamydia from fooling around with an album, fool around with this one.
There’s not a single song on the album that doesn’t kick considerable ass. From front to back, The Gathering is an absolute blast. It’s a pleasure to have Freternia back in a thriving scene and, if they keep this energy up, I sure as shit hope they stay for a while. If you’re looking for raw power, choppy riffs, killer vocals, or simply a break from the power metal norm, it’s all here, so do yourself a favour and listen to this blessing of a comeback album.
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