Freya – All Hail the End (Victory Records)Monday, 18th March 2013
Hardcore is such a wide canyon of styles that it was easy to totally overlook Earth Crisis’ return album, To the Death. Rewind over a decade ago and arguably no band was more important to the style. So even with the constant shifts within the subgenre, singer Karl Buechner has remained vital and active on numerous fronts, with his post-EC act Freya now releasing their third full-length in the form of All Hail the End.
Stylistically, Freya is more aggro and metal-oriented than EC, a trait that’s evident during the manic downpicking during “Human Demons.” Beatdowns are nowhere to be found (hooray!), while Buechner unleashes his now patented growl that is complimented nicely by some shadings of clean vocals during “The Guardian.” The Slayer-esque tom opening of “Labyrinths of the Ant People” and downtuned power thrust of both “Iron Locust” and “Condemned” rank as album highlights as well.
Very much in the meat and potatoes vein of hardcore, Freya is going to dazzle anyone with guitar pyro, nor are they going to incite massive pits of wannabe martial artists. However, you can’t argue with tough, hard-nosed HC like this.All Hail the End eschews trends, does things the hard way and ultimately succeeds.