Album Review: Freedom Of Fear - Nocturnal Gates
Artist: Freedom Of Fear
Album: Nocturnal Gates
Genre: Death/Melodic/Progressive Metal
Review by Prarthana Venunathan
Adelaide’s young death metallers Freedom of Fear are fast making their presence known as one of the most refreshing, creative and passionate bands around in recent years. With a performance at Blacken Open Air earlier this year that knocked people off their feet, the band is a week away from releasing their debut LP ‘Nocturnal Gates’, a record that definitely exhibits the sheer uniqueness of the band’s sound and one that will undeniably get your windmills going.
The record begins with the absolute aural roller-coaster that Is ‘The Consciousness of Misery’, a track that throws light on just how talented and versatile Freedom of Fear is. From low gutturals and brutal growls that will instantly grip you by the throat to an absolutely killer solo, and a really magnificent soundscape overall, you can tell that this would be a crowd-pleaser; and rightly so with slight evidence from the music video which was shot during their set at Blacken Open Air earlier this year. The track takes a completely different turn into a much heavier more brutal direction and then plays with your emotions again. I’m not kidding when I say it truly is a roller-coaster because hello sax solo! I’ll just leave it at that.
‘Gateways’ follows proving to be the perfect ‘breath-giver’ in amongst the powerful, underground demeanour of this whole LP. Over a minute long, this beautiful interlude allows your mind and eardrums to rest before what is without a doubt my favourite track on this album for a long list of reasons. For starters, ‘Purgatorium’ stands out on its own, not just from the other tracks on this record but as an individual entity within the realm of modern and Australian metal. There’s just something so intense about it that draws you in – what’s more is just how polished this track is for such a young band. Not to mention, the strongly Gojira-esque riffage and vibe from the start that comes through that makes it an instant win. This coupled with Jade Monserrat’s crushing vocals spewing pure aggression, riffs that stomp on your soul throughout, a face-melting solo and the ridiculous precision of Jarrod Taylor’s make 'Purgatorium' a definite favourite eventually leading into ‘Nocturne’ which presents yet another mellow and elegant side to the band’s sound.
Tracks like ‘The Abstract Venom’ and album closer ‘Amorphous’ showcase the versatility of the band and their ability to put their own modern twist on more old school sounds. The vocals are menacing to say the least but measured – everything about this track is balanced, making it such an accessible style and listen. The mid-paced, rather progressive riffs in the beginning set the tone for a phenomenally unique track that brings together the best of tech death and more old school death metal vibes. About halfway through the track is probably my favourite part – huge bass lines and every riff just stomping on your face in perfect sync with the vocals. However, the first time I listened to it; I thought the track was coming to an end – it wasn’t. There was still a good two and a half minutes left. So, while it certainly has the makings of a solid metal track, my only gripe with it is how dragged on it seems, especially for the end of an album.
Freedom of Fear brings forth not only an inexplicable energy through their music on ‘Nocturnal Gates’ but also prove an admirable level of professionalism for such a new and young band. It is obvious right from the beginning that they are not afraid to reveal who they truly are as people and as musicians – revealing both an emotional, softer side that balances out the truly fierce nature of death metal itself.
8.5 out of 10
Nocturnal Gates is out August 2nd via EVP Recordings.
PRE-ORDER HERE: www.evp-recordings.lnk.to/FreedomofFear