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Album Review: FREYA Paragon of the Crucible

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Not that I have immediate bias against artists on Victory Records, because there are a few I really do like, but you pretty much know what you’re in for if you have a Victory album in your hands. But again, good has also come from them, so you have to keep your ears open for some particular bands. Freya, in particular have been around since at least 10 years, so we can also probably expect even more good things from Paragon of the Crucible.

So, if I’m just being totally straight up, Paragon of the Crucible is pretty boring. I almost feel kind of tricked, because the opening riff for the opener, “In The Span of Seconds”, is actually pretty cool. It hits you right away with some fast-paced double picking leading into great double-bass passages. Actually, that whole song isn’t bad. In fact, it was so not bad that the outlook for the rest seemed so rosy.

The main problem I see with the songs is that they don’t seem to go anywhere after an opening riff. The biggest offender of this is the song “Corpse of the Old World.” This song is only about three and a half minutes long, but honestly it feels like an eternity because it’s basically the same, and I do mean the SAME riff for the duration of the track. It was a pretty good riff, but after a while, you just want a little more. Other songs aren’t quite as drastically repetitive as that, but still get rather stagnant. They don’t really develop any further than a couple of other ideas and just get old fairly quick.

The album as a whole doesn’t seem to have much direction either. The general feel of the songs change pretty swiftly without much of a flow. That’s not usually a deal-breaker for albums, but it just seemed pretty noticeable whenever I listened through it. Not that we always listen to metal for artsy arrangements in albums and such, but it just kept throwing me for a loop that I couldn’t really get pulled into it fully.

Although, I really must say that the riffs of the songs are really good. The heaviest song on the album, “Boiling the Ionosphere”, opens with some great blasting and double picking from the guitars. And some of the more melodic and slower elements of Paragon of the Crucible have pretty good moments. My personal favorite is “Serpentine” which is one of the slower songs but is also heavy at times.  But the best parts of the album aren’t enough to bring it fully above water.

Overall, Paragon of the Crucible a pretty boring album. While there are still some shining moments, and it might even be worth it to shell out a buck or two for some individual tracks, the rest of the album simply falls short. You probably don’t need to check this one out.


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Freya also has current and former dudes from Earth Crises and War of Attrition.