Freya - Lift the Curse (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Lift the Curse (2007)


In the review of Freya's debut full-length As the Last Light Drains, Punknews editor Aubin commented that the record was "truly and completely confused. The band doesn't seem to know if wants to go for a post-hardcore sound like its contemporaries, or revert to a purely brutal hardcore act [...] Trapped within the record is a strong hardcore EP, and it seems to be struggling with a mediocre post-hardcore band that's just trying to whine its way to the surface." With their sophomore effort Lift the Curse, the band abandons the trendy post-hardcore attempts of their debut for their real strength in brutal metallic hardcore.

Made up of 3/5ths of vegan straight-edge pioneers Earth Crisis, Freya provides an updated metallic sound to fit in with the likes of Cancer Bats or Most Precious Blood that still keeps its roots in traditional hardcore. Breakneck rhythms stop only for ornamented double-bass breakdowns and the ultra-heavy guitars pummel for song after song not letting up until the conclusion of the record, a slightly shortened, but still played-out cover of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs." "Down to the Last" is the most impressive track on the album, with a lightspeed verse that ducks into a chorus composed of slicing guitars and rhythmic hills and valleys.

The music all flows very well, though partly due to the repeating sounds and musical themes from track to track (the pre-verse and verse of "Alleviate" and "Through the Eyes of the Angel of Death" are almost identical!). Unlike the straightforward social messages of Earth Crisis, Freya is drenched in imagery of Norse myths (after all, Freya is the Norse goddess of fertility, who according to myth, urged a man to kidnap and commit murder in order to start a war).

Freya is proof that Victory Records is not purely devoted to selling watered down substance-less music like Hawthorne Heights or Four Letter Lie to the radio-happy masses. Lift the Curse, imperfect as it is, is a huge step up from As the Light Drains, and a step back in the right direction from a band whose members helped forge a hardcore revolution (love it or hate it) in Earth Crisis.