Freternia - A Nightmare Story
Arise Records
Power Metal
9 songs (50:00)
Release year: 2002
Freternia, Arise Records
Reviewed by Crims

A Nightmare Story is Freternia’s second offering to the Metal World, their first release being a solid slab of fantasy influenced Power Metal. The main complaint most people had with the debut, however, was the singer’s voice. Well, in my opinion his voice has improved, but then again I didn’t have a problem with it to begin with. A Nightmare Story, as the title indicates, is a concept CD that further improves on the Freternia sound but doesn’t offer many new elements.

Like most Power Metal CD's, this release starts out with a bang; the track Grimbor The Great is full double bass, speedy riffing, and a highly melodic and catchy chorus. This trend continues throughout the entire CD, as there are no ballads! But don’t think for a second that all Freternia have to offer is swift Power Metal; they often change things up with mid-paced sections, progressive build up, and melodic breaks. In fact, many of the mid-paced riffs and even the faster riffs are very heavy. There is even a bit of a Hard Rock groove on occasion, and this is a fine addition. Every song also contains back-up choirs, which sound very similar to what Elvenking use; the choirs are very successful and are often used for bridges and choruses to great effect. Even when the back-up vocals are not being used, the vocalist, Pasi Humppi, soars with a highly melodic delivery. Essentially what makes Freternia so successful is they know the perfect place to situate any given element in their song arrangements. I can’t stress enough how clever some songs are- so simple, yet so effective. To touch on the melodies again, I can honestly say that some of these vocal/guitar melodies are some of the best I’ve heard all year, especially on The Dark Side, New Hope, and Arrival. The songs also contain keyboards, but they aren’t nearly as up front as other bands as the guitars are definitely at the forefront. That isn’t to say that the keyboards aren’t well used though, since the keys do add nice textures and coat certain songs with a quality atmosphere.

The production is very well done, much improved from the last release, which was a little too dirty at times. Everything is mixed well, especially the drums and bass (which sounds superb). This only adds to the powerful and energetic delivery of Freternia. Every band member is obviously talented, but there will always be those people who don’t like Humppi’s vocals, which is why I suggest if you’re new to Freternia to see if you like his voice before investing money on their release.

I won’t get into the story much here, but it is good fantasy material, and the flow of the story is helped a lot by the style of the songs, which never get boring or repetitive (at least by Power Metal standards); you definitely are kept constantly engrossed. Only the last track Requiem slows down and contains extended quiet sections (some might consider it a Power Ballad) but I still maintain that there are no ballads or pointless interludes here, only non-stop speedy Power Metal, which at times treads the barrier of German Speed Metal. I’m only taking off points because we’ve heard this all before (although usually not this high-quality), and just to even out the score a bit based on the fact that some people won’t like the vocals. Otherwise, this is one my top Power Metal release of the year so far (although I still have some key releases to fully get into) and A Nightmare Story will definitely remain in my CD player long after my review is submitted.

Killing Songs :
Grimbor The Great, The Arrival, The Dark Side, The Saviour, New Hope, Battle Of Minds
Crims quoted 86 / 100
Other albums by Freternia that we have reviewed:
Freternia - Warchants & Fairytailes reviewed by Chris and quoted 75 / 100
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