FREEDOMS REIGN - FREEDOMS REIGN (Cruz Del Sur Music)
(Review by Stefan)
Freedoms Reign is the new band formed by lead singer/guitarist Victor Arduini, Classic Metal maniacs know him as Fates Warning’s first guitar player. Along with this legendary US metal band, he recorded the first two albums “Night On Bröcken” (1984) and “The Spectre Within” (1985)… shortly after, Victor called it quits and I don’t know what keeps the man busy afterwards. I’d like to set up an email interview with his new band Freedoms Reign soon and be sure, I will ask about why he left the FW ranks back in the middle 80s. Whatever the reason for his department may be, I’m glad this great musician is back after almost 26 years with his new band where he is surrounded by second axeman Tommy Vumback, Mike Jones (bass) and drummer Chris Judge.
Recently released through Cruz Del Sur music, Freedoms Reign self titled/produced debut effort (engineered by Nick Bellmore, well known from his drum works with Toxic Holocaust) has not much to do with the sound of good old Fates Warning fame but in some ways Victor’s remarkable guitar pickings used to know from that era come linger on regularly. Along with his new band, he delivers the vocals as well and trust me on my word, he has a very remarkable voice timbre mainly in the vein of Ozzy Osbourne ! Truly, sometimes the difference between both Mr. Osbourne and Victor Arduini is so slight… on a regular basis, I felt that I heard the one and only Ozzy. Sing like ‘The Madman’ himself must be a gift from heaven, if it’s happens you can call yourself a happy man. The fact that Victor presents his new band Freedoms Reign’s debut album came completely unexpected to me, active as both guitarist and singer totally along the lines of Ozzy Osbourne brings me in a state of totally taken by surprise. Vocally wise, originality might be lacking but I don’t care about that… the entire Freedoms Reign sound has such a huge affect on me, this is a magnificent release no matter what!
The index on my CD rack lights up nine songs, actually all decent Heavy/Power Metal songs with a nod to good old Doom in the vein of Black Sabbath, Ozzy among others. The guitar lines are very strong and dynamic, even kinda groovy by moments with room for nice melodic moves as well. For example, fans of Darrell ‘Dimebag’ Abbott will be very pleased with that. The style of Freedoms Reign reunites my memory as it was during the period, somewhere between the mid 80s and 90s. Great period to me, the memory’s still on and I won’t let it fade away. Nothing but praise for Freedoms Reign, also the production is able to enjoy me to the fullest. On certain songs, I have the following to report…
The album got me by the throat for real during the great guitar riffage of second song called ‘Shadows Of Doubt” reminds me of US Power Metal gods Cauldron Born. Fantastic composition with Ozzy-esque vocals and outstanding, melodic guitar tactics delivered by both represented axemen. Next track ‘Brother’ comes along and I got the same, good feeling deep down inside due to the Classic Heavy Metal character. Take a good listen to the awesome guitar solo please! Brace yourself for a real ‘headbanger’ called ‘Believe’ and its cast-iron character. Each player in Freedoms Reign gives the best of itself and the result is brilliant. Black Sabbath fans better skip right on to ‘Up From Down’ and musical wise, ‘To Be’ seems to be a welcome gift for all defenders of groovy oriented Metal music likewise Soundgarden/Alice In Chains. Due to my personal taste of music, not my cup of tea type of bands but next song on the album entitled ‘No Excuses’ manages to boost back my complete attention. ‘Long Way’ starts a bit in the vein of Hallows Eve’s ‘Death And Insanity’ but finds its own way after a while. Freedoms Reign keep the tempo pretty low during the first part, along with a superb guitar solo they turn on some more speed. Finally, the curtain falls as the guitars stop roaring… great song again! Do they saved the best for last? Well in some way they did really. The vocals on the dark influenced ‘Looking Around’ still in Ozzy style and Victor Arduini’s good old Fates Warning type of guitar playing comes up more and more. I’d like to describe this great song as a meeting between Metal Church, Black Sabbath, Meliah Rage and very early Fates Warning. Dark as the blackness of the night, what a fabulous composition!
I can conclude this review with a very good feel, ex-Fates Warning guitarist Victor Arduini and its new project Freedoms Reign appeared unexpected likes thieves in the night. Haven’t heard anything of him for the last 26 years, now his back in business and just released a great effort made for those hooked on Ozzy alike vocals and promising Heavy/Power Metal song structures featuring darkened emotional moments and convincing guitar moves. I truly hope they will make more albums as time passes by! Order right HERE. Freedoms Reign official page at: http://www.freedomsreignrocks.com/fr_aboutus.cfm
My Points: 86 / 100
95+ : Outstanding, high valued albums & Classic Ones… a direct purchase is advisable !
Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan
Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it
Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing
Between 60 and 69: Rather moderate
Between 50 and 59: Bad, substandard
50- : Rubbish