Freya As The Last Light Drains

East Coast rockers Earth Crisis helped shape modern hardcore into the weighty melody driven music it is today, and their break up in 2001 left a hole in the hardcore music scene. Just when that gaping hole was expected to stay there for good, along come Freya, the new project from three ex-Earth Crisis members. Their latest release is As The Last Light Drains, a dark and turbulent record with verve. Gone are the political messages of Earth Crisis, replaced instead by more poetic, emotionally-driven words. Clean guitars are balanced by the passionate and vulnerable vocals of Karl Bechner. Songs like "Resuscitate” and "April Witch” illustrate Freya’s ability to combine hardcore breakdowns with Bechner’s haunting melodies. As solid as this record is, its production value often makes it sound too polished, taking away from the pure intensity of the players. The instrumental intro "Veritas” feels like it’s being held back, distortion cranked down and drums sounding too hollow. As The Last Light Drains may not have the fire of old Earth Crisis records, but it definitely has a spark. (Victory)