F U L L . R E V I E W S


Fraise - Hellicornia 2004 Indy Release - Reviewed by EC

Track Listing
1. Hellicornia
2. Set Us Free
3. Fight With Fire
4. Ice Cold
5. Saratoga
6. July
7. Profile Of The Day
8. Rise Again
9. Kings And Queens
10. X9
Fraise are a sensational metal act that hail from Sweden. "Hellicornia" marks the band's debut album, independently released and destined to land the band a decent contract, this young group of musicians seem hell-bent and determined to provide quality, well thought-out classic metal with a huge emphasis on melody. One can only think of German bands like Gamma Ray, Reactor, Heaven's Gate, and the mighty Helloween when comparing Fraise's sound to the other metal "gods" that populate the global spectrum, with this band also borrowing some ties-that-bind from other Swedish power acts such as Nocturnal Rites and even Hammerfall's catchy chorus rings.

Every song here delivers great, catchy riffs that really appeal to my power-metal soul, with Fraise sounding fresh and traditional, sticking to the genre's important ingredients, with great vocal harmony, wonderful melody, and strategic, well placed riffage that seems to fuel the band's fire to create epic songs. "Hellicornia" comes full throttle, opening the gates with scorcher "Set Us Free", a great romp through Helloween's green pastures, with vocalist Jesper Max straying from the tired sounds of Kiske clones, instead having his own identiy that really doesn't compare to anyone out there.

Tracks like "Fight Fire With Fire" showcase a great passion for power guitar playing, with Anders Karlsson playing full scale, obviously inspired by guys like Gary Moore. "Fight Fire With Fire" could be a more metallic vision of Angel Dust, even displaying some early-era Brainstorm moments. "Ice Cold" runs rampant, moving up and down the Running Wild discography, with plenty of big, over the top galloping. Other treasures here: "Saratoga" with its soaring solo that is nothing short of breathtaking, the Sabbathy "Profile Of The Day", and the gloomy Grave Digger like ballad "July".

This is probably one of the finest indy-released albums I've heard for quite some time, with Fraise offering a veteran approach to songwriting and craftmanship, and a true-metal passion for this business. I predict huge things for these guys. Limb, SPV, Nuclear Blast, and Remedy....sign these guys and give us some better production!

--EC 02.26.04
About this Writer:
Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has contributed to MaximumMetal.com since it's conception in 2003. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia. You can also find him on his paperbackwarrior.com blog discussing all things action and adventure.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: FRAISE
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TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
HellicorniaFraise
2004
Eric Compton2/27/2004


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