FRETMIDEN – Bashaea
- by J.N.
- Posted on 26-02-2021
The hard-hitting Norwegian metalcore ensemble known as Fretmiden impressed me greatly with their previous effort, "Omen" , and so naturally, I was very much looking forward to experiencing their upcoming onslaught evocatively titled "Bashaea". These skilled young dudes do not disappoint either and this is a ferocious and hugely energetic assault on the senses in the best way possible. There is simply no let-up in terms of aggression here.
As I said, Fretmiden dabble in metalcore but they sure know how to vary things and keep their song material much more interesting than countless other similar-sounding acts out there. Why exactly does Fretmiden kick ass? Well, other than being sharp, unpredictable, and capable of frying one’s brain, the compositions are full of wicked textures and contain several interesting nuances and subtle details that gradually reveal themselves and come to the fore the more one listens to them. The riffs are fierce and the vocals are caustic and in-your-face, but the punchy rhythm section is impressive too and deserves praise for infusing the tracks with groove and dynamics. The slightly raw production fits like a glove and possesses a good amount of warmth and substance. I could have done with a more massive and huge drum sound, but that is a minor issue and I am in a good mood today, so let us leave it there and move on. I really dig the somewhat dissonant elements that often sneak into the picture too, which is nicely illustrated by the dark and rather unsettling "Entropy", but the highlight of the whole musical affair is arguably the brooding and atmospheric "Traurigheten", which is eerily appealing and sinister.
There is both promise and potential in spades here, which is to say that these guys have a bright future ahead of them if they keep churning out muscular metal tunes such as the ones that "Bashaea" is comprised of, but make no mistake; this is the sound of a confident band with a strong focus and an uncanny knack for writing face-melting music. And did I mention that the album cover looks stunning? Support this pulverizing cast of young musicians!