Sound — 9
From Italy. Progressive metal. There are a lot of progressive metal bands out there today but Freedom Slaves have chosen an interesting path of progressivism kind of along the veins of Fair To Midland. Heavy and accessible with dashes of technical verse here and there throughout the album. When the first track began I heard the super-saturated distortion sound and immediately said "Oh $h!+". As it turned out. The tone was quite heavy but you could still hear notes unlike most black metal from the 90s. Don't think this band is that intense. Freedom Slaves is a smart band with range and will only improve from here on out. The melodies are memorable, catchy, and not trite. For a quality underground release of the year candidate, look no further.
Lyrics — 8
Daniel Celotti is the name of the lead singer of this band. He has very solid range and while his voice sometimes quivers, it has this very interesting Carl Bell quality. I would say the best moments for vocals on this album are the tracks "A Life", "The Prophet", "Ashes Of Today", and "Today Will Never Say", in that order. The tracks are probably the best on the album and certainly the most memorable of the eight. As far as the lyrics are concerned they never really stand out to me too much in any album since I focus mostly on the musical aspect of a work. I have noticed over the years that sometimes foreign bands and Italian and Spanish bands in particular have a tendency to make ambiguous lyrics that don't make a ton of sense. Freedom Slaves, thankfully, avoids this habit and delivers some more thought-provoking and intellectual lyrics. I would say lyrically "A Life" was the key track.
Overall Impression — 9
It is nearly impossible to get a perfect ten nowadays since pretty much everything is stolen. The intro to "The Prophet" consisted of some sitar playing and was written in obscure times as were many other numerous passages on the record. The musicians of Freedom Slaves clearly have technical ability and I would be interested to see what their next path is musically. I could see them doing a kind of Myrath thing or possibly even a slightly Orphaned Land operation. That a progressive band from southern Europe uses eastern folk instrumentation in a progressive setting says a lot about imaginative ability and capacity. For those of you who enjoy a good prog jaunt Freedom Slaves should not be overlooked. Their self titled debut is a solid record and will really stick with you after a few listens.