Frayle – 1692 (Album Review)

When you’re young, you really don’t fully understand the gravity of some situations. Your first day of school makes you nervous, but you’re not really aware of how nervous you are. The first time you fall off your bike, you knew it hurt, but do you truly think of the fear of falling down?

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That was what it was kind of like for me when listening to doom or stoner/sludge metal. I never really understood it. I mean, I heard it, but I didn’t hear it. Frayle’s release 1692 has gone a long way to opening my eyes to the possibilities of stoner/doom metal, and for that, I am very grateful.

There is a flavour of old skool drone metal in this release, but the best part about it is that they have done a good job of re-inventing it a bit. There is more of an unsettling feeling to the mix, rather than just the “chill out” factor, which I really dig. The guitars and drums sound fat, but it is the unnerving tones above that gives this release an edge. Strang’s voice is suitable haunting and well suited, her tonal quality doesn’t overpower and doesn’t sit behind the mix – it’s engaging, interesting and fits well. The music itself isn’t too sickly (which I find can be the case with these releases sometimes), which is another plus. It is mastered well and feels polished while still retaining the old skool feels of the 70s and early 80s.

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Overall, Frayle has done an amazing job of this release, and if nothing else, they’ve made me rethink my stance on doom/sludge metal. Suitable for those who like to take long walks in forests.

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Release Year: 2019
Label: Lay Bare Recoding
Category: Album
Country: USA

Reviewed by Liam Frost-Camilleri