Something dark and sinister comes this way from the plains of Cleveland, Ohio. Doom metal enthusiasts Frayle have recently dropped their new release “Dead Inside” and are taking the genre by storm with their brand of dense, ambient groove.
I’ll say it and get it out of the way: while Frayle is more than competent in their chosen genre, “Dead Inside” doesn’t reinvent the wheel by any means, BUT the band make up for it in very well thought out songwriting, attention to detail, and dynamic. Every note played here serves a purpose within the encompassing black fog the band creates. The guitars drone with open power chord riffs, the drums crescendo and crash with subtle, tasteful fills while the bass lays a thick, murky groove underneath…keeping the songs wide and open. The lead guitars don’t venture too far off from the crawling dirge, but offer just the right touch of melody and ambiance to the band’s sinister sound. What will catch the ear most about Frayle undoubtedly is the vocals that takes place. Sensual, hypnotic, airy, sinister, and ethereal….it really is something different than I’ve ever heard within the genre. The vocals don’t tread far from the timid croon that sways back and forth on the album, but the emotion evoked omit such a commanding presence despite their “frayle” aesthetic (see what I did there?!?!).
While being only a two track release, “Dead Inside” serves its purpose: to leave the listener wanting more in the next installment of the band’s cryptic catalog. While both tracks bear many similarities, there are just enough shifts in dynamic to differentiate each song from one another to keep it from sounding like one long song. “Dead Inside” comes out the gate with a powerful droning riff that really sets you up with what to expect for this release. The band capitalize on a sense of minimalism…..knowing when to add that perfect spice to build things up (be it ambient guitar leads or echoing background vocals), but never being over indulgent. Despite the glacial pace (c’mon people…this is doom metal, what else do you you expect?!?!?), “Dead Inside” never let’s up with it’s keen sense of heavy groove. Hope you brought your neck brace for this track, it’s a definite head banger. “Godless” as mentioned before follows much in the same vein, but brings us much more of a “loud to quiet” dynamic unlike its predecessor. The chorus is possibly the most haunting thing I’ve heard recorded in quite some time; with the lead guitar and falsetto vocals acting in harmony while the band drops out before crashing back into the next verse. Beautiful and disturbing all at once, “Godless” is sure to send chills down the spine.
After already having much success in their young career, it’s easy to see why Frayle have been taking over the Doom metal genre with a release like “Dead Inside”. Having an already impressive catalog and shows ranging state side to Europe, this young group is going to be going places if they keep up the hard work. Be sure to check out everything “Frayle” and catch them at this year’s Descendants of Crom in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at Cattivo! You won’t be disappointed……