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Review: Fretless - Damnation

Label: Pure Steel Records
Year released: 2019
Duration: 53:37
Tracks: 13
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: August 23, 2019
Reviewed by: Luxi Lahtinen
Readers Rating

Rated 4/5 (80%) (3 Votes)

Fretless are a Hard Rock/Heavy Metal band from Sweden, the land of shitty beer, beautiful women, and enough Eurovision Song Contest winners to almost make you forget that they have a great fucking Metal scene. Despite forming in 2009, Damnation is only their second album of straightforward '80s Metal tinged with a heaping dose of Hard Rock that calls to mind bands like W.A.S.P. and early Accept. Thankfully, it's a damn fine example of that.

The songs are all very simple, catchy, and melody driven, to the point where you could almost accuse the band of being poppy if they were active in the era they're clearly trying to emulate. However, their strong riff-writing and melodic sensibilities led by the raspy, almost soulful vocals of frontman/Joe Elliot lookalike Patte Carlsson put them head over shoulders above most of the bands that oversaturated the style back in the day. The title track is a great example of the catchy, somewhat mellow sound this band strives for, and "Black Moon" shows what Carlsson can do at full power, but there isn't a real bad song to be found in the bunch.

Overall, there's nothing really new about this, and those looking for a purely Metal experience may be put off with the Hard Rock influences, but it parties like it's 1983 and does it pretty hard, and sometimes that's good enough.

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