Fredlös - Official Website


Sweden Country of Origin: Sweden

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Type: Full-Length
Release Date: February 10th, 2023
Genre: Folk, Medieval
1. Våt Varm Jord
2. Otto
3. Farsot
4. Missväxt
6. Uppror
7. Undergång
8. Deus
9. Requiem

Review by Vladimir on February 24, 2023.

Folk metal mixed with medieval music isn’t a genre I’m well aware of to be honest, but it would surely be a lie if I said it wasn’t something I would gladly take away my spare time and listen to. Anything of the sort would surely be a fine addition to a personal playlist if it works out just right. One of such sorts is a Swedish seven-piece band called Fredlös (“outlaw” in Swedish) from Norrtälje. The band presented themselves with their self-titled debut album Fredlös, released via Threeman Recordings on February 10th 2023. Let’s dissect this “outlaw” and see what sort of dark age relic is this. 

Apart from slow, doomy, almost folk/black metal inspired guitar riffs, there are violins, cellos, keyboards and epic singing female vocals, which combined with metal music add an extra layer of emotion and medieval atmosphere as if it’s a soundtrack for a movie or a video game. Beside these common traits which can be heard all throughout the album, there are also epic singing male vocals and drums that go from slow to double-bass drumming on some instances. I must note that the entire performance feels like Percival Schuttenbach’s musical contribution to The Witcher 3 soundtrack which it reminded me of a lot, especially with the violins, cellos and epic female vocals, but with the only difference being that it’s in Swedish language instead of Polish. The amazing songwriting and performance wouldn’t be just as good in my opinion if the sound production didn’t set the guitar tone and the vocals in the mix just right to give you that feel as if it’s an elderly dark age relic. Perhaps the only minor nitpick I have about the album is that it slowly starts to lose its musical magic somewhere around the second half of the album, due to songs struggling holding the listener’s attention up to the maximum, although still managing quite well to retain what’s left of it. The final track 'Requiem' is probably the strongest one from the second half even though it’s the longest track on the album, due to being an epic conclusion to this medieval saga.

I don’t know what I was exactly expecting but this is definitely pure medieval folk metal, which stands quite strong on its own and certainly wouldn’t go hand in hand with other folk metal bands like Eluveitie, Ensiferum, Korpiklaani or anything mainstream from this subgenre. Fredlös is yet to gain some loyal followers with this album and will surely be talked about more in the future due to their amazing execution in terms of creativity and songwriting.

Rating: 8.2 out of 10