You may remember Karl Buechner as frontman for seminal Syracuse, New York, metalcore band Earth Crisis. These vegan warriors reawakened straightedge in the early 90s, grabbing the baton from earlier bands such as DC’s Minor Threat, Boston’s SSD, and New York’s Youth of Today. Earth Crisis dissolved in 2001 although this year, it played select reunion shows in Baltimore and Los Angeles and had a short European festival tour in June.
After EC ended, Buechner and EC guitarist Erick Edwards formed the band Freya. Their first release was a split with California hardcore band Hoods, followed by a full-length called As the Last Light Drains. This 2003 release, although undeniably heavy, was far more melodic. The band returned to its heavier roots with the February 2007 release Lift the Curse.
Freya’s current line-up is Buechner on vocals, Edwards on guitar, Ethan D. Henry on drums, and recent newcomers to the band from The Last Season, Jeddie Gentile on guitar and Mike Lagrow on bass. Buechner and Edwards are also involved with the occasionally active straightedge band Path of Resistance.
The band recently released a video for their song "Suffer Not One" which you can see it at Victory Record's Youtube channel. Freya has an upcoming European tour that begins in mid-September.
One of the things I noticed when I listened to Lift the Curse is that it sounds really different from As the Last Light Drains. What inspired you to make different choices about how you wanted this one to sound?
We’ve had some line-up changes. On the first CD As the Last Light Drains, our rhythm guitarist Darian Lizotte sang with me. So we divided out the vocal duties. He went to California and we continued on. The release which set things up for Lift the Curse was the Hoods/Freya split. That’s where our sound evolved into what we have now. So it’s drastically different for people who haven’t heard the first release. It’s a lot more melodic, like “Lilith.” But it’s more fun for me to do what I’m best at, which is what Lift the Curse is.
Is it a concept album?
The imagery of the art work tells the story, before a person listens to the music or reads any of the lyrics. What’s on the front cover is Cain and Abel fighting in the Garden of Eden and on the back cover are two soldiers in modern times, fighting in the ruins of a city with a mushroom cloud behind them. So the concept is from Eden to Armageddon. Human beings are warlike and violent and despite all the technology and all the other appearances of being civilized I think people are still basically barbaric.