With titles like 'Injustice', 'The Riot', 'Poverty' and 'Anarchy', these guys seems to show their world view. Musically, this is simply decent hard rock, usually at a mid to down tempo pace and with some progressive elements. With massive riffs and a blend of raw and clean vocals, The Royal Blasphemy certainly knows how to make this album interesting. Perhaps you could say that this sounds like Anathema meets Pantera, which translates as 'freaking heavy but quite atmospheric'.
Since it's quite a sunny day today, I imagined this music on stage, somewhere on a big metal festival (because that's obviously where these guys belong). They would play somewhere in the late afternoon, second half of the line-up. In front of the stage some fans fiercy sing along while the rest of people on the festival area nod along with the tempo. Especially on a metal festival, I can't see anyone not appreciating this music. Certainly a song like 'Depression' must have the approval of loads of people.
It definitely got my approval. I love the additional samples in a song like 'Anarchy', especially the bagpipes. Right after that, the song suddenly turns into a death-doom anthem for a short period, complete with grunts, showing that The Royal Blasphemy doesn't care about what genre they play. It all comes naturally to these guys, which makes the album sound organic and well-varied. The heavy rocker 'Death' might be my favorite but that's a very hard choice to make on this excellent piece of metal.
After an eerie intro, with clean guitars and fearsome vocal samples, part two of this double-album shows a bit more of the dark side of The Royal Blasphemy. Saying that these are acoustic versions of the songs on the first disc, would be a bit of an insult. These are stripped down, recomposed and reworked, sounding a bit like the clean passages of Opeth and just as great. They also remind me of the song 'Alexander vs The Puzzle by Thought Industry but I'm not sure if many people know about that highlight of acoustic rock.
While it isn't always easy to keep acoustic metal interesting, this quartet surely pulls it off. In fact, they turn it into a whole new style, where even world-music percussion has a place. This second disc is a brilliant addition to the album and frankly, a great gift from the band to the fans. Even though these are the same songs, 'Freedom' could easily be an album on its own. But together with the heavy first disc, this is a must-have for any fan guitar lover...