The Swedish power metal act Freternia is celebrating their 20th anniversary as a band this year, and what better way to celebrate it than releasing their third studio album. And talking about releases: what happend after the release of their second, and by now final, studio album in 2002? PowerMetal.no asked vocalist Pasi Humppi about that and more, and here is the result.
How is the work with the new album going? In April it was said to be released this summer, what has happened?
Pasi: I’m happy to say that the recording of this, yet untitled masterpiece, is finished! But you’re right; the original plans was indeed to try to get it released this summer. But as always things tend to get delayed and so is the case now. And now we are waiting for the final mixes from the studio. We have contacted several labels and are in negotiation. As for release date we honestly don’t know.
What can you tell me about the new album?
Pasi: The album will have 12 songs in a wide variety of styles. We tried to find som «Warchants & Fairytales» (2000) feel as well as «A Nightmare Story» (2002), but also add some progressive elements into the mix. We have fast, heavy and aggressive songs in an, according to us, perfect blend.
With this album we have also collaborated with other Swedish power metal profiles. For example we have Johannes Nyberg [ex Zonata] playing additional keyboards and some minor parts where he sing lead vocals, plus he is part of our Hellchoir [backing vocals choir]. Mikael Dahl [Crystal Eyes] is also doing backing vocals and maybe even some falsetto screams!
When did you write the songs for this album? Is it all new songs, or will the album include songs written during the last 16 years?
Pasi: We have some old songs from back in the days, but also totally New ones just written. The oldest ones dates back to right after «A Nightmare Story».
Freternia was formed in 1998, and released two excellent albums in 2000 and 2002. Then the band «suddenly» disappeared. What happened?
Pasi: Many different factors, but the main reason according to me (I can’t speak for the others) is that life happened. Back then life was easy … and suddenly there was full time job and kids. So there wasn’t any time. But we actually never said that we quit, it just happened you know.
But now you are back! What can you tell me about the band anno 2018. And speaking about Freternia 2018 edition: why did you decide to come back?
Pasi: The band has four of the original line up left: Patrik von Porat [formely Lund] on guitar, Tomas Wäppling also on guitar, Tommie Johansson on keys, and myself on vocals. New to the crew is Nicklas von Porat on bass and Oskar Lumbojev on drums. These two are extremely talented guys and I have played with them both. Patrik, Niklas and me play together in our other band, Cromonic, and me and Oskar played together in a band called Ablaze back in 2007.
The whole idea of us doing a third album came up when we were gathered at my place for the first time, just having a party. Then someone mentioned that we should do something with Freternia since it was almost 20 years since we started.
What have you been up to since the last album was released back in 2002?
Pasi: Well, back in 2005 me and Tomas wrote some songs, and in 2009 (if my memory serves me) we had plans of releasing an album. But there wasn’t enough time and we decided to wait some more.
For me personally: musically I was kinda dead for many years and actually never thought I would be back in the music industry. But slowly I started to realize that for my own wellbeing I had to do some stuff. I joined a cover band wich later evolved into Anbaric [«Illusion Of The Holy» was released in 2017]. This was not power metal, but more hard rock and really not my style. But I’m still very proud and glad I did it. Then I formed Cromonic with some old Freternia friends and we released the debut in 2017. And here we are now! Me being more busy with music than ever before!
It’s been 16 years since the last album. How is it to enter the power metal scene once again? What has changed, if anything?
Pasi: Power metal as music style peaked in the early 2000. There were tons of bands and it was quite difficult to profile yourself. Now, to be back and to see that there is some kind of revival thing going on makes me really happy. Freternia is, and has always been, a little rougher than the average power metal band; fast and aggressive. So, we are really excited to see what the response for this one will be.
As everyone knows by now you are celebrating 20 years as a band. Even with «only» two albums released, how has those 20 years been?
Pasi: Well, we started 20 years ago but the band was dormant for many years. But my memories from back then are extremely great. We had a blast and hopefully it will happen again. Still, the silent years have been necessary. The music has evolved and we aren’t the same young lads we used to be, and that reflects on our music. But we have remained friends over the years.
I know you are planning to promote the album in 2019. Do you know anything more about future concerts?
Pasi: No, we are focusing right now on finishing the album. As for touring we are waiting for the response. I would say that if there will be a tour it probably won’t be in 2019. 2020 is more likely, considering that the main part of the summer festivals is in the process of booking bands now for 2019. So, we just have to wait and see!
And finally: when will the album be released, and when will we get more details about it?
Pasi: I really wish I could give an answear to when it will be released, but I honestly can’t at this point. We will of course keep all posted on our Facebook page.
Some titles are already in place, but other tracks only have a working title. We will reveal them when the time comes and we are planning to record a music video as well.
Meanwhile you can always listen to the classic Freternia debut on Spotify.