Fraise – Siamese Conspiracy
Reviewed by Christopher Foley
Wow, seeing these guys were called Fraise, I immediately thought to myself, “that sounds like some sort of strawberry yoghurt”. Well I guess I was paying a little more attention back in French class than I thought, because Fraise is French for Strawberry, and that’s close enough for me. Whilst their third full-length, Siamese Conspiracy, isn’t pink and girly like a lot of strawberry-related products tend to be, they’re certainly appealing enough on the pallet.
If you read the review I recently did for Forever Storm, then I can say Fraise applies its craft to a similar formula. There’s a definite Tad Morose-styled slant to their brand of heavy/power metal, with a singer who recalls Urban Breed at times, and music which ultimately comes across a blend of the more anthemic Tad Morose songs and the upfront, high melodic charge delivered by Trail Of Murder. If that description failed to register, then think along the lines of traditional heavy metal values, strained through modern production, with big, catchy choruses, a comfort for the mid-pace zone, with plenty of banging rhythms, and post-Iron Maiden melodies.
Fraise doesn’t offer anything necessarily great, as their material is pretty consistent and similar throughout its run time; it’s a total blast to listen to, though. Siamese Conspiracy is one of those albums you can just pop on and get about doing whatever it is that you normally do, and I guarantee that at the very least a foot will be tapping. I will say that there are a few moments where the band breaks free of its groove and unleashes material I’d deem a little more impressive. “Salvation”, despite beginning as a ballad, evolves into an involving mini-epic with majestic vocal lines and guitar progressions. There’s a cool approach to dynamicism in this one, and it’s an element of the band I feel that, with further focus, could really set it apart. “Generation Dollar” is surprisingly vitriolic, and stands as a rare example of modern ideals transferred to the power metal medium in a very competent fashion. I quite like how clean guitar lines are played over the pummelling rhythm assault, giving the song its rather unique identity, and again helping to set it apart from the more vanilla numbers on the album.
Whilst thirteen songs of a generally similar breed and run-time isn’t my preferred album flow, there’s nothing I’d skip here. Even the ballad is alright, and it’s nice that they spread the good songs evenly throughout the album (this goes without saying really, but some bands do top load). As such, this is a fun, uninvolved blast to listen to, although nowhere near essential. There’s a lot of good stuff going on at the minute, and whilst Fraise serves up an enjoyable affair, I can imagine them struggling against the sea of quality, which at the minute is making for an exciting time in the genre. If this comes your way, though, don’t pass it up. Well worth a listen, but I’m not too sure you’d revisit with much frequency.
3.0 // 5