Tragedy is the debut release from the new “Modern” Metal act Free Reign. This band has basically come out of nowhere and taken the spotlight with their Mallcore and sometimes Alternative Metal stylings quickly, both for their music, as well as the history of the band members. The band members Marc Colombo, Cory Procter, and Leonard Davis, are Offensive Linemen of the Dallas Cowboys football team. While groups like this have existed in the past, none has been able to create a release as promising as this one, or carried a tag such as “Heaven than Metal”, even if that’s a bold overstatement.
The reason why this is a bold overstatement is that some of the material on here is rather light hearted, with the exception of the heavier first two tracks “In Your Head” and “Tragedy”, which can get your blood boiling and make you wanna just start acting like an offensive lineman yourself. But that’s about where that feeling ends since the funny thing about Tragedy is that as the EP progresses, the songs seem to lose their intensity, as well as some of their musical appeal, with exception to the closing track “All In Vain” which is not that bad a track. “Last Goodbye” makes for the lightest song off the bunch, clearly inspired by the Metalcore act Killswitch Engage, which you can tell through the breakdown that the song ends with. Sadly, the breakdown is a bit weak, especially compared to the one that appears at the end of “All In Vain”, but better then some that appear on many Deathcore albums.
Believe it or not, this EP is actually pretty good. Granted the release is a bit on the mainstream side of things, and wouldn’t quite be considered “Heavier than Metal”, perhaps only in the concept of the individuals involved and the performances, but there’s still some impressive elements here. The shouting vocals are tight and would be exactly what you would expect from an already established or very promising Metal act. The guitar solo on “All In Vain” is actually pretty good if not short, and the music does it’s job well. Not to mention the singing vocals on here are actually really good on every track by “All In Vain” which are only flawed by the production and layering of what sounds like background singing that is off from the rest of the music.
While this wouldn’t be every Metal fan’s cup of tea, Tragedy by Free Reign really does hit you hard with some punishing guitars and some more Alternative tracks. This group of sports stars may have what it takes to break the common assumption that athletes and celebrities should stay far away from the Metal spotlight, and gives promise to a future full length that may actually do very well. The safest way to look at this band would be to say they have the intensity of bands like later Skinlab, just minus much of the rap and throw in some more lighter moments. Even if that band is not one you find interesting, this album is still worth sampling, and can be find pretty cheap at most retailers and MP3 e-store dealers.