CD REVIEW: Chad Frey - Audiorape
By: Cyrus Rhodes
Artist: Chad Frey
Album: Audio Rape
Label: Frey Nation Records
Genre: Hard Rock, Metalcore, Hair Metal
Sounds Like: Whitesnake, Dokken, Megadeath, Pantera, Soundgarden, Anthrax
Weakness: Engineering Aspects (Recording, Mixing, Mastering), Dated Sound, Winded Songs, Marketability, CD Manufacturing
Artist/Songwriter Chad Frey just released his latest CD entitled Audio Rape in 2012. Reading from his bio: Frey began writing lyrics in 1995, and 1 year later he started recordings demos. Then on 2003 Chad started working on his first album. Genera: Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Metalcore.
The CD explodes in your face with ”Audiorape” that hits hard with its wailing guitars, thunderous rock rhythm and melodic vocal delivery from Frey. Track 2 downshifts a bit with “Don’t Eat the Food” a heartfelt follow up that provides thought provoking lyrical content, impressive musical flow that peaks and valleys it’s way though to emotional fruition. Track 3 “Kill the TV” delivers a full throttle hard rock groove with impending guitar attack, catchy chorus and a grand slam chorus. The CD doesn’t let up - as the CD slowly unfolds I can hear influences ranging from late 80’s early 90’s Whitesnake, Dokken and old school Megadeath & even brief splashes of Pantera, Soundgarden and Anthrax. The music has everything you would expect from a high octane hard rock release. The vocals are gritty are deep in your grill, & the guitar playing is hot to the touch. The songs themselves are reckless & packed to the hilt with raw intensity. Frey’s voice and passion is the best thing about this production – he definitely let’s it all hang out on all songs. It’s not total over the top cookie monster-ish, but is still intense. The guitar playing definitely holds its own dishing out a few very impressive solos, speed riffs and power chords that will make your head spin. What I like most about the music is its sheer consistency; note for note and song for song. From my personal favorite "Kill the TV", to grooving "Shoot Shoot your Troubles Away" to striking "The Wicked Witch" to dynamic "We All Fall" this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with “Not Coming Back” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.
The biggest problem with the CD is not the band, not the music, not even the performances themselves - it’s the engineering aspect of it. The overall production quality (recording, mixing, mastering) seems to be somewhat erratic, amateurish and bit all over the place. From drums that lack serious bottom end, to obscure sounding harmonies, vocals and solo guitar segments that sit really low in the mix to awkward sounding drum recordings – this CD has all the trademarks of a "basement garage-band" mix job. It also lacks continuity and consistency track to track. It takes skill and engineering savvy to record, mix and master a musical production to industry standards these days. The impact this will have on its overall sound cannot be overstated. If this was 1972 this would be a cutting edge musical production, unfortunately its 2012, so the bar is set really high for independent artists. All songs over 4 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. It’s safe to say the catalogue is a bit dated and repetitive sounding over time. If this CD was engineered properly (Recording, Mixing, Mastering) it would definitely fair better. For the record - all 3 of the production phases must be completed successfully and professionally in order for the CD to be industry standard across the board. There is no barcode on the flipside of the CD which means this product has a non-retail compatibility. The actual CD itself is not made of professional grade Silk Screen material. Some of the above is not typical for Professional Gold Standard CD releases. The cover art concept totally misses the mark for me with respect to the album title. I fully realize this is a subjective art form but some of the aforementioned issues do effect the CD’s overall Marketability.
Audiorape by Chad Frey is a compelling musical statement from start to finish. Its strength – the raw song for song intensity and solid musical performances from Frey. The music is dirty, rock solid, heavy and consistent. The messages are vocal intensely may cause your ears to bleed. Kudos goes out to the intensity, passion & overall vocal presence of lead singer Chad Frey. If this artist gets the ship righted insofar as some of the engineering aspects – I would very much like to check out there next release for sure.