THE LAST DETAIL – AT LAST… THE TALE AND OTHER STORIES – FREIA

The Last Detail were a band I had heard of, but never come across before this. Some of the members of the band had been in Ywis, whose album was later reissued in the Nineties, and then after this some of them formed Timelock before Ywis became active again following the success of the reissue. I can pretty much guarantee that isn’t exactly how it happened, but as I only have the download and not the album itself, which is a limited edition which contains  a 16-page, full-colour booklet with bio, info, etc, I can only apologise. Between 1987 and 1991 they released two cassette albums (both on the bonus disc) and one full length CD and various tracks on a couple of compilation albums. To commemorate 35 years ‘FREIA’, the label has decided to remaster all the band’s official recordings and re-release the music on one double album in a limited edition of 300 copies. The result is a double disc set with 41 songs, more than 2 ½ hours of music.

It must be said the first time I played this mammoth offering I wasn’t that impressed. Some of the songs are duplicated, and it all felt quite amateurish in some ways. But, I persevered and the more I listened to it the more I was taken back in time to the early days of neo-prog. With a singer who sounded somewhat like Michael Sadler, and a strong use of keyboards it is obvious to Saga they were looking for influences, but they also had much in common with early Galahad, but lacking the finesse and substance of other bands of the time such as IQ and Pendragon. I am somewhat surprised the fledgling Simm Info didn’t get involved with the band, seeing as they were attempting capture many of the top Dutch and British acts back then, but all power to Freia for finally making this available again. True, for someone like me who hadn’t heard them at the time then this is more interesting from a historical aspect than a musical one, but for those who enjoyed the band at the time then this is absolutely essential. It will be interesting to see if Freia continue releasing a magazine called True Music Guide, where each issue focuses on just a single release. There are plenty more gems to be unearthed from this time. For fans of early neo-prog.
7/10 Kev Rowland

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