Album Review: Freighter – The Den (Self Released)

Freighter is a technical progressive metal band from the San Francisco Bay Area. Founders and lifelong friends Travis Andrews (guitar / vocals) and Jason Braatz (bass) partner with drummer Matt Guggemos to form a power trio that pulls from many varied disciplines and truly stands as a unique voice in modern metal.

After meeting as children while their moms were at Jazzercise, Andrews and Braatz grew up together in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin and were playing in each other’s bands as soon as they could hold guitars. While on tour in 2005, they started writing the songs that would become Freighter’s 2008 self-titled debut album.

Andrews and Braatz reunited in San Francisco five years later and began putting together Freighter’s next act, which begins with the July 2019 release of their second album The Den.

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Says Andrews regarding the album:

  • “The Den is a reclusive (sometimes flamboyant), intuitive (not intellectual), folk art (not fine art). It was designed to be pure fantasy or fiction about sleep and misremembering. There is some OCD about organizing dreams, cataloguing human interactions, and exploring fantasy prone personalities — essentially mental illness in music.”

The Den will be released in vinyl and digital formats on July 12th 2019.



What a fascinating listen The Den is. It’s an album that can certainly be called unique by 2019 standards. The trio of Freighter certainly aren’t ones to follow conventional song structures and the end result is an album with all manner of oddities to enjoy.

Psychic Reading ’94 is madness inducing with how often it shifts and turns until there is almost nothing left but the chaos. It works though, it really does.

If you’ve not been wowed by that then what follows will surely leave most mouth agape. An unreal wild ride of chaotic metal played at a constantly frantic pace that crosses into as many sub-genres of metal as you can possibly imagine.

The stop-start guitars of Presto Chango-o with hardcore style vocals, Stick Around And Do It Right Until You Get It with its nonsensical yet thrilling approach to ‘rhythm’ and Harbor of Dieppe’s opening up of a can of hardcore whoop-ass are just three of the more memorable moments of madness throughout.

It’s unlike anything many will have heard before but that’s not a bad thing. Some might want their metal to be a little less chaotic but for everyone else, embrace the noise.

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Freighter – The Den Full Track Listing:

1. Psychic Reading ’94
2. Future Duke
3. Presto Change-o
4. Hot Car Death Dad
5. Stick Around And Do It Right Until You Get It
6. King Pigeon
7. Harbor Of Dieppe
8. Cimitero –


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Freighter - The Den (Self Released)
  • The Final Score - 9/10
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