Friday, January 4, 2013

Frost (UK)

Frost - Frost
Southern Lord, 2005
Genre: Black Metal

1. Soul
2. Night
3. Awaken
4. Nothing

This is a really curious release.  As soon as I saw this was coming out of the world of Frost, I immediately ordered it.  It made me wonder if this was an Ep to present some of the new material coming up on a future full length.  Unfortunately it doesn't seem that will ever happen since Frost split up in 2008.  Who knows if they will get back together and release more in the future.  For now, this is the final musical work from Frost.  If you got the CD version, you got a 3" CD housed in a regular sized jewel case.  It has no booklet and everything is basically black.  The words for the tracks are extremely difficult to make out, so design wise this is as frustrating to deal with as the fact it's on a 3" CD.  Good luck playing that in a car CD player.  Oh well, this was limited to 1,000 hand numbered copies.  I have #721.

After hearing the masterpiece that was "Talking to God", I was looking forward to new material from Frost.  I think this material sort of caters to the "Talking to God" feel, but it has a much grittier feel in the guitar tone. The drums sound really good though and I think Irrumator is using a new programming system, because the samples sound extremely good.  Unfortunately I'm not sure if the writing entirely competes with "Talking to God".  The song "Awaken" really stands out to me and is extremely well written.  "Night" is really just a groove laden track with a catchy main riff.  "Soul" looks like it was taken from the "Talking to God" writing sessions, but was never used.  The last track, "Nothing", is exclusive to the CD and is a great instrumental.  I'm not sure why there are no vocals on this very strong Black Metal song, but it does carry it's own weight.

The vocals are similar in structure to that on "Talking to God", but they are so much more incomprehensible. I feel like you could understand what The Shid and The Fog were saying much more clearly on other releases... now they rival Anaal Nathrakh in their incomprehensible delivery.

In any event, is this something to kill yourself to track down?  No, I don't think so.  I think "Talking to God' is a much stronger release.  The tracks on here are cool, and I do like the gritty tone this time around, but I don't feel the songs are as well composed.  If you can find it, get it, it's worth hearing, but not worth hunting down.

Now, I've decided to upload "Awaken" even though "Nothing" is a CD exclusive.  I suppose if "Nothing" had vocals I would choose that even if it wasn't as good.  But I want my readers to hear what this sounds like in full... so "Awaken" it is!

Frost - Talking to God
Rage of Achilles, 2004
Genre: Black Metal

1. Sickness
2. Filthy Black Shit
3. And Still the Dreamer Sleeps
4. The Eternal Sea
5. Subliminal Hill
6. The End
7. Two of a Kind
8. No Light
9. Talking to God

I really wish Irrumator would stop changing his name on albums.  On this one he's listed as "Migg"...which I suppose is close to his real name Mick.  On "Cursed Again" he was Irrumator... so he should've just stuck with that.  I hate it when bands do this.  At first glance I thought this was a totally new musician... which I thought was an odd thing to do.

After hearing "Cursed Again" I wanted to see what Frost would continue to work on.  Granted "Cursed Again" didn't give us anything super new and different, so I sort of expected more of the same.  I figured Frost would wind up being just an interesting side project for a major innovator, but I can see Frost turned into something fairly interesting for "Talking to God".  "Talking to God" is way more atmospheric than "Cursed Again" could have ever been.  The guitar arrangements are still fairly similar though.  A lot of tracks feature that slower plodding guitar line that also has a tinge of groove in it to make it fairly catchy.  On "Talking to God" the riff structuring has upped the ante in atmosphere though!  This gave the album a huge change.  I feel like Irrumator changed his guitar tone a little for this album.  On "Cursed Again" he simply used what he was doing with Anaal Nathrakh as the base of the tone, but on "Talking to God" I feel like he thinned things out a little bit.  This gives the structure a strange feel because usually his riffs are very heavy.

The Fog and The Shid are back for yet another vocal onslaught. On "Cursed Again" the vocal performance seemed very similar to Attila on "De Mysteriis dom Sathanas", but I don't feel that is so much the case anymore.  The vocalists feel very separate this time around and adds an extra dynamic to the songs altogether.  I don't know which is which, but one of them does a much higher range vocal and can yield some serious screams.  Luckily that is done sparingly because otherwise it would get extremely annoying.  The other vocalist, the one that sounds more like Attila still maintains that kind of vocal quality, but I feel like he has varied things up a lot more this time around.

They've clearly been given more leeway with booklet and packaging design.  Where "Cursed Again" just gave us a folded piece of paper with lyrics on the interior, "Talking to God" has a full booklet with wonderful design.  The art and layout is actually courtesy of Irrumator and he did quite a fine job on this.  It is a beautiful booklet and artistically exudes the feel of the music in every page.

This is an incredible work and I would highly recommend picking this up if you can.  It's a lot stronger than "Cursed Again", so if you must be faced with a choice I recommend this.  Now the hardest part... do I post a sample for "Talking to God" or "Subliminal Hell"?  Irrumator writes exceptional title tracks for some reason... but since I chose the title track last time lets go with "Subliminal Hell"!

Frost - Cursed Again
Rage of Achilles, 2002
Genre: Black Metal

1. Doom Funeral
2. Down Here
3. The Rise
4. Where I Walk
5. Fields of Rape
6. Rest in Piss
7. Empty of Life
8. Cursed Again

It truly was only a matter of time before I got into Frost (from England, mind you) since I am a fan of Anaal Nathrakh’s work.  For those curious out there, this is basically Anaal Nathrakh without the vocalist V.I.T.R.I.O.L. so it’s just the mastermind behind Anaal Nathrakh’s music, Irrumator.  Now for those out there expecting an extension of Anaal Nathrakh’s approach to be displayed here, prepare for utter disappointment.  Frost is by far their own entity.  Right down to the differences in the guitar distortion approach and guitar arrangements.  Anaal Nathrakh is by far more experimental in most respects against “Cursed Again,” and I would view this album as a more traditional Black Metal release to be perfectly honest.

The big question deals with whether or not “Cursed Again” is really anything different for this genre.  Not really, to be honest.  The tracks seem to switch between fast paced and slow paced.  The faster tracks like “Doom Funeral” and “Down Here” give me a reminiscent feel of the sound from Mayhem’s “De Mysteriis dom Sathanas.”  Frost features two vocalists the The Fog and The Shid, I’m not sure what the purpose of that is, but it is somewhat apparent that the main vocalist, The Fog, was trying to emulate Attila Csihar’s vocals from “De Mysteriis dom Sathanas” on “Doom Funeral.”  They didn’t exactly nail this point, but they didn’t fail miserably to the point where it sounded bad.  It had the right atmospheric approach to compliment the music.  The slower paced tracks, which are really the only things I find to be somewhat new as an approach, have this brooding and lurching Black Metal feel to them, which I think sounds really cool.  It adds a slightly different dimension of atmosphere for me and that is very apparent on the title track, “Cursed Again,” which sounds simply beautiful to me and a definite strong point to close the album with.  The best raging Black Metal song on here is “Empty of Life,” and has one of the better lyrical approaches on the album.  I personally found the lyrics to be halfway decent, sometimes, and just not very thoughtful on others.  This band’s strong point is definitely behind the music at this point in time.

Overall this seems to be a fresh musical approach for all the musicians involved in this project, so I suppose it should come as no surprise that it has a generic Black Metal feel.  I definitely intend to keep my eye on this project to see if it can truly bring forth something fresh for me, considering I’ve heard so much Black Metal over the years.  Frost seems to be on the verge of putting their own twist on something and you can feel it hidden behind these compositions, but all we can do is wait and hope they put out another album together highlighting those more unique points.  Before closing I should say that when I initially listened to this album I didn’t find it all that interesting, but after a few listens I managed to find some really good aspects to it, otherwise I thought this was just an overly average release with very little potential.  Just some food for thought, for those who decide to procure a copy of this album.

Frost - Filthy Black Shit
Self Released, 2001
Genre: Black Metal

1. Doom Funeral
2. Smitten & Sworn
3. Where I walk
4. Fields of Rape
5. Rest in Piss
6. The Rise

I apologize for the tiny cover... it is the largest I could find that wasn't overly pixelated.  If someone can find this in a larger format, maybe 300x300 pixels would be nice... please send it to me!

Here's yet another demo I had to get mp3 only.  I am not sure if this ever got pressed or if it was only ever available for download on the web.  Whichever it is, in 2013 I only have access to a digital copy.  Oh well, to be perfectly honest I wasn't aware there was a demo in existence for this band.  Given the success of Anaal Nathrakh I had always thought this project started at "Cursed Again".  However, seeing as how this project started shortly after the inception of Anaal Nathrakh, I can see why it wouldn't have gone straight to a full length.

Anyway, revisiting this demo is pretty interesting.  Frost's guitar tone and other instrumentation seem to have mirrored that of Anaal Nathrakh as far back as it's beginnings.  From the start Frost was a very different project.  The insane chaos of "Total Fucking Necro" is the complete opposite of Frost's musical intent.  Frost is very deliberate in it's construction and the songs even plod along at a much slower pace compared to the other project.  There are certainly fast parts because the song "Smitten and Sworn" has a serious amount of blasting throughout the song, but it just never reaches the insane levels.  The songs that were later re-released on "Cursed Again", I feel have gone under significant re-construction.  In this earlier form, they feel very different to me for some reason.  Maybe I need to listen and compare to "Cursed Again" more, but I feel like they are quite different.

I think both vocalists are performing on this release.  I am not entirely sure though, because it is harder to separate the performances... if they are indeed different singers.  I'm pretty sure both The Fog and The Shid are working on this.  The vocals are closer in arrangement, there is still one that has an Attila vibe going on, but the other is using the more standard high-range Black Metal growls.  I think the vocal arrangement in "Where I Walk" was changed significantly on the first full length, and this is disappointing, because the vocals really stand out in this song.

This is a good beginning for this project.  You can easily see why Irrumator decided to have this project separate   This is a very strong first recording and I am not surprised that within a year a full length was being released by a record label.  For fans of Irrumators music, I do highly recommend checking out this demo if you can find it.

Even though "Smitten and Sworn" is not the best song on the album, it is also the song that was never released on the following full lengths, so I've decided to include that as the sample below.

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