Frost* – Others – EP Review

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Artist: Frost*

Album Title: Others EP

Label: InsideOut Music

Date of Release: 5 June 2020

When a new release from Frost* emerges, many of us within the prog community get excited. After all, this is a band that can be genuinely referred to as unique. Other adjectives include ‘challenging’, ‘fresh’ and ‘exciting’. Whilst many consider their debut, ‘Milliontown’ to be their best, I also rather like their 2008 follow-up ‘Experiments In Mass Appeal’, maybe even more than their impressive debut.

It is hardly surprising that I enjoy the music of Frost* either given that their ranks include the incredible talents of guitarist John Mitchell (Lonely Robot, It Bites, Arena) as well as Nathan King on bass and keyboardist Jem Godfrey who doubles up as usual to stand behind the mic too. With a line-up like this, including some input from departing drummer Craig Blundell, nothing the band deliver is ever going to be of a poor quality. ‘Others’, despite being a six-track EP of songs that failed to make the cut for the 2016 ‘Falling Satellites’ album, is definitely of a high quality.

However, it hasn’t gelled with me and in spite of several repeated spins, I have yet to warm to it. Moreover, I have recently realised that I am only listening to it because I feel a sense of obligation and duty to do so, so that I can bring this review to you.

Over the years, my tastes have definitely broadened. I have grown up and, in so doing, I have discarded many of the prejudices associated with youth. I can now appreciate different styles of music on their own merits, regardless of whether the end result can be classed as rock or metal, my general comfort zone. In the case of this EP, the music may still be loosely considered to be progressive rock due to the presence of drums and distorted guitars. However, the half-hour of music that I’m confronted by on ‘Others’ probably has more in common with pop music and electronica. Again, this is not a surprise when you consider the sheer number of pop ‘hits’ that Jem Godfrey has had a hand in over the years, everything from Atomic Kitten to Blue.

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Unfortunately, despite a broadening of taste and an opening of mind, I just don’t enjoy much of the final product here. The EP begins well enough with ‘Fathers’, an urgent, driving piece of music with plenty of guitars but even more bold electronic sounds and heavily effect-laden vocals. The melodies do grow on me and had this song been representative of the EP as a whole, I’m sure I would have got on board with it more firmly. I really like the stop-start section just shy of the half-way point and I equally admire the almost disconcerting drop off a cliff into silence before being teased with a melody that sounds like a baby’s bedtime mobile. The stark contrasts between this and the crash, bang, wallop of the rest of the song is nicely done, adding drama to the whole composition.

I even quite like the follow-up, ‘Cloud A’ thanks to some warm and inviting effects to embellish what is a really nice melody at its heart. It is definitely more of an introspective, atmospheric piece and the vocals are delightful for the most part, with Godfrey exploring his more sensitive side as well as belting the lyrics out with real power when the need arises. I detect the presence of a cinematic bent around the half-way mark which I like, whilst the acoustic guitar notes shine through and I wish they were utilised even more than they are.

Sadly, after that, I really lose interest and begin to get fidgety. ‘Exhibit A’, the lead single, is a jarring, uncomfortable listen that flits from one idea to another like a small child dosed up on sugar. There are a couple of more attractive moments to be heard, and I’m eager to impress upon you that the song isn’t poor by any means. However, in general, it doesn’t do anything for me and I’m simply not a fan of it.

The same is true of the disappointing ‘Fathom’ that builds up the suspense without ever delivering. The strings are a nice touch but they don’t remedy the sense within me that it is a little bit of a ‘nothing’ track that burns slowly before fizzling out. If anything, ‘Eat’ is even worse. The guest female vocals are irritating at best, especially the sampled cough that appears a couple of times. I fully accept that I am probably not the target audience for this more experimental piece and the fact that they are wiling to try something like this is laudable. I just don’t personally like it as a piece of music.

To be entirely fair, there’s a slight up-turn at the death in the shape of ‘Drown’. It is another intriguing composition, demonstrating the willingness of this band to try different things. I really like Godfrey’s vocals, especially when layered over some rich and inviting strings that lend the track an ethereal, almost dreamlike quality. I also hear the sense of hope and uplifting optimism in the soothing melodies that verge on ambient territory for the most part.

In summary then, ‘Others’ is an EP that has its moments but is ultimately a little bit of a disappointment to me personally. I take no great delight in saying this, and I’ll make no apologies for mentioning again that my disappointment is almost certainly as a result of my personal tastes rather than a lack of quality from Frost*. Indeed, I’m sure there are many that will love the music on this digital-only release. But for me, it means that I will tread very carefully when the time comes to listen to the upcoming full-length record, ’13 Winters’.

The Score of Much Metal: 65%

Check out my reviews from 2020 right here:

Darker Half – If You Only Knew
Atavistia – The Winter Way
Astralborne – Eternity’s End
Centinex – Death In Pieces
Haken – Virus
Pile Of Priests – Pile Of Priests
Sorcerer – Lamenting Of The Innocent
Lesoir – Mosaic
Temnein – Tales: Of Humanity And Greed
Caligula’s Horse – Rise Radiant
…And Oceans – Cosmic World Mother
Vader – Solitude In Madness
Shrapnel – Palace For The Insane
Sinisthra – The Broad And Beaten Way
Paradise Lost – Obsidian
Naglfar – Cerecloth
Forgotten Tomb – Nihilistic Estrangement
Winterfylleth – The Reckoning Dawn
Firewind – Firewind
An Autumn For Crippled Children – All Fell Silent, Everything Went Quiet
Havok – V
Helfró – Helfró
Victoria K – Essentia
Cryptex – Once Upon A Time
Thy Despair – The Song Of Desolation
Cirith Ungol – Forever Black
Igorrr – Spirituality and Distortion
Nightwish – Human. II: Nature.
Katatonia – City Burials
Wolfheart – Wolves Of Karelia
Asenblut – Die Wilde Jagd
Nicumo – Inertia
The Black Dahlia Murder – Verminous
Omega Infinity – Solar Spectre
Symbolik – Emergence
Pure Reason Revolution – Eupnea
Irist – Order Of The Mind
Testament – Titans Of Creation
Ilium – Carcinogeist
Dawn Of Ouroboros – The Art Of Morphology
Torchia – The Coven
Novena – Eleventh Hour
Ashes Of Life – Seasons Within
Dynazty – The Dark Delight
Sutrah – Aletheia EP
Welicoruss – Siberian Heathen Horde
Myth Of I – Myth Of I
My Dying Bride – The Ghost Of Orion
Infirmum – Walls Of Sorrow
Inno – The Rain Under
Kvaen – The Funeral Pyre
Mindtech – Omnipresence
Dark Fortress – Spectres From The Old World
The Oneira – Injection
Night Crowned – Impius Viam
Dead Serenity – Beginnings EP
The Night Flight Orchestra – Aeromantic
Deadrisen – Deadrisen
Blaze Of Perdition – The Harrowing Of Hearts
Godsticks – Inescapable
Isle Of The Cross – Excelsis
Demons & Wizards – III
Vredehammer – Viperous
H.E.A.T – H.E.A.T II
Psychotic Waltz – The God-Shaped Void
Into The Open – Destination Eternity
Lunarsea – Earthling/Terrestre
Pure Wrath – The Forlorn Soldier EP
Sylosis – Cycle of Suffering
Sepultura – Quadra
Dyscordia – Delete / Rewrite
Godthrymm – Reflections
On Thorns I Lay – Threnos
God Dethroned – Illuminati
Fragment Soul – A Soul Inhabiting Two Bodies
Mariana Semkina – Sleepwalking
Mini Album Reviews: Moloken, The Driftwood Sign & Midnight
Serenity – The Last Knight
Ihsahn – Telemark EP
Temperance – Viridian
Blasphemer – The Sixth Hour
Deathwhite – Grave Image
Marko Hietala – Pyre Of The Black Heart
SWMM – Trail Of The Fallen
Into Pandemonium – Darkest Rise EP
Bonded – Rest In Violence
Serious Black – Suite 226
Darktribe – Voici L’Homme
Brothers Of Metal – Emblas Saga
A Life Divided – Echoes
Thoughts Factory – Elements

You can also check out my other reviews from previous years right here:

2019 reviews
2018 reviews
2017 reviews
2016 reviews
2015 reviews

One thought

  1. I have to say that I’m in total agreement with you. “Milliontown” pushes all the right buttons for me, but I wasn’t that keen on “Falling Satellites” and I couldn’t stomach this at all. I saw many gushing comments on their facebook page, unsurprisingly, so I’m glad I’m not alone in being disappointed with “Others”.

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