There are too many youngsters out there who consider Cradle of Filth, or even Dimmu Borgir for that matter, to be black metal. Can’t blame them, since both are readily accessible and have entered mainstream. I won’t go into the argument of “true” vs. “fake” black metal here. A – I don’t consider myself enough of a black metal fan, B – I like Dimmu Borgir, and I could never get into Cradle of Filth. The issue at hand, however, is Frost who entered the fray of black metal not just to rip the “fake” cover off the latest Dani’s creation, or to recite again a Satanic anti-Christian message. This music is drafted by scraping the bottom of the darkest filthiest human emotions and spitting it out after multiple regurgitations.
Frost is the creation of Mick Kenney, here called Migg, but also known as Irrumator of another UK based necro black outfit Anaal Natrakh. I am only familiar with Anaal Natrakh by reading some of the articles and web material, so Frost is my first introduction to Migg/Irrumator vision of things black. On Talking to God, the band’s second album, Migg handles ALL instruments, writes music, lyrics, arrangements, and being that he has his own recording and art studios, he doubles as a producer and creates cover art. In short, he handles everything, but the vocals, which are done by The Fog and Shid.
Migg’s black metal definitely invokes old Scandinavian school. The riffs and raw production style remind of the days of Nemesis Divina Satyricon, seminal Mayhem and Ved Buens Ende. Guitar playing is an endless series of distorted loops that come at you as dark waves of sickness. Melodies are either non-existent or will take time to be found underneath that entire distorted barrage (The Eternal Sea). Just like the aforementioned bands, the bass is really not that pronounced except a few moments where the rest of the music fades away and some slap bass interludes take the stage (Filthy Black Shit, title track). There are no keyboards or synth layers, not that I can hear any, this is designed to be “pure” and “unadulterated” black metal. Being that Migg also does drums for other projects I am not sure whether the drums are authentic, or this is one hell of a drum machine programming. If it is the latter, kudos, since they do sound authentic.
Where Frost is different is the speed of the delivery. The goal is not go at light speed and shred the guitar to pieces. Instead, the rhythm is often slower. One of the best songs, in my opinion, Subliminal Hell, in fact, proceeds at a slow twisted creep where drums take on an extra role. Rarely does the band go blasting away. This helps to create an apocalyptic psychotic feeling that Frost, in my opinion again, is after. Some of the riffs can actually be pretty well structured (Two of a Kind), only to be defied on the next track (No Light), which is pure chaos.
Even though the band has two vocalists I am very hard pressed to distinguish them. The “singing” moves through the whole spectrum of extreme vocal deliveries from the gravely throat rips (The End) to black metal shrieking (Sickness) to be backed up by an even sicker scream. Once in a while, a backup male (And Still the Dreamer Sleeps) or female (Filthy Black Shit, title track) choir makes an appearance. With these backing vocals, the title track has an almost devilish symphonic feeling projecting hatred, fear and other “darkside” human emotions.
Don’t kid yourself if you just want to browse through this CD, and don’t even start listening to it while being tired (my first listen was just that). Here is some of the most oppressive, psychotic black metal you can find. And this lyric outtake from No Light “A dirty storm cloud/ A murky darkness/ Disaster/ Grief/ A whole ocean of tears/ There is no counting them/ And no light/ Brothers will kill brothers/ The misery, infinite” just proves my point. If this is your first black metal introduction, give Talking to God to your more darkhearted friends, they will be able to appreciate it more. As I am a “casual” black metal fan, they will also find they would have given Talking to God a higher quote.
Killing Songs :
The Eternal Sea, Subliminal Hell, Two of a Kind, Talking to God
|Alex quoted 70 / 100|
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