Frosthelm - The Northwinds Rend Flesh
Self released
Melodic Blackened Thrash
4 songs ()
Release year: 2012
Reviewed by Alex
Surprise of the month

Every newcomer band feels obligated to send a bio/data sheet along with their debut entry, and North Dakotans Frosthelm are no exception. Where they might be different from many others in the crowd, however, whatever they say in that datasheet is actually true, at least in as much as it pertains to their origin and music influences. Frosthelm promises black/thrash mayhem composed in the middle of fucking nowhere, and they certainly deliver.

Frosthelm’s “middle of fucking nowhere” is actually located in Minot, North Dakota, one of the least populated US states. I actually had an opportunity to work with a fellow from Linton, ND, in my company, but for my academic advisor this guy was the first North Dakotan he met in person. Just shows you that the state IS quite desolate, tucked away into the Northern Plains, windswept and cold in the winter. It is this territory that Frosthelm come from, and it is easy to see how The Northwinds Rend Flesh EP could have been shaped by that state’s harsh environment.

Similar climate exists half of the world over in Scandinavia, and whether it is climactic similarities, or Frosthelm devotion to the genre, but the first thought coming to mind when one hears the EP is – mighty Dissection has left a mark. All four cuts on The Northwinds Rend Flesh deliver catchy D-/blastbeat and otherwise rhythmically fast blackened thrash. This music could be a tonic in a crowded bar, rousing people, stirring up mosh pits, horns showing hands flying in the air. Not burdened much by Dissection’s Iron Maiden tributary flowy riffs, Frosthelm instead goes for brisk, sped up staccatos, reminding of the old Metallica on steroids (another influence they dutifully list). I also don’t find Frosthelm to be particularly grim, even though blackened influences are obvious. I have much easier time picturing Frosthelm liquoring up to have some fun, rather than have their faces decorated with corpsepaint.

The bass is sprinkled periodically (Damage Over Time), the dudes practiced their melodic solos (Goblindriver, Reaping the Seeds of Corruption), and melodies are also coming at you through some tremolo outbursts throughout. The closing title track begins with a slower more epic intro, reminiscent of the newer Immortal or I, but that approach is soon tossed away in favor of the by now familiar and penetrating template. Not sure if the band employs two vocalists, since the info sheet assigns vocals to only one member, but if one person carries the vocal load for Frosthelm, the dude is really covering the spectrum from bottom dwelling growls a la Johan Hegg to vomit screeches a la Dani Filth (Damage Over Time), and the latter can look outright theatrical in spots (Reaping the Seeds of Corruption).

An overall a very competent affair (shows that practice always pays off), The Northwinds Rend Flesh EP could serve as fast-moving brisk shot in the arm to the lovers of very early Dark Tranquillity, most certainly Dissection, a little bit Lord Belial, and Skeletonwitch, if you need a more modern American reference. Another comparison, especially given their relative geographical proximity, Is Montana outfit Martriden, although Frosthelm is a lot thrashier and does not fool around with symphonics.

Killing Songs :
All are fun to listen to
Alex quoted no quote
Other albums by Frosthelm that we have reviewed:
Frosthelm - The Endless Winter reviewed by Alex and quoted 79 / 100
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