Frosthelm - The Endless Winter
Black Work (Alkemy Brothers)
Black Death Metal
9 songs (34'18")
Release year: 2015
Reviewed by Alex

A few years ago North Dakotans Frosthelm impressed with their EP The Northwinds Rend Flesh. Given the population density in that part of the United States, one can’t expect to have many music collectives to hail from that part of the country, not to mention metal bands of quality. Yet Frosthelm delivered a strong EP reminding of Scandinavian black/thrash/death crews that came before them, Dissection being a primary reference. It is of no surprise then that The Endless Winter continues down the same frigid windswept paths. Still undoubtedly black metal, perhaps a little less outright melodic this time around, where Frosthelm did surprise is the degree of elevated shrillness and nastiness expressed on this short and to the point full-length debut.

Sure, the whole album might be under 35 min and individual cuts rarely go over 4 min, but Frosthelm manage to stuff multiple parts and ideas into their songs, all bearing the banner of serious vitriol prodded up by punchy modern production. Compositions on The Endless Winter rarely end the way they start. Melodic intro Glacial Eon, and actually only its first half, is just about the only outright soft point on the album, as Storm of Teeth begins to slash away, setting the tone for the album through muscular galloping which is to follow on this song towards its and. Forlorn Tides and Beneath Dead Horizons add a touch of Germanic Sodom-like thrash to sharpen the razor blade further. Nasty drag interspersed with melodic tremolo on Tomb of Sordid Ruin transitions through a huge lead to end up as a triumphant procession. The slower opening of The Dragon grows barbs and becomes another muscular monster. Hell Between Us may start out blistering, but brooding acoustic mid-section provides for an excellent contrast.

The Endless Winter may not present much in a way of inventiveness, something we haven’t heard before from other bigger time names in Swedish BM (Necrophobic, Naglfar), but whatever the guys lack in the novelty department they certainly make up in conviction of their delivery. The album is actually better the 2nd (and then the 3rd) time around, as you start picking out the finer parts, after having a chance to settle in and accept this forceful assault wall. The Endless Winter is going to leave you bruised up, no doubt, but thankfully, unlike the album’s title suggest, the cuts will not extend beyond your breaking point, they will leave you spent and exhausted, but not bored. Consider this statement to be an endorsement, a positive nod and a compliment, all in one.

Killing Songs :
Storm of Teeth, Tomb of Sordid Ruin, Beneath Dead Horizons, Hell Between Us
Alex quoted 79 / 100
Other albums by Frosthelm that we have reviewed:
Frosthelm - The Northwinds Rend Flesh reviewed by Alex and quoted no quote
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