Frosthelm - Pyrrhic
Revenger Records
Blackened thrash
7 songs (39' 30")
Release year: 2019
Reviewed by Alex

It is probably wishful thinking that South Dakotans Frosthelm had gained a ton of followers after releasing one solid EP and another full-length of black thrashiness. And it is a shame if they didn’t, since Frosthelm plays some seriously good music. The latest album Pyrrhic is a step in a slightly different direction compared to the previous The Endless Winter. Consider it the band maturing, adding and developing, rather than mellowing out, even if Pyrrhic has significantly less of the shrill nasty edge The Endless Winter possessed.

Nevertheless A Gift of Razors shows plenty of bite after buildup, only the track is now much more melodic death/black territory than thrash. The riffs display plenty of pace, and Frosthelm undertakes an extended solo, but there is less desolation and more heft and melody today in the band’s sound. Frosthelm circa 2019 is more Lord Belial and Necrophobic, and less Dissection and Taake. The Sorceress even opens up with an old vintage Dark Tranquillity melody you can revel in, with thrashiness coming through later in the song. A ripping solo further demonstrates increase in sophistication of Frosthelm songwriting. Flamenco acoustics in Pyrrhic I: Hollow, very Keep of Kalessin like, is also unexpected, the spiraling instrumental being another proof of grown guitar prowess.

The aggression, however, is present aplenty on Pyrrhic, even if Frosthelm sound improved in quality and complexity. Serpentine Embrace is very much in your face, only now more death than thrash, more voluminous and thick, the drum sound being particularly fuller. The end chug, just like melodious closing of Pisslord, is something new the band added in their repertoire, yet there is swirling ominous blizzard that still blasts along in the same song. Immortal Nightfall: A Dreamless Lust shows Frosthelm to be aggressive and longing at the same time, with violence spilling overboard, guitars reaching out for the noisiest distortion, until clean bass sneaks into the breach. Doomy and monumental, Pyrrhic II: Looming Dusk is also dissonant and unhappy, until things slide into blissful blast closing off with an acoustic strum.

Newer Frosthelm is certainly trying to do more, and I see no reason to take points off from the band pushing for a broader envelope. Whatever the number of the followers I talked about in the beginning Frosthelm had before Pyrrhic, the tent had to have gotten bigger. The "seriously good music" tag still fits, and that is most important, whatever the branching out the band pursued.

Killing Songs :
The Sorceress, Immortal Nightfall: A Dreamless Lust
Alex quoted 83 / 100
Other albums by Frosthelm that we have reviewed:
Frosthelm - The Endless Winter reviewed by Alex and quoted 79 / 100
Frosthelm - The Northwinds Rend Flesh reviewed by Alex and quoted no quote
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