Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Frostbite ~ Valentine & Other Stories Of Hope

(Click on heading to visit official website.)
Style: industrial, heavy metal
Label: self-released
Year: 2011
Home: Atlanta, Georgia

Members: Christopher Lee Compton ~ all instruments/vocals

Guests: Dan Leeds, Tim Latham ~ guitar solos


On first listen to Frostbite I envision marching soldiers with the guitars jumping in sometimes for a machine gun assault from the pit. Frostbite are atmospheric black industrial metal with a bit of a symphonic quality, read that as referring to an epic feeling primarily due to the lofty sounding distinctive vocals not operatic or prog-metal. Frostbite isn't going for false ideas of melodic playing, i.e. heavily distorted guitars riffing away on a bland riff that is barely melodic given any definition of the word, but instead crafts unique sounding landscapes that do more than just riff riff attack attack fast fast. This is a chilly soundtrack that has more feeling than most heavy metal of its ilk, but then industrial metal does tend to be more moody than its musical cousins. Some industrial does tend to be more on the noisy end, but the key with Frostbite is the conceptual vision that laces the songs together. This is music for the devil himself to intone over, as the first person lyrics belay. Lyrically it's in the Marilyn Manson family of self-declaring self-revelizing Satanic blasphemy, though with more creativity & real emotional core than Manson's mumble jumble, such as "Ripping through my skin/with painful vengeneance & no remorse/demons lie within/I am an anti-christ/I am Lucifer ... I am my own fucking worse nightmare/who's going to teach me how to pray?" from the soldier stomping "My Darkest Dream". As the album title foreshadows this is more like a musical valentine from the devil himself, moving through quite a variety of styles from straight metal to more industrial to symphonic keyboard-laden, as realistically sounding as any emotional journey with highs & lows, sturm & drang, moments of self-confession & pain & others of relation & grand pronouncement. Frostbite is one of the more emotional sounding industrial metal bands I've heard in a long time & thus I share with a high recommendation. Actually, what makes Frostbite all the more interesting is that when I first started listening I didn't realize this was a one-man outing. It sounds like a band that has crafted wonderful spaces for each instrument to contribute versus just guitars & double bass drums pounding away. It's one of the most band sounding one man outings I've heard in a long time. This is the first full-length album by Frostbite, following a release of the Velvet Underground single "Venus In Furs".

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