|Frosthardr - Makteslos
03. Death - My Relief
When I read the name, I thought that Frosthardr (frostbite in Norwegian) was nothing but another true black metal band from Norway. I couldn't have been farther from truth. This first EP (that's also their first official release ever) proves that contrary to all expectations, Frosthardr is one of the most innovative and inventive bands I've heard this year. A short note before we go deeper, about a fact that seems of little significance to me, but I thought I might add it anyway, since it's quite rare: Frosthardr is a Christian black metal band. Now do what you want with this information.
After a short and relatively unnecessary intro, Maktesløs starts out with epic 'Koma'. Thi track reminds me of both Bathory (old) and Dimmu Borgir (also old, Stormblast era). It is a very melodic black metal song with great pagan-like vocals. Plus, although it is constructed on a quite ordinary basis, Frosthardr has brought in some personalized stuff, such as various intelligent breaks and tempo changes that make it sound almost thrashy at times. After this very good appetizer, now get ready for the highlight of the EP. Undoubtedly 'Death - My Relief' is a song to remember. First, this is the only song with lyrics in English.
Second, it is composed of at least three parts that would have been three great ideas for three different songs and genres. Let me explain: the first part displays catchy pagan black, with all the melodies it implies, in addition to nice clean vocals and some advisedly used keyboards. All of a sudden, the tempo almost is lowered down to almost zero, and we are pushed in the desperate blackness of the slowest funeral doom. The vocals also turn into growls (I want to personally congratulate the singer for the good job he's doing throughout the EP). Everything comes back to normal with the end of the song, that quite resembles Forgotten Tomb in their darkest hour. To cut it short, this song could have been messy, and yet Frosthardr managed to keep a certain unity that makes it seem to flow naturally. Actually this is the impression I've had while playing Maktesløs over and over again: I had the impression that I was listening to a different on each song. The last song 'Ravneskrik' (the closer 'Vandret' is just an outro) sounds like a mix between pagan black a la Himinbjorg and true black a la Darkthrone, with an excellent intro.
Ok, let's end it all with a few words. Yes, I'm giving it an 8, but only because it's an EP. Had it been a full-length, it would have desinsterved much more. So now, if you're not against some sick melodies or bands that venture off the beaten track, get your greedy hands on Frosthardr, a band that needs to see its originality and fearlessness encouraged.
Highlight: the almighty Death - My Relief of course