|Frosthardr - Varg
23 April 2007
03. Thrash Against Sin [One Bad Pig cover]
Frosthardr's previous EP, Makteslos, made a lasting impression on me. The talent displayed by this young band during 40 minutes of brilliantly executed progressive black metal - a genre that really needs talent in order to avoid dullness - made it one of my highlights in 2004. There was of course plenty of room for progression, which made me avidly look forward to this new release. Were they going to confirm all the hopes I placed on them? Let me give you the most annoying answer ever: yes and no.
If we just consider the music, then yes, this EP is good, with moments of sheer awesomeness. The title track offers anything an Enslaved fan has ever wanted from this band. Everything's quite there, the cool vocals, the frantic pace interspersed with odd, punkish breaks, the tightness of the songwriting, even the very progressive patterns that slowly build up to an explosion of coldness and violence. It almost wiped away my fears: Frosthardr have improved a lot in every domain, going from a good band, but still naive in too many sectors, to a full-blown professional sounding band. "Varg" is the newest song - actually the only new song, and if it is anything to go by, Frosthardr are going to kick some serious ass once they release a full length.
And here is the problem: a 4-year wait to get just five minutes and thirty-eight seconds of new material must be a joke, right? Although the epic second track, "Tortured", clocking at almost 12 minutes, is a pretty fine mix of Darkthrone's punk trueness and Emperor's progressive leanings, it eventually proves to be nothing but a leftover of the Makteslos recording sessions, with all the shortcomings it implies. Like on their previous release, the band sometimes kind of stray too far into twisted structures and seem to lose the thread of the song, and the production is amateurish to say the least. The last song is a cover of the Christian punk metal crossover act One Bad Pig. The original is a pretty bad song, and this cover does not really make it better.
My concern with this EP does not have to do with music itself, as the two original songs range from good to great. I just think that waiting four years for hardly 20 minutes of music, including a crappy cover song, won't take the band anywhere. Frosthardr are indeed very talented, as the title track shows, but they are still not quite there. Better wait a few more years and record a full-length than release a worthless EP. Though you out there who don't know Frosthardr and like black metal with progressive touches, check them out. Seriously.
Highlight: Varg (the song)