Enslaved - Frost review

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Band: Enslaved
Album: Frost
Release date: August 1994

01. Frost
02. Loke
03. Fenris
04. Svarte Vidder
05. Yggdrasil
06. Jotunblod
07. Gylfaginning
08. Wotan
09. Isöders Dronning

Back in the early 90s, the Norwegian black metal scene was running crazy. New bands forming everyday, genre landmarks being released, musicians killing each other, let alone the misanthropic view of life and the satanic beliefs and rituals. However, not all bands took this easy path. Some bands, like Enslaved, decided that black metal is not always raw-sounding guitars and satanic lyrics, and that it might be melodic and highly atmospheric at the same time. Frost is an album that proves this.

Even though Bathory are considered the undisputed creators of viking/black metal, Enslaved's early works played a big role in widening the genre and Frost is a clear representative of the viking vibe. For example, some guitar riffs appear in harsh, dissonant and also melodic varieties plus some good leads are present throughout the album. The guitars get the job done and intertwine well with the thunderous drums. The blast beats are quite decent but nothing unheard before. However, the instrument that does the most outstanding work is the bass. Black metal isn't the best genre concerning the bass but on Frost it might be. The bass is ever-present, providing a galloping sensation to the whole instrumentation, eventually topped by Grutle's vocals that possess a wide range and good quality in both harsh and clean singing. Grutle's voice indeed is the cherry on top of this cake.

Good songwriting gets better with good performance, and this is an obvious fact on Enslaved's Frost. Not a single instrument fails in delivering an outstanding performance. The album also includes some acoustic passages and viking-like chants. which add a lot to the atmosphere, as do the lyrics. Although written in Norwegian, it's not difficult to guess the what songs "Loke", "Fenris" and "Yggdrasil" are about. Back in 1994, this type of lyrics and music must have been original to some extent. Viking metal wasn't that popular and common at that time, and gives the Frost a slab of originality. The production isn't too raw and muddy, but still not crystal clear. Nevertheless, it suits the music very well and manages to create an effective atmosphere. Personally, I consider the production on Frost excellent, as it preserves the raw sound without destroying the riffs in process.

However, even without any specific weakness, Frost is not a flawless album. The slight dominance of dissonant riffs may weaken the album for those who are not fans of dissonance. Nevertheless, Frost is a strong and solid album in all fields and aspects. So if you're a fan of black or viking metal, Frost is a must for you. Go ahead, pick it up and enjoy the mighty viking-vibe this great album offers, and even though it differs a lot from the new Enslaved sound, it's on par with it. After all, this is where the mighty Frost Beast got his name.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 10
Production: 9

Written by Frost Beast | 20.10.2011


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Comments page 2 / 2

Comments: 31   Visited by: 206 users
18.07.2017 - 09:44
Bad English
Lyrics in those days well we had no google translate and it was almost impossible, old school head bangers did in old school way whit dictionary, it put I mean lyrics more mysticism into music,
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing

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