Sunday, 3 May 2009

[Review] Frost* - Milliontown

Firstly, a brief hello from me. I'm that "certain recluse" Dan mentioned... yeah, anyway, I'm going to start us off by reviewing the album Milliontown by Frost*.

1. Hyperventilate (7:31)
2. No Me No You (6:06)
3. Snowman (3:54)
4. The Other Me (4:51)
5. Black Light Machine (10:07)
6. Milliontown (26:35)

I have a lot of interesting things to say about this album, and I’m not quite sure where to start.

Okay, first off, I like this album, for a variety of reasons. It’s very unique, for one, and encompasses a variety of musical influences, including heavy rock and electronica. When I first listened to it, this put me off somewhat - the mixture of styles was tricky to listen to. But with more listening, it has grown and grown on me.

At the core though, it’s great prog - though modern, I can hear early Genesis and Floyd in there, particularly in the guitar solos and keyboard work. The direction of the music is constantly changing, for example, the opening track Hyperventilate begins with delicate piano, which morphs into wailing guitar and then a hectic heavier section which leaves the listener reeling.

The next track, No Me No You, begins with a pounding riff and dark, growling vocals, before breaking into emotionally-charged chorus section and includes some more light piano sections. I found Snowman rather disappointing - it has none of the variation of the other tracks and the lyrics lack much depth, in my opinion. However, it is the shortest track and I can see it appealing to those who like something a bit more ambient.

The Other Me and Black Light Machine both contain a great deal of electronica-influenced sounds, which works very well, but also have points where the music sounds distinctly… 80s pop. Fortunately, these come and go very quickly and for me don’t ruin the general feel of the music, though I’d still prefer it if they weren’t there.

The title track Milliontown is an epic six-parter, which clocks in at over 25mins. It includes some lovely guitar work and carries the listener full circle, beginning and ending with similar sections. A satisfying close to a satisfying album.

Though it has its flaws, I’m in awe of what’s been achieved here - mixing various genres and taking influences from the 70s right through to present, and then combining them in a way which really works. No mean feat for a debut album.

I give it a solid:


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