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Friday, March 23, 2012

Frostbite - Valentines and Other Stories of Hope review

Year : 2011
Genre : Gothic Rock with a tint of Calm Doom
Label : Independent
Origin : United States
Official site : > - here - <

The Valentines and Other Stories of Hope LP from Frostbite takes the refreshing liberty both to stroll-, and to pummel through the extremities of its cultivated genre-palette, which primarily is mid-tempo gothic rock, spiced up tastily and soberly by a tint of Rammsteinian gloom and the sense of impending doom - pronounce : doooooooooom - as it is revealed by Type O Negative or by late Woods of Ypres. The music is more reliant and interested in exigent storytelling and the rendition of moods amidst morose lamentations, as opposed seeking to intimidate the listener by raw charisma distortion-heft for the mere sake of engaging robust goth sonic power.

The LP sounds to exhibit a fine mirror-projection of the Tech Noir mood setting you had the chance to immerse yourself in during the first Terminator movie, as the flow herein is never reluctant to throw in synths or other sample-based secondary ornaments to compliment the guitars, and the behavior of these instruments are pretty rewarding to be subjected to, because they never deviate from the morose mood. They accept the rules and choose to praise them with clever flattery. Check out the anatomy of track number 4, "The Metro", for example : the synth/guitar combo is looking all good in its '80s gloom-metal charm, - bordering on legit dark pop, to be honest - making way for a chorus that summons both hilarious and rather deep metro romantics, which I personally find a quite clever selection for a theme. After all, there is no man on the face of this Earth who did not yet see a woman - khm, or a man, to be politically correct - on a metro who he found supremely beautiful, so the stuff is easy to relate to. Read on to find out more about the disc.

One would assume that the album, with its monstrous length of 63 minutes, surely must be in the dire need to establish focus and variation with nothing less sublime or tender than an iron fist. This is not entirely true, as the full length intentionally builds structures that are not in a hurry at all, while the flow of things-, the direction of the narratives show pretty constant readiness to entertain your receptors with authentically surprising and exigent content along the well established frameworks. I have the impression that the record gets calmer and calmer in character as it progresses, maintaining the right tough to color the largely mid-tempo builds with more intense sections here and there, but the intent herein is definitely not to go Rammstein BENZIIN!, its intensity is much more akin to the latest Woods of Ypres disk, as suggested earlier.

This morose, uncompromising emotional disposition seems to emerge evident through the cover of Hurt, a Nine Inch Nails song, of which American country icon Johnny Cash recorded his shockingly powerful rendition in the mid-2000s. I have the hunch that Frostbite found the variant pretty astonishing, too, because the Hurt cover found on this release is an evident - and legit - tribute to the timeless-, improbably powerful Johnny Cash rendition of the Nine Inch Nails original.

As noted throughout this review, the Valentines and Other Stories of Hope record is more of a spiritual trip of goth/gloom and doomy tastes than a brisk ride of pure headbanging power and fishnet molestation in religious awe, which did not at all prevent the Mastermind behind the project, Christopher Lee Compton from including two bonus tracks to conclude the fray in intense fashion, showing off the favorite extremities of the delivery. One of these bonus additions sounds like a hilarious antithesis of Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game", while the other bonus track is a dramatic lamentation with particularly pronounced and massive instruments present in it, - the vocals seem to be threatened by them, but no worries, they are safe, courtesy of competent production work - and the whole song registers as a worthy piece to wrap this surprisingly ripe goth / morose declaration up with. This is a significant and serious record that I enjoyed quite much, and I think you should give it a spin, too.

Check out Frostbite at their official Facebook page here, and/or take a listen to an informative selection-palette of the songs, herein.

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