Mixing the blackest of extreme metal with thrash breaks/parts is the thing that made me review “The Endless Winter” by Frosthelm. It was too odd to not give it a good listen to and tell you what I thought. I love this band; Frosthelm have cracked the code and managed to fuse Norwegian roots with the best Americanized thrash this side of 1986. The riffs are razor sharp instead of the standard drone feel of traditional BM. The “set standard” of drone, marching black metal is still here but it has been altered and taken in a new direction.
The doomy riffs are broken not by blastbeats by with facemelting thrash solos and riffs. The lads layer the guitar tone and solos of thrash to pack the entire album with an extremely sharp metallic punch that will win over doubters from the second track on. Speaking of which, “A Storm of Teeth” sounds like an Evile with its opening riff but the darker undertones are there from the kick into the song proper. There is so much going on with the composition of the tracks on this album that I can only say that it fuses both the best of thrash and black in a natural way. Shocking, I know!
“Forlorn Tides” has an awesome bridge that will have you headbanging better than any of their thrash peers but kicks it right back into the black metal abyss within seconds. “The Dragon” is one of the more epic songs on the album with its roots in old Entombed and Dark Throne. Frosthelm have serious black metal punching power; the verses are carried with a thrash guitar line that break into something that could’ve been written by Satyricon. Guys, none of that is a bad thing at all. “Silent and Dark” has a similar composition. Dark and brutal.
The vocals of frontman, Tyler Pfliger, shine throughout but it is in the coda of “The Dragon” where he achieves his best work. He sounds like Shagrath from Dimmu Borgir through this album. And Dimmu would be the melodic black metal heart of the album; “ A Tomb Of Sordid Ruin” smacking you over the head with that fact. There is a milieu of others influences that one can pick out but I find the choice two focus on Satyricon and Dimmu’s styles the most interesting. Who knows; it may just work better while being bred with thrash.
The production is amazing; it stays true to black metal without sounding like a hot mess. Bad production is not “metal”, it is lazy. I can’t stand that this is something to be defended. This music at the end of the day and we have to be able to hear what they are playing and not the background noise of someone’s 90s shed in Norway.
There is much more going on here than just a neat idea; the lads have managed to fuse two opposed ideas to create something unique and heavy. With its influences on its sleeve if you like the tag match of Dimmu Bogir and Satyricon vs. Sodom and Evile. Buy this! If you want to hear someone that shouldn’t work but does; get this album” “Beneath Dead Horizons” has my favourite bit of the whole album: a blacker than black metal intro into a thrash pre-verse/ verse combo; it is something else all together.
You’ll end up spitting frozen shrapnel after listening to some Frosthelm, look them up! Fair play is due to the lads. Frosthelm are a band that I badly want to see live after listening to this record; the energy, speed and aggression all make for a killer live show. As for the “The Endless Winter”, this is a buy. And at such a low price, it is a steal.
1. Glacial Eon
2. Storm of Teeth
3. Forlorn Tides
4. Tomb of Sordid Ruin
5. Beneath Dead Horizons
6. Endless Winter
7. Hell Between Us
8. The Dragon
9. Silent and Dark, The Everlasting
Jim Cherry – Bass
Brian Helm – Drums
Dakota Irwin – Guitars
Tyler Pfliger – Vocals