FROSTHELM
“THE ENDLESS WINTER”
BLACK WORK (ALKEMY BROTHERS)
   
Descending southward from the land of frost and missile silos (North Dakota to you and
me), come
FROSTHELM. Their debut full length is “THE ENDLESS WINTER”,
released on CD by
BLACK WORK (ALKEMY BROTHERS), and a work of blackness
it truly is. In an age when cynicism is not only easily excused but has become almost
inherent, I would say it’s, at least, rewarding to find a band that has actual song writing
skill, rather than just your usual overdose of fevered virtuosity. On the “Metal extremity
spectrometer”,
FROSTHELM fall between Death Thrash and Black Metal. Think a
melding of classic Thrash and the melodic Swedish Death sound, circa mid 1990s (I see a
lot of
SINS OF OMISSION), with tinges of IMMORTAL. Much like those heralded
titans of Swedish melodic Death Metal, these fellows’ song writing is right up there with
bands much more experienced than
FROSTHELM are at this point. The album breaks in
with one of the best intro / openers I've heard in a while. A gargantuan piece called
“Glacial Eon”. An acoustic piece that opens into a mammoth “Massive Killing Capacity”
era
DISMEMBER reminiscent riff. Its odd, and there is much strong material to be had
within, but I think “Glacial Eon” is possibly my favorite piece herein. Saying this will no
doubt cast aspersions upon the uninitiated for the rest of the record, but please, listen on.  
“THE ENDLESS WINTER” takes the listener on some pretty intense rides. It's just the
intro deserves special note. Instrumentally speaking, this thing is all about the guitar solos.
Coupled with the aforementioned songwriting skills, you get a really deadly combination.  
With the tempo mostly mid-paced to fast-paced, the soloing comes in and out of the song
structure effortlessly and inspiringly.  “Forlorn Tides” is a great example of what good
instrumentalists and good songwriters can do in tandem. Again, reminding me much of
what was on display coming out of the Gothenburg scene back 20 years, along with the
level of soloing that took the original American Thrash revolution world wide in the
1980s. The only drawback I see is that this album could have sounded even better without
the blast-beats. Some of the
IMMORTAL type influence here, though done well and
certainly having it's time and place in this world, seems almost forced. One can almost see
the band’s own reliance on themselves, like light shining through a bullet-ridden wall. If I
am correct, these guys should simply rely on their own devices as to putting together new
material. There is some real genius on display here and good song writing isn't something
that a lot of bands have to work with in the amounts
FROSTHELM do. An excellent
debut album here, only their second release if you count 2012’s “THE NORTHWINDS
REND FLESH”. Fans of Swedish bands like
SINS OF OMISSION, GATES OF
ISHTAR, THE EVERDAWN
and the almost obligatory DISSECTION referral, would
be most happy with what
FROSTHELM.

www.facebook.com/FROSTHELM

                                                                                             - Reviewed by Keith Dempe