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On disc: Frost*

Experiments In Mass Appeal - Claudia Ehrhardt - 7 stars

Experiments In Mass Appeal

Experiments In Mass Appeal
(InsideOut - 2008)

In 2006 Jem Godfrey introduced Frost* to the prog rock scene with their debut Milliontown. At that time they were a quartet and beside Godfrey Frost* were John Jowitt (Arena, IQ), Andy Edwards (IQ) and John Mitchell (It Bites, Kino) - and master Godfrey. Beside the quite positive reviews there was one thing almost everybody criticized - the vocals! Jem Godfrey accepted the criticism and the result is that they have now Declan Burke in the band.
Their aim was to write an album which differs from Milliontown. Some songs Jem Godfrey had written for another artist, but then decided to use them for Frost* - so he overdone them. The first track is the title track Experiments In Mass Appeal. It starts slowly, but explodes with heavy guitar riffs, just to slow down again, but what gets obvious right away, is that with Declan Burke he found a fantastic singer who puts Frost* onto a higher level. The heavy instrumental part leads into a frenzy, just to stop for a second and slowly comes to life again. A tune full of twists and turns which offers slow fragile passages and heavy rocking parts. The tune gives you a very good impression of Frost*s new album. Welcome To Nowhere is a slow, airy tune with a slight pop appeal - in the beginning! Then it explodes and after a heavy rocking part becomes a poppy rock tune with progressive elements. The song is somehow disturbing, but also enthralling. With Pocket Sun they challenge the listener with electro sounds and sequences. I somehow have to think of Tangerine Dream, coz they also used different elements and some creation been quite disturbing... Anyway, not easy to digest! At Saline Godfrey adds some violins to create a different atmosphere. The song reminds me of something, but I can't fathom it. This one has no rock parts, but isn't really touching... With the following Dear Dead Days they bring back the electronic sounds. In the beginning it sounds like some old pinball machine or old computer game.... Then heavy riffs set in and bombastic keyboards, but they keep pushing. Then a break, only vocals and piano carries the song for awhile, but again they change. Not just speed changes they offer, they change the whole atmosphere.. It's a sonic roller coaster ride! The short You/I is just a kind of interlude and leads over to the pop rock tune Toys. And with the last track Wonderland they drag you into the land of Frost* with all it's diversity. The almost 16 minute long tune is splitted into parts and so it seems like it's different songs. But you have to listen yourself to get an idea about Frost* 2008!
The whole album is a sonic roller coaster ride! So if you loved Milliontown, you won't necessarily love Experiments In Mass Appeal! You have to be open minded to get into the world of Frost*! Even as they have catchy hooks, it's nothing you will get into right away! This album demands full attention, this isn't some kind of background stuff. The whole album is an experiment, but it won't appeal the masses!
If you get the special edition you get as a bonus a DVD with a 'making of' and the whole album in an instrumental mix.

7 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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