Frequency Drift - ... laid to rest - 2012
“Still I gazed, and still the form
Pressed upon my aching sight
Still I braved the howling storm
When the ghost dissolved in night ”.
excerpt from lyrics “Cold”, inspired by Percy Bysshe Shelley.
( Frequency Drift website: www.frequencydrift.com )
The new album “... laid to rest” of German band Frequency Drift is released on the RPWL-label Gentle Art of Music. Last year I reviewed the third album “Ghosts ...” and came to the conclusion that Frequency Drift had released a good album full of cinematic prog music. As you can read in the excerpt from the lyrics above, the Ghost dissolved in night. If you combine both titles of the last two albums you get “Ghosts ... laid to rest”. Like the first two albums “Personal Effects 1” and “Personal Effects 2” both albums seems to be thematically linked. Musically the band has developed to the next level. Two guests of the “Ghosts ...” album, Nirissa Schwartz (harp) and Frank Schmitz (violin), are now full members of the band and drummer Martin Fox is replaced by Jasper Jöris.
Barbara Jöris - gemshorn & several medieval instruments; Thomas Epp - clarinette; Alexander Galimbis - guitar; Martin Schnella - guitar
With the new members Nirissa Schwartz (harp) and Frank Schmitz (violin) the sound pallet of Frequency Drift has grown even further. Next to extraordinary instruments like the gemshorn and several medieval instruments, the violin and harp give the band a unique sound pallet and unique musical style. The lyrics are partly inspired by Romantic or Victorian poems.
You can find the following six tracks on this wonderful album; “Dead”, “Parted”, “Cold”, “Wish”, “Ice” and “Copper”. The opener “Dead” starts with a mysterious violin theme with a Middle-Eastern/Arabic atmosphere before the rest of the band joins and Antje Auer sings the first vocal lines. On this album the violin has an important role. The combination of all the instruments; guitar, keys, violin, harp and clarinet gives the music the needed diversity. The musical style is a mix of western and Arabic influences. A soaring electric violin solo in end slowly brings the music towards a climax. The beginning of “Parted” has a more up-tempo beat and in the middle section the violin plays again an important role. In the last section of the songs the delicate vocal lines are first only combined with the harp. Then the intensity of the music is building up.
Then it is time for two of the three long tracks of the album, “Cold” (15:24) and “Wish” (15:25). “Cold” opens with an atmospheric and delicate flute theme. Then Antjes vocals are supported by a piano tune. The double vocal tracks of the song gives a special effect to the music. After a beautiful melodic synth solo the violin returns, the folksy atmosphere blend slowly into a modern electric violin solo. The combination of the two is also great ... a duel between synth and electric violin. Later on the music becomes more atmospheric with some classical influences before the violin returns. After a mysterious opening “Wish” brings us a melodic guitar solo supported by great keyboard orchestrations. The trick with the double vocal tracks is repeated here. The section where the piano is combined with the clarinet is very beautiful. A delicate clarinet solo with a classical atmosphere blend first into an electric guitar solo, then the delicacy returns with a harp part. The music is so diverse in this composition. After the harp section the intensity of the music builds up towards a climax with a great electric violin part.
The next song is called “Ice”. Keyboard orchestrations, harp and atmospheric keyboards gives the song a filmic character. The last long track of the album is called “Copper”. The vocal melodies in this song are very beautiful. Antje Auer is the star of this song. But the song has also a nice guitar solo and delicate harp sections. In the end the violin brings back the Arabic atmosphere of the album opener.
On “... laid to rest” we hear a band that has grown. Musically the band has developed to the next level. The new members are an asset to the band. The violin of Frank Schmitz plays an important role on this album. Also Antje Auer convinced me with her beautiful vocals on this album. Especially on the song “Copper”. This new album “... laid to rest” is even better than it's predecessor “Ghosts ...”. I would classify it as a very good prog album. I would not be surprised if it gets a place in my top ten this year.