Every once in awhile there is a record, that comes completely out of the blue and energizes the music lover, grabs them in the nether regions, and commands them to listen. This month it is Frost Giant’s newest behemoth of a record The Harlot Star which just happens to be the most schizophrenic record I’ve heard all year. The band combines elements of black metal, folk, blues, punk rock, amongst more, into a tightly wound ball of musical happiness built specifically for me… At least that is what it feels like.
The album yings and yangs it’s way through 11 songs of majesty. From the opening notes of the beautiful, landscaped sounds of “The Harlot Star”, straight into the metal ravages and operatic blast beats of “Forgive Me Not”, within those two songs the band showcases it’s bookend sound and musical chops. “Apostasis” is a bluesy instrumental showcasing an excellent guitar which bleeds into another blast beat affair with “Curse of Doubt”. “Prisoner of the Past” is punk rock augmented with a chorus of what sounds like Vikings singing in the tavern after pillaging a town.
“The Forgotten Grave” is a dose of black metal prog with a slick chorus that helps you forget that the vocalist most likely needed an ice pack on his larynx when the song concluded. Halfway through the most brutal of songs, the band slows it down to a slow burn showcasing a melody rarely heard on albums such as this.“Clarity and Regret” may be the best song on the record with a sing along verse and an interwoven number of twists and turns fit for every emotion.
The Harlot Star, if nothing else, is an interesting listen. It does not drone on with many of the normal shortcomings that falls upon the genre. This may be one of those records that is accessible to more than just the metalheads in the room. It demands to be listened to at full volume all the way through as if along on the journey through the open waters of Scandinavia.
– Brian Furman
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