Monday, April 18, 2011

Frosthammer- Imagery Of the Forgotten Realm

Frosthammer is a Canadian black metal band and Imagery Of the Forgotten Realm is their third demo. The band has amped up their style and rather than just being driven by filth they seem to have thrown in an odd sense of beauty into the mix. This release is an odd symphonic black metal experience that can't be compared to the other bands that are abundant in the genre.

Rather than embracing the raw black metal sound the band explores a style that I can only describe as an epic movie soundtrack, with a little pinch of black metal thrown in for good measure. The band manages to create a very sinister sound that is similar to looking into pure darkness and walking blindly hoping nothing is waiting to harm you. Having previously heard Winter's Embrace this demo came out to be quite a surprise. Much unlike the previous release this demo is very far off from that old school sound that the band had harnessed. Frosthammer incorporates many symphonic elements, and rather than have the dense sound that was displayed, they take a leap of faith into a more synth driven realm that could have very easily been disastrous. Though the new sound brought forth on this demo may turn purist it will most likely also attract a new audience.

The eerie atmosphere that was dominant in Winter's Embrace is stronger than ever here. The clean vocals play a key factor in this, they add a certain feeling of doom to the mix. The melodies put images in the listener's head, at times the music would seem to be fitting background music to an epic battle or someone walking a long hall to the room they will be executed in. The bottom line is atmosphere plays just as big a role as any instrument on this release. The vocals are a mix of harsh and cleans. The clean vocals are used much more than they were on the past release. None of the vocal styles used here a powerful so to speak but the raspy cries have a fairly distinct sound.

Overall Imagery Of the Forgotten Realm is a big step in another direction when compared to the bands previous work. Whether it is a step up from what they were doing is for the individual to decide. The musicians in Frosthammer clearly know how to write songs and have the ability to make great things (which is shown on all their releases). Fans of straight up black metal may not enjoy this as much but people who aren't afraid of a little change should give it a shot.

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