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Rimfrost - Rimfrost

by Lauren Fonto at 09 August 2016, 8:26 AM

When one thinks of black metal, the first image to come to mind may be the Scandinavian bands. RIMFROST hail from Sweden, and have produced their third full-length album. Their name, which means “rime” in Swedish, is appropriate for a band whose sound evokes the cold climate of their home country. They play a classic, Second Wave style of black metal (made famous by bands such as EMPEROR, DARK FUNERAL and DARKTHRONE). Despite many bands having done this sound before them, RIMFROST manages to put their own spin on the music, which makes for an engaging listen. Part of what makes their music interesting is the “interstices” of the music; it’s not all blasting and howling all the time. These unexpected little pauses add an element of surprise which is necessary to creating something which is entertaining to hear.

Tracks such as “Saga North”, “Witches Hammer” and epic closer “Frostlaid Skies” are good examples of the band using brief pauses to break up the movements of the songs. Throughout the album, Hravn makes use of “call-and-response” guitar passages to bring songs into the next movement. The transitions are aided by Throllv’s textured, interesting drumming. On the aforementioned “Frostlaid Skies”, for example, he plays a subtle counter-rhythm on the cymbals, while blast-beating. The drums and guitars came together to create many headbanging moments throughout. The repeating guitar passages were engaging enough to keep me entertained, and I liked how the variations on the main riffs and/or changes in melodies felt natural and coherent.

While the production allows for a typical distorted black metal guitar tone, it also allows B.C.’s bass guitar playing to come through well. The basslines add a fullness to the tracks, which increases their impact. I felt that Hravn’s vocals were also mixed well, especially when he unleashes powerful, rasping howls. His vocals fitted in well with the icy atmosphere of the music. He adds to the sense of impending doom on “Ragnarök”, which is a very fitting end-of-the-world kind track. While I can’t say that RIMFROST’s style of black metal is revelatory, I can still say that they do this style well. One of the things that makes black metal an interesting subgenre is that while some bands are expanding its definition, others are keeping older styles alive, which is a good thing. I think that RIMFROST is worthy of carrying the banner for the classic black metal sound.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 6
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. As the Silver Curtain Closes
2. Saga North
3. Beyond the Mountains of Rime
4. Dark Prophecies
5. Ragnarök
6. Cold
7. Witches Hammer
8. Frostlaid Skies
Hravn – Guitars, vocals
B.C. – Bass
Throllv – Drums
Record Label: Non Serviam Records


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