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Frost Giant is one Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based four piece act that uniquely blends melodic death elements with the vibes and emotions linked with folk metal. Performing under the eclectic and underground Transcending Records label, the band has previously released a couple of EPs in the past. But now, they are sporting their debut full-length album titled The Harlot Star.
The Harlot Star is a 51-minute long extreme metal composition consisting of eleven tracks. The release blends melodic death metal aspects, such as blast beat drumming patterns, distorted riffing and guttural growls, with more folk metal characteristics comprised of chanting, singing, folk acoustic guitars and more. Some of the themes and lyricism associated with this album includes personal struggles, spirituality and mysticism.
This really is a solid, fast paced and memorable listen from start to finish as far as folk and melodeath music goes for the most part. Its songs vary greatly in both length, sound and structure. One track will be a shorter, more atmospheric effort with singing and background instrumentals; meanwhile, a second track will be a longer piece with a combination of different sounds and transitions. The vocal variety and range exhibited in The Harlot Star is one of my personal favourite qualities of this release. The album is usually fast-paced, with a wide range of guitar riffs and melodic essence. There are some notable bass lines in a few sections, along with some pretty fitting solos. The production quality also does everything else justice. Strongest parts of this album are the folk metal aesthetics, insteresting themes, and pacing overall.
Not really much to mention in terms of criticism. A few nitpicks regarding the underuse of death metal growls and guitar solos are warranted, but that's more of a personal critique more than anything.
In all, The Harlot Star makes for an awesome folk/melodeath opus as well as a solid debut full-length release for Frost Giant. All of the competently done mixing, the energetic and dynamic performances, upbeat recording, musicianship and formidable song structures come together to make for an enjoyable listen. I'd recommend this release to most fanatics of both the folk metal as well as melodic death metal genres.
Fave Tracks: "The Curse of Doubt", "The Forgotten Graves"
For Fans Of: Ensiferum, Dark Tranquility, Arkona
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Review by: Dave Raffy
-Musician, reviewer, fan & promoter
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