Frequency Drift - '... Laid To Rest'

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Frequency Drift - '... Laid To Rest'

New album by the female fronted band.

As I worked my way through the promo CDs I was sent for this issue of Fireworks there seemed to be a recurring theme developing in that several of the albums could be open to criticism because the sound doesn’t vary enough. I’m afraid that Frequency Drift fall into that category, although I must point out that musically they are extremely talented and in Antje Auer they have a female vocalist of the very highest order, it’s just that they have a sound and they stick to it.

I made the same comment elsewhere that if my I-pod was on shuffle mode and any one of the six tracks from this album were to appear I’d let it play, but listening to the entire album just gets rather tedious, one ends up begging for an injection of pace, a guitar riff and some energy. In addition, most of the tracks are just too long to maintain interest when they don’t have the tempo or theme changes to sustain them. The shortest is just under 8 minutes, the longest at over fifteen with most clocking in at well over the ten minute mark. For my taste there simply isn’t enough colour to their sound; it seems to sit in the fifty shades of grey category, with the album title and some of the songs giving a clue to the type of feel one can expect, ‘Dead’, ‘Cold’ and ‘Ice’.



Again, I will stress that on an individual level most of the songs have considerable merit; they demonstrate great craft, are beautifully performed and in places the arrangements show a touch of class even if they can’t carry songs of such length. ‘Dead’ opens proceedings with a menacing violin and bass motif before the glorious vocals of Auer kick in. The likes of Within Temptation, Mostly Autumn (MA) and Leaves’ Eyes all came to mind albeit at a less dynamic level. A violin solo is followed by an understated but delightful guitar solo and just before I felt the track was overstaying its welcome there was a shift to a Middle Eastern feel I associate with Steve Hackett’s recent works. ‘Parted’ is the shortest song and is all the better for it. Yet more delicious vocals, strong melodies, a simple but effective chorus and lots of lovely little accentuations from the various instruments all topped off by some fine Ian Crichton (Saga) guitar work. ‘Cold’ reminds in part of a less bombastic Loreweaver, with its wonderful vocal arrangement. ‘Wish’ is overly long, a perception heightened by the clunky switch of sounds towards the end which feels like an afterthought and detracts from a hitherto decent song. ‘Ice’ breaks the mould slightly with a hint of a riff, a Bluesy intro and strong chorus while closer ‘Copper’ has a strange, exaggerated vibrato vocal performance. The MA style guitar solo is good but the Kate Bush (native tongue?) singing leaves me cold.

Gary Marshal

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