FROST* - Experiments In Mass Appeal

Frost* - Experiments In Mass Appeal

9 songs
56:49 minutes
***** ****


Two years ago, Jem Godfrey entered the world of progressive rock quite by surprise. Until then he was spending his time between writing advertisement music and number one hit for pop starlets like Atomic Kitten, which made it all the weirder that a love for more artistic music for slumbering inside of him. Their intriguing debut Milliontown was more than just a one time foray, as can be witnessed on the equally enchanting follow-up Experiments In Mass Appeal that shows a changed band. They recruited Declan Burke as a vocalist and second guitarist next to the hyperactive John Mitchell who plays in so many bands (Kino, Arena and the recently reformed It Bites) that you wonder where he finds the time. The rhythm section consists of IQ members John Jowitt (bass) and Andy Edwards (drums).

Frost* have grown together as a band and consequently offer more straightforward songwriting this time. The title track that opens the album with the longest piece here, eight minutes long, and takes two and a half of these building up into a crescendo that keeps you mesmerised with its dense production. The following Welcome To Nowhere and Pocket Sun continue this muscular kind of modern prog rock that sounds so much fuller than most other contemporary artist from the movement, and yet Frost* never need venture into hard rock or metal territory. Saline allows a moment of respite, before the CD continues with more perfectly arranged gems. Marillion would have sounded like this after the departure of Fish, if we happened to live in a perfect world.

The final quarter hour long Wonderland stops after five minutes to be followed by a not too interesting hidden bonus track, but apart from that, Frost* have made everything right once again. They combine catchy songwriting with intricate instrumentation and layer upon layer of sounds. If you skip the final ten minutes, you are left with three quarters of an hour of spectacular contemporary progressive music that never looks back to its origins when mellotrons and epic song lengths were its trademarks. Instead this is truly modern music that should appeal to every demanding rock fan out there.

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