Though it has been out a few months digitally and now physically, When Myth and History Merged into Mystery the debut EP from Pennsylvanian rock band Frost Giant has only just surged to our attention and thank goodness it has as to miss something this good would have been a travesty. Forging a sound from a merger of Viking metal and nineties hardcore, yes you read that right, the release is simply sensational. It is wholly unique and works on every level for an encounter which is engaging and thrilling. It just ignites the heart and recruits the senses into a full and energetic compliance to its imaginative and insatiable storm.
Formed by vocalist/guitarist Matti Frost in late 2005, Frost Giant has been a solo and at times a full band project merging European folk metal with melodic hardcore and So-Cal infused punk rock. It is a stunning sound which can be best described as Tyr and Korpiklaani in a drinking contest riot with Biohazard and Agnostic Front whilst the melodic cheers of Billy Talent and Lagwagon egg them on. It is an exciting and stirring mix which offers great diversity and originality and the EP which basks in it, easily one of the best releases this year.
Released through Blasphemour Records, the release finds Frost joined by guitarists Jonathan Smith and Scott Breustedt, bassist Jason Esbensen, and Rich Berends on drums, and consists of five slabs of muscular delight which take no time in lighting up the ear and beyond. First to barge through to the senses is My Life for Yours, a thumping weight of stretching sinews, barracking rhythms, and heated melodic grandeur. It is an instant lure for the passions, its classic rock groove veining intense energy and a predatory urgency hungry for a kill. The vocals are a contagious mix of clean and growling might with the often joint tones of Frost and Smith anthemic and harmonically glorious. The unrelenting charge of the song drops midway to bring an expansive wrap of intense and tempestuous atmosphere scorched with an epic guitar solo fire. Ending in the same drinking song style as it started and recalling the cold wastelands and warrior honour, the track is a titanic start to the release and equalled continually.
A Common Son opens with outstanding vocal harmonies before sending weaves of sonic invention and gentle melodic coaxing through the ear. It is a trick though, a wicked aural sleight of hand as soon the band explodes from another teasing melodic stroke into a brawling confrontation of hardcore vocals and surging flesh lashing power metal type riffs. That is not the end of it though as Frost Giant insert masterful and inciting melodic vocals and sirenesque sonic charms across the raging sky of the song. Not as infectious as the first it is still an impossible to resist bruising which leaves one breathless and wanting so much more.
The magnetic stirring rhythms of Heathen’s Lament are just one seductive lure of the song, its rampant and inventive presence a magnet for heart and mind. The consistent quality of the guitars with their barbed melodicism and mischievous manipulations hold the passions tight whilst being buffeted by raucous basslines and beats, the combination an irresistible taunt. Imagine Bad Religion and Ensiferum linking up and you get a whisper of the genius going on within song and EP.
The release is completed by the punk rock tempest Not While I Draw Breath and a cover of the Adele song Someone Like You. The first of the pair again is an insatiable pleasure which flays the senses whilst swamping them with rich rewards. It is like being serenaded whilst being dragged into the bedlam of a ravenous maelstrom, the harmonies and melodic enterprise soothing and offering safety against the scurrilous intensity and rampant hungry sounds. The closing track did bring a slight groan when reading the track list, a moan which turned into awe within mere seconds. The band turn the song into a skate punk treat with fiery muscles and snarling energies pulling essences from the likes of Danzig and especially Volbeat into the mix. It is an excellent end to a staggering release, simple as.
If you want something new and innovative out of your folk metal or melodic hardcore than Frost Giant and the When Myth and History Merged into Mystery EP is a must investigation which will leave you drooling at the mouth. This is one release no one should miss.
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