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Frequency Drift - Summer CD (album) cover


Frequency Drift


Crossover Prog

3.88 | 110 ratings

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5 stars We, the followers of this style of music use the word 'progressive' in automatic obviousness throughout our discourse and no finer example can be found as with German band Frequency Drift. Not only have they 'progressed' in general terms, blending folk, classical and rock music but they have constantly honed their own style , evolving from the first two 'Personal effects' releases and culminating in a series of upwardly spiraling masterpieces , "Ghosts", "Laid to Rest" and "Over".

Finally, a page is turned with the download-only release of "Summer", a final coup de grace before embarking on a stylistic change that will take them into new musical realms. As expressed by my PA colleague, this is a band that has achieved glorious heights and is utterly deserving of intensified attention. Their style was so powerfully constant and solid that the band had involved three female vocalists, without the slightest cringe or regret. Brothers Christian and Andreas Hack have now left behind a colossal legacy of brilliant sounds and amazing albums, allied with delicate infusions of cello, flute, violin, viola and harp.

The classic title track encompasses all one needs to admire about FD, a shimmering and glimmering piece that scours the entire musical horizon, enriching melodies, towering vocal work and illuminating instrumental playing. This soaring 12 minute testimonial is without a doubt the quintessence of their career, a finely chiseled guitar rampage that has all the Hackett-isms in place, whilst Isa Fallenbacher can sing like the wind rustling through the forested woods, the tight band provides a stellar disposition to creating various surprises. Wolfgang Riess unleashes a simply truculent bass solo that left me spent, piano in tow, synth bubbling in the background and the drums keeping the beat. Stunning stuff! Christian Hack's powerfully melodic guitar line has all the sizzle of an Andy Latimer or Odyssice's Bastiaan Peeters. A prog masterpiece of the finest pedigree!

"Distant" is a reworked piece from the very early days, a folkier feel enhanced by Isa's pastoral vocal, a fairly straightforward delivery until Andreas fills in a forever expanding synthesizer lead that guides the other players to some musical promised land, as Christian shows off some wonderful restraint on his axe. Very distant, indeed!

"Siren" started out as a solo platform for the brothers to fiddle around on (originally on the Laid to Rest album) and was reworked specifically for this release. Shimmering synths, glorious piano and a stimulating guitar solo that is loaded with finesse and tender picking. Christian really shows off some tremendous jazzy licks, sounding at times as if Al DiMeola was in the studio for a visit.

"Midnight" is quite a different song, a pre-FD track that never got the right amount of love, retooled here with Isa really taking over, the music tight, slightly dissonant and echoing with spirit and shade. Crystalline piano, violin silverware and exquisite bass/drum linen adorn the table, a moody piece that eschews any kind of expectancy. Once again the synths and the electric guitar carve away at the priceless roast, a delicacy of sounds and tones.

As per the liner notes "The original version appeared as "Ringshine" on our album "Ghosts". Originally an electric harp solo piece, it was newly arranged by Nerissa and Sibylle to feature two instruments that have shaped the particular sound of Frequency Drift: The cello and the harp". This quality classicism is what makes FD such a masterful listen, a band that has squarely infused all its inherent tendencies, a perfect amalgam of styles that fit wonderfully together. Gentle and ultra-romantic diversion from the daily routine. Yummy!

"Summer's End" fittingly finalizes this brief masterpiece, another jewel in the FD crown. A somber cello perpetuates its sorrowful lament, Isa providing the angst 'upon her head' as the band adds the appropriate amount of colored doom. A more than fitting finale, though this piece was written exclusively for this release, it provides an unquestionable sense of irrevocability.

FD is going in another direction, I just hope their new vision is as focused as their previous endeavors, I for one intend to follow, my curiosity being challenged.

I hate downloads, being a traditionalist for artwork and credits, so I will negotiate some kind of CD from the band but Summer is a fitting finale of the very highest order, proving that even their left-over numbers from the past have enough merit to fit among their best. This album was mastered by Jacob Holm-Lupo of White Willow fame.

5 seasonal suns

tszirmay | 5/5 |


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