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Frequency Drift - Last CD (album) cover

LAST

Frequency Drift

 

Crossover Prog

3.76 | 66 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

BrufordFreak
4 stars While latest lead vocalist MELANIE MAU has the most ANNIE HASLAM-lilke voice yet used in a Frequency Drift album, Andreas HACK's project continues to flourish with whomever he decides to put in the role of vocalist. For my own personal preferences, this is my favorite FD album since 2011's Ghosts.... The prominence of harpist NERISSA SCHWARTZ's electric harp is one big plus for this album--especially for those songs that I like the best. I'm still not contented with the drum sounds--they sound too electronic or programmed for my ears.

Unfortunately, every time I've listened to this album (over a dozen times) I've found the first two songs ["Traces" (7:08) (7/10) and "Diary" (5:31) (7/10)] driving me away. (I have run away several times, saying that I'll come back to it later.) They jsut sound old and tired--like I've heard them before and they offer nothing new, only old Frequency Drift sounds and dynamics. With 3. "Merry" (5:08), however, the Andreas-Melanie collaboration shows off a strong kinship to Annie HASLAM-led RENAISSANCE (9/10)

4. "Shade" (5:52)opens as an angelic voice-and-harp folk duet in the verses but becomes eerie, almost discordant, with bowed double bass and, after the two minute mark, with modulating synth notes. In the fourth minute things amp up with tuned percussion and electric bass, but then just as suddenly settle back into the gentle harp and piano music that started us off. The final 90 seconds start off slowly before finally getting into an engaging groove (based upon the beautiful melody lines of the opening two minutes.) I can't help but wish that Melanie's voice were present in the finale instead of flute. (9/10)

5. "Treasured" (8:25) is better than the first two songs. The electric guitar work in the second half is awesome. (8/10)

6. "Last Photo" (7:59) Melanie's vocal lines feel like they're struggling to find a melody line that she likes. The instrumental parts are good, though. (8/10)

7. "Hidden" (5:34) has a nice, fresh sound to its opening--the instrumental sounds. Melanie's vocal sounds a bit too folk-classical for this song; there is a strong disconnect between the mood and feel that the instrumental music is presenting with that of the vocal. Still, it's a decent song--different enough for Andreas' history to make it interesting. (Perhaps it's the CURE-like bass synth chords.) The acoustic accompaniment to Melanie's voice that is used in the final 90 seconds is the way this song would have worked best. (8/10) 8. "Asleep" (8:31) is another odd song that forces Melanie's vocal talent to struggle to stay in a key, in an established melody. The stops and starts make it feel as if this song keeps stopping and starting over! Odd and unsettling. In the fifth minute--after the third or fourth re-start--Melanie finally hits her sweet zone and pulls of an amazing vocal--but then, at 5:15, you power up and make her drop down-way down. Oddly enough, it works. This time. And the metal instrumental section that follows is pretty good, too. (9/10)

Andreas, in my opinion, it is when your music is the most simplified, in its most acoustic "folk" or "classical" orientation, that it works best--for me as a listener and for your extremely talented vocalists. The wide and dramatic dynamic shifts are, I think, too much.

Still, a solid four star album; a great addition to any prog lover's album collection.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |

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