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Frequency Drift - Letters To Maro CD (album) cover

LETTERS TO MARO

Frequency Drift

 

Crossover Prog

3.89 | 74 ratings

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FragileKings
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Frequency Drift appeared on my radar a few years back with 2014's "Over" and I had decided back then to get that album and even placed it in my standby cart on Amazon. But as my musical interests changed and changed again, I eventually removed the CD and decided that it would be at some future date. Then in one of the Facebook prog groups I follow appeared this album cover with a woman with long, black hair in a striking red coat. One glance at the background scene and I immediately recognized that the photo was from Japan. A closer inspection revealed a sign on the left of the photograph that read "Cleaning" in Katakana. Who was this band with this album cover? Frequency Drift!

Almost two months later, the CD was in my hands at last and the music went into my ears the next morning. After the first listen I knew that I had a lot of positive things to say about the album. The second listen confirmed that. A third complete listen to the album is partially done. There are three comments I'd like to make about the music here.

First, this is an album of slow to mid-tempo songs ranging mostly from five to six minutes but with two shorter tracks and one track running at 9:17. This is a song-oriented album with one instrumental to close it off, but the songs themselves permit stunning instrumental moments. The music is mostly peaceful and beautiful with some parts moody and atmospheric, mysterious and haunting. What I appreciate the most about the music is how many tracks will conclude the lyrical part with a gentle bed of music which will then change and begin building a new mood, and then new sounds will join - acoustic, electric, electronic - and deliver an enchanting arrangement of notes. "Neon", and "Deprivation" are both songs that had me checking the track titles because of such lovely instrumental closures to the songs. "Izanami" gets a little harsh with some heavy guitar playing near the end, while "Electricity" features a triple-part vocal harmony to conclude the song.

All this wonderful music and these delightful and appealing sounds are captured in a splendid mixing and mastering job that delivers high sound quality. I really love this clean, crisp, and yet warm recording. I want to hear each instrument distinctly, and this recording is a sheer delight!

The song lyrics often create vivid images of scenes, and Irini Alexia uses her voice at times almost theatrically to bring across the emotions. Listening to Alexia and to the band's music in general, I'm reminded of artists like Thieves Kitchen, Magenta, and White Willow. I like Alexia's enunciation and phrasing. I find there are many prog singers, male and female, who sound like they are all trying to sing in some predetermined vocal style for modern prog, so I am glad to hear someone who is putting her own personal stamp into the vocal delivery.

This is an album that I'll be playing a few more times before new acquisitions will nudge it aside; however, I am sure to be bringing this album back to my ears from time to time and I will be looking at the band's back catalogue and thinking about picking up another album. Perhaps either "Ghosts" or "Over" will be good to get next.

FragileKings | 4/5 |

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