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Frost* - Milliontown CD (album) cover





3.83 | 447 ratings

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4 stars As good of a debut as any you would've heard in the '00s, Milliontown is an album that proves no influences are unwelcome in prog.

The most notable thing about Frost* is that they feel like a very fresh band-they never appear to blatantly be copying or homaging prog acts from the '70s. "Hyperventilate" is an amazing song and one of my very favorite instrumentals in prog, and it's largely because it distinctly feels like its own animal while keeping the beauty and mystery of prog past. The piano is gorgeous and catchy, but it doesn't sound like it's trying to emulate Firth of Fifth or Gentle Giant-it simply sounds like Frost*. In a genre that has nearly collapsed due to the constant recycling and regurgitation of old themes and tired influences, that's as good as can be expected from a modern prog group.

Things continue steadily from there, with "No Me No You" proving to be equal parts soaring and intense, inspiring and menacing. "Snowman" works as a short, pensive interlude with some truly inspired keyboard and segues nicely into "The Other Me", which forges pieces of pop, industrial and prog and sprinkles in some sharp songwriting("My handywork will hunt me down and masquerade as me") into a song that could serve equally as a soundtrack passage or a hit single. Finally, "Black Light Machine", while featuring a somewhat "been there, done that" anti-war message, has some truly beautiful passages and the last few minutes feature a wonderfully evocative, sci-fi inspired instrumental section that many other bands only wish they could pull off with the sort of clarity and intuition that Frost* uses here.

Indeed, if there's anything wrong with this album, it's the title track. It manages to mix all of the best parts of the first half hour of the album and then simply extend them past the point of caring. It works for a while but by the time you're 15 minutes in you'll be checking your watch. The title track is, sadly enough, a perfect example of too much of a good thing.

Still, any fan of progressive rock owes it to themselves to check this album out. Jem Godfrey knows all the right buttons to push when it comes to listenability, and combined with the grand scale and complex instrumentation, "Milliontown" is an album that prog heads and mainstream listeners alike will find equal value in. Highly recommended.

40footwolf | 4/5 |


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