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Enslaved Frost album cover
3.40 | 84 ratings | 8 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1994

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Frost (2:52)
2. Loke (4:21)
3. Fenris (7:16)
4. Svarte Vidder / Black Plains (8:43)
5. Yggdrasil (5:23)
6. Jotunblod / Blood of Jotun (4:07)
7. Gylfaginning / The Tricking of Gylfi (5:31)
8. Wotan (4:12)
9. Isöders Dronning / Queen of the Ice Desolates (7:45)

Total Time 50:10

Line-up / Musicians

- Grutle Kjellson / vocals, bass, Jew's harp
- Ivar Bjørnson / guitars, electronics
- Trym Torson / drums & percussion

- Eirik "Pytten" Hundvin / fretless bass (5), co-producer

Releases information

Artwork: Svein Grønvold (photo)

CD Osmose Productions ‎- OPCD 025 (1994, France)

LP Osmose Productions ‎- OPLP 025 (1994, France)

Thanks to ivansfr0st for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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ENSLAVED Frost ratings distribution

(84 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(31%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (14%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

ENSLAVED Frost reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Frost is Norwegian viking black metal band Enslaved´s second album. Enslaved have with their last couple of releases produced some really essential albums in the hybrid genre between black metal and progressive rock and that´s obviously why they are represented here on Prog Archives because their early albums are more fit for a metal site and this includes Frost. That´s not to say that there aren´t any progressive elements on Frost but they are few and far between.

The music is raw and generally primitive black metal with viking and Norse mythology lyrics and the raspy vocals from Grutle Kjellson. Enslaved have clearly progressed since their debut album Vikingligr Veldi which I found enjoyable but a bit too trivial. One of the things I enjoy about Frost is that Enslaved play in varied tempi. There´s everything from intense blast beats to more slow acoutic sections and mid tempo metal riffing. Most songs are pretty straight but very powerful black metal songs. Two songs stand out from the rest though: Yggdrasil is the most progressive song here and Grutle Kjellson even sings some clean vocals here. Well not very clean as he can´t seem to hit the notes, but the effect is great anyway. Isöders dronning is the ending song on Frost and probably the one along with Yggdrasil that prog heads will have most interest in on Frost. It´s a good song with acoustic parts and it´s a sign of things to come IMO.

The musicianship is much better than it was on Vikingligr Veldi and especially the drumming from Trym Torson is much tighter and well played.

The production is pretty enjoyable even though it is the typical thin black metal sound where you almost can´t hear the bass. I really enjoy the great drum sound and especially the sound on the bassdrums which is really well produced in my opinion. The guitar sound is very thin but nice and sharp. Ivar Björnson plays lots of open chords to create an atmosphere in the music and succeeds IMO.

Frost is a much more enjoyable album than what I had expected after listening to Vikingligr Veldi. Enslaved have really improved and become a force to reckon with. On a prog site Frost should probably be rewarded with 2 stars but I will put an extra star on that rating as I really think it is a good album. 3 stars for this extreme metal album.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Frost is a step up from the debut. It still starts very symphonic with a typical orchestral intro, but on the remainder of the album, we find Enslaved experimenting with more progressive tendencies, meaning tempo changes, complex song structures and even a few quiet moments. On top of that the album is a huge blast of energy that is almost never lets down and is nevertheless varied enough to keep your attention throughout its entire course.

Unfortunately the production substandard and will crush all possible enjoyment out of this music. Luckily Enslaved would return to this formula with the more accomplished but equally furious Blodhemn. The only track of interest for the casual listener might be the morose pagan folk song Yggdrasil. More traditionally progressive then the debut but less accomplished in execution, 3 stars will have to do.

Review by Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Frost' - Enslaved (70/100)

Despite their reputation, Frost was Enslaved 's only true black metal album. Released shortly after a fascinating prog-Viking bout in Vikingligr veldi, this is the only stage in their career that doesn't make total sense in light of where they were going as a band. The debut album came pre-packaged with the Viking pomp of their mid-period and the 70s prog rock homages of the latter years.Frost, in contrast, sounds like a fairly traditional Nordic black metal album, far more representative of the year both albums came out. This counter-intuitive devolution on the band's part begs many comparisons with the better-known Nattens Madrigal. However, unlike Ulver's lo-fi masterpiece, it doesn't feel like Enslaved really distinguished themselves in this arena. It's a fine contribution to the Second Wave pantheon, but doesn't othrwise stand out as one of their finer moments.

The strange thing is that I used to think otherwise. Back when I used to listen to Enslaved religiously, I often counted Frost near the top of their albums. By contrast, the anthemic turn they took on Eld didn't do much for me. Now it's the exact opposite. It's funny that a decade can turn an opinion around like that. Ironically, I'm far more into the traditional end of BM than I've ever been. Perhaps it's the context of having heard more of their contemporaries that arguably nailed this sound so much better that thinned out some of my enthusiasm.

My opinion has waned over the years, but when that dust settles, I still consider us all fortunate that we got to hear Enslaved playing a more true-to-form breed of black metal before crossing the point of no return. Compared to Vikingligr veldi, Frost is to-the-point and aggressive. The warm orchestrations are largely gone, replaced here with droning synths that occasionally flesh out the riffs overtop. Although this is easily Enslaved's most straightforward album, it still manages to sound more refined than the majority of their peers. As opposed to falling in line with the raw zeitgeist, Enslaved's re-imagining as "true" black metal places them somewhere between the intricate speed of their splitmates in Emperor, and the more characteristic Nordic force of Bathory circa Blood Fire Death. Part of the former impression no doubt hails from the drumwork of Trym Torson, who shares credits on the early Enslaved material and most of Emperor's as well. The core members Enslaved have never had the ravenous kick of their "evil" contemporaries. As it stands, Torson's frantic drums tend to overpower the rest of the performances. This only goes to his credit as one of black metal's unsung greats, but the fact that the other members don't match up in this energy probably offers some indication why they decided to distance themselves from black metal.

As a black metal band, Enslaved tend to set themselves apart on the very basis that they've always been "more" than a black metal band. Whether it's been the acoustic undertones, chanted warrior vocals, or the complex prog rock pastiche of their latter work, they've always blurred the lines of what constitutes that genre, without ever compromising what it should represent ideologically. While the acoustic interludes and relative clarity on Frost makes it far from being a truly conventional black metal record, this is easily the closest we've ever come to hearing what Enslaved would sound like if they took the better-travelled road. While the results haven't held up as well as their progressive material, it is impressive to see them consciously backtracking here. Rest assured, they did so without losing the essence of what made them unique.

Review by Warthur
4 stars For the most part, on their sophomore album Enslaved scaled back the use of synthesisers to concentrate on mastering the black metal bedrock of their sound. More aggressive than the preceding album, with lyrical themes revolving around the coming of Ragnarok at the hands of Loki and the Fenris-wolf, the album sees them playing in a somewhat more diverse style than many black metal bands of their generation, with the opening all-acoustic section of Yggdrasil proving that they hadn't turned their back on the experimental approach of the debut, so on the whole I'd say it's another good early release from the band.
Review by siLLy puPPy
4 stars Right from the getgo ENSLAVED were reinventing their sound as evidenced by the extreme change from their debut "Vikingligr Veldi" with its long and hypnotic black metal synthesized fury into the more standard second wave black metal on FROST that encompasses a more traditional aggressive sound that can be heard in the likes of Darkthrone and Emperor. The music here has also taken a leap in the progressiveness. Although the tracks are more aggressive and attempt to blend into the second wave of black metal more, it is also a step up from the debut album in how ENSLAVED can simultaneously blend in and blend out. Once again this unique band is proving that it is anything but the norm.

On FROST we get a more furious black metal approach with the inclusion of synthesized interludes and folk offerings to boot. The chord progressions are upped on the progometer as is the enjoyment factor. This second offering took me a little longer than most to appreciate because of the fact i got into ENSLAVED well after this was released, but as a rabid fan of the black metal scene i am quite enthralled by the prowess of delivery on this one. True it may not have hit me upon first listen and actually took longer than any ENSLAVED release to leave its impression but one day i suddenly found myself really in admiration of the musical delivery heard here.

Although ENSLAVED have been more known and appreciated for their prog adventures in the black metal world, it is here on FROST where the full fury of black metal can be heard with Trym Torson who is better known with Emperor is on full display with his percussive fury adding the depth of bombast that makes this album oh so satisfying. At this stage ENSLAVED were still very much into their primeval Viking metal that even then set them apart from other Viking metal bands that tended to dwell in the death metal camp. Any way you slice it, this is a decent and satisfying black metal release that early on proved that ENSLAVED were quite capable of delivering a new approach on every single album, albeit not fully realized until the 2000s. Perhaps one of my lesser favorite releases but it seems to me that every release in this prolific band's discography is essential.

Latest members reviews

2 stars Enslaved released their second album again containing some old songs from demos with a better sound and more sophisticated impression than by the debut album. Although some fans consider this to be a return to be closer to black metal than the previous album, I see it as a partial truth: Ther ... (read more)

Report this review (#2438127) | Posted by sgtpepper | Monday, August 17, 2020 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Enslaved's FROST is not music that will appeal to everyone here; this is way more black metal than "prog metal". I love Enslaved so I have to admit my bias. This album has its flaws. The sound quality is rough, especially when it comes to the drums. The recording also does not favor the occasion ... (read more)

Report this review (#1407057) | Posted by thwok | Friday, May 1, 2015 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I remember being a fan of their Vikingligr Veldi album. Frost therefore came as a shock with it's back-to-basic black metal sound. Enslaved has always claimed that they were never a black metal band. But this album is very much down that alley. After a long, boring intro, that is. It is pretty ... (read more)

Report this review (#221588) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Wednesday, June 17, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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