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Frost* Milliontown album cover
3.84 | 480 ratings | 60 reviews | 35% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2006

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Hyperventilate (7:31)
2. No Me No You (6:06)
3. Snowman (3:55)
4. The Other Me (4:51)
5. Black Light Machine (10:06)
6. Milliontown (26:35) :
- a) One Underground
- b) Abracadaver
- c) The Only Survivors
- d) Core
- e) The Chosen Few
- f) Two Underground

Total Time 59:04

Digital album bonus tracks:
7. The Other Me - Espen Storø Remix (4:27)
8. Hyperventilate 2013 (5:59)
9. Black Light Machine 2013 Part 2 (5:03)

Line-up / Musicians

- John Mitchell / guitars, vocals
- John Boyes / guitars
- Jem Godfrey / keyboards, alto vocals, composer & producer
- John Jowitt / bass
- Andy Edwards / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Paul Tippett @ Vitamin P with Gus York (photo)

CD Inside Out Music ‎- IOMCD 252 (2006, Germany)

Digital album (2013) With 3 bonus tracks

Thanks to Cygnus X-2 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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FROST* Milliontown ratings distribution

(480 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(35%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (16%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

FROST* Milliontown reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 2006 is a year of exciting releases and new discoveries for me. First there was Kayo Dot's Dowsing Anemone with Coppertongue, which was a phenomenal experience. Next there was The Flower King's Paradox Hotel, which was another very strong release. Then there was Adrian Belew's Side Three, which for me is the best album of the year thus far. And now I stumble on to Frost, a very fine neo progressive rock band that just released their debut album called Milliontown. Keyboardist/vocalist Jem Godfrey assembled this band because of his love of progressive rock, and he couldn't have chosen a finer cast of musicians. Andy Edwards and John Jowitt of IQ take up the rhythm unit, and from the get go you can hear their cohesiveness, and John Mitchell of Arena takes up the guitar aspect of the group, offering a lush and heavy performance overall. This is what modern music is supposed to be like, and I'm very impressed with their first outing.

Hyperventilate is the opening song, an instrumental that opens quietly with an interesting piano motif but soon turns into an all out rocker with a soaring synth line and an epic chord progression that reminds me a bit of Slainte Mhath off of Marillion's Clutching at Straws. Ascending runs here and there give a Dream Theater feel to the piece, and the evolution and musicianship of the song itself is rather stunning. A very impressive opener with great interplay between Mitchell and Godfrey. No Me No You, Snowman, and The Other Me are the more mainstream based pieces on this album that are bookended by the truly progressive ones. No Me No You begins with droning voices and droning guitar notes that outline the basic root structure. It's a rather simple song overall, but the group provide some interesting music and Godfrey's vocals, while not brilliant, more than suffice for the music and add another dimension to it. Some bombastic keyboards that remind me a bit of Spock's Beards intro to Go the Way You Go make up the middle section, and the flurry of instrumentation is rather well executed.

Snowman is a flurry of anxious synthesizers and melodic piano lines intertwining into an uneasy atmosphere. Slowly but surely the other instruments add layer by layer more to the background during the vocal sections, which are very nice. The Other Me begins with some sawing guitar (in the vein of Robert Fripp's during the intro of Larks Tongue in Aspic part I) and some interesting drumming by Edwards. The vocal effects and the main theme is also interesting, with soaring synthesizers and crushing guitars. Black Light Machine begins with a dancing guitar rhythm that invokes memories of those classic Steve Rothery riffs. Throughout the 10 minutes of music, there is a lot of evolution and the group really gets into a groove. Mitchell's solo towards the middle shows makes good use of the frets and shows the listener his skills on guitar. A refreshing and ethereal middle section helps elaborate more on the lush vocals before breaking out into a heavy middle section with flourishes of lush synthesizers and strong rhythmic approaches from Jowitt and Edwards. Here Godfrey gives a melodic synthesizer solo that makes good use of the keys while playing a Dream Theater-esque breakdown section. The first epic is a fantastic one, but does the true epic of the album beat it?

In my opinion, yes, the finale to the album, the 27 minute epic called Milliontown, is the showpiece of the album and the strongest work overall. It opens with a pretty piano motif and some underlying guitar riffing. The main theme of the album comes in around the third minute, and add some tricky riffing that continue and some great interplay between the synthesizers and the guitars, who take turns with the leads. An interesting 7/4 section comes up around the seventh minute with some refreshing vocals (very lush and harmonized) from Godfrey and Mitchell. The instrumental sections that take place between the fifteenth and twenty fifth minute are spectacular displays of guitar prowess and high energy riffing/interplay between the rhythm unit, with soaring guitar leads and melodic synthesizer and piano interludes. The song ends gently, with a quiet piano motif that ends similarly to the intro, giving to piece a continuous feel to. It's one of the best epics I've heard this decade, very creative.

In the end, Milliontown is a great debut from this upcoming neo prog force. That said, the middle pieces aren't very strong, but they are good for what they are. The rest of the album though (which makes up for half of it), is brilliant stuff that any fan of IQ, Arena, or maybe even Dream Theater would enjoy. I can't wait for the next release from this group, as they seem to have a long, fruitful, and very high energy career ahead of them. 4.5/5.

Review by Melomaniac
5 stars THE surprise of the year, so far. Caught me off guard and left me speechless. Opener 'Hyperventilate' may in itself have invented a new style, 'Symphonic Neo Prog'. A high energy instrumental magnum opus. It is clear with this song that the production on this album is top notch and unique.

'No Me No You' is a more standard song, but by no means less interesting. Dark, heavy verses, followed by nice choruses reminding me of Tears for Fears for some reason, only with a much harder edge. Great vocal harmonies, 80's sounding but definitely not cheesy.

'Snowman' is a mellow number, very moody. The synth and electronics work here are great. A good number.

'The Other Me' is another rocker, at times reminiscent of Stabbing Westward in their prime, and has a very infectious chorus, once again very 80's sounding in the melodies but with a very modern approach musically. Also reminds me a bit of Peter Gabriel hallucinogenics.

The second epic of this album, 'Black Light Machine' starts with an interesting delayed tapping guitar pattern, and from there on evolves, changes moods often, and explodes into a groovy and hectic instrumental segment, with some production tweakings à la O.S.I. (like drum fills played in reverse). I found myself laughing as I enjoyed the instrumental part so much.

Album closer, third epic and title track 'Milliontown' is absolutely amazing and breathtaking, 26 minutes of pure majestic symphonic neo prog. Genius I tell ya!

Being a fan of John Mitchell's other works but having never heard IQ before I did not know what to expect, and in fact, expected nothing. That is probably the reason why I am so flabbergasted with this album. I John Jowitt and Andy Edwards sound half as good in IQ as they sound in Milliontown, I'll buy every IQ album they have played on. Mitchell surpasses himself on Milliontown. He shows us another level of his capabilities, and will surely take his rightfully deserved place among the modern day prog guitar heroes. Jem Godfrey's keyboard playing is just amazing. He belongs within the greats of his era and also with the old time greats (some piano moments remind me of Genesis, Supertramp, while some keyboard parts could have been played by Jordan Rudess), and his voice adds color to the music and sounds unique. Coarse, raw and melodic.

All in all, this album is the best debut I have heard in a long, very long time. Milliontown will probably get my vote for 2006 album of the year, because I seriously doubt that something superior to this will hit the shelves this year. A masterpiece and a promise of a very interesting future.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars I listened to this record repeatedly for a week, put it away for a few weeks and gave it a couple of more spins. My conclusion is that this is an excellent release, just not quite a 4 star album. The first and last songs are exceptional in their own ways.

"Hyperventilate" is an instrumental and a real rocker, and no doubt would be a highlight live. It opens so gently but when it kicks in, it kicks in. John Mitchell absolutely lights it up 2 minutes in.Then a minute later his leads are so tasteful. Great driving song. I love the way the over 26 minute song "Milliontown"starts, with a guy talking about how in the Bible whenever God wanted to destroy a city or people, he would send an angel to do it. He concludes the monologue with "So would you ever really want to see an angel ?" There is a real Neal Morse feel in this song, along with some good guitar and piano.

I must give Jem his due, his singing and piano playing do not take a back seat to the allstar prog band he assembled here. I would also say the rhythm section really stands out on many occasions, and look forward to drummer Andy's first studio work with IQ, he sure has the pedigree and the talent. The IQ tandem really stand out on "No Me No You". Again the lighter parts of this song i'm reminded of Neal Morse, which is a good thing of course. "Snowman" is a song that is quite mellow and is like taking a break after the first two barn burners. Nice piano and acoustic guitar in this one. "The Other Me" has some funky bass lines happening.

This is really well produced and it will be very interesting to see what FROST has in store for us in the future. 3.5 Stars.

Review by richardh
3 stars So typical of a lot of modern prog this lacks something vital.Whether that be exceptional playing like a Howe or an Emerson or exceptional compositions or an idea that really grabs.Even the artwork is unremarkable.True this band can really play but then isn't that a prerequesite of any prog band? What elevates this from anything else? Not a lot.Its just very good thats all but I'd struggle to make a case to rush out and buy it.
Review by Menswear
4 stars Another brick in the wall.

It's true, Néo progressive bands sounds the same with their plastic keyboards and their fierce tendency to give hommage to their heroes, which means nothing really creative since 20 years. Is Frost* part of that whole circus?

Drum rolls...

No. Not a big 'no', but still no. To me, Frost* is part of a renouveau in the genre, but not in progressive music. Their approach is fresh enough to keep me interested, but in no way I'm flabbergasted by this record. Althought it's been heard before with Spock's Beard and Arena, the way it's processed is somewhat interesting to hear and refreshing. The pop issue is constant, each song has a 'prog' feel but done in a cute modern way, with lots of sampling, backward effects, enhanced voices and floaty keyboard textures.

The piece de resistance is the last song, to me it's a great kick in the backyard. The song shows how these guys were serious when they did this, it goes smoothly but does rock in many areas with bombastic lines and Dream Theater / Magic Pie approach. Great piano (reminding me Tori Amos) and crazy guitar parts, with layers and layers of texture. A very dense song with a lot to give. The other good bet is the instrumental song called Hyperventilate. And frankly, it could give you a nervous chill because it's pedal to the medal from start to finish. It's so good, you could almost see Dream Theater do kidding!

With lots of diversity for a Néo band (metal, pop and progressive), this band is already dead litteraly, but will be shot in the dark of 2006 for me.

Review by E-Dub
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I guess it's about time I review what I considered to be one of the best releases of 2006 (Right behind The Flower Kings' Paradox Hotel). Formed by the bands nucleus, Jem Godfrey, he surrounded himself with some of the best musicians in neo prog: John Mitchell of Arena and Kino, Andy Edwards of IQ, and John Jowitt of IQ, Arena, and Blind Ego. This makes for some of the most dynamic music in progressive muisc, in my opinion.

The disc begins with the almighty instrumental "Hyperventilate", kicked off by a beautiful piano section. Andy Edwards especially showcases what a versatile and accomplished drummer he is on this song. The band as a whole shines with musicianship that rivals old Yes (that's right...old Yes). Godfrey's synths remind me of Kevin Moore of Dream Theater towards the end, but the variety of influences are quite evident. Probably one of the best instrumentals I've heard in quite a while.

Where the intial track is undeniably prog, "No Me, No You" takes on a punkish bravado in the beginning with it's driving beat. Still embodies progressive characteristics, but see saws back and forth. This song is also the first we get to hear the vocalists for Frost*. Godfrey's got a decent voice and has a bit of a grittiness to it.

"Snowman" is when we get to hear Mitchell on vocals for the first time. As apparent on Kino's Picture, Mitchell is a very good vocalist. Maybe not possessing the best range, but still very listenable. The song begins with a down troddened pattern with a synth adding a bit of window dressing alongside the vocals and piano. A nice tune that sounds a bit like 10CC, but far from the strongest. Could use a bit more variation.

"The Other Me" begins with a grunge-like guitar riff that would sound comfortable on a Pearl Jam disc alongside a drum loop until the band bears down for a tone straight from society's underbelly. Again, with Godfrey on vocals, this is a very rocking song with a NIN persona. A song that really has a bit of a nasty bite to it...and I like it a lot.

Wedged in between the title track and "Hyperventilate" as my favorite track, we are presented with "Black Light Machine". With characteristics of IQ, Arena, and Pink Floyd, this is a very strong tune with excellent guitar work by Mitchell about 3 minutes in.

We close with the amazing 25 minute epic entitled "Milliontown". Could be one of the coolest epics I've heard and really ensures us that prog is well and alive as the young guns carry the torch high and proud. A pretty meek beginning gives away to an explosion about 2 1/2 minutes in followed by a wicked synth solo. This song is balls to the wall prog in all of it's glory. DPRP's poll from last year had this as being the best song of 2006 and neo prog doubters should give it a listen. Not the least bit tiresome with energy throughout.

I'm hoping Frost endures. We were hit with the news that they had disbanded, but Godfrey announced that Darwin's Radio singer/guitarist was going to carry on in the place of Mitchell. Might be interesting, but regardless, it would be hard to top this debut.

Review by FruMp
2 stars I was quite disappointed by this album, I got this album after I had heard a lot of good things about it from this site and other places and I read some good reviews and the such like and then I got home and put this on and my hopes faded.

My problem with this album is it is too poppy, it's a personal bias sure but I'm unable to grasp it's progressive and musical merits through all this cuteness and upbeat poppy nonsense, it probably doesn't help that neo-progressive isn't exactly my favourite prog genre. I still tried to have an open mind and I listened to it a fair few times and yes there are some genuinely good moments but in my eyes they are few and far between and aren't strong enough to hold together this album or restore it's musical shortcomings and I found myself getting bored quite quick.

I would only recommend this album to fans of more accessible modern music or neo-progressive music.

Review by progrules
4 stars When I first heard about Frost I got quite interested, it was said to be a very interesting new band so I had to check it out. I bought the album and I must say, I was pretty impressed from the start, that is for where the larger part of the album was concerned. And then we're talking about the last two songs. Because of the very long (and fabulous) epic these two songs cover almost 2/3 of the total time. If we look at these two songs it's a sensational album. Black light machine is on itself not so impressive until after a few minutes and also at the end of the song the guitar solos break loose. This is absolutely fantastic, it lifts the entire song to a very high level. It's no news that John Mitchell is one of the best in the business and that's what he is proving in this song. The epic Milliontown is what you may expect from a song of this length, a marvellous composition with lots of variety and turnovers and of course instrumental passages. But what disappoints me is that if a band (or a person in the band) can write great songs like this, why don't they do it more often ?

I mean: the prove they can, but the other 4 songs are more or less disappointing and devaluate the album. And what's worse: they prevent me from giving this album 5 stars, so it has to be 4.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Oh My God . what a fabulous music!"

That's my very very first reaction towards the opening track "Hyperventilate" (7:31) of debut album by FROST. That's really true and it did not require me to think further or re-spin the CD as at first listen it BLEW me away .Why? First, I have been listening to various kinds of progressive music from the traditional and basic symphonic prog even until the modern prog named as neo-psyche or so. But, the kind of music Hyperventilate track is kind like "new" to my ears. Yes, there is heavy component of Arena, but Arena has never played this kind of music before. There is a bit of symphonic prog in here, but Genesis or Yes has never played this kind of music. So .. it's totally new to my ears, honestly! Second, this track has something that really inquiring the mind with its varied moods, motifs and styles delivered by combining (dynamically!) the keyboard work, drums by new IQ drummer, bass guitar and guitar. It's really a masterpiece track, performed instrumental. Basically, having listened to this track, I really don't care what kind of music that would follow after this opening track because the opening track has already killed me alive! But it's not fair if I just write my review about the opening track only, it must continue with next tracks.

"No Me No You" (6:06) ast first did not impress me because it's basically an upbeat modern pop rock music with some new wave flavors, I believe, or some people may refer it as alternative rock. (Note: I'm not quite familiar with new wave kind of things). It starts with an ambient narration followed by guitar riffs which reminds me to the album by Mike Rutherford "Acting Very Strange". The more I spin this song, it grows on me especially on its groove and music flow. I have to admit that this band is lacking on vocal department, or at least it does not meet my expectation. The keyboard solo is attractive and stunning. Again, the influence of Arena is quite intense because John Mitchell is from Arena and John Jowitt played with Arena as well. Andy Edwards (IQ drummer) is a good drummer. The interlude part is quite complex with symphonic background.

"Snowman" (3:55) starts with very nice yet simple piano touch followed by mellow vocal line. The song contains some programming effort. It's good as a break to the next track. "The Other Me" (4:51) reminds me to a song by British pop rock band Def Leppard especially with a song titled "Truth?" from "Slank" album. It similarities lie on melody and ambient, even though they are not exactly the same. "Black Light Machine" (10:06) is another favorite of mine. It has an energetic and catchy music interlude especially keyboard solo which truly stunning. I do not favor the drum sounds actually, but it does not matter because the keyboard work is really excellent! So, it's not only the opening track that is excellent, this 5th track "Black Light Machine" and the concluding track "Milliontown" are also excellent.

"Milliontown" (26:35) is an epic, as you might have seen from the duration which it takes more than 25 minutes with six (6) chapters / movements. The opening chapter ONE UNDERGROUND serves as an ambient opening that sets the overall tone of the epic. It moves to Chapter two ABRACADAVER with a great music in relatively fast tempo in the vein of ARENA, demonstrating really GREEEEAAT keyboard solo and guitar solo with wonderful music. Andy Edwards plays his drums. The song moves dynamically in balanced styles of heavy and light parts until it finishes at the last chapter TWO UNDERGROUND. You would definitely find catchy segments and wonderful interludes throughout the twenty-six minutes full performance of the band.

Overall, I would highly recommend this album to those of you who really want to explore the boundaries of traditional or classic prog with unique prog sound produced by FROST. It's really entertaining for me personally to enjoy this album. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by progaeopteryx
3 stars Frost had its beginnings in 2004 when musician, songwriter, and producer Jem Godfrey (mostly known for his hits with Atomic Kitten), made a decision to return to his progressive roots that he experienced in an earlier band he was in called Freefall. After listening to a broad selection of current progressive rock acts, he approached guitarist John Mitchell of Arena about doing a project with him. In turn, Mitchell introduced Godfrey to bassist John Jowitt (Arena, IQ, Jadis) which led to contact with drummer Andy Edwards (also of IQ). Godfrey also brought in his former band-mate and guitarist in Freefall, John Boyes. And so began the Frost project.

Milliontown was the debut and result of this supergroup of sorts. Being that the core of the band is made of neo-proggers from Arena and IQ, one might expect this to sound like those bands. Instead, Frost is more of a heavy version of neo prog, showing some prog metal and pop rock tendencies thrown in. It's sort of like a fusion of contemporary neo prog with the current popular musical scene of 2006. As you can imagine, this is good and bad. Good in that it gives neo prog a good kick in the rear. Bad in that it seems too much like popular music. I can see a number of these being fitting pieces for music videos in the early morning hours on VH1. Milliontown gives me that mixed-bag feeling, so I clearly feel this album is out of reach for being in the four to five star territory, but it's not bad enough to rate as two or less stars.

After four tracks of average to mediocre pieces, Milliontown doesn't really kick in until the fifth track, Black Light Machine. It's length gives it much room for development and the band really soars on this one. Mitchell provides some really beautiful guitar solos here. Some of the moments are quite dreamy. Still, it has some qualities that are not as appealing, like the computer effects applied in the last heavier section that are reminiscent to some of the crap one can hear on modern pop music (think Backstreet Boys and such). It recovers by the ending with another nice Mitchell solo.

The final track times in at over 26 minutes. One can only hope that this will be the coup de grâce that will lift this album out of the doldrums of the first four tracks. And it does, but it's not in any way a masterpiece among the best 20+ minute tracks in our beloved genre. But it's enough to keep this album from falling into the two-star territory for me. In many ways it sounds like the earlier tracks, but instead of separate pieces, they are all tied together nicely, conceptually and thematically. Godfrey even performs some really nice Banksian keyboard lines throughout. I think what bothers me most about Frost, other than the pop rock tendencies, is it seems too noisy at times and needs a more powerful vocalist for this style of music. Godfrey's voice is more like a rough, whispering style and this kind of music begs for a soaring vocalist (like Rob Sowden).

An interesting addition to the neo prog sub-genre. An excellent debut, but not enough for this to be an essential purchase but showing lots of ability and promise that I'm looking forward to hearing what Frost produces in the future. Three stars.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Frost sounds like a black metal band name to me but this is as far from the truth as possible. Milliontown is Frost´s debut album but don´t let that fool you as this band is full of experienced musicians. Jem Godfrey who sings and plays the omnipresent keyboards on the album is also the main composer of the music. He has produced and written pop music for many years but has with this project decided to return to his prog roots. The other musicians are members of various neo prog bands like Arena and IQ. Personally I don´t think this sounds much like neither Arena nor IQ. Frost has a much more modern approach and sound and thank God for that. The influences ranges from Dream Theater ( Images & Words and Awake), some neo prog influences and commercial pop music.

I must say I was really surprised when I listened to Milliontown for the first time because I was expecting some rather mediocre neo prog, but this sounds much more powerful and fresh.

The music is very melodic and there is a good mood in the songs. Not since I heard Dream Theater´s Images & Words have I heard an album with this kind of sound. Milliontown is not a heavy metal album though, but there are traces. The melodic and complex instrumental opener Hyperventilate is a really excellent song with lots of Dream Theater tendencies. I also hear some Steve Vai Firegarden influences in this song. Jem Godfrey´s piano playing is otherworldly in this song. I promise you this is fantastic and very melodic.

No Me No You is the first test of Jem Godfrey´s frontman qualities and he passes with splendour. He has a really strong voice and even though the chorus of the song could have been in a pop song, it suits the music so well. This is one of those rare bands that sounds like pop, but is much more complicated than that. It never gets cheesy though and that´s good.

Snowman is a song with another style than the two previous ones. Very keyboard dominated and mellow this reminds me a bit about Chroma Key with a pop rock singer. Again the melody is very strong and the keyboards play some really melodic themes.

The Other Me is the weakest song here. This is really eighties like in the melody department. But of course it is professionally done and that saves this otherwise weak song.

Black Light Machine is the most neo prog song here. It´s kind of a mini epic with it´s 10 minute running time, but it isn´t the kind of song that builds. There are lots of solos and instrumental parts in this one. Nothing fancy though.

Milliontown is the real epic of the album. 26+ minutes is a long time for one song, but I am entertained throughout the whole playing time. The vocals lines and the singing style in this song sometimes reminds me of Neil Morse from Spock´s Beard. This is a great ending to a great album, and with the many different parts in this song, Frost proves that they are more than just another neo prog band.

The musicians are outstanding on this album and with the wonderful production this is emphazised even more. This has to be one of the most polished productions I have ever heard on a prog rock album, and even though this sometimes offend me I enjoy it greatly here. These songs were born to be produced like this.

This is one of the best modern prog rock albums I have heard in years and a sure 4 - 5 star album. It´s very rarely I hear something that I feel deserve 5 stars, but this is very special, even though it has it´s flaws and I can therefore only give it 4 stars. I can´t wait to hear more though. This is highly recommendable, you just have to try this one out if you´re into melodic symphonic prog rock.

Review by Roland113
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I wanted to write my first review about an album that I truly loved.

Sure, it would be easy to write about Selling England or some other Genesis masterpiece, but I wanted something more modern.

Milliontown by Frost is the best album I've purchased this year (yes, I know, I'm a little late to the album, I was out of Prog Rock for about ten years).

I first heard No Me, No You on a Progressive Rock podcast and it blew me away, I needed more. I searched through the archives and found Hyperventilate and Black Light Machine. Again, fantastic, I needed more, shortly thereafter, I picked up the album and continue to say Wow! every time that I listen to it.

This album contains 4 fantastic songs and two good songs.

Hyperventilate provides an enchanting introduction to the layers you'll find throughout the entire album, keyboard wizardry interspersed with crunching guitar yet retaining a firm grip on melody throughout.

No Me, No You grips you with a ballsy metalish crunch only to blindside the listener with a shift from left field into a rolling 12/8 chorus that gets repeated throughout the song. Jem Godfrey's pop expertise shines through in the chorus, bridge and outro coalescing the prog oddities with almost pop-like hooks. The result, pure majesty.

Snowman is a good enough song, but it is the best example of my biggest criticism of the album. Many parts of the album feature entirely too much processing on the lead vocals. The album sounds great, why muddy up Snowman and the beginning of Milliontown by sweeping the vocals to the point of distraction?

The Other Me, enjoyable but unremarkable.

Black Light Machine is ten minutes of proggy goodness full of great guitar work.

Milliontown, the 26 minute epic is a beautifully constructed piece but also the place to insert my second criticism of the album. It would have been a much stronger 24.5 minute epic, the 90 seconds of piano afterthought strikes me as kind of a Transatlantic ploy to simply make the 'epic' longer.

Other than that, Milliontown (the song) is a wonderfully enjoyable excursion through the afterlife from the eyes of a Zombie (or at least that's the most I can gather from the references to the book). Similar to the remainder of the album, it's full of almost pop sounding hooks, progressive wizardry, lush layers and thoughtful lyrics.

A final thought, it's so nice hearing a prog keyboard player who doesn't spend the entire album trying to mimic a Mellotron. Love the sound of the Mellotron, but come on guys, it's 2008 (or 2006 when this was released). Let's be progressive. Enjoy the music released in the 70's for what it was don't try to recreate it 40 years later. Go buy a Roland or something from this decade.

Wonderful album, I highly recommend it.

Review by LiquidEternity
4 stars This is one of those releases that garners massive amounts of attention and excitement when it comes out, leaving a lot of people curious and plenty others confused.

What you have with Frost* is pure, unadultered nonstandard noodling. If you can't stand any of the following, this band might not be for you: Yes, ELP, Dream Theater, Spock's Beard, or Frank Zappa. Do not assume, however, that by lots of noodling I mean lots of shredding. There are moments of this, sure, but for the most part the noodling takes the form of interesting and unique musical moments that have mostly nothing to do with the songs themselves. And also do not assume that this is neo-prog like you've heard before. Yes, three of the four members on this release are from high-profile neo-prog bands (IQ and Arena), but while this is certainly neo-prog, it's not their usual brand. The level of energy and excitement among the band sounds like a bunch of younger fellows, really--showing that the true power behind Frost* is not their musical ability or their creative songwriting but their powerful sense of humor. What you should be expecting with this album is an hour of carefree, excited exaltations about music and how to really screw with it. Some take issue with the particularly average vocals, but the music is worth putting up with some average vocals for.

It begins with the instrumental Hyperventilate. Kicking off with some gentle piano, it gradually builds and then reaches a specific melody, at which point the band enters and the song goes wild. The track picks up and drops off quite frequently, building to numerous climaxes and granting Jem himself some time to whip out a very intense keyboard solo. While perhaps maybe not the most unique instrumental song in the world of prog, it certainly has its own flavor and flair. After Hyperventilate ends with a bang, No Me No You begins, being the first of the middle three pop/rocck tunes. Some chugging guitar and computerized vocals bring the song to a poppy chorus that still has enough rock in it to work. A few piano bits keep the song in the flavor begun on the first track. Snowman is the third song, being more or less the quintessential ballad of the album. Though it's slow, the harmonies are nice and the piano still full of spirit. Then the weakest track of the album, The Other Me, begins, and we get a nice barrage of lyrics hearkening back to Schwartzenegger's The Sixth Day and music about as straightforward as progressive music can be.

The fifth song, Black Light Machine, opens with a repeating delayed guitar lick, a sonic backdrop that will continue for a good portion of the song. Some nice vocals and a small guitar solo comprise the first half. However, it's the second half that really demands attention. First, a second guitar solo, this one very extended, builds and builds, pushing the track faster and faster until it calms down for the last vocal part. Then, with a few minutes remaining, the song kicks into completely high gear--ample ground for further solos from different instruments. Lastly, the title track Milliontown enters, a song which comprises nearly half the album. If a 27 minute song interests you, get this: it's a 27 minute song about zombies. The first twenty minutes play forward in fairly traditional prog epic standard, with some fast parts and some slow parts and some strange circus music used as transitions. However, it's the last eight or nine minutes that really turn this song into Frost*'s masterpiece. Entirely instrumental, these last minutes reprise in indefatiguable pace many of the song's highlights, making room for a couple of tasty solos and some wild drumming.

In the end, this album is not one to be taken seriously but to be simply enjoyed at a very basic prog level. Many of the lyrics are silly, the songs focus mostly on clever instrumentation, and the album as a whole dances on the fine and fun line between whimsical and ridiculous.

Review by stefro
3 stars Jem Godfrey, believe it or not, has written quite a few hits over the years...for the likes of ATOMIC KITTEN and SUGABABES. I know, I know, I know. Not exactly the best grounding in music but, before you try to turn away from this review in disgust, realise that Mr Godfrey is, like you and me, a serious lover of all things prog. After temporarily quitting the day job, Godfrey put together an impressive looking line-up for his new project entitled FROST, who aimed to bring prog into the 21st century by combining the archaic progressive sensibilities, rhythms and sounds of his 1970's-yester-year heroes with the more overt, primary-coloured simplicity of todays pop and Indie acts. Digital-pop-prog, if you will. It sounds like a unique challenge, and maybe not to everyone's tastes considering the apathy towards chart-bothering pop-hits shown by the average progger.(me included). However, with the help of neo- prog heroes IQ's rhythm section and the talented guitarist John Mitchell, Godfrey has produced a scintillating odyssey into this bright new world filled with daring musical mixtures. Opener 'Hyperventilate' sounds like an almighty-clash between Marillion and The Human League, with bold synths and highly-string guitars battling for supremacy over the Andy Edwards thunderous drumming. It's a good start, but things are bettered immediately. Sophomore song 'No Me, No You' is one of 'Milliontowns' highlights. Crunching metal-riffs run head-first thru John Jowitt's thuddering bass, whilst Godfrey's synthesised Transformers-esque vocals spew a barrage of meaty lyrics. So far, so good. But there will very definitely be detractors who will see this as falling delicately between two stools that, traditionally, are very, very far apart. Indeed, 'The Other Me' sounds cringingly like a sub-Sugababes pop ditty, with vacuous wordplay only deepening the resemblence. 'Black Light Machine' fares better, but the pop quirks don't always sit comfortably alongside the prog-and-metal framework, sometimes making for awkward moments and time-changes. The required and eponymously-titled 20-minute-plus epic finishes things off in some style, and is probably the LP's most experimental piece. The fact that the clash of styles doesn't always work does detract from the promising musical avenue being explored here, and there is no denying that. But, in fairness you have to give Godfrey a pat on the back for being true to the core ideologies and ethos of progressive rock - that of experimentation, progression, style-merging etc - and it has to be said that there is little out there(in the prog world) similar to MILLIONTOWN. At times inspired, at others awkward and mawkish, Godfrey's quest for a harmonious balance between prog and pop, his day-job and his first love, was always going to be difficult. He hasn't quite pulled it off yet but with the talent shown by FROST here, there are surely exiciting times ahead.
Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Hello, good evening, and welcome

Frost* (the asterisk is part of the band's name) are the brainchild of noted producer Jem Godfrey. While Godfrey is probably best known for his work with the girl band Atomic Kitten, he has a longstanding passion for progressive rock. He sings and plays keyboards on this album.

In 2006, Godfrey contacted guitarist John Mitchell of Arena (although it was Mitchell's work with Kino which attracted Godfrey's attention) along with John Jowitt and Andy Edwards of IQ with a view to forming a prog supergroup. John Boyes, a former bandmate of Godfrey, also appears on the album. "Milliontown" is the band's only official release to date, although at time of writing they are working and touring together.

The album opens with the 7½ minute "Hyperventilate", an instrumental track which begins rather like the title track from ELP's "Trilogy" album, before moving through some fine Yes like sequences. "No me, no you", the first track with vocals, reminds me a lot of Porcupine Tree's more recent work, especially vocally. John Mitchell also brings with him a fair bit of Arena/The Urbane here, the guitar riffs bearing Mitchell's distinct trademark.

"Snowman" is the shortest track on the album at just under 4 minutes. The song is relatively light, with a strong bass line and plinking keyboards supporting a distorted vocal.

The opening riff of "The other me" sounds very like Tubeway Army's "Are 'friends' electric" before Mitchell's distorted vocals take us in an altogether heavier direction. The 10 minute "Black Light Machine" returns us to an Arena style, Mitchell's fine guitar work once again being a feature. The track weaves through a variety of styles and moods from the rather light pop style opening sequence to gentle waves of atmospheric keyboard backed vocals and thundering bursts of guitar.

It is though to the sprawling 26½ minute title track that we look for our prog masterpiece. Nominally in six sections, this monster may borrow heavily from both classic prog and neo-prog epics which have gone before (including "Close to the edge" and "Duke's travels" to name but two), but it still makes for a fine way to spend half an hour. The overall sound is actually quite similar to that of the other recent prog supergroup Transatlantic, the vocals being particularly reminiscent of Neal Morse. The track is as ambitious as it is pompous, with soaring symphonic sections, lush keyboards and plenty of lead guitar breaks. A new prog classic indeed.

In all, a refreshing and reassuring hour of neo-prog performed by a group of highly talented craftsmen. This may be Jem Godfrey's baby, but it is apparent throughout that this is very much a band effort. Any album which features a 26+ minute prog epic cannot be all bad, but in this case it is pleasing to report that the album works well as a whole too.

Review by mystic fred
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Having heard the story behind this release I was suspicious to say the least : a producer of pop albums making a Prog record..? Sounds audacious, and on listening to the whole album my suspicions were more or less confirmed - the album is a good debut, but didn't really do anything for me, i felt i'd heard much of it before. All the ingredients are present to make a good prog album but alas the spark of originality seemed to be absent here. The musicianship is excellent, band members previously playing in excellent Neo-prog bands IQ and Arena.

I hope the material on their next album will be better, indeed a very popular album but i'm afraid Frost "Milliontown" left me a bit chilly.

Review by Flucktrot
4 stars Similar the the late show Seinfeld--the show about nothing--Milliontown is the album about nothing. If you need a plot, or at least lyrics about something tangible or relatable, then this won't be up your alley. Conversely, if you like creative, "balls-out" instrumentals, then then this will be for you.

Milliontown gets-r-done for me.

I'm going to be honest: I really only listen to this album for the first and final songs (like Spock's Beard's V, which wouldn't surprise me if it was hatched from the same prog-egg as Milliontown), although Black Light Machine is also a good listen with some catchy verses and interesting solos.

Hyperventilate kicks things off nicely. Let's see, we've got 3/4, 4/4, 5/4, and 7/4, which all can go by without really noticing because the melodies and playing are just flat out fun. Again, there's really nothing holding it together, but they pull it off.

I will appreciate Milliontown for what it is, because I don't think we're likely to get another epic from Jem. That's OK--they've left their mark nicely in my opinion. I find it pleasant and interesting throughout, but special mention must be made for the final 10 minutes or so: they are just rocking out and I love it. High energy, fun and well-played--what's not to like?

One oddity is with the individual contributions to this supergroup. Without seeing the line-up, I would not have guessed that Jowitt, Edwards and Mitchell are playing on this album. Edwards fills things up much more than I can remember in his IQ work (and to nice effect, to be sure), while I can barely hear Jowitt at all (though I suppose this is intentionally a blatant guitar-synth-drum mix). Finally, I am stunned that I often mistake Mitchell's playing for a synth. Very restrained and very robotic. It sounds very good, but it's hard to be happy with a t-bone when someone's having filet mignon right next to you.

All in all, I usually enjoy my visits to Milliontown, and I'm glad it happened. If you like the over-the-top instrumentals that neo prog can sometimes deliver, you can't get much better or more consistent than Milliontown.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars An awesome debut from producer/keyboardist JEM GODFREY's prog alter ego. One might consider this lineup a bit of an "all-star" band or "supergroup."

1. "Hyperventilate" (7:31) as nearly perfect a modern prog song as it gets; one for the ages (15/15)

2. "No Me No You" (6:06) Jem trying to be Porcupine Tree or Opeth? Nothing new or inviting here.(7.5/10)

3. "Snowman" (3:55) The Beatles doing BBC TV soundtrack music. (8/10)

4. "The Other Me" (4:51) opens sounding like an XTC song from the 1980s before the PETER GABRIEL "The Tower that Ate People" wall of sound hits 30 seconds in. As a matter of fact, until the chorus, this song sounds very much like an alternate version of "Tower"--and then picks it right back up in the instrumental section. (8.5/10)

5. "Black Light Machine" (10:06) very nice baseline weave of sounds and patterns supports another standard vocal. John Mitchell's guitar brilliance really comes shining through on this one (his three extended soli are by far the highlights of the song). (17.25/20)

6. "Milliontown" (26:35) (46.5/50) : - a) One Underground - piano-based with distorted lead vocal. - b) Abracadaver - heavy injection of full-on GENESIS-like NeoProg. All band members are running on high octane, giving very impressive performances on their respective instruments. I love the bass effect in the quieter vocal section in the sixth minute. - c) The Only Survivors - a little musical simplicity invites the listener in, to relax and enjoy the melodies while storyteller and instrumentalists flash in and out. Things get heavier and thicker at the end of the tenth minute and then there is a wonderful shift into an odd time signature that the band exploits brilliantly and emphatically in quite the symphonic way. Probably the best passage on the album. Shifting dynamics over the next few minutes are awesome until we come to astripped-down BEATLES-esque passage. - d) Core - far more subtle and nuanced with chord and individual notes and sound choices, the palette here is unusual and unearthly--until the nineteenth minute's launch into race time: - e) The Chosen Few - while a couple instruments remain on "slow time, sustaining their notes and melodic play, the rest of the band charges, speeds, swirls, and plummets as if they're on a race against time. Another great passage. Jem Godfrey is a true keyboard wiz. (How come we've never heard of him before?) Layers of guitars are also masterfully employed. A little repeat of a motif from "Hyperventilate" occurs at the 22-minute mark, then it's off to the races again, with a few dynamic and temporal shifts - f) Two Underground - a brief slowed- and stripped-down keyboard section to shift into the closing of the song. Man did these 27 minutes fly by quickly! Twenty-six plus minutes of heavily-invested work: this is no one-dimensional psychedelic jam, this is a true epic with many themes and motifs, a very well-worked out labour of some excellent and very serious musicians.

Total Time: 59:04

There are some real powerful, hopeful moments of pure prog bliss here as well as many elements of heavy and crossover prog. Definitely a group to watch.

B+/4.5 stars; an awesome example of the direction modern prog and Neo Prog may take--and definitely an excellent addition to any prog lover's music collection.

Review by Warthur
3 stars Frost* is Jem Godfrey's baby; having established a lucrative career as a songwriter for major pop stars, Godfrey wanted an outlet through which he could perform some of his own songs and develop material with a different artistic direction than his day job. Luckily, various veterans of IQ and Arena decided to help out, and the end result is the Milliontown album. It's a rather poppy sort of neo-prog album, with Godfrey's ear for a good hook benefitting the songwriting; to be honest, it feels a little lightweight and insubstantial for my tastes, but fans of the poppier end of neo-prog may find a lot to like here.
Review by kev rowland
4 stars This is a new band that has been put together by Jem Godfrey, and while this may appear to many to be his first foray into progressive music he has actually been around for quite a while. He formed Freefall back in 1986, and only eight weeks later they opened for IQ. Over the years they supported the likes of Galahad, Ark and Geoff Mann, but although they had three independent releases they never hit the heights and they called it a day in 1991. That didn't stop his interest in music and more recently has been working on more profitable areas. So far he has successfully co-composed and co-produced pop hits, e.g. for Atomic Kitten, whose number one hit sold over two million copies alone. Apart from that he worked for Blue, Ronan Keating, Lulu and Samantha Mumba as well as scoring further chart success with Holly Vallance ("Kiss Kiss"), Atomic Kitten and Shane Ward (winner of the talent show "X-Factor"). When he decided that he needed something a little more stretching he bought a load of prog CDs and started looking for musicians. The result is that Andy Edwards and John Jowitt of IQ provide the hard hitting rhythm section, with guitarist John Mitchell (Arena, Kino etc) also in tow. JJ and John have always enjoyed playing together, reliving their Arena days, and it shows. Jem must have opened for JJ, either in Ark or IQ (or both), and has relived some of those Freefall days by asking John Boyes to also guest on guitars.

What I didn't expect at all was the complexity and sheer brilliance of opener "Hyperventilate". It starts almost dreamily, with sounds evocative of native American flutes before the piano tinkles in gently. Gradually Jem expands the music, playing up and down the keyboards in a gentle introduction, until a repeated sequence starts to take prominence. This builds until John comes crashing in with guitars following the same pattern then all hell breaks loose and it is off and devil take the hindmost. This is a soaring climatic instrumental with guitars and keyboards swapping roles while Andy and JJ provide total rock support. Just when you think that there can't be anymore the songs lifts, turns and then implodes on itself and falls back to piano and then it is off again. At the end of this song I was already in awe ? could this be the best prog debut since Spock's Beard? The other songs show a more structured side to the band, but one that is very hard hitting and riff hungry. This is a style of music that could probably be called prog metal, but it is far removed from Threshold as the melodies are stronger and this is packed full of hooks and is totally infectious. Jem may have written all of the material but he has surrounded himself with guys that know how to deliver, and the result is an album that may only be six songs long but this is sheer quality. If ever you doubted that the British prog scene could kick out something new and exciting then you should know that this is just incredible.

Feedback #89 2006

Review by FragileKings
3 stars Another album I became aware of from PA's top fifty popular artists in the last 24 hours, the reviews of this album indicated that this was an album to be excited about. In particular, the quote in the artist profile from Jem Godfrey about most prog bands acting like the last 30 years in music didn't happen had me wondering how this progressive rock artist would approach making a prog album.

Making a blind purchase, I had it in my ear buds the day after I got it and listened. The opening instrumental really made a deep impression. Opening with what sounds like a wooden flute, the song instantly reminded me of a predawn mountain lake with the first light in the sky over silhouetted mountains. A delicate tinkling piano melody suggests that sunrise is drawing near and then as the sun comes up the bass and treble notes create a beautiful melody. As the music builds, light percussion joins and then suddenly the music erupts in a full scale melodic, almost metal sound full of richness. This is just the beginning. As the music develops, there is more piano, some explosive synthesizer solos, searing guitar solos that remind me of Steve Vai, voluminous rock in the vein of Steve Morse, and some marvelous neo-prog rock sounds. By the time the track wraps up, I am eager to hear what will come next, my ears practically smoking.

However, the next three tracks are a let down. "No Me No You" starts out promising enough with some manipulation of speaking voices that might have come from a Butthole Surfers album. Then heavy chugging guitar and the song that sounds very mainstream. The chorus contrasts the edge of the verses by being more melodic. The vocals have the slightly raw sound that many mainstream, popular rock bands have these days, the kind that sometimes sound like there is far too much breath coming out for the words sung. It's okay but reminds me too much of what I could expect to hear on Vancouver's rock radio station if I were back home. The middle part gets interesting but it's an insert in a heavy pop song.

"Snowman" just goes right by me. Each time I listen to it I lose concentration and think of other things. It has a kind of synthesized pan flute sound (two notes only) that sounds like a flute was recorded at the highest volume possible and then sampled. Thankfully, this is the shortest song on the album.

"The Other Me" is also a mainstream heavy rock song and unless I actually play it I can't recall how it goes either. But things really start looking up by "Black Light Machine". Where the first track, "Hyperventilate" gave us such rich music, "Black Light Machine" now does so with a song, too. At just over ten minutes, there's room to let the music move through different phases and show off once more the band's ability to shift effortlessly from light piano passages to thundering heavy rock to synthesizer-driven neo-prog. After listening to this again this morning, I was inspired to put this song on a playlist to burn to CD for long drives.

The last track is an epic over 26 minutes long. "Milliontown" doesn't introduce anything we don't already know. In a way, it's like the best parts of the album condensed into one composition, the Coles Notes version of the album, sort of. We have more of the heavy pop music, the wonderful synthesizer solos, the Steve Vai guitar, the prog metal pounding, and everything else except for the flutes, real or sampled. My problem with this song is that it seems to just keep going on and on. It's like ten songs chopped and stitched together and reminds me of how Transatlantic's long songs sometimes feel. While it's nice to hear such creativity, I feel like they just looked for any cool studio jam part to fit in. There's even a short passage of maybe sixteen bars that sounds like classic Genesis.

Without looking at the time counter you'll be kept wondering when the song will wrap up. There's a big anthemic keyboard melody that sounds like a great finale, but the song keeps going. There are some great guitar and synthesizer solos, and the song continues. The melody introduced at the beginning reprises, and the song continues. Even when the last big wallop seems to herald the close of the song, it is followed by a return of the piano and another minute of playing until the last note is sustained for yet another 17 seconds before the track finally and truly comes to its temporal conclusion. There's some excellent music but as the band dispenses with the usual practice of dividing epic songs into parts at least in title, it's a bit puzzling why so many musical themes were necessary.

The only other slight complaint about the album is that it is produced really loud. Except for the pretty piano parts, the volume of everything is loud like a bombardment of music. On the one hand it makes the album seem full and rich. On the other hand, it makes any kind of subtlety nearly impossible. That beautiful opening with flute and piano is a wonder.

"Hyperventilate" continues to be a joy to listen to and now I have come to appreciate "Black Light Machine". But the rest of the album doesn't exactly beg for repeat plays unless I want to undertake the task of inundating my brain with the extensive "Milliontown".

Review by DamoXt7942
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams
4 stars "Milliontown" has been launched in 2006 as the debut creation of a UK Rick act FROST* and definitely considered as one of milestones not only in Neo-Prog society but also in Progressive Rock scene, let me say. The longest album-titled suite featuring drastic and dramatic melody appearances and charismatic and energetic impressions infiltrated deeply in the sound world might acclaim itself as one of Neo-Symphonic theaters. Their basal waves and vibes obviously inspired by British progressive rock vanguards (especially Genesis) and modestly seasoned with metallic hints are pretty comfortable for the audience regardless of such a complex rhythm ground. Exactly delightful and fruitful, till the end, a fragile keyboard lament.

Of course not only the masterpiece ... each track should have its own identity. The beginning kickin' titled "Hyperventilate" would be suitable to make us overbreathe under such a sound fantasia mainly created by Jem GODFREY's keyboard and John MITCHELL's guitar works unified together. This is another masterpiece to call a massive prediction they would aggressively run toward the top of the progressive mountain. In the middle part of this album we can enjoy Jem's vocal variation (partially dealt with effectors methinks) or catchy pop essence in their backyard (but this texture should not be their real essence but only kinda musical spice, in my humble opinion). Enthusiastic battles amongst keyboards, guitars, drums, or voices e.g. in "Back Light Machine", must ring the bell in our inner mind I'm sure.

Although not every track can be felt innovative but the first and the last are too impressive for the audience to ignore as progressive rock gems. Quite appropriate for beginners of Neo-Prog, beyond expression.

Review by The Crow
4 stars After Kino, John Mitchell participated in another super-group called Frost*!!!

And this time, the results are much better than in the named band thanks to the very good songwriting abilities of Jem Godfrey, the other key member of the band. The style of the group is a very powerful neo-prog with tremendous instrumental sections, distorted and strong guitars, and tons of good melodies.

Frost* is like The Urbane (old John Mitchell's band) meets IQ with some stimulating ideas like disco elements (Black Light Machine) and even electronic-industrial touches (The Other Me) but always maintaining a very neo-prog atmosphere throughout the whole record and counting with very good vocals from Mitchell himself. I really like his mellow-deep voice, and in Frost* he sang better than ever.

Best Tracks: Hyperventilate (excellent instrumental opener), Black Light Machine (one of the most awesome neo-prog songs that I've heard) and Milliontown (marvelous tour de force and a true progressive masterpiece)

Conclusion: despite its flaws in form of two lackluster songs (Snowman, The Other Me), Milliontown is an excellent album which contains some of the best neo-prog songs released in the last decade. Powerful, funny and to be enjoyed many many times without being tired of it.

If you like neo-prog, even just a bit, I strongly recommend you check this album out.

My rating: ****

Review by Wicket
4 stars Frost has been a very important band for me, because it was one of the first few bands I discovered once I was baptized in the world of modern prog thanks to Dream Theater's "Octivarium". This album, along with Mars Volta's "De-Loused in the Comatorium" I considered to be original holy trinity, three albums that not only didn't sound like pop or classic rock or anything you'd hear on the radio, but three albums that didn't even sound like each other, in any aspect.

Even now, Frost* (apparently that asterisk is part of the name) is one of the freshest outfits out there and one of the next big things in the ever influential world of British rock and progressive music. Even their debut here "Milliontown" sounds fresh and new even 15 years after its release. One of my biggest plus points is prog bands that manage to stay the course while incorporating a catchy pop aesthetic to draw any listener in and keep them coming back again and again, and this has been one of Frost's biggest accomplishments. Composer and bandleader Jem Godfrey does a good job incorporating instrumental sections and riffs with significant lyrics and catchy choruses.

The album begins with a lovely piano-led instrumental "Hyperventilate" followed by the gripping and driving "No Me No You". The machine gun verse that bookends the song are almost hypnotic as they lead into the big bombastic chorus before the piano fades out. I understand why Godfrey refers to himself as a composer, these songs to seem to be classically structured, yet there's also a good attention to detail in songwriting, lyricism and attractiveness to casual listeners.

"Snowman" is a classic example. It's a soft and beautiful ballad that find a perfect home as a backing track to an emotional scene in a drama or action movie. The depth of the electronics, the softness of the guitars and keys and the soothing presence of the backing vocals on the back end of the track just send chills up my spine every time. It's as almost if someone asked Mason Bates to write a pop song arrangement of a Depeche Mode song but in the style of an old school music box. One of my absolute favorites.

From the sublime to the hardcore comes "The Other Me", which sounds like the beginning of an older Fast and Furious movie. This song has a hard rock, "punch you in the face" kind of mentality, unique from the rest of the songs on the album, and yet there are softer interludes and Nine Inch Nails-esque electronic freakouts that pepper the song with depth and life before the bombastic chorus fills the room before it all fades out to the buzzing of bugs in your ears. Even a simple catchy 5 minute song like this has enough depth to be more interesting than some bands whole albums.

But then, Godfrey decides to go big or go home by ending the album with two epics. The first of which, "Black Light Machine", immediately catches the ear with a nice happy and perky synth line with a happy chorus to boot. After a few minutes it fades out to bring in a nice David Gilmour-esque solo spot by the guitars before that fades into another atmospheric verse before the band kicks it into overdrive and finished on a technical high note.

"Milliontown" is the big epic. It has everything, soft atmospheric interludes, catchy choruses, fast technical sections, big bombastic finishes and intelligent songwriting and lyricisim. It may not be as memorable as, say "Octivarium", but it's still an impressive piece of music to digest if you have the time to sit down and listen to all 26-and-a-half minutes of it, but if you don't, that's fine, because even though I'm a sucker for long songs, Frost's biggest weapon is it's shorter, catchier (and still proggy) songs which are much harder to pull off.

It's not the best album I've ever heard, the epics (especially" Milliontown") can be a bit convoluted at times, but the rest of the album is superb. It's a different take than Porcupine Tree did when the emerged from the 80's New Wave craze as a psychedellic Pink Floyd-ian Beatles-esque band in the early 90's before evolving into a streamlined, heavier, grungier form (a la Tool) but still focused on songwriting and lyrics. It's a modern take on popular music and progressive rock, as well as a sign of the times. Jem Grodfrey has established himself as a brilliant songwriter, musician and composer with this album and each album this band puts out is always on my radar.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Out of the better known modern prog acts, Frost* (yes, with a cute snowflake, although sometimes it pops up in my iPod as The Frost) sat on my shelf the longest, for five years. I don't really know why, as it presented an admirable attempt to bridge neo-prog with modern rock, and featured among ... (read more)

Report this review (#1542972) | Posted by Progrussia | Tuesday, March 22, 2016 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is the album that reintroduced me to modern prog a couple of years ago. To my ears, this is one of the greatest albums of the 21st century so far, along with Big Big Train's 2009 album 'The Underfall Yard'. However, don't misunderstand me. These two albums are very different from one anot ... (read more)

Report this review (#508984) | Posted by Richens | Thursday, August 25, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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. "Hype ... (read more)

Report this review (#300359) | Posted by 40footwolf | Friday, September 24, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Wow! Just, wow! The debut of the band Frost* is, in lack of a better word, amazing. I have no previous relation with either Frost* or its members, but after the first listen I understood the hype about this band. What makes this stand out especially, unlike many groups with many virtuoso inst ... (read more)

Report this review (#252674) | Posted by Lezaza | Wednesday, November 25, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I have my headphones on, my wife and eldest son are watching the X-factor on tv. I spin the Frost* debut disc for the 2nd time and this time it's music is absorbed for this review. Well I reckon that a lot of it is reminiscent of late 70's Genesis and late 80's IQ. The opening track is excellent ... (read more)

Report this review (#244259) | Posted by M27Barney | Sunday, October 11, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Simply put, a marvelous release. I can help use only superlatives for this debut album. Excellent musicianship, originality and freshness in aboundance in both rythm, arrangements and melodies, highly solid songwriting, and probably the best production I ever heard. The impression throughout th ... (read more)

Report this review (#241758) | Posted by mangoo | Sunday, September 27, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Frost* is superb. Talented, inspired and a true extension of the greatness that has become the Progressive Rock genre, since it's infancy in the 60's. I can't predict where Frost* will settle in the legacy of Progressive Rock elite, but they can indeed attain that status, if they continue as a ... (read more)

Report this review (#229841) | Posted by HotToad5 | Monday, August 3, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Great album. This is the Tony Banks solo album that he should have made. Great musicianship and production, time sigs, keyboard solo's, decent vocals, etc. Some of the songs are a bit too pop and seem a bit formulaic. They don't really seem to fit either the album or the prog tag so not t ... (read more)

Report this review (#227896) | Posted by barnimup | Wednesday, July 22, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I think this album is one of the best albums in the world. From beginning to the end you listen some great music. As the first album of the band thats a great start. The first song called "Hypervantilate" got really good piano riffs . The structure of the song is great that we can taste s ... (read more)

Report this review (#219057) | Posted by ersin | Sunday, May 31, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars An extremely good debut from this English band.!! FROST* make their appearance so glad to the progressive abyss. Their style is close to bands just like SHADOW GALLERY and DREAM THEATER with a notable taste of the Pop element. Actually, the band presents 2 styles in its music. The progressive i ... (read more)

Report this review (#201869) | Posted by FatalV | Friday, February 6, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars What a find. I stumbled across this album months ago and have only grown to love it more and more with every listen. As a debut album this CD is all the more unbelievable-every track is great in its own way. The album kicks off and ends in very progressive fashion, and these more proggy tracks ... (read more)

Report this review (#187191) | Posted by AdamantVision | Monday, October 27, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars There is a lot of acts with this name around now. I personally remember a good black metal band with the same name who emulated the best of Mayhem's masterpiece Mysteries Dom Sathanas. I am missing that band.........or maybe I have just lost touch with that scene. Another Frost is doing the rounds ... (read more)

Report this review (#186677) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Wednesday, October 22, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Well ... like what others have said, this here is a 'modern neo-prog' sort of album. That said, I'm usually always in the mood to listen to Milliontown; it's one of my top CD purchases of 2007. I really like how the songs sound, err, 'frosty' and 'chilly' .. mm, just the way the songs were mixed ... (read more)

Report this review (#183927) | Posted by sillythewilly | Sunday, September 28, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars One of the best new albums and bands of the 21st century, Frost is quite a talented group of musicians. The first time I heard this album, I was absolutely blown away by the way they combined mystic sounding vocals with heavy metal prog, symphonic piano parts, epic chord progressions, intensely em ... (read more)

Report this review (#150391) | Posted by The Ace Face | Monday, November 12, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Only one word needs to be added to the reviews already- BRILLIANT! Classic British neo-prog; there's nothing particularly original here, but it is superbly put together. Great playing, exciting loud and fast bits, and beautiful melodic quieter sections. The epics have a variety of moods and also ... (read more)

Report this review (#146125) | Posted by dmwilkie | Saturday, October 20, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars It's about the music. This cd came to me out of the blue, I don't know the bands these guys came from other then some by name only (always more to discover). As an old guy I grew up on prog and all things rotating about it. Over the years I matured as a listener, growing from all technique to ... (read more)

Report this review (#140554) | Posted by randyhiatt | Tuesday, September 25, 2007 | Review Permanlink

2 stars When I saw this album was one of the top albums of 2006 on here, I listened to the one song on the site immediately. It sounded quite good so I bought the cd only to be disappointed. Most of the cd just sounds like boring pop music. I thought maybe I just needed to get used to it so I left it i ... (read more)

Report this review (#139112) | Posted by TalmLikeABalm | Wednesday, September 19, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The first question that came to my mind while listening to "Milliontown" for the very first time was "who the hell is this Jem Godfrey dude?!". He doesn't sound like the usual prog keyboardist so I was very interested in keeping on listening to him. And so I did... Hyperventilate is an awesome ... (read more)

Report this review (#138646) | Posted by painofdamnation | Sunday, September 16, 2007 | Review Permanlink

2 stars At the begining this albums osunds really good, Hyperventilate sounds amazing, like the goods instrumentals parts of Contagion (ARENA), but that's all, the rest of the album is just POP, not even progressive pop, like A.C.T., just pure pop, and it's really boring, lrepetitive long songs, ergo, bo ... (read more)

Report this review (#126692) | Posted by CGH Tompkins | Sunday, June 24, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars With so much potential in this band, I have to say I was let down. I got this album, like other, from the great reviews it got, and the potential I saw with the band members. I suppose the big hype about this album put on too much expectation. The musicianship on the album is superb. These gu ... (read more)

Report this review (#126688) | Posted by mothershabooboo | Sunday, June 24, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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