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FREQUENCY DRIFT

Crossover Prog • Germany


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Frequency Drift biography
FREQUENCY DRIFT were formed in 2006 by some musicians living around Bayreuth/Germany. They soon began to develop a unique conception inspired by movies like 'Blade Runner, 'Lost' und 'Ghost In The Shell' and keyboard player Andreas Hack is mainly responsible for the composing part.

The band's debut album 'Personal Effects (part one)' from 2008 was released by the French MUSEA Records label telling the story of a girl named River living in 2046 and having problems with an imaginary association named 'Diomedeidae'.

Lyrics are in English and the band didn't include them into the booklet deliberately to enforce a special concentration on the visual component. They worked together with a graphic designer for that and the CD booklet is full of black-and-white pictures representing a darker atmospheric mood depending on the story.

Relying on Katja Huebner's impressive voice the music is basically turned out dreamy melancholic - cinematic prog as the band implies. The instrumental parts are blending some tricky effects with symphonic and heavier rocking elements pushed by a varied keyboard/guitar work.

The second part of 'Personal Effects', released by Cyclops in March 2010, is continuing River's story with new melodic atmospheric songs including a wider range of instruments and female vocal contributions. A follower CD is already in the making and announced for early 2011.

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OverOver
Gentle Art Of Music 2014
Audio CD$9.45
$17.47 (used)
GhostsGhosts
PROGROCK RECORDS 2011
Audio CD$374.31
$374.31 (used)
Laid to RestLaid to Rest
Import
Ais 2013
Audio CD$26.62
$12.00 (used)
Personal Effects - Part OnePersonal Effects - Part One
Import
Musea Parallele/Musea 2008
Audio CD$15.63
$15.99 (used)
Over by Frequency Drift [Music CD]Over by Frequency Drift [Music CD]
Gentle Art Of Music
Audio CD$31.28
Personal Effects Part 2 by Frequency Drift [Music CD]Personal Effects Part 2 by Frequency Drift [Music CD]
Cyclops
Audio CD$34.83
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FREQUENCY DRIFT shows & tickets


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FREQUENCY DRIFT discography


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FREQUENCY DRIFT top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.98 | 51 ratings
Personal Effects (Part One)
2008
3.92 | 64 ratings
Personal Effects (Part Two)
2010
4.00 | 214 ratings
Ghosts
2011
4.00 | 178 ratings
Laid To Rest
2012
3.88 | 162 ratings
Over
2014
3.86 | 50 ratings
Summer
2014

FREQUENCY DRIFT Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

FREQUENCY DRIFT Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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FREQUENCY DRIFT Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

FREQUENCY DRIFT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Personal Effects (Part Two) by FREQUENCY DRIFT album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.92 | 64 ratings

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Personal Effects (Part Two)
Frequency Drift Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

4 stars For Frequency Drift's main composer Andreas Hack things were clear already from the start.His sci-fi concept, started with ''Personal effects'', would be too long to be condensed in a single CD.So a second release would be sooner or later in the workings.It would be sooner as proven by the fact that ''Personal effects (part two)'' was launched less than two years after the release of Frequency Drift's debut, this time on Cyclops.Hack had invited three new singers to perform on the concept's storyline, Nicole Scharnagl, Christine Mettner and Kerstin Leidner, he added Christian Hack as a second guitarist plus he invited a few guests to help out during the sessions, most notably White Willow's leader Jacob Holm-Lupo.

Modern Progressive Rock with occasional heavy bursts and blinks to the principles of Neo Prog would be the best elements for the musical exhibition of such a concept according to the tastes of Andreas Hack and the band draws parallel lines with other contemporary bands such as IOEARTH or DELUSION SQUARED.The music is based on the typical formation of drums/keys/bass/guitar, but the instrumental and stylistical diversity in here are things to be admired by any prog fan.''Personal effects (part two)'' has a genuine approach on atmospheric soundscapes and beautiful melodies, retaining a rich and energetic profile throughout, propably the combination of soaring keyboards, dark piano lines and heavy guitars with the angelic female vocals and the notable string sections is the reason for such a well-crafted, detailed and impressive sound, offering quite a few grandiose moments with orchestral backgrounds, Floyd-ian textures, but also links to Heavy/Neo Prog acts.There are certain references to a less retro-styled and more atmospheric version of MAGENTA with all these nice effects, guitar distortions and spacious themes applied.And there are still a couple of instant, monster pieces, which show an even greater potential, like the 9-min. ''8.33 a.m. Inside'', sounding like a heavier version of PINK FLOYD, or the powerful ''2.33 p.m. Essence'' with its majestic guitar leads over the cinematic keyboards.

This band was maturing really fast.From a nice, little debut to what sounds like a pretty great definition of modern atmospheric Prog Rock.Highly recommended, solid, cinematic and bombastic music with excellent female vocals.

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 Over by FREQUENCY DRIFT album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.88 | 162 ratings

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Over
Frequency Drift Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars German band FREQUENCY DRIFT was formed back in 2006, and released their debut album two years later. Since then four more studio albums have been released by the band, all of them through different labels for some reason or other. "Over" is the most recent of these, and was made available through the German label Gentle Art of Music at the start of 2014.

It's kind of weird to describe a long album that uses and visits as many different styles of music as this one as fairly uniform in sound and style, but that is still the case. From almost pop music at times to classical chamber music, a touch of jazz on one occasion, pastoral intermissions, post rock oriented escapades, some riff-driven instances closer to hard rock and even metal can be found. Electronic passages closer to Tangerine Dream have their place, and even a run through a more or less vintage sounding symphonic progressive rock is present. Still, the end result is an album's worth of atmosphere rich, fairly similar music. Dream-laden, melancholic, occasionally dark, beautiful, compelling and strangely enough with a strong impression of a uniform sound throughout. An album that merits a check by those who enjoy subtly exotic, compelling music that strays outside of the common and expected boundaries of progressive rock.

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 Over by FREQUENCY DRIFT album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.88 | 162 ratings

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Over
Frequency Drift Crossover Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars The female fronted Frequency Drift offer mostly gloomy, introspective rock based around mood, drama and emotion, in some ways along the lines of bands like White Willow (though not as folk driven), Paatos and Kurki. Little traces of indie rock, Post Rock, electronica and symphonic gestures frequently show up on `Over', their fifth album, with ethereal female vocals supplied by new leading lady Isa Fallenbacher, and also supported by Agathe Labus. With frequent blasts of brooding heaviness and moments of hair-tearing intensity, the focus is always on accessible arrangements, with a rich variety of instrumental stretches always carefully executed to achieve maximum emotion instead of show-boating for the sake of prog rock clichés. Crossover-styled prog has rarely sounded so vital and full of potential as it does here, and the band have delivered a highlight of 2014!

`Them' is the first real standout piece. A Massive Attack `Teardrop'-like quality ticks throughout before a memorable pleading chorus from Isa lodges itself firmly in your brain. Despite a chiming musical-box like pretty opening, `Adrift' soon twists to a snarling vocal from Agathe, bringing all sorts of sinister sounds. Electric harp and cello weave together with Isa's dreamy multi-layered harmonies on `Wave', marimba glistens and bass murmurs throughout the restrained `Wander', `Release' is a creeping middle-eastern flavoured gothic ballad, and album closer `Disappeared' a delicate and wistful piano reflection.

Special mention must go to the sixth track `Suspended'. Despite a fairly conventional mid- tempo rock structure for the verses, dangerous slinking electronics and darting flute over heavy Porcupine Tree guitar posturing (think the way that metal middle in `Arriving Somewhere But Not Here' first snuck up on you!) quickly crashes through, but it's really all about the insanely catchy stadium-sized chorus! A bit of a modern classic! Also impressive is the way that band effortlessly glides through the ten minute `Memory'. Gentle synth passages, weeping cello and violin, heavy guitar riffling and darting RIP-styled flute huffing and an exquisite vocal from Isa all blend perfectly together. Listen for the way her voice drifts away in the second half that leads to a grandly symphonic, overly retro-prog/vintage Genesis flavoured Minimoog and Mellotron outro that strangely sounds like nothing else on the rest of the disc!

There's only very slight missteps along the way. Sadly, after a promising ambient electronic opening and piano tip-toes in the middle, `Sagittarius A' instead settles on a forced indie-rock tune with a repetitive and tedious chorus. `Driven' is a catchy pop/rocker with a lead vocal that's just a bit too pretty, but thankfully a cool instrumental break in the middle around electric harp and programmed electronic loops gets it through.

Although perhaps overlong, this is melodic, song-structured modern progressive rock at its best. There may be numerous female fronted progressive related bands operating these days, but Frequency Drift are without question the most subtle, elegant and intelligent. The band are also one of the few that stands a chance making a sort of commercial crossover that the likes of Porcupine Tree and Anathema have done, perhaps even with more of a female audience, so let's see what the future holds for this talented band!

Four stars.

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 Summer by FREQUENCY DRIFT album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.86 | 50 ratings

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Summer
Frequency Drift Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars We, the followers of this style of music use the word 'progressive' in automatic obviousness throughout our discourse and no finer example can be found as with German band Frequency Drift. Not only have they 'progressed' in general terms, blending folk, classical and rock music but they have constantly honed their own style , evolving from the first two 'Personal effects' releases and culminating in a series of upwardly spiraling masterpieces , "Ghosts", "Laid to Rest" and "Over".

Finally, a page is turned with the download-only release of "Summer", a final coup de grace before embarking on a stylistic change that will take them into new musical realms. As expressed by my PA colleague, this is a band that has achieved glorious heights and is utterly deserving of intensified attention. Their style was so powerfully constant and solid that the band had involved three female vocalists, without the slightest cringe or regret. Brothers Christian and Andreas Hack have now left behind a colossal legacy of brilliant sounds and amazing albums, allied with delicate infusions of cello, flute, violin, viola and harp.

The classic title track encompasses all one needs to admire about FD, a shimmering and glimmering piece that scours the entire musical horizon, enriching melodies, towering vocal work and illuminating instrumental playing. This soaring 12 minute testimonial is without a doubt the quintessence of their career, a finely chiseled guitar rampage that has all the Hackett-isms in place, whilst Isa Fallenbacher can sing like the wind rustling through the forested woods, the tight band provides a stellar disposition to creating various surprises. Wolfgang Riess unleashes a simply truculent bass solo that left me spent, piano in tow, synth bubbling in the background and the drums keeping the beat. Stunning stuff! Christian Hack's powerfully melodic guitar line has all the sizzle of an Andy Latimer or Odyssice's Bastiaan Peeters. A prog masterpiece of the finest pedigree!

"Distant" is a reworked piece from the very early days, a folkier feel enhanced by Isa's pastoral vocal, a fairly straightforward delivery until Andreas fills in a forever expanding synthesizer lead that guides the other players to some musical promised land, as Christian shows off some wonderful restraint on his axe. Very distant, indeed!

"Siren" started out as a solo platform for the brothers to fiddle around on (originally on the Laid to Rest album) and was reworked specifically for this release. Shimmering synths, glorious piano and a stimulating guitar solo that is loaded with finesse and tender picking. Christian really shows off some tremendous jazzy licks, sounding at times as if Al DiMeola was in the studio for a visit.

"Midnight" is quite a different song, a pre-FD track that never got the right amount of love, retooled here with Isa really taking over, the music tight, slightly dissonant and echoing with spirit and shade. Crystalline piano, violin silverware and exquisite bass/drum linen adorn the table, a moody piece that eschews any kind of expectancy. Once again the synths and the electric guitar carve away at the priceless roast, a delicacy of sounds and tones.

As per the liner notes "The original version appeared as "Ringshine" on our album "Ghosts". Originally an electric harp solo piece, it was newly arranged by Nerissa and Sibylle to feature two instruments that have shaped the particular sound of Frequency Drift: The cello and the harp". This quality classicism is what makes FD such a masterful listen, a band that has squarely infused all its inherent tendencies, a perfect amalgam of styles that fit wonderfully together. Gentle and ultra-romantic diversion from the daily routine. Yummy!

"Summer's End" fittingly finalizes this brief masterpiece, another jewel in the FD crown. A somber cello perpetuates its sorrowful lament, Isa providing the angst 'upon her head' as the band adds the appropriate amount of colored doom. A more than fitting finale, though this piece was written exclusively for this release, it provides an unquestionable sense of irrevocability.

FD is going in another direction, I just hope their new vision is as focused as their previous endeavors, I for one intend to follow, my curiosity being challenged.

I hate downloads, being a traditionalist for artwork and credits, so I will negotiate some kind of CD from the band but Summer is a fitting finale of the very highest order, proving that even their left-over numbers from the past have enough merit to fit among their best. This album was mastered by Jacob Holm-Lupo of White Willow fame.

5 seasonal suns

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 Summer by FREQUENCY DRIFT album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.86 | 50 ratings

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Summer
Frequency Drift Crossover Prog

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

4 stars Color me impressed. Frequency Drift has already given us a masterpiece this year in "Over", an album that represented true progression and that contains some of the best songs of the year. In fact, as I write this, "Over" is still my favorite album of 2014 thus far. So, leave it to Frequency Drift to release yet another album of sorts called "Summer". The stated purpose of this album is two-fold. First, this album is a fundraiser for the band so they can do some touring (always a good thing). Secondly, however, "Summer" represents the end of an era for the band. Though the band is being rather mysterious about it, their next album is assumed to be somewhat different in style, and so Frequency Drift has decided to give one last hurrah before they move on to other things.

So, is the swan song of this era any good? It certainly is. Quite appropriately, the six tracks on this album are reworked, previously unreleased songs that the band have upgraded and perfected. Because of this, most of the tracks will remind fans of earlier albums, such as "Personal Effects" or "Ghosts", albums with which I fell in love in the first place. This means the songs are dreamy, flitting, and extremely atmospheric. Take, for instance, the title track "Summer" and the laughing that is present or "Summer's End" and its water effects. This type of thing is common with this band, and I simply love it. It's so refreshing.

Yet, the band doesn't rely on effects for filler. They are accents to the brilliant music. They augment it and nothing else. Again, the title track "Summer" is simply killer. The guitar melody is a work of genius, and the finger work is deft. In fact, "Summer" may be one of the best songs the band has ever made, and it is worth the price of admission alone. Indeed, it even approaches the brilliance of "Memory" off of "Over", which is as high a compliment as I can give it. "Summer" is representative of the whole album, though. The rumbling, organic drumming, the impressive bass work, and the stunning, visceral keys are all present throughout the album. Amazing. This band has finally come together as a tight unit.

Isa's voice sounds wondrous and whimsical. She really matches the tone of some of the previous vocalists, but I feel her voice is richer and she nails the melodic hooks even better. It is a true joy to hear her exercise her vocal feats around the soaring guitars and satisfying thumping of the drums. I must say that the guitar solos are especially impressive on the album, very soulful and creative. The sounds of summer's end are certainly present here, too, as the waning light and the ominous cold of autumn seem very discernible. There is a certain sorrowful tone of resolution that pervades this album, but it's a sorrow that mourns for nostalgia, yet hopes for the future.

So, support this amazing band. Frequency Drift deserves more attention, and "Summer" proves that. "Summer", "Summer's End", "Distant", and "Siren" are my favorites here, but the entirety of the work needs to be heard. It's the end of an era, and it certainly feels like it. So, the band has ended this era with a splash---quite literally.

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 Over by FREQUENCY DRIFT album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.88 | 162 ratings

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Over
Frequency Drift Crossover Prog

Review by toilet_doctor

5 stars Crossover Prog at its best.

They raised bar again. Then, they jumped over it. That's why this album named "Over".

I love "Laid to Rest" a lot. I thought it's hard to beat album. However, "Over" tops it in many ways. Cinematic elements gone for good, that makes album a solid piece of Crossover Prog. Compositions became more complex with new explorations. The song "Release" is an invasion into unique Sappor Aeternus territory, using whipping middle eastern vibes. Guest vocalist Agathe Labus was invited for this song (and for two more) to incarnate the idea as it meant to be.

Beside three more guests: Kalle Wallner (bass), Phil Paul Rissettio (drums) from RPWL and guitarist Martin Schnella (Flaming Row), line of instruments was largely expanded: flute, cello, violin, viola, acoustic & electric harp, tin whistle, marimba, gemshorn (similar to ocarina), and duclar (an ethnic kind of clarinet). Two more guys were taken to handle exotic stuff. All of that added multi-dimensionality and fullness to the sound.

Someone dislikes new vocalist Isa Fallenbacher. I'd say, I don't know what could be better. From the first notes I was defeated "Over" and "Over" again. In the opener it varies from very gentle to almost high intensity of Heather Thompson (Taping the Vein). Further - more, in the track 6 "Suspended" vocal is reaching ethereal highs, fallowing by flute extravaganza, cello and harp inclusions and solo guitar madness on a top of all of that and finishing with beautiful vocal again. Such a noticeable flute extravaganza, that Jon Anderson could be proud of, will appear once again on the track 11 "Memories" - epic song with similar to "Suspended" structure, where vocal gets soul-cleaning ability.

Here, I have to admit that "Over" had "Personal Effect" on me. After listening to it 3 times in a row, I felt like Isa took my soul somewhere very far into Heaven's Cleaners and brought it back absolutely clean. And, in the end, in the closer "Disappeared" my clean soul was finally "Laid to Rest".

It's hard to find the album, that would be so complex and so melodic, gentle and touching at the same time. Add to it nice Digipak cover with excellent sound quality disc, which is running ''Over" 75 min. - damn, it's a winner. 5 crossing "Over" stars.

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 Over by FREQUENCY DRIFT album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.88 | 162 ratings

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Over
Frequency Drift Crossover Prog

Review by danproglover

5 stars Frequency Drift are back with a new album. To me "Over" is one of the highlights of 2014. Especially "Memory", an epic song that reminds me of the Genesis songs of the early 70s! An instant classic! But let's start with the first track "Run". To be honest I can't really understand why the band starts with this track. To me it is the weakest track on the album. The melody leaves me cold. Although I have to admit that I really love the guitar solo in the middle of the song. After this song, things only get better. It is hard for me to single out any songs other than the aforementioned ones. There is so much to find in these 12 songs! There are so many details that make the album such a terrific experience. You have great Jethro Tull like flute solo, Tony Banks' style keyboards and beautiful folk elements (harp, strings) that set this album apart from many other releases. The angelic voice of the new singer is really touching. Fans of band like Iona or Karnataka should take note! This album might very well right up their alley!

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 Over by FREQUENCY DRIFT album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.88 | 162 ratings

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Over
Frequency Drift Crossover Prog

Review by Mind_Drive

5 stars Wow! what a surprise! I am beginning to fall in love at our 10th date...

After a few listenings i was kind of disappointed, labelled this album as mediocre and was sure that we won´t become very close friends. Maybe it was due to the fact that i didn´t give it too much attention while being busy but luckily i gave her another chance and we met again...

As if the deeper meaning and the real greatness of this album was hidden from me and had to be discovered one at a time. This is probably my 12th time i dive into this world of ambiental deepness and i´m still finding new places to go and new treasures to marvel at. I am totally falling in love with this band and it feels so good! because it´s not this shallow "butterflies-in-my-tommy"-love but a more mature, intimate love that takes it´s time to grow.

The music... (well, i´m lacking words as if i was asked to describe what i love most about her..)

..is subdued and complex but offering insight only to the most dedicated listeners. The compositions are of highest niveau and never try to represent something special as if humbleness was the key to real strengh and splendor. They just flow into each other being as they are: decent and beautiful, of unknown depth and full of harmony.

I still feel that there is even more to discover while i am alread totally lost in her spell...

4.8 / 5 Stars for an absolutely excellent and lovely masterpiece!

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 Over by FREQUENCY DRIFT album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.88 | 162 ratings

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Over
Frequency Drift Crossover Prog

Review by Aldebaran_Well

4 stars I was not familiar with this German band, so I have to count them as one of the most pleasant surprises of 2014, so far. Obviously, I cannot compare this album with the previous four ones yet but having listened to ''Over'' several times, I confidently believe I can comprehend their art well enough. Frequency Drift describe it as ''cinematic prog rock''. While this is not a false description, it can easily misguide you. The songwriting is quite straight and normal to be considered cinematic and prog elements are usually put very discretely. To my ears, this is an atmospheric metal/rock band in the late 90's style, reminding me in several moments of bands like The Gathering and The 3rd and the Mortal. What really makes their music different and absolutely lifts its quality is the amazing, delightful instrumentation. Rock, classical and ethnic instruments, along with digital and electronic sounds are perfectly and harmonically combined, providing many layers of musical enjoyment. From this aspect, every song hides its surprises and there is always something new to hear.

The opening track ''Run'' will perfectly enter you in the world of ''Over''. The violin of the intro softly gives its way to the very rhythmic and melodic basic verse. The female vocals of Isa Fallenbacher are warm and dreamy. Though you may feel like you've heard this kind of voice many times in the past, you won't mind because the melodies are sooo good! (I admit that I imagined Gathering's Anneke singing this and lifting it up to the heavens!) Anyway, the song's structure is great, there is a growing feeling and a beautiful crescendo that leads to a mellow and well balanced prog metal finale. ''Once'' is full of effects and guitar sounds quite similar to post rock aesthetics and when the fabulous solo part comes ? is this the instrument dulcar??- you realize that the band dedicates all its imagination and creativity to the arrangements, aiming to create a colorful musical palette. ''Adrift'' steps in with a darker mood, the almost jazzy drumming is well stretched (brought to mind ''Tears laid in earth'' of 3rd and the Mortal) and by the middle of the song harp and flute take over, leading to a very ethereal direction. The basic guitar part of ''Them'' is very prog-like, strings and samples appear at some time, before the first truly classical moment of the album, the magnificent and dramatic cello/violin theme that ends the song, leaving me thrilled. (I admit, I'm a sucker for string quartet stuff!) ''Sagittarius A'' is a good song, a bit up tempo but too pop for my taste. Pop orientation can be found elsewhere in the album ? no problem with that ? but this also mainstream and I can't relate very much to it, sorry.

On the other hand, the 8 minutes long ''Suspended'' is one of the album's best tracks and contains almost everything: a groovy progressive basic pattern, great chorus, super dynamic changes with fast heavy parts, flute solos, a jamming attitude, excellent! Absolutely a gem. ''Wave'' has a very delicate touch, harp is the protagonist and there is a '70's mood in the synths, a classic prog touch. ''Wander'' with its heavy piano, strings and wavedrum leads to seductive and a bit abstract composition, while ''Driven'' is all about drums! Tribal grooves at the start and the middle, soft electronica sounds and a classical part at the end which, very intelligently transforms the main vocal line into something completely different. ''Release'' is one of my favorites too, being dark and deep. There's a very atmospheric and theatrical spoken word intro ? I believe in Greek ? and at some time the song explodes into an eastern folk sonic journey which I found amazing. The 10 minutes long ''Memory'' is probably the heart of the album, summing up all the elements of Frequency Drift's art. It completely justifies the ''cinematic prog rock'' label, cannot be easily described and can only be conceived as a small odyssey. The album concludes melodically with ''Disappear'' and, yes, it's been quite an experience.

''Over'' demands from the listener to sit back relaxed and peaceful, enjoy the music and the emotions it has to offer. If you do that, you'll be delighted to lose yourself inside a truly very good record, which is masterfully composed and arranged. Frequency Drift offers not any great innovation or technical extremity but real music that is beautiful, creative and deep. If you feel like a good quality music lover who appreciates cleverness and good taste in music, expect a 4 star album. Andreas Hack and co can guarantee you the above, for sure. The only things I could ask for future albums is less duration (not fond of 75 minutes long cd's) and deeper dives into the sea of ethnic sounds. But anyway, thank you guys!

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 Over by FREQUENCY DRIFT album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.88 | 162 ratings

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Over
Frequency Drift Crossover Prog

Review by lazland
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I had not, I must be honest, heard of German outfit, Frequency Drift, until I happened to listen to this, their latest work, on the excellent website, Progstreaming, a couple of weeks ago. As has happened on more than one occasion, what I heard was so good, it was not long before the cd had arrived in the post. It will not be that long, I suspect, before I expand my collection with more of the band's work, because this is a special album.

From the belting riffs of opener Run, to the gorgeously expansive wall of sounds heard pretty much everywhere, with the magnificent use of the electric harp first heard on Once, but utilised throughout the album, with traditional harp, penny whistle, acoustic guitars, flutes, all combing with electrical rock instruments, this band produce a sound which is extremely difficult to categorise, and is, in reality, rather unique.

Them is the best example of a very catchy tune that is, also, a rather challenging listen, with lush harmonies against a backdrop of multiple instruments creating a very symphonic soundscape. The extended instrumental closure is thoroughly modern, perhaps reminiscent in parts of Radiohead, with added orchestration. A huge amount of change occurs in just under eight minutes, and this is a feature which is happily repeated throughout the entire work.

They are not adverse to giving us tunes which, in a world of musical justice, would be monster commercial hit singles. Sagittarius A* is, perhaps, the best example, being very catchy and a delight.

Suspended is the type of track Tull would almost certainly produce now if they were starting out as a young band. Very commercial at its outset, it has a magnificent flute interspersed with more crashing hard rock riffs, and morphs into a crashing wave of riffs and futuristic sound effects.

Release has an almost sinister edge to it, with sharp and biting female harmonies mingling with a deceptively simple piano lead, before the track once again morphs, now into a New World cornucopia of desert sounds that entrance and beguile you. When the pace picks up at the end with the introduction of a ghostly electric guitar riff, you lose all sense of doubt as to where this lot are coming from. They simply exist to create musical landscapes, and are utterly majestical in doing so.

This is truly confirmed by what I regard as one of the finest epic tracks I have had the pleasure of hearing, the incredible Memory, which is ten minutes of the lushest music you will ever hear. From the opening bars of Isa's descriptive and mournful vocals, to the orchestration, to more Tull-esque manoeuvrings, including riffs Barre would be proud of, to keys which do remind one of latter day Banks, to expressive guitar riffs, to the wonderfully expansive symphonic sounds that the band are so adept at, this is a track which simply brings joy to the listening soul, and they have also pinned down the key to such tracks, in my opinion; they know when to stop, they know that such tracks can continue simply for the sake of length, and this does not, and is all the better for it. Memory is, like the album as a whole, a track which will live in my memory, and be played many times, for a long time.

Over is an album which is a joy to listen to, from an outfit I am very pleased and proud to now have as part of my collection.

Four stars. Quite excellent and very highly recommended to those who like......well, intelligent music. I can put it no better than that.

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