For those of you that read this website often, you've probably been wondering when there was going to be a review of this album on these pages. Unfortunately, the first mailing that had this CD in it from Momentum Scandinavia got "lost" in the mail. Thankfully, the label was kind enough to send out a second shipment (which took over a month to get here from the other side of the pond).
Was it worth the wait? I'll answer that with a resounding, YES! Frosthardr seemed to be a band with some promise on their Necrodisaster EP from a couple years ago, but this is quite a jump in quality. This 26 minute EP of 5 songs is up to the high standards that we've come to expect from Momentum Scandinavia. While Necrodisaster was grounded in old school black metal, MakteslÝs combines that old school sound with influences from symphonic black, death, melodic, and thrash metal. Those purists who think this can ruin a band's sound are gravely mistaken in this case.
The intro and outro to this album ("MakteslÝs" and "Vandret") are both instrumental industrial tracks. Seeing as how I am a massive fan of industrial, this scores high points already for this disc. The remaining three songs, "Koma", "Death-My Relief", and "Ravneskrik" are all very strong black metal tracks. "Death-My Relief" is probably the strongest song of the three. The song opens with a very slow intro of soft guitar, slow, pounding drums, and heavy breathing that slowly builds to where the entire band kicks it into full gear. The vocals on this song go from some freakin' sick black vocals, to ultra low deathly growls, to even some clean singing/chanting. Near the end of the song, the pace slows again to a doomy pace only to revert back to full on blasting and blistering guitars. Before you know it, the band kicks it up another notch and goes into some seriously blazing blastbeats and scorching guitars. No metalhead's neck could even come close to keeping up with the speed on that part of the song.
Lyrically, the band sings two of the songs in Norwegian and only one in English. The production is much better than on their previous release and the artwork is very, very well done, with great band photos and cool photographs on the inside booklet.
Overall, I'd say I'm very impressed with this release. Frosthardr really shows some good talent here. However, I honestly believe they can take this band much farther. We'll see if I'm right on their next release. You can get this album through places like Blastbeats and Nordic Mission. (Review by Matt)