Ben Frost
By the Throat


4.0
excellent

Review

by Marko Polovina USER (90 Reviews)
April 24th, 2010 | 33 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: By The Throat shares its predecessor's menacing, sinister tone, but its atmosphere is so overly-foreboding and the use of slashing dissonance within varied instrumentals is what makes it so gripping.

You feel that? They call it a pulse, the heartbeat, a complex course of outside influences affecting your body to show your internalized reaction to a situation. By The Throat plays out like the uncertainty of a anyone's reaction. And where Ben Frost gets it right is where it works the most - an almost dead calm within the structure of music brought to you by a few numerous sickly piano keys.

The Killshot

The oncoming storm of *** is headed towards him. He's isolated and paranoia sets in. The events set in the motion of this one decision is meaningless as your last action is what makes him the man he's perceived to be. A calm, a sense of disbelief is hinted within "Killshot", that is, between the rumbling shred that rises and recedes in mere seconds. Like a wave of discontent and confusion of the previous storyline it plays out with its scathing electronic dread and mockingly beautiful piano within the heaps of chaos, something that flows so well within the entirety of the track. Frost's 2009 release surprisingly blends an even more darker album within By The Throat then he ever did in Theory of Machines. Acoustic guitar bellows, piano keys enter, the violin screeches and wolves howl as it all overtakes you whole.

They're on the move...

He hears them following his every footstep..tracking his every move. The howls they grow louder, his perceptions begin to get clouded. He says to himself: Did they see me? Do they know? He doesn't care where he runs to, he just needs to run - away from everyone and everything. To stay safe, to be safe. Frost's By The Throat is curiously conceptualized within my head, an album that has a story, whether or not it was his aim isn't the point. What is the point is he has made an album that is a darkly, almost hollow energy about it where your imagination can run wild with frightful ideas. Instantly you hear the wolves howl that is bone-chilling throughout "The Carpathians", its an everlasting presence within By The Throat. Despite its brief appearance it stands up with "Killshot" almost as a roll of film, without a hitch they connect to each other - the sense of fear and general obscurity within the music. Much like these two tracks, the album plays out to what you're envisioning - you can create a story within your mind, of how you could place this in movie. Doesn't matter what it is, who it is, where it was, or why they did it. It fits the frame of this album. By The Throat balances those menacing howls, those screeching electronic movements, the quick, dark instrumentals of the violin and piano within a context of your narrative.

The Patient

The machine barely keeps its victim alive. The gasps of air lie in wake of "O God Protect Me". The continued rhythmic breaths pander to your imagination. Frost manages to allow his darkly cornered album some breathing room within a few spaces of the album, literally and figuratively. Tracks like "O God Protect Me" and "Untitled Transient" lend themselves to connect the other work within the album. It offers a sense of solace and the asphyxiation of the almost too crunched work within By The Throat is almost put aside. The constant is by far the cold, the harshness of the instrumentals. Most endearing is the sharpness of the violin within "Peter Venkman Part I", it moves at such a screeching, quick-fire pace it's hard not to fixate your ears on it . It sets the mood with the constant harmonized vocals within the dreariness of the whole thing, but the ominous piano lying...stirring within the shadows is so damn perfect it makes your skin crawl. The subtle pauses that form within By The Throat is what is mostly unnoticeable at times. The album seems to murmur endless instruments and indistinguishable electronic movements, yet after constant listens you hear the not-so obvious spaces of silence.

Panic....breathes.

H├*bak├║sja mimics an almost relaxed period within the beginning, but much like our protagonist..or antagonist (whichever you prefer), it ramps up into a ailing state of fear, dropping the guitar and adding panicked breaths of a human being to add to the human drama and the makeshift suspense you've created in By The Throat. Ben Frost may be from Melbourne, but he seems intent on creating more northern ambient music that melds classically used instruments and industrialized electronic. It eventually becomes superimposed within the construct of By The Throat and its wonderfully done. The only thing you need to do is create the ending.

End



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user ratings (101)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
MassiveAttack
April 24th 2010


2688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Calm me over ambitious, but I wanted to try something new. I can see some people saying this shit though so I won't be surprised give me some critiques people. I asked Yeti and Bhoy, eventually fixing the problems they commented about to me before I submitted this (thanks guys).

Meatplow
April 24th 2010


5524 Comments


Finally, this gets a review.

Ben Frost has needed more attention for a long time. I think I slightly prefer Theory of Machines to this, but it rules all the same.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
April 24th 2010


31634 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Dude, nice review

Digging: Theo Parrish - American Intelligence

AggravatedYeti
April 24th 2010


7685 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'll calm you all over the place Marko.

Slipping Away
April 24th 2010


1261 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Love this album but Theory of Machines is even better

MassiveAttack
April 24th 2010


2688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

That feels wrong in all the right places Yeti.

AggravatedYeti
April 24th 2010


7685 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

just the way I like it.

this flows a lot better now Marko (not that it didn't before). there are a load of grammatical and spelling mistakes which I can point out if you wish. Otherwise outside of the remedial edits this is killer.

album is also f'in righteous.

MassiveAttack
April 24th 2010


2688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Not spelling errors, but as in sentence structure? 'Cause I don't see any spelling errors.

Damnit...2nd section had some idiot mistakes.

AggravatedYeti
April 24th 2010


7685 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

the use of the word spelling may have been premature. but like

What is the point is he's made an album that is a darkly, almost hollow energy

album that has?

of how you could place this material in movie.

in a movie

The machine barely keeps his victim alive.

Its victim.

The continued rhythmic breathes pander

Breaths.

It offers a sense of solace and the asphyxiation of the almost too crunched work within By The Throat is almost put aside.

sentence is a bit choppy, maybe referring to the album as "claustrophobic" or its "intensity" instead of "crunched work."

yet after constant listen you

listens

H´┐Ż*bak├║sja mimics an almost relaxed period within the beginning,

mimics the almost relaxed period

adding panic breathes of a human being

panicked breaths

classically used instruments and industrialized electronic.

electronics

that is all
and you've prob edited all of this away already.



AggravatedYeti
April 24th 2010


7685 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

also if anyone wants to do that ^ for all of my reviews ever
please do :D

Zettel
April 24th 2010


605 Comments


Nice review. Never heard of this guy.

MassiveAttack
April 25th 2010


2688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Yeti besides the "electronics, choppy sentence example and mimics the almost..." sections I agree on and didn't even notice. Its funny when you try to edit your work shit like that just seeps through and I blindly read it not noticing the mistakes I make. Even after 3-4 edits.

AggravatedYeti
April 25th 2010


7685 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

^ seriously
Im just as blind with my own work, its aggravating (lolz)

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
July 23rd 2010


4927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

listening to this now, and this is coooool.

MassiveAttack
August 3rd 2010


2688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Glad you like it. Surprised he isn't a more known ambient artist, but....come to think of it not many are.

tapitforever
December 25th 2010


1243 Comments


this album is evil
i love it

MassiveAttack
December 25th 2010


2688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yea the wolves make this album great.

eternium
October 22nd 2012


16340 Comments


Why isn't this album talked about more?

Pho3nix
January 8th 2013


56 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This should have been the soundtrack for The Grey.

RosaParks
January 10th 2013


15055 Comments


so lost right now



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