Review Summary: Debut release from Russian symphonic black metal band sees them tick all the right boxes in one.
Symphonic black metal from Russia? not something that you often hear, so let me introduce you to Sinister Frost, a new black metal group who enter with their debut release Cryotorment.
an album that shows of some of the great aspects of modern black metal in a wonderfully technical and aggressive manner that is thoroughly enjoyable to experience.
After a brief introduction we enter the first track, Mystery of Sinister Frost
this track is everything you would want from the album, fast playing, blast beats and harsh aggressive vocals, but combined with moments of tranquility in the middle, with beautifully constructed keyboard lines and harsh guitar work, then distant shrieks, and then back into the fast parts, even some organs making an appearance. Thats part of the attraction of this album I find overall, the way that different sounds, tempos and styles are blended together in it, almost seamlessly.
Acoustic guitars signal the arrival of Nightmare
slower than the last track it features spoken vocals to begin with, adding a menacing tone to the album thats only deepened by the backing. When the track gets going after about two minutes of mixed spoken and screamed it just gets better, this song is faster than the last one, a fine example of black metal style tremolo picking and blast beats, but variation is once again a part of the song, with focus been switched between the guitars and keyboards again during the song. The guitars on the album show good variation, not relying on just tremolo picking like some black metal bands, but brining in power chords, chugging riffs and melodic lines to create different atmospheres.
Piano, synthesiser and choir beckon in Vicar of God of the Death
enter the guitar and drums and then we begin with another great track. The guitars go for a great melody during the verses of this song which shows of the talent of this bands members, they even have a moment of soloing. This track has a lot more instrumental sections than the previous songs, but this is in no way a bad thing, for the instrumentation on the track is more than capable of sustaining the atmosphere, pace and mood of the song in spite of its long length (clocking in at over eight minutes making it the longest song on the album) and making the vocal sections more impressive. This is probably my favourite song on the album.
To end the album, we have a two parter, entitled Gomorrah and Sodom
we begin with Part 1
, unlike the other songs, this has no intro, entering straight away with a furious guitar driven fast melody, quickly accompanied by vocals it enters into a heart pounding affair that refuses to let up. A guitar solo signals the end of part one and the opening of the last song on the album, Part 2
the longer of the two, the opening completely contrasts with the last song, a slow piano driven intro showing of some of the pianists skills goes into a slow harmonised guitar solo before the song really starts, a change from the fast tempo of much of the album, this slower section really works and the melodies really come together on this song, the song does pick up and has a great drum driven section in the middle. This is a great way to end a great album.
This is a wonderful debut for Sinister Frost, a thoroughly enjoyable album that showcases some of the best features of modern day black metal, the different aspects of the band, guitars, vocals, keyboards, synthesisers and drums all coming together to produce a masterpiece that any fan of black metal should definitely add to their collection. There are only two complaints to this album; the album is to short, clocking in at only just over half an hour it could definitely have been longer, but when listening to this album you get so caught up in it, it seems to last longer. The only over complaint is that the vocals don't feature enough variety, they tend to focus on mid range vocals, with some variety happening around here, but it lacks the typical black metal shrieks you'd want to hear. Apart from these two small complaints, this is a wonderful release.