Frost*
Milliontown


4.5
superb

Review

by JohnnyoftheWell CONTRIBUTOR (73 Reviews)
December 5th, 2011 | 10 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Modern progressive rock at its best

There are some times in my life when I’ve blindly bought records from bands whose sound I’ve barely experienced and haven’t given proper consideration. This policy can be a real gamble, since it has landed me with mediocre releases like Trivium’s The Crusade and Yngwie Malmsteen’s Fire and Ice, decent albums that I listen to from time to time like Threshold’s Hypothetical or occasionally mindblowing albums that get me absolutely hooked on a band; Opeth’s Blackwater Park, Dream Theater’s Octavarium and Children of Bodom’s Hatebreeder have all redefined my musical life. When I saw this album recommended in a review of Porcupine Tree’s Stupid Dream (which is a fairly distant comparison), I decided to give it a go.

The result is absolute win. Milliontown takes a festive, warm atmosphere that may not have been original, but they manage to convey it better than any other band that I’ve heard. Opener Hyperventilate is a good indicator of its sound; technical, catchy and majestic, it draws the listener into a winter wonderland of Frost*’s own making. The basic characteristics of Milliontown are presented here; masterful compositions that are led by the keyboards/piano as much, if not more than by the guitar; it’s no coincidence that Dream Theater’s keyboard man Jordan Rudess has given this album some serious praise. The two instruments come together in a harmony that very few bands manage to achieve and consequentially, all the solos (and/or extended jams) in Milliontown are all thoroughly enjoyable to hear, unlike what many modern prog groups write (see about half of Dream Theater’s Systematic Chaos for an example of over extravagant jams that fail to succeed ). The vocals are also astounding and accompany the other instruments perfectly. This sound is evident to various degrees in all the songs, most notably Hyperventilate, Black Light Machine and the title track

However, not all the songs sound similar; No Me No You is much darker, a little heavier and more urgent than you would expect the song that follows Hyperventilate to be (it sounds like the song that 30 Seconds To Mars have spent their career trying to write). It shows that Frost* aren’t afraid to include their heavier influences in their sound, and they succeed in doing so. On the other hand, whilst No Me No You featured a return to the wonderland of uplifting melodies, The Other Me is the strangest track on the album by a long shot. The whole song reeks of industrial influence, but is insanely catchy and succeeds in being experimental as well, since the brief electronic influence fits in with the dark vibe. This song is a definite highlight with its disturbing lyrics and razor-sharp hooks. The variety that these two tracks offer is a great addition to Milliontown, since they make it a far more interesting album to hear.

Whereas No Me No You and The Other Me took Frost*’s sound to a totally different extremes, Snowman takes the opposite approach to the tracks that surround it; it slows the pace down a bit and takes the guitar almost completely out of the mix, creating a soft song that adds a slightly melancholy vibe and manages to epitomize the album’s trademark style whilst also adding variety. The vocals are showcased here better than most of the other songs and really take you somewhere special.

So far, Frost* have written a great album that would have been an easy 4/5 if they’d kept up the standard. To my immense pleasure, they didn’t. The last two songs – Black Light Machine and Milliontown – make up over 50% of the album and together make up its climax. Black Light Machine is the guitar highlight of the album, and it opens with a catchy riff with delay effects that combine perfectly with the poppy vocals at the start. The riff is kept up as the song begins to open up with a solo and everything goes smoothly. However, it is not until the song fades into ambiance and the second guitar solo comes in that it really excels. As far as the warm vibe of Milliontown is concerned, this solo is the best part of the whole album. As far as everything else is concerned, it’s all uphill from here onwards. The vocals come back in and slow things down until the songs explodes into a mindblowing four minute instrumental that totally rocks and embeds itself deep into the listener’s mind; this is a brilliant song that could have been used to end the album with a bang.

To their infinite credit, Frost* chose not to end the album with a bang, but rather to end it with an even bigger bang. Milliontown, the title track, is one of the best epics I’ve ever heard. It opens with an ominous speech sample, which is echoed to great effect;

“Do you ever notice that in the Bible, whenever God needed to punish someone...
Make an example...
Or whenever God needed a killing...
He sent an angel"
Would you ever really want to see an angel"”

After this, the song progresses slowly through one of the strongest pieces of music ever produced; the vocals and keyboards steal the limelight, but everything else is also top-notch. It meanders its way through a variety of phases, which a less experienced band could easily have made a mess out of, but Frost* pull off Milliontown which such power, emotion and ease that it flows together as a song effortlessly. This is the best part of an album in which each and every song is individually fantastic.

So, if you like progressive rock in any shape or form, do your best to obtain a copy of Milliontown, since it is such a quality, overlooked album that I consider to be a classic of modern prog.

Milliontown gets a very high 4.5/5 (possibly to be upgraded to 5 in a few months, when I can see how timeless it really is)



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Comments:Add a Comment 
JohnnyoftheWell
Contributing Reviewer
December 6th 2011


13579 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

My review; I wish that the album got a little more attention

Digging: Blonde Redhead - 23

ANJ45
March 9th 2012


208 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Milliontown is one of my favorite songs of all time.......... fuckin orgasmic

Insurrection
October 26th 2012


24729 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

good review man pos'd.



this album really blew me away i wasnt sure what to expect but its like an electro porcupine tree..fucking amazing, the title track is a prog gem

Digging: Dark Tranquillity - The Mind's I

JohnnyoftheWell
Contributing Reviewer
October 26th 2012


13579 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ah cheers bro

Yeah, it's a real mix of styles, t/t rules face so hard it's unreal but it's all good

Insurrection
October 26th 2012


24729 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yea im gonna give this a couple more listens before rating but im leaning toward a 4.5. cant believe i havent heard this til now lol

JohnnyoftheWell
Contributing Reviewer
October 26th 2012


13579 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Lol, I found this by mistake (I think someone rec'd it in a Stupid Dream review) and bought the whole thing on a whim for £15

Insurrection
October 26th 2012


24729 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

sounds like a good deal to me lol

JohnnyoftheWell
Contributing Reviewer
October 26th 2012


13579 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Lol yeah, I spend way too much on music though and I don't even have space for all the albums I buy

Insurrection
October 26th 2012


24729 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

dam i literally only bought one album my whole life, option paralysis by tdep only so they could sign it but they ended up signing a poster instead so it was kinda a waste lol..i just dl everything

JohnnyoftheWell
Contributing Reviewer
October 26th 2012


13579 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I dl free stuff from bandcamp and really rare stuff that I cba to pay for but otherwise it's all cds



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