by Troggy USER (17 Reviews)
April 24th, 2013 | 4 replies

Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Makteslos tips its hat to black metal tradition without succumbing to it.

Frosthardr’s second release, Makteslos (Norwegian for powerless), remains the band’s most substantial output nearly a decade after its release. One more release followed, entitled Varg, but at just two original tracks it feels even less complete than the roughly 26 minutes of material here. While the inactivity is frustrating, Makteslos still provides insights into what could have been. Frosthardr play a style of black metal that pays appropriate homage to their forbearers, but adds their own progressive twist. The band embraces the atmospheres, inscrutable rasps, and punk/thrash energy of the 90s, but on their own terms.

These terms start with the production, which unexpectedly doesn’t drown any elements in lo-fi fuzz. The drums are higher in the mix than typical, and they keep with tradition via their thin, cold sound. Keyboards are used sparingly, appearing when the song dictates, rather than washing over the whole affair. The guitar work on Makteslos alternates between thrashy riffing, doomy chords, and tremolo picking.

The first proper track, ‘Koma’, rushes out of the gates in a blast beat frenzy, but transitions nicely to a memorable melodic guitar line. The band twists the formula throughout, coming to a near halt, and then working back up to a furious finale. The range of inspiration, especially doom, is most apparent in the album’s second track, ‘Death – My Release’. Each section of the track is given its time to affect the listener, and it culminates as the band circles back to the opening riff for a refrain that almost overruns itself in fury.

The closing track, ‘Ravneskrik’ is a continuation of the ideas introduced in the first two. The track begins with a mournful, beautiful tremolo line, but mutates into a primal assault. The track’s apex comes as a hazy, keyboard drowned wall of sound dissolves into an extended guitar solo, giving the track a hopeful, perhaps optimistic counterpoint. Aside from the relatively painless distraction of the industrial-esque instrumental bookends, the main shortfall of Makteslos is simply its length. Frosthardr delivers on the three tracks that are here.

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user ratings (5)

Comments:Add a Comment 
Staff Reviewer
April 24th 2013


sounds cool nice review pos'd

April 24th 2013


is the band name supposed to sound like "frost harder" (m/) or is that just a coincidence?

April 24th 2013


Looks like black metal ye

September 24th 2021


Album Rating: 4.5

Bumping this hidden gem. Very fine Cold Black Metal. Met some of the members many years ago, very nice people.

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