FROST GIANT – THE HARLOT STAR(Transcending Records)

Let me be quite honest: I will listen to just about any band whose name comes from some sort of pop culture reference. I once heard that there was a band in the late 90’s called Chuck Norris’ Fist. I’m not even kidding.

So when a band from southern California calls itself Frost Giant, I take notice. Frost giants, as you may know, come from the comic book Thor. They’re the elusive race of creatures from Jotenheim, and have been the bane of Asgard for a very long time.

Heh.. Anyway, a band that calls themselves Frost Giant had better have the sound to back it up, because by drawing from a very specific type of story(read: Marvel’s take on Norse mythology), it needs to be kind of folky, but heavy.

These guys did just that with their latest offering The Harlot Star. There’s a flowing dynamic between interim pieces like “Ashes Among the Earth” and “The Forgotten Graves” which works very well. They did this a few times throughout the album and it works really well for changing tones. The best example of this is the very Celtic- rooted “An Exile in Storm“, a very calm, sullen, chant- like piece that leads directly into the band’s chosen single “Prisoner of the Past“.

This song, by the way, immediately reminded me of old Oingo Boingo, which, if you’re not familiar, was Danny Elfman’s old punk/ prog rock band(and now he composes movie soundtracks). When it kicked in with the death metal screams, and proceeded with the Celtic chanting, I really got into it. If you watch the video for this song, You’ll also see that, while they got really creative with it, they also don’t take themselves too seriously, which I can really get behind. In a day and age where everyone is taking everything WAY too seriously, it’s a breath of fresh air.

My only gripe is the overall sound. The mix, for me, could’ve been a little warmer on the low end, and a little clearer. I also noticed that it was a little low in volume, but that’s excusable because most of the music this type of thing draws upon is pretty old and also wasn’t on the loud side, mix wise.

Overall, The Harlot Star is a really good album. I actually covered these guys on The Underground Bunker(view the episode here) not too long ago because they won me over so. Aside from the overall mixing issues, I really enjoy the hell 0ut of these guys, and if you’re into very epic sounding black metal from the west coast, you will to. For all this, I give The Harlot Star a 4 out of 5! Nice work, guys!

The Harlot Star dropped January 19, 2018. Pick it up!

FFO: Dimmu Borgir, Hammerfall

Band lineup:
Matti Frost – lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Scott Breustedt – rhythm and lead guitars
Brook Duer- bass, backing vocals
Armen Koroghlian – drums

Track list:
01 – The Harlot Star
02 – Forgive Me Not
03 – Apostasis
04 – Curse of Doubt
05 – And Exile in Storm
06 – Prisoner of the Past
07 – The Forgotten Graves
08 – Of Clarity and Regret
09 – Monuments to Nothing
10 – Perpetuum Et Aeternum

Web links:

Written by Hobbes Caltous for Bloodrock Media, February 19, 2018