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Frequency Drift - Over CD (album) cover

OVER

Frequency Drift

 

Crossover Prog

3.89 | 202 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars The female fronted Frequency Drift offer mostly gloomy, introspective rock based around mood, drama and emotion, in some ways along the lines of bands like White Willow (though not as folk driven), Paatos and Kurki. Little traces of indie rock, Post Rock, electronica and symphonic gestures frequently show up on `Over', their fifth album, with ethereal female vocals supplied by new leading lady Isa Fallenbacher, and also supported by Agathe Labus. With frequent blasts of brooding heaviness and moments of hair-tearing intensity, the focus is always on accessible arrangements, with a rich variety of instrumental stretches always carefully executed to achieve maximum emotion instead of show-boating for the sake of prog rock clichés. Crossover-styled prog has rarely sounded so vital and full of potential as it does here, and the band have delivered a highlight of 2014!

`Them' is the first real standout piece. A Massive Attack `Teardrop'-like quality ticks throughout before a memorable pleading chorus from Isa lodges itself firmly in your brain. Despite a chiming musical-box like pretty opening, `Adrift' soon twists to a snarling vocal from Agathe, bringing all sorts of sinister sounds. Electric harp and cello weave together with Isa's dreamy multi-layered harmonies on `Wave', marimba glistens and bass murmurs throughout the restrained `Wander', `Release' is a creeping middle-eastern flavoured gothic ballad, and album closer `Disappeared' a delicate and wistful piano reflection.

Special mention must go to the sixth track `Suspended'. Despite a fairly conventional mid- tempo rock structure for the verses, dangerous slinking electronics and darting flute over heavy Porcupine Tree guitar posturing (think the way that metal middle in `Arriving Somewhere But Not Here' first snuck up on you!) quickly crashes through, but it's really all about the insanely catchy stadium-sized chorus! A bit of a modern classic! Also impressive is the way that band effortlessly glides through the ten minute `Memory'. Gentle synth passages, weeping cello and violin, heavy guitar riffling and darting RIP-styled flute huffing and an exquisite vocal from Isa all blend perfectly together. Listen for the way her voice drifts away in the second half that leads to a grandly symphonic, overly retro-prog/vintage Genesis flavoured Minimoog and Mellotron outro that strangely sounds like nothing else on the rest of the disc!

There's only very slight missteps along the way. Sadly, after a promising ambient electronic opening and piano tip-toes in the middle, `Sagittarius A' instead settles on a forced indie-rock tune with a repetitive and tedious chorus. `Driven' is a catchy pop/rocker with a lead vocal that's just a bit too pretty, but thankfully a cool instrumental break in the middle around electric harp and programmed electronic loops gets it through.

Although perhaps overlong, this is melodic, song-structured modern progressive rock at its best. There may be numerous female fronted progressive related bands operating these days, but Frequency Drift are without question the most subtle, elegant and intelligent. The band are also one of the few that stands a chance making a sort of commercial crossover that the likes of Porcupine Tree and Anathema have done, perhaps even with more of a female audience, so let's see what the future holds for this talented band!

Four stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |

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