Having only recently discovered Frostwork – the one-man ambient Black Metal project from the mind of Dagon (also of Heathen Deity) – “The Rites of Winter…” feels all shiny and new to me, despite having been released in 2008.
The EP has a very raw, yet atmospheric feel about it. It occasionally reminds me of Burzum or (to a lesser extent – but it’s still there) Bathory, but those influences are not overpowering, nor are they the be all and end all of Frostwork’s sound. I’m also reminded of Forest Silence in places (a project by Winter formerly of Sear Bliss) – and this is wonderful since I love Forest Silence. However, there are more than enough differences in the music to be able to tell the bands apart.
The combination of natural sounds (howling winds, rain, etc) and the harsh, abrasive feel of the music and vocals give the EP a primal edge. Stretching beyond merely being a collection of five tracks, “The Rites of Winter…” feels like a voyage into your own subconscious. A spiritual and ritualistic atmosphere swamps the recording and, as clichéd as it sounds, it leaves me with the almost undeniable urge to spend some time in a forest. With or without corpsepaint.
Tracks such as “The Storm” really showcase the talent lying behind Frostwork. Dagon certainly has a knack when it comes to composing songs. In this particular track, the listener is engulfed within slow-paced, yet extremely menacing piece of music. It’s the sort of thing that can have all of the hairs on the back of your neck standing on end within moments. “The Rites of Winter” increases the intensity and it’s as if Dagon’s screams are echoing around your skull. Superb!
All in all, this is a powerful and thoroughly absorbing EP – a sure fire way to ensure that I’m left begging for more. When’s the album due out?
You can listen to some Frostwork stuff, by using the Soundcloud widget below:
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