Frost Giant [USA]
When Myth and History Merged into Mystery
Melodic Death/Power/Folk Metal/Hardcore
When Myth and History Merged into Mystery is Frost Giant‘s debut EP, and what an ambivalent record this is. The band lists itself as viking metal and hardcore, two genres that couldn’t seem to be further apart. And this is definitely one selling point of the album, with the band presenting a fusion of two genres that have never occurred before.
The album kicks off with My Life For Yours, with a nice melodic power metal touch but the melodic death metal influences become pretty evident as the vocals of Matt Frost comes in, along with the harmonised lead guitars and the riffing style of the triple axe attack. But the band soon goes into full on folk/power metal mode with the chorus, complete with clean and layered vocals, giving a slight operatic feel, with the melody even bringing to mind a certain Gamma Ray song, only done with a heavier folk metal emphasis. The guitarists also show off their neo-classical influences on speedy solos.
The slight hardcore influences that the band has put into the music has undoubtedly given the band a sound unlike any folk metal that I have heard before. Unfortunately there are moments where these tended to end up sounding awkward. While I have nothing in particular against the hardcore genre, there are also instances where the hardcore influence tend to end up sounding like some pop punk instead, especially songs like A Common Son and the bouncy cover of Adele‘s Someone Like You, sounding like it could come off one of those Punk Goes… compilations. Another thing that bugged me slightly as well was the production on the album, at times sounding overly sterile, especially the drums on the intro of My Life for Yours.
That said though, When Myth and History Merged into Mystery is still one hell of a catchy record, especially on the melodic segments on the album sounding like power metal with folk influences. The soothing clean vocal qualities of Matt Frost makes the listening experience all the more pleasing, though I would have liked the release more with the reduction of the -core elements.