Again, I have to thank Dream Theater.
If they hadn’t booked Frost* as their opening act for their upcoming tour, I would doubtless have remained ignorant of this wonderful prog experience. As a proud ticket-holder for DT’s Leeds show in June (see you there!), I viewed it as my duty to find out about this oddly-titled group with such a love of wanton typographical symbols.
And I’m very glad that I did. “Experiments in Mass Appeal” is a superb example of modern Prog, that is at once nostalgic and also forward-looking. Incidentally, I hate over-used phrases like that one, normally symptomatic of exceptionally lazy journalism, but it’s the most appropriate one here, honest.
Jem Godfrey’s use of keyboard and guitar orchestrations lend an intelligent texture to the music, and Andy Edwards just rips on the drums. There are some lovely nods to bands such as Spock’s Beard, and even hints of Gentle Giant in there.
All in all, given I’m just emerging, squinting, from the dark cave of Metal, I think this is a portent to go back to some prog roots. After a month or two of Dimmu Borgir, Nile, Messhugah, Mastodon, LinearSphere, Cynic et al, a glimpse back to the sunny days of Prog feels like water to my parched ears. Ahem.
Ah, those heady hours of listening to ‘Snow’ by Spock’s Beard, or those marathon Genesis/Yes/Rush sessions. I’m back.
Despite the fact that the bonus DVD refers to a gig Frost* played in Glasgow, England (and they’re a British band!), it’s a wonderful document of a great creative force.
Yours in the grand parade of lifeless packaging,
* I thought you’d look down here. Honestly, the asterisk is part of their name.