I suspect the most common phrase coming out of everyone’s mouths when they stepped through their front door this record- breaking winter was, “Damn, it’s cold outside.” So when I saw Frosthelm‘s debut full-length album was appropriately titled “Endless Winter,” I knew I had to review it. Frosthelm is a blackened-thrash band from Minot, North Dakota consisting of Tyler Pfliger (vocals), Dakota Irwin (guitars), Jim Cherry (bass) and Brian Helm (Drums).
The album’s first track, ‘Glacial Eon,’ starts with a beautiful acoustic guitar/piano instrumental that reminds me of the first light dusting of snow at the beginning of winter. But just like every winter, that innocent dusting turns into a heavy treacherous snowfall. The remainder of “Endless Winter” is just thrash craziness, and it all starts with gifted guitarist Dakota Irwin. His speedy, devastating riffs and solos on tracks such as ‘Beneath Dead Horizons,’ ‘Hell Between Us,’ and ‘The Dragon’ come at you in waves. The intensity of his performance reminded me of this last Thanksgiving, when I was driving home and out of nowhere a snow storm hit. The flakes, just like Irwin’s riffs, were so blinding and hit my windshield at such a fierce pace, I was white knuckling the steering wheel for the rest of the trip.
Jim Cherry‘s bass lines and Brian Helm‘s blast beats on ‘Storm of Teeth,’ ‘Endless Winter’ and ‘Silent and Dark, the Everlasting’ are the dangerous wind and freezing rain that wake you up at night when rapidly tapping on your window. You swear to yourself that at any second the pane of glass will shatter, letting in the rain’s icy touch.
Listening to Tyler Pfliger‘s vocals on ‘Tomb of Sordid Ruin,’ ‘Forlorn Tides’ and ‘Storm of Teeth’ sent a frosted chill down my back. His vocals are the personification of Old Man Winter, the architect of what dangers winter brings. Extremely cold temperatures that can cause life-threatening conditions, strong winds that cause blizzards, and snow accumulation that can bring the biggest city to its knees.
Overall, “Endless Winter” is a thirty-four minute monster of an album. Maximum blackened-thrash skills are on display at every turn. So my advice to you is, grab your shovel or snowblower and hurry to the nearest record store, or wipe the snow off your computer, and get this album.
The Game of Thrones books and TV show have a repeated saying,”Winter is coming.” No, it’s already here.