F is for… Frost*
Frost* are a funny one to be honest (and tricky to italicise in Markdown, but that’s my problem). In great prog tradition, they have released just three albums across a span of a decade, been on hiatus for a number of years, released a double live album, split up for a period because of creative burnout, and generally done the things that prog royalty should do. And this is true BritProg royalty for sure. Handling guitars and some vocals is friend of the show, His Holiness John Mitchell (also of It Bites, Kino, Arena and Lonely Robot… more about him in future posts...) but the mastermind of Frost* is songwriter, producer and keyboardist Jem Godfrey who is damned nippy on the ivories and also takes most of the lead vocals.
Frost*’s songs are by turns intricate and melodic with heaviness always within reach, and of course virtuoso musicianship on display from all members. Humour is allowed to creep in in some unlikely places here and there (one song is titled “The Raging Against the Dying of the Light Blues in 7/8”) and many of their songs are short, catchy and melodic. Though this is prog, so don’t be too shocked when you discover that the eponymous final track on the first album Milliontown is 26:35 long.
All in all they make a great noise. Are there huge solo breaks in various keys and time signatures? Of course there are. And it’s great.
The first one, Milliontown, is a cracker but I think the writing on the 2016 comeback album Falling Satellites is more cohesive, even while it spreads out into more diverse musical territory. There’s even a guest appearance from the enchromed Joe Satriani.
From Falling Satellites, take four and half minutes to acquaint your gorgeous self with “Numbers”.