The details which are most likely to be remembered and therefore affecting future decisions are clearly negative ones. In the case of Seelenfrost one of those negative details would be a song from their debut record named D.S.O.N and because of this really strange track I steered clear of their second release Metamorphosis. Maybe that was a failure, as three really short (30 sec each) samples of their latest release Nostalgia caused me to take a close look.
First of all I want to praise the packaging of the tape, as its slipcase is really well done with a lot of small details. The tape contains twelve songs with a total playing time of “just” 37:46 minutes, but it’s worth it. Seelenfrost was founded as a two-man project and therefore had some real problems and shortcomings. As of today, the band recruited two other members and one of them is Nostarion from Dämmerfarben and it’s likely that those shortcomings are gone, so let’s see.
The short teasers Seelenfrost released to advertise their new release made clear that they have developed a lot and this impression is enhanced as you start listening to the whole record. That means, that there is not one song that is bad at all, although there are some songs and/or structures that aren’t able to come out of the qualitative midfield. Examples of this could be Blinde Träumer or the majority of Wildnis, which is quite cool in the middle as there are some calm and clear passages, but both mostly feature the standard black metal you have heard before.
Of course, there are songs in contradistinction to this and they are able to cause you to drop your jaw. The intro named Vergangenheit is a really good example for the facets Seelenfrost devoleped in the meantime. Thereunder are several moments with well played melodies of the acoustic guitars or well played and written riffs (from the guitars as well as from the bass guitar!), solid drum patterns and also Nostarion really well embedded passages featuring cello sounds. The tracks aren’t linear and feature many changes in tempo and dynamic without loosing the golden thread. Although this is a really nice track, it indicates that there are some problems on this record, as the songs ending is quite abrupt.
The tracks impress with well engineered compositions but especially because of this fact you start to notice the moments in which the flow of the track begins to jolt (for example the mid-section of Bevor ich die Augen schliesse) or the bumpy transitions. The production improved a lot compared to the one of their debut record and only some details could have been better. Those details would include the thin drum and, at least in some sections, guitar/bass sound. The atmospheric interludes Gegenwart, Worte I and II are interrupting the listening flow a bit and I think they could have been omitted but I guess at least the latter two were important for the concept.
Seelenfrost used the years between the debut record and Nostalgia.. quite well (omitting Metamorphosis since I have never listened to this one) and developed a lot. The compositions are really varied and well done and no song is therefore really bad. The “worst” you can find on this record are songs that only feature standard black metal of average quality, but tracks like D.S.O.N are gone. The majority of songs is really good, though and nearly all of them feature the new and “innovative” cello sounds of Nostarion which enhances the quality of this record a lot. The production has some minor flaws but all in all there is not really much to complain about.
Date of release: 8 Januar 2012