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Black metal has often been defined as "icy", "harsh", and is known for its lo-fi, gritty recordings unto which give the genre a special and unique characteristic unlike any in the history of music. There is quality to be had within the lack of quality, a realism or authenticity if you will, that add to the depth of the atmosphere. Suitably, it's this raw sound that can be the driving force and bring a record to a whole other dimension as well as capture it's charm. Black metal has always been a very real, no-frills art crafted solely upon the passions with in those who create it. One such example is Egypt's very own, Frostagrath. Frostagrath is actually a one-man depressive black metal creation envisioned and performed by Lord Mist. In a very much D.I.Y fashion, Lord Mist has not only managed to invoke substantial black metal compositions, but capture their atmospheric entities as found on 2013's, A Journey Of Infinite Sorrow.
A Journey Of Infinite Sorrow is a very deep listen. It's a dark and depressive journey through the melancholy halls of self-loathing. Lord Mist effortlessly captures the essence of depressive black metal's stark realities on this recording. Comprised of six tracks, A Journey Of Infinite Sorrow is chamber-esqe and hollow sounding, which lends an additional sense of loneliness and despair to the overall feel and atmosphere of the album. Each composition has been meticulously written and performed, with each approaching a duration of eight to ten minutes in length (minus the very atmospheric and melancholy instrumental, "Screams Of Dying Souls").
The album starts with a piano laden intro before kicking into it's down-tempoed black mass on the title track, "A Journey Of Infinite Sorrow". If there was one song on the record to capture the overall essence of the work as a whole "In Cor Silva" would be it. Perhaps the strongest of all the compositions, "In Cor Silva" is a comprehensive work all around and one of the best depressive black metal examples within the genre itself. Along with A Journey Of Infinite Sorrow's defining production and well crafted songs, the lyrical work stands out as one of the album's major highlights. Lord Mist is an accomplished poet as seen with lyrical odes such as, 'Throughout the gates of time, I am imprisoned, Standing among the ruins of my devastated life, watching my mistakes one by one, Sorrow carving a scar over my skin'.
A Journey Of Infinite Sorrow may not be for some, as it may only be appreciated by those with an acquired taste for this style of black metal and sound, but no one can deny that Lord Mist hit the nail on the head as far as this release is concerned for this type of music and, more importantly, its authenticity driven by one man's passion. It is a special record with much personality in its raw, imperfect production; nevertheless, that's what makes it endearing. Headphones may be the best avenue to experience the record, as it is a very serious and deep experience worthy of the listener's full attention and understanding. A Journey Of Infinite Sorrow is an impressive outing by an striking artist, both of which deserve highest accolades and much respect.
***Originally written for and by www.deathportal.net
Frostagrath comes from Egypt, a country famous for many things but not for its local metal scene. Here we are dealing with depressive black metal and I really wanted to see how this kind of music is perceived in a country that, perhaps due to its climate and culture, does not really specialize in such music releases.
"A Journey of Infinite Sorrow" lasts 48 minutes and consists of 6 tracks. The album duration is correct since many times the repetition of this music can become boring, unless we’re dealing with something extraordinary. As for the musical part, there is a fuzzy production which I think was used deliberately and is a pretty good choice as it creates a claustrophobic atmosphere. Unfortunately, the riffs don’t have enough quality to give this release an extra touch of darkness. They sound inconsistent and while the tone of the guitar was right it could not create the expected emotions.
The drums do their standard work as the pace is relatively slow and easily kept, while the vocals follow the usual pattern, sounding from the background and having tons of reverb. Therefore I can’t say much about their performance. The bass does not sound at all but that was the least I cared about. The only remarkable points were some sporadic melodies and passages with the keys and clean guitars. Perhaps this could function as a guide for the future works of Frostagrath.
In conclusion, we are dealing with a rather mediocre work which is one of the hundreds that are released each year in the genre of depressive black metal. But this should not disappoint Lord Mist since this was his first effort, there were some good ideas and the next album of Frostagrath could appear much improved.
Originally written for: The Lair of Storfeth