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Frigoris > Stille > Reviews
Frigoris - Stille

An ode in silence - 89%

PaganiusI, June 1st, 2020
Written based on this version: 2020, CD, Hypnotic Dirge Records (Limited edition, Digipak)

German black metal act Frigoris has changed its sound quite a bit over the past decade of activity. The band from Essen, North-Rhine Westphalia started out as a pagan black outfit in 2007 similar to the harsher songs of Helrunar and the likes and released two albums with that sound. But instead of following this route, they decided to change things up and became a post-black band shortly after those releases. Two albums have been released since that shift in style and the latest one, "...In Stille", will be today's topic.

While the band's earlier output sounded quite rough at times, their newest album seems much more polished when it comes to the overall production and fine-tuning. Even though it received a pretty generic post-black production with the typical warm and dense atmosphere, the upfront melodies and fuzzier background riffing as well as the dominant vocals, there is a certain depth and filigree character to the production that ever-so-slightly sets them apart from their competitors. Same goes for the songwriting that is less based on bands like Agrypnie or Harakiri for the Sky and instead goes all-in on melancholic atmospheres and gloomy soundscapes in a similar fashion to Arkuum or Immorio.

Frigoris are constantly blending rough aggression with a magnificent sense of melody and calmness. A constant stream of double-bass with slower drumming on top is pushing the songs forward while the harsh vocals further intensify the aggressive, energetic nature of the songs while adding loads of grief and hate. Contrary to this, the riffs are focussing more on creating a charming, almost cosy and melancholic atmosphere. A constant wall of fuzzy riffs fills out every open gap within the sound while melodies, calm accords and semi-acoustic sections emerge from this wall and drag the attention towards the emotional, charming and fragile centre-piece of their music. Every now and then, the band changes thing up a tiny bit by increasing the speed, throwing in blast beats and tremolo picking or adding short metal-less intermezzi and introductions to their songs. All of these little twists make the overall experience more varied and add nice details to the mix. The vocals on the other hand don't come with much variation whatsoever. They almost always stick to their run-to-the-mill harsh but still rather clean and easily understandable screams most post-black bands use these days. Only some slight reverb here and there is adding some depths while some pretty cool clean vocals in the chorus of "Scheideweg" are the only real variation they have to offer. Given how much they added to this track, they should've used it way more often as it suits their sound really nicely.

Either way, " Stille" is one of the few really good post-black albums out there, mainly because it makes extremely good use of the atmospheres it tries to create, adds some variations here and there that change things up slightly while simultaneously further intensify the soundscape. The whole album peaks in the 12-minute epos "Die Gleise an denen wir starben II ( Stille)" that ends in calm violins and spoken words and brings everything the band has built up to this point to a glorious end. One could argue that the overall sound of the band is staying the same for the majority of the release with little to no changes in setting, theme and tuning and if you're not getting dragged into the music, this might very well be true. But once you find a way into their sound, this is one hour of music that holds you captive for its duration, filling your mind with emotions, grief and melancholy in which you can get comfy. Really recommended if you're into this kind of atmospheric, posty sound.