Eternal Deformity
Frozen Circus

Here’s another one I’ve been putting off for some time. Each time I put it on, I just couldn’t quite wrap my head around it, and had to shut it off. But as of late, I’ve been digging on a little more oddball, left of center and/or progressive stuff from my norm, and Frozen Circus fits the bill pretty damn good. As I said, Frozen Circus is an odd album – it embodies the term ‘avant-garde’ to a tee. An eclectic mix of styles is present here, ranging from symphonic black metal to progressive rock, melodic death to thrash to doom and gothic, and of course, a smattering of circus themed sounds – nothing is out of bounds it seems, and it’s truly unlike anything I’ve ever heard.

Eternal Deformity excels at seamless transitions – take for example the albums first proper song, “The Force of Your Heart”, essentially a bombastic, symphonic black metal track that effortlessly moves into moodier territory and back again; the follow up track “Unholy Divine” that begins with MIkael Akerfeldt-like clean vocals over choppy rhythms then gradually transforms into a smooth melodic number with some superb solo work, or the album closing and album highlight “Lovelorn”, which moves from sorrowful to heavy and aggressive and back again, then into bouncy and victorious sounds. In contrast to this, “Crime” is all over the place, with abrupt changes from slower, somber clean vocal parts to frenetic, aggressive and growl-y, then two-thirds through, completely drops off and dives into pure circus music territory, complete with announcer and all. Then there’s their cover of Depeche Mode’s “Little 15”, an extremely moody track that they truly make their own – I’ve never heard the original, so take that for what you will. I will say though, that I wouldn’t have known any better if I hadn’t done some research, because it’s just another curveball in an album full of curveballs one after another.

Another aspect of the album I particularly enjoy is their attention to detail – the subtle flute (or similar instrument) flourishes in “Unholy Divine”; the female backing “ahhhs” in “So Silent”, or the way the circus elements are weaved into the mix in an atmospheric role in “Thor’s Message” – there are so many little things like this scattered throughout the album that it will take several attentive listens to catch them all.

I honestly have nothing bad to say about Frozen Circus – a near flawless execution, extreme variety, a wide range of sounds and instruments, a solid production, top notch musicianship and arrangements makes for an excellent release. I highly recommend this, especially for those who like things a little different.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Larry "Staylow" Owens
February 15th, 2009

Comments

  1. Commented by: Dan

    Reminds me of Unexpect. Something about circus themes/music can be especially disturbing.


  2. Commented by: Staylow

    I guess I should check out Unexpect – I’ve heard the name plenty, just never heard their stuff.


  3. Commented by: Shane

    A little to weird for me. I remember hearing about this band, though.


  4. Commented by: gabaghoul

    was expecting Unexpect and was surprised to hear so much power/prog in here. Kinda reminded me of Throne of Chaos at times. The Depeche Mode cover is horribly misplaced though, should’ve been at the end.


  5. Commented by: Staylow

    I didn’t hear alot of power I don’t think – it just sounds much too somber/gloomy to register as power metal, IMO.


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