Review: Frost* – “Falling Satellites”

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No matter their level of activity, all’s right in the prog world when the on again/off again ensemble known as Frost* is in “On” mode.  Many of us have closely – and happily – followed the twists and turns of writer/keyboardist/vocalist Jem Godfrey’s group since they released the landmark album “Milliontown” back in 2006.

For those who may not have been exposed to the band back then, “Milliontown” was something altogether new, or at least sounded altogether new – an accessible, expertly-produced, keyboard-heavy, dense, dynamic, and at times industrial-sounding blend of prog rock not for the faint of speaker cones. It was not to be mistaken for yet another prog band channeling the 70’s with all the cliches that go with that era (band names withheld to protect the guilty). As a fan of modern prog, “Milliontown” easily became one of two of my favorite albums of the last 15 years – the other being It Bites’ “The Tall Ships” – and not a week has gone by in the last decade when I haven’t given at least some of “Milliontown” a listen (no, really).

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VIDEO: “Heartstrings” by Frost*

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a decade (!) since the release of “Milliontown” by Frost*.  It was an album that seemingly came out of nowhere and didn’t sound quite like anything in the genre – a dense, dynamic, keyboard-heavy, and at times industrial-sounding album full of killer playing and plenty of memorable melodies.

The brainchild of singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Jem Godfrey, “Milliontown” remains one of my all-time favorite albums. I’m not sure a week has gone by in those 10 years without my giving at least one or more tracks from it a listen. Since then, the band released a follow-up album, “Experiments In Mass Appeal,” played quite a few gigs, went through some lineup changes over the years in the rhythm section department, released a couple live albums and bonus tracks, and has been an on-again, off-again unit since “Experiments.”

Well, the band is very much on again as Godfrey, John Mitchell (It Bites, Arena, Kino), bassist Nathan King (Level 42) and drummer Craig Blundell (Steven Wilson of late) have recorded “Falling Satellites,” their third full-length album and first in nearly eight years.

Never a group to do the obvious thing – a look at their many “Frost* Reports” and live videos kicking around YouTube will more than prove that point – the Frosties gathered at Rockfield Studios several years back to record some of their tunes live off the floor.  One of those tracks,”Heartstrings,” is well known in the Frostiverse, but will see its studio debut on “Falling Satellites,” which will be released May 27th.

(By the way, it’s not like you need me to connect any prog dots for you, but if Rockfield Studios sounds somewhat familiar, it could be because Rush recorded “A Farewell To Kings” and “Hemispheres”at the Wales-based studio)

Taken from “The Rockfield Files” DVD, Godfrey excerpted and posted this beautifully-shot and edited video for “Heartstrings” earlier this week. Enjoy!