Label: Gentle Art Of Music
Review: Jason Spencer
Thoughts: I never know what to expect when one of my favorite bands loses a member. Will it change what I love about the band? Will it make them even better? Frequency Drift lost their vocalist Antje Auer, a real shame if you ask me. She had such a clever, detailed style of singing. In steps Isa Fallenbacher, then, and I'm not sure what to expect, especially considering Antje was one of my favorite female vocalists.
My worries have subsided. Not only is Isa an amazing singer, but she also uses much the same style, much to my comfort. If it's even possible, though, I even feel that Isa's voice is more delicately clear, too. All in all, she's a perfect match in every way, as her emotive voice proves. The sorrowful lyrics require someone with both strength and control, and Isa nails it with elegance and grace.
If you are not familiar with Frequency Drift, the band plays what they call "cinematic progressive rock". It is indeed cinematic with big, sweeping atmospheres and percussion, but delicate ethnic-inspired melodies. On this album, the band doesn't seem to miss a step. They seem rather comfortable with Isa at the reins.
Not only has the band adapted to the presence of a new singer, but I feel that the band has produced some of their best music to date. They pulled out all the stops and produced their most eclectic album yet. The variety of instruments on Over (2014) is simply staggering. Everything from harps and violins to flutes and cellos to wavedrums and violas are present. It lends to the band's sound immensely, as each and every track seems to have something special about it. On top of that, Andreas and Christian on keys and guitars are not overshadowed by the array of instruments. They perform amazing guitar work, even stepping into shoegaze a bit, and the keys are as vital as ever. I'm so impressed right now; I'm grinning from ear to ear. Frequency Drift is completely original and completely unlike any other band, and somehow they've managed to push the boundaries even further.
I do admit that one thing disappointed me on this album. Over (2014) features a change in direction in drums. The previous albums had such an interesting drum sound with melody- enhancing blast beats that were perfectly placed. I kept waiting for them, but they never came. However, my disappointment didn't last long, as I realized that the new direction was more eclectic, as there are far more percussive instruments in play with a far more mature style of writing.
The album begins with 'Run', an exciting taste of the album. A slow and delicate melody builds up to a powerful climax of guitars and keys. Amazing! However, the album really reaches its stride when it begins "Wander". From this track on, Over (2014) is quite possibly one of the best albums I've ever heard. 'Wander', 'Driven', and 'Release' fire on all cylinders with an eclectic mix of instruments and incredible instrumentals. The interplay is astounding, honestly.
However, the best track on the album is 'Memory', one of the best songs I've ever heard. I'm not exaggerating here. The catchy lyrics and melody crash headlong into an extended instrumental full of eclectic collaboration. Swirling percussion meets soaring keys and fantastic guitar work, including an outstanding solo. It's a song unlike any I've heard, even from Frequency Drift. The sheer height of the song should impress any listener. Then, after such a monumental track, the band ends the album with a soft, quiet, beautiful outro as if to say, "Think about that for a few minutes".
Frequency Drift has crafted what may be their best album. In fact, I'll go out on a limb and say that it is definitely their greatest. From the beautiful melodies to the mature songwriting, and from the eclectic focus to the churning instrumentals, Over (2014) is a progressive masterpiece of gigantic breadth.
The band was included in our Podcasts #5 and #36 and you can listen the songs 'Ice' HERE and 'Wander' HERE.