FRE­QUENCY DRIFT

Epic sound­tracks, no less.

Prog - - The Musical Box -

The word ‘cin­e­matic’ could have been in­vented for Fre­quency Drift’s grandiose epics. Films were a ma­jor mo­ti­va­tion when key­boardist An­dreas Hack formed the band and set 2008’s Per­sonal Ef­fects Pt. 1 con­cept de­but in a dystopian Blade Run­ner fu­ture. Af­ter its in­evitable se­quel, 2011’s Ghosts… wel­comed Nerissa Sch­warz’s elec­tric harp, giv­ing the band its most dis­tinc­tive sonic com­po­nent. Over the next two al­bums, the band ar­rived at their trade­mark sound: widescreen bal­lads pep­pered with world mu­sic, folk, am­bi­ent and prog metal bom­bast. Their lat­est re­places earthly gui­tars with twin­kling elec­tric harp flur­ries, drum­mer Wolf­gang Oster­mann’s sub­tly wo­ven rhythms, and elec­tronic orches­tras in­flu­enced by Ja­panese art­house cin­ema. They frame new vo­cal­ist Irini Alexia’s soul-bar­ing lyrics about loss. On first lis­ten, bal­lads such as Un­der­ground, Depri­va­tion and Es­ca­la­tor seem tai­lored for clos­ing cred­its. The in­stru­men­tal sec­tions are al­ways sump­tu­ously ex­otic, but fur­ther im­mer­sion re­veals a hot­bed of in­tri­cate tonal mi­cro­surgery go­ing on, be­fore the tri­umphant-sound­ing Ghosts When It Rains brings down the cur­tain. KN

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