Bitter Frost – Bitter Frost (2010)

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Out of all the self-released albums we get, we have never received such an impressive release as Bitter Frost’s self-titled debut album. With an amazing musicianship, crystal clear production, solid songwriting, and impressive guest appearances, “Bitter Frost” will surely be our favorite Symphonic/Melodic Black Metal album of the year.

Featuring 73 minutes of impressive music, the one man band Bitter Frost takes us through many different genres of metal laid on top of a Black Metal foundation. With all the ideas and creativity behind this release, we only feel sorry for all the unsigned bands that even when combined together will never put out a release as impressive as this one.

Starting off with a shred-tastic first two tracks the album kicks off in a direction that is deceiving at first, but in a good way. The first songs are what any shred master would soundlike if you use his guitar skills on a Black Metal album. There are some clean Power/Heavy Metal vocals included in these songs are not extremely good but they get the job done.

After the impressive first songs, Bitter Frosts starts to truly show its nature with a very melodic sounding Black Metal, a bit like Emperor back in their heydays. There are some keyboards but they never get to be ridiculous like on Dimmu Borgir last albums, they just accentuate the music very nicely. The harsh vocals are very brutal and provide that extra-punch that some bands desperately need.

As the album keeps progressing we find sections that remind us of Ihshan’s solo project, and we don’t say this lightly since they are equally impressive. The superb shredding continues here and there and we would have never imagined that this would go extremely well with Black Metal foundations. The use of clean vocals in several songs gives a nice ethereal sound to the music.

We would have imagined that Bitter Frost was going to run out of ideas as the album progressed, but we never encountered this. All songs have their own set of riffs and structures that makes them unique and brilliant, we can’t help but wonder how is Bitter Frost going to top this release in the future.

As the album nears it’s end the Emperor/Ihshan influences get more accentuated, but the songs still sound greatly original and superbly executed. The ‘surprise’ last minutes of the song “Oplexicon IV, Arrogance” will surely throw you off, but if you like Solefald, you will appreciate them (we hope we are not giving it away too much).

With a crystal clear production this album sounds like any other big label release. Adding great creativity and musicianship and you have a complete winner with “Bitter Frost”. This release is downright impressive and it probably offers the best bang for your buck, so head over to the ‘band’s’ myspace and buy it.

Band: Bitter Frost Album: Bitter Frost
Label: Self-released

Release: April 16th, 2010

Official Site myspace
Genre: Symphonic/Melodic Black Metal

Country: USA

Rating: 90/100