Chuck Schuldiner Project

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Hoarfrost is a marginally interesting black metal with abysmal recording quality typical of the genre. When I think "black metal" I think to something engaging like Behemoths work, or something a bit operatic and dramatic like Dimmu Borgir or Amon Amarth (no, its not *black metal*, you get the idea though). Maybe even something on the technical side like Children of Bodom. Hoarfrost manages to use a fairly dry and fuzzy recording that provides a terrible platform for quieter, reflective passages, and leaves the vocals sounding too harsh and prominent.

Riffs and song structure seem to be repetitive and unchanging for long stretches, then things will change up, and maybe they'll throw in a so-so solo. The thing is, the riffs aren't bad, and they'd make great fillers, but where a band like craft might have several variations on the riff to alternate through, and will typically change things up after 4 iterations, Hoarfrost is a bit more static. Even the changes use similar guitar patterns (typically a lot of strumming, "chainsaw riffs").

Drums are almost completely washed out by the muddy guitar tones and the overly harsh vocals, and i can not hear the bass guitar if there is one. What I hear from the drums are standard patterns (bass/snare, snare, snare, snare/high hat, snare, snare, bass/snare), keeps time, nothing truly neat in there.

Finally, the vocals are lukewarm, they're almost too harsh, they're too loud, and to a large degree, sound like something you'd get from a band like escape the fate. The lyrics are frequently song with prolonged "screams of agony" which are a brilliant tool when used sparingly, but the overly "wet" sounds puts them at odds with the genre standards, which, if thats what they want to do, by all means, do it, but the vocal track need to come down a bit.

Hoarfrost's somewhat boring pallet of emotionless riffs couples with a low fidelity recording to almost wash the drums out in their entirety, and the bass, if there is one, is audible only a handful of times. This leaves the recording feeling substance less and typically bleak. With virtually no "high points", Hoarfrost is composed of mostly lows, while its not entirely "bad" its certainly not "good". A better job balancing the tracks would bring the score up a point and a half from its current four and a half out of ten.


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