Ewig Frost - _Blue Septime Winters_
(Ashen Productions, 2007)
by: James Montague (4.5 out of 10)
There's always been some disagreement about the importance of production in black metal. Some feel raw sound is essential to the atmosphere, others feel it just masks shitty playing, others feel it really depends on the specific feeling expressed by the music. I belong to the latter school of thought, and thus was disappointed to find that Ewig Frost's debut album was almost completely ruined by production.

The liner notes of _Blue Septime Winters_ show the band lounging about in corpse paint drinking beer, which, combined with such sentiments as "Nazi poser, give it up you fucking loser!" suggest a fairly loose, thrashing, head-banging affair. Indeed, the music is fast, aggressive and full of old-school spirit that left a good initial impression. So why does this CD release have sub-demo tape recording quality, with ultra-thin, over-trebled guitars and no bass guitar or drum to speak of? This is not depressive black metal of the Burzum variety, yet it has been produced in such a manner. Furthermore, that most heinous of sound crimes is committed: ubiquitous blast beats with ridiculously over-amplified hi-hat and cymbal, rendering all such passages unlistenable.

Unfortunately the opening tracks are also those most laden with blast beats, so by the time the band tunes down the guitars slightly and slows down into some catchy thrash riffs on "Visions of Black" or the title track (no. 7 and 8 respectively) I have generally lost interest. It's all rather a shame, since the band are capable musicians with a spirited old-school black metal approach, but I just find this album an ordeal to sit through. A gritty, punchy sound like that employed by, say, Destroyer 666, may yield a worthier outcome in the future.

Contact: http://www.ashenproductions.net

(article published 21/10/2007)

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