Frozen Shadows - _Hantises_
(Unholy, 2004)
by: Quentin Kalis (7.5 out of 10)
This can hardly be considered as one of the more original CDs of 2004, but Frozen Shadows' interpretation of a familiar sound does not pass by unnoticed and unappreciated. _Hantises_ is essentially a tribute to the seminal Norse black metal sound; consequently the music is bleak, grim and unrelenting. Living in a freezing vastland seems to be a pre-requisite for the successful rendition of this sound, and their chilly homeland of Quebec, Canada, fulfils the necessary extra-musical pre-requisites.

Keyboards are featured, but are used sparingly and may be missed during a casual listen, providing the erroneous impression that if they hadn't been used to begin with, they wouldn’t have been missed. But like all great albums in this subgenre, even if their presence is muted, the music would feel noticeably incomplete if they were absent.

Otherwise, everything is as you would expect it -- there are no surprises tucked away here. In all honesty, I don't think this would get much play after six months and it almost certainly won't make any of the numerous "Best of 2004" lists that are legion at this time of the year, but it will still provide a significant degree of listening pleasure for a limited period of time.

(article published 13/12/2004)

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