Frequency Drift - 'Ghosts' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 01, 2012    
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A good album, that is worth exploring.

Frequency Drift formed in 2006 and this is their third CD following on from 'Personal Effects Part 1' in 2008 and 'Part 2' two years later. The band consists of Antje Auer (vocals & violin), Christian Hack (guitar & flute), Jürgen Rennecke (bass & stick), Andreas Hack (keyboards) and Martin Fox (drums). It seems that they've trimmed the number of vocalists from the previous albums but have continued to call on some guest musicians to contribute, notably Frank Schmitz (violin) and Nerissa Schwarz (electroharp).

For those who like to categorise their bands you're going to struggle a bit here because Frequency Drift aren't that easy to pigeon-hole; just when you think you can place them alongside Mostly Autumn, Iona or Enya along comes a heavier riff to change your thinking. I like the way they display variety in this way because I suspect without it one might tire of the album unless you had a particular penchant for dreamy and ethereal. The word that kept coming to mind as I listened to this album was 'atmospheres' and that's what the band do so well, build atmospheric music with Auer's vocals being intrinsic to the sound as she is capable of delivering passion and beauty in equal measure.

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The album opens with a delightful instrumental, 'Crows', where a delicate piano refrain is overlaid by a fine acoustic guitar pattern. It has a cinematic feel thanks to the judicious use of sound effects. 'Dreams' is a twelve minute epic that moves through several different phases and tempos. A Mike & the Mechanics-style picked guitar is joined by other instruments as the atmosphere builds. When the vocals arrive they have an Enya quality before the tempo suddenly increases for a dynamic section where Auer's vocals are layered in a nice arrangement. There's a section of pure Pink Floyd (PF) synth as well as pleasing guitar, flute (redolent of Jethro Tull, of course) and violin interludes all of which go to make a track that maintains interest throughout.

'Sadness' visits PF again, this time in the guitar department and as it develops I'm reminded of Mostly Autumn. 'Tempest' is another building song, starting with a Camel-esque guitar motif before exploding in powerful fashion halfway through. The chorus however is a touch repetitive. 'Ringshine' is a short and delicate instrumental while 'Dance no More' develops into an energetic number, not unlike The Reasoning from their debut album, with nice riffing, a particularly fine arrangement and lovely vocals from Auer. 'Mermaid' is a beautiful piece with more layered vocals and some lovely guitar work. Closing track, 'Come', opens with a plaintive violin which gives way to piano and voice before the strings rejoin; once more demonstrating the band's ability to arrange songs. Auer is impressive across the entire album but this song really showcases her ability. The violin takes on the limelight before a burst of Prog Metal changes the scene. A good album, that is worth exploring.

Gary Marshall

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