For me personally it was Ghosts... - at the time it was released the first album from the German act Frequency Drift - that got me by the throat music wise. It was their third release after Personal Effects (Part One) (2008) and Personal Effects (Part Two) (2010, see review). Also for the band it was an important album. It brought them to a wider audience in the progressive rock scene. Their mix of different musical styles worked very well for a lot of progheads. Now five years after the first time it was released the band decided to come up with a completely remixed and remastered version of the album. Due to frequent requests, they decided to re-release this out of print album for its 5th anniversary. As a little extra treat, they added a new-recording of the track Mermaid recorded with the current Frequency Drift line up!
Maybe it is a bit strange to come up with a new version of an older album shortly after the release of the bands sixth official album. Strangely enough Last (2016, see review) did not grab me by the throat as Ghosts... did five years ago. Maybe it was that the for me, the new sound I heard at the time on this album was totally fresh to me. You should know that the music of Frequency Drift isn't easy to describe since they blend all sorts of musical styles: from folk to rock, from prog rock to classical music and from metal to Celtic folk music. Thanks to the many instruments they play, among which some 'strange' instruments like the flute and the harp, their songs sound rather diverse-something which I certainly like in progressive rock.
Our reviewer of the original album wrote; “I consider the excellent third album Ghosts... by the German band Frequency Drift to be one of the big surprises of 2011. If you like the acts Anathema, Clannad, Loreena McKennitt, Camel, The Wishing Tree, Within Temptation and Epica and you'd like to hear something special, just buy this album. It's certainly worth the money...”. Well I guess he was right all along. Because that's what the whole album is all about! Their style is described by themselves as 'Cinematic Progressive Rock', or as one of our reviewers also wrote saying that fans of cinematic music or film scores should try their albums. All very much true.
As for the songs on this album I can tell you that only great compositions were collected for this album. The songs have been connected by a certain theme. They deal with things that haunt us, things that can't be fully grasped and things we carry with us like emotions echoing of ancient times. This is told in a very nice way by coming up with a very nice mix of more mellow tunes and up-tempo pieces. The mellow tracks have great soundscapes and ambient parts. The great up-tempo tunes are Dreams, Tempest and the song which is the absolute highlight, Mermaid. Therefore it is not so strange that a new version of this excellent composition was included on this remastered version. Compared to the original version, some things have obviously changed. Band leader Andreas Hack is still in charge and can be heard on the keyboards. His wife Nerissa Schwarz has since the album came out in 2011 become a full band member and comes up with an amazing solo performed on the harp. The lead vocals are this time around very well done by Nadja Jaye. Compared to the first studio version this new version comes much closer to the way the band plays it during concerts-something which I like a lot.
You probably asked yourself if anybody was waiting for a reissue of Ghosts... or should Mr. Heck had left it as it was released in 2011 the very first time. Well he certainly does get my approval, because everything sounds a lot better than on the first release of the album. The new mix was certainly worth doing and makes sure everything could even be heard better than the very first time it came out. Also, you don't have to forget, that many people who wanted to collected some earlier work of the band failed to get this album. So I guess everybody can be happy after all including myself. Hopefully some improved reissues of Laid To Rest (2014, see review) and Over (2014, see review) will be released someday as well. Even if they sound already good enough, they still belong to my other two favourite Frequency Drift albums! I think I will play the first reissue one more time and enjoy it again!
**** Henri Strik (edited by Robert James Pashman)
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