The current members of the German outfit Frequency Drift are Christian Hack (guitar, flute), Sebastian Koch (guitar), Jürgen Rennecke (bass, stick), Andreas Hack (keyboards), Martin Fox (drums) and Antje Auer (vocals). For the third album Ghosts, they invited guest musicians Wolfgang Osterman (drums on Dance No More and Tempest), Frank Schmitz (violin), Rainer Hartmann (guitar) and Nerissa Schwarz (electroharp). The previous two releases of Frequency Drift called Personal Effects, part 1 (2008) and Personal Effects, part 2 (2010) contained the story about a dark urban and futuristic setting. The new songs on Ghosts have been connected by a different 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. Therefore the music is often cinematic and atmospheric. The dominant instrument on Ghosts is the electric guitar, but also the piano is very important especially during the interludes.
Screaming crows in a vast and desolated landscape bring you directly in a typical autumnal mood. Crows is quite similar to the English prog band Anathema. Dreams, the longest piece on the album, is its natural successor with the vocals of Antje Auer, a Camelish guitar solo and a brilliant duel between Schmitz' violin and Fox's drums. And please, pay attention to the last minute! The four-minute rock song Sadness contains a heavy pumping bass, fine guitar riffs, distorted vocals and spacey synth cords. The interplay between the individual members of Frequency Drift is very impressive in the almost entirely instrumental song Tempest. It's a nice combination of Camel and The Wishing Tree, the solo project of Marillion's Steve Rothery. In the short song Ringshine the guitar playing in the vein of Andy Latimer (Camel) is supported by thunderclouds and the electroharp of Nerissa Schwarz.
Dance No More is another excellent rock song. It starts slowly, but soon you can clearly hear the influences of the Dutch progressive gothic metal bands Within Temptation and Epica. The last five minutes of Dance No More brings you back to the apocalyptic and sinister world of haunting ghosts. Mermaid is much 'lighter' and merrier, more in the vein of the romantic and dreamy songs of Clannad and Loreena McKennitt, although the heavy violin and the guitar duel in the middle-section didn't impress me. The final piece Gone also has some very pleasant moments.
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 bands stated above and you like to hear something special, just buy this album. It's certainly worth the money...
**** Cor Smeets (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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