The German band Frequency Drift, based in the city of Bayreuth, was founded in 2007 by keyboard player Andreas Hack. Apart from Hack (keyboards, guitar, bass) the current line-up of the band consists of Isa Fellenbacher (vocals), Nerissa Schwarz (acoustic and electric harps), Christian Hack (guitar, bass, duclar, wavedrum), Tino Schmidt (bass), Sibylle Friz (cello), Ulricke Reichel (violin, viola) and Jasper Jöris (gemshorn, marimba). The guest musicians on the new album Over are Agathe Labus (vocals), Martin Schnella (acoustic and electric guitars), Steve Hohenberger (guitar), Phil Paul Rissetio (ex-RPWL, drums) and Kalle Wallner (RPWL, bass).
On the fifth album of Frequency Drift the central theme deals with the tension between idyll and decay in the twentieth century. Through the soundscapes you can feel a surreal atmosphere of loss, decay, abandonment, but also of liberation and love. The first song Run starts with a short violin solo followed by the pleasant voice of Isa Fellenbacher in the vein of Maire Brennan (Clannad) and Loreena McKennitt. Suddenly some heavy guitar riffs interrupt this song, which cause the beginning of the album to be rather strange. At the end of this piece some spooky lyrics can be heard and again these rather unpleasant guitar riffs. Once is much better and I guess one of the highlights of this record. It's a kind of romantic piece because the individual instruments and the angelic voices of Fellenbacher and Labus better fit this atmospheric music.
The next songs Adrift and Them continue with the same mood. Both are romantic songs with a slow and relaxing pace. One of my favourites is Wave, the shortest song on this album, in the vein of the British band Breathing Space and the Spanish group Harvest. Different is the most up-tempo song with beautiful synths and drum solos. The more songs you hear, the better they become. The ten-minute piece Memory is reminiscent of Jethro Tull due to the long flute solo and some typical guitar breaks. It's quite surprising that the guitar solo in the final part sounds almost similar to the guitar solo from The Butterfly Man (2000) by John Mitchell (Arena).
As far as I'm concerned Run is the only disappointing track on Over. The other eleven songs are fascinating and make this album a milestone in the catalogue of Frequency Drift. This new record is especially recommended to lovers of Pink Floyd and Renaissance, but also fans of cinematic music or film scores should try this album.
**** Cor Smeets (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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