I love being able to watch a band grow from their infant stages and mature into a force. It’s fun to see, especially when it is your friends who are achieving their goals and dreams. Frosthelm, hailing from the frozen wastelands of my home state of North Dakota, have steadily climbed the blackened thrash gauntlet from their inception in 2009 to their new opus, simply entitled Pyrrhic.
The Endless Winter, their first full-length, was a monumental album and still remains one of my all-time favorites, but Pyrrhic steps up their game and will permanently cement their position in the annals of metal! “A Gift of Razors” opens with a dark riff amid Bernard Pfliger’s shrieks of “I Long for the stars, all darkness beckons me.” The song then jumps to a frenzied pace, yet retains that hint of melodic, blackened metal that has become Frosthelm‘s trademarked. “Serpentine Embrace” continues the pummeling, yet rides that melodic line with a fierce competition on the shredding between Dakota Irwin and the newest addition to the band, Billy Zahn. I am seldom left speechless in anything in life, but this song hearkens to an air of old black metal, yet it sounds amazingly fresh and leaves me just so.
“The Sorceress” is the most catchy song here, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t chock full of fierce riffs and charred vocals. It’s moody and fucking dark. “Pisslord” is my favorite here. It’s so brutal and the riffs are spectacular as the song builds to a massive crescendo. I would be remiss to not mention the rhythm section of Jimmy Cherry on bass and Brian Helm on drums. These guys are tight. I love that you can totally separate every integral part of the songs in the mix of this album and the bass lines just shine. “Immortal Nightfall – A Dreamless Lust” is a bit different. It’s darker and deeper, and it retains an opus-type quality. “Pyrrhic I: Hollow” takes Frosthelm to a new level. It’s an instrumental that leads into “Pyrrhic II: Looming Dusk,” which is a brooding, dark beast of a song. This is they song that will stay with you and make you listen to it over and over. Pyrrhic ends with an acoustic rendition of the the lyrics I mentioned earlier, and it is the perfect way to close an album. Maor Appelbaum did an all out amazing job on the mastering of this album. The quality speaks for itself.
Frosthelm have created something special with Pyrrhic. Although it’s a short seven songs, it is breathtaking and leaves you thirsting for more. You need to own this album!
Pyrrhic is out now on Revenger Records. Buy it here!