8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 29 May 2014
It’s hard to believe that it’s been 5 years since Ben Frost created his seminal album ‘By The Throat’. He’s been a very busy man ever since, producing albums for The Swans and Tim Hecker, soundtracks for films, writing an opera, as well as collaborations in art and modern dance.
Frost returns with his new studio album ‘AURORA’, and you’ll notice pretty quickly that its a very different animal to ‘By The Throat’. The opening ‘Flex’ isn’t much of an indicator to what soon follows, as the second track ‘Nolan’ fries your ears with striking synths and pounding percussion. Frost enlists the services of drummers Greg Fox (formerly of Liturgy) and the legend that is Thor Harris of the Swans, plus multi-instrumentalist Shahzad Ismaily. What follows is a coruscating kaleidoscope of primal noise. By the middle of ‘Nolan’, the sonic assault is broadened to an almost frightening sense of euphoria. ‘The Teeth Behind The Kisses’ lessens the tinnitus with a moodier ambient piece, before the tribal drumming of ‘Secant’ restores some physicality to proceedings. Things just get nastier with the scathing blur of ‘Diphenyl Oxalate’, an experience softened by the chiming bells and driving percussion of ‘Venter’. ‘AURORA’ ends with a supernova in ‘No Sorrowing’, ‘Sola Fide’ and ‘A Single Point of Blinding Light.’ ‘Sola Fide’ is the albums centrepiece, a ferociously vibrant clash of animalistic tension, full of cinematic theatricality.
‘AURORA’ doesn’t have the disturbing theatre of ‘By The Throat’, but its just as epic in scale. As threatening as this album often sounds, theres an abundance of electricity running through it which is very uplifting. The final track ‘A Single Point of Blinding Light’ exemplifies these peaks. Ben Frost hasn’t lost the knack of creating beauty from opposing musical forces, and on ‘Aurora’ he’s right in your face with his most dynamic and unhinged album yet. Prepare to be dazzled.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Ben Frost doesn't do easy-listening but he makes very interesting
listening. His new set of nine electronic sonic inventions is uncompromising
but not indigestible if you approach it with an open mind, heart and ears.
Sometiems it leads you gently by the hand into a relatively benign
alien landscape ("The Teeth Behind The Kisses") and at others slams
you round the skull repeatedly with the flat blade of a shovel ('Diphenyl
Oxalate'). Sometimes the signposts are clearer and the structure takes on
greater shape and form (witness the lively percussion and beats of 'Venter');
whereas a composition like 'No Sorrowing' is content just to let the great
luminous washes of mechanical sound roll over, around and through us.
Difficult at times but a journey worth taking.
0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 3 March 2015
lightweight. like fck bttns. the sounds (even on vinyl!) are so cheap-ass digital. anything by kevin drumm wipes any floor w/ this, the dance moves are lazy (trip hop? i guess) massive disappoinment. vessel 'punish honey', thats good, this was soo mediocre. written by matthew bower (skullflower) but samantha hated it even more...