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Jack Frost : Wannadie Songs

Introduction (by Arnstein H. Pettersen):
This is one of the unique reviews of Doom-Metal.com. When Jack Frost sent us three promos it occurred to us that while most have heard of a two-way review (a review done by two reviewers), we'd take it to new heights and do a three-way. This is a one-off result of spontaneous inspiration. Enjoy!

History (by Chris Papadakis):
Jack Frost started their journey to the world of darkness as a doom metal band but from album to album on they have moved into their own deep, gloomy and dark sound. Let's take a look at their journey.

Their very first effort to create a doom metal band began somewhere around 1989 when Phred Phinster and Mournful Morales, both wasting their anti-talents in different darkwave and alternative bands, discovered their common attraction to L.A. Doomsters St. Vitus. So they decided to found a band in the 'Vitus vein with Phred on drums & vocals and Mournful on guitar. The band's first demo tape 'Wish' saw the light of day five years later, after many line up changes. One year later their second demo 'Maelstrom' was released. The release of this demo tape brought the band in serious contact with people from the worldwide doom metal scene. The deal with the Austrian label CCP came about quickly and their debut album 'Eden' (released in 1995) was a reality. Even John Perez from Solitude Aeturnus was excited with this piece of doom music and distributed it through his Brainticket Records mail order.

Their appearance at the German doom festival in Bietigheim (1996) was their first festival experience. In July 1996 Jack Frost hit the CCP studio again and recorded their second album 'Elsewhere' (released in 1996). In this album the gothic elements start to grow in their music. The band was getting bigger. An Austrian tour supporting Cradle Of Filth followed in 1997 and of course their appearance on The Autumn Twilight festival in Linz in November of the same year has to be mentioned. In 1998 a short tour with Mirror Of Deception in the south of Germany was the big event of the year together with the start of the recordings for their next album 'Glow Dying Sun' that was finally released in 1999.

In 2000 Jack Frost signed with Last Episode/Serenades Records and the band began to write the songs for 'Gloom Rock Asylum' and appeared at the Wave Gotik Treffen in Leipzig/Germany which is probably the biggest event of the gothic scene in Europe. 'Gloom Rock Asylum' was mastered by Atrocity mastermind Alex Krull and it was finally released in November 2000. Some months later (March 2001) Jack Frost toured Germany with British doom metal gods Warning, attended by Miskatonic Foundation Records boss Richard Walker (Solstice/Isen Torr). On August 24th 2001 the band appeared at the Summer Breeze Festival in Abtsgmuend, Germany. In early 2002 Jack Frost signed with new Austrian label Wait and Bleed, a division of Napalm Records and recorded the fifth album 'Self Abusing Uglysex Ungod' which was released in June 2002.

The band showed up at the Wave Gotik Treffen once again and appeared at the Dutch Doom Day at Baroeg in Rotterdam. After a tour covering Germany and Belgium, Jack Frost split in December 2002. A year later in May 2003 the band appeared as The Gloom Ballet Grave Dancers at the End Of Green release party in Stuttgart. In October of the same year the reunited Jack Frost step in for Lacrimas Profundere and play three shows with Ewigheim and Despairation in Germany.

In 2004 Jack Frost recorded some of their new material and started negotiating with several record labels. In April 2004 Jack Frost and End Of Green played a free warm-up show at the Capone bar in Göppingen the night before teh Doom Shall Rise festival. Jack Frost finally signed with Massacre Records In December 2004 and the band commenced the final recording sessions for their 6th album 'Wannadie Songs', once again at CCP studio in Linz, the album was released some months later.

Music (by Oscar Strik):
The music Jack Frost deliver on this, their sixth album, is best described as melodic doom metal (not doom/death, mind you) with a firm streak of gothic rock influences.

This album kicks off with what could be considered an attempt to produce a hit single. 'Me and Dark and You' is a straightforward mid-tempo rocker that clocks in just under four minutes, and also features as a bonus video on the CD.

The song is not a good representation of the rest of the album, which leans much, much more to the gothic doom side. All of the other tracks are rather slow, feature low riffs, cello backing, and the characteristic low clean vocals that are reminiscent, in varying degrees, of Type-O-Negative, My Dying Bride, and many gothic and new wave artists.

Of these songs, the one that stands out the most is the excellent 'Forever and Never', with its catchy heavy riffs, lyrics and good structure. The other songs are also on a high level, with no negative exceptions apart from the opener, which is just a tad too easy-going and therefore the 'odd one out'.

All in all, these are all quality songs with an outstanding production. Although Jack Frost rubs its shoulders dangerously close to those of a great many other artists, somehow the mix of influences prevents this album from being too unoriginal, and the musical style and direction remain convincing throughout.

Lyrics (by Arnstein H. Pettersen):
The name of the album gives a really good indication of what one could expect from this album, both musically and lyrically. Basically it can be put this way. Only 'The Night' has any positive aspects at all and then only because it tells of the hope that lies in death... "We Could Be Better On The Other Side". Of course the rest of the lyrics on 'The Night', as well as on the other tracks, are filled with the gloominess that have become a trademark of Jack Frost.

The songs can be seen as coming together like a tale. As the good gothic musicians they are, love plays a central role. It starts with the rejection in 'Me And Dark And You', which hints towards the narrator being betrayed: "Oh no no, I put my trust in you". 'Leaving The Fields' is a recollection of things that have passed. "Late at night. When we got drunk. [...] The smell of weed. [...] And lots of pills." It mentions drugs and happiness that came to an end that cannot be undone. And the hopelessness sinks in.

'Forever And Never' takes place at a bar. The narrator drinks in solitude, perhaps drowning his feelings. But it only leads to despair. The lyrics suggest that the lover is dead and the narrator is suicidal. "Where I will find my end. [...] I follow close behind. I will be with you soon.". 'Forlorn' watches life wither down into the worthlessness that brings on 'The Night', that the afterlife might bring the end of pain. The track mentions "We" when mentioning crossing over, which might suggest that the lover is still alive.

'The Wannadie Song' has minimal lyrics that fit a nihilistic view. "Give away and only cry one. One single tear." This is the last drop of depression that flows from the mind, giving room to painful emptiness. The last two tracks flow into eachother. What 'Whore: The Downfall' begins... "Share my life of drinks and dreams. And I will let the end begin" ...will be finished by 'Whore: The Vengeance'... "Be My Cure. Be forgiveness for my sins." Whether death comes, it doesn't say. But whether it does or not, this time "I am in too deep"...

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Me And Dark And You
2. Leaving The Fields
3. Forever And Never
4. Forlorn
5. The Night
6. The Wannadie Song
7. Whore: The Downfall
8. Whore: The Vengeance

Multimedia track:
Me And Dark And You (video)

Duration : Approx. 39 minutes

Visit the Jack Frost bandpage.

Reviewed on 08-06-2006 by Arnstein H. Pettersen, Chris Papadakis and Oscar Strik
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