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Frequency Drift: Ghosts

Frequency Drift is a Bayreuth/Germany German based – band formed in 2006, and made up of Antje Auer, on vocals and violin; Christian Hack, on guitar and flute; Jürgen Rennecke, on bass and stick; Andreas Hack, on keyboards; and Martin Fox on drums.

"The band's debut album 'Personal Effects (Part One)' from 2008 was released by the French MUSEA Records label telling the story of a girl named River living in 2046 and having problems with an imaginary association named 'Diomedeidae'. The second part to Personal Effects was released in 2010." (http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=3907, 2012).

The new album, "Ghosts" also features the following guest musicians, Wolfgang Ostermann, on drums; Frank Schmitz, on violin; Rainer Hartmann, on guitar; and Nerissa Schwarz, on Electro harp.

Antje Auer's vocals are one of the most distinguishing features on this album and add to the presence this band brings to the progressive rock community. She is an asset that is featured well on this album, but deserves even more of a vocal presence on future albums.

This band is one of the few bands out there that knows how to balance keys well with heavy electric guitars. They know how to take those ethereal moments and drive the emotions; while at the same time build power with guitar and keys on the parts that need strength. The addition of the flute and violin help build an encompassing sound and exhibit the well rounded talent this band brings to the table for future productions. Definitely on my 'Watch List'! Now to go back and get Personal Effects, Parts I & II. The value of finding spin offs and collaborations is an exciting bonus, so I am also checking out Coronal Rain.

1. Crows opens the album with the sound effects of crows and keyboards softly playing in the background, providing a classical sound, as the waves of the lake pictured on the cover of the CD, wash ashore. It's a solemn and quiet opening to this stunning album.

2. Dreams, one of the big epics on the album, opens with strings, keys, soft drums, and guitar as the momentum builds. The bass work helps add to the grinding buildup as we await Auer's first beautiful vocals on this album. She has a very ethereal sound similar to Enya and other New Age singers. The drums, guitar, keys and especially the violin work really help create an original sound and atmospheric effect that helps distinguish the band well. The guitar work is also extraordinary. One of the best songs on the album. Hack's flute work provides a classical edge to the instrumental section which really helps take this track over the top.

3. Sadness opens with an echoing Pink Floyd guitar effect which is excellent. It's followed by some of Auer's best vocals as she expands beyond the ethereal sound into full rock songstress.

4. Tempest is the second big epic on this album and it's another great one. The piano – like keys are wonderful as this one slowly and quietly opens with some more excellent guitar and soft drums to complete the sound. Auer's ethereal vocals hold your attention throughout the track. But it's the keyboard work throughout this song and the entire album which help elevate this band to the level of their peers in Germany - Sylvan. The guitar work that closes this track is not bad either.

5. Ringshine was written by Nerissa Schwarz of Coronal Rain, (another band I will be checking out soon). This is a beautiful instrumental song of guitar, electro harp, and keys which just magically transforms your mood and helps provide calm.

6. Dance No More is full of great instrumental lead electric guitar and wonderful keyboards, with Auer's ethereal vocals echoing in the background. She later takes charge with beautiful layers of soft vocals mixed with sharp electric guitar cutting and weaving within her words. At 9:59, it is a minute under the epic two digit level, but worth every moment in time. Halfway through the track we get more beautiful echoing vocals from Auer surrounded by softer guitar, keys, bass, and drums. The guitar roars full throttle to close out the track and lift it high. The track closes with more of Auer's ethereal vocals and keys.

7. Mermaid opens with soft keys and strings, like an awakening. Auer's ethereal vocals are back and full of emotion. This is one of, if not her best vocal track on the album. If that isn't enough the guitar – like violin playing will rock your world. The electric guitar and surrounding electric shrieking easily takes this track over the top as the best song on the album. It's the most experimental and full of energy.

8. Come opens with strings and Auer's vocals full of memories of 'Catherine' and 'Wuthering Heights' streaming out with the keys. This time her vocals are stronger and more forceful than throughout the rest of the album. The piano – like keys and violin help create an emotional surrounding which helps elevate this track. The violin work from Auer gives the band an 'Eddie Jobson – like' sound similar to Jethro Tull from the 80s or some of Eddie's solo albums. The violin mixed with keys and power guitar provide an original and compelling sound that this band delivers throughout the album. At its climax this is a powerful and demanding album from one of Germany's premier bands.


Track Listing
1. Crows (2:02)
2. Dreams (11:53)
3. Sadness (4:10)
4. Tempest (10:02)
5. Ringshine (2:56)
6. Dance No More (9:57)
7. Mermaid (9:44)
8. Come (7:54)

Added: January 8th 2012
Reviewer: Mark Johnson
Score:
Related Link: Frequency Drift.com
Hits: 3238
Language: english

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