RIMFROST – Expedition: Darkness

RIMFROST – Expedition: Darkness

The Swedish horde Rimfrost have been churning out melodic and thrash-inspired black metal for quite a few years now and this brand new offering of theirs represents yet another solid and catchy slab of epic metal.

With its rather prominent parallels to outfits such as Immortal and Tyrann (and perhaps even some of the late 90s releases by Enslaved) in terms of style and sound, it goes without saying that Rimfrost dabble in memorable riffs and great hooks that more or less immediately get stuck in your head, which is cool. There are heaps of dynamics and wicked nuances to “Expedition: Darkness” too – perhaps more so than any previous effort by the band. The song arrangements and the very songs themselves sound and feel more complete and compact this time around, which is to say that there is very little superfluous fat to the tracks and you can tell that these dudes have well and truly labored over the various parts and had a strong focus on what works for the song in question and what does not. In other words, the nine cuts that are on display here suggest a certain growth within Rimfrost with respect to discipline and the ability to craft muscular pieces that never outstay their welcome. The tempo varies, the evocative melodies sliver and slide seamlessly between melancholy and grandeur, the thrash metal influences add bombast and aggression to the proceedings, and the thick and blackened atmosphere of the record is constant and very much present from start to finish.

The production is pretty good although a little too slick in places and I would not have minded a more booming and raw sound, but still, this disc oozes professionalism all the way from the album artwork to the musicianship and further on to the compositions. “Expedition: Darkness” hardly constitutes anything new or revolutionary, but it is a tightly executed piece of work that is as impressive as it is entertaining to immerse oneself in.

Standout tracks and highlights: the majestic title track, the driven “Voorhees”, and the delightfully hook-laden album closer “At the Blessing of the Damned”.