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Frozen Alice - The Torino Scale Album Review

21 Aug 2010 // A review by River Tucker

From the opening track Everyday with its quieter moments that slowly build into commanding riffs, I knew I was in for something special. This song knocked my socks off! In fact my socks never got put back on for the whole CD.  The second song Qadesh is a slower melodic effort lulling you into a false sense of security. The lyrics don't seem to relate to the historical chariot Battle of Qadesh although there is a suspenseful dynamic going on throughout. Mark Tronson's voice is the driving force with some excellent clarity and range. The monumental track Mother is next with well-placed rests giving the vocals room to really soar and turnaround timing that adds tension. Marc Carroll's guitar really comes into play towards the end of the eight and a half minute track. Despite its negative title, the forth song Waiting to be Dead has an uplifting feel which is apparent throughout the entire CD.

The Auckland based band cleverly control their songs with precise instrumentation not dissimilar to Incubus, Tool or A Perfect Circle, the resulting effect although slightly Americanised is abundantly creative and original. The Torino Scale, which is set to hit Earth on September 6th 2010, is stylistically powerful while retaining an underlying effortlessness only exhibited by those truly proficient at their chosen instruments. Although three members of the four piece have been playing together since 2004 the bands proper inception was as recent as 2009, making such a professional sounding release truly amazing!

Recorded by Zorran Mendonsa at the Green Room, effects are understated with vocal and guitar warmth nicely driven by classic sounding filters. The epic nature of the songs, have been well enhanced to produce a CD that is passionately encompassing. Clearly a united effort by all involved capturing the bands perfect performances without overproduction. You might think that my praise is a bit overstated but you really only have to have a listen yourself.  Billy Todman's powerful bass lines solidly drive the songs along while the all-consuming drums of Ryan Carroll are crisp and full. At times breaking into alternative time signatures there's an overall dedication to listener participation by sticking to the downbeat.

The heaviest sounding song on the CD is the fifth track Driven Only by Will, which is majestically haunting. The sixth song Ethics of the Tribe has an overall Middle Eastern feel, a style echoed throughout the album. The song Red Arrows brings it all back to solid rock n roll. Then the album moves into a Pink Floyd direction with reverb drenched songs such as the ninth track Elysian with it's longing sentiments and the last track entitled Sex Song with some exquisite drum fills and overall spaciousness successfully closing out a very well executed album.

The Torino Scale
View Track Listing
 

About Frozen Alice

Frozen Alice are a four piece alternative/progressive band residing from West Auckland. Playing a unique 'feel' style of alt/prog.

With influences as diverse as Tool, Incubus, A Perfect Circle, Deftones, Karnivool, Froufrou, Textures, Portishead, Massive Attack & Russian Circles, they play and write what they feel at the time, once described as "dark, beautiful and out of the box".


Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Frozen Alice

Releases

The Torino Scale
Year: 2010
Type: Album

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