Frigoris’ brand of black metal doesn’t really bite in the way you expect black metal to. On their fourth album, …In Stille, the german outfit continue to hone their sound so that it’s not one of jagged edges, but a fine, carefully worked blade. It’s well produced, trading in that traditional harsh, trebly coating for a warm, full low end and smooth guitar tones. It washes over you gently, it doesn’t bowl you over. That’s a strange thing to say considering Frigoris do still play black metal and a great deal of …In Stille features steady double bass rhythms and tremolo picked guitar riffs. But melody reigns and it is in the gentle caress or the ecstatic climax of these songs where Frigoris show their teeth.
As with previous Frigoris records, it takes a patient ear to endure …In Stille. Clocking in at just over an hour with the longest track coming in at twelve minutes, it’s no easy listen. Indeed, less attentive listeners may mistake the album for boring early on, but, given time, Frigoris’ subtle builds and graceful pay-offs prove quite convincing. The songs themselves are surprisingly simplistic, but the melodies are compelling and the interplay between all the instruments is rich in an understated way. Closer ‘Die Gleise an Denen wir starben II (…in Stille)’ demonstrates this well. The underlying layers are straightforward atmospheric black metal, but perfectly placed clean guitars strike a startling contrast in the intro and then give way to masterfully interwoven harmonies. Twelve minutes are gone as suddenly as they came and the last memory of …In Stille is the sound of mournful strings rather than a crescendo of blast beats and distortion and shrill shrieks. As it should be.
Words: Brett Tharp
…In Stille is released 24th January via Hypnotic Dirge Records and can be purchased here.