Frequency Drift – Personal Effects (Part One) (2008)

FrequencyDrift_PersonalEffects14 out of 5 Stars!

Here’s another band that, in many ways, reminds me of the excellent Magenta.  The singer has a powerful voice, a wide range, and an ear for melody, not unlike Magenta’s terrific Christina Booth.  She even has a similar vibrato, though the tonal quality of her voice isn’t quite as round, a bit sharper, edgier, so it’s not an identical match yet nevertheless appealing.

The band relies on more modern-sounding instruments, and usually doesn’t capture Magenta’s direct and liberal nod to Yes and Genesis of yesteryear, still there are enough older-sounding synth keyboards—and tons of piano passages—to keep the neo-prog fans like myself happy. And in many places, the guitars and rhythm section are a bit heavier than Magenta’s, although they don’t quite push into Metal territory, only hint at it.  In general, there’s a nice variety of sounds, softness to heaviness, to successfully switch moods back and forth throughout the tracks.

Now, with all that said, I couldn’t make myself rate this higher than a 4 (I typically rate anything from Magenta’s catalogue a 4.5 or 5.0), and this is based solely on the lack of truly memorable melodies.  I’m almost certain, however, that numerous plays of this collection will result in some of the songs running through my head at a later time, but not just yet. Therefore, the melodies are not quite as “immediate,” but they are fairly good overall, and the band definitely has solid potential.

So with some impressive musicianship, melodic leanings, a strong and rich production, and a better-than-average singer leading the way, this is one group to watch.  Fans of the bands Magenta and Introitus will more than likely enjoy this as much as I did.  Now I’m looking forward to hearing their two additional releases.

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