Frailty – Melpomene

With Melpomene (in Greek mythology, the muse of tragedy), Frailty reach their second long-distance album and don’t disappoint the expectations that had been created after the publication of their debut Lost Lifeless Light in 2008 and the subsequent two ep Frailty and Silence Is Everything… The Latvian band’s musical proposal is in the death doom territory, already flattered in this part of 2012 by the Iberian band In Loving Memory; similarly to the latter, Frailty show their strong attitude in composing songs where aggression and melody coexist in perfect harmony. In terms of inspiration, the band have turned their gaze to the other shores of the Baltic, where the references are Saturnus on the Danish side, for tracks dating back to the 2010 EP, and Swallow The Sun on the Finnish side, for the more recent tracks composed specifically for this album. In this sense, the opening track Wendigo is surprising: its sound is harsher than the previous productions of the Latvians and it’s close to the most impactful tracks of Novembers Doom, even if the melodic aspect is not neglected thanks to a wonderful break in the middle of the track. Already the next track Cold Sky, which opens a triptych of majestic songs, since the first notes clarifies any doubts arose about a possible imbalance of the compositions towards death, characterized by the magnificent guitar work of Edmunds, able to draw dreamy and melancholic melodies at the same time; Desolate Moors follows that, despite its fourteen minutes, does not accuse tension drops with its pachydermic rhythms well assisted by the keyboard of Ivita, for a result worthy of the best Saturnus. Underwater closes the ideal first part of the album and it’s a simply great track that encapsulates all the essential characteristics of death doom: great riffs, melodies softly cloaked in sadness and a growl coming from the deepest abysses. Onegin’s Death is an acoustic instrumental track that serves as an introduction to another magnificent triptych of songs, starting with The Doomed Hall Of Damnations, which touches on funeral territories with its suffocating atmosphere, then Eternal Emerald, which takes us back to a much more airy climate, and concluding with Thundering Heights, which is the other pearl of the album, with Edmunds on the shield thanks to a memorable guitar solo in the final part. Melpomene, published by the active Ukrainian label Arx Productions, closes with another instrumental track, The Cemetery Of Colossus, leaving those who hoped to find confirmation of the potential previously expressed by the band satisfied. If we look for the classic nitpick, we notice a slight discontinuity between the older tracks and the new ones, something that normally happens when a full length is released including pieces already published in demos, singles or ep. Nothing that could affect the final judgement, let’s be clear, especially when a band like Frailty gives us more than an hour and a quarter of death doom of the highest quality, with a vocalist with a terrifying growl, a guitarist with a personal touch and a great melodic taste and four other excellent musicians who provide their precise and essential contribution to the success of a beautiful album.

2012 – Arx Productions / P3LICAN