Frigoris – … in Stille [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Do you remember 2020 having a January? I know logically it must have but, given the monotonous ruination that has been this year, I really struggle to remember anything that happened pre-Covid. One thing of note that research tells me did take place in January was the release of … in Stille, the fourth full-length from German black metallers Frigoris. As the conclusion of a two-part saga begun on their 2016 outing, Nur ein Moment …, unsurprisingly, the two share a fairly significant amount of DNA. Even their titles combine to give you a composite title, Nur ein Moment in Stillle, which, for the non-German speakers among us, translates as ‘Just One Minute in Silence.”

Both melodic and atmospheric by turns, the beating heart of … in Stille is harsh, vicious black metal, which sees Frigoris combining mid-paced tremolos with the furious blasting drums of Erik Dörrschuck and the thundering bass of Maximilian Stiefermann. Through it all runs a delicate seam of emotion that curls around a core of raw and urgent pain to give the whole a real sense of vitality. The riffs churned out by Dominik Winter, who also handles vocals, and Raphael Heuser are gorgeous, blending icy black metal fury with soaring atmospheric grandeur to great effect. Speaking of Winter’s vocals, these are throat-shredding rasps and tormented howls, that elevate the raw emotion on show in the music.

From the moment I heard this, all those aeons ago in … well, in January, I knew … in Stille was potential list material and would likely be one of the melodic black metal releases of the year. Drawing on the likes of Vorna, there is just the right amount of melody here to balance the crushing weight and harshness of the raw black metal that dominates … in Stille. From the deceptively delicate beginning of opener “Aurora Stirbt,” through the almost gothic splendour of the latter stages of “Das Licht in Mir” and the glowing atmospherics that carry parts of “Stimmen im Regen,” all the way to the gorgeous instrumental “Die Gleisen an denen wir starben I (Nur ein Moment …),” Frigoris deliver an ever changing palette of blackened beauty. All perfectly balanced and flowing seamlessly across its runtime, … in Stille feels vibrant and full of energy, despite its unerringly bleak overtones.

Over the course of 2020, numerous albums that I thought great at first have gradually lost their golden luster and slipped away into anonymity but the majestic melodies and emotive fury of … in Stille have stayed with me. In a moment of stupidity … insanity … I don’t know fucking what, Frigoris didn’t make the final, submitted cut of my list. But, writing this, I knew suddenly and certainly that an awful error had been made and I managed to sneak back into AMG Towers – triggering only a few non-lethal traps on my way through the skullpit – to correct this and, I think, I got away with it! The completion of the vision begun on Nur ein Moment … was well worth the four year wait and, although … in Stille clocks in at over an hour in length it is worth every, single moment, right through to the somber string arrangement that sees out epic closer and album highlight “Die Gleisen an denen wir starben II (… in Stille)”.

Tracks to Check Out: ”Aurora Stirbt,” “Stimmen im Regen,” “Einkehr” and “Die Gleisen an denen wir starben II (… in Stille)”.

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