"some music was meant to stay underground..."

70000 Tons of Metal - The World's Biggest Heavy Metal Cruise

Frames - "The Consequences Of Breathing" (CD/EP)

Frames - "The Consequences Of Breathing" CD/EP cover image

"The Consequences Of Breathing" track listing:

1. Flow (6:54)
2. To Emerge... (3:24)
3. ...Triumphant (5:40)
4. Liberation (6:34)
5. Ebb (5:10)

Reviewed by on October 12, 2010

"Like the other groups that have made a mark in an environment so hostile to metal, Frames combines many different styles and influences in such a way to craft something familiar but also unique."

Three piece band Frames is the latest rising force in the Montana metal scene, taking off with debut album, “The Consequences of Breathing.” Like the other groups that have made a mark in an environment so hostile to metal, Frames combines many different styles and influences in such a way to craft something familiar but also unique. The album has the raw and slightly rough quality that will please fans of underground metal, but also provides solid musical skill and a slightly progressive edge.

“Flow” gets the album started with a series of slow and ominous guitar notes while a movie sample plays, discussing the inner workings of time travel through faster than light speeds. Like most of the songs, there are ample tempo changes to keep the tracks fresh and prevent the music from truly getting stuck into one single niche or pigeon holed label. With only a few exceptions, the transitions are all handled fluidly. The slowdowns that move back into distorted and heavier segments on “Triumphant” are a little more jagged, but it’s made up for with the repeated rasping screams of “Let there be God!,” which fits the music amazingly well.

At this stage, trying to give Frames a single genre identifier would be a back and forth game that probably wouldn’t ever end. Influences are heard throughout the album from across the entire scale of musical thought. There’s rock, some minor punk, traditional heavy metal, doom, death metal, black metal, and so on. The frequent movie samples, coupled with the harshness of the vocals, even gives it a bit of a home brew grindcore feel, although the music itself is far too melodic and varied to really snag that title.

The screamed vocals really end up somewhere between black metal and grindcore, but the album also has long stretches with no vocal work whatsoever. On the percussion end, the drums are a major part of the music, and it’s not hard to hear the love and sweat going into those beats. Overall the production is a bit rough, with a minor fuzz present at all times, but the bass does make it up to the top and manages to be heard for most of the album.

By the end of “The Consequences of Breathing,” Frames has set up quite an opening act that raises anticipation nicely for a second scene. There are still some rough spots to smooth over, as the disconnected nature of the music gives a little bit of a jam session feel in places. With a few improvements Frames should soon be putting out long flowing discourses on what metal can really do, and show the world that Montana can be a destination spot for extreme music.

Highs: Plenty of tempo changes, a wide range of influences can be heard, and the heavy, rasping vocals

Lows: A few jagged transitions, the final track "Ebb" is a bit repetitive and ends abruptly

Bottom line: A unique take on extreme metal that combines a wide range of influences and keeps an underground edge.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)