Scottish guitarist Pedram Valiani teamed up with
Chad Kapper (vocalist of Missouri-based When Knives Go Skyward that released A Thousand Miles of Rope in 2007 and of A Dark Orbit that released Inverted in 2015) and a drum-machine to form Frontierer.
Orange Mathematics (2015) is an album of jagged and desperate metalcore,
with an infinite number of variations:
Bunsen (pure smashing adrenaline),
IALCCA (with droning space guitar and drum'n'bass beats),
Cascading Dialects (that opens with surreal buzzing noise),
Bleak (with the most delirious guitar effets),
Delorean Trails (a theatrical piece that is almost melodic),
Tunnel Jumper (one of the most unstable songs),
Evil Dermis (Ministry gone voodoobilly),
My Swath (perforated by synth saberings),
Crystal Turbine (a beastly dance),
and a reprise of the manic The Collapse from their 2013 EP,
which is matched by the equally manic Exposure & Aperture.
It is certainly impressive that they can sustain the emphatic energy throughout 15 songs and without ever repeating the same idea twice and with plenty of detours within each song.
Adding a second guitarist and rhythm section, Frontierer returned with Unloved (2018), a more chaotic and slightly less ferocious album.
The highlights are the cerebral bacchanals of Tumoric, Fluorescent Nights and
The Sound of the Dredge in Deathcount Woods, although
the terrifying atmosphere of Darkside Moonstroll could be the standout.
They push the experiment towards uncharted territory with songs like
Heartless 101 and Unloved & Oxidized, each one a laboratory of
provocative musical ideas.
Four fifth of Frontierer migrated into Sectioned Pedram Valiani's new project,
The result was Annihilated (2018), one of the heaviest albums ever produced, a concentrate of
savage but brainy metalcore, where
Dillinger Escape Plan,
in which it's not just the vocalist (Jamie Christ) that screams: it's the instruments too, including a veneer of evil electronic effects.
The ferocious and torrential Annihilated is only the appetizer.
Beautiful Struggle is almost a chaotic cacophony,
and the sonic assault does not relent until the five orgiastic minutes of Through the Trees, when suddenly a piano leads a somber adagio.
Along the way
we are taken from the epileptic hoedown of Synchronicity to the
terrifying pummeling of Betrayer, from the
martial and gloomy Eigengrau to the wild gallop of Bete Noire.
If Toothgrinder is a crushing whirlwind of nasty sounds,
Release flirts with a catchy and almost comic form of cowpunk.
The album's dark energy peaks perhaps with the barbaric torture and mayhem of Starved Lives.
Frontierer's third album,
Oxidized (2021), contains the crushing
Southern Hemorrhage and Corrosive Wash,
the frantic nervous breakdowns of Motherboard and especially
disorienting monster creatures like Disintegrative,
the surreal and gargantuan This Magnetic Drift,
and the grotesquely melodic Opaque Horizon.
It helps the general mood of emotional apocalypse that everything is detonated
by catastrophic guitarwork, with heroic peaks in Heirloom,
Removal of the Copper Iris and the Lightning Pill
and Death/ (borderline videogame sound effects).
Every now and then they also perform acts of sabotage, like
the mutated ambient dance-metal of Daydark.
This album is rock music's equivalent of a rainstorm of asteroids.
The Damage and the Sift
It's another exhilarating and exhausting listening, a "take no prisoner" kind of experience.
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