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Features And Causes Of The Frozen Origin

Frown - Features And Causes Of The Frozen Origin ©2001 Moonstorm Records
1. Unnatural Notion Of Love
2. Dawning (For A Sweet Girl)
3. Features And Causes Of The Frozen Origin
4. Enslaved Hope
5. Breath For Dead
6. Purged By The God
7. Dreadful Moon
8. Dark Side Of The Bark
9. Skyline (demo 1998)
10. I'm Haunted (demo 1998)

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. In the case of Slovakia's Frown, they have apparently decided to flatter Type O Negative in the most thorough, complete fashion possible. From the green on black artwork to the neo-religious artwork to the absolute mimicry of Type O's sound, Frown has become the eastern European doppelganger for their musical heroes. It is questionable if any of the members of Frown have fawning black-clad, fishnet wearing goth girls following them around after concerts, but beyond that, this is darned near the CD Type O Negative didn't write.

Features and Causes of the Frozen Origin sounds like it could have been the logical followup to October Rust. Frown has the musical sounds of Type O down perfectly, including the guitar distortion and fuzz, as well as the majority of the songwriting techniques. In fact, on a musical level, this band could quite possibly fool people who are only casually familiar with Type O Negative. The vocals of Marian, however, are the one sticking point for Frown. Although he gives his best college try at Peter Steele's baritone, he often over-embellishes it as well as overdoing note changes. However, his occasional gruff bellow has a Carnivore quality to it, so he's got a chunk of Steele properly forged. The album features songs that occasionally reach the quality of October Rust, but frankly I think that is Type O's weakest album, so don't run about thinking I just complimented Frown. The occasional moments where the band revs things up to sound like outtakes from Type O's debut suggests they might be more interesting if they retained the hardcore elements of Type O's early years.

Bands like Frown leave themselves wide open for criticism. The band sounds like they are understudies for Type O Negative and go to such great lengths to sound like their influence that they cross the line from inspiration to copycat. Perhaps in Slovakia there is a great demand for Type O Negative, but the government doesn't let into the country really tall people from New York. Thus, Frown (who, incidentally, really fall flat with their band name) is filling in a niche that was otherwise unfilled. However, such blatant copying of another band's sound makes me question how much self respect this band could possibly have, simply because they seem unwilling to move beyond an already established band's sound. I suppose this band will appeal to teenage girls with black lipstick who feel Type O Negative has failed to be prolific enough.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 10/2003

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