Frostbite is a solo project of Christopher Lee Compton, an Altanta-based musician who has been performing in various gothic rock and metal projects for the last twenty years. His latest album, Valentine and Other Stories of Hope, was released August last year, and carries on the tradition of gothic rock – deep, crooning vocals, heay synth, minimal drums, and
While Christopher’s style is distinctively goth rock, you can hear the range of influences in his songs. There’s a bit of metal’s aggression, a bit of classic rock composition, a heaping dose of industrial weight. Each song on this album has different facets that make it stand out from the others: the Mansonite touch to “Venus in Furs”, the cabaret madness of “The Metro” and the Sister’s of Mercy goth-rock-anthem of “My Darkest Dream”. For me, the best track is the haunting ballad “Valentine”, with an almost old-school Nick-Cavesque vocal line and dirty, drawn out guitar sound punctuated by a bit of Deep Purple soloing.
The rich, haunting tones of Chris’ vocals carries you through this whole album. Whether he’s shouting “Don’t bother begging/Don’t scream for mercy” in the industrial “Deceit” or singing low and melancholy in “Valentine”, every word drips with emotion. His voice has a rougher edge to it than many other goth singers, which I think works well the the industrial elements.
The album also includes a cover of “Hurt” and Blue Oyster Cult’s “Veteran of the Psychic Wars”, which I love. Hurt is a tough one – Johnny Cash did probably the best cover of it you could imagine, so it’s pretty much impossible to measure up to that. The vocals in this version sticks closely to Johnny Cash’s style, and although Chris has the required emotion in his voice, this unfortunately doesn’t compare. “Psychic Wars” is much better, with a great industrial bent reminiscent of some of the better Depeche Mode tracks.
Frostbite will appear to fans of gothic rock – Fields of the Nephilim, Charon or Poisonblack. A thoroughly enjoyable album.