Jack Frost - Out In The Cold
Jack Frost, the axe-wielder from Seven Witches, releases his second solo album and just like with the first he has gathered several artists to help him out with the album. Jack also has a past in bands like Savatage, Metalium and Frostbite as well as he is a permanent member of Bronx Casket Company featuring Overkill bassist DD Verni. And for the release of Out In The Cold the timing might seem a bit odd since the new album from Bronx Casket Company is about to be released now in October as well and the new Seven Witches album is to surface in November.
First song Wasting Your Luv is heavy and powerful and has a Halford vibe to it but with a more melodic refrain with a heavy metal groove. The vocals from Ted Poley (Danger Danger) suit the music perfectly since they give a softer and melodic contrast to the driving heavy guitars. Alan Tecchio (Hades) sings on Hell Or High water that moves slowly forward with a touch of heavy grunge like Soundgarden before Neil Turbin (ex-Anthrax) steps in on a thrashier piece with resemblance of Seven Witches in Crucifixation. And by now the same problems as with his first album Raise Your Fist shines through: the songs are good but they lack substance as they don't get to you. It sounds good but it also sounds like the songs are in need of more work.
The songs vary from straight heavy metal with thrash influences to melodic hard rock and even AOR with the common thread that it is all driven forward by the guitar of Mr. Frost. Compared with his earlier album this feels more solid and is a far more even effort. But even though the styles differ it fits good together on the album, whether it is in a southern rock smelling song like Peter And Me with Dale Toth (Rattlebone) behind the microphone or a thrashier and aggressive piece like Covered In Blood with Jeff Martin (Racer-X) handling the vocals.
The album is just a bit more than ok but I have to object to all these cover songs featured. You have Sign Of The Gypsy Queen (April Wine), Cold As Ice (Foreigner), Hold On Loosely (38 Special) and Head First (The Baby's). It is not that they are badly done in any way but they don't add anything. It works better with the re-arranged version of Passage To The Other Side from the Seven Witches album with same name that is re-named to Passage To The Classical Side. The song has been turned into a calm and beautiful ballad with nothing but strings and piano to accompany the voice of Dale Toth.
On the positive side, Jack has managed to get the right vocalists for the right songs. Their voices fit perfectly to the songs they are singing, no matter if the music is written by Jack himself or if it is a cover song. And these are all good vocalists even if I think Ted Poley does the most outstanding job. And for all of you that has to know it all, I will end this with some serious namedropping to point out rest of the musicians featured here. Vocals: Terry Ilous (XYZ). Bass: Dennis Hayes (Winter's Bane, Beyond Fear), Kevin Bolembach, Mike LePond (Symphony X), Mike Duda (W.A.S.P.), Rev Jones (Black Symphony) and Joey Vera (Seven Witches, Armored Saint, Engine, Fates Warning). Drums: Patrick Johansson (Prey, Yngwie Malmsteen), Jeff Curneton and Chuck White. Keyboards: Eric Ragno (Equinox, Vox Tempus).
See also review of: Raise Your Fist For Metal