Bedroom Community

Press Reviews for A U R O R A

On this latest release, Ben Frost retains his commitment to militant rhythms, aggressive textures, and ominous timbres. A U R O R A is accessible noise, like Frost’s previous work, but here, the cacophony is imbued with a shimmering vibrancy, openness, and vitality. Performed by Frost, multi-instrumentalist Shahzad Ismaily, and percussionists Greg Fox (ex-Liturgy) and Thor Harris (Swans), A U R O R A is a masterful and uncompromising album that unites the elemental and the synthetic, with otherworldly results. The album’s melodic elements—hypnotizing synths and whirling wind chimes—are interwoven with its industrial rhythms, creating a soundscape that is at once immersive and pliable. On “Nolan”, wind chimes yield to increasingly distorted synths, establishing the album’s tone as one that traverses the amenable and the antagonistic. Pieces like “Diphenyl Oxalate” maintain the sense of violence heard in Frost’s earlier work, such as 2009’s By the Throat, but trade in the foreboding for the energetic and the celestial. The album meets its apex with “Venter”, wherein repetitive, syncopated hand drums enable eager chimes to give way to explosive synth. In performance, Frost invigorates each piece with live percussion, relentless strobe, and heavy smoke, making for an all-encompassing experience in which one can be suffocated by A U R O R A‘s luxurious timbres and textures. Frost’s latest release offers a profound sonic unity but refuses to offer resolve. Instead, the noisy momentum that resonates throughout A U R O R A incites expansiveness and limitlessness.

#17 in 'Best Albums of 2014'

Pop Matters (December 9th 2014)

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