Released: 2006, Screaming Ferret Wreckords
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
Jack Frost has been a staple of the U.S. traditional metal movement for the past decade or so, cranking out several well-received albums with his main band, Seven Witches. Following 2003’s RAISE YOUR FIST TO METAL, Frost felt it was time to take another stab at a solo venture and the limp, dated result is OUT IN THE COLD. With some familiar (albeit third-tier) names attached to the project, it is shocking just how bad this album is. Four classic rock covers don’t help to freshen things up, either, as the music here sounds past its prime a generation ago. Seven Witches is good stuff but judging by what is heard on OUT IN THE COLD, Jack Frost should stick to his day job.
For the most part, the songs on OUT IN THE COLD are traditional metal/hard rock augmented with Frost’s fiery guitar licks. “Wasting Your Luv” and “Peter and Me” (sung by former Danger Danger frontman, Ted Poley and Dale Toth, respectively) are reminiscent of bands like Y&T whose bluesy vocals and mid-tempo pacing have all the charm and tenacity of a struggling bar band. “Crucifixation,” expertly sung by original Anthrax vocalist Neil Turbin, is the keeper here with Frost sizzling during his solos and the rhythm section of Dennis Hayes and Jeff Curenton supplying a head-bobbing groove. The title track, despite its stuck-in-the-eighties riffs and weak lyrics (“I’m out in the cold/Lost without a soul/I’m out in the cold”), is sung by XYZ throat, Terry Ilous, and he sounds like he has done the best he could with what was offered. Jeff Martin of Racer X adds a falsetto touch to “Covered In Blood” and the stripped-down vocal-and-keyboard simplicity of “Passage To The Classical Side”, itself a re-visitation of “Passage To The Other Side” from the 2003 Seven Witches album of the same name, shows that Frost does have a few tricks up his sleeve but the covers are really poor choices. April Wine’s “Sign of The Gipsy Queen” is an interesting choice but won’t make anyone forget the original despite the addition of increased double bass and a more prominent riff. The Foreigner classic “Cold As Ice” fares the worst despite Martin and former Rough Cutt/Quiet Riot singer Paul Shortino providing vocals. Downplayed are the instantly-recognizable keyboards and the same fate befalls .38 Special’s “Hold On Loosely.” Frost and his musicians attempt to “rough up” the originals to make them their own, I suppose, but in doing so, the essence of the familiar track is lost and it sounds awkward.
A similar project was realized in Heaven and Earth with various singers and musicians contributing to another artists’ vision and that project sounded more natural, less forced and all-around better off than does Jack Frost’s OUT IN THE COLD. There are a few moments that are worth checking out but overall, this album is a dud that does nothing to compliment Jack Frost’s skills as a guitarist or a musician. Pass it by altogether until you are a Jack Frost completist or fan of bad cover songs from the seventies.
KILLER KUTS: “Wasting Your Luv,” “Crucifixation,” “Out In The Cold,” “Peter and Me”