Frost* is a U.K.-based neo-prog supergroup formed and led by Jem Godfrey. Their music offers intricately constructed, keyboard-, guitar-, and drum-driven progressive compositions elevated by elaborate melodic hooks, exquisitely layered multi-part vocal harmonies, shifting tempos, and lush dynamics and textures. Prior to forming Frost*, Godfrey was an established producer and chart-topping pop songwriter; his work with performers such as Atomic Kitten, Jennifer Ellison, Shayne Ward, and Holly Valance regularly registered in the upper rungs of the charts. Frost* was formed as a creative outlet to counter frustrations experienced in the more restrictive world of pop. In 2006, they issued Milliontown, embarked on a brief tour, then temporarily split due their creator's excessive workload. A second studio outing, Experiments in Mass Appeal followed in 2008, with the live The Philadelphia Experiment appearing in 2010 before the band went on hiatus for a second time. They re-formed in late 2011 and issued the live-in-studio DVD The Rockfield Files in 2013. Some five years in the making, Falling Satellites appeared to global acclaim in 2016, followed by international touring. In June 2020, Frost* released the six-track Others EP. In November, Inside Out issued 13 Winters, a boxed, remastered set of studio albums, instrumentals, and live cuts. Their fourth studio album, Day and Age, appeared in May 2021.
Keyboardist, songwriter, and producer Jem Godfrey is arguably best known as the man behind numerous U.K. pop hits including Atomic Kitten's 2001 number one smash "Whole Again." Tiring of the pop world's restrictive parameters, Godfrey chose to return to his first love, prog rock, which he had grown up with and played in his first band, Freefall. Working for six months alone in his studio, he crafted the basis of an album. He approached Kino guitarist John Mitchell to play on it. Mitchell agreed and introduced Godfrey to Arena bassist John Jowitt, and drummer Andy Edwards of IQ. Godfrey's former Freefall bandmate, guitarist John Boyes, would complete the lineup.
Based on demos and the unfinished album material, Frost* signed to German prog powerhouse InsideOut. Milliontown, their debut full-length appeared in 2006, followed by a brief tour. Upon returning, Godfrey, looked over his upcoming work schedule and put the band on indefinite hiatus. He unexpectedly reconvened Frost* the following year and began work on a second album. Experiments in Mass Appeal was released in 2008. Boyes had chosen not to return and joined the reactivated It Bites. He was replaced by Declan Burke, lead vocalist and guitarist of Darwin's Radio. The band resumed touring but experienced several lineup changes along the way. Edwards left in 2008 and was replaced by Nick D'Virgilio of Spock's Beard for the following year's tour before drummer Craig Blundell took over the chair. Jowitt left in 2009 and was replaced by Level 42 bassist Nathan King. Virtually all members past and present were represented on 2010's live The Philadelphia Experiment. Between intermittent touring and a crushing extracurricular work schedule, Godfrey broke up the band again in April 2011. Just five months later, however, he reassembled them to work on a studio album, which began in earnest in 2012, but Godfrey's work schedule permitted him only short bursts of time in the studio and on the road with Frost*. To tide fans over, a live-in-studio DVD titled The Rockfield Files was released in 2013.
After another short tour and more outside production and session work for Godfrey, Frost* completed their third studio album, Falling Satellites. Showcasing the debut of the songwriting team of Godfrey and Mitchell, it was issued in May 2016, followed by their first-ever music video for "Numbers." The quartet, completed by King and Blundell, were assisted by a small cast of guests: Vocalist Tori Beaumont appeared on "Lights Out," violinist Mark Knight played on "The Raging Against the Dying of the Light Blues in 7/8," and guitarist Joe Satriani contributed to "Closer to the Sun."
Frost* hit the road for the remainder of the year and stayed out there for a good chunk of 2017 and 2018, including two Cruise to the Edge luxury liner appearances. Frost* got together to play occasional dates and work in the studio between Godfrey's other commitments. Blundell left in early 2019 and Frost* decided not to replace him. When they made that year's Dingwalls and Cruise to the Edge appearances, Nick D'Virgilio was on drums.
A six-track EP entitled Others -- recorded in 2018 and 2019 -- was issued during the COVID-19 pandemic in June 2020, featuring tracks with Blundell on drums. In November, Inside Out released 13 Winters, a boxed collection offering remastered editions of their three studio albums, a full-length set of instrumentals from Falling Satellites and the live Falling Satellive. The box appeared on the same day as the compilation, This and That (B-Sides and Rarities).
In May 2021, Frost* released Day and Age. Recorded sporadically over the previous two years, the set included the trio of Godfrey, King, and Mitchell playing with three alternating guest drummers in Kaz Rodriguez (Chaka Khan), Darby Todd (the Darkness), and Pat Mastelotto (King Crimson). The double-length set included one vocal album and one instrumental offering. ~ Thom Jurek
ORIGINEast Sussex, England