Name: Frodi Stenberg
Email address: frodi (at) metal-observer (dot) com
Functions: Reviewer, Interviewer
Compatible styles: Death Metal, Thrash Metal, Black Metal, Progressive Metal, Gothic Metal, Viking Metal and some Power Metal as well, if exciting in concept.
Incompatible styles: True Metal, Nu Metal, Hardcore, Punk Rock, Grindcore, Grim and badly produced Black Metal, AOR and 80´s Hard Rock.
Thoughts on the main Metal genres:
Black Metal: This style can be played in two modes: 1) cold and grim = True Black Metal 2) modern and symphonic = Untrue Black Metal. I enjoy the second approach as its forward thinking and musically stronger than the underground sound.
Death Metal: One of my favourite Metal genres because of the top class musicianship and high level of technicality displayed so often from these kind of bands. Although a brilliant sound, Death Metal is an overused genre with many uninteresting bands floating around in the bloodbath.
Thrash Metal: I dig Thrash Metal, anyone who likes guitar wankery and speedy paces does. Being a conservative Metal style (to me anyway) I think it’s fair to say Thrash Metal has taken a few steps forward since its untamed beginnings.
Power Metal: Another favourite genre. Power Metal albums often follow a distinctive song writing formula, which is why there are too many stereo typed bands out there. Furthermore, people seem to problems with cheesy lyrics usually telling stories about dragons, warlords, magic spells etc. etc.
Progressive Metal: An institutionalised blueprint, if I want something challenging but not too brutal, I turn to Progressive Metal. Bands from this genre do the unexpected and apply an interesting working technique where they are working for the song and not the song that’s working for them, which I find very inspiring and creative.
Doom Metal: Some refer to it as “Negative Metal”, why not? I appreciate this kind of style when my mood is low, definitely not for any given occasion. If you’re suffering from S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder) then winter or fall is the time to be listening to this style, very effective emotionally.
Gothic Metal: Like Doom Metal, Gothic Metal isn’t exactly a walk on sunshine. I like this style better than Doom as it has energetic and more dramatic atmospheres. The joint venture of “The Beauty And Beast” (male and female singers) puts another level of drama that I like very much.
Melodic/Heavy Metal: The fundament, the basics, the everlasting, the all. This is why I’m into MAIDEN, PRIEST, MANOWAR, ACCEPT and everything else that comes along. No trends, no bullshit, just Metal.
Nicknames: Frost, Frodo, Happy Stonecliff.
Time at TMO: December 2003
How came at TMO: It was something I had thought about for a while. I basically wanted to take my writing and interest in Metal music to the next level. I applied for a job at TMO by contacting Alex, even though they clearly stated they didn't need more writers at that point, but obviously they liked my application and review samples.
The best thing as a TMO writer: To do something productive for the Metal scene, discovering new bands and to receive promos.
The worst thing as a TMO writer: Well, I guess I can't answer this question with a proper answer... yet, time will tell :)
Live reviews 0
Reviewing methods: Basically I just do some research on the band, then listen to the CD over and over and write down my thoughts about it.
Birthday: November 16, 1981
Birth town: Ballerup, Copenhagen, Denmark
Present location: Tórshavn, Faroe Islands
Job: Administrator and all around worker of a successful food store
Languages: Faroese, Danish, English, and a bit of German and Finnish/Swedish (only simple phrases)
Hobbies: Watching and playing football, going out partying with friends, reading books.
Pet peeves: Ignorance, dishonesty, racism, false appearances, and last but not least, over-hyped trends.
I, about myself: I can't observe myself from the outside, unless I have some kind of supernatural powers :), but I think I'm a generous guy with a good dose of tolerance and understanding.
Describe yourself in 5 words: METAL, generous, contemplating, funny, athletic.
Funny childhood story: I've always been into music and air instruments, especially drums. When I was a kid, 4-5 years old, I started hitting on my parents' couches, all four of them while listening to the local radio. Can't really remember what song I was listening to, but it didn't take long to break down the beauty of those couches, needless to say my parents were angry with me, but I had a great time smashing them. Since I didn't know right from wrong at that point, I would like to send a much-delayed apology to them, sorry :)
How I came into Heavy Metal: IRON MAIDEN!!!!!! I owe it all to them, all the other bands that followed opened my eyes too, but MAIDEN got me started.
First Metal CD ever bought: Iron Maiden “A Real Live One” back in 93.
Most embarrassing CD in your collection: Journey – Trial By Fire.
What did Metal teach me about life: Through Metal I learned to be more awake of my surroundings. It taught me to strengthen my beliefs for my own being and never betray the feeling of being happy with all the things that makes Metal such a phenomenon. Metal has also given me a new perspective on companionship with people that I love and care for, especially my family.
First Metal concert: To be honest, I haven’t been to any Metal concerts. Our country has an exclusive relationship to Metal: no Metal bands have ever played here!!! Blame our conservative attitude and policies.
Band & previous band experiences: None whatsoever
Instrumental talents: I did possess some talent as a violin player when I was younger, but...
Favourite bands: So many, but absolute favourites include: Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Nightwish, Death, Blind Guardian, Opeth, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Dark Tranquillity, Hypocrisy, Sentenced, Nevermore, Katatonia, Children Of Bodom, Soilwork, Moonspell and Flowing Tears to name a few.
Least favourite bands: Korn, Edenbridge, Falconer, Dark Moor, Graveworm.
Sound you'd like to have banned: Nu and Rap Metal!!!
Most overrated bands: Stratovarius, Hammerfall, Limb Bizkit, today's Metallica.
Most underrated bands: Tad Morose, Amon Amarth, Evergrey, Night In Gales, Pathos, Pagan's Mind.
Favourite musician: Mikael Åkerfeldt
Favourite album cover: Kamelot: The Fourth Legacy
10 favourite albums:
Paradise Lost - Draconian Times
One of the best, if not the best, melodic Metal album of the nineties. This album is a must if you like wonderful lead guitars, great songwriting and a killer production sound.
Amorphis - Tales From The Thousand Lakes
This vital album made wonders for the band, which went on to conquer many genres on their next releases. "Black Winter Day" and "Drowned Maid" are definitely among the best tracks ever penned from the Finnish gods.
Death - Human
The definition of Technical and Progressive Death Metal. The loss of Chuck will never be replaced, but his music roars on forevermore, also contains one of the tightest performances I've ever laid my ears on.
Opeth - My Arms, Your Hearse
I love this CD and its mystical concept and consider it the heaviest and most brutal OPETH album ever, until they write something heavier of course. Mikael Åkerfeldt is one of Metal's most creative songwriter and has a unique voice that swings both ways, respect!
In Flames - The Jester Race
My favourite album from the Gothenburg school of Melodic Death Metal. This was like a revelation to me, the importance of this album should be obvious to most people and the overall quality is breathtaking considering this the band's second album.
Hypocrisy - Abducted
The turning point of HYPOCRISY route to Post Death Metal. "Roswell 47" is one of my absolute favourite songs of all time, Death Metal as heavy and as good as it gets accompanied with a maddening sound that shows no mercy.
Dark Tranquillity - The Gallery
Death Metal never was more melodic than this, no album will ever be able to rival this masterpiece. The guitarwork is just plain sick, the MAIDEN influences are pretty obvious, but the band had a unique approach to songwriting back then, it still amazes me to this day.
Arch Enemy - Wages Of Sin
One of the newer albums I hold very dear to me. This one sent multiple shockwaves through the Metal community, not only did the music revive bits and pieces of Extreme Metal, female vocalist Angela Gossow showed the world how to growl and scream like a real man!!!
Nightwish - Oceanborn
Dreamy, heavy, operatic and bombastic, NIGHTWISH's sound in a nutshell. This album is also one of Metal's true gems from the 20th century, Tuomas Holopainen's vision of a joint venture of classical and opera influences moulded together heaviness and speed, resulted with a masterful and technically brilliant album.
Favourite films: Lord Of The Rings, Shrek, Seven, Full Metal Jacket.
Favourite books: Anything by Tolkien will do.
Favourite food: Pasta, Pizza and spicy Asian food.
Favourite drink: Coke, Coffee, Faroese beer, Purple Haze
Favourite smokes: Don't smoke, but when on vacation I like to indulge myself with a pack or two of Lucky Strikes.
Which song should be played at your funeral: "Roswell 47"
Idol(s): My parents first and foremost. Musical idols would be Steve Harris, Dan Swanö, Andre Olbrich and Mikael Åkerfeldt.
Person you'd like to meet: Since I’ve already met up with Steve Harris, I guess my next victim would be Tuomas Holopainen of NIGHTWISH.
Catchphrase: Hell yeah!
Biggest thrill in life (so far): Going to Leeds United F.C. to show my football skills, I almost got signed you know... NOT!!! :)
Goal in life: Good health, the ability to smile and help your fellow man.
Secret: Ehh, well, there's this huge asteroid with a three weeks collision course with earth, don't say I didn't warn you!
5 favourite links: