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As December finally comes to a close, so does the annual torrent of lists, wrap-ups, and reflections. With all opinions duly expressed on the previous year in metal, it’s now time to look ahead in anticipation of what 2018 will have in store.

Eschewing the very trendy black metal bleakness that characterized many of 2017’s most acclaimed releases, Philadelphia-based Frost Giant are kicking off the new year on a decidedly uplifting tone with their upcoming album The Harlot Star. The band’s music is an affirmation of the potential for unbridled joy metal can create as they blend elements of power metal, melodic death, punk, and old-school hardcore for a thrilling, energizing sound.

The song “Of Clarity and Regret” is an ideal entry point for those new to Frost Giant’s rollicking good times: within its first few minutes, it displays everything that makes the band’s music so compelling. Check out an exclusive stream below.

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The fierce punk-tinged intro quickly yields way to triumphant melodies and major chord progressions. Soaring vocal harmonies alternate with throaty screams, the band dancing deftly between genre influences. A potent breakdown at 1:50 showcases the band’s hardcore heart, complete with screamed gang vocals, before sliding right back into lush harmonies and gripping leads.

Guitar solos blaze ahead through to the song’s second hardcore-styled breakdown, heralding the song’s epic zenith: the chorus, rendered in chuggalicious halftime complete with a key change. Only listeners with the coldest and blackest of hearts will be able to avoid cheesing hard with a glorious headbang session before ethereal guitars signal the song’s conclusion in the warm embrace of angelic drones.

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The Harlot Star drops via Transcending Records on January 19th. Pre-orders are available on the label’s website here. Pass the time from now until the album’s release with Frost Giant’s adorable claymation video for the track “Prisoner of the Past."

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Editor's Note: Enervating was corrected to energizing for clarity's sake.