Review by: Justin Donnelly - The Metal Forge
For Melbourne based metal act Frankenbok, 2007 was pretty much a write off. Although having released their third full length effort Murder Of Songs in August, touring was out of the question when vocalist Adam 'B. Metal' Miles amicably left the band just prior to the release of the album. Even though the band had found a replacement for Miles in ex-Block/McDougall Brothers/Repugnance vocalist Daniel McDougall, plans behind promoting the album were scuttled when guitarist Aaron Butler broke his leg in a skateboarding accident in early 2007. But rather than just simply sit around and wait, the band kept themselves busy behind the scenes working on some material left over from the sessions that bore Murder Of Songs. And after lengthy spell away from the scene, Frankenbok are back with a strengthened line-up (Comprising of McDougall, Butler, guitarist Nathan 'Yeti' Amatnieks, bassist/keyboardist Tim Miedecke and drummer Mick Morley), and their new E.P. The Last Ditch Redemption.
Every new Frankenbok release shows some signs of progression and change from where they last left off, and The Last Ditch Redemption is no different. This time around the band have taken a conceptual route, with the four tracks on the album linked with various cinematic interludes, which help tell the story of man who descends to the depths of depravity and despair, but after a stint of incarceration attempts to redeem himself by helping others. After a scene setting introductory/sound effect piece ("As I dug myself deeper into trouble, the darkness swallowed me whole."), Frankenbok waste little time getting everything underway with the powerful Dig. Fast paced and full of up front riffing, Dig is definitely a powerful statement of defiance from the band, with McDougall's clean/screamed vocals sounding very much like the perfect fit for the band.
This Monster My Son (Preceded by the intro piece "I crossed the line. And was exiled. Rejected. Alone.") is as driving and energetic as the opener and bolstered by a guest guitar solo from Dreadnaught's Richie Poate, while The Other Side Of Hell (Again, preceded with "The walls closed in, and the voices in my head were telling me I'm guilty. Guilty. Guilty.") is a huge dirty raucous sounding rocker that simply begs to be played loud in front of a live audience. The final title track The Last Ditch Redemption however is the real standout cut.
Huge melodies, catchy riffs and a towering performance from McDougall combine to make a last impression on the end of the E.P. one of the most memorable ones. The Last Ditch Redemption is an ambitious effort for Frankenbok, but one that the band has managed to pull off with ease. And if the band can pull off their equally ambitious touring plans for the remainder of the year, then Frankenbok will have only proven that nothing can kill them off, and that right now they're stronger than they've ever been.
Review source: Frankenbok - The Last Ditch Redemption