This short, three-track, 15-minute EP was Hollydrift's first release. "Smile for Me" is a dark ambient track, eerie but not exactly menacing. The background textures remain rather bland, especially when compared to what is found on Then There Was Nothing and In These Days of Merriment. "Lost in Flight" sounds like an '80s alternative/industrial song, with beatbox, synthesizers, and whispered vocals. One thinks of early The The, Joy Division, and Coil. It works nicely but doesn't leave an imprint. "Buried by the Briar" is much stronger and less easy listening. Outbursts of harsh noise and lost communications are woven into the piece, giving a taste of the artist's future direction. Its slow pace and linear structure are surprisingly effective, but it ends too quickly, leaving to the listener the task of making sense of it all. Hail the Frozen North was an encouraging first attempt, but start with Hollydrift's later releases.
Hail the Frozen North Review
by François Couture