REVIEW: Everfrost – EP: Frostbites


When it comes to metal for geeks, we at Tuonela Magazine pride ourselves on staying up-to-date on what’s going on in nerd-metal. One of the newcomers to the Finnish metal/geek scene, EVERFROST, really impressed us with Winterider in 2019 and had some great material in their debut release as well. Since then, the band has undergone extreme lineup changes, with Benji Connelly (keyboards) and Jope “James” Salminen (drums) as the only current remaining members from the time of the sophomore release, but at the time of recording this EP, they were still between vocalists. Since there was so much to take into account in this EP, in order to truly dive in, we gathered a whole group together for the review. “Frostbites” will be released on November 11th, 2022, via Rockshots Records.

The “Frostbites” EP is made up of four covers of anime OPs (theme songs), all featuring different guest vocalists. The opening track features former lead vocalist Mikael Salo, which almost gave us tears of nostalgia, as he was such a perfect fit for EVERFROST‘s sound during Winterider.” This is an easy highlight, as it has some of the best vocals on the EP and is, of course, the most well-known of the four song choices (granted… it has been done). Of note, the rhythm section of the sound is a bit lacking, with more focus put into the guitars and keyboards than drums and bass in the mix, which is a shame because just a bit more volume in the low-end would add a lot more depth to the sound. This is a consistent problem with the album’s mix, but a fairly minor one on the whole (and a common one in a lot of metal). Admittedly, the lyric video to this song didn’t really hold up to the song itself, as the video quality is a bit amateur and overall doesn’t have anything to do with Pokémon or EVERFROST, especially when compared to the super-well-fitting lyric video for Winterider or even the delightfully dorky lyric video for Actraiser.” That said, there is a really cool easter egg in there, which is that all of the silhouettes of band members are based off original Pokémon character poses!

The EP then moves on to “Flyers,” originally by BRADIO from the anime Death Parade, which is an obscenely catchy track and very understandable as to why they’d cover it. They kicked the energy up nicely, added stronger choirs and a superior vocalist to the original in YouTube vocalist guest Rob Lundgren (though in that initial wail, we did find ourselves missing Mikael Salo). Props to him for the very solid performance in Japanese. As well, new guitarists Samuli Heiskanen and Joose Ylianttila get to show off their tasty chops, and they have a fun group choir to back it all up. This is a total banger of a song in general that will totally get stuck in your head, so if this version doesn’t get you moving, you might be straight-up broken.

“Hacking to the Gate” (what Engrish!) is, of course, the theme from Stein’s Gate, a name big enough to invoke some recognition among us geeks. The guest vocalist on this track is ShiroNeko, a Hungarian artist known for doing covers in Japanese, also on YouTube. She worked with RETRO FUTURE earlier this year, where Mikael Salo also did guest vocals and Benji Connelly did some production, so it only makes sense that they would have heard of her and done a collaboration, since she sounds quite decent when singing in Japanese. The main highlights of this song are the intro and the peppiness of the chorus. This is also maybe the only track on the EP that has a notably “EVERFROST“-feel in the keyboard sound in the choruses. They could have benefited from the use of some chiptunes for flavor and to nod to the original, but the strong intro and general heavy sound certainly do the song justice.

Finally, the EP wraps up with “A Cruel Angel’s Thesis,” from the legendary Neon Genesis Evangelion series. This is an obscenely catchy song on its own, brought even more to life by EVERFROST‘s version. Does anyone else think this song is way too peppy and upbeat for such a depressing anime? Well anyways, let’s come back to the nostalgia because Mikael Salo is also acting as lead vocalist on this track, singing in Japanese no less and doing a spectacular job! Again, the energy is beefed up – after the gentle and high intro – into immediate dance-boogie-mode. Again, their take on it is great but would have benefited from a little more kick from the rhythm section to add some texture. The high energy and danceability do make it a good track to finish the EP with, leaving the listener wanting more!

On the whole, this is a pretty strong collection of cover songs that nicely show off what EVERFROST has been up to in recent years and test drives some of their new members really well. Roi Partanen is a very skilled bassist, so it would be great to hear more from them, as the guitarists really got to show off but they were kept rather quiet in the mix. The EP’s main qualities are the strong performances from everyone across the board, as well as the excellent collection of guest vocalists, but beyond that, there does seem to be somewhat of a lack of “EVERFROST“-vibe in the overall product, especially when comparing to what the band has done in the past. For example, the band’s cover of “Die Young” by Kesha was fully integrated into the concept album with altered lyrics and added a heaping dose of their own flavor to the mix, really making it sound like an EVERFROST original track. The compositions of these covers are very well done but don’t necessarily show off a lot of the signature EVERFROST sound in the music, but also because there is no clear integration of these covers into the band’s established world – is the city of Everfrost in the real world? Are these the alternate universe theme songs for these animes within Everfrost? We have to wonder what exactly Rockshots is doing for this band – EVERFROST has always had a full concept, with photos, videos, manga… everything, so why sign a band with an awesome concept if you don’t want to fund their vision, thus ultimately leaving your artist with amateur press photos and awkward lyric videos? That said, the musicianship is really spectacular, so if you’re not too worried about the band’s concept being ever-present, we definitely recommend that you blast some of these tracks whenever you need to get hyped up! They will definitely pump you full of energy and make you want to dance, regardless of whether you know the originals!

Review by the Tuonela journalist collective
Text by Bear Wiseman


  1. Gotta Catch ‘Em All (Pokemon)
  2. Flyers (Death Parade)
  3. Hacking to the Gate (Stein’s Gate)
  4. A Cruel Angel’s Thesis (Neon Genesis Evangelion)


Benji Connelly – keyboards
Roi Partanen – bass
Joose Ylianttila – guitars
Samuli Heiskanen – guitars
Jope Salminen – drums

Guest vocalists

Mikael Salo
Rub Lundgren


Rockshots Records