Interview conducted by: The Voiceless Apparition
2021 is about to get a whole lot more frozen. There are many new bands in the death metal genre garnering plenty of praise of praise, and rightfully so, but I can't think of another band recieving as much critical praise as Frozen Soul...also rightfully so! Death metal isn't typically known for its frosty and frozen atmosphere and lyrical themes, but that's what Frozen Soul are here to do. Last year these masters of the cold signed with Century Media Records, something I was ecstatic about. It's amazing to see a band get signed to a major label so quickly in their career, having only existed for two years now and only releasing one demo through the ever fantastic Maggot Stomp.
2021 is going to be the year for Frozen Soul to take over the underground extreme metal scene. I was extremely lucky to have been given the opportunity to interview guitarist Michael Munday. We talked signing with Century Media Records, how hardcore influences their songwriting, death metal, and much more. Enjoy!
Voiceless Apparition: First off: congratulations on signing with Century Media! How do you feel signing with them has affected the band?
Michael Munday: Thank you so much! Its definitely kicked us into the next gear! Getting to work with them is an honor, and we don’t want to disappoint, so it gives us that extra drive to make sure everything we do is as cold and badass as it can possibly be.
VA: After signing with one of the biggest labels in metal, do you feel like your DIY ethos remains intact?
MM: Definitely. Its so ingrained into our brains after doing things DIY for so long that it’ll never go away.
VA: I wanted to ask about your former label Maggot Stomp. How do you look back at your time with them?
MM: It was great getting to work with Scott because he’s a real ass dude, and that's very hard to come by in the world these days.
VA: Forgive me if this is a cliche question, but what are some of your favorite Maggot Stomp artists/albums?
MM: I’m a big fan of Mass Extinction by Gutless, Echoes of Terror by Disembowel, Forms of Unreasoning Fear by Mortal Wound, Piles of Festering Decomposition by 200 Stab Wounds, and Defleshed by Reptiles by Stabbed.
VA: Frozen Soul are a band that gets tagged with the term "caveman death metal." What are your thoughts on the term and do you identify with that phrase?
MM: Oh definitely, its still primitive as fuck caveman shit. The term itself has gotten a bit played out but we still think its funny. We have a sign on our jamroom door that says “CAUTION: CAVEMAN RIFFS AHEAD."
VA: Your debut album Crypt of Ice was released on January 8th. How do you feel the band have progressed since releasing your stellar and critically-acclaimed demo Encased in Ice back in 2019?
MM: We really put focus on having more hooks and catchy parts in the new material, but also having heavier setups and breakdowns. We just wanted to find new ways to build tension and then release that tension in these new songs.
VA: The production on Crypt of Ice is magnificent. It's a very cold, roomy, and reverb-drenched mix, giving the songs so much atmosphere. How important is production to you and how long did you scrutinize each detail?
MM: Thanks man! We’re very proud of how the sound turned out. The production is just as important as the music itself. We’re trying to establish an atmosphere and the way the mix sounds plays a huge role in that. If it’s overproduced its gonna sound like shit and wont properly capture the vibe we’re trying to create. We spent at least a good month or more going over a bunch of little details.
VA: What was the biggest challenge with writing and recording this album?
MM: The biggest challenge for writing was finding balance for everything else in our lives around it. I was working full time in a city 30 minutes away from where we live. The other members had school, relationships, and other real life bullshit on top of work and the band, so it was a real challenge trying to balance it all. Any free time we had was spent writing and it was honestly very draining at times. The virus actually started making its waves in the US when we were in the studio, and it wasn’t exactly a morale booster haha. Needless to say, the album still came out incredible. We’re very happy and proud of it!
VA: Frozen Soul are very much an old-school death metal band, with many people calling you "the Bolt Thrower of the U.S.". How do you manage to give respect to the classic bands, but all the while no coming off as a rip-off or clone? To me you're a very original band playing an already beloved style of music.
MM: We do our best to stay true to the roots. The bands from the late 80’s/early 90’s established some very awesome and unique styles/formulas to go off of. It’s about trying to find ways to do the same things differently, and that's where creativity really comes in.
VA: There's no denying that 2020 was a year of many struggles, unrest, and the global pandemic. How has this affected you as a band and as individuals?
MM: All of a sudden our lives were brought to a grinding halt. Going from working full time and touring/playing shows, to being quarantined and unemployed within a matter of days was hard to adjust to at first. It definitely impacted our mental health, but we’ve found new ways to move forward with the band and that has been a HUGE help.
VA: Now to switch gears again. I'd like to nerd out about death metal with you. When were you bitten by the death metal bug and what were your initial impressions?
MM: When I was 18/19 years old, i was really into thrash metal and had seen people online talking about Cannibal Corpse and Death. I checked out the first few albums from both bands and they sounded like a faster, heavier version of thrash (which is what I was on the search for) so I was hooked right away. It’s been quite the journey down the rabbit hole since then, haha.
VA: What are the most influential death metal bands to you?
MM: Bolt Thrower, Death, Cannibal Corpse, Obituary, Grave, Sentenced, and Mortician.
VA: The death metal scene is thriving right now. I feel like we're in a renaissance of sorts. What are your thoughts on the current scene and what do you think the future holds for death metal?
MM: The current scene is filled with so many badass and crushing bands, it's thriving! Death metal is getting bigger than ever and the bands that are carrying the torch right now are all hardworking, driven bands like Blood Incantation, Necrot, Gatecreeper, Skeletal Remains, Undeath, and Undergang with some awesome and unique visions that bring some great diversity to the table. And of course you’ve got the veterans like Cannibal Corpse, Asphyx, Suffocation, and Autopsy still releasing killer albums. I couldn’t be more stoked to see how it grows from here on out!
VA: So lets talk about the underground music scene in Texas. To me it seems like a REAL music scene. You have bands like yourselves, Creeping Death, Power Trip, Malignant Altar, and Oceans of Slumber, just to name a few. Would you agree that there's a sense of community and support for each other?
MM: Absolutely. It goes beyond music even. There’s just a certain camaraderie between Texans that we all just have with each other.
VA: Any upcoming Texas bands that you'd like to shout-out?
MM: Kombat, Fists of Fury, Steel Bearing Hand, Cleric, Skeleton, Wyrm Chasm, P.L.F., Cemetarian, Flesh Rot, Forbode, Executioner, and Mortuary Descent.
VA: You guys come from the hardcore scene, and it translates into Frozen Soul's music. You have some of the most ignorant, neanderthal riffs in all of death metal. Do you take your hardcore influences and incorporate them into your sound or do you feel you keep it fairly separate
MM: The hardcore influence is definitely there in the music, but it’s more in how the songs are structured vs the riffs themselves.
VA: And finally, what does the future hold for Frozen Soul?
MM: As of right now we’re currently writing for LP #2 and working on more video content in lieu of touring. Once touring comes back, we will be all over the world!!!
VA: Any last words to all of the wonderful supporters out there?
MM: Thank you to everyone for the amazing response to Crypt of Ice! We love y'all and we can’t wait to play these songs live for you!!!
Frozen Soul - Crypt of Ice was released Jan. 8th, 2021 from Century Media
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry.
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