Interview with the band in question to follow shortly! Stay tuned, dear readers. -Ed.
Written by: The Voiceless Apparition
So here we are. Another year, another opportunity to spotlight up-and-coming bands. 2021 is going to be an extremely busy year for myself, and for all of the other villagers too, I presume. 2020 may have fucked everything up, but this year will be bringing A LOT of new music.
But we'll get to that another time. Today, I'm really happy to be able to review the debut album from Texas death metal heavyweights Frozen Soul. It's amazing how far they have come for literally only forming two years ago. They released their critically acclaimed debut demo Encased in Ice through the always stellar Maggot Stomp back in 2018. They toured the U.S. a few times in 2019, and while 2020 may have put a stop to their touring, they managed to sign to fucking Century Media Records! When I heard that they had signed with them I actually screamed. It makes me so happy to see the love and support that they have been receiving since they formed and that praise only continues to grow with the release of their debut album Crypt of Ice.
The first thing that needs to be said about the album is the atmosphere. As it say in their name, they're an ice-cold, IQ-dropping, thermostat-breaking death metal band. That is made evident by a song like "Wraith of Death" where brutal melody is front and center. Frigid, simplistic, and moody. This song just stomps you out through its 4 minute run time. "Crypt of Ice" leads the charge on the album with a nice atmospheric intro before fucking you in the face with a barrage of neanderthal riffs that do not let up. These riffs are dummy levels of simple and I just can't help but love it. There aren't many fast-paced sections on the album but a song like "Beat to Dust" is one of the few ass-beaters with some more thrashy drumming, all while keeping it fairly mid-paced with plenty of nasty grooves and breakdowns.
The last two songs I'm going to talk about on the album are "Encased in Ice" and "Arctic Stranglehold." The former was originally on the demo of the same title. It is known for being Frozen Soul's most well-known and beloved songs. The only complaint I have with the original version is related to the production, but that's something that was out of the band's hands. The album version finally has the production it deserves. The best part of the entire song has to be the breakdown after the soundbite in the middle. This is, without a doubt, one of the hardest riffs ever composed. It's so good, in fact, that every time I listen to the song I always rewind it because that riff is just so insanely cro-magnon and stupid, it's unfathomable to my brain how a riff can be so heavy. That doesn't take away from the rest of the song either, as the 4 minute and 53 second run-time is pure bliss. "Arctic Stranglehold" is another rager of a song. I absolutely adore the opening, it is melodic and catchy as hell. As evidenced by the rest of the songs on the album, the breakdown at the end of this song is pure filth. I love the fact that drummer Matt Dennard incorporates different drum patterns over the same riff. The ending section of the song lasts for over a minute and it doesn't feel like it at all. I actually wish it would have lasted longer.
Now onto the production. As alluded to previously, it is absolutely amazing. Everything is crystal clear: the drums pound hard, the guitars have big 'ol beefy balls to them, and Chad Green's vocals are layered with the right amount of reverb to them. I think they finally perfected the sound that they were looking for. The mix is ice-cold, really giving even more to the atmosphere of the album. Former guitarist Daniel Schmuck and Slade Williams are responsible for the production and engineering on this album, so everybody give them plenty of praise too, they deserve it as well.
It's crazy that we're only a few weeks into 2021 and we already have a contender for album of the year. Sure, you could argue that Frozen Soul aren't doing anything new or groundbreaking with this album, but I don't really care. Frozen Soul are already highly competent songwriters and know how to make a highly enjoyable slab of old-school worshipping death metal and I can't help but love them for that. Let's not forget that this is only beginning for them. I'm so insanely proud of all of the success they have seen thus far. On album #1, Frozen Soul have already climbed to god-like status, and they're only going to go up from there.
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!