Texas is certainly becoming a global hotspot for fresh, brutal and visceral new heavy metal. From the likes of Power Trip, Creeping Death and now to Frozen Soul I’m sure we will all be keeping our eyes peeled on the state of heavy from now on.
Fully forming in just 2018, Frozen Soul have had a rapturous rise to form; having released an underground shattering EP ‘Encased in Ice’ back in 2019 (which gained a few spots in critics’ “best of the year” lists) and getting signed to the legendary Century Media records from the success of that EP has now brought us ‘Crypt of Ice’. Expectations are certainly running high when your first full-length is on such a substantial label, but Frozen Soul show no signs of rookie behaviour and this release sounds like an addition to an already established back catalogue.
It’s clear Frozen Soul have set out to harness the power of the chilling cold in both music and image, their artwork for the album and related singles both horrify and mesmerise and even their logo looks like some kind of demon has etched it into a wall of ice. Aside from their artwork, Frozen Soul use a host of atmospheric effects sprinkled throughout the album that evokes a frozen chasm at which at the core of is the terrifying beast that is the sound of Frozen Soul. Taking it one step further, during ‘Encased in Ice’ (a re-recorded track of the EP version) we hear the sound of what appears to be someone being murdered, or at least viciously attacked, and whichever way it is, it both terrifies, intensifies and immerses you in the frozen hell they are constructing.
Hear ‘Encased in Ice’ below:
Diving into some of the tracks, we immediately identify with the seriously crushing guitar tones and guttural fundamentals that fans of old-school heroes Bolt Thrower will be overjoyed at – a great example is ‘Arctic Stranglehold’. After the ominous opening part to ‘Crypt of Ice’ we are immediately hit with furious drums, the lethal combo of bass and electric guitars and to top it off, the seemingly hollow, but also feral and vicious vocals provided by frontman Chad Green. Describing the vocals has been a rather difficult task, but I think this perfectly sums it up: if you were to give the “Wampa” from Star Wars (if you don’t know what that is, first of all why not? And secondly, picture a big evil yeti with goat-like horns!) a microphone and stole its dinner then this would be the result.
Rhythmic changes are littered throughout the record which keeps you on your toes and keeps the music from falling into a monotonous trap which death metal can be victim to on occasion. A great example of this is towards the end of ‘Encased in Ice’ and makes for an excellent finish to a truly excellent song. These changes in rhythm and dynamics are testament to Frozen Soul’s song-writing and their ability to keep you engaged at every moment. Occasionally bordering on death/doom metal, there are many slow and heavy chugs that instinctively makes you bang your head to the rhythm, however, the band can masterfully whip up a storm of riffing into circle-pit worthy passages which can be found excellently demonstrated on ‘Twist the Knife’.
Frozen Soul have delivered a mighty debut album featuring excellent death metal riffs, chilling vocals (see what I did there!) and exquisite song-writing. With this being only their first full outing with Century Media I’m sure we can expect exciting things to come in the future and I know I will be keeping a very close eye on what they have to offer next, but for now, I’m going to put ‘Crypt of Ice’ back on, see you all in the icy caverns!
(4.5 / 5)
Highlights: ‘Arctic Stranglehold’ – ‘Encased in Ice’ – ‘Twist the Knife’