Reviewed: January 2021
Released: 2021, Century Media
“Blame it on the power of the blunt-force riff and a love for death metal’s past, but in part, blame it on being a band from Texas, a state whose metal roots run deep.”
Chad Green namechecks both Pantera as Power Trip as having the sort of big shoes a band from Dallas needs to fill if they want to make an impact. He reflects on this being the reason Texas has “so many great metal, punk and hardcore bands” as he recounts his own journey through the scene and how his previous band, End Times (for whom he payed drums), morphed from a melodic hardcore sound towards something more influenced by Green’s death metal roots. “I fell down the rabbit hole into bands like Grave, Bolt Thrower and Obituary, writing riffs that were a little too heavy for what End Times was going for.”
And thus, Frozen Soul was born – A straightforward, in-your-face, death metal band from Dallas Texas, influenced by themes of isolation, suffering and as Green puts it, “the depression of dealing with real life and the venomous people that can inhabit it.”
Paying their dues on the gigging circuit while earning high praise for their debut demo/EP the band quickly caught the attention of Century Media who have supported the band to carry their music further by putting out Frozen Soul’s first full length album, Crypt Of Ice.
If you caught the references made by Green as he described the bands that inspired the riffs, then you will know what to expect. Frozen Soul eschew the highly technical approach employed by many modern death metal bands, and instead opt for an uncomplicated, old school grind that serves up nothing less than riff after riff of maximised brutality.
Personally, I’m a sucker for the more primal end of the death metal spectrum, so as soon as Crypt Of Ice kicks in with it’s distilled and visceral crunch, I’m pretty much sold. Maybe it’s a sign of the locked-down Covid times, but for me this album’s strength is it’s simple ability to transport me from the confines of my house to the sticky bustle and excitement of the mosh pit with not much more than a push of the play button.
Sticking to a mid-paced drive for most of the albums running time – Songs like Arctic Stranglehold and Wraith Of Death work well both despite and because of their lack of complexity. This is music with no assembly required. Just add volume and these songs are ready to GO! Variety is not prioritised, but can be found in moments of dynamic acceleration, such as on Merciless or on album highlight, Beat To Dust, which shifts through the gears, from a percussive hammer to a doom-tempo throw-down.
Elsewhere, Twist The Knife chugs on a neck snapping groove and Faceless Enemy brings the bands Bolt Thrower influences to the fore. It’s nothing you won’t feel familiar with but crucially Frozen Soul play everything with charisma and a self-assured integrity that sits on the right side of appealing.
I give this a solid recommendation. While offers nothing new, it does what it does very well and ticks all the boxes you need for a great 40 minutes of headbanging. I’ll be going back to it… a little louder each time.