Reviewed: March, 2023
Released: 2023, Transcending Obscurity
While metal music may fly under the radar for quite a sizable portion of the population these days, the quality of metal remains resilient and undeniable, and this is due in large part to some of the absolutely fantastic metal record labels that have either grown or emerged anew in the past decade. Transcending Obscurity, a metal label based in India, are perhaps leading the pack as far as taste-making and consistency in quality are concerned. Their latest release, Frozen Dawn’s “The Decline of the Enlightened Gods” is just another victorious release, for both the label and for the band themselves.
It’s important to give context in this regard just to underscore how Frozen Dawn have crafted a progressive, modern black metal album while maintaining a sense of purity and reverence for the artists who laid the groundwork which they now build on. Midway standout tracks such as “Wanderer of Times” and “Oath of Forgotten Past” are pleasantly reminiscent of Dissection and Sacramentum, rapidly switching gears and shifting between punishing black riffs and doom-laden passages; however, the truly memorable and intensely interesting tracks sit firmly at the front of the record. Still firmly planted in the dark realm of black metal, Frozen Dawn flex their muscles a mere minute into the album with a speed and buzzsaw combination that would make Entombed proud.
And, if their influences weren’t apparent enough, the Necrophobic cover to close out the album is evidence not only of where their allegiance lies but evidence that they have the chops to match the intense, pummeling pace of their legendary peers. Though they may have more in common stylistically with labelmates like Zenith or Vorga, it’s difficult not to draw comparisons to acts like Omega Infinity who have similarly applied their own aesthetic to black metal in such a way that they seem elevated above their contemporaries.
Frozen Dawn have become synonymous with consistency, having put out three previous records of notable quality. With their fourth offering though, they have achieved something truly excellent. The Spaniards have arrived; expect to hear them still mentioned ten months from now, when they inevitably make a mark on the glorious end-of-year lists that litter the holidays. Highly recommended for black metal fans, death metal fans, dudes who wear Dissection backpatches, and those who are closely following Transcending Obscurity Records.
Arjan van der Wijst Drums
Dani Grinder Vocals, Guitar
Antonio Mansilla Bass, Guitars (acoustic), Guitar
1. Mystic Fires of Dark Allegiance
3. Black Reign Awaits
4. Frozen Kings
5. Wanderer of Times
6. Oath of Forgotten Past
7. Cosmic Black Chaos
8. The Decline of the Enlightened Gods
9. The Fall of Aeons 0
10. Blinded by Light, Enlightened by Darkness (Necrophobic cover)