Review: “Of Snow And Blood” by Glacial Coffin

South Louisiana isn’t the place you’d usually associate with being the home of a band who play “Melodic Blackened Death Metal with a Nordic core” and are on a quest for “the legendary cursed  blade of a night tyrant”. But then again, why not? That’s the sound of Glacial Coffin who feature in their ranks members of The Axes of Evil, Megawitch, DeadCentered and Dry Socket, Vocalist Corey Butler, Guitarists John Leblanc and Ryan Grizzaffi alongside a rhythm section of Bassist  Benton Lovoi and Drummer Mike Poole.

The production and mix of “Of Snow And Blood” is excellent throughout and that strikes you like a thief in the night from the very start of “The Hunt Has Begun”. Heavy groove laiden rhythms are overlaid with Black Metal lead parts to create a beckoning call to arms while Butler’s vocals are amongst the heaviest out there without being Slam. How he manages to keep the lyrics audiable without blowing out his throat is an impressive art. “Hateforged” sees those vocals go deeper with driving Blackened Death Metal riffs and a slick solo that is as loose and free as you’d expect from it would it be on a live recording. Capturing that energy isn’t always as easy as you’d expect but with a wealth of experience, they did it to fine effect. “The Outer Reach” offers a Power Metal tinged riff with a storytelling lyric which Butler makes work with some impressive pitch changes in his voice rather than trapping his genitals in a vice for some cleans. The gutteral growls of “Endless Winter Surrounds Me” is as much about the Mental state as it is the inclement weather. Fortunately the riffs offer a lot more punch and their technical nature gives the likes of Sabaton something to think about.

Turning back to the Blackened Death Metal “Northern Threat” turns everything up to 10 with some seriously impressive kit work from Mike Poole that adrenalizes the whole track. Some beefed up Thrash riffs are well placed in the mix bridging some of the gaps between sections with prime tunings. Another slick and impressive solo comes across as a one taker while the “Bleigh!” closing is a master stroke. The surprise of some groove metal riffs in “Flames of the End” is a fine example of how to add change ups without going soft and gives the album something that will grab you over multiple listens. There is something like that on each track and that is worthy of note as it avoids a straight onslaught and gives the sound more texture. The blood curdling opening roar of “Ymir’s Creation” is enough break mirrors at 30 paces and Butler’s throat shredding savagery isn’t distinguishable in places but that doesn’t matter in the least because you’re headbanging so hard that you’d probably miss it if you haven’t knocked yourself out on the nearest inanimate object. Blackend Death Metal riffs are darker than the black hole which the music sucks your intro while another powerhouse kit performance and face melting solo is delivered with electrifying skill. If this closing cut doesn’t make the hair stand up on the back of your neck, then it’s time to hang up your boots [8/10]

Track listing

  1. The Hunt Has Begun
  2. Hateforged
  3. The Outer Reach
  4. Northern Threat
  5. Flames of the End
  6. Ymir’s Creation

“Of Snow And Blood” by Glacial Coffin is out now via Haulm Records and available over at bandcamp

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