Review: “Crypt of Ice” by Frozen Soul

Dallas, Texas Death Metal quintet Frozen Soul entered the studio in early March 2020 to record their debut record “Crypt of Ice” with their former guitarist Daniel Schmuck (Creeping Death, Power Trip) handling production and mixing duties. Having been active since 2018 their previous releases include a demo EP entitled “Encased In Ice” and a pair of singles, one of which appeared on a five way split called “Night Of Death II” but they are no strangers to the stage, each one being a seasoned musician with experience in multiple bands. Bassist and tattoo artist Samantha Mobley was in Vermiculated, guitarist Michael Munday spent time in Wildspeaker, Disencumbrance and Contusions as well as playing live with Creeping Death. He knew ex-Vulgar Display vocalist Chad Green from their time together in End Times in 2007 while drummer Matt Dennard featured in Humanerror and Schmuck’s replacement Chris Bonner has been in Steel Bearing Hand, Obstruction, Tolar, Unit 21 and Wild//Tribe

…The icy cold winds of the synths at the start of title track “Crypt Of Ice” serve to open up the floor with that sense of inevitability before some throat splitting banshee esq vocals from Green and classic Death Metal guitar work play out. If you can imagine Dani Filth from Cradle of Filth fronting Decide without the shriller vocal moments, you’d be pretty close to what Frozen Soul sound like. Dark swirling moods shroud the story telling ability of Green as he tells tales of frozen foreign lands with a touch of the Nordic about them in “Arctic Stranglehold” with churning guitars and pummeling rhythms. The work has clearly been done in putting the atmospherics into the material and bolstering a classic old school Death Metal sound to create songs that are distinctive while not stepping away too far from traditions as old as Father time. “Hand Of Vengeance” has hints of the influences of Bolt Thrower and Obituary while the fact that their “Encased In Ice” record has a cover of “Witch’s Coven” by Mortician makes perfect sense listening to the record as a whole…

…The savage frost blister of “Wraith of Death” and it’s follow up “Merciless” are harsh tales with cut throat lyrics, brutal roars and guttural growls from Green, the mid tempo chugs getting increasingly more nauseating as each one plays out like the howling icy winds of a desolate wasteland from which the come forth. Schmuck deserves credit for finding a fine middle ground in the mix that gives the Frozen Soul a modern edge to a classic sound and enables them to push their envelope without sounding caught in a nostalgic time warp. “Encased In Ice” sees moments of Black Metal permeate and infuse while someone getting stabbed to death with an ice pick mid song gives that novelty shock factor that one might not have expected but without the cheese of a Wednesday 13. This is the soundtrack to a bleak mid winter, not a hammer horror night…

…the bruising percussive battery of “Beat To Dust” could be the work of early Slayer and some seamless tempo shifts before an almost downtempo finale make it a stand out moment. It is easy to see why they have shared stages with the likes of Gatecreeper, Exhumed and Vader while the tale of murderous intent that is “Twist The Knife” has a fine menacing groove. Jackhammer footwork from Dennard lights up the mid tempo chugger that is “Faceless Enemy” before the final flourish that is “Gravedigger“, which sees them make the best use of eerie sounds to augment their Death Metal dirge. While there isn’t all that much unique about Frozen Soul, you can see the talent is there to grow from here, like this is a precursor to a monster and will get recognized as that in a few years time. Not that there is anything wrong with “Crypt Of Ice“, as a homage to the Death Metal genre with enough of its own weight, you can happily let it bludgeon you to death over and over again [7/10]

Track listing

  1. Crypt Of Ice
  2. Arctic Stranglehold
  3. Hand Of Vengeance
  4. Wraith Of Death
  5. Merciless
  6. Encased In Ice
  7. Beat To Dust
  8. Twist The Knife
  9. Faceless Enemy
  10. Gravedigger

Crypt of Ice” by Frozen Soul will be released on 8th January 2021 via Century Media

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