Live Review: Frozen Soul w/Creeping Death, Forseen & Overthrow at Camden Underworld!

Slow Pain. Cold Death. The fourth show of a headlining European tour that sees Dallas Texas natives Frozen Soul appear in our capital city follows a pair of sold out ones in Holland and Belgium is finally upon us… and it feels long overdue. Their monumental rise has been nothing short of phenomenal, the clamour for the bands classic Death Metal sound, inspired by legends like Obituary and Bolt Thrower, confirming that the Metal hordes will march if they’re inspired. Renewing faith in a genre, their demo landed them a deal with Century Media and the quality of their first album “Crypt Of Ice” put them on the international map. All of that meant that they were  able to work with John Gallagher from Dying Fetus and Matthew K Heafy from Trivium on their sophomore album “Glacial Domination” and a sold out show at Camden Underworld on a Monday night in February confirms the demand.

The stage might not be the largest but when Camden’s own Overthrow [8/10] take to it there are two full drum kits present, one in front of the other, such is the requirement for skin basher Scott Lindsay’s needs and he puts it to use in impressive style. That does however mean that the bands movement is strictly limited, but bathed in blood red light the four piece sway like marionettes throughout the set, stopping only for swigs of water between cuts of ripping Death Metal from recent EP “Ascension Of The Entombed“. The five string bass is lethal during tonight’s home town throwdown, essentially used as another rhythm guitar but with enough technicality that you can hear leads on it. Bullet belts, sunglasses and blackened textures all make the set one far superior to what could have been in store, a syncopation issue between the guitars on one of the introductions the only miss-step. Closing the set with a cover of “Hammer Smashed Face” by Cannibal Corpse is a masterstroke (so good that Creeping Death frontman Reese Alavi mentions it during their later set), the deadpan humour of vocalist and guitarist Jay White promising “Wonderwall” before it setting it up nicely.

The second drum kit is removed from the stage as swiftly as possible, affording Helsinki Finland natives Forseen [7.5/10] more space which they put to good use during their frantic and frenetic set, loaded with cuts performed at breakneck speed. Falling somewhere between Punk and Metal with crossover Thrash leanings, their performance is controlled chaos with riffs, leads and solos flying in all directions, constantly threatening to descend into pure anarchy. Even their bassist (who looks about twelve years old) gets a solo to introduce a track and it’s a real hidden gem, so Old School Scandinavian in origin it’s like it’s 1982 all over again. A pick slide is lethally affective as is a song in “Death Injection” about watching your father slowly dying at the hand of the needle. Inception level madness is reached with the title track of the bands current album “Untamed Force” which is all about being… yes you guessed it.

Lone star state bludgeoning Death Metal entrepreneurs Creeping Death [9/10] are a mighty fine choice for this line up, having enough point of difference to separate them from the headliners stylistically without being too far away. Their riffs are gruesome and piss soaked in southern Groove, each track a muscular demonstration of power with the urgency of Metallic Hardcore and the swagger of Death Metal. As cuts like “Intestinal Wrap” blast forth, we spot a pair of members of Employed to Serve in the dimly lit venue, last summers album “Boundless Domain” rich pickings for the set list. What works incredibly well about their sound is the tempo shifts that break up some of their more monolithic abominations and tonight ends up being  nothing short of triumphant, leaving fans in a sweaty mess. Where there third album is now is the question because it was said to have been completed last summer in sessions with Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou (Nails, Old Man Gloom, Darkest Hour) at GodCity Studio in Salem Massachusetts but is yet to rear its ugly head…

It might be a Monday night but by the time headliners Frozen Soul [10/10] take to the stage the venue it feels like a home town show and the band are given a heroes welcome. From the very first note it’s all stage dives, high fives and bludgeoning mid tempo Death Metal groove with that fierce intensity that makes all the difference, the relentlessness of it part of its joy. The rumbling bass causes the ground to tremble beneath our feet, the jack hammer footwork from behind the kit registering as seismic activity and the riff abrasions are only broken for a heartfelt speech about Mental Health. “Invisible Tormentor” and “Arsenal Of War” are both lethal doses of American hatred as first the crowd bow down in worship and then circle pit around the venues iconic pillars. Each tune hits like a concrete slab to the skull and they love every second, Samantha Mobley’s crushing bass tone and Michael Munday’s sinister and menacing riffs the perfect hellscape for Chad Green’s tales of the dead, the dying and the damned. A cover of “Witches’ Coven” by Mortician brings the bloodstained curtain down on tonights set in the best possible way, Green showing us his back tattoo to confirm the effect they had upon him…

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