For most people, if Texas is brought up in conversation, the first thing they think of is hot weather, great BBQ & the desert, right? Well, not for me. Now, when hearing of Texas, it conjures images of arctic tundras & ice caverns. This is all Frozen Souls fault & that is in no way a bad thing!
Since finding Frozen Soul’s first demo “Encased In Ice” in March of 2019, I have been so eager to see what the band will do for a full-length release, and I can happily say this is the best death metal album in the past 5+ years.
Coming out swinging with a big statement as that can be a ballsy move, but I can honestly say what Frozen Soul has been able to do with “Crypt Of Ice” is write songs that are so catchy, heavy & impactful, they will be some of the best songs to hear live imaginable.
Texas is the capital of some of the best death metal & metal bands of recent years like Creeping Death, I AM, Power Trip, Devourment & Mammoth Grinder & I’m proud to say Frozen Soul are top-ranking right now with the release of this album.
From the first track “Crypt Of Ice” to the last “Gravedigger” this album is bangers front to back.
Frozen Soul has been able to merge everything you love about death metal & heavy music into a tight, relentless powerhouse of a record.
Chad Green (Vocals), Michael Munday (Guitar), Samantha Mobley (Bass), Matt Dennard (Drums) & Chris Bonner (Guitar) all deserve the biggest round of applause for being able to make an album that won’t leave your CD player / Turntable for a long time. It has been in my ears for a solid 2 months!
Now, why is “Crypt Of Ice” one of the best albums in the past few years I hear you say?
Well what Frozen Soul does so brilliantly with writing music, is they know one of the hidden gems of how to write brutal music… when NOT to play. Frozen Soul knows when to give the songs a brief pause, silence or a few seconds for the track to breathe & reintroduce a riff, a breakdown, whatever it might be. And this packs a punch. I cannot understate the number of times I’ve been at the gym or in my living room moshing by myself to this album.
Not only are the riffs in this album some of the most inventive I’ve heard in recent years, but the band are able to play so well together. Every track has the moment you wait for. The Oh Shit! moment that makes the tracks that good.
Songs like “Arctic Stranglehold,” “Wraith Of Death” & “Twist The Knife” now are contenders for the best breakdowns. A metal fan? & hardcore fan? This will make you want to move your body and headbang your face into a wall ha!
Being able to meld influences from the likes of Boltthrower, Cannibal Corpse, Obituary without sounding like a carbon copy wearing influences on their sleeve show that Frozen Soul is able to stand on their own & pave the way for the new breed of old school revival death metal.
Where some may fall short, the band are able to craft songs that tick every box you like.
Fast sludgy riffs, TICK, catchy punishing break downs, TICK, some of the most inventive uses of double kick pedal, Massive TICK!
Songs like “Twist The Knife” are able to give each band member their time to shine & shows how great each member is to the whole. Samantha Mobley’s solo bass intro & bass breaks in this track sound ungodly. One of the heaviest bass tones I’ve heard since the likes of Jo Bench (Boltthrower) & Terry Butler (Obituary).
Also one thing Frozen Soul has unlike others & which is a rare feat is a vocalist who is able to sing lyrics with the perfect pronunciations of words.
Hearing Chad bellowing “Arctic Stranglehold” as their breakdown kicks in, or the hook lyrics in “Wraith Of Death”. “Can you feel it consume? Can you feel the cold entomb? Can you peel away the pain, As you slowly drift insane?”
Being able to hear clearly what Chad is singing about but still being able to have one of the most guttural, deep vocal ranges is a rare thing. It makes his vocals even more special, especially when I found out Frozen Soul was the first time he had ever been a vocalist.
Some vocalists have to work over a long time & period of years to be able to reach the quality of vocals Chad has been able to capture on “Crypt Of Ice”.
Where the bands first demo “Encased In Case” was a regular listen for me, I had always wanted to see what the band would sound like with a better recording & production budget.
Daniel Schmuck (an ex-member of the band as well) was able to get the best from Frozen Soul.
The sound of this album is ferocious, cavernous & unrelenting. Everything is mixed perfectly & each member gets their moment in the spotlight.
As a whole, this album is a relentless force. Where most bands start to fall a little flat at the end of the album, the tracks on the latter half are some of my favourite tracks the band have written.
The last three tracks, “Twist The Knife”, “Faceless Enemy” & “Gravedigger” are for me the best songs the band have written. Where I didn’t think it would be possible as all the tracks before have been so catchy & memorable, these tracks are some of the best songs for headbanging & the most mosh worthy tracks you will hear all this year, I can bet you that.
In the end, Frozen Soul have not only been able to write one of the most brutal & cohesive albums of the past years, but they have also been able to cement themselves as one of the new leading bands in the death metal scene.
“Crypt Of Ice” is released Via Century Media Records 08/01/2021