Artist: Frozen Soul
Album: Glacial Domination
Label: Century Media Records
Release Date: May 19th, 2023
Location: Fort Worth, Texas, United States
Do you like Bolt Thrower? Do you like excessive amounts of killer riffage? Do you enjoy catchy choruses that worm their way into your brain? if you answered yes to any or all of these questions then Frozen Soul‘s new full-length release Glacial Domination is the album for you.
The Texas extreme metal act have returned with yet another offering of stellar old school death metal that pays clear homage to UK death metal legends Bolt Thrower. You can feel these influences in their vocals, lyrics and riffs; however, this isn’t a straight up worship band, not by any means. The band bring their own unique flair and twist to this familiar sound, adding more groove and melody but without sacrificing aggression of heaviness. They also weave in some experimental synth based electronic elements, interludes and intros that give the album a unique flair. I also have to say that I appreciate the cameos that the band picked for the album, it shows some out of the box collaborative thinking, with the likes of John Gallagher, Reese Alavi, Matthew K. Heafy, Blake Ibanez, James Lollar, Eric Lauder and Josh Green all featuring on the release.
While I honestly appreciate every aspect of this album, for me it must be the guitar work that has me coming back time and time again for more listens. They find a perfect balance between catchiness in the form of underlying melody, heaviness, and aggression. The energy that they bring to the songs is infectious and I challenge any fan of death metal to not bang their head along with these tracks. I can only imagine the energy that they generate in a live setting, in fact, I’m 100% going to have to catch the band live when they next roll through San Diego. You’ll find some riffs that feel as if they’re straight from one of Bolt Thrower’s later albums, capturing their signature sound and delivery perfectly. However, that’s only a portion of what is on offer here, there’s actually a surprising amount of variety in the tempo, tone and arrangement of riffs and hooks. I just have to say, well done to Michael and Chris on this one, you guys killed it.
The other element that really stands out to me here are the vocals, they’re just so powerful and commanding and yet clearly understandable, simply put Chad Green is a beast. They’re definitely guttural in nature but have a somewhat barked delivery that adds in a gravelly tone and a raw bite. They’re also mixed perfectly with the other elements on the album, they don’t overshadow them, but they also aren’t drowned out at all. Lyrically they deliver songs about warfare, the cold, death, dark magic, and numerous other death metal fan favourites. A key difference between Frozen Soul and some of their contemporaries though is the extensiveness of their lyrics, they feature a LOT of lyrics per track for an extreme metal band, rather than as some acts prefer, short punchy versus and choruses.
The drums and bass are also worthy of praise, with the former being the key driver of the album’s energy after the guitars. Matt is fast paced, unrelenting and gives the album a real punch and some added character. Here again the mixing is fantastic, with the drums being very clearly audible, but not overpowering any other elements. The bass work is solid; however this is the one area that I would love to have the volume turned up slightly in the mix. That’s a personal preference for me though, I love my bass to shine right through the mix when it comes to death metal, so I’m not criticising Samantha’s performance at all.
As far as favourite tracks go, I would have to say that the two opening tracks Invisible Tormentor and Arsenal of War are my favourites, with the latter inching slightly ahead. Both songs are perfect specimens of modern death metal, but the chorus on Arsenal is just too damn good, honestly, I can’t stop listening to it. Best Served Cold is another song that I truly enjoyed and despite its short run time it packs a real punch. Extra points to Atomic Winter, Abominable and Frozen Soul too.
Overall, this is a fantastic album and a clear indicator that Frozen Soul are only just getting started. Despite the critical acclaim of their previous release, I feel as if Glacial Domination shows us a band that are finding their sound and refining their craft. The album shows growth and maturity while still maintaining exactly what fans loved about the band’s debut. If you’re a fan of death metal in any capacity, you would be an idiot not to listen to this album.
Listen to the album: