Release DetailsLABEL N/A
RELEASED ON 8/19/2006
posted on 9/2006 By:
The beautiful state of Massachusetts has unleashed some favorable musical acts upon the ever so hungry metalhead in recent years. This trend continues with this sophomore effort brought to you by Boston’s very own Frozen, entitled Enemy Soil. The band members claim with strong assurance that with there being so many bands currently out there claiming this very same band name, they were the only ones using it when their harmonious expedition began in 1998. Alrighty then, so I’ll just simply forget the fact that I used to catch a local speed metal act in the mid-nineties that used this moniker as well. Regardless of what was what and who was who, after spending a great deal of time with this album over the last couple of weeks I’d have to bet there isn’t a Frozen presently out there, including the one I used to see perform roughly a decade ago, that matches the sheer brilliance this manifestation displays here in 2006.
This incarnation of Frozen is a very tight knit group of musicians that has seen its share of line up changes, yet it surprises me to no end that they haven’t attracted the attention of more metal fans up to this point in their eight year career. With a sound that has an obvious progressive influence that at times is very reminiscent of Dream Theater, one cannot simply stop there when trying to describe what the band sounds like. Squeeze in some black, death & thrash rudiments with a touch of jazz and classical elements and that pretty much covers the various territories this band eloquently slithers through. Don’t be confused though; the music doesn’t cover so much ground that it pummels you with pure chaos, in turn leading you to wonder what direction these lads are heading in. Quite the opposite actually, as Frozen does a dazzling job of blending all of these ingredients into one pure, salivating dish that will wet the mouths of prog freaks everywhere, and there’s no doubt they know exactly where they’re going with this.
The vocals are fantastic with a strong Doug Pinnick (King’s X) influence that are brought to grittier ground by invoking some moderately impressive deathish growls that by their own right add a hefty punch to the band’s sound as a whole. This double axe attack reeks of above-grade talent by melting complex thrash n’ speed structuring with some chunky, crawling riffs sprinkled with a few short-lived tech death moments. Although not quite up there with a Petrucci or a Satriani (but definitely on the way), the lead breaks hit you like an emotional breath of fresh air in a time when the guitar solo is almost frowned upon by the newer breed, or simply not played very well by those who do indeed give it a shot. The more notable Dream Theater influence comes by way of the keyboards with some impressive soloing that, while a bit on the noodly side, adds some great melody during the vocal breaks. They certainly don’t play a huge role for the most part and serve primarily as background atmosphere. The drumming is solid enough and isn’t so overbearing that it takes away from the music. The mix on the kit is perfect with the toms coming through clearly, the snare pop is tight and crisp, and the kick sounds alive with just enough low-end to cut through it all. Although I’m never one to complain about a band overproducing during the mixing and mastering process, there are no complaints here either as Enemy Soil spews forth an almost refreshingly clean and untainted sound. This coming from someone with ears that love what modern day technology can do to the metal sound these days.
If I was forced to complain about something here it would be that this album isn’t long enough. At a short 30 minutes it just seems like there should be a few more songs to be heard by the time the ride is over. Nevertheless, this is a damn fine album that is certain to see some ample playing time in my rotation even with all of the other stuff I’ll be sifting through in the weeks to come. I may be going out on a limb here, but if you know of someone who simply says they don’t like extreme music because of the harsh vocals, this may be the perfect album to help lead them over to the dark side.
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