posted on 3/2008 By:
There are seven bands named Frozen in the world. Many of them have pointy logos. This is one of them.
They're not an Obituary tribute band and they're not the totally f*cking ruling Frozen from Massachusetts. They are, the kicking some ass, sometimes, and taking a few names, "extreme progressive metal" band Frozen, by way of Montreal/Quebec. True that they are "extreme progressive metal", yet not extremely progressive, but extremely metal for sure, and actually more of an "extreme progressive death metal" band than just "extreme progressive", although the painted faces give the impression of "extreme black metal", to which there is hardly a trace. So, what does this EPDM minus BM group have to offer? Songs that we can call good, because they show within them a promise that could lead them to a darker future.
There was adoration from first spin. My first impression was as follows: "If Death, circa Leprosy-era lineup, stayed together, and Chuck didn't excel by leaps, bounds, and light years, then those guys now might sound something along the lines of this, therefore Frozen are obviously cold Canadian by way of sunny Florida". Case in point: "Of Deceit And Destiny", a killer intro riff that several seconds in spreads itself out over rapid-fire double-kicks and shotgun snares that flip the time signature just a bit and as a result make it a total fist-pumping hair-banger. The cheap thrills that follow embody all that is definitive Frozen: Some twists and turns structurally to hold true the "progressive" tag, the rhythm section tight with the guitars, some finger-tapping from the school of Schuldiner, and scathing vocal work that gives the whole scary face paint some leverage. By "cheap thrills", I mean that this crew is serving up something about as original as their own band name, and doing it mostly well. So on that note, another pillar by which to measure their above average mediocrity would be the instrumental track "Frozen Inhale". If anything, this can hold testament to keeping the audience listening for six and a half minutes while they wrestle with BPMs, guitar melodies, and ways to punch your face with more double-bass. Not crazy beatings-per-minute i.e. math-metal or anything, just good old reliable passages by which to thrash, with the necessary spaces between to rest your neck.
However, the not-mostly-well other 25% of this album sounds spent wrestling with a monster of an identity crisis, while at the same time not understanding the importance of tuning when recording an album, or keeping the actual physical sound consistent (bass or keys too quiet or too loud when they should have been evened out, etc.). Whether it be the god awful keyboard intro to "Unborn", that foreshadows the tuning slop to come, or the unintentional hilarity that ensues upon hearing the spooky spoken words at 4:29 into "The Dreams In The Witch House", these guys will have their hands full to overflowing when trying to avoid a sophomore slump if they can't shake some of their demons.
Chances are Frozen will thaw no time soon, so keep your mittens on deck for their second proper release.
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