Release DetailsLABEL Holy Records
RELEASED ON 3/8/2004
posted on 4/2004 By:
Frozen Shadows. Yep, Frozen fucking Shadows. As cliche and utterly lame it is to make fun of Canadians, how can we not when bands by the name Frozen Shadows are making albums? It's unbelievable - what did they think would happen? Reviewers would just continually ignore their fucking asinine name and focus on the music? Well, they're right - because unfortunately, that's what I'm here to do.
Hailing from Quebec, with such a grim, icy, and truly necro name, I don't suppose Frozen Shadows could play anything BUT black metal. And oh, what grim, icy, and necro black metal it truly is. Before writing this review, I took the time to read an interview with...uh...Myrkhaal.
"I view my lyrics as Satanic Poetry, dark reflections of my soul."
It was upon viewing this statement, I stopped taking anything about this band seriously. Reading the entire interview, I decided that yes, Myrkhaal is actually very bright, however, I can't fucking believe people can say shit like that with a straight face. But, as I said before, I'm not here to review the band's name OR their amazing statements.
So how do they fare, exactly? Well, surprisingly, really well. Predictably, the vocals are low in the mix and sound like someone vomiting bees. The guitarwork basically consists of full minor chords being played at incredibly fast speeds, occasionally slowing down to insert slightly catchy riffs that are sometimes atonal, ringing, and even bending. It's creative shit while remaining easy to grasp and inoffensive. As I read in the interview, apparently they hate "experimental" black metal bands, but speaking strictly in terms of black metal, and only in terms of black metal, I'd almost call Frozen Shadows experimental. They obviously take their music as seriously as their beliefs, which I have no choice but to respect.
With enough melody to work with, Frozen Shadows have sculpted their songs to be incredibly aggressive but really catchy and memorable. I hate to even bring it up, but with the amount of tempo variation and straight-forward riffing, Hantises is almost what I really wanted Khold's Morke Gravers Kammer to sound like. Dissonant and mid tempo at times, and then frenzied and melodic, it's a bit unorthodox. But, unlike Khold, Frozen Shadows actually time these comparatively mellow parts well in contrast to their rabid assaults, instead of making you feel like it's fucking work to hear their album. It's a diverse listen, but you'll never forget you're listening to some intense and shredding black metal. Well, except at one part in the middle of "À l’Ombre Du Mal", where you might feel like you're listening to The Best Of Wendy Carlos due to the lame keyboards. And yes, as retarded as these keyboards are, they effectively prelude a truly fucking mindblowing part of the song, so I guess I shouldn't even be complaining about them.
Obviously influenced by bands like Immortal and older Emperor, Hantises somehow reminds me of a less-bizarre Satyricon. It could just be the production, though. As this is a band playing "true" black metal, the production isn't perfect. Black metal doesn't want perfect production, let alone does it need it. I personally have no complaints with this ideology so long as you can actually hear what the fuck the band is playing. Thankfully enough, there's a fine balance of things being intentionally under-produced at the right time, but nothing's ever actually over-produced. Admittedly, the drum sound is lacking. The cymbals sound like someone's hitting them with egg beaters, and it's obvious they're aiming for that really strong booming quality - it's just not working out though. Regardless, it's nothing that makes the music completely insufferable, and unless you're reviewing the album, you probably won't care anyway.
I'm not going to lie here, I don't want to like this album as much as I do. There's just something innately catchy about it. I've actually found myself craving to hear certain parts of this album. Frozen Shadows, despite their horrible taste in...well, everything else, have a quality musical ear somewhere within the band. My only hope is that if any members of Frozen Shadows should happen to read this, they recognize that I gave them a positive review and don't use their grim sex-magick on me for making fun of them.
Register to post comments.