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Blue light. No heat. A glacial wall of denser-than-dense sound.
Dallas Texas’ Frozen Soul lives up to their name as the sound of death metal at its most cold and classic. Riff after slow, grinding riff, there’s no mistaking the themes of isolation and suffering that permeate the quintet’s massive sonic missives. From the first note of the Century Media debut, Crypt of Ice, it’s like the march of Game of Thrones’ Night King put to sound: nothing subtle about it at all.
Frozen Soul’s brand of straightforward, in-your-face death metal is a gasp of fresh air in a genre that’s stretched the very limits of technicality. Fully formed in 2018, the quintet has rapidly made a name for itself and churned the underground with a sound that evokes the old school sound of bands like Obituary, Mortician and Bolt Thrower. That reverence for death metal’s roots was apparent from Frozen Soul’s initial four-song Encased In Ice demo (which includes a cover of Mortician’s “Witch’s Coven”) that was released in early 2019 on California’s cave dwelling, knuckle dragging, Maggot Stomp Records.
Not that Frozen Soul’s journey has exactly been overnight. The band’s roots can be etched back to 2007 in Green’s time as drummer in Metallic Hardcore turned Death Metal band, End Times.
Blame it on the power of the blunt-force riff and a love for death metal’s past, but in part, blame it on being a band from Texas, a state whose metal roots run deep. From Pantera to Power Trip, sheer heaviness runs in Frozen Soul’s home state’s musical bloodstream.
A chance 2016 meeting with guitarist Michael Munday at a local comic book shop over a game of Magic: The Gathering laid the foundation for Frozen Soul. The two had an instant chemistry and shared love for the likes of games, music and well of course, Bolt Thrower, that became the primordial ooze from which Frozen Soul would eventually emerge.
With End Times guitarist and Crypt of Ice producer/mixer Daniel Schmuck – who has also worked with the likes of Creeping Death and Power Trip – Frozen Soul came together quickly. Bassist, and Tattoo Artist Samantha Mobley, along with Drummer Brady Tripp would fill in the starting lineup and by early 2019, the band recorded their inaugural demo and played a near sold-out first show in March, opening a stacked bill topped by death metal contenders, Blood Incantation and Necrot.
The band circulated through members which led to the addition of Green’s long time friend and Drummer Matt Dennard, together hit the road to the West Coast by the Summer. In October they followed the West Coast tour up a run through the Midwest with thrash crossover monsters, Plague Years. A steady diet of in between local gigs with the likes of Gatecreeper, Exhumed, Vader and Obituary, really got their name out there among the local Texas scene, but hitting the frozen roads of the east coast
in January 2020 with Death Thrashers Steel Bearing Hand brought their icy reign full circle solidifying their spot nationally. With every show, the band became a more oppressive wall of sound, a snow-machine enhanced atmosphere.
In truth, Frozen Soul had arrived and both fans and the metal press had given them the stamp of approval. Just a few months after its release, the band’s singular demo-turned-EP was already winning them high praise in many year-end critics’ polls. Brooklyn Vegan pegged Frozen Soul for one of the most anticipated metal albums of 2020 and Invisible Orange’s writer Rhys Williams gave Encased In Ice the #4 spot in his Top 10 records of 2019.
In another surprise turn, the band received a call from Century Media and found themselves inking a worldwide deal with the label.
With its line-up filled out by Steel Bearing Hand bassist, Chris Bonner playing second guitar, Frozen Soul entered the studio in early March 2020 to record its first full-length with former guitarist Daniel Schmuck handling production and mixing duties. While the shadow of the encroaching Covid-19 pandemic loomed over the recording, the band got focused and delivered. Crypt of Ice is nothing short of a breath of very fresh and very cold air on death metal’s fiery landscape. From re-recorded demo tracks including the frigid call-to-arms of “Encased In Ice” and the savage frost blister of Wraith of Death, to the brutal, pummeling and momentous guitar churn of Arctic Stranglehold, Frozen Soul have delivered a record that embraces the genre’s past whilst pushing death metal forward with frigid force.
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