It’s chilling… in a good way
After the collective beating people all took in 2020, the only thing that could possibly make 2021 something at all tolerable is some necessary peace and quiet. For some, though, that peace comes by way of taking aural beatings, with the only enjoyable quiet existing in the few seconds between song transitions. That seems to be something Frozen Soul, who, despite being from the heat center of Texas, understand with quite a cold execution. It seems appropriate to consider them a concept band—at least, for the moment. Other than the obviousness of their name, both their demo EP Encased in Ice and their debut full length Crypt of Ice are riddled with tracks involving (you guessed it) ice, or some type of brutally icy mortality. Even with such glacial themes, Frozen Soul’s first full-length is filled with a heated energy that instrumentally releases all of our anger and aggression.
One of this record’s best qualities is its chugging factor. Around the one minute mark of the opening title track, people are greeted by a grimy, face grimacing riff that only adds to people’s laundry list of reasons to miss going to shows. Frozen Soul make frequent use of these, as “Merciless” does the same with ease. There’s something about these songs that bury deep the caverns of one’s soul—on “Hands of Vengeance,” it’s the rich and burly vocal tones, while on “Beat to Dust,” it’s bouts of thrash interspersed in blast beats and stomp worthy aggression. (It should also be noted that the last 30 seconds of the song are some of the best last 30 seconds of a song in a while).
There are times when the seemingly unrelenting nature of the album’s riffs could get stale for some, as they’re done so cohesively throughout the tracks they feel almost as though they’re being recycled. Still, there isn’t really moment on the album where these riffs or any other instrumental mechanism sounds bad, so even if they’re a bit repetitive, at least they’re repeating more glory than tragedy.
For a debut full-length, Crypt of Ice puts Frozen Soul in the same death metal basket as their contemporaries (Xibalba is commonly thrown around) as well as some of their influences—particularly, Bolt Thrower. It’s a well-packaged official debut, building a foundation that Frozen Soul will be able to build well off of.