No better way than to start the year than with some new Death Metal is what I say. I’ve quit coffee and don’t touch Red Bull, so I need something to kick start the day. It’s a particularly cold winter here in New England and every time I check Twitter there is a freshly developed shitshow going on so the more extreme music the merrier. Long story short, thank you Frozen Soul for kicking in the 2021 door with Crypt of Ice (Century Media).
And while we’re at it, let’s take a moment to appreciate Texas as Frozen Soul hails from Fort Worth and the Lone Star State has produced the likes of Creeping Death, Power Trip and Devourment among others. Something in the barbeque sauce I suppose that makes men turn to blast beats and speedy riffs. Frozen Soul certainly checks off those boxes on ‘Encased in Ice’ and ‘Merciless.’
But for the most part Crypt of Ice is the product of someone who had regular access to Bolt Thrower classics like War Master and The IVth Crusade. ‘Wraith of Death’ and ‘Twist the Knife’ are perfectly content to lock onto a mid-tempo pace with Matt Dennard driving the proceedings with steady double kicks while Michael Munday and Chris Bonner’s guitars chug and mow down anything in sight. Such is a steadfast dedication to crushing rhythm guitars that leads and solos are nowhere to be found on Crypt of Ice. I’m not dying on the hill that every metal band needs solos, but some intermittent lead work would’ve helped distinguish some of the tracks and added color to a very monochrome affair. ‘Artic Stranglehold’ and the title track like to tease a possible breakdown but Frozen Soul doesn’t jump into that pool with the gusto of a Suffocation or Skinless.
It may not be perfect, but Crypt of Ice will give that death metal jolt you may be looking for. Judging by this year’s rocky start we’re going to need as much heavy music as we can get.
6 / 10