Review Summary: Stay frosty!
Hello, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for choosing this review as your guide to fully enjoy every hidden pleasure of Crypt of Ice
. But first, let’s not deviate from the protocol and allow me a quick introduction. Frozen Soul are a five piece from Texas, practitioners of the noble art of death metal. A bone-chilling demo titled Encased in Ice
released on March last year through Californian label Maggot Stomp got them a good gig at metal giants Century Media, so preparations for a full length with winter in mind were set in motion, and now, here we have the band’s debut: the aforementioned Crypt of Ice
Now, before we begin, I’m going to ask you to strip off your clothes in preparation for the trip ahead. Don’t worry, you’re not coming back from this one. Next step involves your pet of choice. Grab the animal and... strap it to your back as good as you can. If you are not a proud owner of a little friend, just grab your warmest pillow. The next step is simple: Open up the fridge and empty it, yes, everything has to go, no prisoners, if you have a frozen pizza from yesterday leave it, because it may be the key item that keeps you alive for one more track. Once empty, in you go, into the fridge, and into Frozen Soul’s first full length. It’s time to jam this bad boy.
You may not be very comfortable, and your pet might be specially confused, but do not worry, because as soon as that Boss HM-2 guitar tone slaps you in the face everything will be alright. Absorb that first riff, as it slams you down, feel that double kick punching your guts, hear Chad Green’s wise, frosty growls as cold starts to settle in. The title track is just a quick taste of what’s to come. “Arctic Stranglehold” brings in frozen memories, this is cOLD SCHOOL after all (as per the artist). You recall those easier times, lying in bed, jamming Bolt Thrower, yes, and Obituary, those were good times. You start wondering what the hell are you doing inside the fridge, with the sole company of your headphones and your poor pet still strapped to your back (or your pillow, poor thing).
But doubts are windswept by the icy piano notes of “Hand of Vengeance”, you feel a d-beat coming and you start shaking, it’s not the cold, it is just pure, unaltered hype. The track doesn’t let up, leading into another single, “Wraith of Death”. By the time the slow, heavy chunks of this tune stomp your head, you feel a layer of ice building around your purple skin. Your pet, which has grown increasingly hungry and enraged because of the absurdity of the situation tries to bite your ear, but it has become a piece of scorched meat, so you muster enough courage to let the creature have its way. Your ear falls off like an ice cube, right into your pet’s mouth. The poor thing chews it in no time and collapses out of excitement. From here on, you’re alone, well, some of you will still have the pillow.
With a couple of oldies, “Merciless” and “Encased in Ice”, the album reaches its core. At this point you don’t feel the cold anymore, in fact, you want more, so you bolt out of the fridge and into the freezer. At this point your beard looks like the woods of Greenland, if your lucky to have one, otherwise your lips will be stuck together for the rest of the tour. You may hear someone getting stabbed to death during “Encased in Ice”, but don’t worry, it’s just your neighbor trying to get into the mood to jam the Staff’s AOTY list of last year starting from the top like a true warrior. You shall focus on the task at hand.
The last part of the album starts with “Beat to Dust”, a quick, sharp shiver blasting into “Twist the Knife”, again, don’t worry, it’s just your neighbor. You might feel at this point that you had enough of Frozen Soul’s glacial gushes of death metal, so you may feel the temptation to exit the freezer, but alas, you realize that what once was your apartment now it’s a frozen tundra, with winter gales blowing through the ruins of your room, as “Faceless Enemy” kicks in. Samantha Mobley’s crushing bass lines guide Matt Dennard’s pulverizing drums through the last passages of “Gravedigger”, with Munday and Bonner’s shredding riffs squeezing the last drops of life out of your lethargic body. At this point, only your eyes preserve some sort of autonomy. As you perceive darkness closing in, the album comes to an end, and all you can think about is that last slice of frozen pizza, sadly forgotten, a flavor you will never ever taste again.