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Frostbitten Kingdom - The Winter War Symphony Award winner

Frostbitten Kingdom
The Winter War Symphony
by Patrick Eden at 02 December 2014, 9:40 PM

November 30th 1939. Soviet troops invaded Finland and the Winter War began. The next three months, in one of the coldest Finnish winters on record, the Finnish army would defend numerically superior Soviet forces through the use of ‘motti’ tactics and impressive economy of force. Although having to eventually cede around 11% of their land to the Soviet Union, Finland had humiliated the Soviet military.

Right, history lesson over. The Winter War is still seen as a proud moment in the country’s history, so it is unsurprising that these Finns have decided to loosely base an album around it, or rather a novel set in the period. Concept albums are all well and good, but the concept alone doesn’t make it fly off the shelves, the music still has to be up to scratch. In FROSTBITTEN KINGDOM’s case, fortunately, the music is incredible. A heavy mixture of Black and Death Metal, complete with Symphonic overtones creates a really satisfying listening experience. These guys can play.

At only five songs it may seem a bit short, but it still comes in at over half an hour in total, and there really isn’t a weak spot to point out. There’s a fantastic mix of pummelling rhythm, Melodic Death style passages and Symphonic overtures, and perfectly complimented by Henri Kanervo’s impressive vocals. What’s more, every single song is superb; well written and well performed. “The Winter War Symphony” hmmm? Symphony is the appropriate word.

If I had to pick the best tracks, it would probably be the opening “Warfare And Wilderness” and the closing “Lucid Nightmares Of Barbaric Brutality” (incidentally also the two longest tracks on the album at ten minutes and eight minutes respectively), but in all honesty to single those two out would be doing a disservice to the rest of the record.

Quite simply FROSTBITTEN KINGDOM have crafted an absolute masterpiece, there’s no other way of putting it. The “The Winter War Symphony”, took no time to get into, from the first listen, I was hooked. Crafting a dark cold atmosphere to reflect the subject matter, the band keeps it going throughout the record, never losing track of their aim. It’s got me very excited, and to think that it’s their fourth full length release, what other gems could be lying away in their back catalogue?

All in all this album is perfect. Perhaps ironically, being able to listen to it has brightened my mood infinitely. I would even go so far as to say that this is the best record from the extreme end of the Metal spectrum that I have had the pleasure of listening to in 2014. It’s faultless, and the fact that it’s by a band with fewer than 300 likes on their Facebook page makes it all the more surprising and impressive.

5 Star Rating

1. Warfare And Wilderness
2. The Battlefront
3. Sentinels Of The Silent Tundra
4. Lost, Forgotten And Forlorn
5. Lucid Nightmares Of Barbaric Brutality
Henri Kanervo - Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards
Sami Vainio - Drums
Record Label: WormHoleDeath Productions


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