There are many ailments that Black Metal bands on the rise may suffer from, be it terrible sound quality, repetitive and bland songs or just a plain lack of imagination when confronted with the damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t double edge of conforming to or breaking away from the well-tried Black Metal template.
When Spain’s FROZEN DAWN
released their debut album in 2011, “The Old Prophecy Of Winterland”
, they showed great promise in being able to handle this predicament in a most admirable way as they balanced the sounds of old and new Black Metal while, when appropriate, implementing Death Metal and melody into their music – all the while keeping the sound quality on an usually high level for a band in their position. Now, 3 years later, they’re back with “Those of the Cursed Light”
, and it’s no longer a promise, but a fact: FROZEN DAWN
is the ultimate Black Metal band to keep an eye out for in the coming years.
The album starts off with a slow and creepy intro, lasting only long enough to grab your attention before it turns into an all-out assault as the band gets blasting on every cylinder. Fans of old school Scandinavian Black Metal will immediately feel at home with the guitar-lead cold and haunting sound they’ve so excellently adopted from Black Metal legends like IMMORTAL
. But unlike so many other bands that simply try to mimic this sound, FROZEN DAWN
has genuinely managed to adopt it as their own, the mind comes to Sweden’s WATAIN
back on their first album, and they show that time and time again throughout the album as they drill one hauntingly vicious melody after another into our heads that are so well-conceived that could have been part of the mighty DISSECTION
’s masterpiece album “Storm of the Light’s Bane”
And just like these titans, FROZEN DAWN
displays several times over the course of “Those of the Cursed Light”
that rare ability to play a form of Black Metal that need not to rely (solely) on sheer brutality, but freely uses melody and even the occasional slowdown to enhance and diversify their music. This makes the entire album feel both coherent and alive, and it gives each song its own flavor, resulting in a kind of album that is enjoyable (I don’t think I’ve ever used that word in correlation with Black Metal before) to listen to form beginning to end, then on repeat a few times for good measure, and it gives it a sense of longevity as the changing melodies and tempos keep the interest high and makes every song memorable.
And though there is reason to note that the band never strays from their origins or tries to do something new with the sound, there really isn’t that much to complain about “Those of the Cursed Light”
; every song is worth its weight, the sound and it’s quality is excellent (especially considering the genre) and the entire album incorporates everything that you’d want from an old-school, pure-blooded Black Metal album. And as such it’s a grand success.