What we have here is a supergroup that have got together this year and formed a band around the Manchester scene in time for Badgerfest 2, which will take place on October 13th. We have members from Impavidus, Footprints in the Custard, Prognosis and Godhand who have banged their heads together and came up with Frozen In Shadows. Very quickly they have defined their sound and already recorded a self-financed and self-titled EP which will be with us on September 3rd. So what do have here then…let’s find out.
Opening with the track “Harbringer”, it starts with a cool uplifting riff reminiscent of Night In Gales and At The Gates which certainly got this head moving. Production is crystal clear, all instruments can clearly be heard and this is nothing but melodic death metal fans dream of. Vocalist Russ certainly has a multitude of vocal styles ranging from the crisp and audible growls to the much deeper growls when the chorus kicks in. Drums from Chris are as professional as you would expect from a veteran of the local scene and keeps me happy with his double bass footwork. Intricate riffs and time changes from guitarists Kyle and Christian got this air guitarist playing every riff. There were cool leads in places throughout this song which gives the song so much room to breathe. Bassist Simon keeps Chris in check with his thunderous bass lines bringing together the band and making this opening track one to remember. Excellent way to start of this EP and I must admit, I sang along to the chorus a few times.
“Tides” starts off in a more thrash style vibe than the more death metal opener and this can be backed by the vocals being more coarse than guttural. This is not a bad thing at all; it shows the different influences the band have but also add their own creative influences and make this an equally enjoyable track. There is a cool constant riff throughout that once again got the air guitar out and playing along. Chris is like a Manchester version of Gene Hoglan where he batters his drums as if there is no tomorrow to the extent that I feeling sorry for his snare drum.
“Depths” begins with a darker In Flames vibe back when In Flames were good and another good technical riff from the guitarists. Cool mid-paced backing from the drums and bass being clearly heard along with vocals come in and are of the audible death variety which just matches the music perfectly. Cool intricate time changes and leads throughout this song that only enhances the strength of the EP and is one for the head bangers out there. “Ashen” slows things down a little with much lighter riffs than its predecessor which thankfully gives the listener a bit of a rest bite after that last song. Nice melodic riffs are the order of the day, not too distant from what you could hear on an Iron Maiden record at times mixed with At The Gates. Once again, the guitar leads stand out above the track and make this another pleasurable listen.
What Frozen in Shadows need to do now is finish off this EP in strong fashion and make me want to press the repeat button and listen to the whole EP again. We start off with a slow solo and my immediate thoughts were that Frozen In Shadows had gone all prog on us. Then, after fifteen seconds, all the other instruments thankfully come in and probably have the heaviest song on the whole of the EP. I think this track had the best vocal performance from Russ throughout this track and the riffs are much harsher than before. This is definitely my favourite track on the EP and certainly got this old head snapping his neck. This has everything from their own influences but has certainly mixed them up and added their own touch to create a belter of a song. And yes, it made me press repeat and listen to the whole EP again.
Frozen In Shadows are not a band who is trying to find their sound or identity. There is a clear sense of knowing what the listener wants to hear, be it the harsher moments and the listener being bombarded with dense riffs and thundering drums or the softer moments where the band are kind enough to give the listener a bit of respite. Frozen in Shadows know exactly what they are doing and for a band that have only been together a matter of months and already released an EP of great quality songs, I for one, will be keeping an eye on what they do.
Frozen In Shadows is released on the 3rd of September
Frozen In Shadows: facebook