Frozen Soul – Feel the ColdTuesday, 5th January 2021
Frigid death metal that cakes the soul in ice. A brutal description, but one that’s fitting for recent upstarts Frozen Soul. Taking the groovy and bludgeoning old school approach that emphasizes songwriting and memorability over being overtly flashy and technical, there’s much to appreciate for those who want a vintage death metal feel that isn’t entirely stuck in the past. Wrapping themselves around a concept of cold, Frozen Soul also take the extra step in making music that feels like part of a larger entity. We spoke with vocalist Chad Green to discuss the band’s history (and signing with Century Media), the cold concept, what he likes in his death metal, and the future from here.
Dead Rhetoric: Describe Crypt of Ice as your debut full-length. What’s your take away from it?
Chad Green: It’s definitely been a learning experience. It’s really just a combination of feelings and emotions, experiences, and just raw power all smashed together to show you how cold it can really be on this planet sometimes. That’s really how I would describe the album. It’s been a long process, even if it doesn’t seem like one. There’s been a lot of years in all the members of this band, and what we tried to do with our lives. This record is really a melting pot of that, and I think it shows when you listen to it.
Dead Rhetoric: You said you learned a lot from it. Was there anything that you felt you wanted to do differently or push farther next time?
Green: We learned how to write better as a band. In the early days, it was just me and Mike [Munday] that wrote everything. Towards the end of the writing process for the record, when we were finishing up the newer songs, we started bringing everyone else in, and we realized that we were like a real family and a real team. We realized that we could really utilize each other a lot more. Going forward, it will make things a lot easier.
We also learned a lot about the recording process. We have recorded with plenty of other bands before, but we really wanted to make this special. We know what we need to do next time as far as where we record, how we record, and things like that. Also, the aesthetic of the band. We learned how much that matters when you are trying to get yourself out there and pushing your band to get into the eyes and ears of people who have no idea who you are. We learned a little bit more about how to do that more efficiently and keep it going.
Dead Rhetoric: Could you discuss the lyrics of the album?
Green: To be completely honest, my lyrics are pretty open-ended. There is a loose concept that we go off of, but for the most part I try to keep them a little general. So you can take what you want from it. When I was a kid listening to music, I’m 34 now, and when I was young I didn’t have access to the internet or anything like that until later on. When I heard something on the radio or something, like Metallica or Pantera, I couldn’t fully understand what they were saying at the time. So my mind would concoct this vision of what they were saying, and it was based off of my life so far and my experiences. It made me feel powerful and badass. Oftentimes, I would find out what those songs were about or actually read the lyrics and totally not be happy with what I found out. My vision was better, for me in my life, than what the song was actually intended to be about.
So I tend to write lyrics so that they are more general so you can take what you will, but they generally have a lot to do with depression, and there are a lot of songs about experiences that Sam [Mobley], our bass player, has gone through in her life. As well as experiences that I and the rest of the band members have gone through about trauma we have felt and seeking vengeance for that. But yeah, I try to stay pretty open ended since some of those experiences aren’t really mine to go into the specifics about.
Dead Rhetoric: Discuss the influence of Bolt Thrower and Obituary on Frozen Soul.
Green: We love both of those bands [laughs]. It’s pretty evident in our music. We enjoy those bands a lot. They were definitely in our minds and we gained a lot of influence from those bands, especially Bolt Thrower. Also Mortician, and a few other bands like Sentenced. There’s something about Bolt Thrower that just resonated with me more than any other death metal band ever has. They did something that can never be replicated or just taken from them. That’s the style of old school death metal that we really love. We aim to play music that we love. If that is what we like, that’s what we are going to write. it keeps us happy and that vision alive, writing what we love. But those bands, man, they are amazing. I love both of them. I’ve seen Obituary so many times. I’ve only seen Bolt Thrower once, but it was enough to change my life.
Dead Rhetoric: Given the limited exposure of Frozen Soul so far, how did you sign to Century Media?
Green: Really, I think it was a combination of hard work and luck. We ended up putting our demo out through Maggot Stomp in March of 2019. Then we immediately started touring. We all played in bands before, and I knew that the only way we were going to get people to notice us and take things to the next level was to start touring. We went out with our other band, End Times, which was pretty much all the same members except a few, and we toured double duty every night. We did seven days up the west coast. That did really well for us. It took us to the next level. So our friends in Plague Years, who are on eOne, they hit us up and said they were doing a run with Skeletal Remains and they were going to pick up the tour home and asked us to hop on. That was really amazing! After that, we decided that we needed to keep it going.
Since we are a ‘cold’ band – our name and theme is cold, so what do we do? Let’s tour in January, which is the coldest time of the year. We toured the east coast, which was the worst idea possible because of all the snow storms and what can typically happen around that time. We went out with our friends and favorite bands out of the area, Steel Bearing Hand, and their bass player actually ended up joining our band – he plays our second guitar. He helped write the rest of the record with us. We had some crazy shows, including one at Saint Vitus, which had a lot of notoriety. The last show was a home town show. In New York, our guitar player at the time suggested to get a snow machine. I found one on Amazon for $300 so we ordered it and had it delivered in time for our last day of the tour.
So we had a snow machine that our friend was operating and when we started playing he just blasted the crowd with snow! It sparked this whole thing, because everyone was taking videos in the crowd and it was a sold out show because it was a pre-show to the Evil Beat, which is Power Trip’s festival. So there was a ton of people there, from all over the country, since they were going to the festival. It was wild, and we got a ton of people posting about us. It wasn’t long after that we actually got an email from Century Media and they were interested. It’s been fucking awesome [laughs]!
Dead Rhetoric: Cold is something that tends to be associated with black metal. How do you see it in death metal terms?
Green: Black metal and death metal – I’ve never really been super into black metal, although our bass player Sam is. I think those themes go hand in hand. Everyone feels pain, and everyone is a little cold sometimes. Whether it’s figuratively or you are actually cold, and I think it translates well into death metal. There’s a lot of brutality that bands try to do, like being gory and whatnot. But when it boils down to it, life is pretty brutal as it is.
We just felt that the theme fit, with what we were going for. That was what we were aiming to do in the beginning. We kind of feel into it because of the name and ran with it. But it fits well because everybody feels it. Everyone has those emotions. Just because you play in a heavy death metal band doesn’t mean that you aren’t fucking depressed and you aren’t dealing with life’s trials and tribulations. Sometimes just being cold reminds you of that. I think you could be in corpse paint and be about it, or be in a death metal band and be about it.
Dead Rhetoric: Could you talk about the logo itself – it’s more of a rarity outside the slam camps to get such an undecipherable logo.
Green: I actually drew the logo myself. We had our friend Jason Barnett, who drew Power Trip’s logo, do a logo for us when we started in 2016. It looked a lot like how Fuming Mouth’s logo looks now, which I think he drew too. But that was before they were a band. it was a little to cut and dry for us. It looked really slick. I went back and forth a bit with him, not in a bad way, but we couldn’t settle on what we wanted. So I just decided to draw what I wanted. Sometimes I have a lack of patience. I started trying to learn how to do art, so I didn’t have to rely on others to do it, and we still do, since I’m not a painter or anything. But we try to be as self-sufficient as possible. I wanted it to have that old school look.
One logo that really inspired ours was Sentenced. Their original logo that really inspired this one. It just has a look that feels hard and painful to me, but I could still read it. I wanted to do Old English style letters but not like Nails and stuff. Too many bands are doing that sort of thing. So I just started playing around. I have a ton of different drafts. It took me a month to figure out and be happy with it. But I’m happy with how it looks, I went until I thought it looked cool I guess [laughs].
Dead Rhetoric: What are your thoughts on how death metal needs to sound, for you to enjoy it?
Green: I don’t like, personally, the more super technical death metal. The technicality I like is in the details, like the transitions and set ups to riffs, and vocal patterns that flow well with the drums. That’s what I like. So I’m partial to stuff like Bolt Thrower and Obituary, or Mortician and Suffocation. Even stuff like Metallica, Pantera, Cancer, and Slayer. I typically like my death metal to sound more rhythmic and groovy. I’m a drummer, it’s what I’ve always been into. I’ve always been partial to the rhythm section. I feel like Bolt Thrower and Obituary lead the charge on rhythmic-based death metal.
Dead Rhetoric: Are there any hobbies people are into outside of the band?
Green: We all like playing games – we all play video games. Mike and I play Magic the Gathering. Sam plays Magic too, but just hasn’t in a while. Sam’s also a professional tattoo artist. I’ve played Warhammer, D&D. I’m a gamer, and Mike’s the same way. But it’s mostly music. Music is our main hobby. It was hobby turned lifestyle [laughs]. Everything else is on the side.
Dead Rhetoric: We are still amid the pandemic, are you concerned about releasing your first full-length in this time span?
Green: It’s always a lingering thought in the back of our minds. We don’t know what the future holds. They are talking about rolling out vaccines in the next few months. Who knows? We have been getting tour offers around the world until almost the end of 2022. But everything is up in the air, we aren’t sure. It’s definitely scary putting this much time and effort into that we would normally just be able to hit the road full steam on. Instead we are sitting back and waiting, and it’s definitely weighing on us. But I’m confident that we have enough content to outlast most of this stuff. If not, we’ll just make more. We will have a lot of music videos. We have a video for the majority of the record. So we will be popping videos out still after the record releases in January.
We are just going to keep it going. We have a lot of live stream stuff planned, that’s much more than a live stream – it’s with Devourment and Creeping Death. It turned out insanely awesome. We are wrapping that up right now. We are staying busy, staying positive, staying focused, and trying to stay healthy. We are trying to weather the storm together. It’s all up in the air, but it’s not going to change what we want. It’s not going to change who we are or how hard we have worked for this. We are going to keep going and make music and content – doing what we love, that’s the most important thing. The pandemic doesn’t change that really.
Dead Rhetoric: Do you have any future goals for Frozen Soul?
Green: We want to tour. We want to get into Europe. We want to grow and expand. We want to do this for the rest of our lives. This is what most of us in the band have worked our whole lives on. I’ve been trying to play music since I was 16. It just feels like everything has led up to this and we want to do it for as long as humanly possible. I think it’s a possibility, for almost any band nowadays, with the internet and resources people have at their disposal. It’s totally a reality, and not a fool’s dream. The goals will stay the same regardless of if the pandemic is over this year or five years from now. The goals stay the same so we are going to aim for the stars.