Frozen Dawn – Those of the Cursed Light (Xtreem Music)Sunday, 6th April 2014
Ever notice how many black metal albums have that dark blue color to them? Dissection’s Storm of the Light’s Bane, Emperor’s In the Nightside Eclipse, Sacramentum’s Far Away From the Sun, and Immortal’s At the Heart of Winter immediately spring to mind. Necessitating the feel of icy, cold black metal, that blue cover has been synonymous with some of the best in the genre. If it isn’t apparent from the cover, Frozen Dawn apes that particular style and plays it with the best of them.
Upon listening to Frozen Dawn, many of the afore-mentioned bands come to mind. Their icy mix of black/death metal feels right at home with what was coming out in the mid-‘90s with that distinct Swedish crunch and melodic edge (though the band actually hails from Spain). Not the sweet and sugary melodies mind you, but those triumphant crushing melodies that would even put a grin on the Dark Lord’s face. Even the production is fitting, with a cold clarity that even spotlights the bass once in a while (“Kalte Steele,” “Eternal Frost”). Black metal for one, is in need of more bass.
Though rooted in a familiar sound, the execution is commendable. The razor-sharp riffs of songs like “Under Thy Throne” are hard not to get excited about. The cold atmosphere and thundering melodies laced into the title track and “The Triumph of God Frost” will certainly take you back through a number of journeys with this album. Interestingly, the lyrics/music is somewhat conceptual, basing around “Winterland,” a land that is permanently immersed into winter, where forces of nature do battle.
Sure, you’ve heard it before but Those of the Cursed Light makes the case for if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. If you have a longing for more cold, melodic black metal “the way they used to make it” you’ll love Frozen Dawn.