Frozen Dawn [Spain]
Those of the Cursed Light
It has been three years since Spanish black metal band Frozen Dawn last dropped their debut album, and this year sees the band return with their latest release under Xtreem Music, Those of the Cursed Light. With their debut album gaining largely positive reviews, along with my curiosity of Spanish black metal (being already well-acquainted with death metal from the region with Dave Rotten and his various projects), it curious to see what their black metal scene have to offer. Furthermore, with the climate of Frozen Dawn‘s Madrid origins, it leaves one to wonder what their interpretation of winterland in their music would end up sounding like.
And the result is quite good actually, with the band displaying their intimate knowledge of the genre. With the furious trem-picking of guitarist Lord Morgoth and Grinder right from the start of the album, one is quickly thrown into the vast winter lands that bands such as Mayhem and Darkthrone have conjured in their classics like De Mysteriis and Transilvanian Hunger. The chilling vocals of Grinder also helps in bringing about the harshness that one would expect from such a gruelling soundscape and atmosphere that is created by the band. That slight pagan/folkish sound that the band includes at times on the album even brings about some comparison to bands like Taake, with the slight black and roll moments on Blackened March also bringing in some slight Satyricon sounds.
At the same time, the sound of Frozen Dawn also nods towards the melodic style of Swedish bands, especially Watain, Dissection and Necrophobic. For instance, the title track of the album could have easily fit into later Watain works with the epic soundscape that is created, especially in the measured drumming of Arjan, who prevents himself from being overly aggressive and spoiling the mood that the band has created.
But the band’s influences do not simply end there, as they attempt to include some respite amidst the hostility with the inclusion of milder moments, most evident on the slower tracks on the album such as Eternal Frost, where the lead guitars of Lord Morgoth bring in some warmth to balance off the coldness that the band has been summoning thus far.