2018 – present (4 years)
Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas, United States
- Samantha Mobley
Dallas Texas’ FROZEN SOUL lives up to their name as the sound of death metal at its most cold and classic. Riff after slow, grinding riff, there’s no mistaking the themes of isolation and suffering that permeate the quintet’s massive sonic missives. From the first note of their Century Media debut, Crypt of Ice, it's like the march of Game of Thrones’ Night King put to sound: nothing subtle about it at all. “The feeling I’m getting from playing in FROZEN SOUL is powerful in a way I wasn’t getting from other bands I’ve played in before", says frontman Chad Green. “The sound. The lyrics. Even the logo itself has a harshness to it that just feels powerful and cold. Add to that the depression of dealing with real life and the venomous people that can inhabit it and the vibe of the band just makes sense.”
FROZEN SOUL's brand of straightforward, in-your-face death metal is a gasp of fresh air in a genre that’s stretched the very limits of technicality. Fully formed in 2018, the quintet has rapidly made a name for itself and churned the underground with a sound that evokes the old school sound of bands like Obituary, Mortician and Bolt Thrower. That reverence for death metal’s roots was apparent from Frozen Soul’s initial four-song Encased In Ice demo (which includes a cover of Mortician’s “Witch’s Coven”) that was released in early 2019 on California's cave dwelling, knuckle dragging, Maggot Stomp Records.
Not that FROZEN SOUL’s journey has exactly been overnight. The band’s roots can be etched back to 2007 in Green’s time as drummer in Metallic Hardcore turned Death Metal band, End Times. With early influences including Trial, Ringworm and Integrity or Texas’ heroes, Iron Age",he recalls. “That led me back to my roots – which was, of course, bands like Metallica, and Slayer. From there I fell down the rabbit hole into bands like Grave, Bolt Thrower and Obituary. Eventually, I realized that even if I was playing hardcore, all we were doing was writing death and thrash riffs, anyways!” Blame it on the power of the blunt-force riff and a love for death metal’s past, but in part, blame it on being a band from Texas, a state whose metal roots run deep. From Pantera to Power Trip, sheer heaviness runs in FROZEN SOUL's home state’s musical bloodstream. “I think being from here gives any band some big shoes to fill", states Chad. “That’s why Texas has so many great metal, punk, and hardcore bands.”
A chance 2016 meeting with guitarist Michael Munday at a local comic book shop over a game of Magic: The Gathering laid the foundation for FROZEN SOUL. The two had an instant chemistry and shared love for the likes of games, music and well of course, Bolt Thrower, that became the primordial ooze from which FROZEN SOUL would eventually emerge: “It all started when we were trying to rekindle End Times, we were writing riffs that were a little too heavy for what End Times was going for", recalls Chad. “The first full song that we wrote for FROZEN SOUL was ‘Hand of Vengeance’, which came together quickly! It had a different sort of influence and pushed us to do something new which became FROZEN SOUL.” With End Times guitarist and Crypt of Ice producer/mixer Daniel Schmuck – who has also worked with the likes of Creeping Death and Power Trip – FROZEN SOUL came together quickly. Bassist, and Tattoo Artist Samantha Mobley, along with Drummer Brady Tripp would fill in the starting lineup and by early 2019, the band recorded their inaugural demo and played a near sold-out first show in March, opening a stacked bill topped by death metal contenders, Blood Incantation and Necrot. “We had quite a few people from our home town at the show that had no idea we were a local band, asking where we were touring from.” says Chad. The band circulated through members which led to the addition of Green's long time friend and Drummer Matt Dennard, together hit the road to the West Coast by the Summer. In October they followed the West Coast tour up a run through the Midwest with thrash crossover monsters, Plague Years. “Every show on both of our first two tours were great, which felt incredible, especially for a band with just one four-song demo!", the frontman admits. A steady diet of in between local gigs with the likes of Gatecreeper, Exhumed, Vader and Obituary, really got their name out there among the local Texas scene, but hitting the frozen roads of the east coast in January 2020 with Death Thrashers Steel Bearing Hand brought FROZEN SOUL's icy reign full circle solidifying their spot nationally. With every show, the band became a more oppressive wall of sound and snow-machine enhanced atmosphere. “The Frozen Steel tour in January was one of the best experiences in my life, and playing a packed show at Saint Vitus in Brooklyn was a huge accomplishment for us", remembers Chad. “It was one of those moments, playing a legendary club that you never imagined being able to play that makes you ask yourself, have we finally arrived, have we made it?!.”
In truth, FROZEN SOUL had arrived and both fans and the metal press had given them the stamp of approval. Just a few months after its release, the band’s singular demo-turned-EP was already winning them high praise in many year-end critics’ polls. Brooklyn Vegan pegged FROZEN SOUL for one of the most anticipated metal albums of 2020 and Invisible Orange’s writer Rhys Williams gave Encased In Ice the #4 spot in his Top 10 records of 2019.
In another surprise turn, the band received a call from Century Media and found themselves inking a worldwide deal with the label. “We were surprised ourselves at just how quickly this had all come together", Chad admits. “But honestly, we 100% never expected this.” With its line-up filled out by Steel Bearing Hand bassist, Chris Bonner playing second guitar, FROZEN SOUL entered the studio in early March 2020 to record its first full-length with former guitarist Daniel Schmuck handling production and mixing duties. While the shadow of the encroaching Covid-19 pandemic loomed over the recording, the band got focused and delivered. Crypt of Ice is nothing short of a breath of very fresh and very cold air on death metal’s fiery landscape. From re-recorded demo tracks including the call-to-arms of “Encased In Ice” and the savage frost blister of "Wraith of Death", to the brutal, pummeling and momentous guitar churn of "Arctic Stranglehold", FROZEN SOUL has delivered a record that embraces the genre’s past whilst pushing death metal forward with frigid force.
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