'Those of the Cursed Light'
Although they originate from Madrid, Spain, Frozen Dawn have a distinctively Swedish black/death Metal sound reminiscent of Dissection and very much in the vein of Necrophobic.
'Those Of The Cursed Light' is the follow-up to their 2011 debut full length release 'The Old Prophecy Of Winterland' and my initial impression as one of jaw dropping amazement and delight.
'Those Of The Cursed Light' is a mesmerising release that draws together elements of classic and modern black Metal alongside death Metal influences creating powerful, sharp yet emotive melodies balanced perfectly with subtle atmospheric elements and the result is bone-chillingly good.
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The musicianship is superb, from the scathingly vitriolic vocals, very much in the vein of Necrophobic's Anders Strokirk, to the intensely active lead guitar work and excellent, forceful drumming; the resulting combination is wonderfully grim and memorable. Even the lyrics are superb; dark, terrifying and esoteric, which is why I am pleased that there is a high degree of clarity to the vocals.
The lyrical inspiration is again based on Winterland, a cruel and merciless place immersed in an eternal cold winter where the forces of nature fight each other and the supernatural meets the mystical.
I can't pick a favourite track as the whole release is just such a good listen right from the opening track, 'Banished, The Everlasting Confinement', which was released as a single and as a forerunner to this release, with its brief suspense filled opener; no time is wasted getting down to business, it's intense and exciting from the offset.
The intensity continues with 'Blackened March' which has an exciting later part solo to add to the rest of the superb guitar work.
'Those of the Cursed Light' has a superb, atmospheric and emotive guitar opener before the pace picks up; the guitar work across the track is an exciting mix of the intense and the emotive. 'Circles Of Frostbitten Ice' has well placed tempo and direction change maintaining the interest and excitement.
One of the longer tracks, passing the seven minute mark, 'Eternal Frost', is slower more deliberating and gives vocalist Grinder the opportunity to push his capabilities with some gut wrenching drawn out vocalisations. There is a slower tempo to 'Kalte Seele' and the bass is more prominent, adding a different slant on this closing track.
The stunning art work is somewhat reminiscent of Dissection's 'Storm Of Lights Bane' from a scenic, mood and colouration perspective.
The album was recorded, mixed and mastered at the Wintermoon Cult Studios (Madrid).
I know it's nothing new or original but 'Those Of The Cursed Light' is an utterly exciting and well crafted album and if you like bands such as Necrophobic, Watain, Dissection or Sacramentum you are going to seriously love this, of that I am convinced.