Frigid crushers Frozen Soul put death metal to the violent test on mashing ‘Glacial Domination’

It’s the middle of May, and the warm times are back. Don’t yell at me over that term. That’s what people are calling it. It’s not terribly hot here on the East Coast of the U.S., but it’s been warm and mostly comfortable. I cut the grass two goddamn times this week. The days of frigid temperature and ice (you know, the cold times) seem far in the rearview, but shockingly that’s not the case. Temps are dropping.

That’s because we have the second full-length record from Dallas death metal crushers Frozen Soul at hand, which makes me want to call for a warm sweater and a hot beverage. “Glacial Domination” is an 11-track, 42-minute successor to the band’s killer debut “Crypt of Ice,” and if you were worried about the band losing momentum or falling victim to their sudden success, stop worrying already. They knock it out of the park here as the band—vocalist Chad Green, guitarists Michael Munday and Chris Bonner, bassist Samantha Mobley, drummer Matt Dennard—sounds channeled and well oiled, lashing back with a record that’s heavier, meaner, and even more frigid, destroying everything in their path with death metal that’s catchy as it is brutal. This album should only serve to swell their followers in even larger numbers and help them jam ice daggers in death metal’s throne.

“Invisible Tormentor” begins with strange synth clouding before the pace begins to trudge, vicious howls from Green rampaging alongside the dust. “Cowards blood, it runs through your veins,” Green wails as the track sludges and bruises. “Arsenal of War” unloads battle sounds as barked vocals lace into muscle, jarring loose your teeth. The track then begins to clobber slowly, grinding into the earth, the guitars chugging, and Green calling to a fallen friend, “Righteous soul to which I owe, I’ll carry your light
through dark and snow.” “Death and Glory” tears open, turning salty in a hurry, smoldering as the guts begin to get mixed with a rusty spoon. A hammering breakdown peels back eyelids, the leads stagger, and some final blasts dump bone dust into a pile. “Morbid Effigy” dawns amid strange noises before the earth quakes, muddy stampeding twisting the roots. The playing takes its time leaving bruising, deep growls amplify the brutality, and the heavy blows rob you of breath. “Annihilation” is a moody interlude with icy, sci-fi keys enveloping in a fog, leaving the surface coated in frost. “Glacial Domination” enters with the guitars directing and the melodies increasing, turning thrashy in a hurry. “You will feel my hate,” Green wails as the soloing surges, blistering and turning bodies inside out.

Band anthem “Frozen Soul” opens in cold synth and grim howls, guitars drilling their way through the earth to its core. The riffs encircle as the playing gets slower and morbid, the guitars then cutting in and spiraling recklessly, hammering until the chaos ends abruptly. “Assimilator” delivers storming guitars, snarling growls, and a chorus that rampages thoroughly, it’s one-word strike surely something that will be impactful live. The soloing goes off as meaty trudging works toward the center point, smearing to a synthy conclusion. “Best Served Cold” is a massive and nasty one centered on revenge, hence the title, and the raw growls amplify and chew through rock. The playing takes its time removing guts, and everything ends in suffocation. “Abominable” enters amid monster screams and terrifying carnage, a battering chorus turning up the heat in an otherwise frigid assault. The soloing mangles before the tempo squeezes marrow from bones, blasting until the final blood drops hit the ground. Closer “Atomic Winter” begins in Armageddon, punishing as the remains of the carnage “coats the earth.” The playing is calculating and numbing, the chorus tearing flesh from bone, disappearing into a synth fog.

After the huge success of “Crypt of Ice,” there was pressure on Frozen Soul when it came to the follow-up, and they melt expectations with “Glacial Domination.” These 11 tracks are massive, devastating pieces of work that maintain the band’s trademark catchiness and continues to increase the heaviness that even goes above their debut. This band keeps moving with impressive and violent momentum, and things won’t end until the band achieves said domination over all of death metal.  

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