27 Oct 2014
Once the acoustic guitar intro to Frozen Realm's debut EP of the same name breaks into an orgy of flashy guitar melodies, there can be no doubt as to the nature of the Swedish band. Balls deep in the long-standing tradition of the Gothenburg sound, Frozen Realm break into full-fledged melodic death metal complete with everything the definition entails.
In that regard, the Swedish band's EP is a textbook example of the modern take on melodic death metal. And by that I mean that it has very little in common with actual death metal, save perhaps the growled vocals. The pompous drumming greatly accentuates the rest of the musical body, which consists of about fifty-fifty amounts of ill-composed melodies and mindless chugs.
The main problem with most melo-death bands is the lack of hooks. When you add substantial amounts of melody to your music it subtracts greatly from the heaviness and brutality, so you'd better make damn sure your melodies are catchy as fuck. As a result, the tracks on the Frozen Realm EP don't stand out from each other - There are plenty of melodies, though none of them are particularly catchy. The hookless compositions bring to mind a watered down In Flames, a less edge-seeking Dark Tranquility, or a less epic Wintersun.
What really sets bands such as Frozen Realm apart from the heroes they worship is their lack of flair for the flow and focus of the songwriting in itself. Where In Flames perfected the straight-to-the-point approach with groovy riffs satiated with the adding of melodies on top, Frozen Realm fool around with melodies at the helm, only relinquishing it's weak grip to allow equally uninspired chugs to take over. 4/10 guitars.
3. The Pawn
4. Abandoned by the Sun
Should you want to listen for yourself, you can do so by following the link below