FROZEN DAWN – The Decline Of The Enlightened Gods

FROZEN DAWN – The Decline Of The Enlightened Gods



I have just finished a series on the Spanish metal scene and it seems right around the time one of the finest Spanish bands, the progressive blackened melodic death metal trio Frozen Dawn, consisting of Daniel “Dani” “Grinder” Álvarez (vocals, guitars), Antonio Mansilla Tolosa (bass) and Arjan Van Der Wijst (drums), released their 3rd full length “The Decline Of The Enlightened Gods”, a magnifiscent album on which they do so many things right that the flaws merely merit a 0.5 deduction from a perfect store, an album chockful of fantastic melodies and riffs and near perfect songwriting, equally catchy and brimming with primitive cavernous raw brutality.

My introduction to the band was the “Cold Souls”²⁰¹⁰ single which I remember spurred my interest for a season but neither the subsequent “The Old Prophecy Of Winterland”²⁰¹¹ nor “Those Of The Cursed Light”²⁰¹⁴ registered on my radar likely because of the sheer volume of releases to consider at the time, but when I spotted the new album promo on one of my favorite labels on haulix, Transcending Obscurity Records, and having read the encouraging description, I downloaded it for review which turned out to be one of the best decisions in recent history. Right off the bat, treated to an intro which wisely is part of the opening “Mystic Fires of Dark Allegiance” rather than a standalone feature, the band’s seemingly effortless knack for insanely catchy yet undeniably aggressive melodiscism reminiscent of such works as Emperor’s “Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk” (a constant influence) or Dissection’s first two albums, is already at full display. It could have been the album’s highlight but Frozen Dawn has much more to prove with the subsequent neoclassical soon to be classic “Spellbound” which recalls somewhat Dark Tranquillity’s “The Science Of Noise” howbeit in a much more brutal package. The melodies and riffs flow in two back to back throughly delicious cuts “Black Reign Awaits” and “Frozen Kings”, that latter one more of a traditional metal anthem than black or death affair, but it is the favorite “Oath Of Forgotten Past” with its complex yet incredibly catchy chorus which forces me to declare these guys the new masters of both melodic death and black metal which the next two more progressive creations only serve to reinforce while liberally drawing from the likes of latter Death or Harakiri For The Sky. This is what modern yet classic extreme metal should sound like, this is why we love hearing this stuff and recommending it for others to hear!

Three things comprise the aforementioned 0.5 point deduction, the somewhat “easy” 90s Megadethly “Wanderer Of Times” with the chorus bringing Slayer’s “Payback” to mind despite its more melodic constitution and the lack of the needless profanity, the acoustic instrumental “The Fall Of Aeons”, and, finally, the fact that the instrumental follows the already conclusive title track as if anything else had to have been added. And then we have the cover of Necrophobic’s “Blinded By Light, Enlightened By Darkness”, splendidly and faithfully done yet bringing nothing new to the table, although, in this case, I do understand how it denotes the very point of the album which seems to be dealing with the issue so dear to many metalheads, being betrayed by those who claim to represent the light and being found and understood by those labeled as their polar opposite who have more compassion and love than those who claim to be love’s very embodiment. Whether or not I got that right, I maintain that “The Decline Of The Enlightened Gods”, while fantastic and highly recommended near masterpiece regardless, would have been better served as an 8 track album with the title track sufficiently providing the closure.

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