Year of release: 2020
Released by: Filosofem Records
Rating: 6 / 10
The FROZEN WREATH project comes from Hungary, where our today's album was released through Filosofem Records, a label of WITCHER band mainman. It so happened that FROZEN WREATH is in many ways very similar to WITCHER, so it is not without reason that Roland Neubayer took on vocals here.
Like WITCHER, FROZEN WREATH plays atmospheric metal. Like WITCHER, in terms of lyrical aesthetics, it is strongly biased towards doom. The album is dedicated to the finality of human life, respectively entitled “Memento Mori”, and, judging by the note in the booklet, this is inspired by the death of someone close to the author of the music. The author's name is Szele Zoltan, he played and “played” on all instruments, including guitar, bass, synthesizer. Percussion, unfortunately, is programmed.
Compared to WITCHER, FROZEN WREATH's sound is not to say more aggressive, but more assertive. Synths are used less often, although still quite often, and about half of the tracklist is based on blast beats and fast guitar shredding. Considering the generally amateur level of sound quality, peformance and and the implementation of musical ideas, FROZEN WREATH could have been added to a cohort of mediocre atmospheric metal that we occasionally meet at YouTube. But some decisions give hope that the project is not hopeless, and that this is just a debut, from which the author will only move forward and upward. First, the album is quite diverse. There are no two songs that are identical in structure, which is not always found in the atmospheric genre. Secondly, in every song there is some kind of peak segment, sometimes having an unusual shape. For example, this is a quasi-folk interlude, or recitative in a clear voice. Lyrics and music are more moving hand in hand although sometimes these combinations give off bad taste, as, for example, on the sixth track. The main melodies, as usual, are primitive - scratch one string, then another, and so on. But all of them are pleasant to the ear and merge together successfully, no doubts about that. In addition, among the boring shredding, there is still good metal riff here and there, even if timid. If FROZEN WREATH will have a continuation, the author should focus on the development of such moments. Anyone can jerk off his guitar, but cutting iron requires hard work.
The design style of “Memento Mori” struck me as surprisingly CIS-ish, but the mystery was immediately resolved - the well-known Olga Kann from Belarus was engaged in it. Like everything on this album, the artwork and design are quite amateurish. If everything is clear with the watches and crosses on the cover, then why elk horns grew on the head of skull-faced Virgin Mary? This is beyond my understanding. The fonts for the text are not the most successful, but the booklet has all lyrics inside, and this is good. Even in two languages - Hungarian and English. Details on a video. To summarize, “Memento Mori” is a good debut and will appeal to unassuming fans of atmospheric mid-depth metal.But on the next album, if it comes out, it is imperative to improve literally everything.