A chilling wind pours through land once again. “We tried to do something that touches on the classics of old school death metal while trying to progress in our abilities. We wanted to write songs that are fun and catchy but still give you the kick you need to get moving.” says FROZEN SOUL vocalist Chad Green on the Texas titans’ sophomore album, Glacial Domination. “I think we created a record that will do that while standing the test of time.”
Glacial Domination is the sound of a new ice age born from the underground metal scene. It’s a cold breath of mammoth riffage, flesh-peeking guitars and bone chilling vocalizations that push with glacial force beyond the genre-defining standard of FROZEN SOUL’s 2021 landmark album, Crypt of Ice. While the Dallas born band may have only played their first gig in 2019, in a short amount of time, their fierce and theatrical take on old school death metal has won them worldwide fans, friends, and opening slots for personal heroes including Dying Fetus, Obituary and Napalm Death.
No one is more surprised than the band themselves. “We’ve been lucky enough to accomplish more in just a couple years than a lot of bands get to do in a decade. We’ve put in a ton of hard work and it’s crazy to think about how far this has come!” says Chad. “We’ve toured with some of our favorite bands, played some incredible shows, and met some incredible people.” One of those luminaries being Trivium mainman Matt Heafy, who the band became friends with, and who then became a natural choice to co-produce Glacial Domination.
“At first, we wanted to make a FROZEN SOUL record, something like Crypt of Ice.” says Chad. “What we got wasn’t what we expected but, in the end, it was exactly what we wanted.” From the unexpected opening thrash-blast of “Invisible Tormentor” to the lumbering chug of “Morbid Effigy” (which features Dying Fetus’ John Gallagher) all the way through the icepick-like hooks of “Abominable”, this is FROZEN SOUL on another tundra. “Having Matt Heafy in our corner was incredibly fun and an amazing experience.” the frontman explains. “Matt brought a perspective that was really refreshing, for us to push ourselves and trust our instincts. Also, to focus on the positives and have fun. That helped us push through the boundaries we’ve set for ourselves to create something we feel is truly special.”
The making of Glacial Domination was far from easy for the band. While FROZEN SOUL began compiling riffs and song ideas, Green was faced with an almost insurmountable and tragic challenge: the death of his younger brother, Cory. A loss felt throughout the whole band that was molded into the pummeling and anthemic powerhouse of a record that is Glacial Domination. Two of the songs that showcase that manifested rage are, “Arsenal of War” and “Death and Glory”. Both
feature guest vocals by Green’s younger brother Josh, while “Arsenal of War” features additional guest vocals by Texas’ own Reese Avali from Dallas death metal brethren Creeping Death as well as Power Trip / Fugitive axeman Blake Ibanez adding his trademark divebombs. “Writing this record helped me cope with loss, especially writing lyrics with my brother Josh.” says Chad. “There were times while making this record where I didn’t think I was going to be able to get through it. Luckily, I had my band and family to have my back, I got to a point of revelation where I realized that I needed to pick myself up and manifest this pain into a weapon and do something positive”. That is exactly what FROZEN SOUL’s “Arsenal of War” is, a storm of arrows to carry a conquering light into the darkness. “I hardly had any lyrics before my brother’s passing, then it turned around, all the pain started pouring out of me, my brother’s spirit is all over this record.
Glacial Domination is a breakthrough and turning point for the Dallas-based 5- piece (rounded out by guitarists Michael Munday and Chris Bonner, bassist Samantha Mobley and drummer Matt Dennard) who have constructed a death metal masterstroke in the spirit of genre-accelerating classics including Carcass’ Heartwork or Entombed’s Wolverine Blues. “There’s more range to my voice,” says Chad. “We added more in the ways of solos and harmonies, harder hitting choruses. Sam even played a theremin on the record! We took time to think everything through. Even though. It’s hard for me to say, I think we made something that is going to make a difference in the world of heavy music and metal.” The band also credits Crypt of Ice producer and mixer Daniel Schmuck, who returned for Glacial Domination, to help them attain new pinnacles of their self-described “Cold-School Death Metal” mastery. “Having Daniel involved was essential,” says Green. “He knows us better than anyone. He played in FROZEN SOUL early on, he’s one of my best friends and we couldn’t have done this without him, his input helped make these songs what they are.”
Even though their home state of Texas is better known for heat waves than wintry winds, there’s no mistaking FROZEN SOUL’s fixation, lyrically and otherwise, on all things arctic. Tracks like “Best Served Cold ” speak to the band’s chilly zeitgeist. There’s no question that the album’s title track is an anthem to death’s cold embrace. “It is the most adventurous song that we have ever written,” says Chad. “’Glacial Domination’ was a song that we co-wrote with Heafy. It was a scary song for us to write. It shows a lot of growth in a direction that was foreign to where FROZEN SOUL started out but ended up being one that was pretty natural and one of the catchiest songs we have ever written” The back-to-back wallop of “Frozen Soul” and “Assimilator” elaborates on the band’s bone-chilling vision, seen through John Carpenter’s sci-fi/horror classic, The Thing. “That’s one of my all time favorite movies – and it works on so many unforgiving levels.” says Chad. “Aside from being about this alien organism that won’t die, and absorbs other beings into itself, there’s so much stuff that that movie touches on. It touches on depression and paranoia – stuff that we have always touched upon. Not knowing
who you can trust and who your friends and family really are.”
The album’s final track, “Nuclear Winter” draws inspiration from the proverbial King of All Monsters, Godzilla. “Musically, that song is a slobber-knocker-fest!” Chad laughs. “It’s literally a hard riff into another hard riff, into a slower harder riff, just an ass-whoopin’ through and through! It sounds like Godzilla fighting all the other titans at once! Lyrically, it’s from the point of view of someone standing in the middle of all of it all! As you can tell, we’re big fans of monsters and creatures!”
FROZEN SOUL emerged in 2018 from Green’s tenure in metallic hardcore bands, Vulgar Display and End Times. The frontman’s hardcore intents gave way to thrash and death metal roots and an obsession with the old school sounds of Bolt Thrower, Mortician and Obituary. “I was working at a comic shop at the time, playing a ton of Magic: The Gathering and I met Michael (Munday), and we began talking about starting a death metal band. Then, Daniel [Schmuck] got in the mix, initially as a guitarist for End Times, and FROZEN SOUL became our focus.”
Initially released in early 2019 on Maggot Stomp Records, FROZEN SOUL’s Encased in Ice 4-song-demo-turned-EP was the first howl of the arctic force to come. The band immediately cemented their icy grip opening as DFW death metal contenders for Necrot and Blood Incantation. “We had quite a few people from our hometown at that show that had no idea we were a local band asking where we were touring from,” recounts Chad. By Summer, the quintet had hit the road, touring through the West Coast pulling double duty every night with End Times, then hitting the Midwest with crossover thrashers, Plague Years. In between, FROZEN SOUL solidified their hometown presence with a steady diet of local gigs with the likes of Gatecreeper, Obituary, Vader and Exhumed before hitting the icy roads of the East Coast with death thrashers, Steel Bearing Hand in January 2020, playing to packed rooms including Brooklyn’s legendary Saint Vitus. With every show, the band became a more glacial wall of sound and snow-machine enhanced atmosphere.
An unexpected call from Century Media found FROZEN SOUL inking a worldwide deal with the label. Pundits including Brooklyn Vegan had pegged the band for one of the most anticipated metal albums of 2020. With Steel Bearing Hand bassist Chris Bonner added to rhythm guitar, FROZEN SOUL entered the studio with Schmuck handling production and mixing duties. The reception to the band’s first full length was nothing short of unanimous: “The standout death metal statement of 2021,” said Invisible Oranges. When FROZEN SOUL emerged from the global pandemic to hit the road for seven weeks in North America with labelmates Sanguisugabogg, they found themselves playing to sold-out rooms and being hailed as one of the leading forces of death metal’s next generation. They even have incited their own mosh-pit tradition: where fans stop and do mid-song push-
ups! “One of our friends did that at a Dallas show and it became a thing when a video of it went viral!” Green laughs. “It definitely inspires us to stay motivated to a healthier lifestyle!”
Now, on the verge of their next chapter, the frigid force of FROZEN SOUL’s glacial assault is about to be felt beyond the realms of death metal’s ardent cognoscenti. While preparing for months of roadwork in the U.S. and abroad, they’re also planning the third installment of Dallas’ Wrecking Ball Metal Madness, a now annual festival conceived and curated by the band and crew. “It’s all been unexpected and surpassed anything we could have possibly imagined,” says Chad. “We’ve all pushed ourselves to the edge and back and taken a ton of risks. All in the name of old, I mean, cold school death metal.