Frozen Ocean - The Prowess of Dormition
Apocalyptic Witchcraft Recordings
Atmospheric Black Metal
4 songs (24'47")
Release year: 2016
Apocalyptic Witchcraft Recordings
Reviewed by Alex

Winter came late this year, but it is cold and snowing outside now. Time for some Frozen Ocean music. Enough quipping, however, as I owe Vaarwel, the single driving force behind Frozen Ocean, some coverage. After the review of A Perfect Solitude appeared on these pages Vaarwel sent me a few of his earlier works, and even though I enjoyed Trollvinter, the releases more current consumed the little writing time that I had at the time.

Even more seriously, I am not writing this review because I "owe" anything to anybody, but Frozen Ocean A Perfect Solitude was thought-provoking enough to maintain my interest in the band. It seems that with The Prowess of Dormition (somebody, please explain to me what this means) Vaarwel is vying for broader audience, having signed to the Apocalyptic Witchcraft Recordings and having refocused his art in the more full-bodied atmospheric black metal direction.

A Perfect Solitude was a lot about instrumental blackened drone, leaving clues all over the place, but allowing to make your own conclusions. The Prowess of Dormition, on the other hand, takes some of the most exuberant, buoyant melodic progressions you will hear in black metal (No Blizzard), and builds compositions around them. Once Aglow begins with frozen synth providing echoing sounds of spring thaw, which will come into full force later in the song. Det Siste Snofallet has a symphonic touch, but reminds me in part of Darkestrah because of its Kyrgyz/Chinese melody. Except No Blizzard all songs now have vocals, often elevated in the mix, except Det Siste Snofallet, where they are dry and parched, fitting for a drive through desolate steppe.

It is definitely best to just let go and give yourself up to these euphorical Alcestian twisters, but somewhere on the subconscious level Vaarwel stretched these tracks just a little too much and they can start feeling repetitive. Just when you think it happens, No Blizzard provides a different melody around 4' mark, switching to faster revitalizing beat. In the same way, also somewhere around 4' in, Det Siste Snofallet goes for a new double bass pattern, giving hope for a new dawn and new life away from a sedate stagnation.

So, in sum, while I certainly enjoyed The Prowess of Dormition and its considerable achievements, I wanted to hear more melodic variety from this talented musician, not wanting him to settle.

Killing Songs :
No Blizzard
Alex quoted 79 / 100
Other albums by Frozen Ocean that we have reviewed:
Frozen Ocean - A Perfect Solitude reviewed by Alex and quoted 78 / 100
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