Band/Artist: Frozen Ocean
Release House: Independent
Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal/Dark Ambient
One Sentence Synopsis: A compilation of Frozen Ocean’s music catalogue
Release Date: 9-19-17
Running Time: 87 min
MSRP: NAME YOUR PRICE
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Sample/Music Video: Click Here
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Reviewed by: Reverend Leviathan
Final Score: 4.0 Moons (Out of 5)
The name Frozen Ocean brings with it many things. Some may say “atmospheric black metal,” while others say “dark ambient” or just simply “black metal.” In all honesty it depends on which release you’ve heard. Regardless, the name is well known in all of these genres, and now the mind behind this project, Vaarwel, is offering this compilation FREE to those who wish to discover more.
Transience is a journey into the project Frozen Ocean, and there are three different locations to which one will arrive.
The first direction one must go is into the Aether. Beginning with his dark ambience, Vaarwel invites the listener into the quiet, more somber sound of Frozen Ocean. Four tracks of pure ambient music, no vocals or traditional instruments. All sounds blended very well, opening powerfully with “Brooks Run to the Comet Lake,” and ending on the best of the ambient tracks, “Wormwood.”
Don’t get too relaxed though. Now you must journey into the Nether. Here the listener gets a taste of the black metal side of Frozen Ocean. The very raw sounding “Tredje Vind: Handflate Av Stormen” might throw a few people off, as the next song “Lurker” throws in some synths with the black metal, blending the sound of the first part of the album with the next. “The Dyson Swarm” delves even deeper into the atmospheric black metal ocean, and then you end up in the post-rock sound of “To Drown in Hoary Grass.” It seems as if a lot of thought went into the layout and order of songs, because then you end up right back in the atmospheric zone with “Mare Imbrium” before ending with “The Prowess of Dormition,” a blackened metal conclusion.
The final destination of our journey is Tether. We have a really good blend of the dark ambient and atmospheric black metal. If “The Sorewood Disrepair” doesn’t grab your attention then “Isig Flod” most certainly will with its droning sounds mixed with some guitar and cymbals. The album ends on “Tijd Die Door Ons Voorbijgaat,” one of the darker, more ambient sounding tracks in the third part of Transience.
Vaarwel is the man who introduced me to the genre of atmospheric black metal with his other project, Goatpsalm. I discovered Frozen Ocean shortly after and was immediately drawn to it with the album The Dyson Swarm. Having heard three of the Frozen Ocean releases I was definitely looking forward to this compilation.
Transience was put together in an amazing way. I really love the layout that he chose for the songs. Having three sides of a compilation combining the songs that exemplify that particular sound of the project was a really awesome way to do it, rather than go from ambient song to black metal song, back to ambient, etc. It allowed me to fully enjoy and appreciate the different styles as a whole. The more black metal influenced tracks sounded really good sandwiched between the ambient.
The mixing and production on each of the tracks was done very well, and I believe he did a great job of picking which songs to put on the compilation, as the mastering is unified throughout. I didn’t hear one track that had poor mastering come after one that had great mastering, which is something I’ve heard on compilations in the past.
This compilation will draw fans of Solstafir, Enslaved, and Ulvir. The dark ambience abounds throughout. Gothic listeners who are fans of black metal will be drawn by certain tracks, and those who are fans of ambient will be drawn to other tracks. The words “black” and “dark” can definitely be used to describe not just the compilation, but the project as well.
For those unfamiliar with the genre or the artist, Transience exemplifies great atmospheric black metal and is a good introduction to the catalogue of Frozen Ocean.
Theme: 4.0 Moons (out of 5.0)
Presentation: 3.5 Moons (out of 5.0)
Gothic Fit: 4.0 Moons (out of 5.0)
Final Score (not an average): 4.0 Moons (out of 5.0)