Frozen Ocean have recently released the impressive album The Dyson Swarm. It’s a surprisingly effective release that mixes Black Metal with Electronica/Industrial sounds. Finding out a bit more was the next order of business…
Give us a bit of history to Frozen Ocean.
I am afraid this history won’t be very epic. Frozen Ocean was founded in 2005 in Moscow, Russia, as a solo project of me and was intended to play black metal related stuff. After recording of the first demo “Snow is the Ash” I decided to make something different and dug into dark and drone ambient fields, in which the very first official release, “Depths of Subconscious” was produced. Later the project returned to black metal related music, but next started to bounce from style to style (or a mix of ones) from one release to next.
What are your influences?
Too hard to distinguish, because for every release they are different. In general I have always admired Ulver, how they had their versatility through artistic evolution and simultaneously kept the highest level they achieved. In particular, the musician who inspired me to start making my own works is Mikael “Vaalkoth” Baiyusik from Tearstained, Night Conquers Day, Into The Sunless Meridian and Shadowcaster.
What are you listening to at the moment that you would like to recommend?
The album that could become “release-of-the-year” in my personal charts – “Existence” by Australian progressive death metal band Aeon of Horus. Also I would like to recommend to everyone the last work of Russian industrial brutal death metal band 7 H.Target called “0.00 Apocalypse”; this album will crush you to dust.
What did you want to achieve with your new album?
At least to have a wider reception and recognition for the project worldwide. I had a hope that this kind of experiment would be something relatively fresh and original (as far as is possible nowadays) and thus attractive to a listener.
Are you happy with how it turned out?
As always, the reception and feedback could be wider, but I am quite happy with the existing one. In the modern music world nobody can predict the audience’s answer for your musical proposal. And of course things get more complicated when you present some stuff that lies outside of trends. So that is great that some people have found this album attractive and listened to it more than one time; I think that is the best approval for the musician.
What can you tell us about the concept behind the album?
“The Dyson Swarm” is devoted to close and outer space, and the place of humanity in it. It is built like a journey through the cosmos beginning on the Earth orbit and Solar system and longing to the known edge of Universe and further beyond, and each track describes some phenomenon or object you could face during that journey. Album’s title is describing one of the variant of Dyson sphere – a gigantic hypothetical astro-engineering construction the purpose of which is to utilize the radiated energy of the central star in a star system in the most efficient way. Humanity’s future, on the certain stage of its development and raising level of energy consumption, is hardly imaginable without stuff of that kind.
Give us a bit of information on the songwriting process
The whole thing begins from the conception of release, and when I have the whole picture and structure of album in my head, I start making songs for it. When all the songs are recorded, at least in some scaffold state (without some parts or instruments), I take a listen to the whole yet incomplete release, and decide what and where should be added or changed to fulfill the requirements of the general idea. Thus I get the release united under one concept, but with the distinctive songs. Speaking about the production, all the steps of the production are performed by me in my home studio.
How do you see your songs/direction developing in the future?
It will be something new, as usual, at least it will be different from things Frozen Ocean presented earlier. I will continue to shift shapes and styles, continue to experiment with merging of musical directions for the best representation of release concepts and emotional colouring of them. For instance, I will develop the usage of folk instruments started earlier (when I played mandolin on “Autumn Bridges”) and try to add them to electronics and metal in equal ratio.
What’s next for Frozen Ocean?
Soon Italian label Bylec-Tum productions will release the whole “Norse” Trilogy on one tape for true underground activists. Next plans are too loose to reveal, but they include the very first Frozen Ocean vinyl release.