Interview with Frozen Ocean

Frozen Ocean Logo

Frozen Ocean’s latest release The Prowess of Dormition is 25 minutes of quality atmospheric Black Metal. Wonderbox Metal caught up with the brains behind the project once more to find out a bit more information…

Frozen Ocean 4For those who are unfamiliar with your band – introduce yourself!

Hello. I am Vaarwel, the only person behind this project.

Give us a bit of background to Frozen Ocean

Frozen Ocean was founded in 2005 and had 10th anniversary last year. I always be the only member of this project, and will be. “The Prowess Of Dormition” is nineteenth official release.

What are your influences?

I usually try to avoid influences to create something original, but for “The Prowess Of Dormition” I can mention Vinterland, Thy Catafalque and obscure Russian band Valhalla as entities that inspired me somehow.

What are you listening to at the moment that you would like to recommend?

I generally listen to brutal and technical death metal, so I’d like to recommend to check upcoming Wormed album named “Krighsu”.

Give us a bit of background to The Prowess of Dormition – any particular concepts or ideas you want to discuss?

“The Prowess Of Dormition” has no particular concept or plot, but all the songs are about struggle in philosophical sense, as entity overcoming the hindrances. Struggle is the only thing that can make us better than we are and pushes the evolution forward.

Frozen Ocean 2How do you go about writing your songs?

I write the music first, keeping in mind the title and concept, and only then write the lyrics. I record all instruments and vocals by myself, and do all the sound work as well.

How did the recording process go?

Relatively fast.

What’s your favourite song on the album and why?

Title track, I guess, because it is the quintessence of whole EP both in music and in lyrics.

What does the future hold for Frozen Ocean?

Something new and unexpected, as usual.

Frozen Ocean – The Prowess of Dormition (Review)

Frozen OceanFrozen Ocean is a one-man Russian Melodic/Atmospheric Black Metal band and this is his latest EP.

Frozen Ocean return with more wonderfully melodic Black Metal that creates plenty of atmosphere. I have previously reviewed The Dyson Swarm, so this new release was most welcome.

This is mellifluous, melodic music that’s enhanced by keyboards to greater heights of atmosphere and mood. The feeling, for me, is very much one of following in the great Windir’s footsteps,

Vocals are deeper screams than are normally associated with the style, giving the polished, shiny music a rougher edge of aggression that suits it.

Grand, epic and richly melodic, (have I mentioned that?), this is a very enjoyable EP that it’s easy to like.

Check it out.

Interview with Frozen Ocean

Frozen Ocean

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.

Frozen OceanWhat 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.


Frozen Ocean – The Dyson Swarm (Review)

Frozen OceanThis is the eighth album from Russian band Frozen Swarm.

The band play atmospheric Black Metal/Ambient.

They open with Syzygy which is a wonderfully composed piece of Dark Ambient that sounds straight out of a science fiction film and is a great piece of music.

The second track CE-4 starts in a similar vein until the addition of drums and light Black Metal-esque guitars add a gentle beat to the emerging aural tapestry.

Vocals are present, very much low-key and used like another instrument.

The Sci-Fi/cosmos-themed album is powerfully atmospheric with Black Metal, Electronica and quasi-Industrial sounds merging with a cinematic soundscape to create and involving and absorbing journey into deep space and beyond.

This album has surprised and impressed me.