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Inconvenient, incoherent. - 58%

Shadespawn, March 4th, 2009

Frozen is the followup album, after switching to new vocalist Ville Laihiala, to their 1996 masterpiece "Down". The late nineties were a very controversial turning point for many bands and also (again) for genres. In that period (2000 reaching the exponential factor) the musical brew everyone knew as heavy metal started to debase the heavy part while at the same time the pop(ular) factor rose drastically. Be it the high concentration of scene kids, whiny lyrics or the increasing nausea caused by the media promoting almost anything to press money out of dummies, the result is very clear. Heavy metal is a rapidly dying scene.

With time, this band eventually became as disoriented as an aging man, slowly losing his life essence and reason. Frozen is the exact example of such aspects weaved into musical patterns, threaded sometimes by weak lyrics and false emotion. The contrast created here isn't as fatal as in later works (The Cold White Light), but it simply doesn't work the way they intended to. Maybe with scene kids and goths and pseudo-melancholic rock fans, but there simply is not enough authenticity to prevail for more deeper listeners.

While the studio quality may be a tad better than that of "Down", the quality of the music does not manage to surpass that of its predecessor. The songs are overall very weak and have little to no real emotion in them. The lack of substance is somewhat compensated by the relative straightforward songwriting style of Miika, but this makes the release far from perfect. There can be parallels drawn between this and the precursor, but all in all this one fails, much like their later work. The point is the rapid increase in boredom you get from listening to this a couple of times. The simple difference between "Down" and "Frozen" is that Ville Laihiala took part in the songwriting process, as he discloses in an interview with a German magazine in 1998. On "Down" he was only three weeks in the band and just sang the lyrics, but accept him as a serious songwriter and you get pop songs with ridiculous lyrics. For those of you who care: "I regret every single day I ever lived in my life", "a steady hand with this sharpened cold steel will help me wipe away this pain that I feel" or "tonight's the night the last one of my life". This sound familiar? Correct. Suicide out of self-pity. Now where have we heard this before? Marilyn Manson? No. HIM? Not quite. My chemical romance? Yes, we're getting there. You realise the picture here?

The standard formula: low clean guitar intro, boom! the verse begins, skulks through to the chorus "I've seen my funeral - sad - grave sweet grave", boring solo, end gets very comical reaching the eighth song and continues to fart through the rest of the album like a sick dog. The only track that really stands out and reeks of rock'n'roll is "For the love I bear", which features an awesome burp followed by an amazing solo! That's what is heavily missing on this album.

Standout songs: For the love I bear and The suicider, but overall boring. Unless you're a gay emo, stay away.