Formed in 2004, Frostbitten Kingdom is a Black and Death Metal act that has put out two full-lengths in their career, with a demo between the two. All three of these releases were released by the band themselves. However, the group recently signed to No Sign of Life Records for their third full-length, entitled Infidel Angel, and it shows off a very solid band that clearly has taken the time since their formation to mature the sound to a tight mixture of both styles.
It’s pretty clear that the band takes a lot of influence from various sources of Black Metal. The music on Infidel Angel comes off very intimidating at times, while occassionally having a cold and grim attitude or atmosphere to it. The band also incorporates keyboards that, at the start of “Warborn”, may remind listeners of bands like Dimmu Borgir, though latter material will show shades of Emperor mixed with Black Metal greats like Dissection, as well as some of today’s more modern third wave Black Metal acts based solely on the intensity of the music, leaving out compositions based solely on repetitive blast beats. All of this works together to create addicting, histile tracks that grab the listener by the throat and won’t let go, especially with the opening track, “Warborn”, and plenty of others that follow.
Of course, the mood of the album does change thoughout, offering a great amount of variety to the release. For the most part, not all the songs are as intense as the starting track, such as the following track “Messenger’s Harlot”, which is actually a much slower track that focuses on creating a very grim environment, which is aided by the keyboards, and the occassional female screams that litter the song. This track also shows off the band’s Death Metal side more, as things change within the song around the half-way point, and the more typical Black Metal chords and drums make way for some more Death Metal inspired creations, backed by some well done gutteral vocals. Of course, these moments appear throughout the album, and sometimes can add more intensity to the music then what can be found on “Warborn”, which is the case of “Infibulation”, as the closing features more of the Death Metal inflience similar to “Messenger’s Harlot”, but just has such intensity in the music, as well as the speed of the solo at the end, that it all works to create a mindblowingly heavy closing to the track.
And that’s one of the many things that stick out nicely with this release. The guitar solos on Infidel Angel are simply top notch, and manage to whip the music into a whole other direction by building upon already established grim or intense musical moments with fast paced complexity. On top of that, the production of the album is crisp and what you would expect from any band with Symphonic Black Metal ties. While the production is clear, it doesn’t take away any of the bite that the music has, and given how the music comes across, a raw production quality would have greatly hurt it. This stylish-sounding release has just the right amount of feedback on the guitars to make them cut like a razor at the listener, and the drums are recorded just right that every part of the kit is heard, doesn’t drown anything out, and you hear the cymbols ring out after being hit naturally due to it, which is something a lot of productions seem to lack due to the more raw quality. The vocals here are also clear and understandable, but still come off evil and commanding, aiding in the cold atmosphere of the entire release.
Frostbitten Kingdom may have taken a while to find a home, but given the quality of Infidel Angel, it was clearly worth it. The material on this release is fantastic and blends together nicely to create a dark and stylish album that is as punishing as it cold. If you haven’t had the opportunity to check out Frostbitten Kingdom yet, then this one needs to be at the top of your “must buy” list, as Infidel Angel features a little more then thirty minutes of some of the most well constructed Black and Death Metal you’ll hear from any of today’s newer acts.