Saturday, December 7, 2013

Freezing Blood

Freezing Blood - Altar of Goat
Putrid Cult, 2013
Genre: Black Metal

1. Altar of Goat
2. Baal
3. Decapitation of Archangels
4. Procession of Rotting Blood
5. Life for Abominable Darkness
6. Unrestrained Vision of the End

I'm sort of a sucker for things labeled as Polish Black Metal, since I like a lot of Black Metal that comes from that region of the world.  I couldn't find any samples of this band, so I just picked this up while I was ordering the latest Monstraat.  This demo looked impossibly old school and I figured it was worth the chance.  I didn't really know what to expect, but I figured it would at least be raw and harsh at the very least. "Altar of Goat" comes with a pro-printed cover and the demo is limited to 300 copies.

The first thing I noticed about Freezing Blood is how absolutely crushing their sound is.  Their are actually a very heavy Black Metal band, with an extremely thick presence in their tone.  This is sort of how I would expect a bestial Black Metal band to sound in overall presentation.  However, the songwriting is pretty structured and exact, so it lacks the chaos usually associated with that descriptor.  I was shocked to see that the songs were very short, many lasting around the two minute mark, which gave this a Grind feel in terms of how fast things were over.  The vocals are a little different than the usual shrieking Black Metal style, but instead they adopt a lower toned vocal approach.  There isn't enough of a "grunting" approach for it to really be Death Metal in style, so it's still a Black Metal approach as far as I'm concerned.  The guitar work isn't overly memorable, but that could simply lie in the track length alone. At least the recording quality is fairly perfect and I actually have no complaints in that regard.  The raw recording style absolutely fits their style and cleaning it up would probably mar the music.

In the end, I actually quite enjoyed what Freezing Blood was doing.  While their riffs weren't memorable, the crushing atmosphere they manage to evoke is extremely memorable.  The short track length actually left me disappointed, because I was on the cusp of getting into the flow of the writing and then the song is over.  The one track that gets the closest to achieving that atmospheric state is "Life for Abominable Darkness" simply because it is over three minutes in length.  Freezing Blood's material is good enough to flesh out and strong enough to the point where they could include some haunting and slower passages as bridges in their music.  This would only enhance their devastating atmosphere to the listener.  Time will tell though, they could one day challenge the atmospheric presentation of the mighty Mefitic if they get their compositions just right.

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