Frozen Ocean

Album Title: 
The Dyson Swarm
Release Date: 
Monday, March 3, 2014
Review Type: 

Despite an enormous discography (a handful of EP’s, even more full lengths, and a couple of splits) built up in less than a decade of existence, I hadn’t heard any of Frozen Ocean’s stuff before, I think. This Russian solo-project by a guy called Vaarwel (which actually is Dutch (!) for ‘goodbye’ or ‘farewell’) recently signed to Kristallblut Records (one of those underestimated yet superior labels, hailing from Germania). And the first result of this co-operation is this album, called The Dyson Swarm, which lasts for about fifty minutes.

The Dyson Swarm is, once again, different from the past. Each former release, and I did mention an enormous number of recordings, was ‘different’: being rather suffocatively blackish, sometimes more electronic, then again focused on a droning sound, or Punk-infused Black-edged, etc. But one thing remains a constant in Frozen Ocean’s works: the dark, oppressive atmosphere. With this album it is not different: another musical approach, yet still veiled in a misty, ominous sphere. There are more projects from the East-European scene that carry the cosmic themes as core, and I think that a mixture of Senmuth, Netra and Skythrone would / could / should suffice to have an idea. The album mixes dark ambient spheres, soft-electronic melodies and bleak Trip-Pop, and a comparison I read about to Ulver (era late-nineties to very early 2000’s) is not that far away from reality either. In general, this stuff has not much to do with Black Metal, but it rather sounds like a cosmic soundtrack, with only few, very few vocal interventions. Add a couple of ethnic elements (here we have the comparison to Senmuth once again), some neo-classical interludes (Ulver and Skythrone, for example, in a perfect marriage), and even a couple of elements from Munruthel or Silentivm might come to mind, as well as Germ, some stuff by Blut Aus Nord (not the grim, Black-edged passages, yet the few occult-cosmic efforts they did), Lethe or Celldweller.

Unusual material this is, but the most open-minded dark-minds might appreciate at least some aspects… Even I do…