AlbumsFebruary 17, 20231,140 views

Frozen Dawn The Decline of the Enlightened Gods

1. Mystic Fires of Dark Allegiance 2. Spellbound 3. Black Reign Awaits 4. Frozen Kings 5. Wanderer of Times 6. Oath of Forgotten Past 7. Cosmic Black Chaos 8. The Decline of the Enlightened Gods 9. The Fall of Aeons 10. Blinded by Light, Enlightened by Darkness (Necrophobic cover)
2023 Transcending Obscurity
Our score 8

by Jake

When it comes to icy black metal, Spain isn’t the first place one would be inclined to look, given Norway and Finland’s history with the genre. However, Frozen Dawn have entered the chat and have something to say about this misconception. After a string of releases beginning in 2007, the band have put together their greatest set of songs for their Transcending Obscurity debut, The Decline of the Enlightened Gods. With bands like Der Weg Einer Freiheit and Gaerea leading the charge of this newer wave of melodic black metal that pays tribute to the early greats like Dissection and Necrophobic, the time seems right for Frozen Dawn to gain a share of the ears on the lookout for this kind of black metal.


While there are comparisons to be made to the aforementioned bands, Frozen Dawn isn’t a pain-by-numbers tribute band and while at times the rhythms and bounce of this kind of black metal may feel familiar, the differences are easy to spot after giving this record a listen. The opening track “Mystic Fires of Dark Allegiance” brings some of this to light instantly; there are melodic moments, thrash passages, and some leanings into death metal as well.  By delivering this song first, Frozen Dawn let the listeners in by giving them a small sampling of what’s in store for the remaining time with the record. The performances on the track are great and the mastering work from Dan Swano no doubt helped each of them stand out. The latter half of the song sees some excellent use of cymbal work, atmosphere, and all around heaviness. It’s a terrific start to an album with a runtime of over 50 minutes and still has no filler.

One thing that Frozen Dawn do incredibly well is balance their songs between the chaos that extreme metal often relies on while maintaining a melodic backbone that will at times take the center stage. “Black Reign Awaits” is one such track that is fueled by this upfront aggression but will at times let off of the pressure, letting the rhythm settle into a groove that keeps the song fresh throughout. These dynamics create a push and pull throughout the songs that make listening to The Decline of the Enlightened Gods a treat. For instance, the very next song is “Frozen Kings” which is pure fun from start to finish with its endless groove and heavy metal chord progressions.


From a production standpoint, this album sounds great and while black metal production is an endless debate, the choices here fit extremely well. There’s polish but the edge of the instrumentation isn’t lost. Vocally, this isn’t a pure black metal wretch, but a hybrid of a variety of extreme metal styles that adapt to each song that does nothing but strengthen the cohesion of the record. The band could have probably cut one or two songs to keep the runtime a little shorter and it may have helped the overall experience of listening to it, however the punch is consistent throughout and there’s no obvious choice of which song should get the boot. The guitar tones are stellar, the bass rumbles appropriately, and the crashing cymbals shine though. This is a quality product.


Bottom Line: Frozen Dawn have a hit with The Decline of the Enlightened Gods. The compositions are strong, the dynamics are sound, and the record sounds like a million bucks. Fans of this genre shouldn’t let this album pass them by. From the fiery start to the gorgeous acoustic guitar outro, the performances are stellar and will live long in the memory of anyone that chooses to sing some time into this album.


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anonymous 31 days ago

Nice picture. It makes you all look like homosexuals

anonymous 30 days ago

^They aren't?

anonymous 28 days ago

are they wearing eyeliner?