Each week, this column features a Q&A with a “next generation” death metal representative from the Lone Star State. Through a series of questions, we look to uncover what connects these death metal acts from various cities around the state. We dig into details about specific members musical upbringing, local inspirations, and the various characteristics that make up the spirit of Texas death metal. View our previous guests here.
For this week, we set our sights on Fort Worth, TX to check in with Frozen Soul. It has only been a few years since the band formed, but they’ve managed to make big waves with their brawny brand of death metal. Frozen Soul channels an old-school spirit within their slow to mid-paced style, utilizing meaty riffs and hulking grooves.
With their brutal-minded debut full-length, Crypt of Ice, Frozen Soul completely owned their frost-bitten nature, bringing an entirely chilling aesthetic to the world of death metal. The album took the underground by storm, attracting listeners with their simplistic, yet dominating delivery of heavy death.
We caught up with guitarists Michael and Chris to discover more about their Texas roots.
What are some of the things you cherish about having grown up in Texas?
Michael: There’s a camaraderie between all Texans that is hard to describe. Everyone has each others backs, no matter what.
Was it common for a lot of you musicians to grow up in a household with music playing? If so, what sorts of music were you guys hearing at a young age, and what was the climate of music culture like in Texas overall growing up?
Chris: My dad played in metal bands in the ’80s. Growing up, my house was full of guitars and music. My parents were both huge fans of Pantera, as they were local heroes, but they also loved hair metal like Dokken. Every Friday night as a kid I would go with my Dad to his bands rehearsals, so I was always around music and loved metal!
When I became a teenager I started to want to play guitar, but I had to rebel against my parents so I got into punk rock (haha). Needless to say, my dad was happy I was playing guitar, but upset that I was punk and not metal (haha). To this day he still asks when one of my band’s is gonna write a ballad!
If you can recall, what were your parents’ reactions to the death metal style upon first hearing it? Was this something that they grew to understand or still can’t get into?
Chris: Well they definitely don’t care for the vocals of death metal (haha). But they love the musicianship and are fully supportive of Frozen Soul!
Has a community developed around some of the more recent death metal bands in Texas? Is it important to you guys to support the other bands from your home state?
Michael: For sure, everyone needs to take care of each other cause this is the only thing that most of us have. If you don’t support each other, no one will grow as a band/musicians.
If you were to think about it for a moment, what are the core elements that make up the collective spirit of the Texas death metal sound?
Michael: Everything is bigger in Texas, especially the riffs. All of the death metal bands from Texas (past and present) are heavy as fuck and have some massive riffs that make you feel like you just got hit over the head with a club.
A lot of the bands I enjoy from Texas as of late, Mortuary Descent, Paingiver, Tribal Gaze, Torture Tomb, Cleric, I Am, Creeping Death, Fleshrot, etc., are extremely heavy and in-your-face. What do you guys attribute that to?
Michael: Pantera is definitely a huge influence on everyone in Texas. They have an undeniable groove that is impossible to ignore. Some bands from here I love, aside from those you mentioned, include Malignant Altar, Imprecation, Flesh Hoarder, Defiled Crypt, Devourment, Embalmed, Kombat, Steel Bearing Hand, and Disencumbrance.
Who would you consider as local (hometown or statewide) trailblazers for the genre of death metal and was the fact that these bands were from your home state an inspiration for you to grow as a band?
Michael: Devourment for sure. They paved the way for the slam-style of brutal death metal, and they’ve been a huge inspiration for me ever since I discovered them. Also, them being from the DFW area made me love them that much more.
In what ways have you guys thrived or continued your mission as a band during the pandemic of 2020 and what are your hopes for the future of your band ahead?
Michael: Luckily with the downtime the virus has brought with it, we’ve been able to focus a lot more on video content as well as writing the next album. Hopefully we can hit the road again sooner rather than later and bring our avalanche of death metal to the masses!