COLDSPELL - FROZEN PARADISE (Escape Music)
(Review by Sloof)
Every two years, Coldspell present a new album and so far, it has been a very nice ‘meet again’. After listening to this third album, I’m sure that the year 2015 will be something to look after if this band is continuing their biennial habit. Their debut album ‘Infinite Stargaze’ was a rise to perfection in 2009, followed by a second output called ‘Out From The Cold’. This third album, for some a make it or break it release, refines the quality of the debut album. The band evolved through the years, and ennobled their way of writing. The result is breathtaking from start to finish, as the 53 minutes will take you to a trip of melancholy meets epic meets high class arrangements! Lyrically, the songs are about life, about embracing it and grabbing every opportunity to make the best out of it. It’s a kind of tribute and honoring to the tragic accidental loss of their manager Michal Sundén. While all thoughts go to his family, I’m sure that the music on ‘Frozen Paradise’ would appeal a lot while the lyrical content is worth praising. I’m sure that Michal Sundén (R.I.P.) is smiling from above!
Opener ‘Paradise’ has a very good pace and with a sound that gives every instrument some space to breathe, it’s a pleasure to listen to this melodic magnet! The vocals of Niclas Swedentorp have a little Joey Tempest influence, but also a very own twist. One thing is certain: Niclas knows how a melody line needs to be brought! The guitars of Michael Larsson interfere with the keys of Matti Eklund and there is also a solid foundation by the drums of Perra Johansson and Chris Goldsmith (bass). The guitar solo is every time again a joy and indicates that Michael Larsson is an axeman that knows how the strings need to be executed the best way possible! Tracks like ‘Life Has Just Begun’, ‘Alive’ and ‘Fallin” have really outstanding arrangements with a lot of variety, and although not every track is going at full speed, Coldspell knows to make them interesting. A good part of heaviness, vocal arrangements that are pleasant to listen to and with melodies that linger on in your head for hours. I can easily say that Coldspell knows what is going on and they have their vision clear and determined. Great Melodic Heavy Metal that built a bridge between the older bands like Whitesnake, George Lynch and the newer generation like Furyon and some Sonata Arctica. Some songs have a higher gear like ‘Soldiers’ (what a great melody line/chorus!) and ‘On The Run’, but again, all members are present all the time with one aim: delivering the best as one unit: Coldspell.
Albums like these need one important leverage and that’s the overall sound. Well, ‘Frozen Paradise’ was produced by Michael Larsson, who seems to be the main songwriter and mainman of this band. Afterwards, they went to the Jailhouse Studios, Denmark to cooperate with Tommy Hansen for the mixing and mastering. The total sound of this third album is just awesome and results in songs that will stand the test of time. This is timeless, profound and transcending music that will appeal to a lot of Heavy Metal fans all around the globe. To quote the band: ‘We carry the torch, we keep it alive – Bound to believe, it’s our legacy’.
My rating: 92 / 100
95+ : Outstanding, high valued albums & Classic Ones… a direct purchase is advisable !
Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan
Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it
Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing
Between 60 and 69: Rather moderate
Between 50 and 59: Bad, substandard
50- : Rubbish