Suotana
Frostrealm

Recalling the glory years of Scandinavian 90s melodic death metal, Finland’s Suotana  and their debut album hearken back to an era of early Children of Bodom, Norther, Lothlorien, Ensiferum, Kalmah and such. Big, epic, keyboard drenched, catchy, bouncy slightly blackened melodic death metal is the order of the day, and while there is nary a note of originality it’s polished, energetic and done rather well.

As per the album title,  and tracks like “Child of Frost” and “For My Iced Angel” there’s a general frosty, icy vibe to the material, but that does not remove any of the tinkling, warm keyboards, memorable hooks and more upbeat riffage. Juhani Merkkiniemi has a requisite higher range blackened rasp and all the other elements are par for the course.

The 8 track, 42 minute album is a pleasing, pure listen with a honest, throwback vibe that isn’t forced or self indulgent. The fact the band has existed since 2005 shows on the album’s confidence and delivery . Tracks like “Child of Frost”, or the more emotive personal favorite “Enclosing Me” and all have satisfying, solid hooks with crystalline, light keys and shreddage without being too noodly or cheesy. It’s not all high octane either as tracks like “King Pikes” and bring things down to a mid paced, controlled jaunt while the 7 minute “It Means” brings the full on windswept ballad.

The album closes out with another standout “Embrace”, a return to faster realms after two pretty laid back tracks, though it does end abruptly. Frostrealm certainly isn’t a ground breaking album but it’s a nice little throwback in a different style in a time of HM boss saturation or Immolation worship.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
January 27th, 2016

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