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Frozen Land

Begin december zal het Finse Frozen Land hun debuutalbum op de mensheid loslaten. Het is een zeer heavy album geworden met heftige power metal zoals die in de jaren 90 gemaakt werd. Op naar het hoge noorden dus om oprichter en mastermind Tuomas Hirvonen eens te vragen waar al die mooie nummers toch vandaan kwamen.

Door: Henk | Archiveer onder heavy / power metal

Hey there, Frozen Land. Finally, a power metal band that puts the power back in the genre. Congratulations on your superb debut album. Would you be so kind to introduce the band to the readers of Lords Of Metal?
Thank you so much Henk! It’s nice to hear compliments, because we worked hard on the album. Frozen Land aims to bring back the 90s power metal. We feel that it was the golden age of power metal with bands like Stratovarius, Rhapsody, Sonata Arctica. Of course, those bands are still around, but they have changed quite a bit during the years. Still on their songs YouTube comment section, many are asking them to return to that “golden sound” or “golden era”. Well, we try to bring that back with a bang. In addition, I feel that we have that “Finnish” sound in our debut. Somebody asked if it’s because we have such high suicide rates here that even the songs are somewhat melancholy! Well no, and the suicide rates have been also improving a lot lately! We are at the European average nowadays. But only this week I read in a newspaper that there has been two hours of sunlight in October. Two hours!!! That must channel something to our mindset and music.

In my review I state that the album is loud and big. While todays power metal bands seem to focus more on melodies than on power, Frozen Land is powerful and loud. Was this a conscience approach?
I like big and loud! I would like it if people would hear melodies in there also. Apart from environment, we are also inspired by 90’s Children Of Bodom and even Wintersun’s first album. God what rocking riffs that album had, so much power it will blow your neighbours mind. We try to find same kind of memorisable riffing and overall vocal and guitar melodies in our music. If you can’t remember the melody, it’s a wasted song. From the best bands you can even remember the drum fills, ha ha ha. And I’ve always loved Pantera. Hugely aggressive band. And UDO had great fricking riffs also in albums like faceless world (where are you Mathias Dieth??). So maybe the power comes from there?

Also, I really wanted us to be different from that fairy tale music, you know with violins, dragons and fairies dancing around the campfire. I dig a heavier approach. There are actually some Judas Priest riffs in the new material I am working on, but I don’t know if I can use it. But coming back to loudness (great Japanese band btw), I really like the snare drum to explode for example. Like you are hitting a door with a dynamite. Michael Jackson evidently liked this also, as he had snare drums like machine guns man! And Jörg Michael used to hit the snare so hard. Got to appreciate these sounds. I also like big echoes in vocals and in guitars, like Def Leppard used in 80’s. Nobody does that sound anymore, even the new “hair bands” are absolutely dry in sound, what the hell?

You are releasing the album on Massacre. Was the album already recorded before they offered you a contract?
Yes, it was. I think the songs were mixed but not mastered at that point. We got quite many offers before the album was finished, so I am grateful for that.

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How long did it take to write and record the album? Was it a band approach, because the band started as a solo project from you if I am correct?
Yeah, the band started as a solo project. I kind of like one chef projects. They are easier if everybody knows their important part. Band needs many kinds of characters but only one leader in my opinion. The writing process was quite peculiar. I wrote everything in my car on my way to work and in about 4-5 months’ time. I just hummed everything to my phone, ha ha. The fast riffs were quite hard to get right. We planned to release those first recordings as a Japan bonus, but I don’t know man, could be too weird.

Who helped you to catch that big sound on the album?
The album was mixed by Matias Kupiainen of Stratovarius. He’s just a stand up, great, great guy. Wonderful attitude in music and in mixing and listening to the customer. I think he has a sense of humour too, and that’s not a bad thing. Some ideas were too wild even for him still. I think drums play important part of how huge your overall sound is. We used a good room and pro studio to record them. Then layering is important, we have many layers of guitars going even if you don’t hear them. The idea was to keep it heavy, you know simple, but still add something for colour. I think that heaviness requires there isn’t too much stuff going on.

Can you tell us what the songs are about? It is not the “normal” dragon slaying fairy tale type of lyrics that I hear.
The lyrics on this album are mainly universal every day subjects, nothing about epic holy guests to the slay dragon master of Stormarum. I love bands like Rhapsody and Dio, but man the lyrics are just out there. I wanted to take a same kind of heavy approach to the lyrics as the music is, in my ears at least. So simple things, nothing fancy. At the same time, we have a huge frost lord character on our album cover, so you have to look at the mirror and laugh at yourself at times also. But we are in the entertainment business, who wants to buy an album with Nissan Micra on the cover? About our lyrics, ‘Losers Game’ is about not taking shit anymore. Another song tells about people sense of supremacy over any other living thing. Then one song tells about the journey of life. Do you really need to know what is the goal in life or can you just enjoy the ride? We only have one slow song and I had to make that sappy for the ladies. It is about if we recognize the love of our life in the next life after death.

I can imagine that you could be very successful in especially Germany with the kind of music that you make. Any plans for an extensive tour over there or in any other country?
Well there are talks. We are very excited at the moment but cannot say anything yet. I would love to tour Germany: Helloween, UDO, leather and sauerkraut und bier! I have to say that Helloween for me is the god father of power metal and I just watched their tour this year. Deris or Kiske, both fricking brilliant! But you Dutch have bands like Ayeron, Epica and Within Temptation. Strong culture also. Would love to visit some day! And what I hear, you guys are really liberal too.

Are there any plans for a second album already?
I took half a year or more off from this kind of music to keep my head fresh. Two songs are on demo process right now. More are being made each time I drive to work.

Well that wraps it up for me. If there is anything you would like to mention here is your chance!
Thank you so much for taking the time to write us! All you power / heavy metal fans out there, check our album out and let us know what you feel about it! Maybe we’ll do an album about Rembrandt next time featuring Anouk ;)

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