FROZEN OCEAN – Transience | Aristocrazia Webzine

FROZEN OCEAN – Transience

Band: Frozen Ocean
Title: Transience
Year: 2017
Country: Russia
Label: Self-Released

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  1. Brooks Run To The Comet Lake
  2. Torpor And Parallax In Lightbeam's Jaunt
  3. Eyechains
  4. Wormwood
  5. Tredje Vind: Handflate Av Stormen
  6. Lurker
  7. The Dyson Swarm
  8. To Drown In Hoary Grass
  9. Mare Imbrium
  10. The Prowess Of Dormition
  11. The Sorewood Disrepair
  12. Isig Flod
  13. Space Orchards
  14. White Birds Thaw On Toy Soldier's Burial
  15. Tijd Die Door Ons Voorbijgaat
RUNNING TIME: 01:27:33

I generally don't deal too much with cosmic music, having someone here at Aristocrazia who tends to cover this area with great continuity (as we have seen with the likes of Midnight Odyssey or Mare Cognitum). It was actually Bosj himself to write about one of the previous works by the one-man band Frozen Ocean in our Italian version. This time, the Russian multi-instrumentalist Vaarwel personally chose and arranged songs from his musical universe in a retrospective collection. A kind of navigation map for the immense production by Frozen Ocean, which might otherwise scare off eventual people who intended to venture around these unhospitable coordinates.

"Transience" welcomes us to a dark world made of grey clouds, strange shapes and lightnings cracking down from the sky, in an artwork that kind of reminded me of "Searching For The Fourth Dimension", a 1979 work by Salvador Dalí, here reinterpreted in a more obscure way. Musically (but also conceptually) speaking, Vaarwel defined three macro-areas in his production: one close to dark ambient (Aether), one related to black metal (Nether), and another one close to post-rock (Tether). Naturally, these three worlds influence each other and cross paths very frequently, thus resulting in an interconnected universe.

Let's make it clear that this is quite a humongous collection, featuring fifteen tracks over about one hour and a half of cosmic sounds and deep space; clearly not something suitable for everyone. However, "Transience" is an interesting introduction to the many facets of the Russian project, eventually allowing us to first approach the areas we are more familiar with, without having to randomly look for something in the vast and not always constant (in terms of quality) discography.

The first four songs highlight the more ambient and empyrean side of Frozen Ocean, the perfect soundtrack to our meditations about the cosmos and our role in it. Then it's time for a window on black metal with "Tredje Vind" and "Lurker", while we can enjoy some examples of the peaceful coexistence of the three different worlds, for example in "Mare Imbrium", or "Space Orchards".

Frozen Ocean created a long and lucid travel guide through its own universe, for the use of all wannabe cosmic explorers. The collection is also available on the official Bandcamp page in a «name your price» formula; if you are curious to discover the space orchards cultivated by Vaarwel before making up your mind about his discography, you now know where to go.