Review 1986 : Frozen Wreath – Mea Culpa – English

Frozen Wreath celebrates its second album.

Two years after their previous album, Hungarian musicians Roland Neubauer (vocals, Witcher, Vrag) and Zoltán Szele (instruments, De Profundis) unveil Mea Culpa, on Filosofem Records.

The album opens with Az én vétkem, a dark composition with a relatively melancholic mood, which lets the band inject majestic Pagan/Folk influences into a solid basis from which howls emerge from time to time. A heady lull slows the band’s march, which picks up again before adopting martial patterns on Megrepedt vályogfalak, the next track, which doesn’t forget to unveil impressive keyboards to accompany the dissonance. The atmosphere seems to become gentler, especially from the middle of the track, and this quietude spreads through to the final, which leads into the ominous Vénül? kezek and its more aggressive touches that are also reflected in the coldness of the leads, contrasted by the soothing Pagan elements. The clean-sounding break also appears as a moment of recollection, something confirmed by the sampled voice heralding the return of fury for a long while before moving on to Szabadíts meg a gonosztól, where brighter tones rise from the keyboards. The composition is anchored by shifting rhythms packed with accelerations and enchanting samples, but we also have much more Old School and energetic parts that the band uses to lead us into Az atya, a fiú… and its hypnotic riffs, sometimes even doubled with occult choirs. A few softer passages also stand in our way, reinforcing the darkness of the intense moments filled with wrenching cries, before Nem felejtek skilfully blends melancholy orchestrations with a wild, unbridled approach. The composition is relatively short compared to the others, but it manages its rhythm perfectly to make its progression a captivating moment before the long Búcsúlevél brings the album to a close with its haunting rhythm that infuses its nostalgic influences with an increasing build-up of violence, before letting the break revive heaviness and steady riffs to the end.

Frozen Wreath has plenty of roots. Between melancholy, darkness, Pagan and mystical elements, the duo use all their sources to make Mea Culpa a rich album that’s easy to listen to, despite its obvious Old School touches.


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