Frozen Ocean recently released its great MCD, The Prowess Of Dormition – our review of which can be read here. We caught up with band mastermind Vaarwel to find out more.
What is The Prowess Of Dormition?
It is the title of Frozen Ocean’s new EP. I already faced questions and misunderstanding about it, so here’s the explanation. I used the word “dormition” as a synonym for “death sleep”, without any religious references to Dormition of virgin mary and shit like this. I despise religion. In this title I wanted to express the essential idea of this release: even if some force is defeated, one shouldn’t leave it in oblivion, because even its death sleep is its power, and it is only a matter of time when this force emerges again. All this is about fight, mostly with itself.
Can you tell me more about the journey that led you to write these fantastic four songs?
Thank you for the appreciation, but there was no journey, only for having a packet of fags from time to time. The only journey was the journey of imagination (I speak this word in manner of that very South Park episode), as usual. Although often winter is another general stereotype of life in Russia, I always adored it and found that writing songs about it is quite easy for me.
How does the sound of blackened metal fit the ideas you present on the MCD?
“Blackened metal” is quite an artificial term, and it was used to give some clues of what the music is to the listener, as if “similar to black metal”. Why don’t say “black metal”? Because Frozen Ocean don’t play black metal. Why not? I told about it in previous interviews. So summing all this up, yes, I guess, sound of blackened metal fits those ideas perfectly. They are not devoted to hatred or intolerance or Satanism or misanthropy or occultism, so this metal is not black. Instead, I sang about winter, death and struggle as things that are inherent to life itself.
There’s a theme of cold harsh altitudes on the MCD, silly question but what can you tell me about snow?
I can tell you a lot about snow. Snow consists of small crystallites of ice which is water’s solid state of matter. Ice belongs to hexagonal crystal system that has two translation vectors with 120˚ angle between them, so that’s why snowflakes grow only with angles of 60˚ and 120˚ between growth directions and form hexagonal fractal structures. Sound of crumbling snow has two maximums in acoustic spectrum: first in 125-400 Hz range and second in 1-1,5 kHz, and is similar to the spectrum of female voice.
A little Moomin told me that you enjoyed the works of Tove Jansson, was there any particular piece that inspired you?
Little bastard speaks too much and will pay for it. Yes, indeed, I do love Tove Jansson’s books and not only about Moomins. But the most powerful impression I carried from the childhood is one after the reading of “Moominland Midwinter”. A controversy was there: image of fairytale for kids with all these cute furry Moomindale inhabitants on the one hand and gelid atmospheres of solitude and desolation, horrendous transformation of so common nature, appearance of entirely new and unknown life on the other hand. A bit too much for a fairytale, isn’t it? No surprise that I had enough inspiration to make an album based on that novel.
What styles of music do you listen to when you’re not painting with sound?
Mainly technical and brutal death metal, only sometimes I’d like to listen to something electronic.
Can you describe what the album art means in relation to The Prowess Of Dormition?
The scene on the cover represents the awakening of something buried profoundly, and points out the theme of struggle I developed on this EP. Struggle as something necessary and inevitable yet immanent, a thing that is life itself and makes us better (if we don’t die). Cover art crosses also with lyrics, especially for second and fourth songs. Kieran from Divine Chaos Art did damn good job with the artwork.
When can we hope to hear more from Frozen Ocean in the near future?
I hope this year if things go the right way. Next full-length will not emerge earlier than next year – too much work is to be done. Meanwhile, anybody interested could dig for Frozen Ocean’s back catalog – believe me, there is plenty of interesting things to listen to.
Thank you for your time and all the best!
Thank you very much for the interview. Take care.