FROZEN OCEAN – Trollvinter

FROZEN OCEAN - Trollvinter

Origin: Russia
Genre: Ambient Electronic Experimental
Label: Self Released
Year: 2013

The 6th full-length album of Frozen Ocean, entitled “Trollvinter“, was released on the beginning of 2013. It’s not the latest work of this project though, since 3 more full-length albums and one split EP were released afterwards. This quite unusual band is the solo project of Vaarwel from Moscow, Russia, who is constantly experimenting with various music styles since 2005, when he released his first demo. This particular album though is one of its kind even for Frozen Ocean, since it doesn’t remind any of its other releases.       

Trollvinter” is a conceptual work based on Tove Jansson’s book “Moominland Midwinter” (Trollvinter in Swedish) and this partly explains the soundtrack-like aesthetic of the album. Unluckily I haven’t read the book, so I guess I miss an important part of its atmosphere. It is a children’s novel, the 5th of a 9-book series that deals with a dark fairytale about a family of white roundish creatures. This particular book finds the protagonist waking up while his whole family is in winter hibernation and he explores the frozen deserted winter world… Forget the black, doom, drone or any other metal elements found in Vaarwel’s other releases. “Trollvinter” is a completely instrumental synth-based work, including 10 songs with a total duration a little over 42 minutes. The music is quite minimal, slow and atmospheric; such albums need special conditions to be fully comprehended and their sound is really hard to describe with words. Anyway, the basis of the music is dark atmospheric ambient with experimental weird sounds in the background, perfect for the icy desolated setting of our adventure. Several electronic elements and melodic keys of a relatively tranquil nature, add some “action” in the songs, implying something important is happening in the plot. Despite the minimal nature of this music, “Trollvinter” keeps the interest of the listener, changing the atmosphere between its songs; Tranquility and silence, followed by anxiety or by a playful uplifting mood and then again dark slow ambiance. And while the album can stand on its own, I believe it could be much better as the background for reading the novel, or with the proper visual stimulus…

If you are in the mood for a dark ambient fairytale soundtrack, you can check this album. ”Trollvinter” has a very good sound and professional production, coming in a package that worth its money. It is self-released by Frozen Ocean in a deluxe digipak edition CD, with a 4-page booklet. The digipak is inserted in a thick-paper slipcase with an alternative cover art. The amazing artwork and layout design are by Al.Ex {Mayhem Project}, who did a perfect job to match the weird dark atmosphere of the music. In the following links you can find more info about this “chameleon” project and listen to its diverse music from a very extended discography.


Rating:  (8/10)

Frozen Ocean official page
Frozen Ocean @ Facebook
Frozen Ocean @ Twitter
Frozen Ocean – Trollvinter @ Soundcloud


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