Every genre has benefitted from a global perspective, perhaps none more so than metal. Expanding from small pockets in Europe, England, and the US has allowed various subgenres of metal to take form, often times drawing from a band or scene’s unique cultural influences of a band or home. The fact there’s a release like Legend of East Dan II coming from a genre with distinctly cold, Scandinavian origins is a testament to our residence in The Golden Age of Metal.

Frozen Moon might not be a familiar name to some of you, but hopefully you’re aware of vocalist Fan Bo’s other project Vengeful Spectre. We’ve celebrated the band’s new self-titled album in our January Kvlt Kolvmn, praising not only the band’s incredible take on black metal, but also their ability to seamlessly weave in elements of folk music from their native China. Fan Bo and multi-instrumentalist Wang Jin take a more diverse and less aggressive approach with Frozen Moon that falls a bit more squarely in folk and heavy metal camps. Which is to say, it’s excellent in its own way.

Opener “Heyday of East Dan” unfurls a wild, adventurous composition, complete with massive riffs, stirring strings, and the first of many creative vocal performances from Fan Bo. While he took a more traditional black metal approach on Vengeful Spectre, his performance here are perhaps more impassioned and inarguably more unique, both with his singing and screaming. Immediately after, “Fond Dream” presents an exceptional blend of Chinese folk instrumentation and metal ferocity. It’s incredible how naturally the two sonic palettes flow as one unified composition, and it further establishes the intrigue listeners will have throughout the release.

The following tracks all offer their own distinct flavors to the mix. Ominous, ritualistic singing and atmospheres give way to epic symphonic black metal on “The Signs,” and “Collapse” takes these symphonic elements to entirely new heights. Yet, throughout all of this, Legend of East Dan II maintains not only its metallic edge, but also a consistent entertainment. It’s clear that the duo are genuinely passionate about what they’re doing without forgetting to enjoy themselves along the way, and that shines through to the benefit of their audience. There’s already a swarm of interesting black metal records pushing boundaries this year, but amid the surplus, be sure to make room to experience what Frozen Moon have to offer.

Legend of East Dan II is available now via Pest Productions.