CROWNED IN FROST
Release: March 22, 2019
Italian metal band Frozen Crown made their very successful debut last year with “The Fallen King”, which gave the band huge media exposure (over 1 million views on youtube for the single “Kings” alone) and brought a deal with international booking agency Nine Lives Entertainment. Now, they are getting ready to release their sophomore album, titled “Crowned in Frost” (out March 22 on Scarlet Records) and the question on my mind is weather this new effort will live up to the hype of “The Fallen King”.
Continuing on the highly melodic and heavy path they set with their debut album, “Crowned in Frost” sees Frozen Crown amplifying the classic heavy metal factor, while still keeping the listener engaged with rich soundscapes and instrumental interludes, all caped off by Giada Etro’s on point vocal delivery. And true enough the guitars are front and centered for most of the album, from the energetic intro “Arctic Gales” that bleeds right into “Neverending”, through some great solos on “Battles in the night”, “Unspoken” or “Forever”, and melodic lines on “In the dark” or “Lost in time”, until the epic title track closes the album on a powerful note.
In the dark
Battles in the night
Lost in time
The wolf and the maiden
Crowned in frost
As good and high-energy as the album is, it’s pretty linear, with all the recognizable hallmarks being very much present (I mean, “Lost in time” is so catchy is feels like “Everwinter” part 2), thought there are a few highlights and a few misses along the way. “Winterfall” is the longest track on the album clocking in at 7:50 and has some beautiful underlying piano lines that balance some of the hash vocals and the thunderous drums. And I just love the piano break (solo?) halfway through the track, which adds to the atmosphere and drama of the story. “Crowned in Frost” is the second longest song at 6:49 and once again feature piano lines, heavy guitar riffs, harsh and clean vocals in one majestic display of great songwriting, arrangement, and performance. However, nice synth-driven interlude “The wolf and the maiden” brings some sci-fi / Ayreon vibes to the album, which somehow feel out of place. Same goes for “Enthroned” with its operatic vocals and piano melodies, which, again, don’t work. I get that the role of an interlude is to give the listeners a chance to catch their breath and transition between songs, but these two only seem to disrupt the flow of the album.
The rest of the songs are pretty good, with tight instrumental and great vocals, but with little variety a formula that is working well for them. As I stated in my review for “The Fallen King”, Frozen Crown are not ‘reinventing the wheel’, but then again few bands / artists really are that ingenious and creative. Nonetheless, what Frozen Crown does, and does good, is mesh together power metal and heavy metal in a seamless way, so as to have on one hand, the catchiness and melody of power metal, and on the other hand, the heaviness and aggressiveness of heavy metal as the basis for their sound. And while they are succeeding in this respect, I wish they would step out of their comfort zone and mix things up a bit more (more piano lines and less chugging guitars, like on “Lost in Time”). Giada Etro is a very capable singer, and would be nice to hear more versatility from her part as opposed to the same type of vocals she has offered so far in Frozen Crown, like a full blown, emotional ballad (something in the veins of “Across the sea”). Maybe on the next offering.
Nit-picking aside, “Crown in Frost” is a good successor to “The Fallen King”, though not as diverse or refreshing, just more of the same type of music we are used to hearing from them, which is not necessarily a bad thing it itself. Think of songs from Avantasia or Kamelot, and how they have the same core sound to them. It’s the same in this case, and the album does have some really great moments. Check out the band and listen to the new songs live in April 2019, when Frozen Crown will be touring with Elvenking.
Rating: 8 / 10
Giada Etro – vocals
Federico Mondelli – guitars, keys, vocals
Talia Bellazecca – guitars
Filippo Zavattari – bass
Alberto Mezzanotte – drums