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Frozen Crown – Crowned In Frost Award winner

Frozen Crown
Crowned In Frost
by Rachel Montgomery at 04 April 2019, 8:32 PM

Formed in 2017, FROZEN CROWN is a female-fronted Power Metal band from Milan, Italy, and they’re debuting their sophomore album CROWNED IN FROST.  They have listed NIGHTWISH, SONATA ARCTICA, and ARCH ENEMY as bands they like on Facebook, and it shows. The songs on their album brought me back to the days when I first got into Power Metal: the early/mid aughts when SONATA ARCTICA ‘s “Ecliptica”, NIGHTWISH’s “Once”, and KAMELOT’s “Black Halo” were just released, and the theatrical, thrashing bombast was coupled with musical storytelling and conceptual melodies that were woven together seamlessly.

And while FROZEN CROWN’s songs create a unique, powerful sound, the album isn’t as seamless as “Black Halo”, or NIGHTWISH’s “Century Child”. Listening to the tracks from beginning to end, the songs could get repetitive; there were fewer interludes, or quiet ballads to vary the pace – understandable in an age of streaming, where people are purchasing single songs rather than complete albums.

“Arctic Gates”, the opening song, was a nice intro, setting the scene for epic battles on a frozen tundra that the album elicits. Their next song “Neverending”, delivers on opening, conjuring sword-and-sorcery imagery with thrashing guitars and smooth, powerful vocals from lead singer Giada Etro. The song is also composed in a fast ¾ time, emphasized by a waltz-like chorus.

“In the Dark” and “Battles in the Night” were both solid songs on their own; they both held their own musically and continued the frozen epic-fantasy concept. However, they were so similar that I thought they should have been separated by a short interlude or a short (around 3 minutes, that is short for a Power Metal song) ballad - something akin to “The Wolf and the Maiden” later in the album.

“Winterfall” was my favorite track. The band pulled no punches at showing what they were capable of: piano ambiance, combination of guttural and operatic vocals, and the variation in the melodies made this song an atmospheric joyride that wasn’t too repetitive and kept my interest through all seven minutes and 44 seconds. While I thought the song could have finished at the six-minute mark, the rest of the song did not disappoint and held me captive.

I thought there should have been another interlude, or a long, quieter introduction before “Unspoken” roared in. Like “In the Dark” and “Battles in the Night”, it was a strong song, but too similar to most of the other songs on the album. While I had a similar issue with “Lost in Time”, the softer parts of the song gave it variance (on a side note, I would love to see this song performed as a duet at a festival, I think it would be amazing as a duet) and I was enamored by the smooth, powerful vocals and poetic lyrics.

As I’ve said before, I wish there were a couple more (not a lot, just 1 or 2) more like “The Wolf and the Maiden” and “Enthroned”. These could be used to unify the faster tracks into a cohesive story like KAMELOT’s “Black Halo”, or vary the album. I especially loved the union between “Enthroned” with the final, title-track song of the album. It seemed to be a victorious, grand ending that was fitting for an album of this scale.

Overall, the album was excellent and brought me back to some of my favorite songs and albums of the genre. I love the style and talent this band brings to the genre and can’t wait to see what they will come up with next!

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 10
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
01. Arctic Gales
02. Neverending
03. In the Dark
04. Battles in the Night
05. Winterfall
06. Unspoken
07. Lost In Time
08. The Wolf and the Maiden
09. Forever
10. Enthroned
11. Crowned in Frost
Lineup:
Giada "Jade" Etro - Lead and Backing Vocals
Federico Mondelli - Vocals, Guitars, Keys
Talia Bellazecca - Guitar
Filippo Zavattari - Bass Guitar
Alberto Mezzanotte - Drums
Record Label: Scarlet Records
     


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