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Frozen Crown – Winterbane

Frozen Crown
Winterbane
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 03 May 2021, 6:43 AM

FROZEN CROWN is an Italian power metal band from Italy who formed in 2017. In just a short amount of time, the band has established themselves as leader in modern power metal and perhaps even future legends one day. They are also prolific—"Winterbane" is their third full length album within four years. In January of this year, it was announced that guitarist Thalia Bellazecca, bassist Filippo Zavattari and drummer Alberto Mezzanotte left the band. What would the remaining members vocalist Giada "Jade" Etr and guitarist Federico Mondelli do? Most bands would fold at this point. Instead the two rallied, recruited three kick ass musicians and wrote the best album they have done yet.

Will the band and this album win any points of originality? No but what they do, they do it so well that they are well on their way to establishing a new power metal band resurgence. Well toned, heavy riffs, thunderous bass, slick melodies and leads, hammering drums and one hell of a vocalist is what FROZEN CROWN offer on "Winterbane"….what more could you possibly want from a band in this style?

I do think the album’s flow is somewhat misplaced towards the end.  Their JUDAS PRIEST cover of the classic “Nightcrawler,” is a rousing edition but placing in among the original songs instead of at the end throws things off.  It doesn’t help that it is immediately followed by the lackluster instrumental “,” which isn’t a bad song but isn’t long enough to really goTales Of The Forest anywhere.  Fortunately, the last track makes up for it but more on that later.

The album opens blazing red hot with "Embrace The Night," a song that is pure energy. The opening riff establishes a hard foundation for the intro solo that births out from the power with ease. Jade's vocals are absolutely breathtaking in their ability to launch into stratosphere and still retain warm emotion. And how about that chorus?  Catchy as hell. Even from this first song, new members Sheena (Guitar), Francesco (Bass) and Niso (Drums) have established themselves has the perfect replacements.   Welcome aboard!

Towards The Sun,” cuts deep with Jade’s stellar vocal delivery within seconds of opening and the melodic guitars behind her powerful wails helps heighten the epic immediacy of the song’s atmosphere.  The solo and accompanying riffs show a powerful dynamic Federico and Sheena with definite synergy between the two.  The drums hit hard and accent Jade on the chorus so well while the bass lays down that hard foundation that even a power metal band needs.

The galloping rhythm guitar of “The Lone Stranger,” echos classic bands like IRON MAIDEN and the guitar melodies are very “singable”, much like what BLIND GUARDIAN do.  I know they are a young band but if FROZEN CROWN keep writing songs like this, they have the potential to become legends like the aforementioned bands one day.   I just love how the lead guitar flows in and out of the song but the rhythm is always there to compliment the overall destination of the song.

The beginning of “Water Dancer,” is absolutely entrancing, as are the exciting melodies.  The overall song is serious but also very fun and demands multiple listens.  Jade commands the lyrics so well, telling the mini story with much gusto, conviction and even makes it jaunty. The chorus will be in your head for days. The riffs around the three minute mark are solid as hell and give the song an edge at leads it into a nice guitar solo.

As far as I’m concerned, the final track “Blood On The Snow,” is one of the very best songs the band has done thus far.  Once again, the lead guitar displays a “lyrical” passion and I can envision crowds singing along to it.  The harsher vocals fit the song well and I’m glad the band knows when to use those rather than in every song.  This song has an intensity and aggressive factor that most power metal bands avoid but they have a deft control over it. The speed of the song is welcomed too as faster tempo’s and power metal go hand in hand.  The last couple minutes show off how synced up the band is despite the fact that there are so many new members.

All in all, FROZEN CROWN have released the best album of their short career so far.  It firmly establishes them as a major player in the scene and now the sky is the limit for them.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Embrace the Night
2. Towards the Sun
3. Far Beyond
4. The Lone Stranger
5. Crown Eternal
6. The Water Dancer
7. Angels in Disguise
8. Night Crawler (Judas Priest cover)
9. Tales of the Forest
10. Blood on the Snow
Lineup:
Federico Mondelli – Keys, Guitars, Vocals
Giada “Jade” Etro – Vocals
Fabiola “Sheena” Bellomo – Guitar
Francesco Zof – Bass
Niso Tomasini - Drums
Record Label: Scarlet Records
     


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