Frozen Crown - Crowned in Frost - (8.5/10)
Published on March 23, 2019
Frozen Crown arrived on the power metal scene in a blizzard with last year’s debut, The Fallen King. Their mix of melodeath and power metal combined with a strong female lead and insanely good musicianship made them a formidable force right out of the gate. And to prove their legitimacy further, Frozen Crown have hardly stopped long enough to catch their breath. They’ve wasted no time or effort in the making of their second record, Crowned in Frost, and have produced yet another exceptional slab of metal.
‘Arctic Gales’ begins the record with climbing dual guitar lines and actually does a decent job at setting the mood for what’s to come (it always surprises the shit out of me when the intro tracks in metal albums are actually good, so bonus points here). As we venture further into the album, we encounter countless strong melodies, heavy riffs, and layers of different vocals. They’re primarily driven by the powerful Jade Etro, but there are many male harmonies, as well as a touch of rough vocals, as in ‘Winterfall’ and ‘Crowned in Frost’.
While the vocals are superb and Alberto Mezzanotte does a phenomenal job pounding the shit out of every single beat that he lays down, special attention simply must be paid to the guitar work. The riffs created between lead guitarist and songwriter Federico Mondelli (who also does the keys) and Talia Bellazecca (who’s only 18) are definitely the highlight of the album. Their synergistic shredding hits harder than an iceberg and, by the gods, are Mondelli‘s solos fantastic.
Another thing I enjoy in this album is the mixing and mastering. It’s mixed more like a heavy metal album than a power metal album, which gives it more of an edge, and it really works for this grittier style of power metal. The balance is also great and I can actually hear the fucking bass guitar (courtesy of Filippo Zavattari), which is more than I can say for ninety percent of the metal that I come across. The bass is often lost in the midst of an overbearing kick, especially in newer bands, so this professional touch goes a long way for me.
As mentioned before, there’s a staggering amount of variety in this record, with influences ranging from numerous different genres. ‘Battles in the Night’ is an old school, steady banger, whereas tunes like ‘In the Dark’ and ‘Forever’ pound away with a similar positive energy as Gamma Ray and more conventional power metal. And then there’s the meaner, harsher tracks like ‘Unspoken’, which is just fucking colossal.
Crowned in Frost already sets itself apart from its predecessor. There’s a larger bulk of heavy metal influence this time around, and it’s clear that Frozen Crown has grown more frigid with age. With two albums of increasing quality already under their belt, I think it’s safe to say that the next album will be at least as impressive as this one.
Originally written for PowerThorn.com