Frozen Land - Frozen Land - (9/10)
Published on December 11, 2018
For decades now Finland has been a veritable hotbed for top quality metal and power metal, obviously, is no exception. Even just a cursory glance reveals a plethora of names that most metalheads at least recognize by name, such as Stratovarius, Nightwish or Sonata Arctica, immediately jump out. Some bands took different roads from their power metallic beginnings, yet there never was a shortage of new bands pushing through, which leads to Frozen Land. Offering their self-titled debut album via Massacre Records they fall into the category of new young band that does not necessarily bring anything new to the table, but delivers their shtick in such a convincing manner that said fact does not even matter.
Leading in with “Loser’s Game”, Frozen Land forgo any kind of intro or preparation, but go full speed ahead from the get go, channeling older Stratovarius to the core, yet without sounding like a mere rehash of their compatriots, all the way into the chorus, the doubled guitar/keyboard work and the energy and melodies, kicking things off in style and definitely setting the pace of what the following 40 minutes will bring.
While some people do not quite subscribe to the “rather an outstanding copy than a crappy original”, the sheer quality of material like driving “Delusions of Grandeur”, pounding “Underworld (Manala)” or all-out double-bass cracker “The Rising” will bring the name Stratovarius to the mind more than once, but where the original, while still putting out outstanding albums, has shifted their style somewhat, it actually is refreshing to hear the “old” sound brought back to life in such convincing manner.
The biggest strengths lie in their all-out power metal anthems like the above mentioned songs or also “Unsung Heroes” or “Mask of the Youth” and complete their flashback mode with a cover version of the E-Type eurodance song “Angels Crying”, which not unlike Labyrinth’s “Vertigo” cover off their No Limits debut shows that eurodance and power metal might be closer related than some people might dare to admit.
For a debut Frozen Land surely is an impressive first step and it does not come surprising that a label as established as Massacre has decided to take it on, this quintet has everything a power metal band needs to succeed and it is just another gemstone in the already rich 2018 harvest.