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Walking off the beaten path - 78%

kluseba, August 15th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2019, CD, Avalon (Japan)

Frozen Crown is a female-fronted Italian power metal quintet and Crowned in Frost is its second full length record in its third year of existence. Lead singer Giada Etro is also involved in gothic metal band Ashes You Leave. Guitarist Thalìa Bellazecca is only eighteen years old but has recently been collaborating with Russian thrash metal band Pokerface. Keyboardist, guitarist and additional vocalist Federico Mondelli has the most experience of the quintet and has been the guitarist and singer of overlooked gothic doom metal band Dirty Rain. These influences show that Frozen Crown isn't your ordinary power metal band. Even though the quintet plays power metal with symphonic keyboard sounds and neoclassical guitar melodies, the band sound is at times fast and gritty as it flirts with heavy and thrash metal elements while the male vocals even occasionally add death metal stylistics to a few select songs.

This interesting potpourri works particularly well in the band's more epic tracks. ''Winterfall'' combines melodic but grounded female vocals filled with passion and power with occasional male growls that give the song an almost theatrical dimension without ever sounding overwhelming. The musicianship is equally adventurous and mixes uplifting melodic passages with gritty fast parts shifting from symphonic power metal to a mixture of death and thrash metal in a most versatile way. The closing title track ''Crowned in Frost'' that is introduced with a smooth instrumental prelude entitled ''Enthroned'', has a very similar combination of styles but with less extreme and surprising changes that make for a less adventurous but more fluid result.

If you like symphonic power metal with grounded vocals that occasionally walks off the beaten path with death and thrash metal elements, then you should give these promising youngsters a chance. Frozen Crown seems to be releasing inspired high-quality records at an impressive rhythm and has already established its very own style that sounds like no other power metal band I have recently been coming across. Give the very good Crowned in Frost a few spins and if you like it, you may even purchase the Japanese version which includes a wonderful cinematic keyboard instrumental called ''The King's Rest'' that closes the record enchantingly after the vivid title track.

Power metal pride - 80%

Andromeda_Unchained, April 2nd, 2019

Oh boy, here I go again. Just when you thought you'd seen/read the last from me. What better way than to usher in a (probable) new period of activity, than giving the old keyboard treatment to a super spicy, brand spanking new power metal record!?

I'd enjoyed the debut album from the Italian hopefuls in varying degrees, although it didn't quite give me that flavor of the week, this is all I'm listening to today; let's whack that play button again vibe, which Crowned In Frost has dressed me in head to toe. If you're reading this here mincing of words, then I'd hazard a guess you already have a pretty good idea of what Frozen Crown are about? If not, then these lads and ladies deliver a glacial barrage of Euro power metal the way you know and love, although what's this? That would be riffs, my friend. Big hairy riffs which would scare the wings from a Skylark logo. These guys totally own that turn of the century power metal approach, don't get me wrong, there's just a certain chest beating vibe displayed throughout this record which sends this one careening right through the back of the net.

Giada Etro's luscious vocals glide throughout the music like caramel, super nice, and friendly on the ears, with melodies admittedly typical for the style, but sincere enough to rub the right way. I'll particularly smash a fist pump to the beginnings of both "In The Dark" and "Lost In Time", which are shimmering displays in catchy, memorable melodies, and not to mention both are 10/10 bangers. Speaking of banging, throughout this album Alberto Mezzanotte's drum battery keeps that tempo driving, and man, does this guy beat the hell out of that kit! Who was it who said power metal had bad drums?! Not me, that's who.

The songwriting throughout Crowned In Frost is just, super convincing on the whole. There are some borderline moments of dead space, particularly recalling my first listen, where I felt some of the longer numbers came across as airy. Now I view that as more of an atmospheric choice, as opposed to a shortcoming. Frozen Crown do well mixing in elements of extreme metal, which is becoming more and more prevalent as the style continues into new horizons, although what I will say, is that it again comes across sincere, works in context with the frostbitten feel present throughout, and genuinely keeps proceedings both moving and exciting. There are some harsh vocals present which could be a turn off, hardly a deal breaker, but it's worth noting. Closing out the overall sound I'd like to mention the guitars and keyboards, whether it be towering, mountain punching riffs, or twinkling trade-offs and interplay. There's a lot of variety displayed, be it chugging those sixteenths, slamming those Wintersun/Children of Bodom style melodies, ripping through Highlord country, or pounding on the gates at "the hall".

I'm genuinely enamored with this record, and find the overall product in and of itself to be very well thought out and pro. I love when a band can reference themselves in the album title, and don't care how cheesy it may be. That album cover is absolutely beautiful, and the logo is wicked. This definitely looks the part, and I'm really happy that the music backs it up. I'd go as far as to call this a banner record for Scarlet whose track record was dwindling in my eyes. If you're at all a fan of this style, then I'd do whatever you do, stream, download, buy, just give this one a listen, as it's a good one.

Originally written for you, reader!

Worthy Of The Crown - 85%

KanisMaximus, March 23rd, 2019
Written based on this version: 2019, CD, Scarlet Records (Digipak)

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.

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