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Pretty disappointing after two good previous album - 50%

morbert, May 9th, 2021

The all important third album, just ask Slayer, Metallica, Anthrax etcetera. The third album quite often turns out a highlight of any bands career, be it financially or artistically. So the Italians Federico Mondelli (Guitars& vocals) and Giada Etro (lead vocals) are here with their third album. And the expectations are high. As they should be.

However first thing to notice is Frozen Crown now being an almost entirely different band now. 3/5 of its members were replaced. No idea why, maybe the COVID situation, or perhaps even for artistical reasons.

I own their first two albums and I must say I prefer their fast(er) more uptempo songs. The midpaced songs were okay but uptempo tracks like 'Fail No More' and 'Neverending' exceeded the common power metal average quality bar. And that was because, apart from being good songs, the lead vocals worked best. When Mondelli and Etro sing in harmony, it can really elevate a song.

So on the new album I immediately picked out the fast songs first. The lead single 'Far Beyond' being the obvious first choice. However it becomes apparent that altough the chorus is good the vocal harmonies, which made the earlier mentioned 'classics' like Neverending stand out, are missing exactly when the song needs them. You can hear Etro doubled het vocals but there's no dominating all powerful harmony, leaving me feeling actually dissatisfied. In all, it's a good song but not an outstanding one.

Another faster song 'Embrace the Night' sounds more like Unleash the Archers than the previous Frozen Crown albums. Even though I do like a few UTA songs (actually, mostly only 'Awakening' due to its perfect chorus) I prefer Frozen Crown to sound like.... Frozen Crown. And even though the vocals harmonies are there, in the chorus, it seems more like Mondelli is doubling the main chorus melody than actually adding a harmony. So, once again, it's a good song but not an outstanding one.

Songs like 'The Lone Stranger' and 'Towards the Sun ' are going firmly back to 1986 Iron Maiden and 'Crown Eternal' feels like a post-nineties scandinavian death metal song with added female vocals. I utterly dislike 'Crown Eternal' I must admit. Those harsh vocals on melodic albums are so tedious, uninspired and even dated. 'The Water Dancer' is more of a folk metal tune. Good song but more suited for people into bands like Delain or Epica. This also goes for the chorus 'Angels in Disguise' which is just middle of the road post-Y2k FFM. Mediocre at best.

So I must now say something about the "epic" song on the album, the almost-9 minute 'Blood on the Snow'. It takes almost 2 minutes before the song actually gets going and then.. death grunts. Thanks but no thanks! A band which has two vocalist which can make vocal hamonies work better than 50% of other metal bands doing this? This is just a waste of talent. But is the song any good? Well actually it is kind of boring. We even get blastbeats at the 4:24 mark. This is just pathetic really. I've listened to it about 5 times now but I know that after writing this review I'll probably never play it again willingly.

So all in all, their first two albums admittedly also had a decent amount of of filler but at least those albums had a few real standout tracks. This new album lacks those standouts. The best songs here are nowhere close to Fail Nor More, Neverending, The Shieldmaiden or Kings. Because the best songs here would've been 'just okay' on the previous albums.

It's not a bad album just a very mediocre one.
Frozen Crown have made a misstep here and I think it's time for them to choose which direction to go next and get more focussed.