Review by Pete Finn for MPM
Frozen Crown is an Italian Power Metal band formed during 2017 in Milan. It’s slightly embarrassing but, Frozen Crown are a new band to me, so a bit of research finds, they have been described as; “where Power Metal meets old-school Speed and Classic Heavy Metal in a modern fashion, with a bombastic production highlighting opulent orchestrations and harmonies.” This could be interesting.
They released their debut album ‘The Fallen King’ in 2018. ‘Call of the North’, is the bands fourth release and second with the current line-up of Giada “Jade” Etro (vocals), Federico Mondelli (guitars, keyboards, vocals), Fabiola “Sheena” Bellomo (guitars), Francesco Zof (bass) and Niso Tomasini (drums).
So, as I mentioned earlier this is my first experience of Frozen Crown, and a look at various fan sites, sees them singing their praise as being one of the best Power Metal bands around, so this has whetted my appetite.
The album contains 10-tracks and has a respectable running time of nearly 54-minutes, with a couple around 6-minutes and one epic coming in at over 7-minutes.
The album opens with the title track, ‘Call Of The North’ we’re greeted with a fanfare, this becomes a powerful riff before Niso Tomasini’s rapid double-tapping drum introduces Etro’s searing vocal. The tempo is uncompromising in its pace, demonstrated by the dual guitar assault from Mondelli and Bellomo. The symphonic sound is all encompassing.
Trash and Power Metal combining in one hell of an opening track. The rapid pace continues as the listener is catapulted into ‘Fire In The Sky’. Frozen Crown are taking no prisoners. Zof and Tomasini have their ferocious beats cleverly entwined by monstrous riffs and a calm mid-paced Etro vocal.
The tempo rises and falls as if attached to one of the finest rollercoaster rides.
Dirty and down-tuned guitars are the backbone of ‘Black Heart’. A mix of harmonies and Metallica like riffs. This track is slightly slower, the focus on Etro’s vocal and the backing harmonies provided by the band, it’s almost operatic in comparison to the earlier tracks.
The opening hat-trick of tracks have been, blistering, battering and brilliantly constructed. ’Victorious’ has an acoustic intro, Etro’s clear vocal accompanied by gentle strumming allows you to collect your breath.
Two minutes later a bar-room brawl breaks out, thumping beats and frenzied riffs, a post battle cry that will induce the pits, head-banging and air punches during a live show.
The quick pace returns with the anthemic ‘In A Moment’. Crashing beats are delivered by Zof and Tomasini, Etro’s chanted lyrics are rapid, the sounds meshed together by the flying fretboard work of Mondelli and Bellomo. The melodies are colossal, the rhythms are alternating back and forth filling the room with a rich sound.
Now, we march into ‘Legion’, in fact, it’s more of a charge, the shredding and drumming for the intro are breath-taking. This track is a lot heavier in sound, more metal. I like the bands ability to mix it up a bit. Etro’s vocal has dropped an octave or two, demonstrating her great range.
‘Until The End’ provides examples of power, speed, classic and symphonic metal elements. Mondelli and Bellomo have their guitars squealing, Zof delivers a pounding back-drop as Tomasini’s pace is relentless. A classic Power Metal track.
Next, we have the near 6-minutes ‘Now Or Never’, continuing in the Power Metal style. It’s off at a galloping pace, it’s rhythmic and Etro’s vocal is right on the money, the backing harmonies help spread the sound, one stand-out is the mid-track solo delivered straight to the heart by Federico Mondelli.
The calm folksy style intro for ’One For All’ is quite misleading as after a minute the track explodes in your face. A full symphonic soundtrack anthem, dirty riffs and pounding beat. It’s an extremely effective piece of work. We reach the final track, ‘Far Away’, it’s a 7:12 minute gargantuan, and I’m wondering if Frozen Crown have saved the biggest firework in the box ‘til last…Yes, they bloody well have.
From the blistering Judas Priest-esque opening riff, they launch their complete arsenal of weapons at you. The tempo twists and turns, guided by intricate and spellbinding guitar work from Mondelli and Bellomo, the soaring and smooth Etro vocal, the thunderous bass beats of Francesco Zof and the machine-gun drumming of Tomasini, not forgetting the blended harmonies. It delivers a Greatest Hits album in one track.
Power Metal has never really been my “Go To” genre of choice, however, ‘Call of the North’ has me reconsidering that option. If I had to wish for one more minor thing from the album, and it is purely a personal preference, in places I think the production mix would have worked slightly better with a bit more clarity between the instruments, they seemed to merge, losing a bit of definition, maybe it was a deliberate decision.
Never-the-less, there is no doubt in the technical abilities or in the performances of Frozen Crown, and ‘Call of the North’ is a mighty fine album.
Order the new album: https://bfan.link/victorious-2
Official Merch and tour tickets: https://frozencrown.net