It’s been a few years since I joined a Power and Symphonic Metal Appreciation group on Facebook. It’s been a great way to discover new bands whilst making new friends. One group that often popped up were FROZEN CROWN, I had heard the odd song or two and liked what I heard. I had never heard a full album from them until recently. They are due to release their third album Winterbane this Friday. After listening to this, it’s easy to see why they are being regarded Europe’s Uprising Metal Stars.
The album kicks off with Embrace The Night. UNLEASH THE ARCHERS came to mind when I started to listen this this, Giada “Jade” Etro’s powerful vocals are similar to Brittney Slayes. From what I understand, the lyrics describe seeing obstacles as challenges to overcome rather than things that get in your way. That’s my interpretation, feel free to disagree. Either way, it’s a great way to kick off the album.
When listening to albums, you don’t often get to have a think if the music arrangements and lyrics replicate the song titles. For the duration of Winterbane, I noticed FROZEN CROWN manage to achieve this and they do it well. Below are just a few examples of what I mean.
The galloping beats and riffs in The Lone Stranger caught my attention instantly. It has a strong melody that takes you for a ride whether you are ready or not. It’s one of those songs that make you want to grab the air as you lip-sync to the mighty lyrics and practice air guitar with pride. The guitar work is consistent throughout the album and it really shines through in this track.
As someone who loves swimming and the water in general, I was naturally attracted to The Water Dancer by the title alone. The track itself did not disappoint. The whimsical riffs and vocal work emulate this title very well. Even when the distortion cranks up, it manages to keep to the playful tones this water dancer may give off.
Angels In Disguise wouldn’t have been out of place in the eighties. Not saying this is bad thing, the eighties is my favourite decade for music. The retro sounds from the keyboards emulate angels perfectly. Heaven comes to mind when listening this track, these keyboard melodies contribute to these airy feelings. The pumping guitar riffs and solos combined with Jade’s powerful vocals replicates the angels being in disguise perfectly. BATTLE BEAST song Beyond The Burning Skies comes to mind when listening to this, that’s down to similar sounding melodies. Again I’m not complaining, they are both great songs.
It ends on tracks Tales Of The Forest and Blood On The Snow. When listening to the magical sounds of Tales Of The Forest, you don’t expect it to suddenly turn dark. This creates a smooth transition to Blood On The Snow. If this was a DnD campaign or fantasy film, this would be the part where the band of questers are walking through a harmless forest until they see blood on the snow. Once seeing this, they know they have to be prepared for whatever is lurking in the atmosphere.
Overall, Winterbane is a great album and FROZEN CROWN stay consistent throughout. It’s easy to see why this is an eagerly anticipated album from the fans. For new listeners, it’s a great gateway album to their sound. FROZEN CROWN are Power Metal icons in the making and this album is solid proof of this.
Words: Lotty Whittingham
Winterbane will be released Friday 23rd April via Scarlet Records.
Find FROZEN CROWN on Facebook.