Released By: Scarlet Records
Release Date: February 9th, 2018
Genre: Power Metal
Giada “Jade” Etro – Vocals
Federico Mondelli – Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards
Talia Bellazecca – Guitars
Filipo Zavattari – Bass
Alberto Mezzanotte – Drums
1. Fail No More
2. To Infinity
4. I Am the Tyrant
5. The Shieldmaiden
6. Chasing Lights
7. Queen of Blades
8. Across the Sea
It seems every year without fail, I hear an album within the first two months that blows me away, either from a band making their debut or from a band who previously hadn’t impressed me much. This year my first truly exciting album comes from Italian power metal band Frozen Crown, who are set to release their debut, The Fallen King, in early February. The band is led by vocalist Giada “Jade” Etro and vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Federico Mondelli, who are both very experienced with other genres, and now they’ve come together to create their own brand of melodic power metal. I was instantly impressed when I first heard the lead single “The Shieldmaiden”, and thankfully The Fallen King is a case where the entire album proves to be on about the same level as the single, providing listeners with some amazing speedy power metal from start to finish.
Frozen Crown play a very melodic and high energy brand of power metal, that’s certainly inspired by classic European power metal, and for the most part, fans can expect some very speedy power metal, with some excellent melodies and vocal lines throughout. There’s a lot of keyboards, as is typical for the genre, though the guitars are quite prominent as well, with some heavy riffs and, some very nice melodic leads and occasionally some very good shredding, especially during the instrumental sections. At times, the album reminds a bit of Canadian band Unleash the Archers, or at least that band’s faster songs, as a few of the tracks here throw in some melodic death metal elements, which come in the form of some extra heavy and more modern sounding guitar work, as well as the occasional use of harsh vocals. Songwriting is excellent and quite varied, with many of the tracks being fast-paced, though there’s the occasional slow and mid-paced track, as well as one ballad, and even among the faster tracks there are those which are pure power metal and those which throw in some melodic death metal elements, as well as slight symphonic elements, so every song ends up standing out in its own way.
The biggest strength of the band is their vocals, as they have three different vocal styles, all of which are done very well. First up is the lead vocals, performed by Jade, who has a deep and very powerful voice that at times reminds me of Brittany Slayes, except a bit lighter and more melodic. She has a voice that carries melody very well, while still having enough power to excel during the heavier sections, and she sounds amazing on every track here, with her vocals easily being my favorite element of the band’s music. Next is Federico Mondelli’s clean vocals, which are fairly animated and intense. These only appear on a few tracks and are mostly used during verses, but they’re very effective when they appear. Lastly, we have Federico’s growls, which are very deep and powerful. These only appear on a few tracks as well and are also mostly used in quick bursts, except for on the closing track “Netherstorm”, where they’re a lot more prominent, and they sound quite epic.
Another huge strength is the songwriting, which is consistently excellent throughout the album, as well as being varied enough that every track is memorable in different ways. First up is the amazing opener “Fail No More”, which charges out of the gates at a breakneck pace, with some excellent lead guitar work as some nice use of keys for extra flavor. The verses are explosive and have great leading vocals from Federico, while Jade provides some great backing vocals, and then the chorus kicks in and Jade takes over, immediately stealing the show with her powerful voice, and delivering an instantly catchy and epic chorus that gets the album off to an excellent start. The track has an excellent shredding guitar solo and is an explosive, melodic and very catchy track that gives listeners a great idea of what to expect from the rest of the album.
On the slightly calmer side is “To Infinity”, a very melodic and more keyboard driven track, which still moves at a pretty fast pace, but is definitely lighter and less intense than the opening track. This track is the first true taste of Jade’s voice, as she leads the entire song on her own, aside from backing vocals, and she delivers an amazing performance, especially during the epic final run of the chorus. The chorus itself is very melodic and one of the catchier ones on the album, for sure, while the melodic guitar solo in the middle is also very nice. Staying with calmer material, “I Am the Tyrant” is the first more mid-paced track on the album, and it has some great lead guitar work, as well as being another track where Federico uses his clean vocals quite a bit, as well as a few growls during the chorus. It’s a very melodic track with another amazing chorus, as well as some great guitar work and nice use of keys throughout. In similar territory is “Across the Sea”, another lighter more keyboard driven track like “To Infinity”, except this one is slightly slower, and again it’s Jade who steals the show here, with very light but deep and powerful vocals, that especially shine during probably the best chorus on the entire album.
The instrumental work on this track is a bit simple but very effective as well, as it’s definitely one of my favorites. The one ballad on the album is “Chasing Lights”, which unlike most ballads, is actually largely instrumental, with some very light keys used throughout as well as some beautiful guitar melodies, with the main melody, in particular, serving as the starting point for the next track, “Queen of Blades”. It has some great vocals from Jade and Federico in the middle and is a very nice track that serves as a change of pace in between two of the most epic and intense songs on the album.
On the speedier side of things, we have “Kings”, a more straight-forward and classic sounding power metal track, with the guitars, in particular, having a very throwback sound to them, while Jade handles all the lead vocals on this track, and excels as always. It’s a speedy, heavy track that should definitely please most power metal fans, with its excellent guitar leads and powerful vocal lines, as well as another great guitar solo. I already briefly mentioned “The Shieldmaiden”, which is probably my favorite song here, and it’s definitely an amazing lead single. It’s for sure the most epic track on the album, with an extended intro that briefly starts off with some nice keys, before the guitars kick in and the song speeds up, mixing in some slight symphonic elements, before the vocals finally take over, and Jade delivers a powerful performance as always, especially during the unforgettable and super epic chorus, while Federico’s growls are also used in quick bursts throughout the track. It has a very nice extended instrumental section in the middle, and musically I’d say it’s by far the most epic and most interesting track on the album, while the vocal lines are amazing as always, making the song an instant classic. Another excellent speedier track is “Queen of Blades”, which builds off the main melody of “Chasing Lights” and speeds it up, turning into a fast-paced power metal track with slight melodic death metal elements, enhanced by some excellent growls. It’s another excellent track with a great instrumental section and is definitely one of the heavier songs on the album.
Moving on to the final two tracks, “Everwinter” is another speedier track and has a very classic power metal feel to it, with some excellent keyboard melodies, as well as some excellent vocal melodies as always. It moves at a frantic pace and is one of the more pure power tracks, with Jade leading the way throughout, and the chorus is absolutely fantastic and super catchy. Lastly, we have “Netherstorm”, which very much feels like a melodic death metal track, with more frantic and intense sounding drums than normal, and it’s the heaviest track on the album by far, as well as being the track with the most growled lines. It’s a very fun way to the end the album for sure and has excellent melodic guitar work throughout, as well as another great chorus.
Overall, The Fallen King is an excellent debut, which delivers the kind of fast-paced, melodic power metal fans of the genre are sure to love, as well as occasional melodic death metal elements and some excellent vocals. The songwriting is varied enough that each song stands out while being consistently amazing throughout, and overall it’s an amazing album, which makes me very excited to hear more from Frozen Crown in the future. Highly recommended for fans of speedy, melodic power metal as well as folks who like having some melodic death metal elements mixed in with their power metal, and anyone looking to hear some great, very powerful female vocals.
Written by: Travis Green