Frozen Crown is an Italian band, from Lombardy, who only got together in 2017 and who’ve just released their debut album, The Fallen King. They’re described as being a power metal band with a toehold in melodic classic metal and, in that sense, with the structure of their music, and the occasional usage of keyboards, they’re occasionally reminiscent of Nightwish when Tarja Turunen still sang with them, though Frozen Crown plays a lot faster and without the operatic feel Tarja gave the band. They also prominently feature both female and male vocals in their line-up, with the main vocals being handled by Glada Etro, and she packs quite a punch when she sings. How long before she’s rated as being ‘up there’ with other top female vocalists?
The album opens with ‘Fail No More’, which is played at quite an intense pace, and with lovely interplay between the male and female voices. It’s somewhat amazing the pace lasted for as long as it did. This is followed by ‘To Infinity’, which is almost a continuation of the previous song, though it’s less intense and less manic. On this track, Glada’s voice sounds really good, though her voice tends to be better when she sings normally, rather than attempting to push the higher octaves. Where she does come into her own is on tracks like ‘Across the Sea’ and ‘Chasing Lights’, the former being possibly the best track on the album. Here, the band don’t attempt to play at the speed of light and the song is all the better for it. On the latter track, Glada’s voice really stands out. On the single, ‘Shieldmaiden’, they’ve clearly listened to Nightwish at some point and they attempt to replicate them, even down to the growls used by Nightwish bassman Marco Hietala.
And it’s the growls I find off-putting. Clearly, there’s a time when incessant growls have their place, but when they’re used and add little or nothing to a song, you have to wonder why they’re included. Similarly, I’m unsure why the band feels the need to play with manic throbbing bass lines on songs like ‘Everwinter’, which would be a much better song without them. But, overall, this is a solid, rather than spectacular, debut album, very enjoyable in parts but lacking that essential ‘something’ which would lift it above the rest.