FROZEN LAND - Frozen Land
The name fits well with the bandís origin: Frozen Land are from Finland. At first, in 2017, Tuomas Hirvonen wanted to start a solo project but soon changed his mind and recruited musicians. Only a vocalist was hard to find, until they came across Tony Meloni from Italy on YouTube. As Finland and Italy are thousands of kilometres apart, the vocalist has never met his band in person, but in the era of fast Internet, you can be a band without having to share a common rehearsal room.
The aim of Frozen Land is to play traditional power metal the way it was popular in Finland in the Nineties. The band is not ashamed to quote classic metal bands like Sonata Arctica, Stratovarius and Wintersun as inspirations. As Frozen Land have an Italian vocalist, they also name Rhapsody as an influence, but before they added the "Of Fire" suffix.
The eponymous debut album doesnít sound despite its unusual origin story sterile. I even have to admit that I was rather amazed by the powerful production. The songwriting which reminds of the Golden Age of power metal is also topmost quality. Frozen Land manage again and again to find the ideal balance between power and heaviness. The songs are usually fast and performed precisely, with melodies that are hard to forget. The keyboards are used with skill without taking over too much of the sound.
Loserís Game is a perfect opener that makes you hungry for more. Tonyís voice sounds occasionally a little strained, but thatís the way it also was twenty years ago, so we can interpret this as authenticity. Six of the albumís songs use a similar modus operandi, which doesnít mean that these tracks are interchangeable. The Rising comes with a guitar sound that reminded me of Yngwie J. Malmsteen. Then there are two more commercial songs, where Underworld could also have come from Journey. Then there is the somewhat silly ballad I Would that the band recorded to apparently also attract female fans and the unusual cover version Angels Crying from E-Type, a Swedish dance band unfamiliar to me.
Frozen Landís debut album is solid effort with lots of highs and very few lows that are absolutely forgivable on a first record. It is unmistakable that the musicians stand 100% behind their band, and one can only hope that sometime in the future the musicians will meet in the flesh so that they can also play live shows.