Jack The Frost – Fool To Be Cool
Jack The Frost – Fool To Be Cool (2014)
Reviewed by Daniel Millard
Despite being desperately in love with probably the silliest genre of metal, I still tend to like my power metal quite sober and to take itself seriously most of the time. Therefore, seeing the cover art for Fool To Be Cool didn’t have me expecting a whole lot out of Jack The Frost’s four song EP. However, I didn’t review anything else about the band prior to hitting “play” in iTunes, or my expectations would have been entirely different.
You see, I have a huge crush on now-defunct Finnish power metal act Requiem and, to my embarrassment, didn’t realize ahead of time that Jack The Frost is nothing so much as a light-hearted power metal reincarnation of that band. The vocals of Jouni Nikula are absolutely unmistakable, and with Arto Räisälä on guitar and Jari Huttunen behind the kit, the once-lost familiar-yet-distinguished strains of that terrific act come sweeping anew over the horizon: an icy breeze, but the kind that promises frozen treats and snowmen more than hypothermia and blizzards.
That’s not to say that Jack The Frost sounds identical to old Requiem, though. Of the four songs delivered on this EP, all are banging, uptempo power metal gunshots worthy of numerous listens. Single “Jack The Frost” debuted in 2013, and while it’s respectable enough, the other trio of songs indicate that the band’s songwriting time has been so very well spent. Opener “Fool To Be Cool” shows Nikula doing some of his non-traditional sung-spoken vocals (and if you don’t recognize his voice right off the bat, you never will) before running up to a high-register chorus that sounds like it could have been pulled straight from Requiem Forever.
The very best work here is found in “Planet Love”, in this critic’s opinion. A bit more straightforward, perhaps, with less tonal experimentation and bursts of speed, this is a very honest, unrepentantly catchy track that will soon have you playing the magic flute of doom for yourself. Closer “Under The Nordic Sky” is a bit more of the same, though a more varied track from its twinkly Swan Lake ballet music-box introduction to another high-register chorus line for Nikula.
Fool To Be Cool should by no means be judged by its chuckle-inducing cover art, but instead by the measure of its contents. To any true-blue fan of Finnish power metal, this should equate to instant and repeated delight. I will be following this band very closely, and recommend this smart and merry little EP to anyone who enjoys Euro-power. Kippis!
4.0 // 5