Artist: Freedom Call
Title: Land of the Crimson Dawn
Freedom Call are one of those euro power metal bands (from Germany) you hear about quite a lot, they have been active for quite a while, certainly since the rise of this particular EU genres rise to popularity in the late 90’s, so it’s very strange that I don’t actually know what they sound like! Maybe it’s just my safety specs and ear plugs fearing the worst, you know, there’s a lot of OTT testosterone around in this genre warning me away but what always draws me closer is the music which I find is sometimes let down by the stigma of epic and posing PR shots, I am afraid this overshadows some wonderful musicians and talent.
I find myself listening with zero conceived ideas to the opening tunes, a fear quite uncanny. However, I have to say, what you have are really good pieces of music, melody driven, precise and to the point. Songs like ‘Space Legends’ sounds very Gamma Ray, its unusual as drummer Dan Zimmermann has left Freedom Call (replaced by Klaus Sperling ex-Primal Fear and ex-Sinner), both those bands and the Gamma Ray influence is certainly here on ‘Land of the Crimson Dawn’. The vocals themselves are very good, Chris Bay has a good set of vocal chords, but I sometimes find it hard to stomach the lyrical content of Epic Fantasy, you know the score, I stroke my chin as I write, that’s all I’m saying, but if in doubt listen to ‘Rockstars’ or ‘Hero On Video’! For all the detraction here, the former aforementioned song (‘Rockstars’) is arranged perfectly, I love the guitar tone, the balancing of harmony, and yes, even the bloody keyboards fit well, and I know I normally detest these in metal music! ‘Valley ofKingdom’ rivals early Dragonforce for ripping speed and fretboard loss of sensibility, it’s blisteringly fast, those harmonies again, what is it with Freedom Call? They really do have an art for grabbing your attention and making the songs last in your mind, and for that, I really have to applaud these Bavarians although sometimes they really don’t help themselves gain more credibility, but at a summer festival, yes. The bouncy happiness of songs like the aforementioned ‘Hero On Video’ would really set the crowd in motion, it’s happy, it is, I’m not taking the ‘p’, as much as I want to deny it, but this approach really works! It’s certainly not an album that is hard to forget with so many hooks implanted in your mind.
Maybe it’s because I have avoided this genre for some time, but ‘Land of the Crimson Dawn’ is very much classic epic euro metal, hooks are plentiful, the guitars are fast, precise and entertaining, and some the vocal harmonies really make this a top quality effort.
(8/10 Paul Maddison)