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On disc: Freedom Call



Taragon - Claudia Ehrhardt - 7 stars
Dimensions - Philip Thelen - 9 stars
Legend Of The Shadowking - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars
Legend Of The Shadowking - Philip Thelen - 9 stars
Land Of The Crimson Dawn - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars
Ages Of Light - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars


www.freedom-call.net







Ages Of Light

Ages Of Light
( - 2013)


With Ages Of Light German outfit Freedom Call presents a best-of album which covers the years from 1998 til 2013. The songs aren't in a chronological order, they mixed them up. And so they kick off with one of their hymns - We Are One. On CD 1 you get mainly the album versions, only Metal Warriors and A Perfect Day are live versions. And so CD 2 is more interesting, even if it only has 6 tracks. The rockabilly version of Rockin' Radio is showing Chris Bay and his mates totally different and I have to say, this is pure fun! Metal Invasion they present in a metal folk version is well done, but isn't blow me away. Anyway, it's nice to hear the different version. Mr. Evil is a good choice for a melodic reggae version, but due to my aversion for reggae I won't comment this one. Hero On Video they turned into a fast ska version, I think here they could have pushed the limits a bit more... Then they slow down for Age Of The Phoenix (Power Swing version) and Freedom Call (Camp Fire Strumming version), but for me the songs lost their charm... But perhaps it's just too different from what Freedom Call usually present...

For fans the songs on CD2 are interesting, but everybody who doesn't owe all their studio albums it's a good way to discover more of Freedom Call.


Track listing:

CD 1
We Are One
Tears Falling
Freedom Call
Farewell
Metal Invasion (live)
Warriors
Land Of Light
Hunting High And Low
Mr. Evil
Far Away
Blackened Sun
Thunder God
Tears Of Babylon
A Perfect Day (live)
Hero On Video
Power & Glory
Rockstars
Back Into The Land Of Light

CD 2:
Rockin' Radio (Killerbilly version)
Metal Invasion (Folk Metal version)
Mr. Evil (Melodic Reggae version)
Hero On Video (Speed Ska version)
Age Of The Phoenix (Power Swing version)
Freedom Call (Camp Fire Strumming version)


8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

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Land Of The Crimson Dawn

Land Of The Crimson Dawn
(SPV - 2012)


Freedom Call have a new album out and with Land Of The Crimson Dawn they introduce their new drummer Klaus Sperling. But power metal and hard rock fans will know Klaus Sperling from his days with Primal Fear and Sinner - and if you saw Freedom Call on their last tour, you saw Mr. Sperling on drums. It was to expect that Freedom Call will present a new drummer sooner or later as Dan Zimmermann is busy with Gamma Ray, but it won't effect their friendship!

The foursome kicks off with Age Of The Phoenix, a song which is fast, catchy power metal they are known for - and gives a hint that the sound got enriched.... The following Rockstar is a mean rocker with fast double-bass drumming, symphonic elements, a catchy hook and a singing guitar. Later they slow down and show a different facet. Crimson Dawn is an up-tempo tune, a metal hymn. Partly Chris Bay is singing in a deeper timbre which fits them well. Again the song has twists and turns. And 66 Warrior offers some Manowar-like sounds at the opening passage, but you can bet that Chris Bay is moving on from this sound and leads you into the Freedom Call sound universe. But their sound universe gets bigger, listen to Back Into The Land Of Light and you will know what I'm talking about. Back to rock with Sun In The Dark, a rock tune with dark elements, some 70's rock sounds and all based on a heavy bass riff. For Hero On Video they did a clip, so take a look:





At Killer Gear they combine symphonic elements with a folk-ish edge and dark vocals. Lyrically it's about all the so-called killer games and the virtual world some get lost in. The keyboard at Eternity has a gothic edge, but again it's just another facet they add to their sound. The closer Power & Glory is another example for the more varying sound of Freedom Call.

Collectors should try to get their hands on the yellow-colored double vinyl edition! As usual some will complain, but I think it's good to vary and Freedom Call don't loose their own sound on the way to new sonic shores. Kudos!


9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

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Legend Of The Shadowking

Legend Of The Shadowking
(SPV - 2010)


Almost 3 years ago Freedom Call presented Dimensions. Now Freedom Call are back with Legend Of The Shadowking. The band had to face a line-up change, so bassist Armin has been replaced by Samy Saemann.
They kick of with Out Of The Ruins, a track which has the power Freedom Call is known for. This powerful and melodic song would be a perfect opener for their shows, if you ask me. They continue with Thunder God, a riff-based track which rocks and easily hooks you up. Tears Of Babylon will remind you of their masterpiece Eternity songwriting-wise. The catchy refrain will haunt you while the riffs deliver the perfect groove. Another must for their live shows is Merlin Legend Of The Past. A straight-forward tune with a superb arrangement and a cool melody. Resurrection Day kicks off with a choir, but soon speeds up, another candidate for live shows. At this tune guitarist Lars Kettkowitz shows his talent and the catchy refrain makes it an ear catcher. Under The Spell Of The Moon pursues other ways, no typical Freedom Call stuff, but still a good one. Dark Obsession has a dash of gothic metal and is a mid-tempo tune. The Darkness offers harsh riffs and a dark atmosphere, another mid-paced track where the vocals aren't that high. Remember! is a typical fast melodic metal tune with high-pitched vocals. Ludwig II. - Prologue is a dark interlude with a spoken words part in German which describes the death of Ludwig II. The Shadowking is another melodic one, even if it has a dash melancholy. Merlin Requiem kicks off with piano and vocals in a melancholy way, it's a symphonic tune which features Chris Bay's voice and shows that he's a talented songwriter. Kingdom Of Madness is a rocker which could have been recorded in the 80's! The sound reminds me a bit of Edguy's Rocket Ride... The last track is called A Perfect Day. Dan Zimmermann's drums drive the song ahead with its groove, a real rocker!
Legend Of The Shadowking is musically continuing what they presented on Dimensions. Freedom Call stick to their guns and present their fans a flawless album. The guys add new elements to their sound without loosing their identity. 14 tracks which should satisfy every Freedom Call fan and also melodic power metal fans won't be disappointed!
Recommendations: Out Of The Ruins, Tears Of Babylon, Resurrection Day, Remember, The Shadowking, A Perfect Day - or any other track!


9 stars

Philip Thelen
(translation: Claudia Ehrhardt)
 








Legend Of The Shadowking

Legend Of The Shadowking
(SPV - 2010)


With Legend Of The Shadowking Freedom Call present their 6th full-length album and they kick off with the fast, powerful Out Of The Ruins. This fast one is about king Ludwig II who fantasized his own world when he felt his power decline. A quite typical Freedom Call song to make it easy to get into Legend Of The Shadowking. The following Thunder God is a mid-tempo hymn about the war between Prussia and France which Bavaria had to join in and which led to the battle of Sedan. A history lesson la Freedom Call!
At Tears Of Babylon they offer a different topic, musically a heavy, mid-paced tune with mighty backings. Epic and hymnic. Lyrically they show a different side of Babylon, not the Gomorra it's usually presented as. With Merlin - Legend Of The Past they take you on a travel in time and to England's mighty druid. Another melodic speed metal tune, but Freedom Call start into this one more slowly. Leap in time and back to King Ludwig II with Resurrection Day. Another fast one, another typical Freedom Call track... And I start to wonder why they haven't done a conceptual album about king Ludwig II... As this one is about the palaces and castles Ludwig II ordered to build and which made him legendary, I expected this one to be a bit more epic... Quite heavy, but a bit slower they lead you into Under The Spell Of The Moon which talks about Ludwig trying to avoid the presence of others and living at night... In his own world, a dark, melancholy place. This song shows the quintet differently, the song has a slight gothic / dark wave touch... Pretty cool. Dark Obsession is a dark, mid-paced song full of drama. This time it's about the relation between Richard Wagner and king Ludwig II. And so this song is a sonic roller coaster ride - like their friendship. Musically Freedom Call show some new facets. The story continues with The Darkness, a more traditional heavy metal tune about the death of king Ludwig II and it's effect on the world. A dark tune with symphonic elements, but based on heavy riffs and modern grooves. Time for another fast one! Remember is a catchy high speed metal attack about the humans destroying the environment. At Ludwig II - Prologue they use a German spoken words part to lead over into The Shadowking. The song shows the while sound spectrum of the band and deals with the end of king Ludwig II, a mystery never to be solved. Partly dark and melancholy, partly full of hope - an emotional roller coaster ride. My favorite track of the new album! They slow down for Merlin - Requiem, a keyboard-based tune with a symphonic touch and expressive vocals by Chris Bay. A straight rocker is Kingdom Of Madness, very cool! Live this one will be killer! Again they turn to king Ludwig II and this time it's about his love to take a coach ride at full moon nights. The closer is another straight rocker called A Perfect Day, and guess what it's about... A perfect day. The song has a slight punk vibe, but will surprise you with twists and turns.
The foursome shows a wide range of sounds and reduced the amount of speedy melodic metal tunes. New sound facets make it more interesting, even if I'm still wondering why they haven't done a conceptual album... Check out: The Shadowking, Kingdom Of Madness, Thunder God and Dark Obsession.


9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 








Dimensions

Dimensions
(Steamhammer - 2007)


Finally it arrived - Dimensions! That's the title of the new Freedom Call album which is impatiently awaited by their fans.
It took them about 7,5 months to finish the album and the result sounds awes! Dimensions is so far the masterpiece of Chris Bay and his mates. Every song is full of life, great melodies and it never gets boring. Melodic riffs la Freedom Call! Dan Zimmermann describes Dimensions as a mixture of Eternity and The Circle Of Life - and that description fits quite well. The album shows musical progression and the heaviness of The Circle Of Life combined with the melodies of Eternity. Guitarist Lars shows his skills several times, but a solo shows just one side, more important are the unity they demonstrate during the refrains which give you the feeling of being part of the family. But it's the combination of all this which shows a perfect and hamonious unity!
Metal hymns like United Alliance and Queen Of The World literally demand head banging. The title track Dimensions also has all the trademarks of the Freedom Call sound - great melodies and mighty refrains. Blackened Sun indicates that Freedom Call are at their musical climax.
Dimensions offer a lot of fun and even after several spins the CD don't get boring and you can discover new musical worlds. Everybody who saw the band live knows that the are powerful and that the guys really enjoy playing. Personally I can't wait to see them live and hear the new songs! Folks, this is a masterpiece!


9 stars

Philip Thelen
(translation: Claudia Ehrhardt)
 






Taragon

Taragon
(JVC Records - 1999)


The German quartet released this EP just in France and Japan..... But for fans it's worth getting a copy of this one! The Ultravox cover Dancing With Tears In My Eyes they often play live. Also included Kingdom Come (EP version) and the story version of Tears Of Taragon beside Warriors Of Light and Heart Of The Brave. The spoken words on Tears Of Taragon are done by Biff Byford and make this version something special. A great EP, but unfortunately just released in France and Japan......


7 stars

 

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