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Freedom Call
Live Invasion
June 2004
Released: 2004, Steamhammer / SPV / Playground Music
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

After only three studio albums, Freedom Call are set to release a 2-CD set album called LIVE INVASION. This German band is considered by many to be one of the biggest power metal bands in the world. Although this is a 2-CD release, the first CD is for the live material, the second CD included is the EP “TARAGON” which also contains two covers. TARAGON was previously released in France and Japan only. The two covers on the EP are “HIROSHIMA” by Wishful Thinking and “Dr. STEIN” by Helloween. This EP is actually 7 songs long.



The live CD contains 13 tracks taken from the first part of the “ETERNITY WORLD TOUR” during April/May 2002. The material was recorded in three German cities - Dusseldorf, Munich and Stuttgart. Unfortunately, I am uncertain from which city each particular song was recorded. Personally, I like to know exactly when a track was recorded and in what city it was recorded. Freedom Call’s melodic/power metal is full of big arrangements, good tempo, positive attitudes, and it sounds like they’re have a fun time when playing live. Vocalis Chris Bay has an enormous voice and the band has well-written material by some competent musicians. In their worst moments Freedom Call can get too melodic and the use of keyboard gets to be too much. Their music works best when they stick to playing straight power metal and stay away from overly melodic stuff.



Chris Bay and drummer Dan Zimmerman (Gamma Ray) has written all music and lyrics and both have produced the album. The production sounds OK and there’s nothing to object to there. But as usual, one can wonder if all the material is strictly live and if they haven’t added anything in the postproduction. The booklet looks really inviting with a lot of live pictures from the tour. It seems like they have given the book a lot of thought. Most of the songs on this live album are taken from the band’s last studio album, ETERNITY, from 2002 which is pretty obvious since they are out to support that album. 4 songs are from that album and the rest is older material. They start off with the older songs and save the newer ones ‘til later in the show. Things start off with the intro “THE SPELL” which goes straight into the next song “WE ARE ONE”. Then it’s onto “FREEDOM CALL” were Mr. Bay talks for the first time during this show. He introduces the next song “TEARS OF TARAGON” and after that he talks a lot in German and says that the next song is “THE QUEST”. The previous songs were in a high tempo so it fittingly slows down in this song. It’s a very long up-tempo ballad at 8 minutes and 30 seconds. After that Mr. Bay speaks more in German and the next song kicks off. It’s “HEART OF THE RAINBOW”. Just like in the last songs this one is straight power metal music. After that comes “THE EYES OF THE WORLD” and this song is almost too fast to be a power metal track. They use a lot of double bass pedals throughout the song. Freedom Call continues with playing some newer songs like “METAL INVASION”, “LAND OF THE LIGHT” and “WARRIORS” - all those songs are from ETERNITY. These songs are moreso melodic power metal with the focus on keyboard. Then comes “SHINE ON”, “RISE UP” and to finish this live album they do “HYMN OF THE BRAVE”.



The audience seems to be very hot and eager to hear Freedom Call, so much so that sometimes they almost shout louder than the lead singer. As I mentioned, Mr. Bay doesn’t do so much talking between the songs and the little he does is in German. That is a big negative for me since it would be nice to actually understand what he’s saying. However, as a live album this one is a brilliant show in how real power metal should be played. They show has such energy so it’s really fun to listen to them. Mr. Bay has an impressive voice that’s really fits this music style and they also have some strong material to hang on to. This album is quite blameless except the minor things I’ve mentioned before.



What about the bonus album then? Well except for the two cover tracks they have done another cover of “DANCING WITH TEARS IN MY EYES”. The other songs on the bonus CD are 4 songs by Freedom Call “WARRIORS OF LIGHT”, “HEART OF THE BRAVE”, “KINGDOM COME (EP VERSION)” and “TEARS OF TARAGON (STORY VERSION)”. The only song that’s represented twice is “TEARS OF TARAGON” which is presented as a studio version twice as long compared to the live version. Here it’s almost 10 minutes long with a storyteller voice that tells the tale about the people of Taragon.



The band has been very generous with the compilation of this CD and they have done it at the price of a single CD instead of a two disc, which it really is. All of you who like Freedom Call will not be disappointed with this at all. This album is an one you have to have if you’re a fan of power metal.



Labels: http://www.spv.de and http://www.playgroundmusic.com
Track Listing

CD 1
The Spell
We Are One
Freedom Call
Tears of Taragon
The Quest
Heart of the Rainbow
The Eyes of the World
Metal Invasion
Land of Light
Warriors
Shine On
Rise Up
Hymn To The Brave

CD 2
Warriors of Light
Dancing With Tears in My Eyes
Heart of The Brave
Kingdom Come (Ep Version)
Tears of Taragon (Story Version)
Hiroshima
Dr. Stein

Lineup

Chris Bay – lead vocals, guitar
Dan Zimmerman – drums, b-vox
Ilker Ersin – bass, b-vox
Cedric Dupont – guitar, b-vox
Nils Neumann – keyboard


Next review: » Freedom Call - Stairway to Fairyland
Previous review: » Freedom Call - Legend Of The Shadowking





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