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Freedom Call
Legend Of The Shadowking
September 2010
Released: 2010, SPV
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: JP

It seems like yesterday I bought the first Freedom Call album. Here we are over a decade later with an unprecedented 10 year wave of quality Power Metal that shows no sign of slowing. Chris (vocals) and Dan (Drums) are still at the helm and the band has delivered album #6 after a three year wait, the longest length of time between albums in their career.

The band doesn’t wait the first song kicks off virtually immediately (no intro) and it’s all guns blazing for the next several songs. There are lots of gnag vocals on this, from the very start. There is a big scale feel to these songs, lots of horns and symphonic elements. Naturally the galloping drums (and on occasion double-kick drum attack) are present. The whole pace of the album seems to be a hint faster than the others.

After the first six great songs we get a curveball in the form of the song ‘Under The Spell Of The Moon’. It’s a very good song but it is very uncharacteristic. Bay sings in a much lower register, I wouldn’t be shocked if there was a guest vocalist on this cut, but my copy doesn’t have the liner notes. The song would almost fit on a Type O Negative album! It is dark, moody and doesn’t really fit. The surprises keep coming next with a cut called ‘Dark Obsession’. It features some soprano female vocals and piano sounding like something Cradle Of Filth might do. It’s not bad at all, in fact both tracks are very good songs but quite different stylistically than the first half of the album. Later on (track 12) we get a vocal (mostly) solo piece revisiting the Merlin theme. The last two cuts seem to be almost ‘bonus’ tracks that again, don’t match the overall vibe or theme of the album. The last track has that patented Germanic humour that is slightly off-kilter with a big crazy chorus and weird lyrics, something you might find (surprise!) on a Gamma Ray or Helloween album.

Freedom Call never really seem to be content or even that consistent. Every album they have done is good, different than the last, a few killer tracks, a few odd ones, some filler at times but always changing. Ultimately this is a fine record I’ve enjoyed many times and will continue to enjoy, even if it does leave me scratching my head on occasion.
Track Listing

1. Out Of The Ruins
2. Thunder God
3. Tears Of Babylon
4. Merlin-Legend Of The Past
5. Resurrection Day
6. Under The Spell Of The Moon
7. Dark Obsession
8. The Darkness
9. Remember!
10. Ludwig II-Prologue
11. The Shadowking
12. Merlin-Requiem
13. Kingdom Of Madness
14. A Perfect Day


Chris Bay-Vocals
Lars Rettokowitz-Guitar
Sammy Saemann-Bass
Dan Zimmermann-Drums

Next review: » Freedom Call - Live In Hellvetia (DVD)
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