Freedom Call with support on 666 Weeks Beyond Eternity Tour 2015 – European leg – at Kulturbolaget Malmo, Sweden

Spread the metal:

Freedom Call

666 Weeks Beyond Eternity Tour 2015 -European leg-
Lancer – special guest
DragonHammer – support

Kulturbolaget, Malmo, Sweden
14/10 – 2015

Live pictures and review by: Anders Sandvall

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The very happy and very German power metal band Freedom Call is currently out on the road in Europe promoting their brand new album 666 WEEKS BEYOND ETERNITY. The album is a re-release of the ETERNITY album that was originally released back in 2002. The lineup is the same as the last time the band visited Sweden with drummer Ramy Ali and the bass player Ilker Ersin who was a member of the band between 1998-2005 and is now back again. The tour started out at the beginning of October in Sheffield, England after which they landed in London and then Sweden and Malmo. Four dates were booked in Sweden and then the band headed out in Europe again.

Dragonhammer has joined the band on tour and in Sweden they are accompanied by the Swedish heavy metal act Lancer. The place to be if you wanted to see Freedom Call was of course the best club in Malmo – Kulturbolaget and the venue has a capacity to host about 850 visitors. A short line of people stood and waited to come in when I arrived and since it was pretty cold everybody wanted the doors to open fast. Well inside I took as always a glance at the merchandise and if there was a photo pit, I didn’t have much time because it was soon time for the first band to kick off the night. At 8 the warm-up music stopped and it was time for a night of power metal lead by Freedom Call to begin but first it was time for….

Dragonhammer

Everyone but the singer, who had to tune his guitar, was ready to go as the intro started. The singer, who wasn’t ready yet told everyone to stop and it got silence. A few minutes later he was ready and the intro kicked off for the second time. Already in the first song the drummer dropped the beat and it took a while until he was in sync with the rest of the band. Great way of beginning a show guys. The audience clapped their hands politely when the singer introduced the band and said they come from Italy. The lighting was really poor and the same went for the band. Their music were sloppy power metal with some really bad vocals and I couldn’t see anything positive with their performance. After three songs I was bored and I wasn’t the only one. The show felt uninspired, lazy, and boring. Een though the singer tried his best to get the crowd in the right mood he didn’t have the experience or the capacity to take on a crowd. Finally the show was over and the singer thanked us for being there. Dragonhammer is not a band I’m going to see again in the near future and their 30 minute show felt like 2 hours.

freedom_call_support_dragonhammer_live_kb_malmoe_2015_2freedom_call_support_dragonhammer_live_kb_malmoe_2015_3freedom_call_support_dragonhammer_live_kb_malmoe_2015_1freedom_call_support_dragonhammer_live_kb_malmoe_2015_4It was time for the crew to prepare the stage for Swedish heavy metal act Lancer and since I hadn’t heard them before I hoped they were going to be better than Dragonhammer. The preparation went pretty fast and after 20 minutes it was time for the band to enter the stage. Behind the drums hung a backdrop with the band’s logo and name on it but besides that there wasn’t much but their gear and amps on the stage. More people had arrived and they did their best to give Lancer a warm welcome.

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Lancer

The show kicked off right away and when the intro was done the singer ran out on to the stage and joined the rest of the guys. Lancer showed right away that they are an experienced bunch of guys and to my relief there were no signs of the awkwardness that Dragonhammer possessed. They really impressed me right away with the well played heavy/power metal music and there were musical similarities with Iron Maiden. Singer Stenvall’s biggest inspiration must have been Bruce Dickinson and he moved around just like Dickinson and jumped on the monitors just like him. Guitarist Solvelius had a major Yngwie Malmsteen complex with his open shirt and the guitar high up on his chest. The line-up is:

Isak Stenvall – lead vocals
Fredrik Keleman – guitar
Per-Owe “Ewo” Solvelius – guitar
Sebastian Pedernera – drums
Emil Öberg – bass

It was plain to see that Lancer is used to meeting fans and crowds and they worked really hard with connecting with the people in the club. Stenvall joked around with the audience and it was a really relaxed band that delivered some really nice heavy metal music at Kulturbolaget this night. Lancer seemed to be a well noticed band amongst the crowd because people jumped and sang along to the lyrics and they sure managed to build up a great mood in wait for Freedom Call. Stenvall rand around so much that he dropped his mic amongst the crowd at the front of the stage and joked and said that it’s dangerous to be at the front of a Lancer show, you can get hurt.

freedom_call_support_act_2_lancer_live_kb_malmoe_2015_1freedom_call_support_act_2_lancer_live_kb_malmoe_2015_2freedom_call_support_act_2_lancer_live_kb_malmoe_2015_3Stenvall thanked Freedom Call for letting Lancer open for them in Sweden and asked if we were ready to soon see the headline act live in action. I did like the band’s music, however it sometimes felt like they had looked a little too much at Iron Maiden and had a hard time coming up with their own image. But overall the music was well played, the atmosphere great and the band had a good time on stage. What more can you ask for?

Stenvall said that they were selling merchandise and the new album both on CD and vinyl and that we should take a look at the stuff after the show. The band was also going to be at the merch stand if anyone wanted to have a chat with them, he said. And so after a few more songs the show was over and the guys thanked the audience and once again Freedom Call. The show was fun to see and I’m sure going to check out the music of Lancer soon. They treated the fans to a great show and I’m sure they’re going to play on the bigger stages soon. However they should be a little reluctant about bringing in so many Maiden influences to their music and appearance and focus more on finding their own style. But Lancer were the perfect opener for Freedom Call and I think it’s too bad that they couldn’t tag along with them down in Europe.

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The latest studio release from Freedom Call is the re-launch of the ETERNITY album now called 666 WEEKS BEYOND ETERNITY and it’s a remastered version of the album containing one bonus album with bonus songs as well as a newly written song called “666 Weeks Beyond Eternity”. As the title says it’s 666 weeks since the release of the ETERNITY and the band has promised to fire off a bunch of songs from that album during this tour.

Not much gear was changed on the stage and the main change was the backdrop with the Freedom Call name on it. The change took about 20 minutes and about 9.50 it was time for the band to enter the stage. The stage lit up, the pause music silenced and the club went dark. It was time for the German power metal heroes to conquer Swedish soil.

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Freedom Call

“Union of The Strong” was the first song out and singer/guitarist Chris Bay looked really happy when he heard and saw the huge response the band got from the fans. “The Eyes Of The World” and “Heart Of A Warrior” followed instantly and the fans welcomed the band with open arms. Even though the venue wasn’t sold out it sure sounded like that and the fans screamed and sang along in most of the songs. Freedom Call is:

Chris Bay – lead vocals, guitar
Lars Rettkowitz – guitar
Ilker Ersin – bass
Ramy Ali – drums

Bay thanked everyone for the massive support and said that the band sure have had an amazing week behind them. When they were out on the highway their bus broke and couldn’t be fixed so the band only could bring their guitars with them on the tour and nothing more. So they were using Lancer’s gear and thanked them for letting Freedom Call use their equipment this night. The next song Bay dedicated to the people in the crowd which, he said, is the most beautiful song by Freedom Call and it was “Farewell My Friends”. The ones that moved around the most keeping the show alive were Bay and Rettkowitz, Ersin mostly stood solid on his place while the other two ran around. “Island Of Dreams” followed and the band’s sound system worked perfectly, giving them a crystal clear sound. The lights left more to wish for and both Rettkowitz and Ersin stood in the dark. There was also a lot of smoke on the stage which made it partially hard to see the band. Bay grabbed a bottle and said “Cheers Malmo” in Swedish and said that this was a genuine German heavy metal night and when he said that the band was going to play in Gothenburg the next night the crowd booed a little (because there has always been a feud in between the three biggest cities in Sweden of who’s the best). Bay asked if the fans were ready for a German “Metal Invasion” and the fans all shouted yeah!! Bay let the fans sing the chorus on their own and smiled the song through. “The Guest” followed and as always when it comes to Freedom Called, the band seemed to be in a great mood and they joked around on stage. I don’t think I have ever seen a happier front man than Chris Bay! The band’s light German heavy metal made all the fans happy and it was easy to see that the small but brave fan base had a really good time together with the band.

freedom_call_live_kb_malmoe_2015_2freedom_call_live_kb_malmoe_2015_3freedom_call_live_kb_malmoe_2015_4freedom_call_live_kb_malmoe_2015_5freedom_call_live_kb_malmoe_2015_6Bay said that the band have re-released the ETERNITY album and even though Freedom Call isn’t a satanic band he had to come up with a name for the re-launch and when he realized that it was 666 weeks since the original release date they decided to somehow feature that into the new title. It was that album that made Freedom Call big in Europe he continued and here comes the title track “666 Weeks Beyond Eternity”. The song isn’t bad but it sounds like a typical upbeat Freedom Call song but the tune was sing along-friendly and the fans loved it. Bay smiled and said that the band isn’t evil but had to feature the 666 into the title. He asked if the fans had heard the “Power And The Glory” song, well not the one with Saxon he continued and fired off the Freedom Call song “Power and Glory”. Bay said that it now was time for the fans to show their stuff and wanted them to sing the first verse on their own. It didn’t go so well and Bay stopped the music and let the fans sing it again, and the second time it went better and Bay said that this was the beginning of the heavy metal party.

Most of the songs this night worked really well, even the more current songs worked great and the fans sang along in the tunes they knew. However the older songs brought down the most applause and screams but that was expected. The band felt solid and seemed to be loving every minute on the stage which rubbed off on the crowd and created a great atmosphere in the club. Bay is a brilliant front man and singer and I really hope that this line-up can stay together in the future because it felt like they all were a perfect match for each other. Bay asked if the fans were ready to have a workout with him and wanted everyone to jump with him in “Tears Of Babylon” and the fans gave all they’ve got and the song made the club come alive. Bay grabbed his guitar and took a sip from his beer and looked at it and said that this is not a Swedish beer?! Someone in the audience shouted that it was a Czech beer and Bay said that it was strange that he hadn’t been given a Swedish beer.

Bay said that he and his guitar only had one question and that was “Are you ready Malmo?” and the band fired off the huge hit and Freedom Call hymn “Freedom Call” which took the club to the boiling pit. It was the song that most of the fans had waited for and Bay let the fans sing all the choruses. That song ended the 65 minute show and the members walked off the stage.

freedom_call_live_kb_malmoe_2015_7freedom_call_live_kb_malmoe_2015_8freedom_call_live_kb_malmoe_2015_9freedom_call_live_kb_malmoe_2015_10freedom_call_live_kb_malmoe_2015_11The fans shouted for more music and the guys came back and Bay said thanks for all the help the band got with lending stuff since their bus broke down. He thanked the sound engineer, the light/visual guy and everyone else that had helped out. He once again thanked Lancer for lending out their equipment and the fans clapped their hands for the band and for the ones that had helped out. “Bleeding Heart” was the first encore for the night and it was a solid version of the song. Bay asked if there were any warriors amongst the people there or maybe there were any Vikings there to see the band he asked. After all we are in Viking land now. We performed in England before and thought they were Vikings but we were wrong because here tonight we have got some real Vikings. The obvious choice of song after that speech followed in “Warriors” and the fans and Bay sang the song together. At the end of the song Bay wanted the fans to sound like there were 5,000 in the crowd and asked them to sing as loud as they could. He also wanted all the girls to scream for him and now, he said it sounded like there were 20,000 people in the club. Bay still wasn’t happy and wanted to hear more from the fans and said that the band was going to play the end of the song once again and the fans should scream as loud as they could and sing together with the band. They played the end of the song twice and then Bay and the guys were satisfied. The intro to “Land Of The Light” came on and Bay wanted everyone to jump with him which the fans did and it was a monumental way of ending the night. Bay thanked the fans again and said that it had been a blast playing in Malmo this night. The encores extended the show 25 more minutes and think that everyone was happy when they left the club.

freedom_call_live_kb_malmoe_2015_12freedom_call_live_kb_malmoe_2015_13freedom_call_live_kb_malmoe_2015_14It was a great show and even though I’m not a huge fan of their light power metal music I think the band has the ability to treat the fans with a fun show and it’s impossible to not be happy when you look at Bay. He must be the happiest guy in the metal industry, the man is a big smile and he’s the reason that many love the band and the music and I really hope that this current line is a keeper and I hope Bay can make it stay so. The band played a great show on borrowed gear and I think that many bands had cancelled their show during similar circumstances but not Freedom Call and they should have credit for that. This was just another great night at Kulturbolaget and I found myself humming “we are freedom call” when I walked home.

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Set list
Intro
Union Of The Strong
The Eyes Of The World
Heart Of A Warrior
Farewell
Island Of Dreams
Metal Invasion
The Quest
666 Weeks Beyond Eternity
Power And The Glory
Tears Of Babylon
Freedom Call
Encores
Bleeding Heart
Warriors
Land Of Light

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Thanks to Totte Lundgren head of Kulturbolaget for help with press/photo pass.
www.kulturbolaget.se

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Twitter Page
www.twitter.com/kulturbolaget

Thanks to the always friendly staff and security at the club.

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