Reviewed: February 2020
Released: 2019, Steamhammer
I’ve read any number of reviews of albums by Freedom Call and inevitably the reviewer references them as ‘happy’ Metal, or perhaps, ‘the happiest band in Metal’ or some combination of that concept. I’ve even said that myself! Well I do agree the band is light-hearted and fun but there are literally dozens of bands that have that same, bouncy, melodic Power Metal sound with big gang vocals. Dozens. I don’t like to pigeon-hole Freedom Call into that narrow category; they are a kick-ass Power Metal band as well. M.E.T.A.L seems to reinforce that concept.
There is some nice symmetry about this new album. It is album #10 in 20 years for the Germans and they are still on the only record label they have ever worked with, Steamhammer. The album title and art are quite simple, perhaps a statement of intent to compliment the occasion of the anniversary. The hands throwing the horns has been done before on a number of album covers, but it works.
Freedom Call, with it’s rotating cast of characters, is still the Chris Bay project and this time we get Francesco Ferraro of Vexillum on bass and well-regarded session guy Kevin Kott on drums. Speaking Vexillum, check out that superb Italian folk Metal band if you get a chance. I’ve reviewed all three of their albums to date on Metal-Rules.com and I thought I’d give this excellent band another little plug.
In terms of M.E.T.A.L. Chris Bay has perfected his signature sound a few albums ago and he is not going to deviate from it now. So that means we get speedy rockers, chanting background vocals, big anthemic sing-along parts, pounding drums and good straight up Power Metal. The songs are the usual mix of hard rockers and more conventional Power Metal, maybe leaning into the heavier and faster side of the spectrum this time out. The lyrics are still inspiration and powerful come chorus time, so essentially not much has changed as we all ride into glory for what ends of being their shortest album, most concise album to date.
SPV must have high hopes for this record as they released no less than three singles so far and shot a video. M.E.TA.L. does not disappoint!
Chris Bay – Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards
Lars Rettkowitz – Guitar
Francesco Ferraro – Bass
Kevin Kott – Drums
Spirit Of Daedalus
Ace Of The Unicorn
Fly With Us
One Step Into Wonderland
Days Of Glory
Wheel Of Time