Album review: FREEDOM CALL – M.E.T.A.L.


SPV/Steamhammer [Release date 23.08.19]

Fronted by vocalist/guitarist Chris Bay, Freedom Call have been going since 1998, several line-up changes under their belt, and Bay has overseen a few changes. And this album is as great as ever.

I have championed this band ever since I was asked to review their second album ‘Crystal Empire’ (still their Magnum Opus) back in the early 00s). And celebrating their 20th Anniversary with their 10th full length studio album, the band add a new rhythm section of bassist Francesco Ferraro and drummer Timmi Breideband (although the album was recorded with live drummer Kevin Kott). Alongside them and Chris Bay is guitarist Lars Rettkowitz.

The band have experimented with gothic metal and thrash, and now moved back to their more uplifting melodic power metal roots.

Opener ’111 The Number Of The Angels’ lays down the Freedom Call trademark sound from the outset – big vocals, layered vocal harmonies, and catchy riffs. The title track is a little heavier and has a slight Manowar tongue-in-cheek style. Then ‘The Ace Of The Unicorn’ is lyrically tangential, a fantasy dream, but still a guaranteed enjoyable number. I wonder how many will chant the title track while waving their swords in the air at concerts?

The guitar work in ‘Fly With Us’ takes us back 15 years, while ‘One Step Into Wonderland’ is a classic Freedom Call fairytail.

Before you ask, or protest, Freedom Call are real and serious, and play a wonderful angle on power metal. There is a good guitar solo or two, but the overriding sound is vocal harmonies and a few guitar harmonies thrown in to boot. Bouncy, uplifting and very welcome. You can’t help smile with some of the epic chorus moments.

And given the state of the world at the moment, Freedom Call are as good, relevant and worthy as ever. And don’t forget the 2LP edition, also a CD digipak with 2 extra tracks. ****1/2

Review by Joe Geesin


The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk Sunday 24 January, 16:00 EST, 21:00 GMT

More about Josh:

David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 20 December 2020 and announces the results of the Popular Poll for Best of 2020.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 20 December 2020 and includes Pete’s best of the year selections

Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
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Featured Albums w/c 11 January 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 UNRULY CHILD Our Glass House (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 SERGEANT STEEL Truck Tales (Boyz Tyme Records)
14:00-16:00 DAN REED Liftoff (Zero Entertainment)

Power Plays w/c 11 January 2021 (Mon-Fri)

BLACK SPIDERS – Good Times (Dark Riders Records/Cargo Records)
GRAVITY MACHINE Standing Stones (Zyse Records)
EMPIIRES Love Or Hate (TLG Entertainment/INgrooves)
RAY FENWICK Tam Tam (Singsong Music)
DEAD REYNOLDS Voices (The Fort)
LAYLA ZOE Don’t Wanna Help Anyone (indie)

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