Joe Geesin recounts an enduring 20 year passion, cultivated after a few drinks and an introduction to the German metallers Freedom Call…
After a decade of writing features and sleevenotes, (I first starting writing reviews for Record Collector magazine in 1999/2000 – I first crossed paths with GRTR! in 2004 but that’s another story), and Freedom Call are a German metal band I discovered by accident and immediately clicked with them.
Back in August 2000 I first crossed paths with the most top bloke and PR for SPV, Roland Hyams, over a quantity of alcohol while I interviewed Rose Tattoo. This man has a lot to answer for, including Freedom Call.
The following year, he sent me Freedom Call’s second album Crystal Empire, which still gets regular listens to this day. It would be wrong to call them a power metal band, but what I loved instantly was the combination of melody with big vocals. Very big vocals. That album for me was an instant hook and I’ve been a fan of the band ever since.
10 studio albums and 2 live sets, amongst other releases, the band have swayed styles sometimes but the melody and big vocals is a continuing feature.
The band, who have Helloween connections, do verge into power metal on occasion but for me the appeal is that it’s so uplifting. Critics who mention childish metal or sugary are completely missing the point.
It’s fun, yes, how many gigs have you been to where fans wave (plastic) shields, swords and horned helmets in the air? Yes, really. Twin guitar and frontman Chris Bay (who I have interviewed twice) provides piano too.
And while Crystal Empire is THE go-to album, there’s some seriously good metal on Dimensions (check out ‘Mr Evil’ or the singalong ‘Far-Away’), and Legend Of The Shadow King is a bit more gothic, a little heavier and another regular listen in this household.
Album review (M.E.T.A.L., 2019)
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