Freedom Call
Land Of The Crimson Dawn

2012, SPV
Power Metal

Review by Gaetano Loffredo - Publish on: 17/02/12

So, let's have a look at the German power / heavy metal scene: Edguy are currently looking for an identity that is able to put together hard rock from the ‘80s and melodic metal from Avantasia. Gamma Ray got lost while making a clumsy effort to recycle the same old stuff and Kai Hansen, who's a forward-looking man, didn't waste his time and he called back Michael Kiske, with whom he gave life to Unisonic, also known as Helloween line-up during the "Eagle Fly Free" era. Then, Running Wild lowered the sails of its already drifted away ship; Grave Digger, after "Rehingold" (2003), keeps on getting nothing right. Helloween, the still existing band, have been struggling for a good while, then Blind Guardian are standing the test of time, but its recent albums aren't comparable to the first masterpieces.

Despite being a far less important band than the above mentioned ones, Freedom Call has the merit of staying true to itself, in spite of many line-up changes, thanks to Chris Bay (here the interview). Whatever the cost, he has kept going on his own way for thirteen years. His way of playing power metal is functional and reasonable and it's based on a unchanged logic. For this and many other reasons, Chris has the unconditional respect from his circle of fans, no matter how big this circle is.

The brand new "Land Of The Crimson Dawn" is the proof of what we've said before: it's a reliable album that gives a boost to Freedom Call "happy metal", after the slightly darker (but still "happy") "Legend Of The Shadowking". This is a quite smooth album, except for a weaker central part, that has many nice songs and some of them will be even better in a live performance: let's take "Hero On A Video", or "Power & Glory" for instance, which are clearly inspired by "Mr. Evil" or even by "Age Of The Phoenix", "Rockstars", "Crimson Dawn". All of these songs have such good and well-refined arrangements that Gamma Ray would definitely be sick with envy. Freedom Call style is unmistakable and if you like the band, you will immediately recognize all those elements that made it popular, in spite of that self-reference that takes away a good amount of originality from the full-length.

No harm done, because there is a lot of good material to bring along and to add to the endless list of good and excellent songs made by Freedom Call, who keeps on promoting them wholeheartedly. In "Live In Hellvetia" we evaluated the band career with 7.5 out of 10: this is the same rating for "Land Of The Crimson Dawn". Good job Chris, well done guys: don't be afraid of staying true to yourselves, you will always have someone who will keenly support you.

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