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Freedom Call - "Eternity"
SPV 2002

Two years ago when I first heard about this band, my first thought was - uh, yet another silly copy of Helloween and Gamma Ray. That was even surer to me when I saw them on stage during their European tour in 2001 with Virgin Steele and headliners Hammerfall. Suddenly I felt that I was at one of those legendary Helloween`s performances from keeper's era. Do not be so surprised, because this band was formed by Dan Zimmerman, who is more known as the drummer of Hamburg's powerhouse Gamma Ray. In Freedom Call he is along with Chris Bay (singer, guitarist and keyboarder) a cornerstone of the band as a songwriter, drummer and producent. He also writes tales about a legendary warrior on his way to immortality. "Eternity" is just another chapter from his journey into oblivion on this world or another.

So we have characteristic symphonic intro of opener "Metal Invasion" in Rhapsody style, which is immediately followed by high voltage power drive riffing with ultramelodic Helloween passages in front with melodic, clean and high tuned vocals which remind me of T.Sammet (Edguy) or M. Kiske (ex-Helloween). For a while I thought that T. Sammet indeed joined the band on vocals because of Chris' voice similarity and performance style. Anyway, T. Sammet did the main back vocals on this third Freedom Call release. "Flying High" and especially "Ages Of Power" (with brutal vocals added on the break of the song) are made, if you allow me to say, as a tribute to the old Helloween (in their both keepers era), because of the fast picking on guitars during riffs. But those Helloween moments are repeating through entire record.

"Warriors" sounds as a typical Gamma Ray opener where Dan is proving to his Gamma Ray band's mate Kai, that Gamma Ray are no longer a band where Kai is the one and only supreme chef in band's songwriting. The choruses are all ultramelodic and highlights of songs, backgrounded with great heavy striking power riffing of well known German metal school. "Bleeding Heart" (with its Russian sounding intro "The Spell") contains one of greatest moments in "orchestra meets metal" touches and "Land Of Light", with great keyboard lines in it, too. "Island Of Dreams" is in my opinion the best composed striker. Last piece is called "Turn Back Time". This is a ballad, unfortunately nothing special to face with, but anyway, the band added it on the end. That is good, because such ballad could kill a very high tempo of band's new release if the band decided to put it somewhere in the middle of the record set list.

What about lyrics? Well, some of you will get the impression that they are very childish and naive. They talk about a hero's journey on his glory ride to a mystical land of ice. But that's the way it is in power metal. You won't find anything special musically or lyrically on this release. It goes straight into ear. Freedom Call are composing quality power metal inside its frames and this will make happy all who are in love with that kind of music.

Band's third release shows a lot of improvement in their music to become recognizable. Unfortunately, I must admit that they can be thankful to record companies 'cause they're pushing on market power metal bands right now. Freedom Call are catching the last train here and "Eternity" is showing a certain step forward for the band. Let us wait till the next record to see if the band will succeed to deride on the top or fall into the pit of hundreds of cliché standard sounding bands.

Author:   Peter

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