Review Summary: Power metal with all of the traditional elements, for better or for worse.
Freedom Call is a German power metal band that formed in 1998. The band is composed of four members, and features two guitarists. The band’s sound and style is highly reminiscent of traditional power metal acts from the late 1980’s, often incorporating traditional song structures and subject matter with a modern sound seamlessly. Land of the Crimson Dawn is the band’s latest studio album, and stands as their seventh overall.
The album engages in nearly every power metal cliche known to man, with standard power metal song structures that remind one of Gamma Ray and Helloween. Corny subject matter and certain musical arrangements will make you cringe as you think of how stereotypical this material is. Yet At the same time, the material is extremely catchy, with memorable hooks and choruses spread throughout the entire album, courtesy of good vocals and clever guitar work that pulls you in and makes you listen. The music is so well done and so compelling, that it is hard to really hate on this album. But at the same time, it is equally hard to completely immerse yourself in the album, with the knowledge that this band is playing to every cliche known to the genre.
Furthermore, the band tries to put an anthem in nearly every track, and this can become quite a tedious listen. Anthem-like songs would not be an issue if the lyrical content was up to par with the instrumentals, but subject matter is by far this power metal bands biggest weakness. Songs such as “Rockstars”, “Killer Gear”, “Here on Video”, and “Rockin' Radio” offer extremely cheesy cliches just by song title alone, and it doesn't get much better once the songs start playing. All in all, this band probably would have been considered on the cutting edge, if this album was released in 1988. The band is about 25 years too late here.
Still there is much to be said about the guitarist’s ability to shred, and the vocalist’s impressive range and tone. This band is very solid musically, which almost makes you want to like the cliche driven album. Extensive soloing, catchy riffing, audible bass lines, and solid drums and a healthy dose of energy and musical bravado, this band can play metal without blemish or error, but the incredibly overdone approach the band presents this album with doesn't do their musical abilities any justice.
All in all, this is a very solid and enjoyable album, despite all of the cheese. However, the utterly terrible subject matter is a major determent to this albums lasting appeal. Traditional power metal fans will have a lot to go crazy about here, but this is not for everyone. Seek this album out at your own discretion, as this can/may make your ears bleed.