I very unashamedly love joyous, cheesy, fun power metal. Give me an album full of guitar solos and soaring choruses, and I’m a happy metal nerd with a huge smile on my face. Germany’s FREEDOM CALL always delivers the goods, and their new album, Master of Light (out November 18 on Steamhammer/SPV Records) is no exception.
If you’re already a fan of FREEDOM CALL, you know what you’re going to get – songs that are a blast to sing along to, shreddy guitar solos and intense double bass drumming all tied together with the band’s signature sound – excellent European power metal with hint of classic early HELLOWEEN. The lyrical content isn’t overly complicated, but instead relies on writing that’s easy to sing along to and get stuck in your head, with fat choruses and some insane vocals hooks. Chris Bay (vocals, guitars) has a voice that’s powerful and smooth, and it really sucks you into the songs.
Lars Rettkowitz does a fantastic job working in tandem with Chris on the guitars, and the solos on this album are amazingly melodic and beautiful, especially on “A World Beyond” and “Cradle of Angels.” Ilker Ersin (bass) and Ramy Ali (drums) make up the powerful rhythm section and really drive the songs with perfect timekeeping and the aforementioned intense double bass drumming that I’ve heard all year long.
To be completely honest, all of the tracks are fun – again, you aren’t going to find a lot of deep concepts here, but they all sound great and gloriously over the top. Some of my absolute favorite tracks are the anthemic “Metal Is For Everyone”, “Hammer of Gods” and “Rock the Nation”, the grittier “Riders In the Sky”, and the bouncy and cheery “High Up”. There’s literally not a bad track or filler on this album, which is not always easy to say.
If I had one complaint about things, it’s negligible: the artwork definitely doesn’t live up to the standards of their previous releases, and is a shoe-in for my least favorite album cover of the year. However, it’s what’s on the disc that counts, and FREEDOM CALL nailed it once again. This release is essential for anyone who loves some good carefree European power, and I can’t recommend it strongly enough. Pick up Master of Light when it comes out – you will not be disappointed.
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM