Freedom Call - Eternity
Reviewed by Matt Rowe on August 26, 2002
The test is on. As I completed the entirety of the review for Freedom Call's "Eternity", my program locked, not allowing a save. As a result, this is the 2nd 'fresh' review in a space of 2 hours. But Freedom Call passes the test easily. And why? Because someone has given them the key to 70s metal rock. In effect, it has been decades since I have heard a more satisfying successor to the throne of metal, 70s style.
That is a high compliment. While I immediately fell in love with the sounds of Freedom Call, there still was a definite litmus test yet to occur. My brother, in the 70s, loved everything metal and held in high regard, the upper echelon of that genre. Angel, Judas Priest, etc. I called him after receiving this CD and played selections of every song through the phone, a thing that we have done for years when we were excited over a band. And the needle on the barometer buried. Mark, my brother, was ecstatic and I knew that Freedom Call was the real deal.
The style of metal over the years have mutated and become something other than its earliest counterparts. While black metal held the epic storytelling, much of it have been reduced to whiny 'woe is me' garbage. But Freedom Call becomes the genre, fusing it with a fresh and invigorating excitement while preserving the power of the 70s. This does not make Freedom Call a 'throwback' band nor a poser band, although they can make other bands appear poser like in that they are that good. They simply transcend the genre by leaps over others of their style.
This German unit begun in 1998, possesses the musical/lyrical balls to create the year's best metal effort, maybe, perhaps, the best in 20 years. The storytelling is grand scale and the music even grander yet. Expansive and full of energy, "Eternity" redraws the line for standoffs. And I don't believe that there will be many challengers who are in the same league as these guys. They are as good as it gets.
Chris Bay's vocal talent is reminescent of the great metal vocalists of our time. In fact, Chris just may rank up there, he's that good. The locomotive power of Ilker Ersin's bass playing accompanied by the tireless and extraordinary drumming of Dan Zimmermann fill the songs with talented perfection. The guitars of Cede Dupont add the firepower to this team of pros that have missed their time in the 70s where they would have unquestionably joined the greats of that time as one of the models of metal.
But let none of that detract from what they are now. Quite simply, they rule the roost. "Eternity", with its 11 songs, has a collection that please. From the standouts of the majestic choir infused "Metal Invasion" to the ballad like "Bleeding Heart". From the short and sweet battle readying "The Spell" to single quality "Flying High" there is nothing here to disappoint, absolutely nothing. Every song has it's rightful place. The anthemic "Like a Flame in the Night" is spectacular in its presentation. Not a displaced tune in sight. For my money, Freedom Call is a band that has great potential in the arena that they now play in but that would have been a moot point in the 70s. By that I mean, had they started then, they would now be spoken of in the same breath as the likes of Judas Priest.
As a recording of this style goes, Freedom Call opts for the wall of sound. It works well for this band as it would for all metal bands. They use L to R channels for effect by alternating guitar parts and running drum rolls between the channels now and again. the production is top notch and the sound as clean as expected and hoped for. Each instrument is clearly given equal time sonically in the mix. I don't know who the producer was he/she did a good job.
I was sent a disc sans the artwork and inserts so comments here are not applicable to the actual state of the final release. It is an important attribute of every recording to be a complete and exemplary CD, not only in music but in presentation via booklets with photos, notes and lyrics, etc. I invite SPV/Steamhammer to send me a final release copy to update this area.
THE FINAL SAY
The band that is Freedom Call has given us a spectacular set of tunes that exemplifies the spirit of 70s metal. It cannot be done any better than these guys have produced although I'm sure that they will trump themselves by making better future recordings. I can guarantee this. I will buy their next. If they make it to America in the LA/Orange County area, you can bet that my brother and I will be numbered amongst the audience. We are already fans.
Copyright © 2002 Matthew Rowe. All rights reserved.
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