The German Power Metal band return with their seventh studio album, 'Land Of The Crimson Dawn' – fourteen outstanding tracks totalling just over an hour of solid guitar riffs, catchy, sing-a-long choruses and some flaming hot guitar solos.
The foursome seem to push the boundaries with each album release and this is no exception. The album kicks off with the fast paced 'Age Of The Phoenix'. With its simple backbeat, melodic vocals and the first of many great guitar solos, things are off to a fine start.
'Rockstars' talks about wanting to be exactly that but doesn't cross into boundaries of the similarly named track by Nickelback, and includes an excellent twin guitar intro from Bay/Rettkowitz along with a catchy chorus. Things move on quickly with 'Crimson Dawn' which has a good solid groove with an over-riding sense that this could be part of a concept album/stage play that hasn't yet been unleashed onto the listening public. As a standalone track, however, it works very, very well indeed.
'66 Warriors' certainly has the possibility of some audience participation if it's to be included on the band's upcoming tour, with it's big shouty chorus of "...warrior, oh warrior...". The song has a fantasy feel to it, but it's nicely understated unlike some of the Dungeons and Dragons lyrics associated with their contemporaries.
'Back Into The Land Of The Light', with it's keyboard-laden backing track and it's upbeat tempo is refreshing in it's simplicity and this is a track that would surely get a lot of radio play with it's catchy chorus. Big choruses are nothing unusual on this album, and 'Sun In The Dark' is no exception. There's nothing technical or flash about this track – it's just straight down the line rock n' roll, very much in the vein of Black Stone Cherry, and indeed there's absolutely nothing wrong with that – it just becomes another hugely enjoyable track.
'Hero On Video' continues the simple rock track route with its catchy chorus and radio friendly sound. 'Valley Of Kingdom' features some excellent guitar work whilst still maintaining a solid groove whilst 'Killer Gear' slows the pace slightly but still manages to produce a killer guitar riff (with possibly some keyboards hidden in the background) and a rhythm guitar sound that flows really well, sounding very Iron Maiden-esque at times. It has a strong chorus but is marked by the absence of a proper guitar solo, which although is unusual, it certainly doesn't take anything way from the track itself.
'Rockin' Radio' picks the pace back up again with a hugely enjoyable track about, yes, you've guessed it – rock music on the radio! This track is a lot of fun from the noisy chorus right down the comic-DJ intro and outros – this is surely something that could be added to the bands live set. Fantastic stuff!
'Terra Liberty' has a slower tempo proving that Freedom Call can still do moody and heavy, and features some excellent double bass drum work from Sperling, which blends well with the main guitar riff.
'Eternity' is another solid track with it's piano intro giving way to chunky guitar riff, not to mention the inclusion of some ethereal female vocals in the background giving this track a ghostly touch.
'Space Legends' pushes the pace back up once more with more excellent guitar work, as the album heads towards its final track. 'Power And Glory' starts off with a supreme guitar display (sounding not too dissimilar to a set of bagpipes) and turns into a rousing finish for the album. It's an upbeat track replete with catchy chorus that is sure to get the fists hoisted in the air if played live by the band or in rock/Metal nightclubs all over the world!
It's a fantastic finish to a truly great album, so full marks go to Freedom Call who have produced a very strong album that makes it's way on my list of the best albums of 2012.
Age Of The Phoenix
Back Into The Land Of Light
Sun In The Dark
Hero On Video
Valley Of Kingdom
Power And Glory
Chris Bay – vocals and guitar
Lars Rettkowitz – guitar
Samy Saemann – bass
Klaus Sperling – drums