FREEDOM CALL - LAND OF THE CRIMSON DAWN
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2012 album from the German Power Metal band. Singer and guitarist Chris Bay says: "The new studio album includes 14 full songs and some very special bonus tracks. A new world, a new dimension full of attraction, fascination and illusions. Let us travel together, far beyond in any power of imagination, through the Valley of the Crimson Dawn, an illuminating part of the glorious Land of Light. Immerse into the world of craft to fight, to enjoy the excitement to survive or surrender. Always on the edge to reality..."
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This...is a very weird album. There are 14 songs, and a good ¾ of them are very much your typical Freedom Call songs. They're upbeat, catchy, keyboard-heavy, and very polished anthems about warriors and magical lands. If you've heard even one Freedom Call album you know exactly what I'm talking about. They're good songs (especially "Back Into the Land of Light" and "Valley of Kingdom"), but they're also very predictable. The other ¼ or so of Land of the Crimson Dawn is made up of goofball rock songs with an almost hair metal vibe. Honestly, it's like the band is ripping off Edguy's style big-time. Long-time fans may very well hate songs like "Rockstars," "Rockin' Radio" and "Hero on Video," but I may like them more than the album's "serious" songs. They're completely ridiculous, but they're also way catchy and very very hard to get out of your head once you hear them.
And yes, I realize I slagged Edguy's latest (Age of the Joker) for this kind of thing, but these songs made me smile where that album didn't...at all.
All told, Land of the Crimson Dawn is a very schizophrenic album. It might have made more sense if Freedom Call had split this into a "serious" album and a "silly" EP and released them separately. Taken together it may be a bit too much for some fans to digest. I got a kick out of the album, but your mileage may vary.
Land of the Crimson Dawn: featuring 14 new full length songs this new album is dynamite from start to finish and is, IMHO, quite possibly their strongest release to date.
Charging out of the gates things get off to a flying and fast start with Age of the Phoenix and Rockstars, two stellar new Freedom Call anthems which are destined to be live favourites.
The album boasts just over an hour of ear candy melodic metal, finishing off in style with the very catchy Power & Glory, a new Freedom Call party tune in the tradition of Far Away and A Perfect Day.
All the core elements of Freedom Call's signature style are here: plenty of speed, crunchy riffs, super catchy melodies, big backing vocals, singalong choruses and an incredibly uplifting vibe to the music.
Chris Bay's vocals are as dependable and versatile as ever, with singing styles ranging from power metal to hard rock, from pop rock to pseudo-death metal. One of the better power metal vocalists I find his vocals are like a blend of Michael Kiske, Andi Deris & Bruce Dickinson. He is one of the few power metal vocalists who can hit those high notes without resorting to screaming.
The production is balanced, heavy and packs a nice punch.
While traces of the more melancholic sound, as featured on their previous album Legend of the Shadowking, are still detectable by and large the feel of this release is much more upbeat.
The band has woven a groovy 'hair metal' rock 'n' roll flavour into their trademark sound, as can heard on fun tracks such as Hero on Video and Rockin' Radio and it really compliments their core style.
Freedom Call fans should lap this up wanting more, while power metal fans who are yet to discover the band are in for a treat with this release.
If you enjoy high quality power metal, particularly the kind designed to shine the bright side of light into your day, boost your spirits, and put a spring in your step, then Freedom Call are just the tonic.
A fun, awesome and thoroughly enjoyable album. A must buy.
If you're a fan of Freedom Call, then you should get this album. If you're on the fence or intrigued by them but have yet to really make the plunge, I would get Legend of the Shadowking or Eternity first. If you like those, this is more of the same.