My friends, and yours, the Germans, have won the world cup. You probably heard about it, it is not everyday Brazil loses seven to one, also it was the first time in history a European team has won the world cup in South America, and Germany may be the first team to defeat Brazil and then Argentina back to back.
If you are observant at all you may have noticed that I am particularly fond of a lot of German music. I have already written at length about the Scoprions, Blind Guardian, Helloween, Edguy and Avantasia. It just seems like Germany has a fantastic talent for music as well as football. In celebration of Deutschland’s recent football success let us continuing talking about German music.
Enter Freedom Call.
Freedom Call is yet another rock solid German metal band that affectively no one in North America has ever heard of; shame on us.
Like so many European metal bands Freedom Call has a mixed history with other European metal bands. Front man Chris Bay started Freedom in 1998 with his friend Dan Zimmermann, who is better known as the drummer of Gamma Ray. Dan Zimmermann is no longer with either Freedom Call or Gamma Ray now, and thus he continues to contribute to the many odysseys that exist in European metal careers.
The best song to introduce Freedom Call to those who have never heard of them before is probably their flagship song that has the same name as the band, “Freedom Call.” It is a very common thing for power metal bands to have a song of the title as the band name, I think Black Sabbath might have been the first, and often times the flagship song captures the spirit of the band in one short musical synopsis. Having said all that “Freedom Call” the song should serve my rock and roll goals nicely.
As a power metal band, Freedom Call have a lot of songs about high adventure, with fantasy themes throughout. “Freedom Call” the song tells a tale of another world, as the opening line would suggest, “An Island lies in the sea of stars, So far from time.” We do not really get to know much about this world beyond a noble group of strangers fighting against the magic of some demon; that alone sounds like a good idea for a book and maybe it already is and I just cannot identify it. I like to believe this strange world is the Crystal Empire, only because that is the name of the album from which the song is recorded.
Some of the fun surrounding a lot of power metal is trying to piece together the story being told to us, when not everything is exactly clear. I have made something of an effort in the past to make sense of songs like Helloween’s “Keeper of the Seven Keys,” or Queens “Ogre Battle,” but strangeness of fantasy coupled with the lack of specifics leaves just about everything open to interpretation. The song “Freedom Call” appears on Freedom Call’s second album the 2001 “Crystal Empire,” and the entire album, like many Freedom Call albums, has an overarching story, so the adventure of “Freedom Call” is wonderfully expanded into the rest of the album, and I dig that shit.
As much as I love a good and mysterious fantasy adventure set to the back drop of power metal it was not this that made me initially notice and fall in love with Freedom Call. They have a great sound Freedom Call. In the song “Freedom Call” specifically the introduction is methodical, the rhythm guitar and drums both steady and simple start us off and then a great little rift from lead guitar brings us to a change in tempo with a keyboard primary leading us. The tempo remains the same but changes into a galloping drum beat that leads and the rest of the song follows this pattern. Complexity through layered beats that are simplistic is something I have always loved and the rhythms and melodies of “Freedom Call” and many other Freedom Call songs are excellent at drawing you in this way.
Freedom Call will be, or already has, toured with Edguy through Scandinavia this year, and it is a great regret that I will not be able to see them together, that would be a hell of a show. I am super jealous of my friends in Sweden who are going. The point of this review is simple, Freedom Call is another superb metal contribution by the fine people of Deutschland, and yet another central European power metal band I sure hope my fellow North Americans discover hereafter.
Until next month keep on rocking in the free world.