Freedom Call

If you’ve heard Freedom Call before, you won’t be surprised by their most recent album. What you expect is what you get — a lot of uptempo power metal influenced by the likes of Gamma Ray and Helloween.

Let’s start with the unneccessary intro, “Demons Dance”; I’m begging, can we just drop these useless wastes of space? They very rarely add anything to the record and when you do those goofy “mystical” spoken word intros, it just reinforces the idea that people have that power metal is just corny Dungeons & Dragons music. Just stop, please.

After that, Freedom Call delivers up some solid, if not groundbreaking, power metal tunes. They don’t take any chances or try anything new, which makes me reluctant to really tell people to go check them out. But they do what they do well, and if you like that brand of power metal, you’ll probably enjoy it.

Dimensions has its nice moments, like the slightly darker “United Alliance,” and it has its completely over the top and corny moments like “Mr. Evil.” The latter has this unintentionally hilarious voice effect with a guy saying “Hey, Mr. Evil” and sounding anything but. In fact there’s not a touch of evil in the whole song, which sounds more like a 1980s power pop tune. That sound returns later in the record for “Magic Moments,” which, in parts, is like taking a time machine back to the days of new wave. Likewise, the tortured-soul ballad “Words of Endeavour is hard to take seriously.

There are some redeeming songs to be found here. “Blackened Sun” is probably the best on the record. It’s a little more dramatic, a little darker and a little more restrained than some of the other songs. I also like that the gang vocals on the chorus actually sound like they’re sung by men, which is unusual in the genre. “Queen of My World” also opens well, with a slightly exotic guitar lick that leads to a “Kashmir”-esque verse. And, surprisingly, the final tune “Far Away” is a bit of fun, even though it has that same 1980s pop feel that I disliked earlier in the record. The chorus, though, is hard to get out of your head. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad.

Dimensions falls into the same category as many of the current power metal records out there. It’s well-played and produced, and singer Chris Bay has one of the better voices out there, not at all shrieky and annoying. If you’re not sick of the style yet, it’s probably worth checking out. If you’re not a fan of the happier brand of power metal, pass.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Fred Phillips
February 16th, 2008


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