Freedom Call – “666 Weeks Beyond Eternity” (Steamhammer / SPV )
How does Chris Bay keep so happy all the time? Well, being the guitarist front man to Freedom Call, one of Germany’s most talented, yet under popularized power metal bands must be just one reason, but surely the other is the return of founding member bassist Ilker Ersin, and with the addition of drum wizard Ramy Ali (to replace now retired Dan Zimmermann) Freedom Call’s outstandingly strong team spirit is reflected in their nearly ceaseless motivation. With the release of “Beyond” last year, which brought the band back to their roots, they now declare a very unusual hellish anniversary: “666 Weeks Beyond Eternity”! And if you still haven’t got it, then it’s been 666 weeks since the release of their 3rd album ‘Eternity’!!! Celebrating the re-release of what is regarded as their landmark release, it has a brand new track in the title opener, while backing the 11 original tracks come 10 bonus songs in acoustic, live and cover versions from the likes of stadium rock metallers Neonfly, Kissin Dynamite’s Hannes Braun (in a piano solo!) and the brooding heavy rock of Powerworld – quite a package to celebrate some feasting on an exclusive tour celebrating the album! For those not familiar with this truly excellent band, Freedom Call play amazingly uplifting power metal, graced by passionate melodies and positive vibes that send your heart soaring and reaching ever upwards for the heavens – perhaps not unsurprising given Bay is a Christian, although he certainly proves they can certainly rock without frocks amidst flurries of rock hard riffs, heavy bass runs from Ilker and plenty of double bass drumming from Ramy. When ‘Eternity’ came out, it was already off the back of two amazing albums in ‘Stairway To Heaven’ and ‘Crystal Empire’ and why the band never broke big still escapes me, call it comparisons to Helloween or conflicting schedules with them given Dan’s dual drumming role, but to me they have always been a band in their own right, writing majestic songs like ‘Flame In The Night’, ‘Island Of Dreams’ with its magnificent choirs and the crowd rousing par excellence ‘Land Of The Light’. With this 21 track party package you too can reach for the sky and with Freedom Call by your side you may actually touch it.