Freedom Call – “Master Of Light” (Steamhammer / SPV)
Probably one of the most underrated power metal bands around, Freedom Call return undaunted with yet another stupendous album! With 8 previous studio releases and 2 live records already under their belts, it’s almost shameful that these guys haven’t reached the lofty heights of Gamma Ray, Edguy or even the mighty Helloween. Having followed them over the years they’ve clearly got what it takes from massively catchy songs made up of trademark speed and truly majestic melodies all delivered with huge amounts of positivity and unflappable passion. Still with founder guitarist / vocalist Chris Bay and original bassist Ilker Ersin, “Master Of Light” follows in the fine tradition of its predecessors, the title track itself being definitive of the band’s sound in combining driving speed with massive choirs and singalong choruses, accompanied by pomp keyboard orchestrals and Lars Rettkowitz’s flowing lead guitar work delivering fiery breaks and of course, spirited solos! Anyone who loves the earlier albums like “Crystal Empire” will acknowledge the epic 6 minute opus ´A World Beyond` with its driving twin guitars delivering folk melodies, heroically heavy riffs and solos worthy of quest with yet more anthemic choruses, all of which create a true fantasy atmosphere that will not leave your heart untouched. Even on the more mid paced material, Freedom Call excel like on ‘Emerald Skies’, opening quietly with its piano before building symphonically with strings, soaring ever higher through Bay’s soulful voice to the enraptured heavenly chorus of ‘…let’s fly high over the rainbow, and along to the emerald skies, let’s find the king of salvation, and you’ll see an answer to life…’ – and that’s exactly what “Master Of Light” does in no small matter.