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Review: Freedom Call - Legend of the Shadowking
Freedom Call
Legend of the Shadowking

Label: SPV
Year released: 2010
Duration: 56:44
Tracks: 14
Genre: Power Metal


Review online: July 9, 2010
Reviewed by: Lior "Steinmetal" Stein
Readers' Rating
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Rated 3.6/5 (72%) (20 Votes)

The rumors that Freedom Call's Dan Zimmermann was calling it quits were just that; rumors. No one will take his baby from him and, to prove the point, Freedom Call recently released their sixth album, Legend of the Shadowking.

Staying in the world of fantasy and legendary tales, topics that have served Freedom Call well in the past, the band does explore some darker places this time around. The Power Metal of past albums has turned into something a bit different. This new-found dark aura is one of the remarkable elements on Legend of the Shadowking. Freedom Call remains a sort of hybrid between Gamma Ray and Helloween, having been formed by Zimmermann shortly after he joined Kai Hansen's second outfit. The main difference between Freedom Call and Gamma Ray is in the vocal section. Chris Bay, who sang on Herman Frank's Moondoc, is a much better singer, with all due respect to Hansen.

Regardless of resemblances to other bands, Freedom Call knows how to make good Power Metal. In the past, it was more of the "happy" style, full of speed and trilling riffs. Legend of the Shadowking, while not that different, does have a bit of darkness held in its clutches. This definitely gives the band a new level of originality, something they've lacked on past releases.

This new approach can be heard on Legend of the Shadowking in songs like "Under the Spell of the Moon," "Dark Obsession," "The Darkness" and "The Shadowking." With the exception of "The Darkness," which is monotonous, these tracks have an interesting, atmospheric sound. Not that Freedom Call can resist some speedy outbursts. While the faster songs sound a bit banal at times, they are melodic and fun. The first three songs, "Out of the Ruins," "Thunder God" and "Tears of Babylon," are Euro Power Metal in its truest form, meaning there is nothing new here.

Heaviness can only be found in a few minor moments on Legend of the Shadowking. However, this is still an experienced band and the album is a pleasing offering, much better than their past albums. The Freedom Call of 2010 is fun and games, yet with a darkened aspect that wasn't there before. Fans of Gamma Ray and old Helloween will love this.

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