LAND OF THE CRIMSON DAWN
One of the most difficult things there is to do when reviewing power metal bands is to find the slight variations in the sound from band to band. While I'm definitely a fan of the genre, it is the most defined sound of all the subgenres of metal. Let's face it - each and every song has a fast drum beat that rides underneath fast riffs which create a galloping sound to the music. In short, if you can listen to a power metal album from start to finish and you never tap out the "da da dum da da dum" beat on the table in front of you, then the music is probably not very good.
Freedom Call is what I'd call a typical power metal band. Their album, LAND OF THE CRIMSON DAWN, is pretty much what you'd expect from any German power metal band out there. Their music features big, sweeping gang style choruses, galloping paces on every song, a pretty clean vocal and music that's pretty well within the framework of this musical style. In short, LAND OF THE CRIMSON DAWN is a pretty typical power metal album.
That said, I hope you don't read it as a bad album at all. It's not. Songs like "Rockstars" are as solid as anything Primal Fear or Blind Guardian have put out in years. Vocalist Chris Bay is not the greatest singer in that his voice is pretty indistinguishable, but he's solid throughout. In a way, Bay reminds a lot of Joacim Cans of Hammerfall, particularly in his phrasing on songs. Listening to him on material like "Crimson Dawn", it's hard to be sure that it's not Cans singing the song as a guest appearance.
Musically, LAND OF THE CRIMSON DAWN is pretty much typical. They fall right into my main criticism of power metal; each and every song being based on "the fight", "the struggle", "marching on" and "winning the great battle". Sure, this kind of music has etched it's place in the minds and souls of Dungeons & Dragons fans and annual Renaissance Fair participants, but the ever repeating message is somewhat of a downer in this genre. There's no shortage of it here. Song like "66 Warriors", "Valley Of Kingdom" and most others just emphasize this fairly typical storyline from which they write from.
PITRIFF RATING - 70/100 - Not bad, not great. Definitely not something that stands out much, but at the same time not something you would turn off if it popped on your radio or IPod. This is a solid effort from Freedom Call, although my bet is that if you aren't a follower of them as a band you wouldn't distinguish it from any of the other zillion just like them out there.