Friday, May 27, 2011

FREEDOM CALL: "Live In Helvetia"

Rating: Live

Label: SPV/Steamhammer 2011

Review by Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

A crack of thunder in the distance, the sinister voice of the 'shadowking' as the music appears, and blasting out through our loud speakers, "We Are One". Blimey, it's schlager metal and judging by the impressively long tour dates and thank you list, Freedom Call had a more than decent 2010. According to the bhoyos themselves, the year turned out to be the most successful and busiest time in the history of the band. "Live In Helvetia" (that's Switzerland if you thought of hell or any other hot place such as California?) - the recorded show took place on 29th of december 2010 at 'Z 7' Pratteln.

It's 'happy' power metal (could someone please explain to me why they're so bleeding happy?) and also the band's second live album (a 2CD set) after six studio albums in their back catalogue. Their previous live effort, "Live Invasion", came in 2004 and thus why you basically had this coming, sucker. The music is the main thing though and it clearly burnt brighter than a thousand lighters on this special occasion in Helvetia. Don't get me wrong, I sort of like the band, and they've done plenty of good in the past, but it's almost like an overdose of "happy metal" and it could most definitely get on your nerves in the long run.

Ehem, especially considering that most of their songs are built around the same basic structure and formula. To be honest, it's difficult to tell them apart at times and you need to stay focused or lose out on a handful of numbers at no time. In a 2CD set that comprises some of their finest moments, I'll be shouting loudly and gladly along to the likes of "Blackened Sun", "Hunting High and Low", and the sublime, "Mr. Evil". You may refer to me as 'Mr. Grumpy', but listening to this 2CD set, actually made me wish for a couple of darker, moodier, tracks in between all the happy-happy, joy-joy. Well, you can't please them all and at least they're very good at what they do.


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