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You know, I really don't think this is half-bad. Coming from the band that made the megaton crap sandwich that is "Dimensions," Freedom Call deserves a medal for their efforts throughout "Land of the Crimson Dawn." There's still a sum of mediocre filler conquering a noticeable portion of the hour of power metal, but hey, no electronica or kiddie choirs here like "Dimensions," and I'm certainly not considering suicide as an escape from the radical storm of poop that comes with the Freedom Call works I've experienced. Anywhere but up, as they say. Here, Chris Bay delivers a nice slab of retribution that was sorely needed. Sure, it's still Freedom Call, but they've cut out a lot of crap and inversely shine light on the project's strengths, finding a natural rhythm instead of forcing one.
Were the Mayans right? Did the sky fall? Was the impossible achieved? I don't live under a rock for the most part, so I'm going to assume Bay hit some kind of a creative stride and ran with its flow. Freedom Call seems to get a lot of flack for honoring the themes of 'flower' metal—you know, the puffy keyboards, pound after pound of cheese, sappy choruses, yadda yadda yadda. Well, that's how things go here, yet I notice the riffs, melodies, choruses, bridges, guitar solos and vocal patterns are much more dynamic than they should be. I also never felt Bay's vocals were demanding in any regard until this seventh chapter in the book of Freedom Call. It generally smells like Freedom Call improved every facet of their blueprint. I'm a skeptic, yet I'm colored surprised!
Blistering tunes like "Age of the Phoenix," the unabashed sweetened edge of "Rockstars" and the taste of power metal bliss throughout "Valley of Kingdom" strike a habitual harmony within Freedom Call; they aren't trying too hard or moving against the stream, but actually utilizing their appropriate form. Not too shabby. "66 Warriors" and "Space Legends" give Freedom Call instrumental wings, both very addictive and cunning tunes. There are some real dumps though: the awful "Hero on Video" is just a goddamn mess, and "Rockin' Radio" shows glimmers of a band that ignored the pitfalls and problems of "Dimensions" and instead decided cranking the agitation past eleven was a fantastic idea. Redundancy is not a foreign idea to the Freedom Call tribe, unfortunately.
Not surprisingly, some songs are just mediocre and dull, but "Land of the Crimson Dawn" still has a chunk of noteworthy, beefy tunes. A masterpiece? No. An above-average album? That's debatable. A listenable record at its worst? Bingo, and that's exactly what Freedom Call needed. As they also say, credit is earned when credit is due, and Freedom Call deserves some goddamn credit. Chris Bay not only penned a massive record stuffed to the brim with power metal, but managed to make the girth of his efforts look relevant and prosperous. So Freedom Call, it looks like you were able to slightly reel in an estranged fan in some regards. Good work Freedom Call, you've definitely earned a few high-fives and a pat on the back.
This review was written for: www.Thrashpit.com