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Yes! This is exactly what I've been waiting for from Freedom Call ever since their 2002 outing "Eternity". Don't get me wrong, none of their albums between that one and "Land of the Crimson Dawn" were bad, however I could never shake the feeling that they just didn't quite live up to their potential on "The Circle of Life" and "Dimensions". Where the earlier featured way too many song names that we've already heard countless times before - such as "Hunting High And Low", "Carry On", "Mother Earth" and "Starchild" - without actually delivering the goods in terms of songwriting subsequently, and the latter didn't really have any songs that would capture me for a longer time, "Legend of the Shadowking" was already a step into the right direction, and with "Land of the Crimson Dawn", the Germans have finally managed to get back on track to being what - in my mind - is the real Freedom Call.
Is it happy metal in its purest form? Is it flower metal? You're damn right it is. But in the case of Freedom Call, you can never make the mistake to think that they are all too serious about themselves. And why should they be? You can tell these guys are having fun with what they do, and they are not afraid to laugh at themselves a little. And, truth be told, if you can stomach a little cheese and cringeworthy keyboard sounds, "Land of the Crimson Dawn" sure is a whole lot of fun. The opening triplet of "Age of the Phoenix", the tremendous and funny hymn "Rockstars" and the title track itself are all better than about 90% of the material the band has put out on the aforementioned records before this one.
But thankfully, Freedom Call don't stop there. "66 Warriors" is a thumping track with a unique flair, "Back into the Land of Light" is arguably one of the best songs on the album and takes us directly back to the "Eternity" album, in more senses than one; and even the first single "Hero On Video" isn't all that bad, though there are certainly better songs on the album.
"Killer Gear" pays tribute to all us nerds who love to play our online games like World of Warcraft, "Rockin' Radio" is dedicated to lead singer Chris Bay's own radio show, and last but certainly not least, "Power and Glory" is dedicated to the band, the fans, and everyone who makes a heavy metal show fun to attend.
With "Terra Liberty" and "Sun in the Dark", the band even strikes a few serious chords for a change - though none of them are ever minor, of course. Wouldn't be Freedom Call if they were.
So for all those who have been sorely missing great hymns like the incomparable "Warriors" from their "Eternity" album, the new Freedom Call output is just for you. There's tons of double bass, tons of happy keyboards, tons of singable choruses and hooks - and from start to finish, this is just a really enjoyable album, if you manage to not take it too seriously.