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Live Majesty. - 95%

hells_unicorn, February 24th, 2006

I’ve waited a long time for this and finally my wish has been granted,, I have experienced Freedom Call’s live sound. Being an American with a minimal constitution, it is very difficult for me to fly out to either Nuremborg Germany or Hultsfred Sweden in order to view Freedom Call in the flesh, so this is essentially the next best thing.

The production is stellar for a live album, the only flaw being that at times the keyboards are a bit hard to hear, particularly when Chris Bay is playing his guitar solos. All of the songs are faithfully recreated and stand as true testaments of their studio created counterparts on the various albums that they populate. The fast songs have no lack of energy, and the ballads/epics are no less beautiful that their original album released versions.

One particular point of interest I wish to point out is how radically different Cede’s soloing on the Stairway to Fairyland/Crystal Empire songs are from Sascha Gershner’s original renditions, driven mostly by more technical intrigue and more exaggerated articulations. This brings a new element to the fold, making this album well worth a listen for even those whom are not partial to live albums.

As far as the 2nd disc is concerned, the addition of the Taragon EP on this release is a godsend for every non-French fan of their music, except for core-fans like me whom are willing to spend extra to get this imported from it’s host country. As such I will leave individual reviews of these songs to a separate review of the Taragon EP itself. But I would like to make some points about the other 2 bonus tracks. Hiroshima is a decent cover that is well-adapted from it’s original, less heavy format. But I found myself more enthusiastic for the Dr. Stein cover. The only band that can take a Helloween song and make it more technically impressive and more fun to listen to is Freedom Call. The guitar solo section in particular is quite a treat for the fan of impressive yet musical intrigue.

Since all of the songs on this live album have already been individually reviewed by me, I will simply categorize them into 3 groups based on how they are performed. (1) Extravagant (2) Exceptional (3) Very Good.

(1) Tears of Taragon, Freedom Call, Heart of the Rainbow, The Quest, Land of Light.
(2) Metal Invasion, Shine On, We are one, Rise Up, Warriors.
(3) Hymn to the Brave, The Spell, Eyes of the World.

In Conclusion, recommended to Freedom Call fans of every variety, as well to fans of melodic power metal with fantasy based lyrics. As far as live albums go for this genre, it doesn’t get much better.