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Metal is meant to be cheesy - 80%

StillDeath, October 19th, 2004

First off I have to say that while being a big fan of power metal, I am not a big fan of pure power metal live releases. Must be something about the studio works that have perfect versions of songs possible. Freedom Call’s live is an exception with Blind Guardian probably there as well.

What is included on 2 cds is a live cd and an EP not issued in US plus a couple of covers. The live cd 1 is played with high energy and near studio production. In between songs we can hear the crowd going nuts. Ho hum. The guitars are at the front, always a good sign. Freedom Call play typical vanilla German power metal. Soaring sing alongs, shredding, melodic solos, memorable verses, catchy hooks. I cannot comment on track selection as I only have one Freedom Call studio cd. All songs are equally high quality and that is a good sign as well. They are effortless listening, however there is nothing extraordinary brilliant to speak of, which is why I did not rate this in the 90’s.

The vocalist sounds like a “happy” version of Andi Deris. Freedom Call is basically ear candy. They are always happy or always high, I can’t tell from listening. Some goofy pictures from the professional inlay booklet might suggest either, so no help there.

The second cd is a free bonus EP Taragon and it is on par with live selection, which would make it excellent. The standout here is “Warriors of Light”, it is flowing and catchy, close to the epitome of power metal sing along track. The long version of Tears of Taragon has a stupid spoken narration in the middle; it does not make the song skippable at all. I don’t take my metal with a dose of narration, not what the doctor prescribed. It is not as ghastly as Rhapsody narratives, just unnecessary after you hear the song for 50th time, which you would want to do after you hear it. I am not penalising Freedom Call for anything on this bonus cd by the way, right the opposite this stellar second cd is one more reason to get this release. Now onto the covers. Hiroshima is decent, not as good as preceding EP though. Dr Stein is slightly lighter version of the original, otherwise replicated note for note.

One more thing, metal is meant to be cheesy. It is art after all. I know that Lars Ulrich was saying recently how much it hurts his pussy that 80’s metal is so cheesy and he wants none of it. Modern Metallica has few artistic qualities, so here is a good point to wrap up this review.

If you are a power metal fan then you can play this non stop till the cows come home. Instantly recognisable clichéd 80’s power metal! No surprises here.