|Freedom Call - Stairway To Fairyland
01. Over The Rainbow
02. Tears Falling
04. Shine On
05. We Are One
06. Hymn To The Brave
07. Tears Of Taragon
09. Holy Knight
10. Another Day
11. Kingdom Come [Japanese / Korean bonus]
Many of you seem to have heard of them but without having heard a lot of stuff from this German power metal band. If it's your case then I suggest you to start with their debut album Stairway To Fairyland, released in 1999, one year after the formation of the band.
The will of old friends Chris Bay (vocals & guitar) and Daniel Zimmerman (drummer, Gamma Ray) to make a common band gave birth to Freedom Call.
Completed by Ilker Ersin at the bass guitar and Sasha Gerstner (guitar, now playing with Helloween), they released a fresh power metal album, based upon a story in which brave men are forced to leave their land...to find the Stairway To Fayriland?
Beginning with some church organ stuff (keyboards), joined by the lead guitar with the help of some power chords, "Over The Rainbow" goes on heavy & speedy, ending by the repetition of the chorus, as the whole album is.
Chris sings very well (sometimes he reminds me of Andre matos), but the choirs on the pre-chorus aren't so good, they lack a certain dimension and sounds quite neutral, but once you get used to it, it fits the songs perfectly.
"Tears Falling" is similar to the intro track, without the organ introduction, but with a more catchy guitar riff, and an interlude with soft keys and heavy power chords on the drums: another typical trick of the band.
Then comes "Fayriland" a good song, simple but efficient, the vocals lead you well throughout the song. "Shine On" is quite similar to the first 2 songs. "We Are As One" is also a simple powerful song, quite a hymn for me, I like the catchy rhythm, melodies & vocals (here I also find Chris sings in Kai Hansen way).
But the real hymn is quite logically "Hymn To The Brave", based on the melody the lead guitar displays from the beginning to the end. Moreover the rhythm is slower on this song to make a kind of pause in the album, I think.
The following track "Tears of Taragon" is also slower than the first 5 songs, but has that heavy power chord riffing that sounds so good! yeah!
"Graceland" is also heavier than the average Freedom Call song, and has a chorus that keeps you headbanding all the time.
And then...my favourite track of the album (or is it of all Freedom Call albums?), "Holy Knight", beginning with a great guitar riff it's rocking! Captivating vocal parts, cool interlude followed by a guitar solo, and then some choirs, the band coming back for a great outro.
Finally the last track of our journey through these lands, "Another Day", with its soft beginning, with a bell ringing some resounding guitar notes, a solo, and the heavy & speedy typical Freedom Call song ends this promising debut album.
Besides the choirs & orchestrations sounding too much like just keys stuff (which, actually, they are), the whole production fits this power metal piece. Not a must for guitar players and others (except drummers maybe) but so catchy! And I can tell you it's really great when played live!
The best Freedom Call release for me now.
ps: Freedom Call - an album by Angra, Shine On - a song by Gamma Ray, Another day - a song by Dream Theater...no forget that, just my imagination!